[From Isle of Man, Cumming 1848]
The foundation-stone of King William's College was laid by Lieutenant-Governor Smelt on St. George's day, April 23,1830,: The building, which stands at the head of Castletown Bay, is of mixed early English and Elizabethan character. It extends S.E. by E. and N.W. by W. 210 feet. The transept at right angles to this direction in the centre of the building, including the Tower and Chapel, is 135 feet. The Tower, placed between the Chapel and the rest of the building, rises to height of 115 feet from the ground. The original design, furnished by Messrs. Hansom and Welsh, included an octagonal turret on the summit of the Tower intended as an observatory, but it was abandoned in the erection. The contract for the building by the late Mr. Fitzsimons was £6000. The Chapel; (not yet consecrated) was built by Bishop Ward out of moneys collected in England for building churches on the island. The building is now divided into seven fire-proof compartment, separated by strong party-walls rising above the roof, and communicating through cast-iron doors, the passages being flagged with stone. It contains, in addition to the Chapel and Tower, the residences of the Principal and Vice-Principal, the Library, and four Class-rooms.
The fund accumulated by the Trustees from the rents of the Ballagilley and Hango Hill estate, amounted in 1830 to £2071 10/-. Through the exertions of Bishop Ward, a subscription-list, nobly headed by himself with £100, produced nearly £2692 more, and the College estate was mortgaged by Act of Tynwald for another £2000. A sum of £50 per annum is set apart from the proceeds of the trust for the gradual paying off this incumbrance. The building cost£6572 18s. Tlie College lands, originally held under lease at £20 per annum, were let in 1769 for a term of thirty-one years at the annual rental of £100. Again in 1800 they were re-let at £341 15s. per annum; in 1826 they obtained a further advance to a rental of £489 1s. per annum; and lastly in 1842 they were let at about £520 per annum. The Principal receives from this estate the same salary as was formerly given to the Academic Master. The salaries of the other masters (except a portion of that of the Vice-Principal, and £15 paid to the English master from a bequest of the late Mrs. Quilliam) are paid out of the tuition-fees of the students.
The remainder of the proceeds of the trust is expended in exhibitions to Manx students to the Universities of Great Britain, in the payment of interest upon the borrowed capital of £2000, in the reserved fund for the liquidation of this debt, and on improvements of the College estate.
The Manx Exhibitioners to Oxford, Cambridge, or Trinity College, Dublin (of whom there are at this present three), are bound by the terms of Bishop Barrow's will to return and serve in the Manx Church upon the call of the Bishop, or to refund the sum advanced to them for their education out of the trust.
The Trustees of the College are His Excellency the Lieut.-Governor,the Lord Bishop, the Clerk of the Rolls, the Attorney-General, the senior Deemster and the Archdeacon.
The educational arrangements of the College are after the original plan of Llampeter in South Wales, combining a grammar-school, with a higher department for students for holy orders. The ordinary course embraces the Greek and Latin classics, Hebrew, with Greek, Latin and English composition, history and geography, the mathematics, with mensuration, fortification and navigation. The modern languages and drawing are optional. The course of religious instruction is according to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England. The tuition-fees vary, according to age, from £4 to £10 per annum. The board 30 guineas. The masters are voluntarily educating gratuitously 22 boys, of whom the greater portion are sons of the native Manx clergy.
The first Principal was the Rev. E. Wilson, MA., of St. John's College, Cambridge, who was succeeded by the Rev. A.Phillips, D.D., of Jesus College, Cambridge. He was succeeded by the Rev. R. Dixon, M.A., of St. Catherine Hal}, Cambridge, in 1841, who had previously been Vice-principal from the opening of the College. The original library of the College was removed from the grammar-school, Castletown, in the principalship of the Rev. E. Wilson. It belonged to the Academic School. It contained several volumes given by Bishop Wilson, many of them containing his autograph and motto, " Tuta et Parvula." It was increased by many benefactors; amongst them Lord de Grey gave Bishop Ward `£20 to be laid out in books; Captain Willis of Castletown slid R. Quayle, Esq. made valuable presents, and the British and Foreign Bible Society gave a selection of their versions. But the most liberal donor was Bishop Short, who presented a valuable collection of Hebrew books, works of Greek and Latin criticism, the Delphin Classics in 141 volumes, Stephens' Greek Thesaurus, 8 vole. for.; Facciolati's Latin Lexicon, 4 vols. for.; Critici Sacri, 9 vols. for.; works of Johnson, Robertson, Burnet, Clarendon, Strype, Grindal, Whitgift and Parker, &c. Very many of these books formed a part of the library of the late Dr. Ireland, Dean of Westminster, his Lordship's uncle.
Between two and three o'clock of the morning of January 14th, 1844, a fire broke out in the dining-hall of the Principal, in the western wing of the College; its origin has never been discovered. Owing to the circumstance of the entire roof of the building being connected throughout, and two wainscoted and floored corridors running from end to end, the flames spread with fearful rapidity, and in a very short time consumed (with the exception of the greater part of the Vice-Principal's residence) the entire building, tower and chapel. There was a great destruction of property. The library was all but wholly consumed. Most providentially no accident of life or limb occurred, though the inmates of the College numbered nearly 100. The Principal was fully insured, but the College only to the amount of £2000, a very inadequate sum. Bishop Short drew up a circular, asking for pecuniary aid, and heading the subscription-list with £300. The call was handsomely responded to, and £1871 10s. was raised. The cost of re-building amounted to £3791 16s. 4d.
The rebuilding and refitting the College after the fire was undertaken voluntarily and gratuitously by J. Timperley, Esq., Civil Engineer, to whose assiduous attentions, energy and perseverance, the rapid restoration of the building is to be ascribed. Sufficient progress was made to enable the members of the College and their friends to meet for the annual distribution of prizes in the large class-room on the 4th of June of the same year. The College Library has already in part been restored by donations of books from various sources.
The University of Oxford, through the interest of Bishop Short, made a most munificent donation of a choice selection of 344 volumes, printed at the Clarendon press, handsomely bound. Bishop Short has also himself largely contributed to the new library, and has obtained presents from his friends. The Rev. W. P. Ward, son of Bishop Ward, formerly of this diocese, contributed several valuable works. The Parker Society replaced the works published by them which had been burnt, and the British and Foreign Bible Society more than replaced their original gift of selected versions of the Holy Scriptures. The University of Cambridge presented several volumes, printed at the Pitt press. Mrs. Shirley, widow of Bishop Shirley, presented, at Bishop Shirley's request, 63 volumes; being a complete series of the Latin Fathers.
The most liberal of all the recent benefactors to the College was the late Mrs. Quilliam, relict of Capt. Quilliam, R.N., of Ballakeign, near Castletown. She gave two separate sums of £100 to the building and rebuilding the College, the communion-plate, value nearly £100, and a pair of silver candlesticks for the Holy Table. She left by will the sum of £300, the interest to be applied to assist towards the salary of a master to teach navigation and other useful sciences. She also by the same will left to the Masters of King William's College the reversion of the estate of Orrisdale, in the parish of Malew,- valued at about £130 per annum; which estate has fallen in by the death of her niece, Mrs. Gunton. The validity of the bequest having been disputed by the heir-at-law,-by an action-at Common Law, December 7th, 1847, a verdict has at this time been given in favour of the College claim.
The Act of Mortmain not applying to the Isle of Man, best quests of landed property may at any time be made to corporate bodies as well as to private individuals.
A Museum for the reception of objects of natural history has been commenced, and has received some valuable donations. Lectures on Natural Philosophy are periodically delivered at the College. A payment of 2s. 6d. per quarter is made by the students towards the purchase of philosophical apparatus, and the augmentation of the Library and Museum. Prizes of books are open for competition on various subjects.
His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Ready gave £5 per annum for the encouragement of English poetry and mathematics, which has been continued by His Excellency them Hon. Charles Hope.
Bishop Ward gave 5 guineas (continued by his successors) for a Latin and an English Theological Essay.
James Clarke, Esq., Attorney-General of the Isle of Man, and Recorder of Liverpool, gave £5 per annum for the encouragement of English composition; continued by Charles. Ogden, Esq.
The Venerable Archdeacon Philpot gave prizes of books for the encouragement of Greek and Latin verse. Archdeacons Hall and Moore have continued a donation of two guineas and a half to the same object.
Francis Lace, Esq., of Ingthorpe Grange, Skipton, Yorkshire, gives £10 per annum for the encouragement of Hebrew, a knowledge of the Greek Testament, and English history.
The following documents, taken from the Chancery records of the Isle of Man, will be found interesting in connection with the building of King William's College.-Chancery Records, 1673:-
" Whereas there is a full accord between the Bishop of St. Asaph and the Isle of Man concerning the profits belonging to the Bishopric of the Island from the time of its vacancy, and all disputes and differences between them about any concerns in the island being concluded; And whereas it is agreed between them, with my consent and approbation, that the whole profits for the year 1671 shall be placed in the hands of William Banks of Winstanley in the county of Lancaster, Esq., till we can meet with convenient purchase for the erection of a public school for academic learning: These are to require you to collect the profits aforesaid, and all charges necessary for the collection being deducted, to return the money by the first opportunity, that it may be fixed and employed according to the agreement between us.
" Given under my hand at Knowsley the 8th June 1672. " DERBY.
" To the Deputy-Governor of my Isle of Man.
" In presence of HENRIC SODORENSIS.
In the Chancery Book, 1675, there is a deed of sale from Charles Moore to Bishop Bridgeman, by which it appears that in that year the Bishop purchased the Abbey of Rushen from Charles Moore, with the intention of erecting the Academic School there; but having been unable to accomplish this through want of funds, the property was subsequently restored to the said Charles Moore.