[From Mate's Isle of Man Illustrated, 1902]
EDUCATION in the Island has a creditable history. Rushen Abbey in the Middle Ages, doubtless, did something for Education. As early as the 14th century extensive land endowments called Particles were devoted to scholars. These were subsequently alienated ; and are now in private hands, their total rentals amounting to £2,500 per annum. The Island owes much to its Bishops Barrow (1663-1671), Wilson (1698-1755), and Ward (1827-1838), were great educational reformers. Barrow re-habilitated education at Castletown. Wilson established Parish Schools. Ward organized Barrow's benefactions. Sir Henry Loch introduced Board Schools, and Sir Spencer Walpole Free Education. Elementary Education is directed by an Insular Board, with local Committees, under Acts nearly identical with the English Acts, and under the English Code and H.M. Inspector of Schools. In Higher Educaton the Island has an excellent Public School (King William's College), and four Grammar Schools.
THE origin of this institution may be traced to James VII,, Earl of Derby, who, in a letter to his son, written in 1643, says :-" I had a design, and God may enable me to set up an University without much charge (as I have conceived it), which may much oblige the nations round us. It may get friends into the country, and enrich this land. This would certainly please God and man." The confusion of the Civil War prevented his carrying out this noble design. Dr. Isaac Barrow, Bishop of Man (1663-1671), a man of large and liberal views, was the actual founder. He set aside £600 out of certain funds collected by him in England to improve the condition of the Manx Clergy and towards providing a master for a proposed academic institution. He also left by will a further sum of £20 per annum out of the rents of the estates of Ballagilley and Hango Hill, with the ultimate reversion of the estates themselves towards the maintenance of students at this academic school or, in default of its establishment, towards their maintenance at a University. In 1728, the Trustees came into full possession of these estates, and after the year 1808 the two funds were merged into one trust. By the year 1830 the funds in the hands of the Barrow Trustees having accumulated to upwards of £'2,000, it was resolved to raise additional funds, and build the College. Public subscriptions to the amount of £2,700 was raised by Bishop Ward ; and a further sum of £2,000 obtained by a mortgage upon the College estate. The foundation stone was laid April 23rd, 1830, by Lieutenant-Governor Smelt, and the building opened for students on August 1st, 1833, receiving its name, by special permission, from the reigning King, William IV. The length of the main building is 210 feet, and of the transept in the centre, including the tower, 135 feet ; the height of the tower is 115 feet. The entire cost of this building was £6,573. Its erection was marked in the Island as a national event. January, 1844, during the Rectorship of the Rev. R. Dixon, D.D., a fire destroyed the entire building, with the exception of the Vice-principal's residence. The trustees at once set to work to restore the building. Subscriptions, including one from Bishop Short for £300, were collected to the amount of nearly £2,000. This money, together with the amount of insurance, defrayed the cost of re-building. So rapidly was the work of restoration pushed on that on the 4th June in the same year, the work was so far advanced as to enable the annual distribution of prizes to take place as usual. Through the exertions of Bishop Short, and other friends, the library was also in great part restored. The College has largely benefitted by the generosity of Mrs. Quilliam (widow of Capt. Quilliam, R.N., Nelson's Flag-Lieutenant on board the Victory, at Trafalgar, and a native of the Island), who bequeathed to the Trustees the farm of Orrysdale, in the parish of Malew. The successive Principals have been the Rev. E. Wilson, M.A. ; the Rev. A. Phillips, D.D.; the Rev. R. Dixon, D.D. (1841 to 1865); the Rev. J. Hughes-Games, D.C.L. (1865 to 1886), afterwards Archdeacon of Man ; the Rev. Frank B. Walters, M.A., late Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge (1886 to 1899), and the present Principal the Rev. E. H. Kempton, M.A., formerly Assistant-Master at Clifton and Harrow. There is a staff of thirteen resident masters. There are twenty Jcholarships tenable in the School, ranging in value from £10 to £40, also six Exhibitions of the value of £30 per annum, and of £40 each, to the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, or Dublin; three of these are for Classics and three for Mathematics; two, one for Classics and the other for Mathematics, are given annually. The College is at the South of the Island, beautifully situated near the sea, one mile from Castletown, and close to Hango Hill, where (1662) the heroic William Christian was executed. The school buildings comprise numerous classrooms, chapel, laboratory, library, sanatorium, and gymnasium. A carpenter's workshop, fives courts, steam laundry, and a large covered sea-water swimming bath (warmed in winter) have recently been added. The chemical and physical laboratories are exceptionally complete in their arrangements. In connection with the library there is a museum, which, besides many curiosities presented by old students, contains two geological collections-a general collection by John E. Forbes, F.G S., the other a most valuable and unique collection of fossils of the Manx carboniferous rocks, formed by the late Rev. J. G Cumming, M.A., a former Vice-principal. In the last ten years about sixty Fellowships, open Scholarships and Exhibitions have been gained. The College provides accommodation for one hundred boarders, at fees considerably more moderate than those schools of a similar character and standing in England. There is a separate house for the junior boys. The governing body consists of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Island, the Bishop, the Attorney-General, the First Deemster, the Clerk of the Rolls, and the Archdeacon of Man. The School stands in its own grounds, consisting of a garden, paddock, and cricket-field. Particulars as to Fees, etc., can be obtained on application to the principal or Secretary.
THERE is also at Castletown an excellent High School for Girls. The Lady Principal, Miss Dixon, daughter of the late Canon Dixon, of Rugby, formerly Principal of King William's College. The Chairman of the Council is Sir James Gell, Her Majesty's First Deemster.
CASTLETOWN, the ancient capital, had a school prior to 17th century. It was re-constituted by Bishop Barrow ; and flourished till the present century, when King William's College in part supplanted it. It has an endowment from impropriated tithes and is still a useful institution, chiefly preparatory for the College.
THIS foundation was in the 17th or 18th centuries Academic. It educated the sons of the better class people ; and trained candidates for the Church. The Master was Town Chaplain. Its endowments were lost ; but in 1857 a new foundation was established by Mrs. Cecil Hall. It is now a small, select, and preparatory school, representing Secondary Education.
This consists of two ancient foundations, the Grammar School and the Mathematical School. The organisation of Secondary Education in this Island is expected to place it in a new footing.
THIS foundation dates from 1762. New buildings were provided by Sir Mark Cubbon, K.C.B., 1875. These were found insufficient, and the School migrated to the Moragh, a fine site in North Ramsey. It is in an eminently flourishing condition ; has a staff of five masters, and 80 pupils. Pupils are prepared for the Universities and the various professional examinations. The school is well equipped with gymnasium, cricket, and football fields. The present Head Master, the Rev. A. S. Newton, has acquired for this school a character and distinction that contribute much to the amenities of Ramsey as a place of residence for a good class of families. The most distinguished alumnus is General Sir Mark Cubbon, K.C.B., Governor of the Province of Mysore. The Lord Bishop is Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
THE ISLAND, lying opposite the N.W. Channel, is beneficially influenced by the Gulf Stream. The character istic is equability. The summer mean shade temperature is not high, nor the winter low. Summer mean temperatures (June to September) reckoned for three periods of ten years give 56'74°, 56'79°, 55'62°, for the respective decades. The months of June, July, August, and September have given 56'1°, 60'2°, 60'5°, and 59'5°, the lowest on record for the same months being 51'5°, 53'9°- 54'30, and 52'7°. The highest recorded shade temperature is 79'7°. Winter mean temperatures (November to February) 44 20°, 41'60°, 40'6o°, 40'20°, or an average of 41'65° for the winter.
The rainfall at the Point of Ayre 28 inches, at Douglas 47, at Ramsey 48.
The sunshine record for the summer months (June to September) 192, 209, 147, and 118 hours respectively, viz. 6%, 7, 5, and 4 hours per diem.
The prevailing breezes are S.W. varying to the N.W. and the characteristic summer weather is bright, bracing sunshine, with intermittent breezes.
ABOUT three-fourths of the Island consists of cambroSilurian schists, often ferruginous, with bands of siliceous rocks intercalated, and bands of felspathic greenstone of contemporaneous date. The schists have been much contorted by later porphyries and granites. Their general dip is N.W. and S.E. from the central mountains. The granites have, in some cases, scarcely altered the schists in contact with them. Near the contact most productive veins of lead and zinc ore are found ; and large masses of quartz lie along the lines of strike. The thickness of the schists is enormous, certainly many thousands of feet. At Spanish Head there is a small section almost horizontal with vertical thickness of about 300 feet. There is no true cleavage : and the slates are not generally of commercial value.