[From Smith's Directory, 1889]


(note a rather potted history — drawing on Cumming and then popular myths re druids)

THE Isle of Man occupies a central position in Her Majesty's European dominions, being situate in the Irish Sea, about equidistant from England, Ireland, and Scotland. Its nearest point to England is St. Bees Head, Cumberland, 28 miles distant, E.; and to Ireland, Strangford, 27 miles. W.; and to Scotland, Burrowhead, 16 miles, N. The centre of the island is in 54° 16' north latitude, and 4° 30' west longitude. Its greatest length from N.N.E. (Point of Ayre) to S.S.W. (Spanish Head) is 33 miles, with an average breadth of 12 miles, and a circumference of 75 miles, containing an area of 209 square miles, or about 145,395 acres.

The origin of the name Isle of Man is veiled in some obscurity, but in one form or other it has retained that appellation from the earliest date of civilisation in Europe. By Caesar it is called Mona ; by Pliny, Monabia; other ancient writers term it Monavia and Eubonia, but both are explained to mean Man, whilst Cumming connects it with the Sanscrit man, and is of opinion that the name was given to it on account of its reputed sacred character as the chief seat of the Druids. Another probable and likely derivation is from the Celtic Meadhon It (pronounced Mannin), meaning literally" The Middle Isle," which coincides appropriately with its position in reference to the British Isles' whilst Bishop Wilson, for the same reason, traces it from the Saxon Mang, among. But from whatever cause the name has been handed down Manx people ever love to speak of it as Ellan Vaneen Veg Veen (the dear little Isle of Man).

The ancient history, like that of every other nation, rests on vague and uncertain traditionary lore, which, to be believed, requires much faith and great credulity. The early inhabitants of the isle differed much in their manners and customs from all the other European natives; no doubt in great measure owing to their isolated situation and the little communication carried on with other countries. They seem to have come both from Scotland and Ireland, as the ruler whom St. Patrick expelled, Mananan-Beg. Mac-y-Lheirr, is claimed as a descendant both of the Kings of Ulster and of the Kings of Scotland. He was a paynim, or magician, and is said to have kept the land under mist by his necromancy, and if he dreaded an enemy he would make one of his own men seem a hundred by the same magic art.

The Druids having been driven from Anglesey by the Romans established themselves in Man, and immediately introduced their laws and various religious rites amongst the inhabitants; and, from being the prophets and priests of the people, ultimately became their rulers also. Their Government seems to have been both mild and gentle, though several of the superstitions they inculcated long survived their personal authority and power. Their religious ceremonies were performed in high places and shady groves, and the ruins of many monuments of their erection are still to be met with in various parts of the island. They taught the doctrine of the immortality and transmigration of the soul, and the influence and power of the immortal gods ; instructed the youths in the rudiments of astronomy and necromancy ; and, despite the corruptions, errors, and false doctrines in which Druidical religion became involved, we must admit that the Druids were possessed of more useful knowledge than many of their Christian successors. They were held in such high esteem, that not only did the Kings of Scotland send their sons here to be educated by them, but they also afforded refuge to many of the British chieftains who had been repeatedly defeated by the Romans. At a subsequent period the Scandinavians, on their march south in search of conquest, obtained a settlement in Man. They were as cruel and rapacious as the Druids had been mild and gentle-draining the island of its resources both of cattle and kind. They were idolators, and had a god for every day in the week; viz., Sunday, the Sun; Monday, the moon; Tuesday, Tuyse, the tutelar god of the Dutch ; Wednesday, Woden, the god of battle; Thursday, Thor, the god of thunder; Friday, Friga, the god of love ; and Saturday, Beater, who influenced the fruits of the earth. The baneful effects of their example and teaching were, however, to a large extent eradicated by the introduction of Christianity about the middle of the fifth century, by St. Patrick ; who, in 144 [sic 441?] was, along with thirty other religious personages, cast ashore in a violent storm on a small&U Island adjoining to Peel, which still bears his name. They found the natives much given to idolatry and magic ; but, by the arguments and eloquence of St. Patrick, multitudes were awakened to a better spirit, and a church was founded on the spot where they were cast ashore. On the return of St. Patrick to Ireland three years afterwards, he appointed Geimanus his successor, who was canonised at Rome, and the church before-mentioned dedicated to him. At his death St. Patrick consecrated Conindrius, and afterwards Romnlys, who died in 498, and St. Maughold was chosen bishop by the unanimous voice of the people. It is to him we owe the division of the island into the present seventeen parishes, for each of which he caused a church to be erected. He died in 518, and was succeeded by St. Lonanus, lib nephew of St. Patrick. After him came St. Rooney. who was followed by St. Conchan, who, on account of his great learning, had the educating of the three sons of Edigonius, the fourth King of Scotland. St. Conchan died in 648, and was succeeded by St. Contentus, Baldus, and St. Malcus. The next bishop of whom mention is made was St. Brandon, consecrated in 1025 ; then came Rowle in 1050, William in 1065, Dumond MacOlive in 1077, Heymond (a Manxman) in 1100, Euds de Sourdeval in 1134, John in 1151, Gamaliel in 1160,Reginald in 1181, Christian Archadiensis in 1184, Michael in 1186, Nicholas de Mulea in 1203, Reginald in 1224, John in 1226, Simon in 1230, Lawrence in 1249, Stephen in 1250, Richard in 1253, Marens Galvadiensis in 1275 (who imposed a fine of a Penny on every house containing a fire-place, which remains in force to the present day), Onan in 1298, Jorund in 1305, Gilbert McClellan in 1321, Bernard de Lenton in 1323, Thomas in 1333 William Russell in 1348, John Dunkan in 1374, Robert Welby in 1380 (who was translated to Dublin and succeeded by John Sprotton), John Burgelin in 1425, Richar(l Pulley in 1429 John Green in 1449, Thomas Burton In 1455, Thomas of Kirkham in 1459, Richard Oldham in 1480, Huan Hesketh in 1486. Then came in force the Act of Henry Vlll., abolishing all Roman Catholic religious houses, and the next bishop appointed was Thomas Stanley, in 1542. He was succeeded by Robert Ferrier in 1545, Henry Mann in 1546. In 1556 Thomas Stanley was again restored, and made governor of the isle in the same year. on his resignation in 1571 (having become Lord Monteagle through the death of his father), John Salisbury was appointed. He died in 1573, and was succeeded by James Stanley. John Merrick, besides being governor, was appointed bishop in 1577. His successor was George Lloyd, consecrated in 1600 ; afterwards followed by John Phillipson in 1605, William Foster in 1633, Richard Parr in 1635, Samuel Butler in 1660, Isaac Barrow in 1663 (who was also governor), Henry Bridgman in 1671, John Lake in 1672, Baptist Levinz in 1674, Thomas Wilson in 1697 (who is always spoken of by the people even to this day as the " Good Bishop Wilson." "He was so great a friend to toleration that the Papists who resided on the island loved and esteemed him, and not unfrequently attended his sermons and prayers. The Dissenters, too attended even the communion service, and the Quakers visited, loved, and respected him." He died in his ninety-third year, and was succeeded by Mark Hildersley, who first founded Sabbath schools in the island, long before they were established in any other place. Richard Richmond was appointed his successor in 1773; after whom came George Mason in 1780, Claudius Cregan in 1784, Hon. George. Murray in 1818, William Ward in 1827, who died in 1838. According to an Act passed in 1839 the tithes of the island are commuted for £5050, divided as follows : — To the Lord Bishop, £1515; Rector of Andreas, £707 ; the Rectors of Ballaugh and Bride, £303 each ; to the Vicars of Arbory, Braddan, German, Jurby, Lezayre, Lonan, Malew, Marown, Maughold, Michael, Onchan, Patrick Rushen, and Santon, £141 8s. each; and for the benefit of clergyman's widows, £141 8s. Besides these are lands attached to the see worth about £500 per annum. There are also glebe lands to the following livings, viz.: — Maughold, 29 acres ; Jurby, 271 acres ; Lezayre, 12 acres ; German, 7 acres; Andreas, 4 acres ; Ballaugh, 31 acres ; Michael and Santon, 8 roods each. The Crown tithes, also commuted by the above Act, are valued at £550. The first Bishop appointed after the tithes question was settled, was James Bowster ; and on his translation to the see of Lichfield, Henry Peppys was appointed his successor in 1840, who the following year was translated to Worcester, and Thomas V. Short was consecrated in 1841 ; who was in turn translated to St, Asaph in 1846, and was succeeded by Walter Augustus Shirley in 1847. He died in the same year, and was followed by the Right Hon. Robert John Eden, who is the only Bishop of Sodor and Man who ever voted in the House of Lords through his own right as a peer. On his translation to Bath and Wells, in 1851, the Hon. Horatio Powys was consecrated on the 25th of July of the same year. He was of very illustrious ancestry, being descended from the Welsh Kings who ruled Man in the ninth century. He was succeeded by the present Bishop, the Right Rev. Rowley Hill, who has already endeared himself to the inhabitants by his fairness, affability, and benevolence. Subjoined is a list of the various ministers of religion : —

CHURCH OF ENGLAND. — Bishop: Right Rev. Rowley Hill; Archdeacon : Ven. J. C. Moore. Douglas : St. Barnabas — Wm. T. Hobson ; St. George's — John Ed. B. George ; curate, C. H. Gill ; St. Matthew's — Thos, A. Taggart; St. Thomas's — E. B. Savage ; curate, C. F. Knight. Andreas — Joseph Christian Moore. Arbory — Charles Thomas Langton. Baldwin Ballaugh — William Kermode. Braddan — William Drury. Bride — Edward William Kissack. Cronk-e-Voddey — Hugh Kinrade. Dhoon — Stephen N. Harrison, Foxdale — Eustace William Cochrane. German — James George Williame; curate, R. Churchill. Jurby — -Joseph Bellamy. King William's College — Joshua Hughes-Games, William Reaton, William Troford. Laxey — Theodore C. Chapman. Lezayre — Arthur Alex. Bridgman; curate, with charge of St. Stephen's, Sulby, Wm. John Canton. Lonan — Frederick James Moore. Marown — Benjamin Philpot Clarke. Maughold — Henry Grattan White. Malew — Hugh Stowell Gill. Michael — W. Hawley; curate, John Quine. Onchan — John Howard. Patrick H. O. Davidson. Rushen — Frederick Francis Tracy. Santan — Robert Aire St. John's — John Corlett. St. Jude's — James Siely Wilkinson. St. Marks — B. J. S. Lupton. St. Mary's (Castletown) — E. Ferrier. St. Olave's (Ramsey) — Wm. Morris. St. Paul's (Ramsey) — George Paton.

WESLEYAN METHODIST. — Douglas (Victoria st. and Well road) — H. Douthwaite (Chairman of the Isle of Man District), T. Hargreaves, and J. A. B. Malvern. Ramsey — W. L. Wingell, T. Ayrton, and R. Stevenson. Castletown — W. Beamish Saul, and R. B. Saul. Peel — G. Gibson, and J. G. Mantle.

PRIMITIVE METHODIST. — Douglas (First Circuit) — Benjamin Dain (Second Circuit) — E. Newsome, G. Dickinson, and James Peel. Castletown — R Hatherley and J. Openshaw. Peel — Edward Cairns. Ramsey — R. Howeroft.

ROMAN CATHOLIC. — Douglas — W, Doyle and G. Bradshaw. Ramsey L Gillow. Castletown and Peel supplied from Douglas.

PRESBYTERIAN. — Douglas — James Fettes. Ramsey — W. A. Cathcart.

INDEPENDENT. — Douglas — David Inglis, Finch Hill.

SEAMEN's BETHELS. — Douglas — Wm. Kneen. Ramsey — C. Hutton.

UNITARIAN. — St. James's Hall, Douglas — J. de Maine Browne.

The number of houses and the population enumerated in the island on the 4th of April, 1881 (the day on which the census were taken) were an follows : ... Area (in Statute acres), 145,394 ; Houses — Inhabited, 9,424 ; uninhabited, 999; building, 110; total, 10,523. Population — Males, 25,646 ; Females, 27,846; total 53,492. Showing an excess of females over males of 2,200. In 1821 the population was 40, 081 ; in 1831, 41, 000 in 1841, 47,975 ; in 1851, 52,387 ; in 1861, 52,469 ; and in 1871, 54,042. Showing that in the ten years from 1871 to 1881 the population of the island had decreased 550.

The late Lieutenant-Governor, his Excellency Sir Henry Brougham Loch, thus writes respecting the population of the Isle of Man : — "Although the nominal population of the island has remained about stationary, the material wealth and prosperity of the people have greatly increased during the last ten years.' His Excellency adds that the number of visitors during the summer and autumn months in 1871 was about 75,000; while in 1880 the number was about 130, 000.



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