[Description of Church and its Furnishings]

In the Porch will be seen the large black wooden tablets whereon were recorded the benefactions to the poor of the town in days when S. Matthew’s was the only Church of the town, and there was no other form of Poor Relief than that which was provided and administered by the Church. They originally "ornamented" the East end of the Old Church, and were placed here when that building was taken down. " The Lion and Unicorn" has also come down to us from the Old Church, in which it formed the central panel of the gallery, and rested just below the pew set apart in old times for the Duke of Athol or Lord of this Island, "a very grand square pew covered with a canopy and surrounded with curtains."

The painted list of former Chaplains of S. Matthew’s, the work of Mr. A. Knox, bears the following names :—

Samuel Robinson


Peter Lancaster .


Anthony Halsall


Thomas Birkett


Philip Moore


Charles Crebbin


Robert Quayle


Nicholas Christian


Hugh Stowell


John Kewley


Joseph Qualtrough


Robert Brown


John LaMothe Stowell


Samuel Gelling


John Cannell


(No Chaplain 1873 to 1878).


Thomas Arthur Taggart


Until 1879 S. Matthew’s was not a Parish, but only a Chapel of Ease. The Revd. T. A. Taggart was consequently the first Vicar, and remained so for thirty-one years, being succeeded by his son, the Revd. H. S. Taggart, in 1909.

group vicar + wardens
Rev W.J.Karran, Mr M Carine, Mr R H Kelly, Rev H.S. Taggart

In the Belfry above the porch is the old Bell that served for nearly 200 years in the Old Church. It is still in use, but feeble, and deserves a rest. This it will get when some kind person presents a new one to the Church or, better still, when the Tower is built and a peal of bells installed.

proposed tower

The Font: This is the work of Mr. Thos. Quayle, and the gift of many, chiefly the children of the school, whose efforts were inspired and directed by Miss Taggart, who as the eldest daughter of the late Canon Taggart was for many years her fathers right hand in the work of the School and Parish. The cover was made from the oak beams in the Old Church.

Windows: Probably the first object that meets the eye on entering the Church is the East Window, which was erected by Miss Talbot, who for many years worshipped in this Church, and took an energetic part in its manifold activities. It was erected by her in memory of her mother and her sister. The window is an excellent example of the work of Mr. Morris, who in colour, style and quality of workmanship, proved himself a faithful disciple of his great master Burne Jones The single piece of stained glass high up in the Western Light represents Bishop Wilson in the robes of 9 Matthew. It was given by the Rev. Charles Swynnerton, F.S.A., in memory of his father and mother. The donor was a great friend of the late Canon Taggart, and frequently officiated in the Church.


The Small Window in the West Wall, facing the South aisle of the Church, was presented in 1914 by the Oddfellows Society in memory of the late James Rae Fielding, who had been for many years a distinguished member of that Order, and for 35 successive years held the office of Church Warden in this Church. He devoted his life to works of mercy in the town. The window was designed by Mr. Pearson and made by the firm of Messrs. Clayton and Bell. The purpose of the designer was to symbolise the work of Mr. Fielding in the Church and in the world, and this has been accomplished in a skilful and artistic way. The figure is that of S. Stephen, Deacon and Protomartyr, one of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles to manage the Church’s funds for the relief of the poor, and to attend to minor ecclesiastical occupations. He is clothed in the Deacon’s Dalmatic, coloured blue, and carries the palm, the Emblem of the martyr’s glory, and the stones, indicating the method of this death. Of the two windows in the North aisle, one was presented by Mr. H. S. Clarke. Advocate, in memory of his father (the late Mr. Archibald Clarke) who for seventeen years served as voluntary organist in the Old Church. The window is the work of Kayll &- Co., Leeds, and represents " Christ Stilling the Tempest. " The window beside it is from the same studio and represents Our Lord in the act of pointing to the flowers and saying, ‘ Consider the lilies of the field." It was given by Mr. Alex. Sutherland and erected in 1897.

The Lady Chapel: This was dedicated on the 5th February, 1914, the Thursday within the Octave of the Feast of the Purification of the B.V. Mary. The two screens of open iron work which enclose the Chapel were designed by Mr. Pearson, and made under his superintendence. They were the gift of Mr. G. A. Ring, late Attorney-General, in memory of his mother. The Reredos, which is the work of Mr. W. F. Peasgood, Brighton, represents Our Lady kneeling in adoration before the Holy Child, with two adoring angels in the side panels, one on each side. The Altar Cross, Candlesticks, and Vases were the gifts of the senior Girls’ Bible Class, the Mothers, and the Junior Girls’ Club. The carved wooden panel representing Our Blessed Lord washing the disciples’ feet, is supposed to be 15th century work, and was presented by Mrs. Canning, in memory of her husband, Mr. Moses Canning, Journalist, who worshipped in this Church.

The brass Lectern was the gift of the widow and family of the late Mr. Robert Quayle, who for many years acted as Churchwarden, and was ably supported by his wife in the work of the Church.

The Reredos: It was in December, 1912, that the movement was set on foot to erect a fitting memorial to the late Canon Taggart, and ib was resolved that it should take the form of a handsome Reredos as a compicion of the Chancel, in the building and embellishment of which the late Canon had taken so great a delight. The collection of the necessary fund was undertaken by Mr. G. A. Ring, late Attorney-General, and Mr. L. S. Kneale, advocate, who for upwards of thirty years had voluntarily managed the finances of the Church. By the Spring of 1916, the work was finished, and on the 7th March, 1916 (Shrove Tuesday), the Reredos was dedicated to the Gory of God and the memory of the late Vicar. It is in the form of a triptych, carved in wood, decorated in gesso, gilded and painted. It is 13 feet high from the Altar step to the top of the cornice, and 14 feet across the wings. The design is intended to illustrate the Doctrine of the Incarnation, and the central subject consists of a representation of the Adoration of the Magi; eaved in high relief. In the centre is the Virgin Mother, seated under a curtained canopy, with the Holy Child on her knee, and, grouped around, the three kings in attitudes of adoration, presenting their gifts, with Saint Joseph in the background. In the panels on either side are solders and servants attending the kings. In the top panel over all is the Figure of our Lord seated in Majesty, with hands extended in blessing, and on either side censing angels. On the wings are figures executed in gesso work. The lower panel represents .S. Matthew, in whose honour the Church is dedicated, S.Clement. S. Ignatius, and S. Polycarp, the three sub-apostolic Fathers. The Predella is decorated in gesso work, with four angels holding shields bearing the instruments of the Passion on a richly decorated background. On the moulded base is the text, "Et incarnatus est de Sancto Spiritu." The general style of the detail is late Gothic, freely treated in the manner developed by the Flemish carvers at the end of the 15th Century. The tracery is thin and delicately carved and arranged in various planes one over the other. The centre pane is finished by a strong moulded cornice, with carved patern in a large hollow. The whole stands on an oak tbae, forming the retable. The work wats executed with great skill by Mr. N.. Hitch, sculptor, London, after the designs of Mr Pearson, architect of the Church.

The Organ: We are fortunate in the possession of first-rate instrument, which was built by Ernest Wadsworth Limited, organ builders, Manchester, at a cost of £1,500; the full amount being raised by the congregation in the space of two years. The organ was dedicated on the 27th August, 1922. Provision has been made for the addition of the Choir Organ at some future date. The action throughout is on the most improved type of tubular pneumatic action. The organ is blown by a Watkins and Watson hydraulic engine. Its pipes, etc., are as under :—

Great Organ—CC to C, 61 Notes.

Open Diapason .

8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.


8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.


8 feet Wood, 61 Pipes.

Dulciana 6

8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.

Harmonic Flute

4 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.


4 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.


2 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.


8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.

Swell Organ—CO to C, 61 Notes.


16 feet, Wood, 61 Pipes.

Open Diapason . .

8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.

Viol d’ Orchestre

8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.

Voix Celestes

8 feet, Metal, 49 Pipes.

Rohr Flute

8 feet, Wood, and Metal, 61 Pipes


4 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.

Dulciana Mixture

3 ranks, Metal, 183 Pipes.


8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.


8 feet, Metal, 61 Pipes.



Pedal Organ—CCC to F, 30 Notes.

Open Diapason

16 feet, Wood, 30 Pipes.


16 feet, Wood, 30 Pipes.

Bass Flute (partly derived)

8 feet., Wood, 30 Notes.

Principal (partly derived)

8 feet, Wood and Metal, 30 Notes.

Couplers and Accessories.

Thumb to Great and Pedal Organs.
Swell to Great—-Three Pistons.
Swell Octave—Three Foot Pistons duplicating the. above.
Swell to Great Octave.
Swell to Great Sub-Octave—Three Thumb Pistons to the Swell Organ. .
Swell to Pedals—Three Foot Pistons duplicating the above.
Great to Pedals.
Swell Sub-Octave.

Among those who assisted our organist, Mr. J. R.. Uren, A.Mus. L.C.M., in the opening recitals on the new organ, was Miss M. L. Wood, A.R.C.O., who was for many years the organist in the Old Church, and has been for more than half a century the leader of music on :the Island ; she still assists in the training of our Choir-boys.

The Pulpit: This was the gift of Mr. Tom Shaw of London, and was used for the first time by the Rev. T.A. Taggart on the morning of the 9th September, 1900. The pulpit, octagonal in shape, was designed by Mr. J. L. Pearson, R.A. , the architect of the Church, and is Gothic in character. The lower portion is of Yorkshire stone, with base and capital mouldings, and the upper portion is of English oak, with mouldings, tracey and other ornamentation of the 13th Century. Around the base runs the inscription : " This pulpit was erected in memory of Nina, beloved wife of Mr. T.Shaw, of London and daughter of Capt. R. and Mrs. Moughtin, of Douglas."

The Picture of Our Blessed Lord in the South Transept.: The following is taken from Vol. XX. of the Manx Society’s Publications :—" Manx Miscellanies, Vol. I." : "This is a painting on panel, traditionally reported to have been found in the Old Nunnery of St. Bridget, at Douglas, Isle of Man. . . . The picture came into the possession of the Rev. Philip Moore Rector of Kirk Bride, minister of St. Matthew’s, and Master of the Grammar School at Douglas, who bequeathed it in the year 1783 to the Grammar School-house or that town as a most precious legacy, with the memorandum that its counterpart was then preserved at Greystoke, in the collection of the Duke of Norfolk. "

The picture is ‘the only ornament from the Old Church which we possess, unless we include

The Memorial Tablet

over the door leading from the porch into the North Transept, which was originally placed on the East wall of the Old Church in 1785, and removed to the New Church at the time of its erection. It runs as follows :—

"Sacred to the Memory of


Rector of Kirk Bride, and officiating Minister of the Chapel of Douglas.

His education was completed under the auspices of
good Bishop Wilson ; and he made a grateful return
for this singular advantage, by contributing to the
virtuous Instruction of Youth, being over 40 years
Master of Douglas School.

He was likewise principally concerned in revising the memorable Translation of the Sacred Scriptures into the Manx language; for which, by his learning, he was
eminently qualified.

He was born in Douglas, Sept. 2. 1705, and died there,
January 22, 1783.

This Monument was erected as a testimony of friendly esteem, at the expense of the Rev. Thos. Wilson, D.D.. son of the Bishop, Prependary of Westminster, and Rector of St Stephen’s, Wallbrook."

The War Memorial: The Memorial to the men of the Parish who fell in the War, 1914-1918, is built on the little patch of ground outside the Church, and facing Ridgeway Street, an ideal spot, under the shadow of the Church, and with the background of the trees. It was unveiled by his Excellency the Lieut. Governor, Major-General Sir W Fry, K.C.V.O., C.B., on Thursday, 28th July, 1921. In material and style, the structure is in perfect harmony with the Church. Beneath the canopy hangs the life-size figure of The Crucified, in white marble. On either side, beneath the out stretched Arms, are the two tablets containing the 84 names of the fallen inscribed in gold lettering and at the foot the words : " Lord, all pitying, Jesu blest; grant them Thine eternal rest. " The designer of the work was Mr. Archibald Knox, and the builder, Mr. Thomas Quayle. Douglas. The Figure is the work of Mr. Hary Hems, Exeter. The cost of the memorial was defrayed by unsolicited contributions, the treasurer of the fund being Mr. R. H. Kelly, warden, and the secretary, Mr. W. Holmes, sidesman and treasurer of the F.W.O. Fund.

Communion Plate: We would refer our readers to the illustration, which we have numbered so as to enable us to describe the nine pieces of silver which our Communion Plate contains.

No. 1 : This is our oldest Chalice, which bears this inscription : " The guift of Major Charles Nicholson to the Chappel of Douglas in the Isle of Man, 1710."

No. 2 : In the centre of this Paten, which stands on three ornamented feet. the following words are in-scribed in circular formation : Round the outer of two circles, the words " The gift of David Murrey and Mary his wife to Douglass Chap. " Between the two. circles run the words. Sacrosancto Verho in Eucharistia," i.e., " To the Most Holy Word in the Eucharist," and in the centre of the inner circle the letters: JHS

No. 3 : The inscription on this Chalice, which is of a very ornamental character, is simply, " St. Matthew’s Chapel, ;Douglas, 1792."

No. 4 : This is the smallest Chalice we possess, and quite unlike the others. The inscription is as follows ‘ ‘ Eliz. Murrey. Sacello Douglasiensi Donavit, 1742.

:No. 5 : The special purpose of this large silver plate, which weighs 20.7 ozs., does not appear We assume, however, that it is a Paten, intended for use in the Blessed Sacrament. The words inscribed upon it are

"The gift of David and Susanna Egwin to: Douglas Chappell, 1740.

No. 6 : This very large and heavy silver Flagon, weighing 58 ozs. was The gift of John and Susanne Murrey to the Chaple of Douglas, 1727," as the inscription shows.

No. 7 : This is a small Paten, ‘ ‘ Presented to S. Matthew’s, Douglas, Corpus Christi, 1911."

No. 8 : This beautiful Chalice was presented to the Church by Mr. G. A. Ring, late Attorney General, along with, and at the same time as, Nos. 7 and 9.

No. 9 : This is our only Ciborium. It is in constant use on the Credence Table, and is inscribed as follows :—" Presented to S. Matthew’s Church, Douglas, 1911."

List of Churchwardens from the year 1874 to present time :—

James Rae Fielding, People’s Warden, 1874 to 1908.
John Quine, Vicar’s Warden, 1874 to 1884.
Robert G. Cottier, Vicar’s Warden, 1885 to 1887.
Robert Quayle, Vicar’s Warden, 1888 to 1906.
Robert H. Kelly, Vicar’s Warden, 1907 to present time.
Mark Carine, J.P., People’s Warden, 1909 to present time.

LORD bring home the glorious lesson
To their hearts, who strangely deem
That an unmajestic worship
Doth ‘Thy majesty beseem
Show them more of Thy dear presence,
Let them, let them come to know
That Our King is thi-oned among us,
And His Church is Heaven below.

Then shall Faith read off the meaning
Of each. statelyordered rite,
Dull surprise and hard resistance
Turn to awe and full delight ;
Men shall learn. bow sacred splendour
Shadows forth the pomp above,
How the glory ‘of our altars
Is the homage of our love.

"Tis for Thee we bid the frontal
Its embroidered wealth unfold,
‘Tis for Thee we deck the reredos
With the colours and the gold;
Thine the floral gTho.w and fragrance,
Thine the Vestures’ fair array,
Thine the starry lights that glitter:

Where Thou dost Thy light display.
‘Tis to Thee the chant is lifted,
Tis to Thee the heads are bowed;
Far ‘ less deep was Israel’s rapture
When ‘the glory filled the cloud.
‘O our own true God Incarnate,
What should Christians’ ritual be:
But a voice to utter somewhat
Of their pride and joy in Thee.


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