[From Thwaites' Directory, 1863]
To the naturally inquisitive mind of man, nothing more gratifying can present itself than the Historical and Descriptive page. The deeds of former times, the manners of those who have preceded us on the stage of human life, afford ample and pleasing enjoyment to the man whose views are not confined within the various boundaries of his own life or generation.
But while the presentation of the scenes of the world at large yields so much- gratification to our curiosity, the more contacted view of the portion of it we inhabit, affords more satisfaction and true delight to our tmderstanding. The country which has given us birth, the soil whose nutrition has supported us, the land on which our childhood has been spent, and the spot on which those that are most dear to us in life reside, these, and many like them, are the ties which rivet the heart of man to his native country, and lead him to prefer it to all others, though they may be attended with many superior advantages. To be informed of the state of our own country some centuries ago, and how those acted who trod the same ground as we do now, gives us an opportunity of forming a contrast, which, if duly attended to, cannot less than afford us instruction as well as show our attainments and improvements.
In compiling the following pages, the object of the editor has been to concentrate in a cheap work, everything relating to the island which is interesting or worthy of notice.
The work, which is divided into two parts, contains, first, a General, Historical, and Descriptive Account of the Island at large, from the remotest period to the present time. In this division is also strewn the relative situation, extent, and population of the Island; its manufactures and mineral productions; soil, produce, and agriculture; climate; mountain alla livers; geology, zoology, botany, antiquities, &c. . In the second part is contained a separate account of each town and parish,-the latter arranged under the respective Headings in which they are situated. The Parochial Histories show the situation, area, and population of each place, places of worship, scholastic and charitable institutions, public buildings, local events and occurrences, objects of interest and curiosity, &c., &c., comprising the substance of all that has been written on the various subjects by ancient and modern authors; and also a vast body of other useful and interesting information. One of the most important features of this class is the Public Charities, in which the Island is pre-eminently rich, and of which an explicit account is appended to the town and parish histories, as extracted (by permission) from the Rev. W. Gill's work on the Isle of-Man Charities. These copious extracts the Editor trusts will be found a useful and valuable portion of this publication.
The numerous works, both ancient and modern, which have been published concerning the Island, as also the various publications of the Manx Society, have been frequently referred to in the compilation of the Historical notices, as well as other publications to the more interesting parts of the Island.
The original matter, however, which the work contains, is considerable, as will easily be perceived by anyone acquainted with the former works on the Island. And here the Editor feels it his duty to return his thanks to those gentlemen who have contributed, by their communications, towards this part of the work. He would feel a pleasure in mentioning their names, but their consciousness of being the persons to whom this acknowledgment is due, will, he doubts not, be more agreeable to them than a more public and personal avowal of their kindness.
The History of each Parish is followed by a Directory, presenting in an easy classification for reference, the names and addresses of the principal inhabitants. No expense has been spared in collecting this information, experienced agents having visited nearly every house and place of business throughout the Island, and the information so collected has been compiled with the greatest attention.
It cannot be expected that a work containing such a large amount of information, together with such a great variety of subjects, and interspersed with names of places that arc often differently spelt, should be entirely free from errors and mistakes. The Editor flatters not himself with so delusive a hope; and ho would remind the captious reader of the couplet of our elegant critic, - -
" Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor o'er will be:"
For the liberal support which the New History, Topography, and Directory of the Isle of Man has met with from a numerous and highly-respectable list of Subscribers, the Editor has to express his thanks and in sending this work into the world, he entertains a hope that it will answer every expectation, and obtain the approbation of the public at large.
Ashton Road, Nether Edge,