[Chapter 6 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]
There are only a few Manxmen who have attained distinction in scientific pursuits, but the fact that the brothers EDWARD and DAVID FORBES attained almost the first rank as scientists makes up for the absence of a number of less distinguished names. It is as practical mechanists and engineers, that Manxmen have gained their chief successes. Among these may be mentioned ROBERT CASEMENT, engineer of the " Great Laxey " mine, who designed the huge wheel there; AMBROSE LACE, who is said to have made the model of the famous racing yacht "America," and JAMES AUGUSTUS CALEY (d. 1885), C.E., F.G.S., brother of Precentor Caley (see p. 40), who accomplished much valuable engineering work, chiefly in Ceylon. But the most interesting and remarkable of all is
With the exception of KENNISH, Manxmen have not been specially notable as inventors. The first invention by a Manxman that we hear of is is one by
who, in 1817, obtained " a patent for regulating the temperature by opening and closing flues, doors or windows, without personal attention."1 This, if it could have been practically applied, would have been most useful, but, as no more has been heard of it, we fear that it could not.
1 'Annals of the Isle of Man' in Faragher's Dictionary
GEORGE QUAYLE (see Chapter IX.) was also the originator of several mechanical inventions.
There have been at least three Manxmen who have been distinguished by their ability for mathematical and astronomical studies. The first of these is PHILIP GARRETT, to whom we have already referred (see p. 49), the second is ROBERT CORTEEN, and the third, JOHN GOLDSMITH.
We think that the name of
blacksmith, of Ballaugh, is worthy of a place under this heading, as the skill he showed in putting together the skeleton of the fossil elk which was dug up near Ballaugh, in 1819, is very remarkable. This elk is now in the museum at Edinburgh.
Manx schoolmasters have usually been clergymen also, and so will be found in our first chapter. Of the schoolmaster whose name follows, we know nothing except from his epitaph:-
Exuviae Dom. Gul. Tear, Ludimagist, de Peel, sepultae Julii vto,
MDCCLVI., Anno aetatis lxxiv.
Epitaphii loco GULIELMI TEAR, authere scripso.
Mors hen ! poena quident tamen est certissinia vitae
Janua felicis, denique laeta piis.
Me licet hic retinent pro tempora vincula mortis,
Spes tamen in Christo non moritura manet.
In Christi meritis Patrisque clementis arnore
Est humilis mea spes: hac moriorque fide.
Tu Deus ipse meum cor scis secretaque cordis,
Obscure cui non abdita quaque patent.
Hic nihi optari dignum est; hen ! omnia vana.
Ergo beata veni, vanaque vita vade.
The translation of this, which follows, is by the Rev. John Quine
Remains of Sir (Bachelor) Will. Tear, Schoolmaster, of Peel, buried.July 5th, 1756, in the 74th year of his age.
By way of epitaph of WILLIAM TEAR, an author having written.*
Death, alas! the penalty indeed (of life) is nevertheless a most certain portal of a blessed life, and that 'I glad one to the good. Although the bonds of death retain me here temporarily, hope nevertheless in Christ, (a hope) that will not die, remaineth. In the merits of Christ and in the pitying Father's love is my humble hope: in this faith I die. Thou God Thyself knowest. my heart and the heart's secrets, to whom obscurity not hidden all things are open. Here nothing worthy to be descried is; alas ! all things are vain. Therefore come blessed (life) and vain life go.
* literally, "having been written." Who was the author?