[taken from Chapter 1 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]

HUGH STOWELL, Junior (b.1790, d. 1865),

the eldest son of the Rev. Hugh Stowell and Amelia Callow, was born at St. Matthews Parsonage, Douglas He was educated during the earlier years of his life by his father, going afterwards to the Castletown Grammar School, where he gained a scholarship. In 1818, he matriculated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and took his B. A. degree in 1822, proceeding in due course to his master's degree. It is not recorded that he in any way distinguished himself during his undergraduate career. His title for orders was the assistant curacy of an outlying chapel of the parish of Sheepscombe, Rinswick, Gloucestershire. In the following year he accepted the curacy of Trinity Church, Huddersfield. Here he remained till 1825, when he was appointed to the sole charge of St. Stephen's, Salford. He had, by this time, become so popular as a preacher, and so highly esteemed as a devoted and hardworking pastor, that his parishioners, being afraid of his accepting one of the many offers of preferment which. he received, built a church called Christ Church, with schools, for him, at a cost of £31,000, which was opened in 1831. In 1845, he was appointed to an honorary canonry in the Cathedral Church of Chester. In 1851, shortly after the erection of Manchester into an episcopal see, the bishop of that city appointed him one of his chaplains, and, subsequently, rural dean of Salford. During the greater part of his life he continued to issue a number of religious treatises. Whatever his subject, he invariably dealt with it in a practical and popular way. Among his best known works are " Tractarianism tested," "A Model for Men of Business," " The Pleasures of Religion, and other Poems'" and " The Peaceful Valley." In addition to these, many of his sermons, lectures, speeches, and letters, mostly on subjects of theological controversy, have been published, and he wrote a number of hymns. He was an earnest supporter of the evangelical body, being militant and uncompromising in his Protestantism. He was a staunch opponent of the Maynooth grant [fpc to put it bluntly he was violently AntiCatholic], and was one of the first to agitate in opposition to the attempt to establish a Roman Catholic hierarchy, his efforts having contributed largely in bringing about the passing of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill. Whenever anything in the shape of a challenge was thrown out to him by an opponent professing a different religious faith, he was never backward in taking up the gauntlet on behalf of his own creed.

When the great discussion arose in Manchester on the Education question, he took a prominent part in the contest between the Biblical and Secular parties, and it was mainly due to his efforts that the latter was defeated. In 1861, he took an equally prominent part in connection with the "Manchester Church Defence Association." Canon STOWELL would appear to us, in these more tolerant days, as being a man of narrow views, but he undoubtedly possessed very great power and ability. He was remarkable; both as an orator and preacher, but there was a great difference between his platform and pulpit styles. On the platform he was fervent, vehement, flowing, and energetic, and always succeeded in carrying his audience with him. In the pulpit he was argumentative, persuasive, and deeply interesting. His ideas were always expressed in choice and poetic diction. He never lost the thread of his argument, and never became incoherent, though he always spoke extemporaneously.

Canon STOWELL, was looked upon as a man of note, not only in Manchester and Salford, but in every part of England. In Salford he lent a helping hand to every good work, and there is no doubt that its prosperity was largely due to the excellent system of education which he had initiated; and, in England generally, the appreciation of him was shown by the way in which the various religious societies sought his assistance at their annual meetings

An obituary notice of him in the " Manx Sun " speaks of him as "one of Mona's most distinguished sons," who, " by his piety and ability," reflect the highest honour upon her. The Rev. W. T. Radcliffe, who knew him well, writes of him as follows: " He was so man of noble presence; an able preacher; on the Protestant platform an orator of uncommon power."


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