[taken from Chapter 9 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]

JAMES TEARE (b. 1804, d. 1868)

was the seventh son of John and Jony Teare, of Cronk-y-Shoggal, Andreas. In 1812, his family removed to Ramsey, in which town after he had received a rudimentary education, he was apprenticed to a boot-maker. Going to Preston in 1823, he followed the same trade there. He had joined the Wesleyan Church before he left Ramsey. In Preston he greatly distinguished himself by his selfdenying charity, by his visits to the sick, and his efforts to reclaim drunkards. "I don't know, " he writes, " that I was ever the means of reclaiming one drunkard till I proclaimed the doctrine of total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks." In March, 1832, the Preston General Temperance Society was formed, and in April JAMES TEARE made his earliest public speech on the subject. In June, he, in the same town, publicly took the ground of total abstinence from all intoxicating liquors as the only remedy for the prevailing intemperance of the community, being the first to do so, and, in August, he was one of the seven who signed the first teetotal pledge. Shortly afterwards he became one of a band of six missionaries who travelled about England and Scotland to propagate the new gospel. In 1855 [sic 1835 ?], he visited his native island, where his speeches led to the establishment of temperance societies and the consequent lessening of drunkenness. The rest of his life is simply a record of incessant missionary work throughout Great Britain Among other tokens of appreciation of his labours was a testimonial, with a purse containing £788, which was presented to him at Bristol, and on his tombstone in Harpurhey Cemetery Manchester, are the following words:—" As a pioneer of the movement, he proclaimed the principles of total abstinence in every county in England, in many parts of Wales and Scotland, in the Channel Islands, and in the Isle of Man, of which he was a native."*

* The foregoing account is, for the most part, takers from a Memoir of JAMES TEARE, by Dr. Lees.

James Teare

A less fullsome history is given by Norman Longmate in chaper 7 of The Water Drinkers (London:Hamish Hamilton 1968) - describing Teare as 'a strong-built, healthy, vigourous man', with a brusque dogmatic manner Longmate describes his Island tour of 1836 when he returned to bully, rather than cajole, the inhabitants into signing the pledge.

James Teare


The Manx tour was no more than a dress rehersal for his triumphant tour of England and Wales in 1836, travelling over 8000 miles and holding 400 meetings. It was thus tour that laid the basis of temperance in the West country. However by 1860 he had alienated himself from his Preston base - claiming that he had founded it single-handedly. Teare also had a 'passion for little economies' (ie petty meanness) - at his death he was found to be comfortably off. However Teare did leave a real memorial in the vigorous, working-class-based, temperance societies of the west of England.


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