Hampton Court, Braddan

Hampton Court
published by W Kneale, provenance unknown

Built c. 1800 by Thomas Stowell who in 1790 was sworn in as acting Attorney-General and, in 1804 became Clerk of the Rolls. After the death of his wife in 1808 seems to have mostly resided at Castletown (Hampton Court being advertised to let in 1813) but returned here later as his death is reported at Hampton Court in 1821. Advertised for sale in 1827; in 1828 acquired by Edward/Edmund May who had previously taken over a small school in Fort Street, Douglas (in Pigot's 1823 directory described as Bath Street Academy) whose two previous owners had both failed. May advertised (Manks Advertiser 25 Sept 1828) tuition in Latin, French, Mathematics, English, Navigation, Mapping and Land Measuring - all this for 20 guineas. It may well be that he taught the latter subjects well, as his nephew Edmund May was advertising himself as Land Surveyor in Pigot's1837 directory (he also ran a livery stable so possibly surveying was a sideline). The move to Hampton Court did not prove successful - by 1832 he was resuming at Peel and in 1833 was back at Fort Street but even that failed by 1834 and he emigrated to America shortly afterwards. (May also kept a link with Douglas where he opened, in May 1830, the Collegiate School in Thomas Street, originally under the supervision of uncle John Brett May (in 1851 listed as a merchant in Devonport ) and James Wilson of Dublin - John May seems to have pulled out by 1832 and Wilson sold up in 1837)


(would appear from 1881 census to have two servants buildings - one used by agricultural labourer, the other by the gardener)

1824 John Abbott
1828 - 1832 Edmund May 'Hampton Court Academy'
1837 George Highton (Heighton) - a James Highton came from Liverpool and was a Primitive Methodist LP, died 1852, in his obituary described as a Tanner; during his stay there were regular preaching at Hampton Court
1863 Thomas. James Whidborne.
1881-1898 Richard Penketh (Retired Railway Contractor) , MHK


Edmund May

The May family come from Gittisham, Devon. Edmund was born 1786. Wife Marrianne Henneghan, her father, Charles, went to Jamaica from Ireland, to claim a land patent of 540 acres of plantation in St. Elizabeth Parish. Marrianne was born in Jamaica and went to Bristol for her education where she met Edmund 10 years her senior.

Edmund's grandfather was a cordwainer., his father was the clerk and a parish school teacher in Devon all his life; Edmund was one of nine children.

Son Frederic was a surveyor and Railway Contractor (who kept the Illinois Central RR open for Gen. Grant's supplies and troops during the Civil War. He was a Col, and friend of Grant's.)

Frederic was commissioned (1860) to survey, plat, and record for a new town. He accepted on condition of being permitted to name the town, which he called Douglas. So Douglas, Michigan came into being.


James Highton (described as retired ships carpenter in 1851) was father of George - one of his daughters, Elizabeth, married a Thomas Fyfe who was a tanner in 1841 census James was living there with grandchildren Mary & Edward Fyfe, by 1851 Elizabeth, by then a widow was with him together with 'son-in-law' Robert Craine who had married a Mary Jane Fyfe at Braddan in 1844;. George appears to have been a very successful architect/surveyor in Liverpool though with a somewhat complicated private life with children by several partners. (information from descendant).


Hinton Bird The Island that led - The History of Manx Education vol 1 pp164/5 (see page on Education)

Private communication with Ann Frazer (descendant) who has family history written by Edmund's son Frederick.



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 1999