Background - Manx Public Houses

Most of the leg-work on this topic was done by Neil Matheson in his major study on Old Inns and Coffee Houses giving full coverage up to around 1863 together with the addition of some later information. His information is mostly based on the appearance of the Inn in Newspapers, Guide Books and Directories. As he also created the extremely useful Manx Museum Newspaper Card Index for the period 1800-1850 this work can be said to reflect just some of his industry.

Suzanne Cubbon in a well illustrated 'Manx Inns: A pub crawl through history' written in an easy to read journalistic style, appropriated much of Matheson's material and added material on later inns that were built, post 1870, during the boom years of the Manx Tourist Industry. She gives no reference for any of her information (though by implication the dates indicate the consulted directory), and indeed gives no full reference for Mathieson's papers much of which she paraphrased, without indicating the source of her information (at times skating over some of the question marks by the more careful Mathieson - she also blithely assumes that events happened in the year in which any change is first noted). Her reading of Mathieson could also do with some proof-reading e.g. Tom Braid left the Cumberland tavern for the York Hotel (not York, as in Yorkshire, as he died on the Island some three years later!). Although she quotes some names there is no attempt at any biographical detail.

The following sections expand on Matheson's impressive work - I have added the names of landlords given in the various directories and slightly re-arranged the names to reflect those as found in the various lists. Since Mathieson's time another source of information has emerged - the Castle Rushen papers in Manx Museum have been sorted and amongst them are the annual list of applications (and approvals) for Public House licences (though not all years appear to have survived). These licence applications give only the name of the licensee - in a few cases marginal notes are added (that for 1797 actually gives occupation of all applicants), new applicants needed to present a certificate as to their suitability thus new entrants can be noted as well as a bond for their good behaviour.

  Pubs Index


see Introduction

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001