This was one of a number of societies formed to relieve the poverty of the 1830's - a number of better off subscribers agreed to donate money each week which was then given to needy people - from the list these would appear to be mostly widows or those looking after infirm parents or children.
An earlier letter had insinuated that the society was only interested in supporting Wesleyan Methodists - hence the following Letter and advert placed by the secretary - both are taken from the Manx Liberal.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE MANX LIBERAL. Sir; I am really astonished at the paltry means adopted by some of these who bear the name of Methodist, in this town, for bringing themselves and the " Poor Man's Friend Society" into notice. In your last week's publication, there appeared a flaming article, whose professed object it is to guard the public against "the unchristian at attempt" of representing this Society as affording relief to Methodists only.
What impression this assertion has made in your part of the Island I know not, but the people in Castletown are too well acquainted with the affair to be made the dupes of false representation. The article above alluded to is, undoubtedly, an attack upon a certain body of Christians, from whom the managers of this Society have received no small share of support.
The unchristian, ungrateful attempt, on the part of the Committee of the " Castletown Poor Man's Friend Society" to vilify their benefactors, together with the ambition of being esteemed great in the eyes of men, have, I firmly believe been the cause of so much ado.
In conclusion, I'm sorry to say, that this unpleasant circumstance has greatly damped the good feelings of the charitably disposed towards this laudable undertaking.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.,
Castletown, Feb. 27, 1837. 'Veritas.
IN Consequence of some base Insinuations industriously circulated among the Subscnibersto this excellent Institution, of being an exclusive Charity for the Relief of Wesleyan Methodists only ; -the Committee take the liberty of laying before their Friends, a List of the Persons who are at present receiving Support from its Funds, (by which it will be seen that out of eighteen Individuals receiving 12s. 7½d. per Week, only three are Members of the Methodist Society, receiving 1s 7½) hoping thereby to counteract the unchristian Attempt to undermine an Institution which has already; been productive of so much good.
Widow Quirk, Methodist
Bella Colquitt, Methodist
Jane Corrin, Methodist.
For the committee, J. McMeiken
Castletown February 23, 1837.