[From Chrononhotonthologos, Phantasmagoria. Cotillions and Supper Entertainment in the Isle of Man 1793-1820 ]


The Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Bucks

Who were the Bucks? The Manx Mercury and Manx Advertiser newspapers carry advertisements for the regular meetings of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Bucks.

The Manx Mercury newspaper that appeared in April 1793 gave considerable support to the Fraternity. He must have been a member, "We hear that, at the next meeting of the Buck's society of this town, nine new brothers are to be initiated, all of them natives of this isle, of great respectability. It is hoped that the Buck's society, when sufficiently increased in point of numbers, may have the power, as their duty to have the inclination, to promote the welfare and happiness of this Island."

The Bucks dined at the Liverpool Coffee House in Douglas situated near the Quay and meetings were held fortnightly during the winter months. The anniversary meetings commenced at 10 o'clock in the morning and following the lodge meeting members attended the old St. Matthew's Chapel for divine worship. This Chapel stood on part of the site now occupied by the Manx Legion Club on Market Hill, formerly the old fish market. The present St. Matthew's Church on North Quay replaced the old chapel in 1908. After hearing a suitable sermon the Bucks retired to the Coffee House for lunch at 3 p.m. Members probably recruited prospective candidates from among the gentlemen of Douglas they invited to join their dinner parties. The Worshipful Master was called "The Grands"

The Library and Museum Charitable Trust of the United Grand Lodge of England (The Freemasons) has a description of the Bucks on the internet site. The Bucks flourished between 1770s and 1820s. An account published in 1770, by a member describes how the Society was founded by Nimrod, the mighty hunter of the Old Testament, and its rituals and ceremonies based on Nimrod's system of government of the empire of the Assyrians. Extensive regulations are given on the appointing of officers, founding new lodges and subscriptions for the benevolent fund. The description contains moral exhortations in favour of virtue and brotherly love and against drunkenness and taking the Lord's name in vain. The author of the description claims, "the greatest monarchs in all ages, as well Asia and Africa as of Europe, have been encouragers of our noble order, and many of them have presided as 'Grands' over the Bucks in their respective dominions" The article ends with a selection of hunting and drinking songs and it fact the site remarks that the Bucks were noted for rowdy and drunken behaviour. Their members must, however, all have been wealthy as their surviving jewels are very high quality, with fine enamel and paste work. The motto around the jewel has the words "Freedom with Innocence" in the centre of which is the enamelled scene of a Stag or Buck.

An interesting note in that year, 1806, was that that meeting was the forty-second anniversary of the Douglas Lodge, making its inaugural meeting in the year 1764. The preacher on that occasion was the Chaplin of St. Matthew's Chapel, the Rev. Mr. Sandford; the Secretary was Henry Whiteside. The Rev. Sandford is notable as he was the reverend gentleman who raised the funds to build the Houses of Industry in Kingswood Grove, later to become the Ellan Vannin Residential Home.

On the 22nd of February 1816 the Bucks celebrated their 52nd Anniversary and later that year J. J. Heywood the Secretary advertised in October the winter meetings for 1816-1817 with the quote, "the Brethren are requested to attend without fail, after which a lodge would be held every Wednesday fortnight during the winter."

The Meeting advertised for Wednesday 12th February 1817 ends with the note "when matters of great importance to the order will be laid before them (members)"

Was this the demise of the Bucks in the Isle of Man? It may have dropped off in popularity for some reason according to the Freemasons' internet site the Society had started to wane by the 1820s.

Court of Apollo 1794

The Manx Mercury issue on the 10.05.1794 carries a report about the 'Court of Apollo' but I can find no reference to such a fraternity. However it is worthy of note; "On Thursday evening the society, instituted here, called the Court of Apollo met, agreeable to appointment, at Mr. Armstrong's. The company consisted of about twenty in number, and the evening was spent in the greatest harmony and social mirth. Several loyal toasts were given; and 'God Save the King', was sung in full, chorus, with a fervency that sufficiently evinced the union of heart and voice. Another meeting will be holden at the house of Mr. George Wilson on Thursday evening." There is reference to the sons of Apollo in the section about concerts but whether this has any connection I cannot say.

The Freemasons 1794, 1804

The oldest Freemasons' Lodge on the Island still operating is reputed to be the Athol Lodge, consecrated in 1864, under the United Grand Lodge of England. However, its origins were under the Scottish and then the Irish Grand Lodges prior to that date. According to the United Grand Lodge of England there was a Freemason's lodge meeting under the Irish Constitution in 1765 on the Island but for the purposes of this research I found no references in the local newspapers available for the period.

The theatre season of 1794 saw Mr. Williamson's company of actors visit Douglas. They had a successful run at the local theatre and on the 23'd of June held a benefit night for Brother Tunstall. The programme lists, "A Masonic Song sung by brother Tunstall and assisted by Brothers Scriven, Egan, Turnbull, Tunstall, Ross and Williamson; a Eulogium on Masonry was also given, in the character of a Master Mason, by Brother Williamson."

An advertisement appeared in the local press in1804 inviting all Freemasons, their sons and friends to a celebration dinner which was held on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, the 27th of December; the venue was Mrs. Wilson's house in Douglas at 3 o'clock. Persons wishing to attend had to leave their names at the bar before Monday the 24th so that she had time to provide a suitable dinner. There is no indication whether they held regular lodge meetings or under which constitution the lodge was operating.

The members may have had been in the Military or a group of Freemasons from the adjacent Kingdoms who could not attend their regular lodge but wished to associate with each other at social functions.

Friendly Societies

Friendly societies were set up to provide insurance against sickness, funerals, and to provide pensions, as well as offering savings and loans facilities to their members. Before Governments and employers created pension and sick pay schemes friendly societies played an important part in many working people's lives. As well as the social side the 'Friendly' usually employed its own doctor whom the members could attend for a free consultation. Many developed in to mutual societies which still exist today. Some societies served, in the past, ceremonial and friendship purposes and from those grew the Ancient Order of Odd Fellows and the Royal and Ancient Order of Foresters. Both of these societies had active lodges on the Island up to the 1980s. The Andreas Mutual Society meets on a Ascension Day and is the last remnant of the friendly societies formed here on the Island in the 19th century.

Independent Constitutional Society 1793

The Manx Mercury dated 19.02.1793 reported, "On Saturday last, the anniversary meeting of the Independent Constitutional Society was holden in Ramsey. The meeting was very numerous and respectable. After the ordinary business was gone through, the society dined and spent the evening together, and sociality, mirth and good-humour abounded - The following amongst others were drank: - The King and Constitution, - The Prince of Wales - Queen and the Royal Family - The Speaker of the House of Keys. - Mr. Curwen, and long may he live to support and protect the rights of this Island. - The rights and liberties of Mann - The exports of the Isle of Man, and may its enemies be the (?first) In the course of the evening the inhabitants of the town testified their respect for the society by frequent discharge of cannon." The Isle of Man Friendly Society 1793

This Society advertised in the Manx Mercury issued on 2nd of April 1793, "that they having purchased a new and elegant velvet pall, they propose letting it out for the accommodation of the public. - Particulars may be had by application to Mr. C. Cannell, Douglas."

The anniversary meeting was held in Douglas on Monday in the month of May, "All the members of different parts of the Island will be present, and there will be a grand procession to St. George's Chapel. Several ladies and gentlemen are expected to give in their names as Honorary Members:- after the procession, the members are to dine in the Assembly-room."

The issue of the 28the May 1793 states, "Isle of Man Friendly Society. The Anniversary meeting of this truly benevolent institution was holden in Douglas, on Monday the 20th ult. At about ten o'clock, the members, from different parts of the Island met, agreeable to appointment, in the Assembly-room, and a little after eleven, they proceeded, in the usual order, to St. George's Chapel, were an occasional sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Christian, from 3d chapter, of the first epistle general to St. Peter, and part of the eighth verse; - 'Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another: love as brethren'. During the time of service several select pieces of music were performed by the vocal band, accompanied by the organ; and the feelings of sensibility received a pleasing impression from the appearance of all around. Every individual seemed to participate in the grateful banquet; and the full heart of brotherly affection was the cup that imparted its divine influences on every countenance. The Chapel was crouded (crowed) with people; - and the decent and orderly appearance of the society, united by sacred ties of brethren, to wipe away the tears of distress, and to impart relief and comfort to the pale hand of sickness, inspired the congregation with a lively sense of utility of the institution, and did honour to the feelings of humanity. After service, they returned in the same regular order to the Assembly-room, where an excellent dinner was served up, and several principal gentlemen of the town were invited to partake of their festivity. The sparkling glass went smiling round; and the evening was spent in harmony and social mirth. Several loyal toasts were given; and an occasional song, composed by a brother, was sang with universal satisfaction. The stewards and officers were indefatigable to their exertions to please the numerous company; and every individual was emulous to outvie his neighbour in pleasantry and glee. In short, all was conducted in a manner worthy of the great object of the institution; and we can only say, with an eminent bard,

'If ought below the seat divine

Can touch immortals, 'tis an end like thine."'

The Society met again the following year in June, "Monday last, agreeably to annual custom, the members of the Isle of Man Friendly Society walked in procession to St. George's Chapel, were an excellent sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Nicholas Christian, from 13 Chap. John, 34 and 35h verse. During the service several pieces of select music were performed by the band, which added greatly to the solemnity of the occasion. After service they preceded in the same regular order to the assembly room, where an elegant dinner was provided. Several gentlemen of the town were invited to a participation of the cheer; and the greatest order and harmony prevailed during the evening. Several loyal toasts were given, and indeed, the company appeared emulous to outvie each other in loyalty, sociality and innocent mirth."

The next newspaper report of a meeting of the Society was in 1813. It was their 22a Anniversary and the only change from the usual arrangements was that their dinner was held at the Assembly Room. The Rev. Mr. Christian preached the sermon at St. George's Chapel and that the Volunteer Band was in attendance.

Mr. Christian preached yet again in 1814 from Romans, chapter xiii, verse 7th and 8th. "After which they paraded through the principal streets of the town, preceded by the band of the South Manks (Manx) Volunteers, playing many lively and appropriate airs; at three in the afternoon they sat down to dinner, provided for the occasion at the old Assembly-room, consisting of the choicest viands of the season; after removing the cloth, the bottle was introduced, and the remainder of the day was spent with the greatest harmony and conviviality.

The popular Mr. Christian was called upon to preached again in 1815 and the Chair, at the dinner, was filled by Mr. Bonnyman, "the cloth being removed, many loyal and patriotic toasts were given, and the remainder of the day was spent in utmost harmony and conviviality."

The venue for the 1816 meeting was St. George's Chapel and the Rev. John Christian gave one of his the appropriate sermon.

The Advertiser notes that the Meeting held in June 1819 was, "its twenty-nine anniversary (their inaugural meeting therefore 1790) on Monday last, and after having the usual order, proceeded to St George's Chapel; divine service was read, and an appropriate discourse was delivered by the Rev. Vicar-General Stephen, from Psalm. xxvii 21. The company returned to dinner, which was elegantly and abundantly provided for them in the old assembly room. Mr. Hanby, under whose superintendence the entertainment was conducted, received the thanks of the members for his kind attention to their accommodation. After dinner several loyal toasts and sentiments were given by the President, Mr. H. Corlett.

The tenets, objects and charity of the friendly society was praised by the newspapers of the day,

"We congratulate the public, and particularly this town, upon the benefits arising from Friendly Societies. They afford not only the mutual benefits to the members of their own body, but occasionally extend the hand of beneficence to those around them. Emulative of the good Samaritan, when they see an object, whereon to exercise their good will, they do not sullenly and selfishly enquire whether it be in the sphere of their own proper association, - but accustomed to the doctrine and practice of charity, their feelings beat responsive to very humane suggestion, and eager to promote the views of charity, they are ever on the alert to relieve the distressed.

We understand that the Isle of Man Friendly Society after they had comfortably regaled, and with the utmost hilarity enjoyed the blessings of a kind providence, buried not their feelings in indulgence but with cheerful hearts, united to assist their poor fellow creatures. An unanimous contribution was entered into, for the aid of the Ladies' Soup Dispensary. The collection after dinner was, 1.12s.6d., which added to the levy by the Stewards at the Chapel, being 9s 3d. amounting to 2.1 s. 9d British, a sum, which present exigencies of the poor of this town. The Ladies Institution is at present the only public one; they have in this case the honour of being the exclusive patrons of the poor; and having distinguished themselves by their indefatigable exertions in behalf of the suffering humanity, they claim not only gratitude but our admiration. To Miss Gore and Mrs. Smith particularly, our thanks are due; and it is not possible for us to express our approbation in terms of good wishes, to their highly laudable endeavours in the good cause in which they have with such merited success engaged. The blessing of God has already marked the undertaking, and this we trust will operate as the strongest incentive to the further and continued support of an institution in the present crisis so necessary, so well calculated to answer the object of its views, and, we had almost said indispensable, in the existing state of pauperism. It is to the soft influence - the benign grace - it is to the domestic virtues of the sex we owe whatever mitigates the sorrows of life, or sweetens the delightful moments of our existence; but when from usual pressures of distress, those handmaidens of heaven are impelled with a sublime ardour, to step a little beyond the duties of a more retired-sphere, and public charity is administered by the arm of feminine affection, it is still the more admirable, - and the pleased imagination dwells with the placid sentiment of a religious approbation, when it pictures to itself the angel of humanity embodied in a female form, and with the pitying aspect reaching forth a cup of consolation to the supplicant daughters of poverty and disease."

Friendly Society of Douglas 1807

In Douglas in 1807 "the two friendly societies of Douglas" held their annual celebrations on Whitsun Monday. This is somewhat confusing! Were there two different societies or two branches of the same society? The members processed to church accompanied by the band of the Loyal Volunteers after which they went to their respective meeting rooms to enjoy a meal and spend the rest of the day in "most loyal and cordial manner"

The Band of the Loyal Douglas Volunteers led the Douglas Society of 1809 to church where the Rev. Mr. John Howard preached from S. John Chapter xv, verse 12 and then they dined and proposed many loyal and appropriate toasts.

Peeltown (Friendly) Society 1808

Peeltown Society held their anniversary in May 1808, and accompanied by the Band of the Manx Fencibles, processed from the Court House to church where the Lord Bishop, who was a member, preached from the text, Matthew, Chapter xxv and verse 40. After the service the members retired to the Mathematical School where they dined and spent the evening in the greatest conviviality.

Ascension Day being the anniversary of the Peeltown Society, the members once again celebrated their day in 1809 by processing to church accompanied by the band where they heard an excellent sermon by the Rev. Vicar General Christian, from Proverbs, Chapter xvii, verse 17. The meal was provided by Mr. Long at the School, after which a number of loyal and appropriate toasts were given by the President and others, including Mr. Kelly of the Union Mills wishing prosperity to the undertakings, which made the house resound with three times three.

In reporting the meetings the newspaper recorded, "These excellent institutions are said to be in a most flourishing state".

Castletown and Laxey (Friendly) Societies 1809

Manx Advertiser records,"that the societies of Castletown and Laxey held their respective meetings in April 1809 when the band of the Loyal Douglas Volunteers were on duty to accompany the members."

Methodist Society 1809

The Whitsun Monday meetings of the Douglas Societies for 1809 noted that the Methodist Club met in their Chapel and afterwards dined at the British Hotel, "and spent the day with their usual attention to the rules of order and sobriety."

Marown Friendly Society 1809

That same year the Marown Society held their first anniversary on Ascension Day. One hundred and thirteen members were present and they attended church to hear the Rev. Thomas Stephen give a very excellent discourse from his text, John Chapter xix verses 26 & 27. Afterwards they enjoyed a dinner followed by a day of innocent hilarity. The newspaper report of 31 July remarks, "But the most pleasing consideration was, to see so large an assemblage of plain, sensible countryman, met in the true spirit of the institution, convinced of the utility that may be expected to result from it, and determined to give it effect."

It is particularly interesting to note that their anniversary in May 1818 was led by their own band of musicians played on instruments manufactured by the tradesmen of the parish. Wouldn't it be wonderful if even one of those instruments survived to this day!

"The eighth anniversary of the Marown Friendly Society was celebrated on Thursday with becoming festivity and decorum. Divine Service was read in the parish church, and a sermon preached from Luke x. 37.

To such of our readers as delight in improvements calculated to promote innocent recreation, conducted on economical principles, and without injury to the general interests of society, by the useless devotion of time or dereliction of ordinary occupation, it must be satisfying to observe, that, to obviate the necessary hiring of a regular trained musical band to attend their annual processions, a number of spirited and ingenious youths of the above society have harmoniously united to form a rural band, whose performance, we are informed, is considerably beyond mediocrity. This band is yet, however, in its infancy. The instruments are few, and consist at present of six clarionets, (clarinets) a serpent, two trumpets and a kettle-drum. These instruments are the manufacture of the tradesmen of the parish of Marown; the very wood of which they are made, and even to the parchment of the drum, is the produce and workmanship of the parishioners; the musicians, as well as the music master, are all fellow brethren, and members of the same friendly society. We learn that the bassoon, and the German flute are to be added! We cannot help wishing these rural swains success with their harmony; and may no discordant string ever vibrate to interrupt their harmless festivity."

On Ascension Day 1819 they held their 9th anniversary meeting. The procession moved, as usual, from the parochial school house to church, where divine service was read, and a sermon preached by the Rev. Vicar-General Stephen, from John xix 26. 27 - After which the company proceeded to the dinner room. The evening was spent with the utmost good humour and hilarity

Ramsey Friendly Society 1813

May 1813 saw Ramsey Friendly Society meeting on Holy Thursday and after attending chapel they retired to the Court House for their dinner

It was also noted that the Societies of Peel, Kirk Marown and the Methodists also held their meetings on the same day.

Ramsey Benevolent Society 1818

The Manx Advertiser issued on the 14th May, 1818 recorded the recent death of the Deemster Moore, "Ramsey 13th May 1818. Monday last being the third anniversary of the Benevolent Society of this town, the members according to custom, assembled early in the morning, and after arranging certain matters connected with the general interests of the institution, proceeded to Church, where an admirable and impressive sermon was preached by the Rev. John Gill, of Kirkbride. After returning from divine service, the society sat down to an excellent dinner, and spent the evening in such a becoming manner as reflects the highest honour upon the gentleman who officiated in the chair. From the ever to be lamented death of the Honourable Deemster Moore, one of the members, and the original institutor of this laudable society, many of the members, from a due sense of feeling an regard for departed worth, were prevented from attending. The effect which so sudden and unexpected an event which at once deprived a wife of a friend and affectionate husband, a family of a kind and indulgent parent, a country of a learned, upright, and impartial judge, and world of an intelligent and benevolent man, - can better be conceived than described."

Douglas Philanthropic Society 1813

A new society called the Douglas Philanthropic Society is reported to have met on its first anniversary in June 1813 to celebrate the King's birthday. They processed from their club room to St. Matthew's Chapel were an appropriate sermon was give by the Rev. Mr. Qualtrough based on the text, ls' Peter, Chap 11, verse 8 entitled "Love as Brethren". Afterwards they had a celebration dinner.

The following year, 1814, once again they processed with their insignia, "of particular elegance", to St. Matthew's where the Rev. Robert Brown preached from John Chapter xv, verse 12, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another".

The press obviously supported the Societies from the favourable comments, "They afterwards dined together, and the order, decorum, and propriety, which marked the proceedings of the day, prove most forcibly the salutary effects of Friendly Societies. At the conclusion of the meeting, a subscription was laudably entered into, and the sum of 18s.4d collected, to be added to the fund of the Society for the Relief of the Poor."

The meeting of May 1818. "Friendly Societies - The Douglas Philanthropic Society celebrated their anniversary on Tuesday last, being Ascension Day, they assembled, as usual, at the club room, and thence repaired in procession to St. Matthew's, where divine service was read, and an appropriate, and most impressive discourse delivered by the Rev. Robert Brown, from 1 Thess. v.11. - The company afterwards proceeded to Mr. Dixon's Hotel, where they sat down to an elegant dinner provided in the New Assembly Room. A number of loyal toasts were given, and the evening concluded with every demonstration of harmony and joyous conviviality which so benevolent an institution is calculated to excite."

The May meeting of 1820. "Thursday last being Ascension day, was observed in the usual manner throughout the Island - several benefit societies met to celebrate their anniversaries. The members of the Philanthropic Society of Douglas, after having attended divine service at St Matthew's Chapel dined at the British Hotel. After the cloth was removed, several loyal toasts were given, and the evening was spent in most cheerful and agreeable manner."

Artificers' Friendly Society 1814

This new Society held its third anniversary meeting in August 1814 and the Rev. Christian delivered "an another excellent discourse".

This Society appears to have grow in popularity and the Manx Advertiser of the 13th August 1818 is keen to give more information about the Artificers Friendly Society which celebrated its sixth anniversary (therefore commencing in 1812), "They assembled at the club room in the morning, thence proceeded, accompanied by a band of music to St. George's Chapel, where an excellent and impressive discourse was delivered on the occasion by the Rev. R. Brown, from Psalm 133 ver. 1, 'Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity' - The Rev. Robert Brown was the father of the Rev. T. E. Brown, the Manx Poet. After divine service the society moved in procession to the market-place, the band playing the national airs, of 'Save the King' and 'Rule Britannia'; followed by loud and repeating cheerings.(cheers) After which the company retired to the British Hotel, where they sat down to a sumptuous and elegant dinner, provided for them in the new Assembly Room. Among the numerous toasts given on the occasion, were the following;-

The King, in silence -'God Save the King'

The Prince Regent, may he live to enjoy many happy returns of this day - three time three

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

The Duke of York, and the British Army - Duke of York's March The Duke of Clarence and the Navy -'Rule Britannia'

The Duke of Wellington, the hero of Waterloo His Grace The Duke of Athol, Governor in Chief His Excellency Lieut. - General Smelt, and the Manks (Manx) Legislature

Many other toasts were drank, in we feel pleasure in observing, that the day was past in the utmost harmony and conviviality."

The following year they celebrated their seventeenth anniversary in honour of the Prince Regent's birthday. They marched in procession in the forenoon, accompanied by a band of music, to St. George's Chapel, were an excellent and appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev. John Christian - the members afterwards prepared to the British Hotel, where they sat down to a sumptuous and elegant dinner, provided for them in the assembly-room; many loyal toasts were drunk, and the day was spent in utmost harmony and conviviality.

The 12th of August 1820 saw the Artificers Friendly Society of Douglas, holding their eighth anniversary. In the forenoon the members marched in regular procession to St. George's Chapel, accompanied by an excellent band of music; where the Rev Vicar General Stephen delivered a most eloquent and impressive discourse from St. John Chap.xv, verse 12 - "this is my commandment that you love one another" - After divine service, the society retired to Mr. Moore's assembly room, where a sumptuous dinner was provided by Mr. Hanby of the York Hotel. The utmost harmony and good humour prevailed, and the evening was spent with great hilarity and decorum.

Labourer's Friendly Society 1814

Yet another new Society sprang up among the workers of Douglas, the Labourer's Friendly Society which met for their fourth anniversary meeting in December 1814 in their club room in Athol Street. After the election of officers for the ensuing year the members went to St. George's Chapel where an impressive discourse was give by the Rev. Mr. Qualtrough from Ephesians Chapter iv, verse 28. The members then returned to their club room and sat down to an excellent dinner. "After dinner the following toasts, among others, were proposed and pledged with the greatest applause: The King. - The Duke of Atholl, Governor in Chief. - The Lord Bishop, and clergy of the Isle. - The Labourer's Friendly Society, may they unite, and never know distress. - The Duchess of Kinnoul, may her liberality to the poor be tenfold rewarded. - The Rev. Mr. Qualtrough, thanks for his excellent sermon. - Thos. Gawne Esq., our worthy Chief Magistrate; with repeated applause. - The Rev. Mr. Cooper and the Rev. Mr. Christian, thanks for the honour of their company. - Mr. Robert Cannell, and Mr. Lewis Geneste jun; thanks for the honour of their company, - The Herring Society, and the industrious inhabitants of this Island- 'Lurg eaystagh thie skaddayn bayr mie oaryn; bannaght ny moght. (After fishing, a house of herrings, a way of barley, bless the poor.)"'

"We are happy to understand that the Society is in the most flourishing state, and that the patronage and support of so many gentlemen of respectability, cannot fail to add to its permanency and usefulness."

The next year 1816 saw the Society enjoying its fifth meeting and the newspaper gladly adds its support of such societies, "We are happy to be informed, that this society, which yields to none in utility, is in a state of growing prosperity. It had met with a considerable degree of public patronage. And we cannot help expressing our sanguine hope, that every labourer in the town will avail himself of the benefit attending this institution, by enrolling his name among the list of members. - Gentlemen who have any of this useful class of the community in their employ, would do well to use their influence to prevail on them to become members of the society."

Isle of Man Sisterly Friendly Society 1816

1816 saw the establishment of the Isle of Man Sisterly Friendly Society in Douglas, "the object of which is, by monthly contributions to make a suitable provision for the season of afflictions. Many respectful matrons have enrolled themselves in this society, whose laudable example, we have no doubt, will be generally followed." Ramsey Philanthropic Society 1817

The Ramsey Philanthropic Society gets a mention in the Manx Advertiser issues dated 22 May 1817 when it reports the 21 st anniversary meeting, dating their first meeting to 1796. The Rev. John Manning led divine worship and the sermon was given by the Right Rev. Lord Bishop from John 14th Chapter, verse 27th. The Bishop walked at the head of the procession to and from church. "200 sat down to an excellent dinner at the Court House." By all accounts the Bishop was very pleased with the activities of the Society as the comment in the newspaper states, "the prosperous and thriving state of the society's funds appear to afford much satisfaction to His Lordship."

There are reports of them meeting in May 1818 and again in 1819. The 1819 meeting was held on the 20th May and is recorded as the 23'd anniversary. "The members marched in procession to the chapel, where an excellent sermon was preached by the Rev. Hugh Stowell, rector of Ballaugh, from Luke x 37, "Go, and do thou likewise". After which they returned in the same order to the Court House, where they dined together, and spent the day with that conviviality and harmony which have always distinguished their meetings. "This society consist of 135 members; and its capital, in cash and bonds, amounts to 564. - after having made (payments) during the past year, 106.15s. I0d. to its sick, and 641 to the families of deceased members."

St Crispin 1820

This is a strange one which I picked up from an article in the Manx Advertiser dated the 26th of October 1820. My researches have not produced an answer as to whether there was such a society internationally or nationally. Was Mr. Johnson a shoemaker, a cobbler, tanner or a leather-maker as St. Crispin is regarded as the patron Saint of such artisans.

"Yesterday being the anniversary of St. Crispin, the workmen of Mr. Johnson assembled at his house, in Duke-street, where they partook of an excellent dinner. The cloth being removed the following toasts were given from the chair-

'The King and the Craft'

'May the English Rose never blow, The Scottish thistle never grow, Nor Irish harp never play,

Until Queen Caroline gains the day'

'Mr. Johnson, and may prosperity crown all his efforts.'

'May the manufacture of the Sons of Crispin be trade upon the world' 'Town and Trade of Douglas'

'I'll toast the Manks (Manx) lasses, let all fill their glasses, Whose beauty and virtue the world surpasses

May blessings attend them, go where they will, And foul fall the man that e'er offers them ill.' The evening was spent with greatest hilarity, in course of which was introduced several duets, glees, &c, &c. At a late hour the company separated, highly gratified with their sumptuous entertainment. Douglas, October 26, 1820."

References Friendly Societies

Newspapers References - Manx Mercury 1793-1795

1. Buck's 02.04.1793 04.06.1793

2. Court of Apollo 10.05.1794

3 Independent Constitutional Society 19.02.1793

4. Isle of Man Friendly Society 02.04.1793 14.05.1793 28.05.1793 14.06.1794

Newspapers References - Manx Advertiser 1802-1820

1. Friendly Society of Douglas 23.05.1807 11.06.1807

2. Peeltown Friendly Society 28.05.1808 31.07.1809

3. Castletown and Laxey Friendly Societies 09.06.1810

4. Methodist and Douglas Friendly Societies 31.07.1809 09.06.1810

5. Marown Friendly Society 31.07.1809 07.05.1818 03.06.1819

6. Ramsey Friendly Society 29.05.1813

7. Kk Marown and Peel 29.05.1813

8. Douglas Philanthropic Society 05.06.1813 11.06.1814 07.05.1818 18.05.1820

9. The Isle of Man Friendly Society 12.06.1813 07.05.1814 20.05.1815 07.06.1816 03.06.1819

10. Artificers' Friendly Society 13.08.1814 13.08.1818 19.08.1819 17.08.1820

11. Labourer's Friendly Society 31.12.1814 18.04.1816

12. The Isle of Man Sisterly Friendly Society 07.06.1816

13. Ramsey Philanthropic Society 22.05.1817 07.05.1818 03.06.1819

14. Ramsey Benevolent Society 14.05.1818

15. St Crispin 26.10.1820


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