A Circular was drafted, dated 5th December, 1879, stating - "It is
proposed to form a Club for Promoting the Study of Natural History in
the Isle of Man. A preliminary Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec.
23rd at 4 o'clock p.m. at Mr. Birchall's house,64, Derby Square,
Douglas, which you are respectfully invited to attend.
Philip M. C. Kermode
R. W. O. Rutledge
Edwin Birchall F.L.S."
Copies were sent to most members of the Manks Society and others thought likely to be interested. This preliminary Meeting was held, but there was a very small attendance. Present were - Mr. E. Birchall in the Chair, Mr. P. M. C. Kermode, Mr. J. C. Crellin and Mr. Thos. Grindley. Mr. Rutledge, an invalid at the time he signed the Circular, did not attend the Meeting. (He died in January 1880.)
It was resolved "That a Society be formed for promoting the study
of Natural History and of the Antiquities of the Isle of Man.
2. That Mr. Jeffcott, High-Bailiff of Castletown be respectfully requested to be President for the year 1880, but he declined on account of ill health.
3. That Mr. Birchall be requested to act as Secretary and Treasurer, but was elected President.
4. That the following be the Rules of the Society.
1. The Society to be designated "The Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society".
2. That the Members shall consist of two classes - Ordinary Members who shall pay an annual subscription Ladies 2/6d. Gentlemen 5/- and Honorary Members who shall not be required to pay anything.
3. That every Candidate for admission shall be proposed by two members and be balloted for at the following meeting; two blackballs shall exclude.
4. The subscription shall be due in advance, at the Annual Meeting in each year.
5. That any surplus income which shall remain after defraying the ordinary expenses of the Society, shall be disposed of as maybe determined at the Annual Meeting.
6. The Society shall meet at the house of the members in rotation or at such place as may from time to time be determined upon on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, the Chair to be taken at 5 p.m. Three members shall form a Quorum.
7. The private business of the Society shall take precedence of all others; members or visitors shall then be invited to read Papers of subjects relating to Natural Science or Antiquities, to exhibit specimens of interest and to point in a general conversation on Scientific Matters.
8. Any member may propose an alteration in the Rules by giving 10 days notice to the Secretary, who shall cause the same to be inserted in the Circular convening the Meeting.
9. That 5 or more if practicable Field Meetings shall be held during each year and that timely notice of each be given to the members by Circular.
10. An Annual Meeting shall be held not later than March, when a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected for the year ensuing.
11. All questions shall be decided by a majority of the members present.
The next Meeting was held on February 18th 1880. Present were - Mr. E. Birchall in the Chair, Rev. T. Talbot and Messrs. T. Grindley, P. M. C. Kermode, J. M. Sutherland (a visitor),President - Mr. Edwin Birchall, F.L.S.; Vice-President - Rev. S. N. Harrison, Ramsey; Secretary, Mr. P. M. C. Kermode. The names of Miss Annie Crellin, Miss Georgina Crellin, Miss Gertrude Gawthorpe, Miss Arabella Gawthorpe (Bibaloe) and Miss Diana Birchall were proposed for membership. A Paper was read by Mr. Grindley on the "Study of the Antiquities of the Isle of Man".
Meetings were held in the houses of members, while numbers were limited, alternately in the North and South, and Northside appeared to find the greatest favour. In 1881 the Annual Meeting was held on April 5th at the Rectory, Ballaugh, with 15 members and 5 visitors present. In 1887 a Meeting was held near the Turbary at the foot of Snaefell with Deemster Gill presiding. Premises where Meetings were held in the following years, included St. Thomas' Church Schoolroom Douglas, Ramsey Industrial Schoolroom, the Masonic Hall, Douglas; at Christian's Boys School, Peel, the School of Art, Douglas, the Grammar School, Castletown, and the Town Hall, Douglas; and Meetings were held after Excursions, one on the steamer on the return from Barrow in 1909.
Field Excursions were arranged and the first was on May 24th 1880 to Peel with Mr. P. M. C. Kermode as leader. Members and friends met at Peel Railway Station at 10.42 a.m. At Mr. White's Refreshment Rooms, a slight luncheon was partaken of and heartily enjoyed after the morning's ramble. Later, at the Castle Hotel, full justice was done to the excellent repast provided by Mrs. Kelly, round a well-spread table; the incidents of the day were repeated; the Billiard Room had been converted into a temporary museum a capital collection illustrating the natural history of Peel.
The first Excursion of 1881 was to Laxey to the Cairn of Gretch-Veg. The name "King Orry's Grave" was said to have originated in a joke of the late Receiver-General R. Quirk; when coming from Ramsey with a party of gentlemen, he called their attention to this ancient burial place, jocularly naming it "King Orry's Grave". Rev. J. G. Cummings appears to have been the first to have published the joke under the semblance of historical truth. (History of the I.O.M. page 233.) At an Excursion to Ballaugh in 1888, a cist was opened. In another a skull and small urn were found which were taken to Bishopscourt where a Meeting was held in the Hall. The same year, Miss A. Crellin gave an account of the opening of a large tumulus on Whitehouse Farm. Kirk Michael, where the remains of 6 Cinerary Urns were found.
Papers were read and many exhibits shown of finds such as flint implements and 462 flints taken from Peel Hill, and a bronze dagger from a cliff in Dalby; a considerable amount of fossil shells and flints found during excavations for the new town sewer; a flint celt found in 1870 at the foundation of the Round Tower, Peel, and the horn of a Roe Deer and Neolithic Flints from Port. St Mary.
In 1885 Mr. P. M. C. Kermode and the Rev. E. B. Savage(St. Thomas') waited upon the Governor and presented the draft Act for the Preservation of Wild Birds and also urged the need of legislation for the preservation of the Antiquities in the Island. A Committee was formed for the Preservation of the Antiquities, Colonel Anderson, Mr. J. C. Crellin, and Mr. P. M. C. Kermode. The following year at the request of the Governor, Professor Boyd Dawkins prepared a Report on Manx Antiquities. In need of preservation were; Runic and other Crosses, small and movable articles of Antiquarian interest, prehistoric Monuments, Cairns, Tumuli, Ruins, etc. It was suggested that crosses should not be removed from the Parish in which they were found, that the smaller crosses be placed inside the Churches and larger ones gathered together within or near the Churchyards of their respective Parish and protected by a light suitable roof over them.
Mr. P. M. C. Kermode wrote the "Monumental Crosses of Man" in 1885, and the following year, he exhibited rubbings of some of the Braddan Crosses, one of which had not been figured or described - it had been built into the Church Tower. Mr. Kermode had gained permission from the Vicar, and assisted by Mr. C. Swinnerton, had it removed and set on a Mount with three other Slabs.
In 1892 it was decided to get up a fund for taking casts of the Manx Crosses, at an estimated cost of £85.
In 1894 Sir Henry Dryden, Northampton, offered to present a set of Casts of the Manx Runic Inscriptions - about 12 taken in 1841 - and copies of plans and notes of the most interesting of the ancient Manx Monuments. The Society accepted the offer, agreed to send them subsequently to the Manx Museum, and paid for the copying of plans and packing and freight of the casts.
The Manx Archaeological Survey, for which Mr. P. M. C. Kermode was Honorary Secretary, published their first Report in 1909, the second in 1910, third in 1911 and in 1914 the fourth Report, published by the Society. In 1968 the Society made a grant towards the cost of re-publishing the first five parts and the sixth Report, by the Manx Museum.
New Rules were made on March 11th, 1886. The General Committee shall consist of the Officers for the time being and of 5 Ordinary Members duly elected. Papers to be published or abstracts (the Society to reserve all rights) in one or more of the local Newspapers, and in the "Transactions" of the Society Entrance Fee and Subscription to be 2/6d. and annual Subscription 5/- to be paid in advance on or before 1st March. That at least £1,should be laid aside for the purchase of books to form the nucleus of a Library.
In 1884 the Society had the honour of being placed on the list of
Corresponding Societies of the British Association and in 1888
Deemster Gell was a Delegate, the first occasion on which a Delegate
from our Society had attended a Meeting.
In 1885, Mr. P. M. C. Kermode, in his Presidential Address stated that although the number of members had increased, there were no fresh workers and older ones not coming forward to help by contributing Papers or adding to the still small nucleus of a Library and Museum. There was a need for an Entomologist and want of a Biological Station.
In 1892 Professor Herdman of the Liverpool Marine Biological Committee spoke of moving its centre of work from Puffin Island to Port Erin or Port St. Mary for a small seaside Laboratory, and Whit Saturday June 4th 1892 was arranged for the inauguration of the Port Erin Marine Biological Station.
Professor W. A. Herdman D.Sc. F.I.S. F.Sc. F.N.S.E., University College, Liverpool was made a corresponding Member of the Society in 1885 and in 1900 at a Meeting of Liverpool Marine Biological Commission, Mr. P. M. C. Kermode was elected a Member of the Board. Mr. Kermode presented a marble Bust of Professor Edward Forbes to the Station and later, a plaster Cast, made by Mr. T. H. Royston was presented to the Society.
At a Meeting in 1880 there was a discussion on the character of the supposed hut remains of a primitive tribe on the Meayll Mountain, described in the first Report of the Archaeological Commission of Prehistoric Monuments, and doubts were expressed of their having been invaders camps, or the Firbolgs, or cattle-pens of the primeval savages of the Island. The President in his Address said the Society must continue to render itself useful to be valued by the public and obtain its support. Perhaps the time may come when our usefulness will be recognised by the Government and State, and even afford us house room. A Paper was read by Mr. P. M. C. Kermode on "The Study of Natural History in the Isle of Man".
The next year, 1881 at the General Meeting the desirability was suggested of investigating the origin of our place names, especially those found in mountain and glen, and their relation to natural features by which might be discovered traces of our Island's earliest inhabitants.
In 1890 there was a Folk-Lore and Place-Name Committee and in an extract from their Report, Dr. Haviland thought that such things ought not to be published as tending to support the belief in superstition and ignorant tales - several good stories told showing what a hold superstition still had on people calling themselves Christians.
In 1897 it was reported that a member of the Ordnance Survey was working in the Island and suggesting that an attempt should now be made to have the spelling of place names revised. A Committee was appointed and made their suggestions which they were informed would receive attention. There was a Fossil Elk Committee, St. Patrick's Isle Committee; Rushen Abbey and Peel Castle Committees. In 1900 suggesting a Committee for the better preservation of animal and plant life, it was stated that birds were taken for commercial purposes and even Primroses were becoming scarce as people were filling washing baskets with them - taken up by the roots, and the rare Asmunda Regales was being carried off the Island by the cart load.
By 1895 the Society was divided into 9 Sections, each having a
Secretary. (A) Archaeology, (B) Anthropology, (C) Geology, (D)Botany,
(E) Zoology, (F) Entomology, (G) Microscopic, (H)Photography, (I)
In 1883 a Committee was formed for the purpose of dredging around the Island. In 1886 the Rev. E. B. Savage suggested that a Committee on Education should encourage the teaching of Manx in Elementary Schools and a Society be formed for the preservation of the Manx Language.
A Committee was appointed in 1888 for raising a fund by subscription for searching for the remains of a Gigantic Irish Deer on the Estate of Ballalough, German, and the terms of reference were enlarged to include any other Elk remains. Of three specimens of Elk found at Ballaugh, two had gone off the Island, the most perfect being now in Edinburgh Museum. The head and antlers of one belonging to Mr. W. Gell was now at King William's College, and the head and horn of one preserved, but taken off the Island. Nine years later an Excursion took place to German and Elk bones were excavated at Close-y-Gary, and at a Meeting held in Ramsey the following month, Oct. 1897, the Irish Elk recently exhumed was inspected in the Court House. Then a letter was received from Mr. G. Drinkwater, Agent to Her Majesty's Woods and Forests, stating that, without prejudice to the rights of Her Majesty as Lady of Mann and on condition the remains are preserved in a temporary Museum subsequently to be deposited in the proposed Insular Museum, the Commissioners of Woods and Forests would waive the claim on part of the Crown to the bones in question. To which the Hon. Secretary replied that the Society acknowledged no claim on the part of the Commissioners, nor any right to seek to impose conditions. In 1899 the Irish Elk went to the Museum being formed at Castle Rushen, and it was suggested to the Lt. Governor that the Society should he allowed at least £50 a year for the loan to the Museum or for £50 the Society would be willing to part with their property in it.
The cost of this Elk was: Search about £40, Mounting £40. Subscriptions received £71. As the Society was about £40 in debt they could not make a free gift of the Elk. And the Lt. Governor agreed to hand over £50 whenever asked to do so for the specimen of Irish Elk at Castle Rushen and so secure it for the Insular Museum.
As far back as 1881 the question of a Manx Museum was discussed, when the Rev. Wm. Kermode exhibited remains of Cinerary Urns found and hoped some day to see a Museum. The following year the President, Rev. T. Talbot, spoke of a projected Museum for the Isle of Man, a scheme providing a Museum and School of Art with arrangements for Science Lectures, with a sum of £800 asked for the building of a Museum. The Attorney-General was to submit a motion on the subject at the adjourned Tynwald Court.
In 1884 a large part of the President's Address was devoted to the question of an Insular Museum. The Rev. John Quine urged the necessity of the long promised Insular Museum and hoped the Crown might be induced to sanction the preservation of all objects found in the Island by being retained in the Island. It was resolved that as a National Collection of historic and other articles is being formed in the Isle of Man, His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor be requested to use his good offices to save the Treasure Trove found in Douglas, for the Manx Museum.
The President in 1887 thought that Castle Rushen should not be used for any purpose other than that for which it was used at present. Rev. J. Quine suggested that were a Museum to be established in the Island, the proper place for it was Douglas, not Castletown, and Dr. Haviland thought as a Tribute to Professor Forbes a Museum should be at Douglas, his native town.
In 1894 the Rev. J. Quine read a Paper on the recent find of Treasure Trove at "Woodburn", Douglas, of coins, jewellery, gold and silver and urged the necessity of a Museum and a Committee to inspect the ground and the Excavation made, by permission of the Crown. , Mr. A. Moore, on behalf of the Manx Museum and Ancient Monument Trustees, sent a letter to the Deemster, quoting the Minute and stating that the Trustees strongly deprecate the removal of the recent Treasure Trove in Douglas from the Island, and accept the Lt. Governor's offer of a room at Castle Rushen for its temporary custody.
Again in 1897 the President in his Address made a strong plea for the establishment of an Insular Museum by means of a Grant from the Insular Revenue as a suitable Memorial of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Lt. Governor, Hon. President, supported the proposal for a National Museum; the Revenue might contribute half; the rest should be raised by Rates and subscriptions. Every part of the Island should be represented on a Committee of Management. If it were not possible to establish a Museum in Douglas, he would do his best with the room available in Castle Rushen.
The following year, 1898, the Lt. Governor assigned the old Banquet Hall in Castle Rushen as a temporary Museum, and small and movable articles discovered by the Archaeological Survey were presented by the Society to the Manx Museum and Ancient Monument Trustees.
In 1897-8 a series of popular Lectures were held, the object being to educate public opinion and arouse interest in the question of a Museum for the Island. These were to be held in the Masonic Hall, in November, December, February and March, the Lt. Governor to take the Chair in November, and Deemster Gill and Mr. Clinch, Mayor of Douglas, were suggested Chairman. In addition to the Rev. S. A. P. Kermode and the Secretary, Professor Herdman and Professor Boyd-Dawkins were to Lecture. Advertisements were in the 'Times', 'Sun', 'Herald' and 'Ramsey Courier'. Admission was to be 1/- and 2/6d., tickets to be sold. It was reported that the Lectures had done good but there was nothing likely to hand over to the Museum. In April 1898, the Balance in the Lecture Fund was about £5 with Accounts of £5.11.7d. due.
In 1898 the Library and Museum were in the Masonic :Room, Ramsey and cases, books and collections were stored in the Court Room, in the class room of the National School, and above the Ramsey Courier' Office. Mr. Wm. Cubbon stated, a rich collection of objects of antiquarian interest was gathered. Over a thousand exhibits were stored by Mr. Kermode, in barns and houses and in remote corners of Ramsey and elsewhere, in Castle Rushen and in the cellar of the Douglas Public Library.
Mr. P. M. C. Kermode in 1921 prepared a list of Antiquarian and Natural History objects for presentation to the new Museum in Douglas. The Society's Library was transferred to the Museum as a gift in 1959. Mr. Kermode was the Society's representative on the Board of Trustees of the new Museum in 1921 and in 1922 was appointed the first Curator. In 1922 the Trustees of the Museum granted the use of 'Clifton House' in which to hold Meetings, also rooms in which to store property. As numbers increased the Lectures were held in the Museum Art Gallery from 1951 until 1958 when it was decided that Meetings should be on Saturday afternoons in Douglas and repeated in Ramsey on an evening, to be held at an Hotel or Cafe and in later years a Church Hall has been used.
In 1900 a Memorial Stone was placed to mark the Site of the Mound of the Ancient Tynwald Hill at Keeill Abban, Baldwin. Other matters suggested were: that the modern cement building called the Guard Room and another nearby at Peel Castle should be removed and a collection of local Antiquities be housed in the Armoury. A stone placed in the centre of the wall of the Monks Bridge, Ballasalla, altered the character and the Highway Board should have it altered. The name Westmoreland Road, Douglas, was Ballakermeen Road; known centuries before a Syndicate exploited it as a building Estate.
In 1932 a Meeting was called to discuss steps to be taken by the
Society in combating the proposed demolition of the PreReformation
Chapel of St. Mary's, Castletown, which was contemporary with Rushen
Abbey and St. German's Cathedral and is the oldest existing building
devoted to the cause of Education.
A letter was sent to the Highway Board in 1953 about damage to a Drinking-Trough at Glentrammon, Lezayre, also asking them to replace a missing Parish Boundary Stone at the Brandywell.
In 1965 the Society made strong representation to the Government in connection with a proposed Oil Refinery at The Ayres, urging that every possible step be taken to minimise the effect on the Natural History of the Island.
A letter was sent to the Development Board in 1936, hoping that
all places and scenes of natural beauty as far as possible, be
preserved, and in 1970 a Resolution was offered by the Field Section
that the Society should support a move to improve Planning in the
Island, to include areas of outstanding natural beauty and scientific
interest, and declare the Point of Ayre a Nature Reserve.
Maps were provided for use of members willing to collect field and place-names for a Manx Museum Survey in 1940.
A Local Observers Scheme was started in 1956 for members to inspect scheduled Ancient Monuments, etc., once a year, using copies of "List of Manx Antiquities" by Mr. P. M. C. Kermode.
Field Section members have undertaken field and research work, Excavations, Bird-ringing, assisting the British Trust for Ornithology Bird Census and collected valuable information with regard to Manx Flora and Fauna and have initiated a Parochial Survey. In 1978 the Field Section was replaced by Field Co-ordinators who were co-opted to the General Committee, and publish their undertakings under "Notes and Queries". In 1979 a Tynwald Exhibition was displayed in the Parish Hall at St. John's and volunteer members of the Society helped to arrange and man the display during the summer, and this has continued.
Grants were made for the cost of Bird-Rings used on the Calf of Man. Also towards the cost of Excavations on the Hill-Fort site on South Barrule and the Promontory Fort, Close-ny-Chiollaghby Mr. Peter Gelling, an Excavation at Ballakeighan and Close-ny-Merrui; and Excavations at St. German's Cathedral, Peel Castle, by Dr. C. A. Ralegh Radford.
The Society was accepted for honorary Membership of the Council for British Archaeology in 1950.
Subscriptions to other Societies in 1979 were to the Sea Bird
Group; British Trust for Ornithology; Council of Nature; Friends of
the Manx Museum; the Manx Conservation Council and the Council for
A new venture was a day Excursion to Barrow-in-Furness in 1885. Another was to Chester in 1891 with Mr. Kermode as Leader, and in 1898 to Liverpool Museum. The next trip was a long day excursion from Peel to Belfast in 1928. In 1932 there was a visit to the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society and a Carlisle Excursion. For Centenary year, 1979, an Excursion was arranged to visit Furness Abbey, Cumbria.
Over the years the Society has been host to others, starting with
a visit from the British Association in 1887 and who came again in
1896, 1923 and 1953. Other visits were paid by the Lancashire and
Cheshire Antiquarian Society; the Cumberland and Westmorland
Antiquarian and Archaeological Society who came in 1894 and again in
1931 and 1947; the North Staffordshire :Field Club; the Royal Society
of Antiquities of Ireland visited in 1910 and 1955; the Dumfries and
Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society sent a small party
in 1949 at our invitation; the Belfast Naturalists Field Club and the
Botanical Association in 1950.
The Proceedings and Transactions of the Society from March 1880 until 1889 were published in Vol. I of "Yn Lioar Manninagh"(lit. The Manx Book previously named "Vannin Lioar", and sold at 2/6d. A small volume of "Transactions" was published in 1888 but very few copies were sold and the price was reduced from 2/6d. to l/6a. Also in 1889 a Quarterly Magazine was published with the contract going to Mr. J. Craine, Ramsey, for 200 copies, the Editors being Mr. P. M. C. Kermode and the Rev. E. B. Savage.
In 1892 it was resolved that the Magazine be finished and
afterwards an annual Volume of "Proceedings" be published. In 1898 it
was decided that the "Transactions" be published by subscription
because of cost. "Yn Lioar Manninagh" 1850 (sic 1880 ?) to 1906.
"Transactions " covered 1879 to 1882 and "Proceedings" 1960(sic
1906?) to date, apart from the War years 1914 to 1919. Mr. Neil
Matheison prepared an Index of the "Proceedings", completed in
In 1920 the question of a joint Magazine for the Society and the Manx Society was discussed and it was stated that the membership of the Antiquarian Society was three times that of the Manx Society. A joint Committee was appointed and at a Meeting held on 24th April 1920 it reported that publication is desirable on terms, but Mr. P. M. C. Kermode, Mr. P. G. Ralfe and Deemster Callow were not in favour. A letter from Mr. Kermode stated that he had founded the Magazine and laboured many years and had brought it to a high level of excellence and a credit to the Island. The Manx Society should become members of our Society. At a Meeting of the Manx Society on May 8th the joint Committee of 24th April, 1920, were of the opinion that in founding a Magazine for the two Societies, perfect unanimity did not exist and the matter be deferred until the time ripe was for co-operation.
Exchange of "Proceedings" with kindred Societies' publications has been made over the years. Professor Marstrander was presented with a set of " Proceedings " in 1937 in recognition of his work for the Society and was elected an Honorary Member.
In connection with the Festival of Britain in 1951, the Society agreed to lead Excursions to places of antiquarian interest, for which four booklets were published - Castletown, Maughold, Peel and Cregneish, a Grant being received from the Festival Funds towards the cost of publication.
From 1959 the Manx Field Club publication "Peregrine" was published under the aegis of the Society.
The Lieutenant Governor, Lord Hennicker F.S.A., was Honorary President in 1886 and was followed by Lord Raglan in 1903 and both took an active interest in promoting and preserving the antiquities and natural history, and the restoration of Castle Rushen. Other distinguished members who gave outstanding contributions were: Mr. A. W. Moore M.A. Cronkbourne, Professor J. E. Forbes, Professor W. A. Herdman, University College, Liverpool, who was made a Corresponding Member in 1885 and Honorary Member in 1893, Mr. Archibald Knox, Rev. John Quine, B.A. (later Canon Quine), Mr. P. G. Ralfe, Sir James Gell, Mr. Fred Swinnerton, Rev. T. E. Brown (Poet), Professor John Rhys Professor of Celtic, Oxford, Rev. J. Kewley (later Archdeacon),Mr. G. W. Lamplugh, was made an Honorary Member for distinguished service on the Geology of the Island, Sir Henry Dryden, who had made plans of the stone Circles and Casts of Runic Inscriptions was also made an Honorary Member.
In 1945 Dr. G. Bersu, Hon. S.F.A. was elected an Honorary Member as acknowledgement of his valuable research work excavating sites at Ballacagen and Balladoole and other places. Mr. B. H. St. J. O'Neil, Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Mr. C.A. Ralegh Radford were made Honorary Members. Professor Arthur Keith, Professor Sir Wm. Bragg, Professor J. E. Boyd and Mr. P. M. C. Kermode founder of the Society were elected to Honorary Membership.
Mr. W. C. Cubbon, Mr. Wm. Cubbon, Rev. Canon R. D. Kermode and Mr. Ramsey B. Moore were made Life Members after 50 years membership. Mr. W. Gordon Cooper, Hon. Treasurer Mr. Jas. Bell, Hon. Auditor, were made Life Members in 1948.
The Lieutenant Governor Sir Geoffrey Bromet and Lady Bromet and
Mr. B. R. S. Megaw were made Honorary Members. In 1976 Honorary Life
Membership was awarded to Mr. J. R. Bruce and Mr. George Quayle.
In 1929, Mr. Archibald Knox was asked to design a suitable Badge in silver for presentation to members who had rendered outstanding service; Mr. P. M. C. Kermode to be presented with an inscribed Gold Badge.
The membership in 1881 was - 1 Honorary and 17 Ordinary members. The income was small and expenses still smaller, the Balance in hand was £4.18.10. By 1889 there were 7 Honorary members, 12 Corresponding and 100 Ordinary members, but in the next year, 41 members' subscriptions were still unpaid by December. It was reported in 1896 that only one new member had joined during the year, there were fewer contributors of Papers, only one Excursion was held, the Library had received less support than usual and the Society was getting into debt. In the next year the membership was 137, the highest yet attained. The subscriptions agreed were: 7/6d. for Gentlemen and 5/- for Ladies and non-residents. The membership increased to 145 by 1899 but the General Account deficiency was £35.17.5 and a better attendance at Meetings was urged.
A Life-Composition Fee for membership was agreed in 1923 and in 1926 Gentlemen on joining could pay a Life-Composition of £3.15.0 and Ladies £2.10.0, reduced if ten consecutive annual subscriptions had been paid. In 1962 it was reported that expenditure exceeded income each year and the annual Subscription was t o be £1. Life-Membership £10.10.0 or £5.5.0 after 10 years payments of the annual subscription.
In 1956-7, 41 new members joined and the total was 438. With one
exception all members had paid the current year's subscription.
In 1961 the total membership was 502 - 12 honorary, 469 adult and 21 Juniors, and 43 new members had joined during the year. The average attendance at Excursions was 73 and at Lectures in Douglas 46 and in Ramsey 28. The membership increased to 1,020 in 1976 and the average attendance at excursions was 90. In 1979 the membership was 853.