From St. Matthew's Register, 1778.
Document No. 157.
Memorand : This year Mr. James Xtian, a gentleman of Exemplary Piety, a Native of this Isle, born at Milntown, and a Freeman 45 years Resident of and in the City of London, gave a well-toned new bell to the Chapel in Exchange for the old, very bad one.
Some notes on the family of the donor of the bell are given below by Mrs. Rita Browne:-
Deemster Edward Christian (12th of Milntownn) and his wife Dorothy Wilson of Heversham had 6 sons and 6 daughters. One of their sons was
Captain James Christian (Senior), died 19 December, 1742, buried Lezayre. His eldest brother Ewan Christian (13th) lived at Ewanrigg Hall, and as far as I can make out Captain James and his large family seem to have occupied Milntown (which would account for the statement from St. Matthew's Register that the donor of the Bell was born at Milntown). Capt. James Christian (Senior) was 'occupier or tenant of Mullenlowwne,' according to document No. 156. He married Jane Barton-their seventh child was
James Christian (Junior), baptized at Lezayre 12 January, 1705, buried Lezayre 5 July, 1778. I have never found tiis wife, but have records of his children. His only son, another James, was Attorney in Whitehaven and Maryport.
This James Christian (Junior) was undoubtedly the one who gave the bell to St. Matthew's in 1778, the year he died. His interest in Douglas may, be due to the fact that his father, Capt. James Christian (Senior) left him by will of 1742 'his part of Douglas House.' His tombstone; at Lezayre is inscribed: ' James Christian, late of London, died 5th July, 1778, aged 74.'
The Rev. Hugh S. Taggart, the late vicar, states that the Christian Bell is still in use at St. Matthew's, and suggests that it deserves a rest.