[Suspect an editorial error - the first document is not numbered whereas that given 211 had already been printed as #146]

Quayle Bridge House Papers.

The Venerable Academy at Castletown

Bond of the Rev. James Wilks and Mark Wilks in 1776

Here follows one more document which accentuates the urgent necessity for the preservation of one of Castletown's few historic buildings. It is generally known that the Castletown Commissioners have a scheme which, if carried out, would destroy the Castletown Academy, a building which goes back to pre-reformation date. Surely it is not necessary in these days to impress upon Castletown folk the urgency of retaining such an historic building as this.

THE Trustees of the Academic Fund were originally appointed by Bishop Barrow in the year 1686 for the management of the 'Benefaction towards the support and education of Academic Scholars intended for the service of the Church.' According to the particulars contained in 'A Book Concerning the Academy Trust Estates' in the Museum Library, it would appear that the allowance given to the three students at the Academy was augmented from the original sum of five pounds to the annual sum of eight pounds, with a further allowance of forty shillings to each for the purchase of books.

At a meeting of the Trustees of the Benefaction held at Bishopscourt on March 11th, 1761, it was decided to 'pay unto the Reverend John Crellin, Clerk, and to Thomas Cubbon and Hugh Looney forty shillings each over and besides their allowance of ffive pounds already given them.

And whereas it appears that Patrick Morison one of the students upon the said Foundation'and who recd several sums from the Benefaction hath absented himself from his studies and departed this Isle. We do therefore empower Mr. John Quillin to notify to the Bailor Sureties given by Patrick Morrison to return to his studies According to the tenor of their Bond.'

This was signed by the Lieut.-Governor Basil Cochrane, Mark Hildesley (Lord Bishop), Wm. Mylrea (Archdeacon), Dan: Mylrea (Receiver-General), and John Quayle (Water-Bailiff and Comptroller).

The above is the first entry recorded in this 'Academy Trust Book.' The Rev. John Crellin took orders at an early date, for he was Chaplain of the Ballure Chapel as early as 1761, Vicar of Kirk Michael in 1771, and Rector of Kirk Bride in 1798.*

The Thomas Cubbon in the document remained at the Academy for about four years, although we know he was for a time in the service of Mr. Quayle, the Clerk of the Rolls. His first church was Kirk Santan in 1765, when he was only about twenty years old. He was in charge of Kirk Maughold in 1769, Kirk Lonan in 1814, and was Rector of Kirk Bride from 1817 to 1830, when he died. His wife was Margaret, daughter of the Rev. James Wilks, Rector of Ballaugh, and his son Mark became Governor of Mysore from 1834 to 1861.

Hugh Looney, the other scholar mentioned in the document, did not take orders. He belonged to Ballasalla, and was admitted to the school as early as 1759. His sureties were John Taubman of the Bowling Green and Thomas Redfern of Castletown, and they had signed a document guaranteeing that he would 'observe the qualifications & . . . that he shall dispose of himself in the ministry of this Isle . . . and if the said Hugh Looney shall at any time better advance himself by going abroad and being preferred in any other country & so desert the Service of this Isle he shall then refund & pay back again the like sum of money that shall be received by him unto the Trustees.'

* In the churchyard at Ballure is a stone monument inscribed to the memory of his wife Margaret, daughter of John Frissel and grand-daughter of Deemster Christian, ' to the memory of the best of women and of wives.'

Diocesan Registry.

Document No. 211


Insula Monae.

Know all Men by these presents that we Mark Wilks of Castletown, the Revd Ja: Wilks of Ballaugh & Sam: Wattleworth of Kirk Malew do hereby own and acknowledge ourselves to be and stand justly indebted unto his Excellency John Wood Esqr, Governor of this Isle, the Right Reverend Richard, Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann, John Quayle Esqr, Clerk of the Rolls, Wadsworth Busk Esqr, his Majesties Attr Gen' and the Revd William Mylrea Archdeacon, Trustees or Feoffees in Trust Nominated and Appointed by the late Right Revd Bishop Barrow for the Management of the Estates of Ballagilley and Hango-hill ... in the full and just Sum of One Hundred Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain....

The Condition of the before written Bond is such that whereas the above bounden Mark Wilks been allowed off and Admitted to be one of the Academic Scholars and thereby intitled to a certain Anual Sum or Benefaction issuing out of the sd Trust Estates towards his Maintenance whilst he continues upon the sd Benefaction or Foundation or be provided for in the Ministry and Service of the Church of this Isle according to the Intent of the sd Right Revd Founder.

If therefore the sd Mark Wilks shall carefully apply himself to the study of Academic Learning and not absent himself therefrom nor depart this Isle without the special Licence of the sd Trustees or a Quorum of them had in writing for that purpose, but will diligently endeavour to qualify himself and at all Times be ready when required to enter into Holy Orders and Service in the Ministry of the Church of this Isle; or if for better promotion or Preferment in an other country or other Considerations, the sd Mark Wilks shall depart this Isle or decline serving in the Ministry of the Church thereof, he the sd Mark Wilks shall refund and repay unto the sd Trustees all and whatever Sum of Money he the sd Mark Wilks shall have received out of the sd Trust Estates by Virtue of his being so admitted on the Academic Foundation and Benefaction.

Signed and Delivered in Presence of Dan Callow, William Callow.


Approval to the acceptance of Mark Wilks as a student of the Academy was signed by the Lieut.-Governor John Wood, the Attorney-General Wadsworth Busk, and the Archdeacon William Mylrea.


Mark Wilks did not carry out his father's intention that he should enter into Holy Orders instead he went to India, and in 1782, when he was 23, he received a commission in the Madras Army, ultimately in 1808 becoming Lieut.-Colonel. He was also Secretary to Lord Clive. He came home early in 1813 and married (as his second wife) Dorothy Taubman, daughter of the Speaker of the Keys, and was elected a member of that body. Having bought the estate of Kirby and had just commenced building a house on it, when, in the spring of that year he was offered the post of Governor of St. Helena by the East India Company, which he accepted for three years only.

He had been on duty in, that island some two years when Napoleon landed as a prisoner. When he returned home in 1816 he was re-elected a member of the Keys and afterwards became the Speaker.

The Manks Advertiser states that Wilks had a wonderful knowledge of oriental languages, and, on being asked how he had been able to acquire them so easily, replied `he could not account for 'it otherwise than on the ground of his being , `the son of a Manx clergyman who had been 'careful to give him a correct and extensive acquaintance with his mother tongue.' He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and wrote several works which have become standard; the most important of these had the title 'Historical Sketches of the South of India in an attempt to trace the History of Mysore.' A second edition of this work edited by Sir Murray Hammick was issued in 1932, and was given to the Museum by Sir Mark Collet.

The same donor has given a fine series of seven Wilks portraits, fittingly framed. It comprises the Rev. Vicar-General Wilks; Col. Mark and his daughter Laura (who became Lady Buchan) ; the Colonel's first wife Harriet Macleane, and his second wife Dorothy Taubman; as well as the Rev. Thomas Cubbon, who married Vicar-General Wilks' daughter Margaret, and their son, Sir Mark Cubbon.

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