[From ManxNoteBook vol i,1885]

Manx Wothies


ENRY SKILLICORNE was born in the Parish of Lonan, in the year 1678 He went to sea when twenty years old, - and rapidly rose to the rank of captain. He commanded several of the finest vessels sailing from Bristol, and, during a sea life of forty years, acquired considerable wealth. He gave £20 to the fund for building the new church at Lonan, " out of a respect to the place of his nativity "* John Allen, the curate of the parish, writes to him in 1733,+ "I hope you will pardon us for mentioning yor name in the Act of Tynwald, as being our great benefactor in so freely giving such a considerable sum to this good and charitable work, wch we thought fit to insert to continue a lasting witness and record of yor generous temper and truly charitable and public spirit." ¤ The total cost of building both the Parish Church and Vicarage was only £124. Captain Skillicorne was an intimate friend of Bishop Wilson's, as their correspondence shows. He left the sea in 1738, and settled at Cheltenham, where, " becoming proprietor of the spring and premises in right of his wife," he soon discovered its medicinal qualities and " brought this most salutary water to just estimation and extensive use." + He was, in fact, the father of Cheltenham as a watering place. He was buried in the old church there on the 18th of October, 1763. According to his curious epitaph, which is long enough to occupy three pages of this Magazine " he was an excellent seaman, of tryed courage ....and could do business in seven languages
He was of great regularity, and so temperate as never to have been once intoxicated. Religious, without hypocrisy, grave without austerity, of a cheerful conversation without levity, a kind husband and tender father, tall, erect, robust, and active . . . He lived and dyed an honest man** A. W. M.

*Feltham's Tour, page 216.
+ For a copy of the Epitaph (which we purpose giving in extenso in a future number), as well as for Bishop Wilson's and John Allen's letters, the editor is indebted to Captain Skillicorne's great-grandson, Mr. W. Nash Skillicorne, M.A., Deputy-Lieutenant and Magistrate of the County of Gloucester, now residing at Cheltenham.
¥ Statute Law Book, page 215 (1841 edition).
+ "Dugdale's England and Wales delineated."
** See Notes page 21


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