[From ManxNoteBook vol i,1885]
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
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.
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