[From Manx Soc vol 28, 1878]
Date. Names of Trustees · Cause of vacancy.
June 23, 1772 Hugh Cosnahan, of Kew .
,, ,, Thomas Fargher, of Shenvalley
June 17, 1786 Thomas Fargher jun., Surgeon, Death of Thos. Fargher.
Dec. 24, 1794 Christopher Bridson, of Ballagarey "
June 19, 1799 Thomas Harrison, of Ballaughton, Braddan . . . Death of H. Cosnahan.
* Danl. Kinnish, of Mullinaraghey Death of Thos. Harrison.
Nov. 19, 1827 John Bridson, of Ballavarvane Death of C. Bridson.
July 12, 1843 Wm. Kinley, of Peel, Advocate Death of Daniel Kinnish.
June 22, 1852 Wm. Callister of Thornhill, H. K Death of William Kinley.
* The date could not be found in the Episcopal Register.
Chaplains Appointed. Cause of Vacancy.
1. Rev. David Harrison . 1772 Vicar Malew.
2. Rev. John Moore . 1783 Vicar of Braddan.
3. Rev. John Gell 1786 Resigned.
4. Rev. John Clague . 1794 Vicar of Rushen.
5. Rev. James Gelling . ... Vicar of German.
6. Rev. John Kewley
7. Rev. John Gell (second time) April 1797 Resigned.
8. Rev. John Cottier . 1802 Vicar Patrick.
9. Rev. John Edward Harrison ... Vicar Jurby.
10. Rev. Edward Craine . ... Vicar Onchan.
11. Rev. Patrick Kneale
12. Rev. William Duggan 1820 Vicar of Marown, 1827.
13. Rev. John Thomas Clarke July 29, 1827 Resigned, May 1864.
14. Rev. Thomas Henry Gill 1864 Resigned.
15. Rev. Robert Airey . 1865
In bringing this record of the Chapel at St. Mark's to a conclusion, it may be necessary to glance over the proceedings which have taken place since its first adoption in 1771, when the district was almost unapproachable for want of suitable roads for the inhabitants to travel on, more particularly in the winter season, as was remarked in the first memorial addressed to Bishop Hildesley.
The trustees of that day, after building the chapel, expended a small amount in the repair of the approaches, but apparently quite inadequate to what was required, yet as far as their funds would allow. It appears that little or nothing more was done for the upholding of the fabric of the chapel or the dwelling-house for many years, so that they must necessarily have gradually fallen into a state of decay, which rendered some sort of repair absolutely necessary. The gentlemen who at different times held the appointment of chaplain, were, with few exceptions, young unmarried men, who only remained until such time as they could obtain further preferment, and consequently had little interest in the improvement of the chapel or its appurtenances.
At length one was appointed in 1827, formed in a different mould from his predecessors. The Rev. John Thomas Clarke, on taking up his residence at St. Mark's, found it in such a state of dilapidation as to be almost uninhabitable. This has been most strikingly depicted in Mr. Clarke's "Observations relative to St. Mark's," given in a previous part of the records, and to which we call the reader's attention. Well might a sensitive mind waver in such a situation, but, as Mr. Clarke remarks, "God ordained it otherwise, and overruled the temptation to the benefit of St. Mark's," by endowing him with that will and indomitable perseverance to proceed in his work, struggling as he was with a truly scanty income of thirty pounds per annum, to maintain himself and a rising family of children, not even so much as the poet Goldsntmith, endows his village preacher with, and says,
"A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year."
Mr. Clarke at once began by making a few additions to the convenience of the dwelling-house at his own expense, but soon found that much more was required than his scanty means would enable him to carry out. He determined to call in the aid of all charitably-disposed Christians, and commenced with the improvements that have been previously detailed, and did not stop until he had rendered St. Mark's respectable in the eye of her neighbouring churches, and raised her income from thirty to ninety pounds a year, bringing her by the great improvement of the roads within easy access from all quarters such as would have gladdened the heart of the worthy Hildesley had he been living to see the change.
Having finished his labours during the space of more than six-and-thirty years of his ministry, this worthy refounder of St. Mark's, or, as he had been styled, "The Patriarch of St. Mark's," under the influence of afflictive family bereavements, tendered his resignation of St. Mark's and retired into a life of privacy and seclusion from clerical duty. The announcement of his resignation caused the greatest regret amongst all classes of his parishioners, by whom he was universally respected, for he had not only aduministered to their spiritual wants, but was able and willing to attend to their bodily ailments whenever called upon to do so, as well as to administer that consolation to the sick and dying, the poor and bereaved, in their own native tongue a language with which they were most conversant, and in which Mr. Clarke excelled both colloquially and grammatically above all his contemporaries of the present day. A committee was formed and a subscription entered into to present Mr. Clarke with a suitable testimonial of their respect for the unwearied efforts that he had made during the whole time he had resided among them. On Shrove Tuesday, 1864, the parishioners met at St. Mark's and presented him with a splendid silver inkstand and a purse containing thirty sovereigns, along with an address. On the inkstand was engraved the following inscription :" Presented by the parishioners of St. Mark's to the Rev. J. T. Clarke upon his resignation of the Chaplaincy thereof:, February. 9th 1864." The address was as follows
To the Rev. John Thomas Clarke, late Chaplain of St. Mark's. Rev. SirWe being a committee duly appointed at a public meeting of the inhabitants of the district of St. Mark's, held in St. Mark's Schoolhouse on the 16th day of January last, as well for ourselves as for those our neighbours who appointed us as such committee, take these means of expressing to you our unfeigned regrets that you have resigned the chaplaincy of St. Mark's, and that you are about to remove from this locality, made beautiful chiefly by your own endeavours.
We can remember, sir, when at first you came amongst us, the uncomfortable and uncomely state of our chapel, not only in appearance, but in reality; we can remember its clay floor and open unfinished pews, which, especially in the winter season of the year, rendered the place almost unfit for public worship; but mainly by your efforts, we soon had (and still have) a boarded floor and finished pews, and our chapel otherwise beautified, moreover, you have recently enlarged and very much improved our chapel-yard.
We can remember the glebe of St. Mark's almost covered with gorse and granite rocks, and the then minister's residence unwholesome and unsafe to live in; but, sir, by your indefatigable exertions the gorse and granite rocks are removed, and a comfortable parsonage with out-offices and suitable dwelling-house and offices for a tenant have been erected thereon. Not only so, but you have enlarged it, by purchase of more than twenty acres (not to mention miles of drains made therein, and of new fences made thereon), thus rendering it for ever of vastly enhanced value to your successors.
We can remember our roads almost impassable; but, owing chiefly to your instrumentality, we have now very good inter-communication.
We can remember about eighty of our children (as the then diocesan of our island can testify) daily cooped up in our then half-light, clay-floored school-room, whose area was only 16 feet by 14 feet, which circumstance in itself was enough to engender contagious diseases amongst them; but by your strenuous efforts our now well-lighted, commodious schoolhouse, with boarded floor (as well as master's house), has been built, in which our children can assemble, in far greater comfort, without any fear of infection from want of ventilation.
We have not forgotten when the pew-holders of St. Mark's Chapel, in addition to the parochial church assessment, were assessed to defray all the expenses annually incurred in keeping the chapel in repair; but you have partially, if not entirely, relieved them from this double assessment by the erection of St. Mark's cottages, the rent of which is applied to that purpose.
You have been instrumental in getting a post-office established at St. Mark's, which is a great boon to the neighbourhood.
You were the first who showed cause why the National Society of England should extend its grants to the Isle of Man, and we are proud to say that St. Mark's was the first place in the island aided by that body.
Rev. Sir, we reflect with pleasure on the alacrity with which you, at all times, both by night and by day, visited and responded to the wants of the sick in this neighbourhood, some of ourselves having derived benefit from your timely visitation.
These, sir, are somne of the improvements carried out by your instrumentality, and these are somne of the causes which demnand our lasting gratitude, and call forth our admiration and esteem. And we believe that while we thus express our feelings, we express the sentiments of all the inhabitants of the district of St. Mark's.
We trust, sir, that wherever you may reside, your usefulness may be there developed, and that the Great Disposer of events may bless you and prosper you in every laudable undertaking.
In conclusion, sir, if time will permit, this committee suggests that you will give the meeting a sketch of the improvements which you have effected at St. Mark's.
HUMPHREY MYLCHREEST, Chairman, and the rest of the Committee.
February 9, 1864.
Mr. Clarke, as requested, gave a history of the condition of St Mark's at the time of his appointment, and the various improvements which had been effected during his ministry, as have been detailed, and bade an affecting adieu to his old and valued friends.
It may be here mentioned that among other good works which Mr. Clarke was mainly instrumental in forming was a benevolent society or club, in 1850, called the "St. Mark's Union Society," consisting of some 200 members, with an accumulated capital at the present time of nearly £1000, which has been found to be of great benefit to the surrounding mining district.
The great poet of all time says, "The evil that men do lives
The good is oft interred with their bones."
This in the case of the Rev. John Thomas Clarke will be reversed, for the good which he did at St. Mark's will live for ever, and time itself will not obliterate it.