Report of the Isle of Man Circuit - March 1840

Copies of two reports on the IoM Primitive Methodist Circuit, for the years 1835 and 1840, were recently discovered within the Wesley Historical Society archives at Westminster College, Oxford. I have transcribed both as they give information not otherwise readily available. These two reports were the quarter day reports from the circuit to the District Conference - in each case the reports were by the Superintendent Travelling Preacher (Minister). The reports were handwritten (obviously from rough copies) onto pro-forma sheets issed by the Conference which asked for information under a number of headings.

The 1840 form asked for more statistical information on chapels etc.

The 1840 report also containe two extra items - a request for payment re S Atterby's illness and a request that he be allowed to stay an extra year [not granted].

State of the Circuit last Year

No. March last year


Debt if any


Members July 6th


Debt if any


State of the Circuit this Year




Increase this year


Debt if any


On Trial
















Amount of Money




Conference, and circuits assistant sick travelling preachers sick fund




Book Money




For the loss by fire at the Book Room




Charitable fund from the circuit




Total to charitable fund from the preachers




Missionary monies






State of the Douglas Part, Isle of Man Circuit - 1840

1. Prosperous. We record with unfeigned gratitude to the God of all grace, for the many mercies we have enjoyed. Another year, diversified have been our trials and conflicts. Many a storm we have been called to pass through. But as our days so as our strength been. We have been cast down, but not foresaken - through faith in the Atoning Word of Christ, we have come of more than conquerors through him who hath loved us.

2. We attribute our prosperity to Gods goodness and ascribe all the Glory to him, for pouring out the Holy Spirit upon the united labours of both travelling and Local Preachers. Attending the Gospel preached with mighty power in which it has been glorified in the conversion of many precious souls, turning them from darkness to the light and delivering them fro the power of Satan to God. The Class leaders, Prayer leaders and members are zealously engaged in helping forward the Ark of the Lord, our congregations generally are large, Class meetings well attended, many of the prayer meetings are powerful, open air preching. Camp Meetings, processioning through the streets, family visiting, the Protracted meeting held in Douglas, and Attention to discipline are the most prominent means God has crowned with success. Unity of Effort prevails amongst us, to promote the work of God in this part of the Lords vineyard and the Glory of the Redeemers Kingdom in this Circuit, throughout the Connexion and the world the doctrines of a Present, free and full salvation, are faithfully preached in every place. We have had many backslidings, removals, and deaths to mourn over, but we mach cause to take courage and go on, God, by his mercy in saving souls has filled up our Ranks and added many to our Number.

3. We have built one new chapel and about to commence another. Castletown Chapel has been much improve. One new Sunday School fore, and alll the others doing well, we have met with much encouragement to proceed in our labours of Love. The financial affairs of the circuit are in a good state, which enables us to employ a fifth preacher and pay our way. The promised shower of divine grace drops already, Many places are rising and the work of the Lord revives. To Christ be all the Glory --

The account of members, preachers &c is as follows-

Douglas Part Members 610, on trial 40 total 650, travelling Preachers 3, local preachers 43, Chapels 11 - increase this year with thirty given from Laxey 103. Deaths 6

State of Ramsey branch Isle of Man Circuit 1840

In Spirituals, it is prosperous. The Societies move on well and there is much sound piety among them-

The travelling preachers labour hard to promote the cause of God, but some of the official brethren do not see sufficiently the necessity of contributing towards the support of the cause of God, on which account the financial affairs of the branch are low which proves a very great burden to the Douglas part of the Circuit. But we live in hope, that the good friends in the Branch will improve in helping more fully onward the work of the Lord.

Account of the Members, Preachers &c in the Branch is as follows, Members 263, on trial 17 total 280. Travelling Preachers 2, Local Preachers 22, Chapels 8, Increase on this year 7. Deaths 2

Historical Account of the Travelling preachers,

we employ five, two married, three single, one of who we pledge.

Samuel Atterby aged 41, married man, one child (not payable).Travelled 21 years, taken out to travel by the Nottingham Circuit, March 1819, travelled in Nottingham, Loughbro, Scotter, Brigg, Balderton, Norwich, Yarmouth, Cambridge, Aspwell and Oldham. Superintendent, attentive to discipline, peaceble man, preaching generally acceptable. A ministerial family visitor, successful in the conversion of sinners to God, does not preach to long. Conduct pious, and his labours much owned of God, in this Circuit, the cause of God, as much improved under his superintendency in this Island, Preachers present, free and full salvation, fully devoted to the work of the Lord, Not in debt, a smoker of tobacco

2. Thomas Oliver aged 35, married man, five children, travelled 16 years, taken out to travel by the Sunderland circuit, travelled in Sunderland, Carlilse, Wintaton, Ripon, Liverpool, Huddersfild, Blackburn and Manchester Circuits. Has been superintendent in four of the circuits and superindent the last three years in the Ramsey Branch, Isle of Man Circuit and is capable of superintending, attentive to discipline, peaceable man. Good family visitor, not addicted to long preaching, genereally acceptable in preaching Successful in the ministry in saving souls and in this circuit his labours owned of God in the conversion of sinners. Preaches a present free and full salvation, diligent in the church promoting the religion of Christ, not in debt, no smoker of Tobacco.

3. Abraham Gee, aged 25 years. Single man, travelled 4 years. taken out to travel by the Belper circuit, travelled in Belper, Leicester, Minster, Keighley and Isle of Man circuits, capable of superindending a branch, attentive to discipline, peaceable man, ministerial family visitor, an acceptable preacher, conduct good, successful in the ministry in the conversion of sinners to God, not addicted to long preaching. Preaches a present, free and full salvation with much zeal and usefulness. Reads the minutes of the connexion and gives himself up to the work of the ministry. Not in debt, no smoker of tobacco.

4. Jesse Ashworth, aged 20 years. Single man. Taken out to travel by the Bradwell circuit, 1837, traveled 3 years, travelled in Bradwell, Haslingdon, Burley and Isle of Man circuits. Not capable of superintending, attentive to discipline, diligent in attending to his duties, peaceable man. Ministerial family visitor, preaching generally acceptable, conduct good, successful in bringing souls to Christ, not addicted to long preaching. Proclaims a present free and full salvation through faith in the blood of Christ. useful in this circuit, reads the minutes of the connexion, and tries to make himself acquainted with the business of the circuit, not in debt, no smoker of tobacco.

5 William Reuben Hodson, aged 23 years, single man who we pledge, attentive to discipline, peaceable man of deep piety and promising talents, diligent to his appointments, a good family visitor, successful in the ministry, not addicted to long preaching. preaches a present, free and full salvation, not in debt, no smoker of tobacco.

Extraordinary Case

To the District meeting and conference, Primitive Methodist Connexion

Dear Fathers and Brethren

grace, mercy and peace be multiplied unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The quarter Day Board of the Isle of Man Circuit held March 9th 1840 requests that Br W Atterby may be stationed for this circuit another year,-

1 On account of improving some of our Chapels which have been build for years but not comfortable for the accomodation of the congregations that attend

2 Because Land is obtained, the deed made and some subscriptions are received towds building another New Chapel, in one of the Country places, which is likely to be of great importance, and of much service on the South side of the Circuit

3 We are prospering in many places, precious souls are saved. The Sunday schools keep up well, we are united in effort to promote the work of the Lord, we are now enable by the blessing of God to support five travelling Preachers. Bro Atterby is a very peaceable man and the circuit under his superintendency has improved in every respect. We humbly submit our case to your attention and consideration praying tht you may be guided by the Counsel of God, and that our request me be granted, hoping that you will not deny us this favour as our only desire is to spread Primitive Methodism which is true Christianity, and the cause of God, our case has been laid before the General Committee according to rule.

Brother Atterby's Affliction

The account of W Atterby's affliction is as follows - Thus it pleased almighty God to afflict him, his afflictions comence on May 28th 1839 and continued till August 13th which were eleven weeks, ten of which this circuit is relieved from the Circuits Assistant sick travelling Preachers fund according to rule, S Atterby's affliction was not brought on, by long preaching, or any particular exertion in the Circuit, but it was the visitation of God upon him. For as he was going from one appointment to another in the Country, he was seized suddenly on the road with a violent inflammation in the chest and down one side, which was of such an alarming nature, that life was despaired of for some time. But by medical aid, strict attention, with the blessing of God, he slowly recovered. We have received from the Fund the lower allowance and present our case as a claim for the full allowance according to rule.

Douglas Part

places where we have preaching but not Sunday Schools
Names of Places Places of Worship
Port Iron Chapel
Port le Mary chapel to be built
Colby chapel
Clogher chapel
Cregg Mill house
Knockfroy House
Strang Chapel
Ballasalla Chapel School commenced
Ballavarane house
Glen Roy house
Kerrow Dhoo house
Tromode house
Howe house
Cross four ways house
Ballakillowey house
Kentraugh Mill house
Kirk Onchan house
Awhalen house
Baldrine house school commenced
Derbyhaven house
Ballabeg house

Ramsey Branch

Places where we have preaching but not Sunday Schools
Peeltown chapel
Kirk Michael chapel
Ballaugh chapel
Kerrow Moor chapel
Reaby house
Cornaa Bridge chapel
Kirk Maughold house
Lowdas chapel
Cranstal chapel
Agneash house
Ballagayre house
Ballakilmorny house
Lhergydoo house
Jurby house
Cronkvane house
Balnabarna house
Kirk Bride parish school room



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001