Transcript of Diary of a PM Travelling Preacher



This transcript is from a note book owned by Sandra Bolton (and published with her permission) - the all too brief diary section occupies the first 16 or so leaves - the book is then turned around and the majority used for theological notes, probably for sermons, dated 1841-1843 (the first is given as Northwich (Cheshire), the rest in Lurgan, Ireland).

Although no owner's name is give it is almost certain that of Abraham Gee – see Mon 30th March for some hint that either must be Jesse Ashworth or Abraham Gee (3 of the five possible PM TP’s are mentioned by name - note that the PM year was from August-July so A. Gee would have left the Island in July 1840) – Abraham Gee married a Manx woman and later settled in Ramsey where he was a Wesleyan LP which would explain the appearance of his early diary on the Island.

The pages are ruled - the day/date headings appear in the left-hand margin, [..] are my comments, emendations etc. and do not appear in the text. One immediate comment is how busy he was kept! The first week or so the entries are made daily but very soon he enters a week's doings on each Sunday; entries towards the end are made in a much more rushed hand than the very neat script of the first few weeks.


March 1839 [next page is headed 1840 so suspect this is an error even though in fancy script!]

O Lord grant this may be a year of great prosperity

Sun 1:

Preached at Douglas twice. Led Class and prayer meeting.


The last week I have preached at Derbyhaven, Ballabeg and Renshant. The Lord has been with me.

Sun 8th:

Preached twice in Castletown Chapel. Led the Preachers class and walked ten miles after the Evening service. This has been a good day. Bless the Lord.

Mon 9:

Attended Douglas Quarter day, the Holy Spirit was powerfully present.


Preached at Strang, I felt much indisposition of body but Christ is with me, and I feel an increased desire to live in his Glory.


At 6 o’clock in the morning attended Revival prayer-meeting, A precious time. This has been a good day, I enjoyed Liberty while preaching at Quines Hill – here a revival is begun. O my God may it spread far and wide; amen.

F & Sat:

Spent these two days in study and visiting about Douglas.

Jun 15:

Preached twice in Douglas, and led Class. May God own his word


This week I have felt the Lord very precious; on Monday I preached at Baldrine, on Tuesday at Laxey, on Wednesday at Douglas, on Thursday at Quines Hill; I have visited a number of families; May the Lord own his word.

Jun 22:

Attended Baldrine Prayer Meeting at 6½ o’clock in the morning, Preached twice in Laxey Chapel; the Congregation at night was very large. O may a Revival take place here.


Bless the Lord O my soul and that is within me Bless his Holy name. Last Monday I went to Tromode, on Tuesday I spoke according to plan at the Temperance Meeting in our own chapel at Douglas, on Wednesday preached at Kirk Oncean [Onchan], and on Thursday at Newtown; and I feel determined still to labour for eternity. May God help me Amen.

Sun 29:

Preached two missionary sermons at Renshant, congregations were attentive and the Holy Spirit was at work. Bless the Lord.


Attended in Company with Messrs Sm Atterby [Samuel Atterby – Superindent], Thos Oliver[2nd Travelling Preacher] and W.R. Hodgson [William Reuben Hodson age 23 local Manxman pledged by district] at Port Iron [Port Erin], a good influence rested on the meeting.


A good prayer meeting at Port Iron about 9 o’clock A.M. and a good missionary meeting at 7 P.M. at Colby.


A good prayer at 9 A.M. in Colby Chapel, after that we walked 9 miles to Renshant and held missionary meeting there, it was well attended.


A wet day but went to Newtown and held missionary meeting there. This has been a very good week, we have had much profitable Conversation and I feel stirred up to be more in earnest; Lord Help me.

The past month I have visited 210 families.



April 1840

Sat 11:

Last Sunday I preached twice at Castletown, and led Lovefeast, I felt the Lord very precious, bless his Holy name. During the week I have had many manifestations of Gods glory. On Monday I preached at Ballasalla; on Tuesday at Castletown; on Wednesday at Port Iron; on Thursday at Howe; on Friday at Colby. I have visited many families and God has been with me, and I trust he will own his word, and receive his work; Lord grant it Amen.

Sun 19:

The past week I have seen and felt the power of the most High, Last Sunday while renewing tickets at Port St Mary, the Holy Spirit came down and melted our hearts into tenderness and love; such a melting time I have not witnessed for many months. Glory be to God. At 2 o’clock I preached at Port St. Mary. And at Colby at 6. On Monday I preached at Derby haven; On Tuesday at Ballabeg; on Wednesday at Kerrowdhoo; on Thursday I returned to Douglas and heard the Rev W Carpenter preach [C of E. Chaplain at St Barnabas, Douglas – very evangelical]. Friday we hold in commemoration of the crucifixion of our blessed Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, we held a prayer meeting in Douglas Chapel at 6 A.M.. My colleague Mr Hodgson preached on the key [North Quay ?] at 11, I heard the rev W. Carpenter at 12 noon. We had a public band meeting at 2 o’clock P.M. I preached in the Market place at 5 and we held a Salvation meeting at 6 1[?] got converted blessed be God for ever. Today being Easter Sunday I preached twice at Newtown and renewed tickets. About 6 months ago there were only about 12 members at Newtown, but on the 20th of October last we held a day of fasting and prayer there the Island and on that day the work of the Lord commenced at Newtown amongst the children and now there are 70 upgrown people in Society and 30 children here the Lord hath done great things for us whereof we are glad.

Sun 26:

The past week I have preached at Awalan and Strang, Douglas & Quines Hill and today I have preached twice in Douglas Chapel and led class. I have seen the Glory of God manifested and his arm made bare, Glory be to God He can revive his work. O for sinners to be converted.

Jun 30:

On Monday I preached at Baldwin, on Tuesday at Laxey, on Wednesday at Douglas, on Thursday at Quines Hill. God has been with me. I have visited 200 families.


May 1840

O Lord enable me this month to live to thy Glory and make me useful in thy cause. It is my hearts desire to see sinners plucked as brands from the burning.

Sun 3:

On Friday and Saturday the first and second day of this month I employed in study, and visiting about Douglas. Today I have walked seven miles to Renshant and gave an address to our Sunday Scholars. Renewed society tickets and preached at Renshant Chapel at two o’clock to a very attentive congregation, at 6 I preached in a barn at Kerrowdhoo. This has been a good day the Spirit of God has been in his word. Bless the Lord.

Sun 10:

O for more of thy Love Blessed God. On Monday Last I walked 13 miles visited a number of families and preached at Tromode this place is rather low. May God raise it up for Christs sake.

On Tuesday gave an address to a total abstinence meeting, our quarterday have for the encouragement of Total Abstinence appointed one preacher every fortnight to speak at the Douglas meetings. This cause has done great good on this Island. On Wednesday I felt a little indisposition of body through cold but God enabled me to do my work. I preached at Kirk Oncean, on Thursday I preached at Newtown to a large congregation her the fire is still burning. The Glory is still coming down and numbers are joining our ranks. Bless the Lord O my soul.

On Friday I spent the former part of this day in private, in the after part walked 5 miles and visited 14 families. God was with me and I found him precious in Douglas prayer meeting at night.

On Saturday I spent the morning in study and prayer. In the evening went ten miles to Castletown in order to be ready for my Sundays engagement.


Sunday I preached in Castletown Chapel twice; and led the Preachers class. O Lord a revival is greatly needed here. O let thy glory be manifested, let thy Kingdom come with almighty power, amen.

Sun 17:

Another week is gone into eternity. O my God has every moment been spent for thy Glory – On Monday I visited a number of families in Castletown, walked five miles and preached at Clougher.

On Tuesday morning I felt a great anxiety for the prosperity of Zion around Clougher. O my Lord how many are perishing here, how many are on the broad way to hell and careless of their danger

Diary ends here




A brief biography of Abraham Gee is given in 1840 PM report to District (this and that for 1835 are held in Wesly Historical Society Library, Westmister College, Oxford – all others are held in Manx Museum MD717/100):

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.



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