[From Manx Quarterly, #1 February 1907]


Thomas Callow

The body of the late Mr Thomas Callow, who died on Wednesday, June 6th [1906], at his residence, 77 Upper Stanhope-street, Liverpool, aged eighty-three was interred at Smithdown-road Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, in the presence of a numerous gathering of mourners. The deceased gentleman, who was locally known as "the Grand Old Man of Manxland," was connected for many years with the flour trade and milling industry in Liverpool, and also took a great interest in the Liverpool Manx Society, of which he was an ex-president. He was a member of Great George-street Congregational Church.

The chief mourners were Mrs Willan and Mrs Stephen (daughters), Mr Willan (son- in-law), Miss Stephen, Miss E. Willan (grand-daughter), Messrs W. and C. W. Willan, and J. H. and T. Callow Stephen (grandsons), Dr Cowen (Isle of Man), Miss Kelly, Miss Bowdler, Messrs R. Powell, R. Killip, T. Ithell, Kaighan, J. J. Nicol, T. Stuart, J. Stickland, A. Bretherton, Cretney, and J. T. Cowin.

Among the general body of mourners were Messrs W. H. Quilliam (president, Liverpool Manx Society), J. Costain (secretary). T. Kissack (treasurer), Wm. Moore (chairman) ; the following ex-presidents: Messrs Theo. Lowey, J. Gill, W. W. Christian Mr Jos. Lowey (trustee) ; vice-presidents, Messrs J. J. Kermode, J. H. Kneen, John Scarffe, Walter Moore ; also Supt. Stowell, Inspector W. J. Callin, Messrs John E. Teare, jun)., T. H. Porter, Thos. Quayle, R. D. Bridson, J. Callow, C. D. Radcliffe (members of the committee). Mrs T. Quayle, Mrs John Callow; Messes Richard Armstrong, W. H. Miller, Thos. Corlett, J. Maddrell, R. Killip, C. S. Costigan, W. Orchard, W. T. Leigh, J. W. Roberts, F. W. Halsall, R. Armistead, W. Thompson, J. T. Callow, and Capt. Cruickshank.

The Rev R. H. Sewall, B.A., of Great George-street. Congregational Church, officiated. There were a great number of beautiful floral tributes of varied designs, that from the Liverpool Manx Society being in the shape of a harp, composed of violets, camellias, and arum lilies. The following hymns wove sung in connection witch the funeral service: "Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin,'' and "Safe in the arms of Jesus."



Amidst a representative gathering of his countrymen and colleagues of the Liverpool Manx Society, and numerous other friends, on Saturday, June 9th, were laid to rest in Smithdown-road Cemetery the mortal remains of Mr Thomas Callow, one of the oldest and most highly respected members of the Manx community of Liver- pool, and one in whom the love of his dear Island-home was ever paramount. Mr Callow was born in the parish of Kirk Braddan in the early part of 1823, at the farm of Canlork. He migrated to Liverpool something over 60 years ago, and entered the firm of the late S. and T. Leigh, the well-known millers and flour merchants. Being very successful on the road, he went into business on his own account, and made such good progress that in his latter days he was able to lay aside all commercial pursuits and take life comfortably. His reminiscences of Liverpool as it then was, of the communication that existed between the Island and the mainland, which was principally carried on by the old sailing packet boats — the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company being as yet a toddling infant — the introduction of railways from the outskirts to the town, which position can now be considered as quite the heart of it, the numberless racy anecdotes, of which he was no mean raconteur, had they been gathered together, with the folk lore tales of his Island-home, would not only have been interesting reading, but instructive in the highest degree. He was an omnivorous reader and possessed of an excellent and retentive memory. The love he bore to his native land was peculiarly exemplified by his interest in all or everything appertaining to the same, and stood out, as a pattern to hundreds, aye, to thousands, of Manx people, whom one would think lose trace of their native Isle and its associations. Whether they have a desire to be incorporated as citizens of a large Empire, and not to be known as Manxmen or Manxwomen, is a matter of little import, but in Thomas Callow was found one of a body of loyal Manx patriots, proud of his origin, and his Island home, who long ago, had associated with him the late Jonadab Faragher, John Quine, Robert Costain, Edward Faragher, Wm. Corlett, and Dr Cregeen; also with those who are still with us — John Caine (now of Douglas, R. T. Curphey, Joseph Kewley. T. C. Fargher, Robert Christian, and John Costain. These were, the promoters and conveners of a meeting to hold the first reunion or gathering of Manx people held in Liverpool. From the circulated notice, a copy of which is now before the writer, this meeting was held on the 17th July 1876) in St. Columba's Schoolroom, Pleasant-street, and Mr .John Caine, now of Woodbourne-square, Douglas, was voted to the chair, and the meeting was very well attended. A representative committee was formed and speedily got to work, Mr William Corlett, who was well-known in Douglas in the 'sixties, being elected its first chairman. The outcome of this was a tea party and concert held in the Old Concert Hall, Lord Nelson-street — the Hall of Melody, and a hall built principally under the auspices of a well-known Liverpool Manxman, Mr Nathaniel Caine, father of the late Mr W. S. Caine, M.P. It had for its motto, visible to all who entered the building, and painted on its scenic background: "To make the man a better mechanic, and the mechanic a better man." Here was held the first reunion of Manx people, the after proceedings being presided over by the well-known divine, the Rev Hugh Stowell Brown, who made a clever and characteristic speech which caused quite a flutter in the dovecotes and created a mild sensation for at, the time it was looked upon as a wholesale denouncement of everything Manx, whereas, in the opinion of the writer (who took an active part in the proceedings of the, evening), it was merely a splendid compliment to the thrifty plodding Manx character, and an idealistic endeavour to show how primitive were the conditions of things in Manxland. However it may have been read, or in whatever way it may have been interpreted, there is not the slightest doubt that the celebrated preacher may have been actuated by the same desire as was his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, when, on his recent return from his Colonial trip he uttered this memorable advice "Wake up, Englishmen !" And the only fair interpretation that could be placed on the remarks of the gifted speaker was that they were intended to convey to his listeners how truly primitive were the conditions of things Manx, and his earnest desire that Manx people should be abreast of things in the present-day go-aheadedness, or, in other words, "Wake up, Manxmen !" The formation of a society was the result of this meeting, under the title of the " Liverpool Manx Association," and after several years of active work, from one cause or another, this body dwindled away, and became defunct. Under brighter auspices, the present Liverpool Manx Society was called into existence some twelve years since, and the subject of our remarks became its first, president, an office he held for five or six years, no one disputing the right to his holding the same- and on his vacating the chair at his own wish, he was made the recipient of a beautiful illuminated address typical of his occupation, and of his dear homeland. This was one of his most cherished belongings, and will no doubt be looked upon by those nearest and dearest to him as a valuable heirloom, showing the high respect in which he was held by his fellow countrymen in Liverpool. He was one of the most attentive members of the committee and when that release from office was granted him, noting kept him away. Faithful in all kinds of weather, in his desire to co-operate with and assist those who had for their object the amelioration of those of his country people who were in dire distress and deep necessity, his counsel and advice have stood the society in good stead an many occasions. His figure was well-known at all the functions and giant Manx gatherings; his readiness to step into the, breach, his apt quotations, and the old-time narrative with which he entertained his audience on hundreds of occasions, was to him a labour of love. His witty and epigrammatic reference, especially if the subject was a congenial one, stamped him as the Grand Old Man of the Liverpool Manx Society, a title he has been hailed with on many occasions, in fact what he was in nature, a Manx stalwart, whom, we will all miss very greatly.

Of his other connection, he was, devoted to the place of worship he attended, Great George-street Chapel, more familiarly known as DR Raffles' Chapel, being a superintendent of the Sunday-school, an earnest worker in connection with the formation of the Pleasant Sunday Afternoons and the gigantic Bible Class in connection with the same, and a regular attendant at most of their meetings and services. The present minister of the chapel, the Rev R. Herbert Sewall, BA officiated at the funeral. It had been the desire of many that the service should have been held at the above-named chapel but through other considerations this was not carried out. No one who heard this distinguished preacher in the Cemetery Chapel, in the eloquent oration he delivered with all the natural eloquence and simplicity of his native country (Ireland) will readily forget the eulogistic reference to our departed countryman the picture drawn of his boyhood and manhood and the surrounding of his Island-home showed a thorough insight into the knowledge of the aims, ambitions and general character, and a keen appreciation of our dead friend and compatriot.


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