[From Manx Quarterly #7 1909]



Died September 15th,, 1909.

Mr John Frederick Rylance, proprietor of the Shakespeare Hotel, Victoria-street, Douglas, died with startling suddenness on Wednesday, Sept. 15th. He was seated in the smoke-room of the hotel, chatting with some acquaintances, when, shortly before 8 o'clock, he collapsed, and in the course of a few seconds expired. Up to collapse he had exhibited no signs premonitory of quickly approaching dissolution. Medical aid was at once summoned, but Dr Marshall, who quickly arrived on the scene, found life extinct. Naturally the affair created great consternation among the customers in the hotel, while, of course, Mrs Rylance and the members of her family were plunged into the deepest grief. Three or four years ago, Mr Rylance had a severe attack of pneumonia, and complications setting in, his life was for a long time despaired of. He, however, pulled round, but the terrible ordeal he passed through left its traces, and he subsequently never enjoyed anything approaching to robust health. But, being a careful liver, there appeared to be every prospect that death was far enough away, and the news of his passing came, therefore, as a great shock to his friends. Mr Rylance was a licensed victualler of the best type. He so conducted his house as to gain the, esteem not only of his customers, but of people who regard "the trade" in the aggregate with something approaching aversion. No teetotaller had a more hearty detestation of drunkenness than he, and this being his attitude, he ever took particular care that no person in any way concerned with liquor was supplied on his premises. A good man of business, he was ever attentive and courteous to customers, and by merchants was highly respected for his upright methods. Withal he was of kindly disposition, and did many a good turn on the quiet. Soon after coming to the Island from Manchester, about twenty years ago, Mr Rylance entered the employ of the Derby Castle Company as manager of the Castle bars. He gave up this position on being appointed to the management of the Railway Hotel, Douglas. From the Railway Hotel he proceeded to the management of the Prince of Wales Hotel, Ramsey, and while, so engaged was offered and accepted the tenancy of the Quarter Bridge Hotel, near Douglas. He gave up the Quarter Bridge on taking over the Shakespeare Hotel, an establishment which he conducted with conspicuous credit and success to the end of his life. On the reorganisation of the Isle of Man Licensed Victuallers' Association in 1902 he was appointed chairman, and up to his death he was treasurer of the association. About four years ago he was elected a member of the Douglas School Board, and was much esteemed by his colleagues in that body, in connection with his constant and faithful efforts to promote the educational welfare of the children of the town. It was while serving on the board that he was seized with the serious illness to which reference has been made. At the triennial election of the board last December he was again a candidate, but the precarious condition of his health precluded him from taking an active part in the election campaign and in the end he failed to secure return. A prominent Freemason for several years, he attained to the office of master of the Athol Lodge and always took a great interest in the craft. Mr Rylance, who was 43 years old, leaves a widow and four children to mourn his loss. As Dr Hamilton, who had almost constantly attended him, certified the cause of death, no inquest was held.


Died July 10th, 1909.

It is with deep regret we have to record the death of Mr Edward Fern, resident in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr E. Fern was a native of Kirk Patrick, Isle of Man, and he was one of seven sons, whose father emigrated in the year 1854, and returned to the Island, leaving his three elder sons in Australia. These interested themselves in mining propositions of those early days, and thus the spirit of adventure and emigration was kindled in the late Mr E. Fern. He left the Island for Ballarat, Australia, in the year 1880, and was engaged in gold mining. After ten years' experience on the Australian gold fields, he left for South Africa, arriving in the Transvaal in the year 1890, when gold mining was in its infancy. He made the most of his mining knowledge, and turned it to account. Immediately on his arrival in South Africa he was appointed general manager of the Geldenhuis Estate Gold Mining Company. This position he held on two separate occasions. He was then transferred to the Langlaagte United, and after spending a considerable time on this property, he was appointed manager of the Ginsberg G.M. Co., which position he occupied for nine years. About eighteen months ago he took over the management o£ the West Bonanza Gold Mine, which position he occupied until he was compelled, through ill-health, to resign. In September last Mr Fern contracted pneumonia, and during his convalescence was ordered by his doctor to take a trip to Australia. The change seemed to have done him good, and he returned to the Transvaal much improved.

He resumed the management of the West Bonanza Gold Mine, and soon afterwards, through the continued rain. there was a recrudescence of his former complaint. After being laid up in the Klerksdorp Hospital, his case being serious, he was removed to Johannesburg, to be near his relatives and to obtain the best possible medical advice. But after a lingering illness of a few months' duration, he died in the Kensington Sanatorium on Saturday, July 10th, 1909. The deceased gentleman was 60 years of age.

The news of Mr Fern's death came as a shock to his many friends, as he was well known and greatly respected. He was a prominent member of the Jeppestown Masonic Lodge, an active member of the Transvaal Mine Managers' Association, and a member of the Rand Pioneers' Association The funeral left his brother's (Joseph's) residence, Troyville, on Sunday afternoon, for interment in Braamfontein Cemetery. A large concourse of friends gathered, and all the associations with which the deceased gentleman was connected were largely represented. The unusually big gathering testified to the respect in which the late Mr, Fern was held. The coffin was carried to the grave side by six most intimate friends. The Rev Mr Goodwin conducted the burial service, amid manifestations of sorrow. To know Mr Fern was to esteem him for his integrity, honesty, and high purpose of life. The chief mourners were his sister, Mrs Scott, and family, two brothers, Mr M. Fern and Mr J. J. Fern, and family. Deep sympathy was expressed to the relatives in their bereavement.


Died July 6th, 1909.

The " Antioch Advertiser" of July 7th has the following: —

On Tuesday afternoon Mr Wm. Kelly received a telegram from Spokane, Washington, which stated that his brother John had died there at six o'clock that morning.

Mr John Kelly, who has been in poor health for some time, had gone to Spokane, Wash., on May 4th, where two of his sons, Thomas and Joseph, reside. Reports from the Kelly home in Spokane during the last few weeks told of the rapid decline of Mr Kelly, and his death, though a sad blow to his family and friends, did not come wholly unexpected. The cause of his death was anæmia.

The deceased was a man of excellent qualities, and always enjoyed the true friendship of every man, woman, and child in the communities in which he has lived. Though for the past twenty years he has made his home in La Grange and Austin, Illinois, and his late home being in Chicago, his many friends here remember him as though one of them all these years. He has made visits here at frequent intervals, always to find that he was heartily welcome in every home in this community. Mr Kelly was probably one of the best known men in this section, he having resided here for nearly twenty years.

He was a good husband and father, and took much deep pride in his home circle. Through his death the family has lost a most noble, husband, father, and brother. His happy face will be greatly missed, not only by his relatives, but many friends also have been bereft of greeting the one they so greatly loved and held in high esteem.

Mr John Kelly was born on February 4th, 1818, in Crosby, Isle of Man, and left his native land for America in the year of 1869. After five years of residence here he returned to the Isle of Man, and there was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Coole. After their marriage the couple came to this country and made their home in Antioch, where for nearly fifteen years they remained. About twenty years ago they removed to La Grange, Ill., and then to Austin, later removing to Chicago, where the family home now is. He was 61 years of age at the time of his death, which occurred on Tuesday morning, July 6th, at six o'clock.

He leaves to mourn his devoted wife, four sons, one daughter, four brothers, and one sister, besides a large number of friends. The children are Robert, of La Grange, Ill. ; Thomas and Joseph, of Spokane, Brash. ; William and Mrs Frank Pilgrim, both of Chicago. The brothers and sister are James, of the Isle of Man; Robert, of Chicago; William and Charles, of Antioch ; and Mrs A. W. Bower, of East Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr Kelly was a member of the Maccabees and one other organisation.. He was a carpenter by trade.

His body was laid at rest in the family plot at the Antioch Hillside Cemetery. Rev F. R. McNamer officiated at the services.

Mr John Kelly was a son of the late Mr Robert Kelly, for several years post-master of Crosby.


Mrs Anna Maria Hunt, formerly of Eaglehurst, Douglas, died recently at the residence of her son-in-law, Dr Hasluck, of Eden Vue, Langwathly, near Penrith, Cumberland. She came of an old Manx family, her father being the late Mr George Augustus Woods, of Balladoole, Arbory. Mrs Hunt was in 1855 married at Arbory Parish Church to Mr John Edward Hunt, a son of the late William Augustus Hunt, of Dublin, who pre-deceased her in the year 1899. The deceased lady was a sister of the late Mr William Baring Stevenson, who, it will be remembered, died at Balladoole House, Arbory, in 1905. The Stevenson family came to the Island in the sixteenth century, in the train of the Earls of Derby, and acquired considerable property. About a hundred years ago the Manx property was in the hands of the Misses Charlotte and Margaret Christian Stevenson, through failure of male issue. Capt. Thomas Woods married the former, who owned Balladoole; and Captain John Quilliam, who steered the Victory into action at the Battle of Trafalgar, married the latter, to whom belonged the estates of Ballakeighan, Orrisdale, Baldroma, etc. Mrs Quilliam liberally endowed King William's College, and instituted and endowed several Manx charities. On the death of the survivor of these ladies, the Balladoole estate descended to the late Mr Stevenson, who assumed his grandmother's maiden name. Until about nine years since, Mrs Hunt was a regular attendant at St. George's Church, Douglas. She took a deep interest in the various church organisations, and many poor people will remember her charitable assistance and interest in them. About two years since, on Dr Hasluck leaving Warwickshire to take over a practice at Langwathly, the deceased, with her unmarried daughter, went to reside at Penrith. She leaves an only son, now residing in Australia, and three daughters, the eldest of whom married the Rev W. Fisher, M.A., formerly a curate of St. George's, Douglas. According to the deceased's wish, she was buried in the family grave at St. George's, the service being conducted by the Rev W. Fisher, assisted by the Vicar, there being also present, besides her son-in-law, Dr Hasluck, Mr Andrew Hunt (of Dublin), Dr Woods (her former medical attendant), Mr W. F. Dickinson, Rev J. Davidson, and Messrs Bell, Hampton, and many other old friends.


It will be learned with deep regret that Mr Charles Fox, of Norwood, Onchan, died at his residence on Friday, Aug. 6th, morning. Early in the summer Mr Fox's health broke down, and a fortnight ago his condition became serious. Mr Fox, up to about twenty years ago, was in business in Manchester, and on retirement he came to reside in Douglas, he having large financial interests in the Island. For some time he was a director of the Falcon Cliff Hotel and Estate Co., and he was also on the board of the Regent Hotel Co., Woolf's Brewery Co., the Villiers Hotel Company, and the Central Hotel Company. His business career was ever marked by the utmost assiduity and by sterling integrity — he was a thoroughly straight man. Remarkably well read, and the possessor of a retentive memory, he had a wonderful fund of information on numerous and diverse subjects, and he had the faculty of imparting his knowledge in intelligent and interesting fashion. Speaking in public was distasteful to him, and yet when occasion arose he could express himself readily and clearly. Of kindly disposition, he never wearied of doing good turns for people, and many he helped are, now in good positions. A few years ago his wife, to whom he was devotedly attached, died, and the blow was to him a severe one — in fact, he never thoroughly recovered from it. His only son is Mr Charles Fox, junr., manager of the Palace and Derby Castle. He also leaves two daughters to mourn his loss.


Many readers will regret to learn of the death of Miss Annie Crellin, daughter of the late Mr John Crellin, merchant, Victoria-street, Douglas, which sad event occurred at "Broadeaves," Cronkbourne-road, early on Friday morning, October 1st. In the early part of the week she complained of feeling unwell, and on Wednesday Dr Mackenzie was called in He advised her to take a rest for a few days, and prescribed for her. On Thursday she was about town as usual with her sister, and on Thursday night was in particularly good spirits. Early next morning it was again necessary to summon Dr Mackenzie. He arrived immediately, and under his care Miss Crellin rallied somewhat, and spoke to those around her. This improvement was only of short duration, and notwithstanding every effort to combat the seizure, she passed peacefully away. Miss Crellin served her apprenticeship as a pupil teacher in Thomas-street Wesleyan School, under Mr John Taylor, and proceeded to Southlands College, London, for training. Upon leaving college, she was engaged four a period in a London school, eventually returning to the Island and giving up her profession.

The funeral took place on Sunday morning at nine o'clock, the place of interment being the family grave in Braddan Cemetery. The service was conducted by the Rev A. Bradfield, M.A., B.D., and the Rev J. W. Hall. The mourners were: — Mr Henry Crellin, solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature, Blackburn; Mr Percy J. Crellin, advocate, Douglas; Mr Douglas Crellin, Mr W. J. Kermode, Mr R. G. Fargher, Mr R. G. Fargher, jun, Masters Jack and Eric Fargher, Mr R. Crellin, Mr W. Crellin, Mr W. A. Kermode, Mr Chas. H. Kermode, and Mr T. Dodd. Amongst those present were: — Messrs J. F. Clucas, T. Cowley, M. W. Corran, Alderman Kaye, Alderman Corlett, G. Whittaker, J. H. Boardman, Wm. Shimmin, R. Q. Hampton, John Cain, J. C. Radcliffe, C H. Kay, H. J. O'Neill, H. Cowin, T. Keig, W. C. Paterson, J. D. Kellett, Thos. P. Ellison, Frank Gale, W. Caley, Josiah Goldsmith, W. Moore, J. H. Clarke, J Callister, A. Hough, A. Robertson, R. F. Douglas, Harry Cottier. A. J. Ridge, George Robertson, Jos. Faragher, T. H inton, R.. Stowell, T. Champion, T. Stowell, W. Quine, R. H. Collister, T. Quayle, T. S. Atkinson, Clarke Cowley, W. E. Clegg, Councillor Moore, J. A. Gelling, ete.


The death occurred on Wednesday, July 28th, of Mrs Elizabeth Brown, a native of Peel, Isle of Man, who passed away at her late home, 1150 Lexington-street. Her husband and three children survive her. The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon to Graceland, at which Rev W. A. Phillips and Frank Wood spoke feelingly of the many enduring qualities of the deceased. The Sons of Mona Society, of which Mrs Brown was an active member, attended the obsequies. — " Western British American " (Chicago), July 10th, 1909.


The death occurred somewhat suddenly on Thursday, Sept. 10th at Noble's Hospital, of Mr John E. Callow, elder son of the late Mr John Callow, Borough Overseer of Douglas. Mr J. E Callow only left his employment in the office of the Douglas Gas Light Company on Wednesday, and on seeing a doctor was at once ordered to the Hospital, as he was suffering from peritonitis. His case was hopeless from the start. Mr Callow, who was only 36 years of age, was for over a dozen years secretary of the Loch Parade Sunday-school, and at the time of his death occupied the position of chapel steward and trustee. He also tools a keen interest in local politics, his sympathies generally being with the temperance party. He was much esteemed and respected by all with whom he came in contact, and particularly was he regarded with affection by his colleagues in the Gas Company's office. He had been employed in this office since boyhood.


On Oct 12th, Mr W. Colquhoun, master tailor, of Athol-street, passed away peacefully after a somewhat prolonged illness. One of Nature's gentlemen, Mr Colquhoun's outstanding characteristics were kindness of heart and tactful consideration for other people. His was the rare faculty of never saying the wrong thing, — while, he was equally happy in his wonderful capacity for making all people, with whom he came into business or social contact feel quickly at ease. Than he no one was fonder of a good joke, always provided the joke was not hurtful to his fellows, and he ever enjoyed telling a good story against himself. Mr Colquhoun was of Scots nationality, but he spent the greater portion of his youthful days in England Over thirty years ago he came to Douglas to take up the position of cutter in the tailoring establishment conducted by the late Mr James Hales, and on leaving this employ he set up in business for himself. Than Mr Colquhoun there were few better all round men. Undoubtedly he was the most accomplished angler in the Isle of Man — not only had he the technical skill, but his knowledge of fresh water fish and of their habits and feeding was a very deep one. This knowledge enabled him to dress flies in fashion which was irresistible to trout, with the result that good basket., generally fell to him what time he went out with rod and line. He pursued angling in the, spirit of Izaak Walton — truly with him it was the contemplative man's recreation. Mr Colquhoun, too, was a good all-round naturalist, well-versed in the ways of feral life, both animal and vegetable. Also he was an excellent taxidermist. He took an interest in the arts of painting and music, and possessed considerable skill in both. Mr Colquhoun was president for several years of the Isle of Man Anglers' Association, of which he was one of the founders. A Freemason of long standing. he was a past master of Tynwald Lodge, and also held office in the Province and in Mark Masonry. Mr Colquhoun, who was 72 years old, leaves a widow. The funeral took place on Friday morning, Oct. 15th the interment being at Braddan Cemetery.


The steamers of the Midland Railway Company have been. flying their flags half-mast during the past flew days, out of respect for Mr Robert Little, senr., of the firm of Messrs James Little and Company, steamship managers, who, we regret to learn, passed away at his residence, "T'horndean," Helensburgh, N.B., on Friday, July 2nd, at the advanced age of 90 years. The deceased gentleman was for many years associated with the late Sir James Ramsden in many of the movements which began the commercial history of Barrow. He was a shareholder in the Corn Mill and Jute Works, and a director of the first Barrow Shipbuilding Company. He was also associated with the late Sir James Ramsden and the late Sir James Allport m the formation of the Barrow Steam Navigation Co., which, jointly with the Midland and Furness Railway Companies, established the services between Barrow and Belfast and Barrow and the Isle of Man. in 1867. Mr Little also established services between Barrow and Glasgow, and Barrow and Liverpool, and with South Wales ports and the Continent. Mr Robert Little started his early training as an engineer, and was one of the first to recognise the immense value of the compound engine for marine purposes — if, indeed, he was not in point of fact the inventor of the principle. It is interesting to recall that his father, Mr James Little, the founder of the firm, was one of the pioneers in running steam packets to the Isle of Man, for we have it recorded that in the year 1819 a steamer called the Robert Bruce first called regularly at the Island, under the auspices of the firm. The interment took place on Tuesday at Helensburgh. — Isle of Man Examiner, July 10, 1909.


We regret to record the death of Dr William Lefroy, Dean of Norwich, which took place on Wednesday, August 11th, at Riffelalp, in Switzerland, where he was buried.

William Lefroy was born in Dublin in 1836. In his early days young Lefroy went to a printing office, and afterwards dabbled in journalism. But his own leanings were to the ministry of the Church, and he entered Trinity College, Dublin, and was ordained. The fame of young Lefroy as a preacher of ability quickly spread to England, and in 1866 he came to Liverpool as perpetual curate of St. Andrew's — then a proprietary chapel belonging to the Gladstone family. His preaching was fervent, impressive, and sincere. It was strongly Evangelical, and it drew enormous crowds. The late Bishop Ryle found in him an invaluable helper, and made him at first honorary canon of the pro-Cathedral and afterwards archdeacon

It was in 1889 that he was appointed by Lord Salisbury to succeed Dr Goulburn in the Deanery of Norwich. He soon became known as "the reforming Dean," and his energy and activity were, it is said, not altogether appreciated by some of the officials. He was greatly interested in missionary work, and an enthusiastic supporter of the Church missionary Society, but his favourite organisation was the Church Pastoral Aid Society, for which he again and again pleaded both on the platform and in the pulpit.

In private life Dean Lefroy had a delightful charm of manner — open, manly, and frank. He married a daughter of the late Mr Charles McIver. His best-known work is "The Christian Ministry," which is a standard book on the Evangelical side.

Dean Lefroy was a great friend of the late Mr Henry Bloom Noble, of Douglas, and he was a legates to a substantial amount. He was one of the trustees appointed under Mr Noble's will, and was chairman of the trust. He was a frequent visitor to Douglas in connection with the estate.


"The Herald" (Melbourne) of March 1st has the following: —

Mr James Cowan, who died yesterday at his residence " Ellan Vannin," Nelson-road, South-Melbourne. was a very old identity of the State.

A native of Douglas, in the Isle of Man, he came to Australia in 1854, when quite a young man. He, however, remained for only a brief period, returning to England within a few years.

In 1863 he once more came to Victoria, and this time made his home on this side of the world. For a time he was in the employ of Messrs M'Cracken, Blackwood, and Co., but eventually started business for himself as a shipwright on the Yarra bank. From the first he was successful in his business venture, and during the past 45 pears he occupied a foremost position in his calling, having carried out a number of important shipbuilding contracts in his yard on the Yarra bank.

Mr Cowan, who was 73 years of age at the time of his death, which supervened upon a lengthy illness, loaves a grown-up family of nine. Doctors Cowan, of Keiv and Eaglehawk, and Mr A. Cowan, proprietor of the " Lockhart Times" are nephews of the deceased.

The remains were interred this afternoon at the Williamstown Cemetery, the obsequies being attended by many of the deceased gentleman's old associates in lodges and friendly societies, the commercial life of Melbourne, and early residents of the State. At the deceased's residence a short service was conducted by the Rev A. P. Doran. Mr T. Rentle carried out the funeral arrangements.

Mr James Cowan was brother to Mrs R. E. Corlett, of 57 Athol-street, Douglas, the late Mr John Cowen, dyer, Douglas, and to Mr William Cowan, of the Manx Northern Railway Co.'s service. Mr Joshua Cowen, dyer, Douglas and Kewaigue, and Mr J. Stanley Cowen, dyer, Douglas and Union Mills, are nephews of the deceased Manx-Australian,


We regret to record the sudden demise of Miss Eliza Bateman, fourth daughter of Mr and Mrs William Bateman, Stanley Ville, Minorca, Laxey, which took place at Noble's Hospital on Saturday morning, May 29th. On Sunday, May 16th, Miss Bateman took her class in Minorca Sunday-school as usual, and attended the chapel services. On the Monday r Tuesday following she was stricken down, and Dr Godson was sent for, when she was found to be suffering from a renewed acute internal trouble, for which she had previously been operated on some years ago. On the 27th May, after consultation with Dr Pantin, of Douglas, she was removed to Noble's Hospital, to undergo an operation, which was successfully performed, but following the shock sustained she gradually sank, and passed away as already stated. The funeral took place on Tuesday, June 1st, and was largely attended by persons from all parts of the parish, the deceased being widely known and highly respected. The remains were conveyed to Minorca Chapel, where an impressive service was conducted by the Rev J. Burton, who also officiated at the graveside. The coffin was covered with beautiful wreaths, and the teachers of the Sunday-school placed on the grave an encased wreath of chaste design. In the passing away of Miss Bateman, Minorca Sunday-school and church has lost a devoted worker. As teacher, class leader, sick visitor, Bible Society collector, her services were ungrudgingly given — in fact whatever her hand found to do, she did it with her might. Deep sympathy is felt for the family of the deceased in the heavy and unexpected bereavement that has befallen them.


Miss Elizabeth Mary Gell, of Anfield Hey, Douglas, died on September 23rd. ,She;, was seized with bronchitis a week previous, and the seizure proved fatal. Miss Gell, who had attained the ripe old ago of 80 years, was a. native of Douglas, her father being the late Mr Robert Gell, tanner. She was related to many well-known Manx families. Throughout her life she took a great interest in church, philanthropic, and social work. She was a lifelong attendant at St. Barnabas', and was prominently connected with the parochial organisations. Charitable in liberal fashion, she contributed largely to the funds of the various voluntary institutions for the relief of the poor, while she also took an active pant in the inception and management of the Isle of Man Fine Arts and Industrial Guild. One of her hobbies was the collection of old china, of which she had a goodly and valuable store. The funeral took place on Monday September 27th, and was largely arttended by relatives and friends from every part of the Island.


We regret to announce the death of Mrs Wm. Kinley, which occurred at her residence, " Yallamurra," Penola, South Australia, early on Friday morning, April 23rd. The deceased lady was the wife of Capt. Wm. Kinley, formerly of Port St. Mary, and daughter of the late Mr Wm. Skillicorn, baker, of Port St. Mary. — Mrs Kinley was fifty years of age, and had been a colonist twenty-seven years. Much sympathy is felt with the husband, son. and three daughters, also with her widowed mother, and family, who still reside in Port St. Mary. The high esteem in which she was held was exemplified by the large number which paid their last tribute of respect when her remains were interred in the New Cemetery, the Rev E. C. Loan reading the burial service.


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