[From Manx Quarterly, #9 1910]


Born at Peel, Isle of Man, 19th September, 1819;
Died at Montreal, Canada, 2nd October, 1910.

James Kewley Ward

The Isle of Man lost one of the most distinguished of her sons in the death of the Hon. James K. Ward, of Montreal, Canada, which took place on Oct. 2nd. Mr Ward, who had attained the great age of 92 years, was a remarkably well-preserved man, and up to quite lately he led a life which in the matter of activity was more suggestive of middle age than ninety odd years. Some little time ago he sustained a rather nasty accident in the streets of Montreal, but reports were that he was making a very satisfactory recovery. The intelligence of his death came by cable-gram to Mr J. J.Taggart, head of the firm of Quiggin &; Co., timber merchants, Douglas, who was Mr Ward's friend of long standing. " Mr Ward died on Sunday" were the words of the message, and up to the present no news has been received as to the cause of death. James Kewley Ward was born in Peel on Sept. 19th, 1819. He was the third son of the late John Ward, who came to the Isle of Man from Prudoe, Durham, about the year 1813, and settled at Peel. This John Ward had been a brave soldier in the regiment which the Duke of Atholl commanded during the Peninsular War (7th Dragoon Guards), and it was probably this association with the Lord of Man and the Isles which induced him to settle in the Island. John Ward married first a Miss Kewley, and the offspring of the marriage was four sons and a daughter. The eldest son was John Angus Ward, born in 1815, who became a surgeon, and died on the Gold Coast of Africa. Henry Ward, born in 1817, was the second son, and he died while holding an important appointment at Old Calabar. The third was the Hon. J. K. Ward, and the fourth was Charles Ward, born in 1821. The daughter was Miss Hannah Ward, who was born in 1823, and who died some twenty years ago, at her residence in Mount Pleasant. She will be remembered by elderly Douglas people as having; carried on a millinery business in Duke-street in the 'sixties. John Ward married en seconde noces a Miss Robinson, of Douglas, and by her he had issue three sons, viz., Cuthbert, who for many years conducted the leading boot-making business in the Island, and died about twenty years ago; Thomas, who served his apprenticeship as a printer in Douglas, and subsequently went to the United States, where he prospered greatly in business; and Albert. It may be here mentioned that Mr Cuthbert Ward married a Miss Shimmon, sister of Mr John Shirnmon, sometime manager of Dumbell's Bank, and by her had four sons and two daughters, viz., Angus and Frederick, now in Chicago; Charles, now in Huddersfield; and John Markham, a promising artist, who died in early manhood. Of the two daughters, one was drowned in Chicago, two years ago, and the other is resident in Chicago. John Angus Ward, the eldest child of the original John Ward, married Miss Annie Cooper, of Chester. Of the sons of the marriage, Roger Cuthbert Ward, of Prudoe, Summer Hill, Douglas, is the only survivor. Mr Roger Ward married a. York lady, Miss Collins. Of their family, five daughters and one son are living, the son being settled in Pretoria. This son went out to his great-uncle, the Hon. J. K. Ward, in Montreal, seventeen years ago, and there joined the Canadian N.W. Mounted Police. Subsequently he went to Klondyke, and afterwards, with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, served against the Boers in the last South African war. He is now in charge of the Police Court, Pretoria,. Charles Ward, the fourth son of John Ward, went to sea, and became a master mariner. On retiring from son life he went to reside at Annacur, near Douglas. His daughter married Captain Metcalfe, who for some years carried on the Queen's Hotel, Douglas.

John Ward, who was the originator of the Ward family in the Isle of Man, removed from Peel to Douglas, and in the latter town carried on business as a boot and shoe maker. His shop and workshop were in premises which stood on the site now occupied by the shop of Todhunter and Elliot, Ltd. Mr John Ward occupied the then building conjointly with the late Mr John Lewthwaite, bookbinder, stationer, and paper manufacturer, who was father of Mr Alexander Lewthwaite, bookbinder and stationer, of the Market Hill, Douglas. Mr J. K. Ward was educated at a private school in Finch-road, Douglas, one. of his school-fellows being the late Mr Samuel Harris, for many years High-Bailiff of Douglas. Upon leaving school he was apprenticed to the firm of Messrs J. and H. Robinson, architects and builders, Douglas, who in their day carried on an extensive business, among other buildings designed and erected by them being the Douglas Court House and St. Andrew's Church. His apprenticeship completed, he left the Island for America, and became a clerk in a brewery in New York. He was also for some time engaged in the soap manufacturing business, and eventually proceeded to Canada, where for some years ho had a varied experience. His great natural ability, combined with uncommon pluck and energy and straightforward business methods, however, soon brought him to the front. Fifty odd years ago be went into the lumber trade at Three Rivers, Quebec. From this he sold out, and started in the timber trade at Montreal. He in the course of a very short time built up a large business, and became one of the largest exporters of timber in Canada. A great fortune rewarded his hard work and enterprise, and with financial success came some of the highest honours which the people of his adopted country could bestow. He took an active part in municipal and political life, and was in the van of most of the movements which resulted in the marvellous development of Montreal and of the great province of which Montreal is the capital. While in. the prime of life he was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, a position for which his splendid knowledge of Canadian life and affairs, and his thorough mastery of the French tongue, which is still the language of a big proportion of the inhabitants of Quebec, eminently qualified him. His great tact enabled him to secure the confidence of both the French-Canadian and British sections of the Quebec people, and by both he was throughout his public career held in the very highest respect. His property in Montreal, as the city grew, became greatly enhanced in value, and he eventually sold it in connection with public improvements at an enormous profit. Most of his undertakings, indeed, prospered to such an extent that he very probably died a millionaire.

Closely as he identified himself with Canada, he ever retained a warm affection for the Island of his birth, and his patriotism constantly took very tangible form. His first visit to the Isle of Man from Canada took place about 45 years ago and from that time onwards he was a most generous contributor to Manx charities. Annually he sent over a sum of about :£40 for distribution among various institutions maintained here for the benefit of the poor, and in addition he frequently sent special and large sums — often £100 — in aid of special objects. High-Bailiff Harris during his lifetime was Mr Ward's almoner in the Isle of Man, and since Mr Harris's death Mr J. J. Taggart has acted in a similar capacity. Many of these special donations were in aid of the Hospital, the House of Industry, and the Industrial Home — three charities for which he had a particular regard. Peel poor funds also benefited from his bounty — indeed he had a particular regard for everything pertaining to the quaint old town of his birth. The clock in the. tower of the Old Parish Church was his gift, and it is only four years ago that the crowning point in his generosity to Peel took the form of the presentation to the town of a completely equipped library for the free use of the inhabitants. He purchased the house in which he was born, and which had fallen into sad disrepair. The old dwelling was pulled down, and on the site was erected at Mr Ward's cost the substantial and picturesque building which is now put to such excellent use by Peel folk. He fitted the library on modern principles and completely equipped it with books Also he endowed the institution with a sum of £200, and he subsequently supplemented this endowment with the gift of a house in Mount Pleasant, Douglas, the rental of which is devoted to the maintenance of the library. Another of his benefactions took the form of a gift of £200 to the Douglas Grammar School, for the purpose of providing a. scholarship in connection with the school. Indeed, his bounty was so frequent that it is impossible to describe it in detail, and it must suffice to say that his purse was ever open so far as the aiding of deserving institutions in the Isle of Man was concerned. Within the last few months be intimated to Mr Taggart his intention of transferring two houses and shops which he owned in Strand-street, Douglas — those occupied by Mr G. F. Maley, chemist, and Mr W. G. Qualtrough, draper — for the benefit in the case of one of them of the Isle of Man Hospital, and in the case of the other of the House of Industry and the Industrial Home. Mr Taggart communicated with him on the subject, and advised as to the proceedings necessary to give effect to Mr Ward's intentions. Whether the transfer of the properties was completed before his death is not yet known; but there is every reason to believe that Mr Ward, who was most methodical in his habits, would on receipt of Mr Taggart's suggestions take immediate steps to give them effect. To Manx people who made their homes in Canada Mr Ward was ever a firm friend, and a kindly and wise counsellor. Many who have achieved to positions of affluence and responsibility owe their success in no small degree to his advice and aid, and though in many cases his good nature was abused, it never failed him. Up to five, years ago Mr Ward was a frequent visitor to the Island, and he was ever a welcome one. His friendship with the late High-Bailiff Harris endured to the end, and it was indeed an edifying experience to listen to these two grand old men " swopping " reminiscences and engaging in kindly banter with each other. Five years ago it was the great privilege of the writer of this memoir to make the acquaintance of Mr Ward, an the occasion of his last visit to the Island. A long — and on Mr Ward's part — most interesting conversation left the impression of a man of great force of character, uncommon ability, and marvellous charity of thought of his charitable deeds he could not be persuaded to speak. That he was one of Nature's gentlemen there was no mistaking for a moment; — indeed, consideration for others coruscated from him. He had a fine fund of anecdote and told his stories admirably, a strong sense of the humorous in life enhancing his powers as a raconteur. Wonderful to relate, he, then well advanced as an octogenarian, was not inclined to belaud the past at the expense of the present — the role of laudator tiemporis acti was evidently not to his taste. He was quite up-to-date in his ideas, and expressed these ideas in fashion more suggestive of 35 than 87 years. Broad in his views of life he was disposed to condone the ordinary weaknesses which afflict humanity, but it was evident that for shams and cant he had, to employ a Yankeeism, "no use." It was indeed with regret that the present writer parted from a fine specimen of green old age, after spending with Mr Ward an instructive and edifying two hours which passed all too quickly. Mr Ward was twice married. His first wife was a Miss King, a Canadian lady, by whom he had two daughters, Mrs Davis and Mrs Root, who have often visited the Island. Mr Ward's second wife was a Miss Trenholm, who was a native of the United States. The issue of this marriage was three sons and daughters, as follow : Hannah, John, Alice, Mabel, William, Marjorie, Lynn, and Roger. All the daughters are now married. The news of Mr Ward's death occasioned great grief throughout the Island, it being felt that Manx people had lost not only a great and honoured compatriot but a sterling friend. The following biographical sketch of the late Hon. J. K. Ward appeared in the first number of the " Westmount News," a newspaper established three years ago in Westmount, near Montreal, Canada : —

Among the men who have made the history of Westmount, no name stands higher than that of the Hon. J. K. Ward, and since the annals of a town consists largely of the actions and deeds of its foremost men, a brief biographical sketch will serve both to point out historic land-marks in the rise of the town, and at the same time render honour where honour is due.

James Kewley Ward was born in Peel, Isle of Man, on September 19th, 1819-the same year as Queen Victoria. In 1842 — then a young man of twenty-three — he emigrated to the United States, the voyage from Liverpool to New York taking fifty-three days! At Troy, New York State, he engaged in the lumber business, but perceiving better prospects in Canada, he migrated in 1856 to Maskinonge, sixty miles below Montreal, where he cut and exported lumber for ten years; from thence in 1863 he went to Three Rivers, and after spending seven years there removed in 1870 to Hochelaga, finally settling on the spot where West-mount now stands, in 1872. Here for over thirty years he has carried on a flourishing business in the handling and exportation of lumber. It is more than thirty-five years since he first occupied the pleasant homestead he still lives in on Rosemount Avenue. At that time (June, 1872), within the present boundary of Westmount, there was neither school, church, nor stores. The district then formed part of the municipality of St. Henri, but subsequently became a separate community, under the name of Notre Dame des Grace, and Mr Ward was one of its first councillors.

In 1875 a public school was established through the joint instrumentality of Judge Sanborn — an American by birth — and Mr Ward. The school started with about a dozen scholars and Miss Turnbull as mistress. Mr Ward was one of the first trustees. Soon after this (1876) the Roman Catholic element in the community, headed by Mayor Prudhomme and Rev Father Marechal, cure of the parish, seceded, and formed a separate municipality under the name of Notre Dame de Grace West. With the secession of the Roman Catholic party, the Protestant minority, now in the majority, had the ascendancy in the management of affairs, and Mr Ward was appointed chairman of the School Commissioners, a position which he held for twenty years, and has a seat on the board for thirty years, and still retains it. Shortly after the event narrated, the name of the original municipality (Notre Dame de Grace) was changed to Cote St. Antonio, and Mr Ward, who had been Mayor for nine years consecutively, became a Councillor under the new regime for nine years, thus making eighteen years in all on the Council; a record of public service of which any man may justly be proud.

Lord Beaconsfield once said that there was no gratitude in politics. In Mr Ward's case however, tile dictum of Disraeli has not been borne out; for in 1881, the Provincial Government of tile day, in recognition of the long and faithful services : endered by him in the district of Victoria, of which Westmount forms an important part, appointed him, at the venerable age of seventy, to the responsible position of life member in the Legislative Council of the Province of Quebec, representing the district of Victoria.

One has only to spend an hour with Mr Ward in his retreat on Rosemount Avenue, with its evident marks of culture and refinement, paintings in oil and water colours, rare prints, old china, bronze statuettes of Michael Angelo, and Benvernito Celim, together with antique curios gathered in a long life, and to hear him discourse thereon, with manifest knowledge, to perceive the secret of the mind health of the veteran Westmount townsman. Unlike Darwin, he has not in strenuous pursuit of business allowed the the springs of imagination and its pleasures to dry up. As to his political ideals, the fact that in his drawing-room, the chief place is given to a fine painting of Oliver Cromwell is evidence enough. In matters of religion, he holds the faith John Wesley held, and has occupied a pew in Dominion Square Methodist Church, Montreal, for thirty-four years. On September 26th, 1907, one of his life-dreams was realised; for on that day there was opened in Peel, Isle of Man, on the very spot where he was born, a $10,000 public library, his own gift to the lovely Manxland in the Irish Sea.

He has been a widower for eight years, but has living seven daughters and three sons, all of whom have gone out into the world to fight the battle of life, with the exception of Miss , who is mistress of the old homestead.

That the Hon. J. K. Ward may live many years yet, to see his children prosper and the town he helped to build up become a centre of light and leading in the Province of Quebec, is the fervent wish of the " Westmount News."

The article was accompanied by a capital portrait of Mr Ward.

Descendants of John Ward

Information out of the Ward family Bible.

This Bible is on display at the Leece Museum, East Quay, Peel, Isle of Man

(Thanks to Henneke Young for the transcription)


John Ward, born June 1750 at Newpainshaw, Co. Durham Married Ann Angus, of Stanhope, Co. Durham






  1. John (see II.1)
  2. Angus, born 1784
  3. Cuthbert, born 1786
  4. Hannah, born 1788
  5. Anne, born 1791
  6. Henry, born 1792
  7. Eunice, born 1796


John Ward, born 26-01-1782 in Purdoe, co. Durham, died 16-05-1851 in Douglas, Isle of Man, at the age of 69, buried at Kirk Braddan, son of John Ward (see I.1) and Ann Angus


Married 1st, ca. 1810, Elizabeth Kewley, born in Marown, died 13-12-1830 Douglas.


Married 2nd, ca. 1831, Margaret Robinson, daughter of John Robinson


Children by Elizabeth Kewley:




  1. John Angus, born ca. 1812, died 21-04-1863 Bout, West Africa
  2. James Kewley (see III.2)
  3. Henry, died March 1843 Old Kalabar, West Africa
  4. Charles W. buried K.K. Patrick, Isle of Man
  5. Anna


Children by Margaret Robinson:




  1. Cuthbert Robinson, born 23-01-1832 Douglas, died 08-02-1893 at the age of 61, married ca. 1860 Hanna Elizabeth Shimmin, born ca. 1823, died ca. 1889.(see II.8)
  2. Thomas Robinson
  3. Roger.





James Kewley Ward, born 09-09-1819, Peel, died 02-10-1910 at the age 91 year old, buried Montreal Royal Mount Cemetery, 04-10-1910. son of John Ward (see II.1) and Elizabeth Kewley.


Married 1st, at the age of 29, on 18-09-1848 at Williamsburg, N.Y. by Rev. McLean, to Elizabeth King, 20 year old, born 18-06-1828 in London, died 17-08-1854 in Maskinong at the age of 26, buried 1854 in Riviere de Loup Protestant Church, Re-interned Mount Royal Cemetery 1888, daughter of Henry King and Lucy Mary Collett


Maried 2nd, at the age of 39 on 22-06-1859 in Troy, N.Y. by Rev. William Cluett, to Lydia Trenholme, 22 year old, born 05-01-1837, died 23-01-1901 at the age of 64, at six & half O’Clock p.m. buried 1901 at Mount Royal Cemetery, daughter of William and Mary Trenholme


Children by Elizabeth King:



  1.  Lucy Elizabeth, born 02-07-1850 in Gibson, Steuben N.Y. Christened Big Flatts, Pres Church Chemung, N.Y. died 1924, married Moses Davis. Children: Huntley, Angus and Guy
  2. Eliza Maria, born 14-04-1852, Troy, N.Y. Christened Troy State Church M.E. Church. Died 1930, married Charles Root, Children; Chester, Marjory and Norman.
  3. James Henry, born 16-05-1854 Maskinong C.E. died 1854 Maskinong, buried 1854, Riviere de Loup en Haut.
  4. John Charles, born 16-05-1854 Maskinong C.E. died on 27-05-1854 Maskinong C.E. 11 days old, buried 1854 Riviere de Loup en Haut.


Children by Lydia Trenholm:



  1.  Ann Kewley, born 14-06-1860 Maskinong C.E. Christened 1860 Riviere de Loup en Haut, by the Pastor of the Protestant Church, died 1937.
  2. Mary Trenholme, born 08-03-1862 Maskinong C.E. Christened 1862 Riviere de Loup en Haut, by the Pastor of the Protestant Church, died 17-04-1880 Cote St. Anthoyne at the age of 18, buried 1880, Mount Royal Cemetery.
  3. John James Cuthbert, born 04-12-1863 in Three Rivers C.E. Christened 1863 in the Wesleyan Church, Three Rivers C.E. by the Pastor, died 10-06-1955 at the age of 91, married 1st, Lily Reekere, she died in 1906, married 2nd, Elsie Haines, she died 30-12-1974
  4. William Angus Wynn, born 13-08-1866 Three Rivers, Christened 1866 in the Wesleyan Church, Three Rivers C.E. by Pastor Rev. W. Philips, died 09-04-1870 Three Rivers, at the age of 3, buried 09-04-1870 Mount Royal Cemetery Montreal
  5. Alice Mona, born 14-02-1869 Three Rivers, Christened 1869 in the Wesleyan Church, Three Rivers C.E., by Rev. W. Scott, died 1962, married Edmund H. Edwards, he died 1910, Child: Lydia Mona.
  6. William Angus Wynn, born 15-01-1871 Hochalage, Christened 1871 Cote St. Anthoyne, by Rev. W. Scott, married Eva Shrapnel, she died 12-01-1972, Children: John and Barbara
  7. Mabel Howard, born 22-04-1873 Rosemount, Cote St. Anthoyne, Christened 1871, by Mr. Stafford, sied 31-05-1974 at the age of 101, married Gerald Evans Fred Aylmer, he died 1937. Children: Fenton and Margaret.
  8. Lynn Kate, born 22-05-1876 Cote St. Anthoyne, Christened 1876 Cote St. Anthoyne, married George Rotaille, Children: Waid, Elizabeth and Roger.
  9. Margery Sanborn, born 28-07-1879 Rosemount, Cote St. Anthoyne, Christened 1878 Dominoun Square Church by Rev. Mr. Stafford, died 06-01-1972 Ralls, Twexas at the age of 93, maried Harald G. Eadie, died January 1952 at Sea. Children : Marjory, she died 26-01-1973 Crosbyton, Texas, and John.
  10. Roger, born 22-07-1880 Rosemount, Cote St. Anthoyne, Christened 1880 in Dominion Square Church, by Rev. Mr. Stafford, died 1960. Married Helen Whiting, she died 1948, Ware, Herts, England
  11. Cuthbert Robinson Ward, born 23-01-1832, Douglas, died 08-02-1893 at the age of 61,








Married ca. 1860 Hannah Elizabeth Shimmin, born ca. 1823, died ca. 1889





  1.  Angus William Cuthbert, born 1863, died 1930
  2. John Markin, born 1865, died 1890
  3. Charles Henry, born 18867, died 1937
  4. Robert Arthur, born 1869, died 1890
  5. Frederick Bailey, born 01-11-1870, Christened Kirk Braddan, died 1917, married Lutie Adelaide Corbett, Child: Frederick Corbett, he married Nancy Charlotte Somers.
  6. Mabel Amy, born 1873, died 1908
  7. Emily Gertrude, born 1875, died 1920

Emigrated in the United States (New York) in 1842, then was established in Canada 1853, Exploited initially a trade in wood and mills to be sawn then dealt with the industry of cotton. Governor of the General Hospital of Montreal, the hospital of the Woman and the house of refuge and industry. President of the protesting hosptial of the Lunatics and the Saint Georges Company of Montreal. Also the function of Justice of the Peace exerted. Named member of the Council of the State education in 1903.

See http://www.westmounthistorical.org/lighthall.html.


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