[From Manx Quarterly, #11 Oct 1912]



Died December 1st, 1911.

Councillor Arthur Henry Marsden

It is not too much to say that never was sorrow more generally and feelingly expressed by all classes in Douglas than on Friday, December 1st, when the news spread that Councillor Arthur Henry Marsden, proprietor of Douglas Head Hotel, had succumbed to the illness which had overtaken him about a month previously. Some years ago Mr Marsden had a seizure, serious of character, while attending a meeting of one of the committees of the Douglas Town Council, of which he was a member, and was for several weeks confined to the house. A robust physique and good heart, however, ided in bringing about an apparently perfect recovery, and from then up to he beginning of last month Mr Marsden as evidently in the enjoyment of evident health. He, during the first few days of November, contracted a slight chill, which affected his liver, and complications ensuing, his condition became alarming. He received the best medical endance procurable in the Island, and assiduously and devotedly nursed by wife and his two daughters, who were professionally aided. About a week prior to death he rallied somewhat, and hopes were entertained that he would pull through. There was, however, a relapse, for some days prior to death Mr Marsden gradually sank, until the end came on Friday afternoon. Mr Marsden was the third son of the late Mr Josepph Marsden, and was born in Birmingham in 1854. Very early in life he removed to Manchester with his parents. Manchester his father engaged in business and took a prominent part in national and municipal politics, eventually becoming a member of the City Council, to which body he was elected in the Liberal interest. While Mr A. H. Marsden was yet a boy, his father took up his residence in Douglas, becoming tenant of the Pier Inn (North Quay), now demolished, and subsequently of the Theatre Royal Hotel, Wellington-street. About forty years ago, the late Sir John Senhouse Goldie-Taubman, of The Nunnery, built the Douglas Head Hotel, and Mr Joseph Marsden became tenant of the establishment, the tenancy on his death passing to his son, Mr A. H. Marsden, whe had finished his education at the Douglas Grammar School — in those days known as the Middle School. While attending this school, he displayed remarkable aptitude for mathematics, and throughout his life this faculty was outstanding in connection with all-round mental ability of high order. Upon completing his education, Mr A. H. Marsden entered a business house in Manchester, and remained there for a few years. While still a young man, he returned to Douglas, and assisted his father in the conduct of the Douglas Head Hotel, an establishment which had grown greatly in favour with holiday-makers. His father died about 25 years ago, and on taking over the tenancy he brought about considerable additions to the hotel, which eventually grew into a very popular and admirably-conducted place of entertainment. The inception of the steam ferry service by Mr R. Knox, and the construction of the Swing Bridge across Douglas harbour, caused Douglas Head to become more popular than ever as a holiday ground,and with the increasing popularity of the bold and breezy headland came an accretion of business to Douglas Head Hotel, and eventually the concern became one of the most extensive, from the commercial point of view, in the Isle of Man. The hotel was ever carried on in exemplary fashion, and under conditions attended with considerable difficulty the proprietor gained a splendid and well-deserved reputation for his excellent management of an establishment which, in the eyes of thousands of holiday-makers from the United Kingdom, was one of the chief institutions of the Island. Mr Marsden otherwise had a considerable stake in Douglas, as he was a large proprietor in several of the public companies owning large undertakings in the town. He was chairman of Clinch's Brewery Co., Ltd., and occupied a similar position with respect to the Granville and Athol Hotels Co., Ltd. For a period, too, he was a director of the Villiers Hotel, Ltd. It was, however, in connection with public life that Mr A. H. Marsden was best known in the Isle of Man. In the year 1898 he sought and obtained election to the Douglas Town Council as one of the representatives of St. George's Ward, and from then to the day of his death he retained his seat for the ward, the burgesses, after his first election, paying him the compliment of returning him unopposed. His membership was distinguished by that fine grasp of business and the broad-mindedness which had marked his commercial career. He had at first to overcome some prejudice on the part of certain of his fellow Councillors — prejudice arising from the fact that he was engaged in the liquor traffic. In those days the bigoted element on the Town Council was much more in evidence than now, and that it became subdued was in considerable measure due to the courtesy, integrity, independence, and ability displayed by Councillor Marsden in the discharge of his civic duties. So high became his standing in the Council, that in November, 1908, he was unanimously chosen as Mayor of Douglas ensuing year, and so splendidly fulfil the Mayoral duties, that in November, 1909, he was elected to the office for another year. He occupied the position of first citizen of Douglas with a dignity that has never been excelled and brought to bear in connection with his Mayoral duties a well-directed zeal, an impartiality, a firmness, a command of business routine, and a hospitality that earned him golden opinions. It is a standing reproach to the Douglas Town Council that, on his vacation of office in 1910, he was not appointed an Alderman and the reproach is all the more emphasised by the result of elections to the Aldermanic Bench in that year. Councillor Marsden never posed as an orator, yet he had a good command of language, and when occasion required could express himself pointedly and effectively. But he never spoke for speaking's sake, and in this he set an example which many of his fellow-Councillors would have done well to follow. He did splendid. work during his period of service on all the important committees of the Council, notably the Finance Committee, Works Committee, Tramways Committee, and Library Committee, to all of which he was elected at the last meeting of the Council, though illness compelled his absence from the meeting. Last year he was chairman of the Finance Committee, and by virtue of this position he had to take a leading part in regard to important public matters which required careful handling. In the interest he took in Library matters his only compeer was Mr Councillor Gale, who ever backed him indefatigably in his efforts to enhance the usefulness of this public institution. Though holding strong opinions, Councillor Marsden was exceedingly tolerant of and regardful of the opinions of others. A notable instance of this was forthcoming during the troublous times of the South African war. The few British people who in those days were sufficiently temerarious to advocate the cause of the Boers, had their opinions voiced fearlessly though, perhaps, somewhat indiscreetly in the editorial columns of " The Daily News," and as a consequence that famous Liberal journal became for the time being very unpopular. It occurred to a section of the Douglas Town Council that it would be a patriotic and proper course to banish "The Daily News " from the reading desks at the Douglas Public Library, and accordingly there was a proposal at a Council meeting that the newspaper in queetion should be struck off the list of publications available to library frequenters. That the absurd and bigoted suggestion did not materialise was mainly due to the initiative of Councillor Marsden, who, ardent Imperialist and firm supporter of the then Government's South African policy as he was, resented the littleness of the authors of the proposal and the narrow-mindedness which impelled them to thus endeavour to curb the right of private judgment. He boldly and trenchantly opposed the motion, with the result that defeat attended the foolish attempt to punish honest expression of opinion. In other ways, too, Councillor Marsden demonstrated that he appreciated the rights of minorities, and though he never abated one jot of principle, he ever conceded that on all questions of importance there was another side to the one he advocated, and that the other side must be heard. As a private individual, Councillor Marsden was respected and esteemed by all who had the opportunity of making his acquaintance. At times ther tactiturn and inclined to be imistic, the real gold which was at heart always asserted itself as the asion required. With his friends he most genial, and at social functions ever made himself exceedingly agreeable. Of a most kindly nature — kindly almost to a fault — no case of real distress ever appealed to him in vain, while is to be feared that his charity was not always discriminate. Most of his deeds were performed in secret — he had a well-nigh unconquerable aversion letting his left hand know what his right hand did. Mr Marsden was a member of the Isle of Man Licensed Victuallers' Association, and he took a deep interest in this combination for the protection of trade interests. A firm believer in manly sports, he was a generous patron of associations which had the physical well-being of the youth of the country for object. In his younger days he was a good all-round athlete, and particularly did he shine as an exponent of Rugby football. In 1881-82 and in 1882-83 he captained the Douglas Rugby Foot ball Club. His place in the fifteen was at half-back, and he played a very energetic and judicious game. Sturdy of build, and gifted with uncommon physical strength, he was particularly dangerous near the goal line from the fact that he took a tremendous lot of stopping. He was, too, a fine defensive player, his tackling being quite up to international form. He gave up active participation in football nearly thirty years ago, but for many years afterwards he rendered the Douglas Club useful service in the capacity of a member of the committee. It is given to most men of any culture or intelligence to have a hobby, and Councillor Marsden's hobby took the pleasant form of collecting old prints, old china, and old ware. This disposition he inherited from his father, who, in his day, was so indefatigable and successful as a collector that he acquired sufficient objects of interest to constitute a museum, which he for some years carried on in a building which stood on the site now occupied by Mr D. Clarke's, Peveril House, Loch Promenade. Councillor Marsden's speciality was old jugs, of which he undoubtedly had the finest collection in the Isle of Man. Mr Marsden in politics was a Conservative of the progressive type — he held to what he believed to be good in the old order of things, but was ever ready to adapt himself to altered conditions, and to modern changes of thought. A member of the Church of England, he was a worshipper at St. Matthew's, and his support of that church was liberal and substantial He was a member of the Tynwald Lodge of Freemasons, and was also a member of the Loyal Victoria Lodge of Oddfellows. Mr Marsden married about 26 years ago Miss Firth, a lady who has ever proved a devoted help-meet, and who during the period of her husband's mayoralty gained golden opinions by her graceful and hospitable fulfilment of the social duties devolving upon the Mayoress. Four children — two sons and two daughters — were born to the union, all of whom survive and are grown up. In the death of Mr Marsden, there can be no question but that Douglas has been deprived of the services of a citizen of high integrity and uncommon capability — a citizen whose loss at the present rather critical juncture in municipal affairs can be ill-spared.


The large attendance of all classes of the community at the funeral of the late Councillor Marsden on Tuesday, demonstrated the deep and general esteem in which the deceased gentleman was held. Notwithstanding the cold and stormy character of the weather, over one thousand persons gathered in the vicinity of Councillor Marsden's residence to pay the last tribute of respect, and these were joined by many others at St. Matthew's Church, where the first portion of the funeral service was held. Among those who followed the coffin containing the remains were members of the Legislature, the Douglas Town Council, and other public bodies, the Bar, Masonic and Oddfellows Lodges, and other associations public and semi-public of character. The Freemasons, of whom a goodly number followed immediately after the hearse, each wore the sprig of accacia which has such an important significance in the craft of which Councillor Marsden was a member. Messrs A. J. and E. W. Marsden (sons), Messrs T. H. Marsden and T. Marsden (brothers), Messrs George G. Marsden and W. Marsden (nephews), and Mr J. McGuire, Ramsey, were the chief mourners, and among others who attended were the following members and officials of the Douglas Town Council: —

The Mayor (Mr Ald. Joughin, J.P. Aldermen Craine, Caley, Moore, and Corlett Councillors T. G. Kelly, A. B. Crookall,W. Quirk, R. Moughtin, W. J. Ashburner, J. J. Corlett, E. Corrin, F. Gale, J. Kelly, D. Calllster, T. Quayle. P, Cain, R. J. Kelly; Messrs A. Robertson (Town Clerk), A. B. Cuthbertson (Deputy Town Clerk), F. Cottle (Borrough Surveyor), J. Caugherty (Water Manager), W. J. Coole ( Car Inspector), A. Kelly (Clerk of the Works at Villa Marina), and a number of the Corporation workmen. Others present included Messrs J. S. Gell (High-Bailiff of Douglas), W. J. Kelly, W. Fox, H. Pickett, J. Gold, G. H. Horne, S. Horrocks, J. Cowley, L. Fielding, A. Brittain, B. Kelly, F. Edmondson, S. Sisson, J. Waddington, A. E. Rothwell, J. Ducker, A. F. McAdam, J. Lonsdale, H. Howarth, H. Ross Brown, W. Cowin, F. C. Poulter, T. Lewin, H Cowle, A. Kaye, J. Carr, R. B. Moore, E. C. Kneen, A. H. Fayle, M. Hampton, J. P. Smith, S. B. Alder, Jos. Sharp. T. H. Handley, W. F. Marsden, W. Clague, J. J. Taggart, H. Race, W. H. Quaggin, F. P. Johns, V. Bucknall, J. Hargreaves, H. McCluskey, F. D. Johnson, J. Bucknall, F. Newton, T. Kelly, D. Clarke, T. Bawden, W. Newton; A. W. Tongue, J. S. Evarard, J. Gell, James Carr, S. K. Broadbent, J. Cottler, C. Howartb, H. Dunn, C. Calllster, J. Young, T. Forrester, J. Forrester, M. Forrester, J. Ritchie, W. Claguo, G. R. , Cawte, W. Keig, W. H. Halton, J. King, T. Redmond, W. H. Unwin, W. G. Spafford, H. Bregazzi, G. J. Burtonwood, W. J. Corkill, T. Kneen, T. Stowell,.G. H. Wood, F. Woodcock, J. White, T. Halsall, W. F. Price, A. F. Paine, W. Clucas, T. Kewley, W. Broughton, G. T'hornley, W. Radcliffe, J. R. Aked, W. Johns, W. Lewin, J. Highfield, H. Brearley, R. Knox, W. Knox, R. Clucas, J. Kaye, R. Kewley, G. Arpell, C. Parkinson, A. Parkinson, J. Frazer, R. J. Grindley, T. P. Ellison, M. Carine, J. Burman, G. A. J. Burr.

Included in the cortege which left Douglas Head at 11 o'clock a.m. were about thirty carriages, which had been sent by the chief residents in Douglas and the vicinity. The coffin was covered with beautiful wreaths and other floral tokens of respect, and the surplus of these filled completely a carriage. By way of the Swing Bridge, which was thrown open for the occasion, the procession went to St. Matthew's Church, and as the coffin was borne inside the fane attended for purposes of public worship by Councillor Marsden, Mr G. J. Burtonwood, who was at the organ, played Chopin's " Marche Funebre." The surpliced choir was in attendance, and led in the chant ing of the 39th Psalm. Following this, the noble lesson from Corinthians, " Now is Christ risen," etc., was impressively read by the Rev Hugh S. Taggart, vicar of St. Matthew's. The hymn " Oh God our help in ages past" was feelingly sung, and then the Rev T. R. Willing (curate of St. Matthew's) read the prayers which conclude the first part of the order of service for the burial of the dead. Prior to the re-conveyance of the coffin to the hearse, Mr Burtonwood played in moving fashion the Dead March in " Saul." On the coffin being placed in the hearse, the cortege proceeded to Braddan Cemetery, where interment took place in the family grave, the committal portion of the burial service being read by the Rev H. S. Taggart.

The following sent wreaths: — Lord and Lady Raglan, the Mayor, Town Council and Staff, directors of Granville and Athol, Mr and Mrs Woodcock, Mr and Airs Blase, Mr and Mrs Bedford, Mrs W. F. Marsden, Mr and Mrs Stapleton, Mrs Thurman, Mr V. L. Johnson (Liverpool), Mrs Weston, Mr S. H. and Miss Marsden, Ramsey; Staff of Athol Hotel, Mr and Mrs Pains, AL and Mrs Newton, Mr Charles Dare, Heron and Brearley, Ltd., Mr Burman, Mr Wolfe, Mr and Mrs Morris Forrester, Mr and Mrs F. Edmondson, Mr and Mrs Williams (Wrexham), Mrs Ramsden and Miss Hibbard, Tynwald Lodge, Mr and Mrs T. Marsden, Mr and Mrs Spafford, Mr and Mrs T. Forrester, Licensed Vrctuallers, Mr and Airs Kelly (Bridge Inn), Mrs White, and Mrs Bent. All the funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs J. J. Spence and Co., of Athol-street, Douglas.


Died January 1st. 1912.

Mr Joseph Drake Rogers, who during the last twenty-five years of the nineteenth century was a prominent figure in the Isle of Man. died at Blundellsands, near Liverpool, on New Year's Day, at the age of 69 years. In early manhood, Mr Rogers held a good appointment in the commercial department of the "Liverpool Daily Post," and he relinquished this position on being appointed secretary of the Great Laxey Mining Company. Ltd., some forty years ago. In those days the Laxey Mining Company was one of the most flourishing concerns of its class in the British Isles, and the huge dividends it paid are yet remembered regretfully by persons who held on to their shares until evil times befell the company. Mr Rogers, while holding this secretaryship, engaged in many commercial enterprises. He built extensively, and assisted in promotion of several public companies. Among the buildings for the erection of which was wholly or in part responsible are the Central Hotel and the Woodbourne Hotel, Douglas. He took a prominent part in the formation of the Isle of Man Electric Tramway Company (Douglas to Laxey and Ramsey), the Snaefell Mountain Railway syndicate, the Mona Aerated Water Company, Ltd., and the Crown Bakery, Ltd., and he was also among the speculators who launched the Isle of Mar Breweries, Ltd., upon the public. For several years, he, in conjunction with Messrs Aldred of Manchester, audited the accounts of Dumbell's Banking Company, Ltd., and whey that undertaking collapsed with such disastrous results nearly twelve years ago, he along with his fellow auditors and a director and one of the managers of the bank were put upon trial on a charge of being concerned in the issue of false balance sheets. Upon conviction. Mr Rogers was sentenced to imprisonment for eighteen months and served his term in the Isle of Man Gaol. On being released he proceeded to Liverpool, and for some years kept a boarding house in that city. Mr Roger leaves a widow and children.

[According to Goodwin he was illegitimate son of G.W. Dumbell, banker]


Died January 1st, 1912.

A valued and faithful public servant passed away on Monday, Jan. 1st, in the person of Mr John Taylor, chief librarian under the Douglas Corporation. Last summer Mr Taylor, who was 64 years old, contracted a chill, and in the autumn Bright's disease supervened. Since September last this painful malady had kept him confined to his residence, and though at times he rallied, his condition from the first was practically hopeless. With great fortitude he bore himself in his suffering, and when death came at 10-30 p.m. on Monday, it came as a relief. Mr Taylor arrived in Douglas from Liverpool just over forty years ago to take up the position of head-master of Thomas-street (Wesleyan) Day Schools in succession to Mr Farrah. He held this head-mastership with great acceptance for about 20 years, and during his tenure of office he had under him as pupils many men who now hold front rank in the public and business life of the Isle of Man. He was a most conscientious teacher, and in face of great difficulties he brought his school to, and maintained it in, a high state of efficiency. While still in school service, he devoted such leisure as he had to superintending the Douglas Public Library during the illness of Mr John DeMaine Browne, the then librarian, and on Mr Browne's death in August, 1891, he was appointed librarian. He entered upon his duties with great zeal, and brought to bear a cultured literary taste and a passionate love for books upon the by no means easy task of cataloguing the books of the library to which he almost immediately devoted him self. There had previously been in existance a catalogue of a very incomplete description, and Mr Taylor, in connection with the new one which he compiled, practically discarded it. It was no mere alphabetical list of books that Mr Taylor, prepared, but a register which was more in the nature of a descriptive account of the books and their authors. Mr Taylor's descriptions were admirably concise, and were ever most helpful in the direction of informing readers of the trend and scope of books — his catalogue was an anthology as well as a list. The work took a long time in accomplishment — in fact it was never finished, for Mr Taylor was constantly revising the catalogue and bringing it up-to-date. The particular task upon which Mr Taylor was last engaged was the cataloguing of the valuable collection of books made by the late Rev T. Talbot, which that gentleman bequeathed to the town. Mr Taylor was devoted to the library, and though diffident of manner, he was ever ready to help young students in the choice of reading. In this way he accomplished an immense amount of good, as being a quick and good judge of character, he was able to suggest such books as his experience warned him would be attended with most benefit to the reader. Personally, he was the most modest and unassuming of men — he had the dislike of publicity, which not infrequently attaches to thoughtful people and constant students. In Whit-week last, Mr Taylor secured a visit from the North Western Branch of the Library Association to Douglas. The branch held a series of meetings in the town, and in this connection were very favourably impressed with the Douglas Public Library. Mr Taylor invoked and obtained the aid of the branch for the purpose of approaching Mr Andrew Carnegie for assistance in providing a new Central Library for Douglas and the surrounding districts, but this scheme received a check from Mr Taylor's illness, and has, so far, not materialised. Mr Taylor in his scholastic days took a great interest in the National Union of Teachers, and on more than one occasion served as President of the Isle of Man Branch of the Union. He ever retained a regard for education, and he was instrumental in linking the work of the library with the work in Douglas elementary schools. In his young days Mr Taylor was extremely fond of athletic exercises. Despite his rather small figure he was muscular, and hail great powers of endurance. He was a very good all-round cricketer — a sound bat, a reliable field, and a resourceful change bowler. Thirty years ago there was no more useful playing member of the Douglas Cricket Club, and he retained his great interest in the game to the end. Though he never participated actively in the game of Rugby football, he thoroughly enjoyed watching a match, and be occasionally refereed. As a chess-player Mr Taylor had only one superior in the Island — Mr R. Sayle Corlett, H.K. In the formation of the Isle of Man chess club, Mr Taylor bore a leading part, and he ever was prominent in the tournaments promoted by the organisation. Mr Taylor was also a very enthusiastic and useful member of the Douglas Cycling Club, in which he held office. As a member of the Douglas Progressive Debating Society, he contributed several useful papers at meetings of that old-standing institution. Soon after coming to Douglas Mr Taylor married a Miss Pemberton, who survives him. Three daughters and one son were born to them. The eldest daughter was for some time assistant in the Douglas Library, and afterwards secured a good appointment in a library across the water. She is now married to Mr James Hutt, M.A., librarian of the Lyceum Library, Liverpool, and secretary of the North Western branch of the Library Association.


The funeral of the late Mr Taylor took place on Thursday morning, the cortege leaving No. 21 Royal-avenue, Onchan, where he had resided, at 11-30 a.m., and proceeding via Onchan Village and the Governor's-road to the Borough Cemetry. The chief mourners were Mr A. Taylor (son), Mr James Hutt (son-in-law), Mr J. Emblem (son-in-law), and Mr Arthur Hughes (cousin). Of the general public there were present among others : — The Mayor of Douglas (Alderman Wm. Joughin), Alderman Moore, Councillors G. Granville Clague, (chairman of the Library committee), F. Gale, J. Kelly, A. B. Crookall, E. Corrin, D. Collister, W. J. Ashburner, Messrs A. Robertson (Town Clerk), A. B. Cuthbertson (deputy Town Clerk), F. Cottle (Borough Surveyor), J. Robinson (tramway manager), T. Stewart (traffic manager), F. C. Poulter, R. B. Moore, S. K. Broadbent, J. D. Kellett, J. Cowley, F. G. Clucas, W. L. Clague, W. Clague, junr., F. B. Bunting, L. Meyer, W. J. Coole (car inspector), W. Callister (Onchan), A. Nivison, H. Halsall (librarian of Peel), J. Halsall, T. R. Lewin (clerk to Douglas School Board), F. B. Sissons, W. A. Tongue. W. C. and Mrs Cubbon (Rushen), R. Q. Hampton, W. G. Qualtrough, F. Nicholson, W. Dean. J. M. Gibson, W. Lewin, J. T. Chadwick, G. R. Bargery, T. Stowell (manager of the Isle of Man Railway Co.), J. J. Taggart, A. J. Ridge, Inspector Jackson, J. Carr, A. Hough, T. P. Ellison, W. M. Corkill (manager of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.), D. Corrin, W. J. Kermode, Robert Clucas, J.P., Thomas Grindley, H. R. Brown, G. Whittaker (hon secretary National Union of Teachers), and L. Bradshaw, J. Corkill, Chas. Kaye and G. Corkill (sec.), representing the Douglas Chess Club, of which the deceased was a prominent member. Miss Fick (assistant librarian), Miss Fayle and Miss Stephen, members of the Library staff, were also present.

There was a large gathering of old scholars of Thomas-street Day School in attendance to pay their last tributes of respect to their old tutor.

The mortuary chapel and graveside services were conducted by the Rev H. S. Taggart, M.A. There having been a request that no flowers should be sent, a wreath from the Isle of Man Teachers' Association was the only floral tributes forwarded.

The inscription on the coffin was "John Taylor, died January 1st, 1912; aged 64 years." Mr Wm. Cowley, Onchan, had charge of the funeral arrangements.


Died January 3rd, 1912,

Dr John Alfred Dearden, of Goldstone, Douglas, who up to four or five years ago had one of the most extensive medical practices in the Isle of Man, died on Wednesday, Jan. 3rd, after a. protracted illness. The deceased gentleman was the elder son of the late Mr John Dearden, of Strathallan Crescent, who came to reside in Douglas on retiring from a commercial career in England, and who was for some time a member of the Board of Town Commissioners for Douglas. Dr Dearden was educated at King William's College, and subsequently studied medicine and surgery in Manchester. He qualified in London as licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal College of Surgeons, and after gaining further experience as an assistant in the North of England, he some 35 years, ago commenced practice in Douglas Eventually he took over the practice of the late Dr Montford, and in the course of a very short time his connection as a medical man was one of the largest and most lucrative in the Island. He was appointed hon. junior surgeon, and later honorary senior surgeon to the Isle of Man Hospital, and in these capacities he rendered splendid service to the cause of medical charity. As an operating surgeon he had no equal in the Island, and he was invariably called upon to bear the principal part in operations demanding skill, delicacy, nerve, and resource. Frequently, too, he was requisitioned to consult with other medical men in the Island. Dr Dearden was the first Medical Officer of Health for Douglas, being appointed in 1887. He held the office until 1907, when failing health compelled him to retire, his successor being Dr Marshall. During his tenure of office great sanitary improvements were effected in Douglas, and in these he bore a prominent part. They included the pulling down of a large insanitary area, the provision of public abattoirs, the new sewerage scheme, West Baldwin Water Supply, and the provision of the White Hoe Isolation Hospital. For some years, too, he held the post of public vaccinator for the Douglas district. He was for over twenty years medical officer to the two lodges of Oddfellows in Douglas, and otherwise engaged in public or quasi-public work. A volunteer in his youth, he after taking up practice in Douglas accepted a commission in the local volunteer Corps as lieutenant, and he made a most excellent officer. For several years he was one of the wardens of St. Thomas' Church, and took a warm interest in the decoration of the interior of that sacred edifice. He was in his day an ardent Freemason, and in 1884 served the office of W.M. of Athole Lodge (1,004) Douglas. As a young man Dr Dearden excelled as an all-round athlete. He was a most capable amateur boxer, was speedy on the runing path, and was a. skilful rifle shot. Some ten years ago he was overtaken with locomotor ataxy, but he held bravely to his work, until his eyesight began to fail in 1907, when he retired. Since then he has been an invalid, and has been almost constantly confined to the house. Last week he grew very weak, and the end which came, as stated, on Wednesday, was not unexpected. Throughout his illness he was assiduously attended by his old friend and comrade in medical practice, Dr T. A. Woods, of Rose Lodge, Douglas Dr Dearden was 62 years old.

The untoward weather conditions not-withstanding, there was a large and representative gathering at the funeral of the late Dr Dearden, on Saturday, Jan. 6th. The interment was at Onchan Churchyard, and the cortege left the late residence of the deceased at 11 o'clock.

The chief mourners were Lieut. Jack Dearden (son), Misses Molly and Violet Dearden (daughters), Miss Howard, the Rev F. C. Dearden (brother), and Mr A. Reid (nephew). Those present included Deemster Callow, Drs T. A. Woods, Pantin, T. A. Wood, Blore, Cordiner, and Richardson ; Messrs Dalrymple Maitland, S.H.K., H. Brearley, A. Robertson, H. B. C. Callow, F. J. Johnson, M. Carine, A. M. Jaelison (representing the wardens of St. Thomas' Church), W. H. Bell, Capt. Ward, J. Maitland, A. Penketh, C. W. Coole, L. C. Kewley, Col. Nicholson, W. H. Blaker, W. Lay, Ed. Kneen, G. H. Wood, G. H. Wood, jun., W. Ashburner, L. Hartley, H. Cowle, H. R.. Brown, G. R. Cookson, Col. Madoc, Nurse Haine, etc. Carriages representing Miss Harris, Miss Crafts, and Major Spittall were also present.

The Rev R. Wakeford, who oonduotad the obsequies both in the church and at the graveside, met the procession at the church gates.

The following sent wreaths: — " His wife and children," Miss Harris (Marathon), Mr and Mrs H. Brearley, Mr and Mrs Jas. Ashburner, Mr and Mrs R. Wood (Liverpool), Mr and Mrs W. Lay, Col., Mrs, and Miss Nicholson, Mr and Mrs G. H. Wood, " The Maids at Goldstone," Members of the Ellan Vannin Club, Dr and Mrs Caxden, Mrs and Miss Hoyle, the Clerk of the Rolls and Mrs Kneen, Nurses Douglas and Lewin, Miss Priestley (White Hoe), " Old Staff," Noble's Hospital (Matron, Sister Callister, Nurse Lewin, and Pharmacist) ; Mrs E. Bailey (Ramsey). Crosses were sent by Lord and Lady Raglan and family, I.O.M. Medical Socrety, Mr and Mrs J. Sladen (Reigate), Mr and Mrs H. Caison Andrews (London), Miss Greene, Mrs R. H. Stephen, Mrs and Miss Woods and Mr Vere Woods; and Miss Howard.


Died April 18th, 1912

Egbert Rydings

The death occurred on April 12th, at The Firs," Laxey, of Mr Egbert Rydings, who for many years was the proprietor of the celebrated " Manx Ruskin Homespun " cloths. Mr Rydings was a native of Failsworth, Lancashire, and a silk-weaver by trade. About 30 years ago he came to the Isle of Man, and shortly afterwards, with help from his friend, John Ruskin, of whom he was great admirer, founded the well-known St George's Mills. Of a literary turn of mind, Mr Rydings some years ago published a book of Manx tales, in which the portrayal of Manx character was extremely good, and savoured more of the pen of a Manxman born than of one who had lived the greater part of his life in Lancashire. Mr Rydings leaves a widow and son and daughter, the son being in Australia, whilst the daughter is Miss Kathleen Rydings, who is well-known in the musical world as a violinist.


Died February 11th, 1912

A long and useful career of citizenship was terminated in the death on February 11th of Mr James Rae Fielding, of Douglas. Mr Fielding, though not a native of the Isle of Man, was identified throughout almost all his life with the Island. He came to Douglas from England in childhood, and remained a resident either of the town or its vicinity to the day of his death. As a boy he was apprenticed to the late Mr Ellison, a hair-dresser, carrying on business on the North Quay. While still a young man he succeeded to Mr Ellison's business, and conducted it for 64 years. His shop was at the junction of the Quay with Crooked-lane — the latter a narrow thoroughfare in the rear of the Quay which vanished in connection with the accomplishment of the first section of the Douglas Streets Improvement Scheme. The scheme necessitated the pulling down of Mr Fielding's shop, and he thereupon retired from business. In the year 1838 he married Miss Eliza Connell, a lady of mixed English and Scottish parentage resident in Douglas, and their happy union was maintained for a: period of 72 years, Mrs Fielding passing away on the 14th Dec., 1910 — a little over a year before the death of her husband. Twelve children were born of the marriage, of whom but four have survived their parents — Mr John Fielding, upholsterer, Liverpool; Mr Henry E. Fielding, schoolmaster, Douglas; Miss Annie Fielding, Douglas; and Mrs Calvert, Douglas. Upon retiring from business Mr and Mrs Fielding resided for a few years at No. 10 Derby-square, Douglas, and subsequently removed to Garwick, but about four years ago their advancing age and consequent infirmity compelled them to return to Douglas in order that they might receive nursing an4 attention from their daughters, who had continued to reside in Derby-square, and there they remained for the rest of their lives. The death of his wife, who had shared his joys and sorrows for almost three-quarters of a century, was of course a matter of deep grief to Mr Fielding, and doubtless hastened his end. Mr Fielding was born on the 27th September, 1817, and lived the while six British sovereigns occupied the throne — George the Third, George the Fourth, William the Fourth, Victoria, Edward the Seventh, and George the Fifth. It was in the year of Queen Victoria's accession that he joined the Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity). He was reputed to be the oldest Oddfellow in the British Isles, and was often referred to as the Grand Old Man of Oddfellowship. The great friendly society amounted with him almost to an obsession. In great measure he lived for it, and the advancement of its interests was ever a labour of love on his part. While still a young man he went through the lodge chairs and early took District office. Twice he was Provincial Grand Master of the Isle of Man District, and he was a trustee and treasurer of the Loyal Victoria Lodge, Douglas, and trustee of the Lo.M. District, up to a few years ago, when the feebleness attendant upon his four score said ten years compelled him to relinquish the posts. For very many years he attended the Annual Movable Conference of the order as a delegate from this district. Two of these parliaments of Oddfellowship were held in Douglas, the latter in the year 1897, when it was abundantly plain that no man was held in higher respect by the delegates than the Manx veteran. Some years since his portrait was published in the " Oddfellows' Magazine " — an honour greatly esteemed in the order. It was, however, in connection with what may be termed the spade work that he did most for Oddfellowship. He made it his business to look up neglectful members, and many people in Douglas had reason to be grateful to him that his constant reminders and personal advances of money kept numerous brethren " good on the books " up to such time as circumstances compelled them to seek the benefits to which their membership entitled them. In visiting sick and indigent Oddfellows, he was, too, indefatigable, and his visits ever left sunshine behind. His good deeds were, however, by no means confined to Oddfellawship. Full of charity in thought and deed, his sympathies were of the widest description. He never was richly endowed with worldly goods, but of what he had he gave freely, while he never spared himself, so far as time and energy were concerned, in alleviating the lot of the poor and distressed. With almost every charitable association in Douglas he was, while his health held good, intimately associated. He served on the committees of the House of Industry, the Isle of Man Hospital, the Douglas Coal Fund, and the Douglas Hotpot Fund, while from its inception to its absorption he was a member of the Central Relief Committee which administered poor relief in Douglas under the voluntary system. When Douglas, over twenty years ago, adopted the compulsory system, Mr Fielding was appointed a member of the Board of Guardians, and continued in that capacity up to two or three years ago. He was well-known to all the poor, and by them was regarded in the light of a friend rather than an almoner. And to him all the poor were as brothers and meters. Retiring of disposition, Mr Fielding had little to say at public meetings of boards of which he was a member, but when he did speak, his utterances ever commander) the greatest respect, and they were always very much to the point. A life-long member of the Established Church, Mr Fielding was closely associated with St. Matthew's Church, Douglas, from boyhood. Contemporaneously with the Rev T. A. Taggart being appointed to the incumbency of St. Matthëw's, over thirty years ago, Mr Fielding became one of the churchwardens, and year after year he was re-appointed to office until removal to Garwick prevented him continuing the duties. Though it went to his heart that old St. Matthew's should be demolished, he recognised that the picturelsque old building in the Market Place was insufficient to meet the growing needs of the district, and he loyally supported Mr Taggart in the long, and eventually successful, struggle to secure funds for the building of new St. Matthew's. The resignation by Mr Taggart of the living of St. Matthew's occasioned his old comrade much regret, but the appointment of Mr Taggart's son (the Rev Hugh S. Taggart) to fill the vacancy compensated him in considerable measure. Thrice a week the present Vicar of St. Matthew's has called to see his father's staunch and true old friend, and these visits were always a source of great pleasure to the bedridden old gentleman. In appearance Mr Fielding was not a robust person, but his small frame was wiry, and up to the time he was within a year or two of ninety he was marvellously active in body as he was perfectly clear in mind. He had a pleasant face, which was an index of his manner — both were a benediction. Of him it may truly be set down, " he loved his fellow-men"; his life was given over to their service, and in death he will not be forgotten.


Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2002