[From Manx Quarterly, #14 Sep 1914]


Died May 31st, 1914

On Sunday death claimed Mr James Spittall, of Laureston, Douglas, one of the oldest and one of the richest inhabitants of the Isle of Man, Mr Spittall, who was in his ninetieth year, had been failing in health for some time, but up to about a week before death he repaired daily to his office in Athol-street and transacted business, his faculties of mind being retained in full vigour almost to the end. Bodily activity was conserved by him in a marvellous degree until he had passed his eightieth year, when his lower limbs weakened, though he was able to walk until overtaken by the brief illness which had a fatal termination. Mr Spittall, though Manx by birth [1881 claim English birth], was of Cumberland descent, his paternal grandfather hailing from the border country. His father, the late Mr Alexander Spittall, was a remarkably successful business man. For many years he was a wholesale wine and spirit merchant, his stores being in New Bond-street, Douglas, while he simultaneously conducted a timber, building material, and sawyer business in premises at The Lake. The latter concern was taken over in the 'sixties by the Douglas and Isle of Man Timber and Steam Saw Mill Company, Ltd,, and still flourishes. Mr Alexander Spittall acquired considerable landed estate and house property in the Island, and this, on his death, was inherited by his son. From 1849 to 1866. Mr Alexander Spittall was a member of the House of Keys; but he did not retain his seat after the passage of the House of Keys Election Act, 1866, which substituted popular for self-election. Mr James Spittall was educated in the Isle of Man, and subsequently in England. On leaving school, he was articled to the late Mr George William Dumbell, advocate, the founder of Dumbell's Bank. On completing his law studies, Mr Spittall was admitted to the Manx Bar in 1847, and two years later he was called to the English Bar. At the time of his death he was the senior member of the Insular Bar, next in order of admission coming Mr Henry Evans Gelling, of Castletown, who was admitted in 1855. While in active practice of his profession, Mr Spittall had a large clientele, and to the end many people sought his advice on legal matters. In the early 'fifties he was appointed Clerk to the Magistrates for the Douglas district, and held the post for nearly half a century, being succeeded on his resignation by Mr R. D. Farrant, the present Clerk. For a period of many years, too, he was secretary to the Highway Board, he being appointed to the office on the resignation of the late Ridgway Harrison. His successor in the secretaryship was Mr C. T. Cheslyn Callow-now Deemster Callow, Another office, semi-public of character, held by Mr Spittall was that of secretary to Isle of Man Bank for Savings. He was appointed to this soon after qualifying for the Bar, and he retained the position to the day of his death. When the Volunteer movement extended to the Isle of Man, about the year 1860, Mr Spittall became a citizen soldier, and received a subaltern's commission in the Douglas Rifle Volunteer Corps, fellow and senior officers being the late Sir John Goldie-Taubman, of The Nunnery (who was for a considerable term Speaker of the House of Keys), and the late Mr Ridgway Harrison. Eventually Mr Spittall had the rank of Captain conferred upon him, and in course of time he attained to the command of the corps. He went on the retired list a little over twenty years ago with the rank of Major, but to the end he retained a deep interest in his old corps and in the Volunteer movement generally. By the non-commissioned officers and the rank and file he was greatly esteemed and respected, he being a remarkably skilled and very generous officer. At the time of his death he had few seniors in the Volunteer movement. Upon retirement, he received the Officer's Volunteer Decoration. It is interesting to note that the Douglas Rifle Corps — now the Isle of Man Volunteers — is the only recognised Volunteer force at present in existence so far as the British Isles are concerned. In 1872, Major Spittall sought election for Middle Sheading to the House of Keys, but after a memorable contest, he suffered defeat at the hands of the late Capt. Penketh, of Hampton Court. Nine years later — in 1881 — he became a candidate for Douglas in the course of the General Election which then came about. In those days Douglas returned 'three members, and for the seats on this occasion there were five aspirants — the late Sir John Goldie-Taubman, the late Major R. S. Stephen, Mr Spittall, the late Mr William Farrant, and the late Mr Thomas Keig. The three first-named ran on the one ticket, and after a very exciting election fight, were returned. Major Spittall retained his seat until 1891; but when the General Election which followed on the passage of the Redistribution Act in that year came about, he did not seek re-election. He was a very painstaking legislator, and always commanded respectful attention when he addressed the House or Tynwald Court. The Isle of Man was indebted to him for very fine service in calling attention to a scandal which threatened to bring the Island into disrepute. At that time the provisions of the Companies Act were extremely loose of character, with the result that unscrupulous adventurers from England took advantage of the situation to register companies for wild-purposes — one of them had for its object the establishment of a University for the granting, for monetary consideration, of medical and other degrees! Major Spittall nipped this and other discreditable projects in the bud by bringing the matter before Tynwald, the outcome was the introduction of legislation by the then Governor — Sir Spencer Walpole — which put an end to the operations of schemers. As has been stated, Major Spittall was possessed of large means, of his wealth he gave freely to [] and charitable objects, though bulk of his benevolence was private of matter. He was one of the largest subscribers to the funds raised for the building of the new parish church of Braddan. and was one of the guarantors for the debt remaining on the church after completion, the purpose of the guarantee to allow of the church being consecrated. He also subscribed largely to St. Matthew's Church and Schools and St. Andrew's Presbyterian Sunday-school building funds; while all Douglas charities found in him a generous supporter. When Mr H. B. Noble died, some twelve years ago, Major Spittall took upon himself to continue the annual Christmas dinner for inmates of the House of Industry which Mr Noble had provided for very many years. Major Spittall was twice married, his first wife being a Miss Thimbleby, who died about thirty years ago. Subsequently he married Miss Charlotte Jopling Wilson, a daughter of the late Mr Thomas Wilson, of Harold Tower, Douglas, and niece to the late John Martin, the famous painter of "The Plains of Heaven," " The Great Day of His Wrath," and other great pictures. This lady also predeceased her husband. By his first wife, Major Spittall had one child, the late Mr Alexander Spittall, who died about twenty-four years ago. Mr Alexander Spittall was twice married, his first wife being a Canadian lady, By her he had two children, the late Mr Wentworth Spittall and the late Miss May Spittall, the latter of whom married an Irish gentleman, Both died within the last few years, By his second wife, who survives, Mr Alexander Spittall had a large family of sons and daughters.


The funeral of the late Major James Spittall took place on Wednesday, June 3rd, The body was interred in Kirk Braddan Cemetery with military honours. A large number of the Volunteer force attended the funeral, including Major T. Mackenzie, Surgeon-Major Richardson, Capt. Cowle, and Lieut. Mylchreest. The Volunteer Band was in attendance, and there was also a firing party of 18 present,

The chief mourners were the Rev Alex. Spittall, Mr Arthur Spittall, and Mr B. Spittall (grandsons), and Mr F. M. Brown, Among those present were the Clerk of the Rolls, and Messrs G. R. Cookson, J. S. Gell (high-Bailiff of Douglas), Chas. B. Nelson, H. B. C. Callow, R. D. Farrant, Edwyn C. Kneen (members of the Bar) ; Mr D. Maitland (Speaker of the House of Keys), the Rev H. F. Shenton, Mr Wm. Callow, the Mayor of Douglas (Ald. R. Corlett), Messrs H. Brearley, S. Cannell, F. J. Johnson, the Receiver-General, J. A. Brown, D. H. Rothwell, J. H. Clarke, S. Skillicorn, F. D. Johnson, Geo. Tyson, J. S. Evarard, A. Robertson (Town Clerk of Douglas), Capt. Moughtin, H.K., W. J. Corlett, H.K., Wm. Cubbon, E. Quaggin, Andrew Caley, W. T. Duesbery, J. Kenyon, R. J. Clabmie, W. Kewish, Wm. Lewin, John Boyd, John Gale, J. Cowley, J. E. Blair, W. C. Clucas, and many others.

Led by the Volunteers, the cortege marched to Braddan Church, where the first part of the burial service was read, after which the interment took place in the family vault in the new churchyard,

The officiating clergy were the Revs H. Robinson, D. C. Woodhouse, W. A. Rustworth, and R. B. Jolly. After the religious service, three volleys were fired; over the grave. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and on it rested the deceased's sword, helmet, and belt; and there were a number of beautiful wreaths.

Wreaths and flowers were sent by the following: — Mrs Alex. Spittall and grandchildren (Messrs C. B. Spittall and F. Spittall), the Bishop of Ripon, the Clerk of the Rolls, Mr E. Kneen, Mrs W. Moore, Mr F. May Brown, Mrs F. Corbett, Dr and Mrs Mackenzie, Miss Elliott, Miss Harris, Mrs Nelson, Mr Nelson, L. Cain and F. Corlett, Little Amp, and Mrs Creer.


Died March 13th, 1914,

Capt. Reddicliffe, ex-manager of Laxey Mines, passed away on Friday, March 13th. He had been ill for some weeks, but the illness took an unexpected turn a few days before his death. The deceased gentleman himself did not think the end was so near a fortnight ago, for he then wrote a letter to the Village Commissioners, explaining a vote he had given on a certain subject. The funeral took place on Monday, and was attended by the principal inhabitants. At the deceased's late residence, four Commissioners — Messrs Clague, Garland, Lewin, and Skillicorn — transferred the coffin to the hearse; and at the church four Rechabites — Bros. J. J. Cannell, J. J. Redpath, R. Kewley, and R. Quine — took charge. Canon Quine conducted the service, and Bro. Jas. Craine read the Rechabite service over the grave.

A prominent resident of Laxey sums up his estimate of the deceased gentleman by saying that his departure is a distinct loss to the place. Capt. Reddicliffe's manner was, perhaps, a little imperious, but he was gentlemanly, kindly, straightforward, and above board. He was one of the strongest men on the Village Commissioners — independent and fearless, and a champion of thoroughness and efficiency. His colleagues' opinion of him was voiced at the meeting on Wednesday night. The deceased gentleman was an hon. member of the Rechabite Order, and a staunch and reliable friend of temperance. It is also said that his word was entirely to be depended upon. It is a strong testimony to a citizen's worth when the community is made to feel it has been hit and caused to sustain a loss by his removal,


Died June 16th, 1914.

Mr Alexander Lewthwaite

Mr Alexander Lewthwaite, of Taubman-terrace, a useful and highly respected resident of Douglas, passed peacefully away on Tuesday, June 16th, at the ripe age of 83. By many years Mr Lewthwaite was the longest established business man in Douglas, and by his death a link with the commercial life of the town during the middle of the last century is severed. Mr Lewthwaite had for some years delegated active control of his book-binding and stationery business to his son, and the closing period of his life was passed in leisured fashion. Up to quite recently he enjoyed excellent health, and daily he took short walks in the neighbourhood of his residence. During the last few weeks he was more or less confined to the house, and he gradually sank until the end came. He had a splendid reputation throughout the Island for his integrity, and he possessed the evident respect, and esteem of all who knew him. The late Mr Alexander Lewthwaite was born nearly 83 years ago Duke-street, Douglas, his exact birthplace being a house next door to the premises now occupied by Messrs Callister Corlett, clothiers. His father, Mr Lewthwaite, was the son of a paper manufacturer, who, hailing from Egremont, Cumberland, settled in the Isle of Man during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and started a paper mill at Tromode. Mr John Lewthwaite his brother subsequently carried on the paper mill, first at Laxey and afterwards in the Baldwin Valley. Mr Lewthwaite married a Miss Corkill, Baldwin, and Mr Alexander Lewthwaite was one of the children of the marriage. For some little time Mr John Lewthwaite resided in Liverpool, where he acted as agent for the sale of the produce of the Baldwin paper mill, and he and his wife returned to the Island shortly before the birth of Mr Alexander Lewthwaite. Soon after this event Mr and Mrs John Lewthwaite removed to Baldwin. Mr Alexander Lewthwaite's school was one in East Baldwin, the master being Mr Matthias Cain. The school was carried on in a one storied building, and the only room was in part used as a store for agricultural produce — hay, straw, turnips, potatoes, etc. Clay was the material forming the floor, and the school books and apparatus were of the most primitive description. By the way, the present East Baldwin Board School stands on the site of the old school which Mr Lewthwaite attended. On leaving the Baldwin school, Mr Lewthwaite attended a school at the Strang conducted by a Mr Jas. Kaye, and afterwards he for a short period was a pupil at Well Road Wesleyan School in Douglas under a Mr Moffatt. Next he was entered in a school conducted by the late Mr Robert Corteen in an outbuilding attached to a house in Athol-terrace (Peel-road). Singular to say, Mr Lewthwaite afterwards lived for over ten years in the house of which the schoolroom formed a portion. Mr Lewthwaite finished his education with Mr Corteen. In after years he was in the habit of speaking in the highest terms of this school, and of its master, who was unique among teachers of those days in the fact that he never used a cane. Among Mr Lewthwaite's schoolfellows at Mr Corteen's were several boys who subsequently distinguished themselves in the public life of the Isle of Man. One of his school comrades was a brother to the Rev T. E. Brown, the famous Manx poet. This brother was preparing for a sea life, but was attacked by fever and died just as he was attaining manhood. On leaving school, Mr Alexander Lewthwaite became apprentice to Mr James Quine, a chemist, with whom he only remained for a month. He then transferred to Mr Gordon Kelly, a chemist who carried on business in the Market Place. A year's experience with Mr Kelly convinced Mr Lewthwaite that he had no vocation for retailing drugs and dispensing prescriptions. He accordingly left, and for some little time assisted his father and uncle in the paper business. Eventually he became an apprentice with Mr John Kelly, who in the first half of the last century was a master bookbinder in Douglas. After serving his time as a bookbinder, Mr Lewthwaite went to Liverpool and worked for six months as an improver with Messrs G. Phillip and Son, a famous Liverpool firm. He then returned to Douglas and bought Mr J. Kelly's business. This was in the year 1852, Mr Lewthwaite being then under 21 years of age. At first he carried on operations in one of the rooms of his father's warehouse on the North Quay, but subsequently took over the whole premises and entered into an arrangement for the sale in Douglas of the paper manufactured by his father at the Baldwin mill — an arrangement which lasted thirty years. He so altered the warehouse premises as to secure a roomy shop facing the North Quay, close to where the British Hotel now stands, and in this shop he for many years conducted a large and remunerative business as a newsagent and stationer, in addition to the book-binding department. His lease of the quay premises expired in 1880, and he removed to Duke-street, but he subsequently purchased his old shop and returned to it. On the Streets Improvement Scheme being put into operation, the shop and premises on the North Quay were acquired by the Town Commissioners. and Mr Lewthwaite thereupon bought a plot of ground on Market Hill (Duke-street), and thereon erected the shop and premises in which the business is carried on to this day. Mr Lewthwaite was twice married, his first wife being Miss Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Mr William Moore, Ballavere, Braddan. The first Mrs Lewthwaite fell a victim to consumption, and she died in 1861 childless. About nine years later he married Miss Catherine Eva[], who was a milliner employed by the well-known firm of Quine and Archer. Six children were born of this union, of whom four survive. One, a son, died soon after birth, and a daughter, Elizabeth Anne Lewthwaite, died at the age of five. The surviving children in order of birth are Mrs Thomas Henry Hadfield, of Manchester; Mr Alexander Charles Lewthwaite, now in South Africa; Mr William Gladstone Lewthwaite, who has been for some years in charge of his father's business at Market Hill; and Mrs Fenella Hall a widow, who after the drowning of her husband by the foundering of the ill-fated steamer Ellan Vannin, became her father's housekeeper. The second Mrs Lewthwaite died in 1901 after a happy married life of over thirty years. While still an apprentice, Mr Lewthwaite imbibed advanced political ideas, and became acquainted with several English Radicals, and it was mainly their influence which induced him to take an active part in the movement for reforming the House of Keys — a movement which materialised in 1866, when election by the people was substituted for self-election. To the voters he remained a Radical of the Radicals, and he strongly sympathised with the Reform proposals which are now approaching fruition. His religious views were Deistic of character, and some twenty years ago he bore a prominent part in founding a Unitarian Church in Douglas, but he was tolerant of and sympathetic with all forms of religion. He entered municipal life in the year 1882, when he was returned as a member of the old board of Town Commissioners which then formed the local governing body in Douglas. He retained membership until the passing of the Municipal Corporation Act, 1895, when he was elected a member of the Douglas Town Council and was one of the first Aldermen appointed. Up to quite recently he continued to be a member of the Council, but advancing years eventually compelled his retirement. He bore a prominent part in bringing about the adoption of the Streets Improvement Scheme, which resulted in the demolition of a large area of old and insanitary property, the formation of Ridgeway-street. new Lord-street, new King-street, and new James-street, the widening of the North Quay, and the erection of three blocks of artisans' dwellings. He also supported the extension of the promenades, the acquisition of the tramways, the new sewerage scheme, the Injebreck water scheme, the provision of an Isolation Hospital, and in fact all the more important municipal improvements which have taken place in Douglas within the last thirty years. All Mr Lewthwaite's public actions were marked by sterling independence — money could not buy him, nor could the strongest influence bring about a change of his conscientious convictions. By the ratepayers of Douglas he was trusted implicitly, and their trust in him was never betrayed. He only spoke at municipal meetings when occasion required, but he ever expressed himself clearly and emphatically, and he never talked for talking's sake — loquacity was among the strongest of his dislikes. All his colleagues can the Town Commission and Town Council respected and esteemed him, and so much can be said for his follow members of the Douglas Board of Guardians, a body on which he rendered excellent public service for many years. By his death, Douglas has lost a patriotic and faithful citizen, while the Island community is considerably the poorer by his removal.


The funeral of Mr Alex. Lewthwaite took place on Friday, June 19th, and was attended by many leading townspeople, including the Mayor, ex-Alderman Goldsmith, and members of the Town Council and other public bodies. The interment was at Braddan Cemetery, the Rev. W. A. Rushworth (vicar) officiating. The coffin was inscribed: — Alexander Lewthwaite. Died June 16th, 1914, in his 83rd year.

Mr J. Gelling was the undertaker, and Mr Collister supplied the hearse and carriages. The chief mourners were: —
Mr W. G. Lewthwaite (son),
Mr Jos. Lewthwaite (brother) and Mrs. Lewthwaite.
Mr Hadfield (brother-in law),
Mr A. C. Lewthwaite, Mr T, Hadfield (nephews),
Miss E. J. Lewthwaite (niece).
Mrs Allison, Mrs Taggart, Miss E. Taggart (cousins).
Mr Gelling, Mr J. Gale, etc.
A beautiful wreath was sent by the employees in the Market-hill establishment.



Died June 1st, 1914.

Mrs G. D. Day, professionally known as Miss Lily Hall Caine


Mrs G. D. Day, professionally known as Miss Lily Hall Caine, who retired from the stage some few years ago after filling with distinction many leading roles in London and provincial theatres, died on Monday at the residence of her sister-in-law, Mrs Edward Dean, " Ivycroft," Aldershot, from pneumonia, following upon acute neurasthenia — the legacy of the strain of an always exacting career. Of Manx blood and Quaker ancestry, with gifts of voice which always won her attention. Miss Hall Caine commenced her life in the eye of the public as a ballad singer, but almost immediately turned to the stage, finding her vocation as an emotional actress of sympathy and intense feeling, She had already acquired a reputation in the provinces, notably in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Sheffield, and elsewhere when she first attracted notice in London as " Regina " in a production of Ibsen's " Ghosts," and other advanced plays, produced by the Independent Theatre under the auspices of Mr J. T. Grein.

But both reputation and money came to her as " Glory Quayle " in her brother's play, " The Christian," which she played with immense success in the provinces during many years, This success was further enhanced in succeeding years, notably at Drury Lane Theatre, under the auspices of Mr Arthur Collins, in " The Prodigal Son" wherein Miss Hall Carne played (and also sang) as " Thora " to Sir Geo. Alexander's " Oscar,"

Personally known and beloved by a large circle, the late Chief Rabbi (Dr Adler), every member of his family and many of their leading co-religionists were among her warmest admirers, and it was Miss Hall Caine who brought Swinburne with Mr Theodore Watts-Dunton to the theatre, after an absence of same twenty years, to witness Mr Wm. Powel's production of the classic drama of Webster's, " The Duchess of Malfi."

As a child she manifested unique powers of observation and memory, and living for a period in the sombre household of Rossetti, both at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, and Birchington-on-Sea, she gave a vivid impression of the personality and surroundings of the poet painter in " A Child's Recollection of Dante Gabriel Rossetti." An even more tender and sweetly gracious note was touched by her pen in " My Remembrances of Christian Rossetti," which was, as Mr William Michael Rossetti has said, " a pen picture of the poetess seen through eyes of one more penetrating than merely a little girl."

Her memory for colour, fact, and word was often amazing, She could repeat, without any apparent effort, an hour's conversation five or six hours afterwards, word for word, A single seeing and hearing of a play was enough to enable her to re-enact the whole drama with no more than the most trifling variation from the recorded text.

She has only survived her husband by a couple of years, and her aged and revered mother by only one year, If any one can be said to have died from a broken heart, it can be said of her, She leaves one son, 17 years of age.

The interment took place on Wednesday, June 3rd, at Kensal Green.


To all of us comes a realization of the shadow which, however much we may ignore it, does actually influence our lives, There is the shadow of birth, the shadow of death, the shadow of the inevitable separation of two souls — the parturition of the man from the woman. To most of us the complex idea of dissolution is not punctuated with fear, Life gives so little and demands so much. Success costs more than failure. But when in the concrete it does touch us, it takes all our courage to face the funeral march with serene countenance, In the crossing of the bar by Miss Lily Hall Caine a distinct disturbance will be experienced in many and diverse atmospheres, She was not only a woman of importance; but she made it manifest, As an actress she had, like the rest of us, her limitations. But she had that most beautiful gift of the gods — a perfect voice, Sara Bernhardt has a voice like hers; Eleanora Duse has a voice like hers; Ellen Terry has a voice like hers — a voice like liquid silver, Miss Hall Caine's voice was like a fairy waterfall falling into a lake of dreamland, And all her stage work possessed the supreme quality of absolute conviction, As a woman she swept the stage of life with no uncertainty, Her views of the world's trend were coloured by a poetic outlook, induced, perhaps, by her girlhood's intimacy with Dante Gabriel Rosetti. She seemed to envisage the dull clay which surrounds us into something fanciful, and she found interest in human documents drab and perchance mean that the trivial eye would pass un-noticed. She was in all ways a very charming personality. Vibrant with feeling! quick with emotion! swift to appreciate! sure and certain in her diagnosis of the strange characters that loom large behind life's curtain, Always sympathetic and loyal to her friends; generous to her enemies, if she had an v, which is a moot paint, In leaving us, she eliminates much of the sunlight from the lives of those who knew her; and in the gloaming many hearts will ache for

The touch of a vanished hand.
And the sound of a voice that is still.



The Rev William Henry Moseley, the well-known Wesleyan Methodist minister, dropped dead during the proceedings at the Leeds Conference on July 29th. Mr Moseley, who had been over forty years in the ministry, was for three years the immediate predecessor of the Rev J. R. Ellis in the superintendency of the Douglas circuit amd the chairmanship of the Isle of Man District, He was held in much respect and esteem in the Island. On completing his term in the district he retired to Ilkley.



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