Brief Biography of Theophilus Talbot 1824-1908

An interesting character! Son of Joseph and Mary Talbot, christened 23 Jan 1824 at St Alphage, Greenwich, Kent, a sister Louisa Ann, christened 28 July 1827 at the same place, married Joseph John Stowell on 14 July 1848 at Lezayre. He came to the Island in 1848 as a Wesleyan methodist minister being based in Douglas during the period of significant dissent within that body. Subsequent to this period he left the Methodist ministry and eventually became an anglican priest acting as chaplain at St Olaves 1870-74 [taken from Gelling - information disagrees with that given in Memorial Notice]. Married Mary Jane Crebbin at St George's, Douglas on 23 August 1852 who died before 1881; one daughter Mary born c.1860. He was appointed as secretary to the Archaeological Commission established by Gov. Loch in 1876.

The following brief description is by Samuel Norris:

Another outstanding personality, who has left his mark for all time on the Isle of Man, but who led a reserved life and was known only to a small circle of Manx people in his latter years, was the Rev. Theophilus Talbot, whose library occupies a special niche in the Douglas Public Library, and whose name is indissolubly associated with knowledge of the early history of the Isle of Man.
I had the good fortune to know Mr. Talbot intimately. In the top storey of his house in Osborne Terrace, surrounded by his books, he would delve till midnight among historical manuscripts and old English and Scandinavian volumes to discover and decipher any explanation of or connection with alleged early Manx history. His soul revolted at what he believed was the ignorant and deliberately misleading "manufactured" history of the Isle of Man before the 12th century. His greatest public services were his exposure of the first hundred pages of Spencer Walpole, the Governor's, book, The Land of Home Rule," and the claim once seriously made by the Bishop that St. Patrick founded the Manx Church, and that Peel was a "Cathedral City!"
No labour, no money was too much for him to expend in his search for historical truth. Being the best Latin scholar of his day in the Island, with a mind well stored and fitted for research, it is not too much to say the Rev.T Talbot stood as a great apostle of historical truth in his day, and fills a peculiar place in Manx history which probably only future generations will rightfully estimate.

See Memorial Notice in Manx Quarterly. See also Chapter 28 in W Ralph Hall Caine's Isle of Man


[c1882] The History of the Manx Cat: its origin, great antiquity, and the cause of the absence of its caudal appendage etc.pp23, Douglas: Clucas & Mollard Herald Office
1882 Exposure of the Fictious History of Peel and the adjacent Islet ... Douglas: Manx Sun Office
1893 Early Manx History: or How History is Manufactured by Mr. Spencer Walpole for his 'Land of Home Rule , Douglas: Manx Sun Office
1900 The Priory of Whithern (Candida Casa) and its lands and Churches in Mann pp.24,vi, Newby
1924 The Manorial Roll of the Isle of Man 1511-15. Translated from the Latin by Theophilus Talbot with ...appendices and ... indices London: Humphrey Milord


S. Norris Manx Memories and Movements Douglas:1939

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001