Rectors and Vicars in the Isle of Man

The following list is based on the parish lists in the 1955 Diocesan Year Book and gives incumbents to that date. Those before the 17C are often doubtful as to name and/or date. The list, presumeably provided by each vicar as the style differs between parishes, is defective in many cases - I have attempted to correct the more obvious errors by collating lists with, for example, Canon Kermode's carefully documented list of Lezayre incumbents. Note that due to the calendar change in 1752 appointments made in e.g. Jan..Mar 1713 are shown 1713/4 as this would correspond to 1714 by modern reckoning (note this discrepancy may account for some apparent multiple holdings).

There are 3 Rectories - the rest are either Vicarages or chapelries served by Curates. Andreas was the richest living and reserved for the Archdeacon.

The livings except for St Barnabas (which was in the hands of trustees) are either in the patronage of the Bishop or of the Crown (Arbory, Ballaugh, Bride, Lezayre, Lonan, Malew, Marown, Maughold, Michael, Onchan, Rushen and Santon) - the later were acquired at the final sale of the feudal rights by the Atholls in 1830. The original 17 parishes are given first, in alphabetic order, followed by the newer parishes created in the late 19C. Initially town parishes (Castletown, Ramsey and particularly Douglas) were chapelries of their mother church, i.e. they were serviced by Chaplains appointed by the vicar (or Bishop) to whom all tithes etc. were paid. The history of the Douglas parishes is somewhat interesting! Much argument flowed before these were formed from 1869 onwards - I have included the Chaplains for St Matthew's and for St. Barnabas'..

St Marks at the conjuction of three parishes was founded as a chapelry in 1772 and was the cause of much argument over control. St Johns was a national Chapel, with a Goverment Chaplain, which was created a parochial district in 1949. The other rural chapels of ease were serviced by curates for which no full list would appear to be extant.

Recent years have seen many changes as the shortage of both clergy and stipends has caused some closures of rural chapels of ease and joint livings of some older parishes.

Several parishes would appear to have become family fiefdoms e,g, the Cosnahans in Santon and the Allens in Maughold. Note also the imposition of Atholl (or Murray) placemen in Andreas early in the 19C. A later feature is the appointment of retired masters from King William's College to various livings e.g. Gilmour Harvey and Hughes-Games.

The anglicisation of an almost entirely Manx clergy seems to date from c.1860 onwards presumeably as the need to preach in Manx disappeared.

An alphabetic list gives links to brief biographies - another list is organised by Parish.

 

References

Canon J. Gelling A History of the Manx Church Douglas:Manx National Heritage 1998 giving the History of the Church in the Isle of Man reflects years of scholarship and is strongly recommended.

A list is given in An Account of the Diocese of Sodor and Mann etc. by Wm. Harrison in Manx Society Vol XXIX - however as Canon Kermode pointed out this list is almost certainly untrustworthy for the 17C and prior.
A.W. Moore Diocese of Sodor and Man 1900
R.D.Kermode The Annals of Kirk Christ Lezayre Douglas:Norris Modern Press 1954
D.R.Caine Church and Clergy, 1600-1800 chapter X in Manannan's Isle Douglas: 1955


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