Eliza Craven Green

The brief biography is based on that given by her great great grandson Spencer Needs.

Born Eliza Craven 10th December 1803 at Briggate Leeds - her father was an auctioneer whilst her mother ran a school for young ladies. Her link with the Isle of Man started around 1823 when she and sister Ann joined an amateur theartre company based at the New Theatre, Atholl Street, Douglas - they were forced to return to Leeds when the company suffered financial diificulty, the proceeds of a benefit concert providing them with the fares to return home - her now very rare first book A Legend of Mona was printed by Penrice in Douglas and published by Luke Lane (who ran a circulating library and was also an auctioneer). She married comedian James Green, lived in Manchester where she played a part in the literary life but returned to Leeds by 1830 and had 6 children there (3 dying in infancy) - her husband having left her to work in London by 1841. Her son Henry Hawes Craven Green joined his father there, later becoming well known as scenic artist and set designer for Sir Henry Irving.

Eliza would appear to be very poor being noted as seamstress or milliner but continued to write poetry and short stories for various newpapers and journals, some under various noms-de-plume. Her circumstances would appear to have improved around 1857 being awarded a small pension of £25 pa from the Royal Bounty Fund for services to literature - she published a collection of poems "Sea Weeds and Heath Flowers or Memories of Mona" in 1858 - she died in Leeds after a period of ill health on 11 March 1866.

Her reputation on the Island is based on providing the words for the ever popular song "Ellan Vannin".

Published Work

A Legend of Mona, A Tale in Two Cantos published by L Lane (at his circulating Library) printed by Penrice Douglas 1825
Sea Weeds and Heath Flowers 1858
Flowers from the Glen : The Poetical Remains of James Waddington of Saltaire ed Eliza Craven Green 1862 pub by Abraham Holroyd & H B Byles Leeds

Individual Poems

Kirk Braddan Churchyard - included in Johnson's Guide 1850
The Lament of the Fairies
- included in Johnson's Guide 1850
Lines to Douglas Bay (reprinted in The Manxman #4 1911)


Spencer Needs The Hidden Poems of Eliza Craven Green priv published 2017 (a second edition is under preparation)

 Manx Note Book Index

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2018