Ashe's 'Manks Sketchbook of Views in the Isle of Man', 1825

The book of views (now extremely scarce) was printed in 1825 and consisted of a set of lithographs, each accompanied by a page of descriptive text.

There are however two states of several plates - in an apparent reprint, extra text was added to the descriptive page for Renass -

Such is Mr. Ashe's first 'Sketchbook' of the Isle of Man - of the execution it would not become him to speak ; but he feels it correct to express his deep regrets that the price is of necessity higher by four times then it would have been had not the Lithographic slabs been destroyed. However as the profits arising from this contracted edition are to be applied in aid of a fund for bringing out an Isle of Man magazine to be illuminated (monthly) ...

The later states are generally much poorer than the original, so much so that that whilst they are obviously derived from the same image the second state does not include figures shown in the first - they are readily distinguished by the absence of the imprint of 'W. Day Lithographer Gt. Queen St. London' - Day was presumably the Day of the later, well known, firm of 'Day & Haghe' in which he was the printer. Most are by Lady S. Murray (imprint 'Lady S[Sarah]. Murray, del' but that of the Nunnery is by Miss Goldie. They were printed by John Penrice.

A final section, entitled 'Antiquities of the Isle of Man' comprises two page of woodcuts, most of which were later recycled by Quiggin's in their early guide books; within the associated text is the statement that Mr. Ashe's acquaintance with the Island is upward of 30 years standing. Harrison in his Bibliography states that the author was Captain Thomas (or Trevor) Ashe who was a sort of literary Jack-of-all-Trades, and author of some twenty works on various subjects during his residence on the Island and that he was of an Irish family dying in poverty about 1831 (however a later set of views was published under his name 1834-9). He is also credited as the author of Belville and Julia, a Manks novel, by Feltham though Harrison states that he had never come across a copy but G.W. Woods states it was printed by C. Briscoe in 1792 and was the second earliest Manx novel being 'an extraordinary production, in which illicit love is pourtrayed in undisguised realism'. Ashe also established a private Museum in Douglas in the 1820s. After a sale in 1824 the title to the Manx Sun newspaper was acquired by him.

The magazine for which the reprint was made may possibly have been the short-lived " The Isle of Man Literary Journal," started by Penrice, in March, 1825, price 4d. consisting of 16 pages 8vo., and published weekly. Penrice appears to have ceased all printing c.1827 it may be possible that this corresponds to the destruction of the Lithographic stones and the reprint was an attempt by Ashe to raise cash.

The text of the Sketchbook often copies Feltham.

The Views are:


Bishops Court, Isle of Man

Castle Mona, Isle of Man

Castle Mona

laxey glen

Laxey Glen, Isle of Man

The Nunnery, Isle of Man


Dalby Dolby, Isle of Man
Kirby, Isle of Man, seat of Col Wilks Kirby, Isle of Man, seat of Col Wilks
Sulby Glen, Isle of Man Sulby Glen, Isle of Man

Peel Castle, Isle of Man

Peel Castle, Isle of Man

Others called for are:


 Manx Note Book   [Views Index]

see Manx Annals Chap 14

switch to frames viewAny comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2002