[From Manx Note Book vol 2, 1886]

Old Manx Families - The Heywoods of Heywood

ARMS-Three torteauxs between two bendlets, GULES
CREST-', A falcon on the stump of a tree."
MOTTO-Alte Volo -

PIERS E'WOOD, WHO WAS LIVING IN 1164,* IS THE EARLIEST MEMBER OF THIS DISTINGUISHED FAMILY OF WHOM WE HAVE ANY ACCOUNT; BUT THE FIRST TO BE CONNECTED WITH THE ISLE OF MANN WAS PETER (died September 29th, 1657), the sixteenth in descent from Piers, son of Robert Heywood, of Heywood, by Mary, daughter and co-heir of John Ashton, of Penteth, (the famous "Powderplot Heywood," so called on account of his having apprehended Guy Fawkes with his dark lantern,* was his uncle.) He married Alice,+ (died December 27th, 1671) daughter of John Greenhalgh, of Brandlesholm, Governor of the Isle of Mann from 1640 to 1651, and had issue two sons: Robert (see below), Peter (died unmarried), and seven daughters: Dorothy, Elizabeth, jane, Laura, Anne (died unmarried), Margaret (died January 16, 1669, buried in Lezayre old church) married John Garrett, of Ballabrooie, , Captain of Sulby," and left issue one son and three daughters; and Martha married Andrew Berry, of Manchester. All his estates were sequestrated in 1643 for supporting the Royalist cause. Being a devoted friend of the Earl of Derby's he then sought a refuge in the Isle of Mann, and only left it to take part in the battle of Worcester, on the 3rd of September, 1651. His eldest son, Robert (born 1633, died 1690), married Mary (died 1674), daughter and co-heir of Ellis Hasleham, of Rochdale, and had issue two sons ; Peter (see below), Robert (died unmarried), and three daughters; Alice married Richard Stevenson, of Balladoole, Mary married Dr. Jenkins, and Elizabeth (died unmarried); she was for many years Bishop Wilson's house-keeper. He was Governor of the Isle of Mann from 1678 till his death. In 1687 we find it recorded that "Ro: Heywood, Esqre., Governor of this Isle, hath entered ane bay gelding, called by the name of Loggerhead, and hath deposited towards the augmenting of the plate for the next year £oo : o5 : oo."~ Then follows a memorandum " 28th July, 1687, that this day the above plate was run for by the foremencloned horses, and the same was fairly won by the Right Worshipfull Governor's horse at the two first heats." §

He was buried in the Chapel at Castletown, but his body was removed and interred in the same grave with his son Peter, in Kirk Malew Church, in 1699.

Peter (born 1661, died 1699, buried in Malew Church), married in 1685 Leonora (died 1732) daughter and heiress of Hugh Cannell, Water-Bailiff, and Margaret Calcott,* of the Nunnery, Braddan, by whom the Nunnery estates came to the Heywoods. Peter and Leonora had issue four sons and four daughters. The eldest son, Robert (born 1686, died 1742), a clergyman, succeeded to the Lancashire estate, which had become much impoverished owing to the expenses of a law suit incurred in recovering it from the sequestrators after the Restoration. He must have sold it, as we learn from the Diary of Samuel Heywood (died 1789), a connection and a descendant of John Heywood, of Little Lever (see below), that he (Robert) was the "last seized of the estate at Heywood." He had incurred his mother's displeasure, so she determined to deprive him of the Manx estates. She, therefore, in conjunction with Major Wood,§ sold the Nunnery to William Bridson, who afterwards assigned it to her youngest son, Thomas (see below), her second and third sons, Peter and Nicholas, having died young. of the four daughters, Mary married Isaac Harrison; Elizabeth married first John Christian, of Douglas, and secondly William Murray, but had no issue; Margaret married Henry Green; Helena (died unmarried). Peter Heywood was Attorney-General of the Isle of Mann. Thomas (born 1698, died 1759, buried at Braddan), married Hester (born 1718, died 1789, buried at Braddan), daughter of Robert Reeves, of Cork, merchant, on the isth of April, 1738, at Kirk Braddan, and had issue 8 sons and 4 daughters ; of the sonsPeter John and Robert both had issue (see below), Calcott married jane Helena, daughter of Captain Cumming, but died without issue, and the others died young; of the daughters-Leonora (born 1744, died 1786, buried at Braddan), married Daniel Mylrea, of Douglas; Hester married james Holwell; Mary married Sir Thomas Pasley, and Elizabeth died young. In early life Thomas Heywood was one of the most determined opponents of Bishop Wilson's ecclesiastical discipline.+

She married (2) Major Charles Christian, of Milntown, ~.1 had no issue by him, and in 1717, on her death, Leonora was entered for the Nunnery. 'Her second husband. + For particulars see Keble's Life of Bishop Wilson.

He, however, ultimately became one of the Bishop's most devoted friends, and was one of his executors. He was Captain of the Fort at Douglas, and Speaker of the House of Keys. His eldest son, Peter John (born 1739, died 1790, buried in Braddan Church*) became Deemster. He was a man of considerable culture and literary tastes. It is to his correspondence with Professor Thorkelin, of Copenhagen, that we owe the preservation of probably the oldest Manx Ballad in existence.§ He was the last Heywood who held the Nunnery estates, as he sold them to ohn Taubman, of the Bowling Green, Castletown. By his wife Elizabeth (born 1745, died 1808, buried at Whitehaven), only daughter of James Spedding, whom he married at Whitehaven, on the 15th of May, 1762, he had issue 6 sons and 3 daughters; of the sons, Thomas, the eldest, died on the 2nd of December, 1770, James also died young, Peter (born 1772, died 1831, at Cumberland Terrace, Regent's Park), was a Post Captain in the Royal Navy, in which position he highly distinguished himself. The earlier part of his career in connection with the "Mutiny of the Bounty " is well known. In 1816 he married Frances, only daughter of Francis Simpson, but had no issue; Henry (born 1779, died at Madras, 1802, without issue), Robert John (born 1781, died 1796), and Edwin Holwell (see below). of the daughters, Hester (born 1768, died September, 1793, at Hastings, buried at Tunbridge Wells), will be remembered in connection with her brother Peter. She wrote several touching poems and many admirable letters, which testify to her devotion to him. Her health broke down under the trouble and anxiety attending his trial, and she died at the early age of 25. Isabella (born jane+ )born 1777, died 1856, buried in Braddan Cemetery), married the Rev. James Aislabie; Edwin Holwell (born 1782, died 1832), married Elizabeth Nickle, and had issue Edwin Holwell (born 1806, died without issue, 1870) the last of the Heywoods in the elder branch, Peter John (born 1809, died 1836, without issue) ; Elizabeth (born 1808, died 1874), married E. C. Fleetwood,* but had no issue. Robert (born 1740, died 1808), second son of the above Thomas, was "fifteen years his Majesty's Water-Bailiff of this Island."§ He was married twice: first, to Margaret, only daughter of Richard Joiner, of Douglas, by whom he had four sons and two daughters. All the sons died without issue: Thomas (born 1765, died unmarried), Richard (born 1769), and Robert (born 1769), were drowned in the West Indies in 1786, Calcott (born 1766, died 1852, buried at Conchan), was a Captain in the gth Regiment, and a member of the House of Keys; Hester, the eldest daughter (born 1771, died 1796, buried at Conchan) was unmarried; Margaret (born 1773, died 1861), married Samuel Thomson, of London, banker, and had issue 8 sons and 6 daughters. He had been a Lieutenant in the 44th Regiment.+ One of their sons, Thomas Richard Heywood Thomson, married Margaret,, daughter of Daniel Fleming Wilson, M.H.K., J.P., (born 1777, died 1846, buried at Braddan), of Farm Hill, Braddan; of their daughters, Eliza (born 1814, died 1883, buried at Braddan Cemetery), married Senhouse Wilson (born 1812, died 1864, buried at, Braddan Cemetery), High-Bailiff of Douglas, M.H.K., and Registrar of Deeds, eldest son of the above D. F. Wilson, and had issue, Senhouse Heywood Wilson, the present proprietor of Farm Hill; Nessy married William Stephen, advocate, and had issue Nessy, now residing in Douglas; Margaret, unmarried, residing in Finch Road, Douglas; and Rebecca married H. B. Noble, J.P., C.P., of Villa Marina, Douglas. Robert Heywood married secondly Elizabeth (died 1793, buried at Braddan), daughter of John Joseph Bacon, at Braddan, in 1788, and had issue two daughters and a son. of the daughters, Jane married Robert Boardman, and had issue two daughters; Elizabeth married Edward Caryl Fleetwood, and had issue 5 sons and 2 daughters. The son, John Joseph (born 1789, died 1855), proprietor of Bemahague, "one of her Majesty's Deemsters for this Island, the duties of which important trust he discharged with uprightness and ability for the lengthened period of 33 years."* He was married twice: first to Elinor (born 1791, died 1820, buried at Conchan, sister of Field-Marshal Sir William Rowan, and had issue a daughter, Elinor, who married John Daly. Their eldest son, Frank, married Louisa Browne, and their son, Heywood, is the present proprietor of Bemahague. Deemster J. J. Heywood married secondly Elizabeth (born 1796, died 1843, buried at Conchan), only daughter of Alexander Birtwistle, and had issue an only daughter, who married the Rev. C. T. Pratt.

The name of Heywood, in the elder branch who settled in the Isle of Mann, is thus extinct, but the descendants of John Heywood, of Little Lever, in the parish of Bolton, a younger member of the same family, who lived in Queen Elizabeth's time, are to be found in Liverpool, Manchester, Wakefield, and Southampton, one of them is the present Sir Thomas Percival Heywood, of Claremont, Co. Lancaster, who succeeded his father as second Baronet. Descendants of "Powderplot Heywood " are also to be found at Maristow, in Devonshire.


1 This lantern is still in the Bodleian library and bears the following inscription-" The very lantern that was taken from Guy Fawkes by Peter Heywood, when he attempted to blow up the Parliament House."

2 She was widow of Theophilus Holte.

3 Manx Society, " Mona Miscellany," 2nd Series, pp. 186-7. This race, which was run on Langness, was first instituted by James Lord Strange (afterwards 7th Earl) in 1627, when he gave a cup to be run for.

4 On the South Wall there is a tablet to his memory inscribed-

" In Memoriam. Peter John Heywood, Esquire, formerly of the Nunnery, a Deemster of this Isle, died February 6th, 1790, and is buried under this church."

5 Manx Note Book, No. 6, p. So. t
Her death is recorded on the same tablet as her father's.

This E. C. Fleetwood was son of E. C. Fleetwood, who married Elizabeth Heywood, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Bacon (see below).

* A detailed pedigree is given in Dodsworth's M.M.S., "Vol. 79, in the Bodleian Library.

~ Tablet on North Wall of Conchan Church.

+ When he came to reside in the Isle of Mann he was made a Captain in the Royal Manx Fencibles.

* Epitaph on North Wall in Conchan Church.



Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000