[From ManxNoteBook vol ii,1886]

Notes from the Registers - The Parish of Malew

THE NAME OF this Parish is derived from that of its Patron Saint, St. Lupus,* as is evident from the inscription on the ancient silver paten, which is still in use in the Parish Church, and on the rim of which is inscribed the legend "Ora pro nobis Sancte Lupe."

The earliest extant Register of the Parish is a small folio volume (15in. x 6in.) bound in parchment, and contains the entries of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials from 1649 to 1705. It is in a very dilapidated condition — so much so that it is difficult to handle it, without injuring its crumbling pages.

*St. Lupus was Bishop of Troyes, and was one of the followers of St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, with whom he came over from France (A.D. 429,) at the invitation of the British Bishops, to assist in confuting and checking the growth of the Pelagian heresy. (King's Church Host. of Ireland, page 115.)

Fortunately, however, a very nicely written copy was made by the Rev. Thomas Quayle in 1764, Mr. Quayle, who was Vicar of Onchan, from 1759 to 1798, seems to have made this copy for his own private use. It passed from his possession into that of his relative, the late Mrs. Banks, of the Howe, and afterwards into that of her Executor, the late James Quirk, Esq., High-Bailiff of Douglas, from whom it was recovered, in 1848, by the Rev. William Gill, then Vicar of Malew, and placed among the other Registers in the Parish chest. Though sufficiently reliable in other respects, the copyist has been somewhat reckless in his treatment of the original spelling: but the extracts given in the following paper have been carefully collated with the original.

The Vicars of Malew during the period covered by the Register were —

Thomas Parr, 1641 to 1695; and
John Woods, 1695 to 1739.

This old book owes much of its interest to the fact that Malew was the Parish Church of Castletown, the then seat of Government, so that references to the principal events and leading personages of those stirring times are of frequent occurrence; but its interest is still further enhanced by the quaint and racy entries of the first of the above-named Vicars. Sir Thomas Parr has so impressed his own character upon almost every page of the earlier portion of the book, that it reads more like an autobiography than a Parish Register, and the very self of the worthy Vicar stands out vividly before us. We picture him to ourselves as a somewhat pompous personage, with a strong sense of his own dignity, and very jealous of his official rights; amusingly subservient to the higher powers, at one time falling down on his knees with gratitude, as he records the " miracleouse pservacon " of " Or right Hoble Lord," the Earl of Derby, and, at another, actually canonising the newly-appointed Bishop, Samuel Rutter, who landed at Ronaldsway ``on the 21st 7ber, 1661, beinge S' Samuell's day;;" easily accommodating himself to the changes of government in Church and State, expressing astonishment at the use of the Book of Common Prayer at a marriage in 1654, yet hailing with evident pleasure the restoration of King Charles in 1660; delighting in sonorous and well-rounded sentences, as when describing the proclamation of James II. " with great congratulacons and repeated acclamacons;" fond of airing his Latin (such as it was) writing "fillia," and "gnata" for daughter; a bit of a quack-doctor, as appears from a prescription on the first fly-leaf, which is not quite suitable for publication; a believer in witchcraft and astrology careful to note the position of the planets, and the direction of the wind at the time of the birth of one of his own children; yet withal an honest, kindly, gossipy old gentleman, who wins upon our affections while we laugh at his foibles, and from whom we part at length with sincere regret.

The Parrs were at one time very numerous in the Island. The name occurs again and again in Manx documents, from the year 1504, down to the middle of the last century. During that period we find among the members of the family a " Comptrouler," a Bishop, a Deemster, and at least nine Parochial Clergymen. An account of the family which was promised in the Manx Note Book (Vol. I, p. 59) will, it is hoped, appear shortly.


Thomas Brighouse, cooke to or hoble Lord of this Isle, was buried July 28th.

Tho: Norris, Secretary to or hoble Lord of Derby, (who was slaine by Major Henry Goslett Stanley, by the way cominge from Duglas, the 3d of August at night), was buried the 5th day of August.

It is intended to give in the next portion of these Notes, a short account of the proceedings which were taken against Major Stanley, on account of this deed.

Thomas Stole, (Balnemoddey), buried August zad.

"Balla-ny-moddey," the dog farm; now generally written Ballamoda. The names of our Insular localities are rapidly losing all significance through mis-spelling. Who, e.g., would recognise "Purt Grianagh," Sunny Harbour, in the vulgar modern name " Port Greenock ?"


1650. — John Miller, his barque was broken uppon the rockes at the Stack of Scarlett. the 18th of Aprill, after night-fall hymselfe, 2 men, and a boy wear alive; but John Crostick Michall Denis, Nathaniell Grayson (Infant), 2 younge woemen, and a younge man a smith, (whose names I could not learne) died, & weare buried the 20th of Aprill, at the lowerer stile of the Church-yard.

Thomas Millburne, dyed in fight, in Geo: Pickrin, his barque, the 6th of June, 1650, and buried in Kk Malew Churchyard the said day.

The fifteenth of August, 1650. Our Hoble Lord James Earle of Derby, wth some men weare a boorde a shipp of Capt. John Barklow's in Derby haven. And att his honnours returne from that shipp after night-fall, beinge scarce fiftie yards gone from the said shipp, a peece of ornans loaden wth cartagges was discharged out of the 5d ship, and shots Collonell Snayd through the shoulder, and brake all the bones therof, beinge on the one side of or hoble Lord in the boate, and Collonell Richard Weston on the other side of my Lord, was shots through the head (the topp of the scull, and ye braines was taken away), & dyed imediately; yett (the Lord god of Israell be praised for ever for his mightie and miracleouse pteccon and pservacon) our right hoble Lord was kept by ye hand of pvidence safe, and not touched: likewise one Phillip Lucas, maister of the fishinge boate was shots through ye head, and psently dyed. And the next day beinge August 16th, the said Collonell Weston was buried in the Chancell of Kk Malew, by the side of the Alter (on ye east side.)* And Phillip Lucas buried in the Church-yard.
* What could have been the position of the Altar ?

1650 -[51], — Collonell Ralph Snaide, buried ffeb 6th, & that upon the right side of Collonell Weston in ye Chancell.

A child of Wm. Harrison's of Poulesallaugh buried ffeb 26.

The place mentioned in this entry is undoubtedly Ballasalla; and the spelling suggests that the original name was Poyll-shellagh, The Willow-pool; or, perhaps, Bal-ny-shellagh, The Willow Village.


Willm McMane cu Philip Lucas daughter in Kk Santan parish Church, by Sr John Cosnahan, a clandesten marriage, Novr 6th.

This unscrupulous poaching on his domain by some of his clerical neighbours seems to have been a life-long grievance with the good Vicar, and complaints of it occur in the Register over and over again.


Ewan Huddleston, sonn to Capt: Willm Huddleston, (and Waterbalife of this Isle), and Elizabeth, bapt. October 9th

Ellin Mane, daughter to Willm McMane, bapt. October.

Was the prefix Mac omitted here because the child was a girl ?

1652. — Alice Evons daughter to Robt. (called the Cowboy), and Mrgery Shurlogue baptized Jully 18th.

After an entry dated Septr 27th, occurs the following: —

Kathrin Tunman, daughter of John and Ellin his wife, (though I forgott to writte her downe in her right place) was bapt: Sept 12th, 1652.

The spelling of this name seems to have been successively Tunman, Tumman, Tubman, Taubman.

Hugh Kissage son to John ffidler bapt . 8ber 7th Willm Illeriah son to Wm. (Irish) bapt; October 13th

Tho: Cailes son to David (plumer), and Eliz: Postle (goefind), bapt: 10ber 8th.

1652. — a child of Robt Norris, christen'd by Edward Brew & also was baptised . . . March

The above entry occurs in a badly-frayed corner of a page, and is partially destroyed. Enough remains however to indicate that at that time there existed a distinction, which is still frequently to be met with in country places, between "christening" and "baptism;" the former word being used for the Private Baptism of the child, and the latter, by a strange misnomer, for its reception into the Congregation. Edward Brew was the Parish Clerk, and frequently officiated at Baptisms, Burials, and Churchings instead of the Vicar. He died in 1667.

Robt Parr, son to Sr Thomas and Ellinor, bapt: the 29th of October. This was the second Robt, the first is dead.


1651. —

Henry Bell cum Marriott Duccan, June 15th. Edward Shymyne & John Bell (naucke), have bound themselves in ye prsenc of ye congregacon for the sd Henry Bell to discharge the [office ? *] & that the sd Henry shall owne and acknowledge the sd Marriott when he is att lawfull yerres to be his lawfull wife. Witness the trurh herof by their subscription in ye prsenc of ye congregacon this 15th of June, 1651, beinge the Sabbath day.
Edward Shimine,
John Bell his mrk ~

*This word is illegible in the original, but from other entries it would seem to have been " office." To "discharge the office" meant to bear the Clergyman harmless, to be his sureties in case any question should arise as to the legality of the ceremony, one of the parties, at least, being a minor.


1651. — Robt Calcott, (Cunstable of Rushen Castle), buried Augt 24th.

The Calcotts were devoted adherents of the Derby family, and were very powerful in the Island at this time. The name Calcott or Colquitt survived in Malew up to a very recent date. Thus we find " Mr. Colquitt Heywood" buried in 1791, Mary Colquitt in 1802, and Ferdinand Colquit in 1805. The name occurs twentytwo times in the Register of Baptisms between 1800 and 1834; and within the last fifty years there was a Stanley Colquitt, who was the parochial overseer of highways. See a curious denunciation of decadence to the family of "Colcads," as the rivals of William Christian, and supposed instigators of his execution, in the Ballad of " Iliam Dhoon." (Manx Society's Vol. xvi., p. 67, seq.)

1651. — John Grenehalgh, Esquire, governor, and Lieutenant generall of this Isle, departed this life the 16th Of September and buried the 19th day of the same month: and Sr Phillip Musgrave was sworne Governor in his stid about sunn sett on the same day.

There appears to have been great mortality among the authorities at this time, for on the same page as the above we find the two following entries: —


Capt. Sam. Smith, Deputy governor of this Isle of Mann was buryed in ye garden or Castle ditch of Castle Rushen the 27th day of June, 1652.

John Sharples, Deputie Governr, (by the comission of my Lord ffairefax, his Comissoners) of the Isle of Man buried December 8th.

It would be interesting to know why Governor Smith was buried in what is still called the "Castle Dyke."

1652 — John Parr, buried in Kk Malew, ffebr. 24th, on the north side of the ffont wthin the Church.

And six months afterwards

John Parr infant son to John, buried August 28th, [1653].



Leg: Little Thomas the Taylor his son and Ellin Johnson's christened Jnne the 12th.

We imagine that this kind of entry was not likely to be very satisfactory to the parents, especially as the child was " Leg," i.e., legitimate ! It should be remarked here that each entry in this part of the Register is marked as above, either " Leg :" or " Illeg :" and that the number of the latter is surprisingly small.

There was two children of John Kewish, bapt: by Edward Brew, about Zzth of July.

John Parr, son to Jo: deceased bapt: Augt 2Ist


1653. —

Iny Kegge (Hen: Norris Concupine), buried Jully 22th.

William Quorke, (who fell downe from a hay stacke, in Balladowle & Dyed) was buried August 12th, 1653.

Old Henry Calister's wife buried March 5th,

Poore Iny Bell, begger, buried March 5th,

Doctor John Lace dyed in January 1653. His will is in the Episc. Registry, Lib. 1654.


1654. —

William Parr, son to Sr Thomas Parr Vic: of Kk Malew and Ellinr his wife baptised the 5th of November, and borne the tusday aft night before, at twelve of the Clocke beinge All Saints Eve.


1654. —

John Gunston & Alice Preston were maryed by Sr John Crellin, by the booke of Common Prayer read altogether on booke.

Sir John Crellin was the Vicar of Arbory, and this marriage was probably solemnised in Arbory Church. At any rate it looks as if the Vicar of Malew regarded the use of the Prayer Book, as a very extraordinary and questionable bit of ritualism in those days of the Commonwealth.


1654. —

William Kerush & Robt Calow of Kk Maughold for murtheringe of one Cottiam of the same parish were hanged upon the gallowes of Hango hill August 31st and buried in ye Churchyard of Kk Malew downe in ye way from the porch,

Ellin ffargher (cheare) buried January 13th


1655, —

Ewan Christian, Esquire & Deemster of this Isle buried Septr 20th

See " Manx Note Book," Vol. I., p. 18.


1656, —

Mary Tunman daught: to Jo: att Green, May 11th

The Green is doubtless the Bowling-Green Estate, of which the Taubmans are still the proprietors.

1656. —

Mary Coward daught: to Rich. & Alice his wife, quaker. Preston daughter to Will: Quaker.

It seems strange that within four months, two children of Quakers should be baptised. It looks as if some compulsion had been used.



In the margin opposite Novr 11th, this year, there is a note " These following died of the small pox cum multis aliis." Then follow 29 deaths in two months.

John Harrison son to Jo: (red), buried March gth,


1657. —

John Parr son to Sr Tho: and Ellinr, June 20th.

Alice Samsbury caught: to blind Tho: Aug. 23d.


1657. —

John Wolley, (who perished in Robt Jacksons shipe att Langnose points, October 4th, att night), was buried in Kk Malew, October '5th,


1658. —

George Garrett & Jane Parr his wife buried in Kk Christ Lezayre (May 13th 1658) in one grave, and theire only son in the same grave 5 days before.

This Mrs. Garrett was probably a daughter of Robert Parr, then Rector of Ballaugh, and a niece (?) of the Vicar of Malew. There is nothing strange in finding a burial in another parish recorded here. The Vicar used his Register freely to note down anything that concerned himself or was of public interest.

Nil. Kathrin the Cripple buried Decemb. 12th

Note the very suggestive " nil " in the margin. All down the margin of each page, about this time, are mysterious signs, such as " 4d pa," "7d," " 9d." very frequently "pd," but most often " unpd," or " u." If these refer to the surplice fees received by the Vicar, his income from this source must have been small indeed!



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