Smythe & Rice Familes

The following was given to me by a relative - among other things it throws some interesting light on the building of the Catholic Church in Peel.


Police Offce, Peel
8th April1882 .

To Head Constable Douglas. Dear Sir,

From information which P.C. Callin and I received on Thursday night (6th) from a man named Daniel Corlett, at present working in Peel as a stone-mason to the effect that he was, on Sunday 26th March last, in the house of Mary Ann Roberts, Station Rd Peel; an unlicensed person, accompanied by two men named Evan Cunninghan and Arthur Riley and that he called for 3 glasses of whisky and paid far it,

The said Mary Ann Roberts formerly had a retail licence but her licence was taken from her 2 years age as she was not considered a fit and proper person to have a licence Upon the foregoing information I obtained a warrant today to search her premises. At 9.30 p.m. I accompanied by P.C. Callan, Quirk and Clucas went and made search for intoxicating liquor in her premises. We found seven jars containing intoxicating liquor. One six gallon jar and one 3 gallon jar full and sealed and the other five jars contain a quantity of spirits Rum, Whisky, &c;. we also found 15 bottles of wine, 95 battles of ale and porter, a half barrel of ale marked "Allan Mona Brewery XXX Mild Ale„ Two wooden kegs containing a quantity of rum and whisky, the half barrel was tapped but nearly fall; another half barrel in the shop was empty.

We got two handcarts and conveyed the vessels and contents to the Police Station. I am at present unable to state the number of gallons of spirits but will be able is tell you during the week.

We found two men named Evan Cunningham and Patrick Smith in the premises. They had no drink before them; Patrick Smith is stepson to Mrs. Roberts.

I am Sir,

Your obedient servant, John Cringle,

C.C. NOTE: The Mrs. Roberts in this report was formerly married to Michael Smith (Smythe) known an Mick the fiddler (a good violinist) Mick Smyth is buried in Peel Castle where his headstone still stands. He was a coal merchant trading between Whitehaven, Peel and Annalong,, he,bought at public auction the plot of land on. which St. Patricks Church was built in 1865 (approx). Mrs. Roberts was Michael Smyth's second wife,

11th April, 1882. (Extract from Police Report)

"Total amount of spirits seized is 19 gallons, 3 quarts, 1 pint-and 1 gill. There were also seized 65 bottles of Porter, 30 bottles of ale, 15-bottles of wine and a half barrel of ale"

22d April, 1882 - Peel Police Station. - At the High Bailiffs Court held here today Mary Ann Roberts for selling intoxicating-liquor without being duly licensed was fixed £7 with £1.0.6d costs or 2 months imprisonment and the intoxicating liquor seized was ordered to be forfeited.

John Cringle, C.C.


5th May, 1882.
To Head Constable, Douglas.

Dear Sir,

I beg to inform you that the sale by Public Auction in compliance with an order granted by the High Bailiff of Peel of the intoxicating liquor and vessels seized on the premises of Mary Ann Roberts, Station Road, Peel on the 8th April last took place today. The sum realised was £10.5,0d.

I am Sir,

Your obedient servant,

John Cringle, Constable in Charge.

Notes Mrs. Robert's house was next to the last on right hand side going down Station Road known as Gladstone House. It was at this house that Gladstone called and drank lemonade after walking along the track from St. Johns. Gladstone travelled to St. Johns by train and then wanted to walk along the line to Peel and thus up Station Road and called in Roberts shop,

MICHAEL SMYTHE Born 1795 died 29th January, 1857 aged 62 years.

His children to his first wife were Mary, Ellen, William, Patrick. James, Margaret

Mary married a man named Quilliam from Glenmaye, she was the grandmother of Annie Quilliam who lived in the Strand Street, area.

Ellen married a Cornishman named Bussant and had an antique shop in Liverpool (brass stool was a gift to Mrs. Leadley, William Smyth's grand-daughter on her wedding in April, 1915). (no children.)

William married a Whitehaven girl called Cunningham (?) (or ? Foye) had one daughter called Mary born in 1854. In 1872 Mary then aged 18 years married Patrick Rice (William died in Liverpool of cancer in 1877) Mary was the mother of Mrs. Brian Leadley.

Patrick Smyth had two boats the Mauthe Dhoo and the Princess Alice, he lived in Market St. had a son who joined the territorials and a daughter called Nellie. His wife had a big stone mangle. (Children 1879 William, 1881 George 1882 Joseph, 1884 Mary Elizabeth,1886 Eleanor Ann , Mrs. Mary Quilliam's grand(?)son went out to Africa with Johnny Cubbon, Patrick St and George Moore who later lived at the Raggett. The Quilliams were related to Inspector Quilliam and Josh. Kennaugh.

The 2nd Mrs. Smyth

On the death of his wife Michael Smyth married a very young girl called Mary Ann Grimes. There was a son, John Smith he went to England sailed abroad and who was marooned on a south sea island and stayed there

On the death of Michael Smyth, his widow married a man named Roberts, Her daughter Rosina became a nun, was Mother Superior in a convent near Oxford, she kept in touch with Rose Anne Rice, (Mrs. Craine) who lived in 24 Castle Street and used to knit shawls for her. Her other daughter was Mary Ann

There are two Michael Smythe's buried in Peel, one small stone with just the name no dates. One large one with the name Michael Smyth died 29th January, 1857 aged 62 years, another -headstone has the name Margaret Smyth died 1851 aged 59 years and a verse which comments on an enduring illness (this was curvature of the spine) the headstone was erected by her daughter Mrs Hanvey of Whitehaven. This Margaret Smyth must have been the first wife

Mary Smyth was the only child of William Smyth and became mother of Mrs. Brian Leadley. The under-named were on the island when children . The Rices originally belonged to Annalong, Co. Down.

Patrick Rice - married Mary Smith
Ann Rice - married Daniel Craine
Johnny Rice - never married
James Rice - married a ?Boyd - 4 children
George Rice - married Mary Bowman.

(1) Patrick Rice Ships husbandman (he provided crews)

His children - James, William, George,. Louisa, Sarah, Eliza, Mary, Joseph.

1. James died in Rhodesia November 1928 aged 46 years.

2. William died 1949 aged 72 - 5 children - Gerard, George, Donald, John & Willie. (John and Willie both died aged 3 years, Donald died aged 48 years, George died 1980)

3. Louisa - married John Cubbon - 3 children - Louie, Johnny & Frank (Frank unmarried Johnny had 2 children, Louie had 4 children - Winifred, Monica, Denis, Johns + Mary who died in infancy.

4. Sarah - unmarried (died 1972)

5.Eliza - unmarried (died 1964) Kept the Royal Hotel.

6. Joseph - died in infancy

7. George - married Bessie - his children were Alf, Violet, Lily, May (George died,1963 )

8. Mary - married Brian Leadley - children were Brian, Mary, Bernard, Lawrence " Kathleen,. James. Brian Leadley died 1954, his son Patrick Brian died 1966

(2) Rose Anne Rice - married Daniel. Craine lived at 24 Castle St. - No children.

She worked in the Net Factory - born about 1843 died 14th February, 1927(at death was said to be 84 years old.

Notes by Mary Leadley

Rose Anne Rice told me that as a teenager she was sent to Fenella Beach one day with a message to two men dressed as visitors. She went along the harbour side, ever the bridge, along the West quay, which at that time ended at the funeral path, then she walked up the path and down to the Fenella Beach and the message she carried was "Mick Smythe has bought the land". The land was the plot on which St. Patrick's Church was built. At that time in the 1850's there was much bigotry and a priest would have been outbid on principle. Mick Smyth was a coal merchant and the other bidders asked if he was opening another yard and to this he replied "It will be the best yard of the lot" .The priest in Douglas was keen to open a Mission in Peel to serve the small community and the fishermen and sailors who came from Whitehaven and Ireland. St. Patrick's Church was completed 1865. The visitors referred to on Fenella Beach were two priests.

(3) Johnny Rice - unmarried - lived with his married sister Rose Ane Craine and her husband Daniel at 24 Castle St. He was mariner - born 1844 - died 1907 (Boat Kaffirland). Sailed Africa and China seas

(4) James Rice -wife McGarry

He had 6 children -

1. Alice Rice who married a man called Hughes (later this man Hughes was suffocated [] whilst sleeping on their boat someone had covered over [the hatch]

3. James Rice who married Maggie Johnson who kept a chip' shop - they had a son Stephen. James was a stonemason who put the last stone on Peel Church steeple.. They had another son called George who died aged 18 after being kicked by a man called Hughes. Alice his sister married this Hughes' son. This caused a family row and James ordered Alice out of the house saying "no good will come of marrying the son of a murderer". Her husband as stated previously was suffocated.

4 George - 1844 - 1877 George Rice married a girl called Mary Bowman - he died of tuberculosis at 33 years, he was the last person to be buried in the Catholic Burial ground in the Castle. Before the cemetery in Douglas Road was opened the Protestants were buried at St. Peters and Catholics in the castle.

Notes by Mary Leadley

My Uncle George, that is my mother's brother told me that he went to this funeral in 1877 - he had been named George after his young uncle; he was only 4½ at the time and wearing frocks and he was carried on his father's (Patrick) shoulders, he said the funeral went along the harbour, over the bridge and along the West Quay to the funeral path and so to Fenella Beach, the funeral being arranged to take place at low tide. The West Quay from the funeral path to Fenella beach was completed in 1879.

George Rice and Mary Bowman lived up Dodd's off off Michael St. on the land between the backs of Douglas St. and Michael St., this green was called Fairyland and they had a cottage where bungalows now stand. They had one son who ran away to sea when he was 16 years old. He sailed on a ship called the Clarrissa Radcliffe sailing out of Liverpool at the time of the Onedin Line, and he was killed on the return journey when docked at Constantinople.Mrs.George Rice (nee Mary Bowman) had another son who spent most of his childhood with Mrs. Rose Anne Craine who was his aunt by marriage, he was called William, when grown up he was known as Willie Dale (he was a butcher) his father was J. Dale John Dale later lived with his acknowledged son Willie in Douglas St. The Dales worked in Cowley's butcher shop where Partingtons shop now stands. Mrs. George Rice did housework as a widow.

The mother of these Rices was a Chris Cunningham from Annalong, Co Down, there is a field in Annalong still called Chris's field. At one time the people were well off but they were deprived of their land when squatters were brought into Ireland from Scotland, and the family fled from persecution to the Isle of Man. Rice is a County Down name. When I (Mary Leadley) was teaching in Ramsey my headmistress was a lady from Kilkeel, Co. Down called Florence O'Hagan. She showed me a photograph of some cousins of hers called Cunningham, there were 3 girls in a row and she said they had been called the beauties of Co. Down, in features they were very such like Sarah, Eliza and Mary Rice (my mother), in fact it could have passed for a picture of the three Rice sisters ,when they were young. The Smyths also originated from County Down, belonging to the parish of Tyrella.

(I, Mary Leadley), once saw an old bible in the Rice's house and the writing on the fly leaf said William Smyth from the Parish of Tyrella, Co. Down

Rices were related to Sir John Marmion

Between Station road and Lake Lane where there now stands a garage were two cottages one was occupied by a family called Cunningham, they were four big sons all about 6ft 4 ins.

The two cottages below St. Patricks Church were known as the Irish houses, and here George Kelly who escaped in Manchester when sympathisers attacked the police van taking George Kelly and friends to a place to await trial. In this attack police were killed by their sympathisers, and the Irishmen condemned to be executed, became known as the Manchester Martyrs. George Kelly came here and was hidden on a fishing boat by Patrick Rice and landed on Co. Down coast, whence he escaped to America where he had.a pub - its sign was a pair of hand-cuffs. At this time all the fishing boats were getting stocked up to sail to Kinsale to fish there for some weeks. Normally the ships sailed across to County Down and then followed the coast round to Co. Cork and Co. Kerry.

Johnny Hall, skipper of the Bennie Jane, lived at Gordon, Patrick, he was well known in the south west of Ireland and was often called the King of Valencia (Valencia being an island off Kerry.)




Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2003