Life, how uncertain! Death, how sure!

This post will look at the ancient parish church of St Runius in Marown, Isle of Man… and an interesting grave marker for members of the Grose family in the churchyard there.

In the previous post we looked for the graves of the Mining Engineer, Matthew Grose junior (1819-1887) & his second wife, Elizabeth nee Qualtrough (1835-1918), both buried at Kirk Christ, Rushen, Isle of Man.

Some questions remain…

Where is his first wife (Anne Grose nee Read, 1818-1868) buried?

Where is his father (Matthew Grose senior, 1788-1849) buried?
marown sign

Photo © Phil Catterall (cc-by-sa/2.0)

old_mn

Sketch of 1834. Old Kirk Marown with seats for 250. Courtesy of A Manx Note Book

nave

Photo © Richard Hoare (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The Old Church:

The Old Church has been written about by many people, in the past and present day… with various versions of how it got it’s name:

St. Runius, also known as Old Kirk Marown, is a very quaint old church which still has candles for lights instead of electricity.

It is known as Old Kirk Marown because a new church was built in its place in 1853 on the main Douglas to Peel road.

St. Runius is a simple structure dating from the 12th century with alterations and extensions from 1750 to 1755 and in the late 1790’s.

It is called St. Runius as it is dedicated to St. Ronan of Lismore in Ireland and Marown also takes its name from this Saint “Ma-Ronan”, Marown.

From the IOM Photography website, 2014.

The original building was from approximately 1200 AD and was enlarged in 1754 AD.

Three bishops are possibly buried here; Lonnan, Connaghan, and Runius.

The old church was replaced around 1860, when a new church was opened. Old St Runius continued to be used occasionally for special services.

From the Isle of Man Guide website

According to a note by the late Professor Sir John Rhys, in “Mannin” (No. 2) :” the Parish Church of Marown, spelled variously Marown, Maronne, and Maroon. Skeeley Maroon is dedicated to a Saint called Maronog, in the Irish Calendar; and in the Scottish Calendar, Ronan.”

In the Manx Doomsday Book, or Manorial Rent Roll, of 1511, A.D. , the parish is styled St. Runii—St. Runy was evidently one of the Columban missionaries who came to the Isle of Man probably about the 7th Century, and it is in the Old Churchyard of Marown where his remains, with those of St. Lomanus and St. Onca are supposed to be buried, ” and these for ever lie un-molested.”

From A Manx Note Book

Why was a new church built?

With the improvement of the Douglas/Peel main road in the early 19th Century population growth focused on Crosby and the old church became too small and too far from the congregation.

In 1844 Phillip Killey, owner of a brewery in Douglas, gave land from his estate adjoining the main road between Crosby and Glen Vine for a new Church.

Tynwald approved the scheme in 1847, the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Auckland in 1849 and the Church consecrated in 1859.

From A Manx Note Book

Many years later on the 5th Oct., 1924, A.E. CLARKE wrote about this event at Marown Vicarage…

Needless to say that , this gift was accepted. and in a few years time from this date, the Old Church, so far as public worship was concerned, was forsaken for the new.

It was not so, however, with regard to burials.

The people of Marown still clung tenaciously to the old ground, where the remains of their forefathers lay for generations.

Marown Old Church - geograph.org.uk - 3125

Photo of Marown Old Church courtesy of Andy Stephenson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The ‘Grose’ Obelisk:

In the churchyard of St Runius, Marown, Isle of Man there is a granite obelisk and two fallen headstones surrounded by railings. The granite is possibly from ‘the fine granite quarry’ that the Grose family opened at Foxdale.

2017-07-06 10.54.50

Photo © Robert Cannell


Over the years there have been discussions (and confusion!) about the individuals buried there.
By studying a combination of hard-to-read memorial inscriptions and incomplete burial records, this is our best interpretation of the burials. If any further information comes to light, then it will be corrected and shared on the blog.

 

3626338_56c47eff

Photo © Richard Hoare (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Who is buried there?

The Grose family used St Runius as their main local church for baptising, marrying and burying for many years. There was a track from their home at Cornelly/Jones Mine (part of Foxdale Mines) to the church. Other churches were used too (eg, Patrick), but there is a lot of activity at St Runius.

It is likely that three generations of the Grose family are buried at St Runius, Marown… Matthew Grose senior (1788-1849) with both of his wives, his daughter-in-law and perhaps five of his grandchildren.
The first ‘Grose’ burial was likely Matthew Grose senior’s first wife, Mary Grose (nee Wearn) buried 1839. She doesn’t appear in the burial records, but the inscription on the headstone (see section below) and newspaper obituary indicates this.

mary wearn

Manks Advertiser, Tuesday, January 08, 1839; Page: 3 (Via iMusuem)


An infant, John Grose, was buried in Marown in 1845. This is likely, John Matthew Grose the son of John Grose and Charlotte (nee Clucas).

johnl grose

Via iMuseum


Matthew Grose senior was buried in 1849

matt

Manx Liberal, Saturday, June 23, 1849; Page: 3
(Via iMusuem)


Frederick William Grose (Matthew junior’s son) buried 1858

fred

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, June 16, 1858; Page: 3
(Via iMusuem)

Matthew Grose senior’s second wife Mary Grose (nee Tregonning) buried 1864

mary treg

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, November 23, 1864; Page: 3
(Via iMusuem)


Matthew Grose junior’s wife, Anne Weston Grose (nee Read) was buried 1868

annie weston

Mona’s Herald, Wednesday, May 13, 1868; Page: 7
(Via iMusuem)

list of burials marown

From Isle of Man, Burial Index, 1598-2003 via Ancestry UK

Additionally, 3 children of Matthew senior’s daughter, Jane Powning (nee Grose) are buried at Marown.

powning burials

From Isle of Man, Burial Index, 1598-2003 via Ancestry UK

In the Press…

The ‘Grose’ obelisk at Marown has been written about in the newspapers…

From the Isle of Man Weekly Times (1 Oct 1932)…

Comparatively few of the gravestones in Marown are used to point the moral of the shortness of life at its longest and the possible suddenness of death.
Captain Matthew Grose [junior] of the Ballacorkish mine, Rushen, erected a monument to his son [Frederick] in the form of an obelisk, bearing on its four sides the words,

Time, how short! 

Eternity, how long! 

Life, how uncertain!

Death, how sure!

http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/gazateer/gyards/mn.htm


Analysing the Memorial inscriptions:

There are inscriptions on the fallen stones and obelisk.

From a long discussion on a Manx genealogy forum (from 2006) we can see the following incomplete inscriptions were recorded…

http://www.isle-of-man.com/genealogy/messageboard/index.pl/md/read/id/509238

In memory of Ann Mary Grose the beloved wife of Capt Matthew Grose …………….mines…………..January 8th 1839

Weep not for me my ………..

My children dear my ……………

Prepare yourselves………

also the above named capt Matthew Grose who died on the 19th Jun 1848 1849 aged 62 years

Thanks to Rob Cannell for cleaning the headstone, so the ‘Ann’ above could be corrected to ‘Mary’ which corresponds to Mary Grose (nee Wearn).

In memory of Frederick William son of Capt Matthew Grose [junior] and Ann Weston his wife of Ballacorkish Parish of Rushen

Born March 15th 1850 died June 2nd 1858

Conclusion:

Confusion reigned for a long time because there was an 1839 obituary for a Mary Grose, but it seemed her burial was recorded in 1864. Turns out they were both right – they’re two different people! Both wives of Matthew Grose senior and both called Mary!

Add to the mix a memorial inscription from 1839 transcribed as Ann Grose instead of Mary Grose! Then it turns out that there are actually two Mary Groses… and an Anne Grose buried there too! Anne being a wife of a Captain Matthew Grose too… no not that one – his son!

We got there in the end (hopefully!). It’s a reminder to check as many sources as possible and see the originals, not transcriptions where possible.

Originally erected by the mining engineer, Matthew Grose junior, mourning his young son Frederick, the granite obelisk is a fine monument to the generations of the Grose family buried at St Runius, Marown and elsewhere on the Isle of Man.

Matthew Grose junior may now be in an unmarked grave at Rushen, but the monument he created for others in his family has stood for almost 160 years.

Thanks and Further Reading:

I must thank Rob Cannell for providing plenty of information and some of the great photos for this post. Also for cleaning up that headstone!

A Manx Note Book

Ellan Vannin Volume 1

IOM Photography

Isle of Man Guide

 

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‘GROSE’ Burials at Gwinear, Cornwall

In previous posts, (parts 1, 2 & 3), we’ve looked at ‘GROSE’ graves & memorials at the Parish Church of Saint Gwinear in Cornwall.

How do these compare with all ‘GROSE’ burials recorded in Gwinear, listed on the Cornwall OPC Database? Is anyone else related to Matthew Grose (1788-1849) who migrated to the Isle of Man?

(Screenshot from Cornwall OPC Database: accessed 15th March, 2017)

Who’s who?

Working down the list in date order…

  • William Grose and Grace Grose are siblings both buried in 1818. Their grave is posted about here. They are the younger siblings of John Grose ‘the Perranuthnoe grocer’ and Matthew Grose ‘who migrated to Foxdale, Isle of Man’.
  • Samuel Grose buried 1825 and Eleanor Grose (nee Giddy) buried 1850, are the parents of ‘the famous engineer’ Samuel Grose. No photo of their grave yet. Can you help?
  • Matthew Grose buried 1853 is the younger brother of ‘the famous engineer’ Samuel Grose. No photo of Matthew’s grave yet. Can you help?
  • Jane Grose (nee Jennings) buried 1856 is the wife of John Grose ‘the Perranuthnoe grocer’ (younger brother of Matthew Grose ‘who migrated to Foxdale, Isle of Man’). Her grave is posted about here.
  • Samuel Grose (buried 1866) is ‘the famous engineer’and Nanny Grose (buried 1867), is Ann (nee Vivian), his wife. Their grave is posted about here.
  • Thomas Grose, buried 1885, not yet researched. Can you help?
  • Ruth Grose, buried 1890, not yet researched. Can you help?

Conclusion:

From the ten individuals buried in Gwinear, graves for half of them have been located, photographed, identified and discussed.

Eight of the individuals listed, (plus others, not buried, but on memorials) are related to our adventurous ancestor, Matthew Grose (1788-1849) who migrated to Foxdale, Isle of Man.

The final two, Ruth and Thomas Grose, might be related too, but they’re to be researched another day!

Next stop, back to the Isle of Man!!