Papers of the Quine family, including Canon John Quine, Lieutenant Commander John Lindsay Quine and Marjorie Quine

Scope and Content

The content consists of Revd Canon John Quine’s (1857-1940) literature, including poetry, plays, ( White boys, By Special License, The Fairy Doctor and Kitty’s Affair), a corrected proof version of his novel Captain of the Parish and a guidebook to the Isle of Man Handbook en route: Isle of Man Souvenir of Coast and Mountain Electric Railways (1900). Other material consists of the Canon’s writings relating to Manx history, Manx Churches, Manx politics, Manx memorials, Manx archaeology and his activities in the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society. Other items include legal papers such as a registration of a Deed, music sheets, a music book of hymns and tunes and photographs and sketches relating to archaeological matters (inscribed stones).

Other content relates to the papers of the Canon’s eldest son Lieutenant Commander John Lindsay Quine (1886-1980). Material includes correspondence between John (nickname ‘Dono’) and the Canon ranging from 1906-1939, personal papers of John and papers relating to his naval career. A diary from 1916, personal correspondence, a 1916-1917 driving license and material relating to John Lindsay’s visit to New Zealand are also present. Outsize items include several certificates relating to John Lindsay’s qualifications in naval engineering.

Further contents relates to the papers of Marjorie May Caroline [née Manock] Quine (1917-2010). Marjorie was a Quine through her 1953 marriage to Colin Lindsay Quine (1926-2005), son of Lieutenant Commander John Lindsay Quine. The papers relate to Marjorie’s research of the Quine family history; much of the papers are connected to preparations of Quine submissions to Dollin Kelly’s (ed.) New Manx Worthies (2006).

Administrative / Biographical History

Canon John Quine

Isle of Man born John Quine (1857-1940) was the son of William Quine (1825-1907) a miller and Member of the House of Keys (MHK) and Christian née Callister (1817-1889). In 1877, while attending King William’s College, Castletown, Quine won an open scholarship to read mathematics at Merton College, University of Oxford, later pursuing courses in Greek and Latin literature. A popular student, he became a senior undergraduate scholar at college, pursuing courses in Greek and Latin Literature before graduating with BA (1881) and later MA honours. Quine also took Holy Orders, being ordained by Rowley Hill, Bishop of Sodor and Man.

Returning to the Isle of Man in 1881, Revd Quine accepted the position of curate in the northern parish of Kirk Michael. In 1883 he was appointed Domestic Chaplain to Bishop Hill and by July had become headmaster at Douglas Grammar School. In 1884 Revd Quine married Mary Jane Lindsay of Annan, Dumfriesshire, daughter of Laurence Benson Lindsay (1832-1887) a master butcher and Agnes Nancy (Nivison) née Hill (1834-1896). The couple had ten known children: Mary Lindsay (1884-1979), John Lindsay (1886-1980), Dorothy Lindsay (1889-1891), Marjory Lindsay (1891-1984), Margaret Elizabeth Lindsay (1893-1990), Sylvester Lindsay (1894-1978), William Alexander Patrick Bane Lindsay (1896-1907), Leonora Christian Lindsay (1897-1899) and Nancy Lindsay (1899-1955). During his time at the Grammar School Quine became firm, life-long friends with the art teacher, Manx artist Archibald Knox (1864-1933). In 1895 Revd Quine accepted the living in the parish of Lonan, including the Chaplaincy of Laxey. Participating in community life, he became chairman of the Board of Guardians and Lonan School Board, Chaplain to the House of Keys (1906-1924), Canon of St German’s (1909-1930) and elected Worshipful Master of the Maughold Freemason’s’ Lodge in 1916. Quine was also instrumental in the restoration of St Adamnan’s, Lonan’s old church.

The Canon’s interest in archaeology saw him conduct research for the Manx Museum; he was a member of the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society (serving as president twice) and was a trustee of the Museum. A skilled author, the Canon wrote various works (poems, poetry and novels) such as, The Captain of the Parish (1897), Isle of Man Illustrated (1899), Kitty’s Affair (1909), Geography of the Isle of Man (1911) and Early Scribed Rocks of the Isle of Man with notes on the Early Pottery (1923). In 1940 Canon Quine died at the age of 82, officiating Lonan Church for 45 years, over 500 people attended his funeral. He is buried in All Saint Churchyard, Lonan.

Lieutenant Commander John Lindsay Quine

John Lindsay Quine (1886-1980), born in Douglas, was the son of Can Quine and his wife Mary Jane. In 1901 John began and engineering apprenticeship with W. & J. Knox of Douglas, spending five years there he moved on to a marine engineer post with Harrison Line. His first voyage was in 1906 on the SS Workman bound for Calcutta and from 1906 to 1910 he sailed to various locations such as South Africa, India, the East Indies, Mexico and America. John also studied at the Central Technical School, Liverpool, for Board of Trade qualifications. Leaving Harrison Line in 1911, he obtained his first class certificate in maritime engineering; the Central School also employed him to teach evening classes in the subject. In March 1913 John started work in the steam turbine shop of Cammell Laird at Birkenhead, working on turbines for super Dreadnoughts and going to sea on Dreadnoughts acceptance trials.

In 1913 he married Margaret Ottewell (1886-1979) of Staffordshire, daughter of Thomas Ottewell (1854-1945) a farmer and Ellen née Pallett (1857-1931). The couple had John Rupert (b.1916), Margaret Patricia (b.1919) and Colin Lindsay Quine (1926-2005). During the First World War he supervised and approved naval engineering materials for different destroyers and cruisers. December 1914 saw him take up the engineer officer position on HMS Achilles. He also served on HMS Prince Rupert, HMS Termagant and HMS Valentine, taking part in the Zeebrugge (1918) and Ostend (1918) operations. He left the navy in 1919 though remaining on Special Reserve until 1931.

From 1924 until retirement in late 1941 he worked at the Municipal Technical College in Hull. Moving back to the Island, John became a MHK after contesting a by-election in the sheading of Garff. He sat in the House from 1942-1951 and again from 1956-1961. In 1950 John was chosen to represent the Manx Government at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in New Zealand. John died in 1980 at the age of 93 and is buried All Saint Churchyard, Lonan, alongside his wife.

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Archivist's Note

The biographical information was gathered from Dollin Kelly’s (ed.) New Manx Worthies (2006: 385-390) and Manx newspapers such as, the Mona’s Herald (25 August 1931), the Ramsey Courier (8 March 1940) and the Isle of Man Examiner (2 March 1945). Isle of Man newspapers available online at

Fonds-level description created by Eleanor Williams (MNH Project Archivist), March 2016.

Related Material

Related material held by Manx National Heritage (MNH) include Quine family biographical profiles, research notes,notebook, sketches and papers. Reference numbers: MS 09537, MS 11795, MS 11865 &MS 12737. Other related material held by MNH include photographs of Canon Quine, other family members and glass lantern slides (belonging Canon Quine). Reference numbers: PG/8952, PG/8953 & PG/13562.

Further related material includes the papers of Group Captain Sylvester Lindsay Quine (1894-1978), held by Manx Aviation & Military Museum, Isle of Man. Items includes various pilots flying log books, photo albums and newspaper cuttings. Reference numbers: MAPS356 - MAPS367.