Kirk Braddan

A Braddan Romance

To the Glory of God
and in memory of my beloved husband
Arthur William Moore CVO
Speaker of the House of Keys
Born Feb 6th 1853 Died Nov 12th 1909
"But the path of the just is as the shining light that showeth more and more unto the perfect day"
Prov. IV chap. 18 verse
Memorial plaques
In loving memory of
Sir George Frederick Clucas CBE
Speaker of the House of Keys
and of his wife
Louisa Elizabeth Wynn
Widow of A W Moore CVO SHK
Entered into rest 11th November 1937
"In their death they were not divided"
II Samuel 1.23

On the wall of the south aisle of Kirk Braddan are two brass plates, one commemorating Arthur William Moore, and the other Sir Frederick and Lady Clucas. The second notes that Lady Clucas was the widow of A W Moore, and that she and Sir Frederick died on the same day. These bare facts hint at a more interesting story.

Lousa Hughes-GamesLouisa Elizabeth Wynn Hughes-Games (1866-1937) was born in Liverpool, the daughter of the Rev Joshua Jones (1830-1904) who in 1880 changed his name to Hughes-Games to claim a legacy. He was principal of King William's College 1866-1886, Rector of Andreas and Archdeacon of Man 1886-1895, and Vicar of Holy Trinity, Hull 1895-1904. Her brother Cyril was Vicar General 1906-1931.

In 1887 Louisa, aged 22, married A W Moore, then aged 34, an MHK and the heir to a successful family business. By him she had four children: a son (Arthur Hughes-Games Christian Moore), two daughters (Helena and Margery) and another son who died in infancy.

Only 14 months after Moore's death from cancer in 1909, she married Frederick Clucas on 24th January 1911 at St Matthew's Church, Kingsdown, Bristol. There is a tradition that Louisa and Frederick were childhood sweethearts, and that she was persuaded reluctantly to marry A W Moore, who was 11 years her senior. Moore's biographer doubts this story, noting that when she married, she was 22 while Frederick was only 16 and still at school at Repton(1). It seems more likely that they became attracted to each other at or before the time he was elected to the Keys in 1908, since he shared Moore's radical views and he and Moore worked closely together.

Louisa and Frederick lived happily together for 26 years, until he was taken ill with appendicitis in November 1937. He died on 11th November at 2 pm, and when Louisa was told of his death, she collapsed,(2) and died of a broken heart at 8 pm.

Sir Frederick and Lady Clucas had no issue, and so her next-of-kin were her children by her first husband. They insisted that she be buried with their father at Braddan, not with her second husband. It was intended that he be interred in the next grave to theirs, but in his will Frederick had expressed a wish to be buried with his own family at Kirk Santan. Accordingly the hundreds who attended their joint funeral at Kirk Braddan on 15th November 1937 were treated to the unedifying spectacle of the two corteges departing in opposite directions, one to Braddan cemetery and the other to Santan churchyard.

There is a window to the memory of Lady Clucas in the south aisle.

A W Moore Arthur William Moore (1853-1909) was a major figure in Manx scholarship and politics. He was the son of William Fine Moore (1814-1895), who owned the Tromode sailcloth mills. Educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Cambridge, he entered the family business, and was elected to the Keys for the sheading of Middle in 1885. He held the office of Speaker from 1898 until his death, and in its early days led the movement to reform the constitution of the Isle of Man which was strongly opposed by Lord Raglan (Lieutenant Governor 1902-1919). This role is commemorated in the window to his memory at the west end of the south aisle, depicting Moses before Pharoah. Following a visit by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Cronkbourne on 25th August 1902 he was appointed CVO.

Moore was the author of numerous works on Manx culture and history, notably an edition (with Sir John Rhys) of the Book of Common Prayer in Manx Gaelic (1893), a history of The Diocese of Sodor and Man (1893), the History of the Isle of Man (1900) and Manx Worthies (1901).

A W Moore George Frederick Clucas (1870-1937) was the eldest son of George Petman Clarke (1827-1902), who took his mother's name of Clucas. Frederick was educated at Repton, where his father was a master, and Christ's College, Cambridge. He was called to the English Bar in 1894 and to the Manx Bar in 1895. He was elected to the Keys for Middle in 1908, but resigned in 1910 and moved to London. During the First World War he was deputy director at the Ministry of Munitions. He returned to the Isle of Man in 1919, when he again became a Member of the House of Keys for Middle and was elected Speaker, an office which he held until his death. He was appointed CBE in 1927, and received a knighthood in the Coronation honours in 1937.

(1) Robert Fyson, The Anglo-Manxman: A life of A W Moore (Manx Heritage Foundation, Douglas, 2009) at p.149.
(2) Oral account by Dr Dorothy Pantin (1896-1985), reported by her niece Mrs C E McDonald.