Henry Kissack (Watchmaker and Jeweller)

A recent purchase of mine was this watch winding key made by H Kissack of Ramsey "Watch Maker and Jeweller"

It seems likely that this is the Henry recorded in Smith's Directory of 1883:

  • Kissack Henry, Watchmaker, Jeweller, and Silversmith, 1 Church St. Ramsey

and in Brown's Directory in 1894:

  • Kissack Henry, watchmaker, jeweller, and fancy goods dealer, china and glass dealer, 2 Church street, Ramsey Smith describes Ramsey in 1883 as a rapidly improving market town, occupying a pleasant situation on the north-east coast of the island, at the mouth of the river Sulby, and on the margin of the beautiful bay to which it gives its name. It is situated in the Sheading of Garff, and in mostly comprised in the Parish of Maughold, though a small portion of the town extends into the Parish of Lezayre. The town is distant from Douglas 16 miles north, from Castletown 25 miles north-east, and from Peel 16 miles north-east. In population and importance Ramsey ranks the second town on the island and, though not regularly built, contains some good and spacious streets--well paved and clean. During the last few years considerable improvements have been effected ; new streets have been formed, containing many excellent houses, from some of which most extensive and beautiful prospects are obtained. Here are also some splendid hotels and many elegant lodging-houses; many of them fitted up with all the modern appliances of comfort and convenience, either for the resident or visitor, and can scarcely be surpassed in splendour by any in the sister kingdoms. Many of the shops are spacious, and well stocked with a profusion of goods in all the various branches of the retail trade. The market place, a most complete and convenient one, occupies a large space close to the harbour, in the centre of the town. From its proximity to the best agricultural districts, the necessaries of life are much cheaper in Ramsey than in any other town on the island. Since the establishment of steam communication with England, Ramsey has become a favourite resort of sea bathers, for which the salubrity ,of the air, and the extent and fineness of the beach renders it eminently adapted. On approaching Ramsey by sea the visitor is struck with the charming prospect that presents itself. The country to the south continues to rise for miles inland, terminating in the crests of Barrule and Snaefell, and pre. senting at one view an amphitheatre of hill and dale and of diversified beauty and grandeur; while to the west is seen the garden of the island a fine and fertile undulating district, interspersed with neat mansions and sheltering plantations. The principal object that attracts the visitor's attention is the Albert Tower, erected in commemoration of the visit of the Queen and her late consort, Albert the Good, in 1847. It is erected on an eminence about a mile south of the town, stands 60 feet high, and is composed of granite, bearing as appropriate inscription. The visitor to Ramsey should not neglect to pay at least one visit up beautiful Glenauldyn, to the Manx Niagara, Fern Glen, and waterfalls ; where the majestic appearance of the mountains, Skyehill, on the one hand, and the extensive and varied range on the other, with the Albert Mount and North Barrule in the rear, form the commencement of a noble range of hills only terminating on the lofty summit of Snaefell. . . . The present accommodation for landing passengers and merchandise in all states of the tide being quite inadequate to the requirements of the times, a new iron pier is in course of erection, which, when complete, will be the finest on the island. The chapel of ease (St, Paul) occupies a central position in the market place, and is capable of seating 700 people. The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Crown, and held by the Rev. G. Paton. St. Olives is a neat structure in Bowring road, but being in the Parish of Lezayre is under the charge of that vicar, the Rev. W. Morris is the incumbent in charge. The other places of worship are for Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholic, and during the last few months the Hallelujah Band has been awakening (in more senses than one) both professing saints and acknowledged sinners.

Rex Kissack also refers to him in the Seed of Isaac :

  • John the son of Margaret Kinnish is found in the 1841 census living in Church St., Ramsey, married to Mary Curphey. His eldest son, John (RyXVII), was also a blacksmith, and in 1871 was Clerk to the Commissioners. His second wife kept a shop. They had a son, Henry, born in Liverpool about 1847, who at the age of 14 is a Pupil Teacher. Ten years later he was a Watch-maker. The daughter, Anne, was a dressmaker. Next door in Church St., lived the younger sister of John the Clerk, who had married Thomas Radcliffe in 1855.

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