John Quine was born at Arderry in 1761, shortly after the family had moved out from Ballafargher. He remained single until he was in his mid-30's, and when he married it was to another Quine - Mary - of the Ballig, Onchan family. Mary's family had been established in Onchan since the late 1600's, and before that lived in German in the west of the Island. There was no known relationship between the two Quine families.

It must have been around the time of his marriage to Mary that John had the farmhouse built, of which the ruins survive. Probably Mary’s family home at Ballig was of a better quality than that on Arderry, and John’s part of the farm may not in fact have included a habitable dwelling. The house was constructed at right angles to the slope of the land, on a platform partly excavated into the hillside. The house had two full stories plus and attic. The front door was off-centre, a small hall leading into the larger kitchen, with open fireplace or chiollagh to the right. To the left was a smaller parlour, with a small fireplace. Straight ahead was a dog-legged staircase, the half-landing being lit by the only window in the back wall, the stairs continuing to two or three bedrooms upstairs. As John inherited less than half of the farm from his parents, he was obliged to buy the other interests in the property, which he did in 1817, 1818 and 1830 for a total of 417. John and Mary’s children were baptised at [Old] Kirk Braddan. The dates were as follows;

4 April 1797 Elizabeth
7 April 1805 Jane
16 Dec 1798 John
5 Mar 1809 Margaret
27 Dec 1802 Robert
10 Jan 1813 Thomas


There is a note of Mary’s death in the family bible: ‘John Quine junior - mother’s death 1826 in the hour of three oh clock in the morning July the 24 day extra aged fifty four years’

The couple made a joint will, but this does not show the complete picture of their affairs as the couple had also executed deeds of settlement of some of their purchased property; a portion of Arderry was settled on their second son Robert, while the land at Creg y Cowin was promised to Thomas, their third son. . These settlements were dated 26 March 1825. Although the joint will of John and Mary made it plain that the unmarried daughters, Jane and Margaret were not to receive their legacies of 100 each until after both their parents were dead, after Mary died, John treated these sums as the girls’ dowries, and paid them over to their husbands on marriage; these were the last occasion on which marriage dowries were paid in the family.

1844 was a traumatic year for the Quines; Old John’s eldest daughter Elizabeth Kelly, with her husband John Kelly of the Rhyne, converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [Mormon Church], set out with their seven children on the arduous journey to the headquarters of the Church at Nauvoo, Illinois. The Kellys had sold their farm the year before, but Elizabeth’s mother-in-law Jane Kelly alias Creer still lived in a cottage in West Baldwin Village, and John Quine junior was to receive a further payment from the purchaser of the Kelly farm after old Mrs. Kelly died. The family arrived in Nauvoo on 26th April 1844. Two days earlier Elizabeth’s youngest sister Margaret Cowin had died at Ballaquine, leaving her only child, John James, behind her. December 1846 saw Thomas Quine, the youngest son, die unmarried. Family friends saw a decline in John Quine after Thomas died - he was now in his mid-eighties.

Towards the end of his life, old John Quine used to receive visits from the vicar of Braddan, and they debated theological controversies. He did not always wish to talk of religeon; one friend commented; "When I began to talk to him about his soul..he..would begin to talk about the world." Old John lived to a great age. Having lived carefully, he had accumulated spare cash, which he lent out on promissary notes. One of the borrowers was John McClure of the North Star, West Baldwin, brother in law of Elizabeth Quine Kelly. McClure’s son later recalled;

I knew old Quine Arderry. I saw him last about [1850], and I knew him all my life. I had dealings with him - my father and I borrowed some money from him about 2 years before...I thought old Quine quite correct in his mind when the money was borrowed. I paid him interest and then I paid him the principal and I considered him quite correct in hius mind when I paid him. I thought him in the same state of mind all the time I knew him. Old Quine went with me to Matt Cain’s in the other glen when the note was passed and the money lent - it was old Cain who wrote the note - I do not remember when he died.

It was in 1854 that Old John would probably have learnt of his daughter Elizabeth’s death in Nauvoo, at the age of 56. Three of his six children had pre-deceased him.

Towards the end of his life, Old John was put under increasing pressure by his bachelor son Robin, who shared his home at Arderry, to enable him to carry on the status quo at Arderry after John's death. Under the ancient land law, unless John took decisive steps, upon his death most of his lands would all pass to his eldest son John junior, of Ballachrink, who was the heir at law. Robin's circumstances would be much reduced and he would have to shift for himself, or perhaps become a tenant of his elder brother. In addition, Robin was anxious to secure his father's cash and farm stock. Some of the employees thought that Old John was afraid of Robin, such was the influence he wielded.

There was quite a household; besides Robin and his father, there were usually the housekeeper, a maid servant, and two farm workmen. Robin shared a bedroom with his father. The men-servants slept above in the loft. One recalled hearing animated conversation between the two after everyone had retired to bed, carrying on late into the night, with Robin pressing his father to "consent to the bargain" until the old man cried in Manx "cur shee dou" or let me have peace.

The old man was probably in two minds what to do; he told some parties he wanted to 'do justice' to his children. He had 'done something' for all his children including his eldest son John when he built a new house at Ballachrink. He said that all his children had gone from him and left him, except for Robin who had always lived with him. Robin had been gathering money in for him, meaning that he had managed the farming operations. Various wills and deeds were made and re-made - at one time Old John had two or three wills in his posession which he decided were 'not right'. His final dispositions were made in his will dated March 1855, and were broadly in favour of Robin, who was enabled to stay on at Arderry, although the portion of Arderry which Old John had inherited from his parents Robert and Margaret was left as heirship to pass on to John of Ballachrink.

Finally the old man took to his bed for a number of months, and died on 5th December 1856 at the age of 95 years. He was buried in the same grave as his wife Mary at Old Kirk Braddan, immediately at the east end outside the Chancel.

Old Kirk Braddan -Burial Place of the Quines of Arderry.

The family grave is below the East Window.