Richard Lace (died 28th November 1945)

Richard Lace was described as Manxland’s “grand old man” in the Isle of Man Examiner on 30th November 1925.

The article went on to say much about this very gifted man who died at the age of 90:

Manxland's  grand old man, Mr. Richard Lace, F.R.G.S., of Park View, Castletown Road, Douglas, died on Wednesday, aged 90.

A man of great accomplishments, Mr. Lace, who was 35 years parish clerk of Santon, was a storehouse of Manx Knowledge.

A schoolmaster by profession, being headmaster of St. Michael's, Wigan, and St. Catherine's, Wigan, Michael and Santon Schools, he was possessor of many honours in music, botany, mining, geology, chemistry, and drawing.

He was the first Manxman to be admitted life Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was a life member of the British Association, life Fellow of the Society of Science, Literature and Art, life member of the Geographical Society (Wales), a life member of the Manx Geographical Society, and a life Governor of Noble's Hospital.

Mr. Lace was the composer of several hymn tunes, and as an organist for over 66 years officiated in many churches on the mainland and on the Island.

He was a former president of the National Union of Teachers and a keen member of the Antiquarian Society.

Mr. Lace's many scientific and antiquarian discoveries have been valuable contributions to the Island's historical story and his great love of all things Manx made him a worthy ambassador on his travels.

Mr. Lace, who retired three years ago from his parish clerkship, was thanked by the Governor for his splendid services as war-time food and clothing executive officer, having regard to the fact that he was then nearly 87 years old.

Mr. Lace leaves a, son, Captain Douglas Lace, now in Nigeria, and a daughter who lives in Ramsey.

The achievements of Richard Lace are listed on his headstone which is itself remarkable for being a copy of Archibald Knox’s own headstone.

Obviously Knox could not have carried out the lettering but everything is in the style of Knox. Perhaps Mr Lace had asked for a copy of the headstone from T Quayle during Knox’s lifetime? There are a few additions to the motifs but it seems that this great Manxman wanted to be associated with another great Manxman whose work he admired.


The headstone some years ago

Archibald Knox BNC

The Archibald Knox headstone in Braddan New cemetery


The Lace grave 20 May 2018


Knox motifs and cut aways on right back kerb


Knox motifs and cut aways on left back kerb


Right side of headstone showing Jesv M'rcy (Jesu Mercy)


Close up of worn inscription and Kox motifs


Right side of headstone with Knox motif and tapering "sword scabbard"(?)

P1040015 - Copy

Close up of wheel cross and knox Celtic motifs