John Cosnahan

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John Cosnahan (1754–1819) was the first High Bailiff of Douglas, Isle of Man, and Deemster. He was the eldest son of Hugh Cosnahan and Eleanor Finch[1] (b. 1753, d. 1799).

In 1781 as a member of the House of Keys[2] he was sent to London to speak on behalf of the Island. he spoke so powerfully at the House of Lords on the 13 June that year that he helped prevent a Bill proposed by the Duke of Athol[3] to pay extra compensation to the Duke for handing the Island over to the Crown.

In 1808 he became a Water Bailiff or Judge of the Admiralty Court.[1][4]

In the last few months of his life he was made a Deemster or stipendiary magistrate, delayed by the opposition of the Duke.

Family life[edit]

John married his cousin Catherine Finch had eight children, a daughter and seven sons, but none of them produced an heir.[5] His children were:

  • John Finch (b. 1794, d. 1885), Lawyer, unmarried
  • Michael (b. 1790, d. 1883), Captain R.N. served as a midshipman under Nelson, and later earned distinction in the Crimean War. He died aged 85, and is buried at St Peter's in Thanet. He was married, but childless.
  • Hugh (d. 1822), Captain R.N. He was married and had two sons. One, Charles, died in infancy. The other, George, was in the Navy, but while still a midshipman was drowned.[6]
  • Augustus died young and unmarried.
  • Philip (b1793/4 d. 1814) lived a short but eventful life. As a midshipman in the Navy he was aboard HMS Shannon and was mentioned in dispatches following the Capture of USS Chesapeake.[7] Unfortunately he was drowned in Liverpool Bay and he was buried in his uncle's vault in St James, Liverpool.
  • James Mark (b. 1794, d. 1817), advocate, and took over his father's office. He died, however, just before his father, and was buried at Braddan.
  • Mark James (b. 1793, d. 1812) entered the service of the East India Company (military branch) and died in India.


  1. ^ a b Moore, A. W. (1901). "John Cosnahan". Manx Worthies. S. K. Broadbent & Company, Limited. pp. p84. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  2. ^ The ancient ordinances and statute laws of the Isle of Man. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  3. ^ Journals of the House of Lords, Volume 36. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  4. ^ "John McHutchin IoMNHASoc Vol 5 No. 4 pp385-389". Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  5. ^ "IoMNHAS vol 4 no 4 p516 - Records of Cosnahan Family". Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  6. ^ The Archaeological mine, antiquarian nuggets relating to Kent by A.J. Dunkin. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  7. ^ Admiral Sir P. B. V. Broke, a memoir. Retrieved 2012-01-31.