Was there any person who tried converting the Catholics there?

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    Welcome! This is an interesting question, but I wonder if perhaps you could provide the context of your question. Are you wondering if missions work occurred there at any time (as opposed to only Protestant immigration)? Or are you asking for the names of particular well-known individual missionaries? What do you want to know about them? When you get a chance, I hope you'll take a minute to take the tour and learn how this site is different from others. – Nathaniel is protesting Jul 22 '16 at 1:53
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    I know there is a bible in the manx language and wondered how it came to be, as the catholic church still used latin at that point, I assumed that Protestantism had come to the island. What I would like to know is who was the main instigator of a "reformation" on the isle of man. – Qiangong2 Jul 22 '16 at 15:36

Since 1399 the Isle of Man has been a possession of the English (now British) crown. In 1458 a bull of Pope Calixtus III transferred the Isle of Man (known as the diocese of Sodor and Man) from the ecclesiastical province of Trondheim in Norway to the ecclesiastical province of York in England. By the time of Henry VIII, therefore, the Isle of Man was politically subject to the King of England and ecclesiastically subject to an English Archbishop. When England declared itself free from the Pope in 1534 this break applied, as a matter of course, to the Isle of Man also. When reforms of worship and doctrine were introduced in England, they were implemented throughout the provinces of Canterbury and York, including the Isle of Man.

What this means it that the Reformation in the Isle of Man was not the result of any instigator, preacher or reformer on the Isle of Man itself, but moved in tandem with the English Reformation. As England became Protestant so did the Isle of Man.

As far as the ordinary Manx people were concerned the services of the church which had once been in Latin, a language they did not understand, were now conducted in English, a language they also did not understand. It has been conjectured that this led to a slow understanding and acceptance among the general population of Protestant beliefs and doctrines. The Clergy of the Church of England Database says:

The impact of the Reformation was necessarily modified by the curious circumstances of the see. Writing in the 1890s, A. W. Moore was struck by what he regarded as the slow impact of Reformation principles, which he in part attributed to the fact that an English liturgy was not necessarily any more accessible than a Latin one to the Manx-speaking population.

John Phillips was appointed Archdeacon of Man in 1587, and became Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1605, a post he held until his death in 1633. He devised a new alphabet to represent the sounds in the Manx language and translated the Book of Common Prayer (the English liturgy) into Manx in 1610. This was never printed but was copied by hand. It was the first time the Manx language had been written down.

The first printed book in the Manx language was printed in 1707. This was "The Principles and Duties of Christianity", written by Thomas Wilson who was Bishop of Sodor and Man for 58 years from 1697 to 1755. The translation of the Bible was begun by him and completed by the Manx clergy, led by his successor, Mark Hiddesley. It was printed in 1773. The slow progress in publishing a Manx Bible was in part due to the fact that the minority of the population who were educated enough to read at all could do so in English. The majority, who spoke and understood only Manx, could not read.

Since before the Reformation the diocese of Sodor and Man has consisted solely of the Isle of Man and neighbouring small islands. Sodor originally referred to the Hebrides and is retained in the diocesan name for historical reasons only. The Isle of Man is not part of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales or the United Kingdom. It is however part of the Church of England. The Bishop of Sodor and Man is appointed by the Queen, acing on the ultimate recommendation of the UK Prime Minister. He cannot sit in the UK House of Lords but is an ex officio member of the 11-strong upper house of Tynwald, the Manx parliament.

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