Henry Bloom Noble (1816-1903)
Businessman, entrepreneur and benefactor. Endowed Noble's Hospital, Ramsey Cottage Hospital, St Ninian's
Church, the Villa Marina, and numerous trusts and charities.
Henry Bloom Noble was born in Westmoreland, and came to the Isle of Man in 1835 to work for Spittall’s wine merchants. Within five years he had set up a rival firm, then diversified into property speculation, shipping and banking; within 20 years he was the richest man on the Island.
In 1886, the foundation stone was laid at Crellin’s Hill for the first Noble’s Hospital, for which Noble and his wife had donated the site and an endowment. Aggressive financial dealing meant that Noble was not popular during his lifetime, but after his death his trustees presided over an unprecedented list of philanthropic ventures. Apart from the bequests he had specified, the trustees went on to give a sizeable grant towards Noble’s Baths in Victoria Street, to build the Ramsey Cottage Hospital, to give Noble’s Park to the Douglas Corporation, and to build a new Noble’s Hospital at Westmoreland Road. They sold his home, the Villa Marina, to Douglas Corporation for a modest sum, and they gave money for education in the agricultural industry, and for the founding of a School of Domestic Science. In 1922 the original Noble’s Hospital building was given for use as a new Manx Museum, and in 1924 they funded the establishment of an experimental farm at Knockaloe.
The Isle of Man had never before seen, and is unlikely ever to see again, such a generous public benefactor.
The Island's greatest benefactor