Isle of Wight County Press

The Isle of Wight County Press, published weekly, features a column “Looking Back”.

In June 1986 under the heading “100 Years Ago” they reprinted the following item from:

The County Press of June 5th 1886

The village of St Helens was thrown into a state of considerable excitement on Wednesday evening caused by the unexpected return of a very old villager. John Calloway, who had been absent for some 40 years and had been given up for dead.
It appears that in 1848 he shipped aboard the yacht Louisa, Which went to the Mediterranean, and for insubordination or some other cause Calloway was put ashore at a foreign port.
Instead of attempting to return to his wife and family in St Helens he went to New York and later to California. He says he once sent a remittance of £50 to his wife but he never heard if she received it.

His wife and most of the children are now dead and he is staying with his daughter Mrs Warder.

Publication of this item ellicited a response on 27th June 1986 published in letters to the Editor, as follows:

I refer to the homecoming of John Calloway who returned home to St Helens after being away for 40 years. The story had been told to me in detail years before, by my husband′s mother. She was in her 93rd. year in 1961, and was staying with us at Brookfield Farm, Porchfield, IoW. Her mother a Mrs. Clarke of Cowes IoW was related to the Calloways.
Island historians will know that Sophie Dawes designated "Uncrowned queen of France" was a relative of the same family.
This letter was sent by a Mrs. M. Day, of Flinders Park, South Australia.

I am very grateful to John Radford for this interesting news story.

back to St Helens

back to main index

back to Kellaway Research index

©Lesley Haigh 2008

John Callaway News Story
Last updated December 2009
Web Page by Les Haigh. Email: (les.haigh at

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional