D245 Public Records


This page covers the early records of the Island - the following description is from A W Moore History [Book 6 Chap 1 section 1 p790/1]. The older records are known by their Latin names (Libri = books (singular = liber); the following word being in the genitive eg Placit = plea thus Libri Placitorum or Books of Pleas) - the Manx Museum classifies all these under MS 10071 as part of the Manuscript Archive containing some 168 boxes (many records are now bound into books) - a suffix to this general classification identifies the specific set of documents with individual books identified by a following suffix thus Lib Canc is MS 10071/5/1-48 i.e. the 5th set containing 48 individual items numbered in year sequence.

Pre 1580 all laws and proceedings of the various courts were written on Rolls of Parchment - Libri Rotulorum the greater number of which have been lost, and it was not till after that date that they were entered in separate books, now generally known as " The Records."

The more important of these books are as follows :—

Libri Cancellarii, containing actions, decrees, &c., of the Chancery Court (and its successor) — dates 1578-1890; also Chancery Files (1710-1847), Chancery Actions (1891-date) being the continuation - also Chancery Petitions (1806-date) - Manx Museum MS 10071/5/1-48

Libri Placitorum, or Books of Common Pleas, containing actions in that court, and the names of its officers, juries, inquests, &c. — dates 1496-1901; continued as Common Law Action files (1902-date) -

Libri Plitorum (1590- ) - Manx Museum MS 10071/1/-44

Libri Scaccarii, or Exchequer Books, containing judgments on breaches of penal statutes, appeals from the Spiritual Court, &c. (abreviated Lib Scacc) - dates (1580-1847) - Manx Museum MS 10071/3/1-17 — also Exchequer Files (1793-1840) Manx Museum MS 10071/4/1-7. Continued as Excequer and Staff of Government Books (1849-1895), itself continued as Staff of Government and Tynwald Court (1896-date)

Libri Juramentorum, or Books of Oaths taken by the various officials on receiving their appointments, also of the Keys — dates 1649-date.

Libri Irrotulamentorum, containing the commissions of these officials — dates 1594-date.

Other records of Court Proceedings include:

In addition to these are the Manorial Records concerned with the tenancy and rents paid to the Lord or Barons (Abbey, Bishop etc) 

Libri Assedationis, or Setting Books, being the rent rolls containing the names of all landowners and the rent which they pay to the Lord

Libri Vastarum, or Wast(e) Books, containing the admissions, entries, and titles of landowners and the alienation fines and rents paid by them.

Composition Books, describing each particular tenement and recording the fines paid at the Act of Settlement and at other times.

Libri Monasteriorurm, or Abbey Books, containing the rentals of the abbeys and of the various baronies eg Lib Episcopi.

Online Pages

1887 Report on Public Records

One of the earliest Manorial Rolls was translated and printed - 1511 for Southside and 1515 for Northside. (I have transcribed many others - look under Castletown or Peel)

Cubbon's "Unpublished Documents" collection contains many extracts from these

Lib Scacc - extracts

Offline References:


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001