[From Brown's Directory, 1881/2]
Meanwhile, as this great dispute was being thus fought out between the various districts of the Island, other matters of social importance were gradually approaching completion. The magnificent new low water landing pier, for example, was making rapid progress, being so far advanced that in 1870 it was made use of by the steamers to land and embark passengers. On the 1st July, 1872, it was formally opened by the Governor, and named the "Victoria Pier." The erection of this much-meeded work soon forced upon the attention of the Insular Government the necessity of providing a more satisfactory means of access from the new pier into the town. The only way to and from the pier was through a succession of narrow, winding streets, in which it was almost impossible for two vehicles to pass, and through which it was dangerous to pass when the cars were passing to and from the pier. These circumstances led to a revival of the old idea of reclaiming a portion of the shore by a strongly built sea wall. This scheme had many years ago occupied the attention of the Duke of Atholl, and more recently of Capt. Veitch, R.N.; a Mr. Williams, C.E.; and also of a Mr. John Paul Harrison; the latter trying to form a company to carry it out, and circulating a prospectus with sketch thereon throughout the Island and elsewhere. This scheme, however, failed, as so many other plans for the improvement of the Isle of Man had done before.
A noteable proof of the advantages of a promenade was soon afterwards given by S. Harris, Esq., High-Bailiff of Douglas, who originated a public subscription to level the shallow part of the shore in the centre of the bay, and convert it into a promenade for the use of the town and visitors. Upon this, and in other matters, Mr. Harris, who had in many ways showed an enlightened interest in the progress of his native town, expended much labour and money, and in 1868 handed it over to the Town Commissioners.
This small promenade soon became a favourite resort with townspeople and visitors; its success was a standing reminder of what might be expected from a larger and more ambitious scheme; and about June, 1870, The Isle of Man Times, ever foremost in promoting schemes for the improvement of the island, gave particulars in a leading article of a scheme then prepared by C. B. Ellison, Esq., F.R.I.B.A., of Liverpool (one of the competitors for the proposed Legislative buildings), which proposed to form an embankment from the above promenade to the new Victoria Pier, with a road next the sea, which he called "Loch Parade," after his Excellency the Governor; with short streets to connect the 50 feet Parade with the main streets of the town.
The originality of this design formed (in 1879) the subject of a suit at law, to which we afterwards refer.
Mr. Ellisons idea in the preparation of this plan was to get up a company to execute the work, and in pursuance of this he, in September, 1870, brought the scheme before the notice of several prominent gentlemen in Douglas, and obtained their signatures to a letter to the Governor, asking his invaluable influence with the Department of the Woods and Forests to secure the requisite foreshore on reasonable terms, and amongst the gentlemen alluded to was Mr. Richard Sherwood, a prominent member of the House of Keys.
This scheme of Mr. Ellisons did not at the first include any idea of streets from the Loch Parade into the town, further than to the line of Duke-street, Strand-street, Castle-street, &c., but in September, 1870, he added thereto a street connecting the pier and promenade with the foot of Prospect-hill, in substance the present Victoria-street.
On the 12th April, 1871, Mr. J. K. Greig, then manager of the Bank of Mona, laid before the Douglas Chamber of Commerce, and, through The Isle of Man Times, before the public, an elaborate scheme for the formation of a new street 50 feet wide, passing from Victoria Pier through the back streets lying behind the Quay, but avoiding the Market-place; and thence across Duke-street, and along King-street in a gentle curve to Prospect-hillthe universally accepted entrance to the upper town. This route it will be noticed differed considerably from the one proposed in the preceding September. Its cost was estimated at nearly £36,000, but its nett cost, after the value of the land to be sold under the scheme had been deducted, was estimated at less than £2,000, which was proposed to be provided for by a small improvement rate, or by the remission of the Highway tax of three shillings per house, still charged upon the town. This proposal was warmly approved by the Chamber of Commerce, and a special general meeting was appointed to consider it at length for the 26th instant. The publication of this scheme gave a fresh stimulus to the movement for obtaining a better approach to the new pier; and at the adjourned meeting of the Chamber of Commerce two fresh schemes were proposed for public consideration by Messrs T. Bawden and W. Todhunter, and a letter was read from Mr. Ellison as to his scheme. After a lengthy discussion, in which signs of strong opposition to the scheme were shown by seveial whose business arrangements would be injured by the new street, resolutions were passed unanimously affirming that an improved approach road from the new landing pier to the upper portion of the town was desirable, and adjourned the further discussion that the Chamber might have time to consider the different plans before it. In this interval the subject was warmly discussed in the local journals and in business circles in the town, and on the 10th May, when this adjourned meeting was held, this interest showed itself in a crowded meeting and a heated debate. Ultimately, a resolution was adopted appointing a deputation to wait upon the Town Commissioners and urge them to further the desired improvement. On the 24th July a special meeting of the Town Commissioners was held to receive this deputation, which consisted of Messrs Greig, Todhunter, and T. Cubbon. After listening to the statements of the deputation, the Commissioners, after a short discussion, adjourned the further consideration of the subject until their next meeting. In the interval, however, the Governor took action, and sent a letter to the Board, in which he desired that a deputation should be appointed to meet him, and learn what he was prepared to recommend the Tynwald to do in the matter. A special meeting of the Town Commissioners was, in consequence, held on the 4th August, and a deputation of the whole Board appointed to wait upon his Excellency on the 6th instant. At that interview the Governor expressed in strong terms his sense of the importance of this question, and the desirability of the Town Commissioners assuming its direction in the interests of the ratepayers whom they represented. He conceded that it would be a work of great labour, and acknowledged that, in consequence of the number of different plans proposed, they would have great difficulty in deciding upon the best route, but he had no doubt they would do their duty as the guardians of the interests of the whole town, without allowing themselves to be influenced by private or individual interests. He then read the conditions upon which he would be prepared to recommend the assistance of the Insular Government. These conditions were afterward considerably modified, but, as announced, their principal features were, that he would recommend a government guarantee of four per cent. interest upon any loan necessary to the undertaking, the procuring an Act of Tynwald to enable the Commissioners (or, if they declined to carry out the undertaking, a company) to purchase the ground and houses necessary for opening the proposed new street, the granting of compulsory powers of purchase within certain limits, and the provision for an equitable system of valuation of the property required
On the 15th August, the Town Commissioners entered upon the discussion of this great question. Introducing the subject formally, the chairman (Mr. R. Sherwood) read the letter of the Governor requesting the interview of the 6th instant, and explained what had taken place in consequence. Mr. C. Cleator then, in an emphatic speech, moved That the Town Commissioners undertake to engage a surveyor for the purpose of preparing plans and procuring a valuation of the cheapest route and most direct line for a new street from the bottom of Prospect-hill to the Landing Pier.
This was seconded by the vice-chairmanMr. J. McGhie. Mr. Kinley, though professing to agree "with most of the arguments adduced by Mr. Cleator," moved an amendment That before any actual expense is gone into by the Commissioners in connection with plans, the Tynwald Court be petitioned for the remittance of the three shillings rate on houses in the town, or to guarantee preliminary expenses for obtaining plans and survey.
Seconded by Mr. Craine. After a long debate, in the course of which the Commissioners, while showing their appreciation of the importance of the proposed new street, and their anxiety to carry it out, acknowledged that the funds of the town could not bear any additional burden, restricted as they were to a shilling rate, and even that small and inadequate rate taxed for the country roads to the extent of £300 a year, Mr. Kinley altered his amendment so as to make it a preliminary to any actual expenditure, that an inquiry be addressed to the Governor whether, in the event of the Town Commissioners not carrying out the proposed street, he would recommend the Tynwald Court to pay the cost of survey, &c. The Board then divided, and this amended resolution was carried by a majority of one. The Board then unanimously passed the following: That the Commissioners will be glad of any information and plans of mute for a new street from the Parade to Prospect-hill, from any persons who may feel interested in the improvement of the town.
The matter being thus quietly shelved by the majority of the Town Commissioners, the Governor, after due consideration, on the 28th October, addressed a letter to the three representatives of the town in the House of KeysMessrs J. S. Goldie Taubman, W. F. Moore, and G. W. Dumbell, enclosing a copy of the proposals he had submitted to the Commissioners on the 6th August, together with a copy of their reply to these proposals in which they stated that, while recognising the benefits which the proposed new street would confer upon the town, they would not feel justified in incurring so great a responsibility without first consulting their constituents. In consequence of this communication, Messrs Taubman, Moore, and Dumbell, after consulting together, addressed a requisition to the High-Bailiff to call a public meeting of the inhabitants of Douglas to take into consideration the best course to be adopted to carry out the proposed undertaking. In compliance with this request, the High-Bailiff issued his notice calling the meeting for the 15th November, in the Court House, Douglas. At noon, on the day named, the Court House was crowded in all parts with a gathering of the principal inhabitants of the town, and, notwithstanding the threatened opposition of those whose business would be affected by the proposed scheme, the entire proceedings were of the most orderly and enthusiastic character. The High-Bailiff having taken the chair, Mr. Dumbell, in a long and characteristic speech, moved That in the opinion of this meeting a new street ought to be opened from the new Landing Pier through the centre of the town, to the bottom of Prospect-hill.
This motion was seconded by Mr. P. Killey. To it Mr. R. Sherwood moved, as an amendment, and Mr. Farlam seconded Provided, that on a valuation being made, it can be ascertained that the project can be carried out at a reasonable cost.
In moving this amendment, Mr Sherwood said he believed that he was merely carrying out the spirit of Mr. Dumbells motion, and at the same time guarding against any misconstruction that they had decided upon the work at any cost. The motion was then warmly supported by Messrs Adams, Nadin, Greig, W. F. Moore, Callow, and Cleator, and in the end, to secure unanimity, Mr. Sherwood withdrew his amendment, and the original motion was then carried with acclamation. Mr. Adams next moved That this meeting, having taken into consideration the suggestions of his Excellency the Governor, as delivered to the Town Commissioners on the 7th August last, is of opinion that the princples laid down by his Excellency, if adopted (with some necessary alterations as to detail), will form a basis upon which the requisite Improvements may be carried out; and it is, therefore, hereby resolved that his Excellency be respectfully requested to select a surveyor of known ability, not resident in this Island, and entirely unconnected with any person in Douglas, and that the instructions to such surveyor be: (1) To lay out upon a plan and survey the intended new street in such a particular course as he may think most advisable. (2) To estimate the probable amount to be paid for the property required to be taken for the purpose. (3) To estimate the cost of taking down and removing all obstacles, and opening out the new street. (4) To estimate the probable value of property to be acquired along the new street for building purposes. That the surveyor's charges be provided for, if requisite, by certain persons who may this way guarantee payment thereof; but if any money be advanced by such persons, the same shall be repaid to them out of any funds hereafter provided to carry out the proposed work, or out of some public fund.
He, therefore, proposed that a guarantee be signed for the payment of the surveyor. Seconded by Mr. Cleator, and carried unanimously. Major R. S. Goldie Taubman, S.H.K., next moved That upon the surveyors report being returned to his Excellency, he be requested to direct a copy thereof to be forwarded to one of the three members for the tows, and another copy to the Town Commissioners; and that the same be laid before a public meeting of the inhabitants of the town, and, if approved of, that the Town Commissioners be then prepared to elect, and do then state to the meeting, whether they will take part in carrying out the proposed work; and if they decline, that the meeting determine how it shall be carried out; and that in either case directions be given to procure an Act of Tynwald in order to proceed with the undertaking.
Seconded by Mr. P. H. Leece, and carried unanimously. The guarantee spoken of in Mr. Adamss resolution was, at this point, handed in to the High-Bailiff duly signed. Mr. W. F. Moore, H.K., then proposed a vote of thanks to the Governor for the interest which he had shown in the matter, which was seconded by Mr. R. Sherwood, H.K., and supported by Messrs Adams and D. D. Lewin, and carried with acclamation. The meeting, one of the most influential and unanimous which had ever been held in Douglas, then terminated with a unanimous vote of thanks to the chairman.
Mr. Ellison applied to the Governor for the appointments but he refused, and on his applying to be allowed to lay a plan before the surveyor, the Governor stipulated he was to be entitled to no remuneration for it, as he was appointing a paid surveyor himself.
In accordance with these resolutions, the Governor called in the services of Mr. Culshaw, an eminent surveyor in Liverpool, who reported upon some of the plans which had been sent in, and in June, 1872, he himself furnished a plan to the Governor, differing but slightly from one of those already submitted for a new street only from the Pier to Prospect-hill, and without any reference to a Promenade. In the report accompanying the plan he estimated the cost of forming this street, after the value of the surplus land had been deducted, at £14,830, exclusive of compensation to tenants and professional charges, which would probably bring this estimate up to £20,000. In this report, however, he avoided taking into consideration the probable value of the land on both sides of the new street if taken and sold as building ground; and this important omission naturally lessened the value of his report. On the 2nd July, a special meeting of the Town Commissioners was held to consider this report, all the Commissioners being present, and Mr. C. Cleator occupying the chair. After reading the correspondence which had taken place in connection with the subject, together with a letter from the Governor, dated June 25th, 1872, enclosing a copy of Mr. Culshaws report, and also a copy of his report upon Mr. Ellisons plan, in which he condemned as almost impracticable his idea of a sea embankment with a road along its summit and building ground behind it. Upon this scheme he remarked :" In regard to the cost and difficulty in making the sea wall and forming the Promenade, it would be immense, and, when completed, the foundations of intended buildings would be so difficult and costly as to prevent the land being sold and beneficially occupied." The vice-chairman (Mr. W. Kelly) moved That in the opinion of the members of this Board, a public meeting should be called, to which Mr. Culshaws plan and report should be submitted, and to which Mr. Culshaw should be invited to attend for the purpose of answering any questions in connection with the new street; and that, should his plan be adopted, the Commissioners are willing to take part in such an important work.
This was seconded by Mr. McGhie. In the debate which followed, serious objections were raised to the route proposed by Mr. Culshaw on account of its costliness, and an amendment was proposed by Mr Todhunter, and seconded by Mr. Clinch: That, seeing the necessity that at present exists for better communication between the Queens Pier and the upper part of the town, and that the prosperity of Douglas demands a new street, we, the Douglas Town Commissioners, do agree to take part in the formation of such street, and seek to secure similar terms and powers to those proposed in his Excellency the Governors communication of the 7th of August, 1871, believing that such terms, &c., would cover the loss neceesarily incurred ; but we do not bind ourselves to the adoption of any particular plan, or route, until we are in possession of further information as to the value of the property along the line of the route of the Street.
On a division the amendment was carried by a majority of 7 to 2.
On the 9th of July, a public meeting, called by circular, was held in Quirks Assembly Rooms, Lord-street, at which a resolution was passed unanimously, opposing Mr. Culshaws plan, on the ground that his estimates and valuations were unreliable; and Messrs D. D. Lewin and J. Johnson were appointed a deputation, together with Mr. H. Sherwood, to represent the views of the meeting at the Towns Meeting to be held on the 10th. In accordance with the resolutions passed at the great meeting of the 15th November, 1871, the High-Bailiff called a Towns meeting for the 10th July, to consider Mr. Culshaws plan and estimates. The interest taken in the question was intense, and in consequence the Court House was crowded in every part with the principal inhabitants of the town. The High-Bailiff having taken the chair, and having, in a short speech, counselled consderation and harmony, Mr. K. Sherwood, after a long and argumentative speech, in which he exhibited the costliness of Mr. Culshaws route, and the unreliable character of his estimates, moved That before any proposed line of new street be approved of, the Town Commissioners be requested to obtain estimates of the cost of mating the various lines of new street proposed, and that the estimates thus obtained be submitted to the public before any particular route be resolved upon.
Seconded by Mr. D. D. Lewin. Mr. Dumbell, after replying to Mr. Sherwood, moved an amendment That Mr. Culshaws plan be adopted, and a new street formed and completed in terms thereof.
This was seconded by Mr. W. F. Moore, and supported by Messrs Adams, Cleator, Laughton, and others; and opposed by Messrs Johnson, Lewin, Robertson, and others; and on a division, Mr. Sherwoods motion was formally adopted. On the 17th the Governor transmitted a second communication to the Town Commissioners, in which, after recapitulating former proceedings, he proceeded to say that, in accordance with a condition he had laid down for their guidance in this matter, he was now prepared to defer all the plans and estimates, including Mr. Culshaws, which should be sent into him before the 25th August, to an impartial surveyor and two persons entirely unconnected with the Isle of Man, upon the understanding that the Commissioners carried out the plan decided upon by them to be the best, provided such plan did not cost more than £20,000 to carry it out. He further said that should no other plans be given in by the day specified, he would direct a Bill to be prepared to carry out Mr Culshaws plan, after being satisfied that it would not cost more than £20,000. In consequence of this letter, the Town Commissioners had an interview with the Governor on the 20th, and on the 23rd they decided to ask his Excellency for further information. By the time named four plans were sent into the Government officeMr. Culshaws plan, the nett cost of which was now estimated at £17,214; one from Mr. Ellison which, starting from the foot of Prospect-hill, proceeded in an almost straight line to the Queens Pier. This route was practically the line of the present Victoria-street. Its nett cost was estimated at £9,674. The special feature of this plan was, that it provided the first half of Mr Ellisons original scheme of 1870giving, in addition to Victoria-street, about 1000 feet of Loch Parade, from the Queens Pier to a point opposite the end of Drumgold-street, which would enclose an area of about 2½ acres, the sale of which he calculated would repay the cost of the embankment and the road along it. The two others were from Mr. Todhunter, whose proposed street ran much further south towards the Market-place, and Mr. J. Robertson, whose plan was very similar to Mr. Todhunters. On the 13th November a public meeting was held in Quirks Assembly Room, Mr. Johnson in the chair, at which a resolution was passed (proposed by Mr. T. Keig and seconded by Mr. Dean) in favour of Mr. Ellisons plan. On the 14th a crowded meeting (called by the Town Commissioners) was held in the Court House, at which the three arbitrators appointed by the Governor on October 29th (Messrs. Alderman Picton, Whiteman, and Sherlock, all of Liverpool), were present. Mr. Picton took the chair, and a great body of evidence was taken as to the requirements of the town, and the local opinion of the relative merits of the rival schemes. This inquiry led to a sharp controversy in the public papers between the rival engineers, each endeavouring to make his own plan appear the better. With regard to his calculation that the proposed embankment would repay its cost by the sale of the land reclaimed, Mr. Ellison published a communication from Mr. Dixon, C.E., the constructor of the Douglas Iron Pier, in which he said that if "they would give him the land reclaimed he would very soon make the embankment." On the 19th of November the three arbitrators made their award to the effect that, leaving out Mr. Ellisons plan, as it was only part of a much larger scheme, including the formation of a new embankment and parade, which were beyond the scope of their instructions, and also because the line of his street proceeded for a part of its course along the foreshore, and would have to be embanked and protected by a sea wall, they decided in favour of Mr. Culshaws plan, slightly modified by themselves, on the grounds of its greater centrality, its opening out certain public buildings, and the manner in which it intersected the property through which it passed. On the 3rd January, 1873, the Governor transmitted to the Town Commissioners a long communication, in which he laid down the course of procedure proper for carrying out the construction of the new street. The cost he now estimated, including compensation to tenants, at £30,000, and to meet this charge he proposed to apply the three shilling house tax, a general town rate not exceeding sixpence in the pound, and a special improvement rate upon the property benefited by the new street. He also enclosed a copy of a communication from the Commissioners of Woods and Forests consenting to the sale of the foreshore lying between the pier and a point opposite Drumgold-street for the sum of £250; and a second report from the arbitrators in reply to a question from the Governor whether this concession of the Woods and Forests would snake any difference in their award. They replied that it did not, that the two schemes for a new street and a marine parade were quite distinct and both desirable, and that they preferred Mr. Cuishaws plan on its own merits. On the 4th the Commissioners had an interview with the Governor, at which a number of difficulties in connection with the scheme were discussed; and on the 6th they decided, by a majority of 2, to instruct Mr. Adams to draw up a Bill to empower them to construct the new street on Mr. Culshaws plan. They also discussed the further question of purchasing the foreshore, but adjourned without arriving at any conclusion. On the 17th January, Mr. R. Sherwood, who had now put himself at the head of the opposition to Mr. Culshaw's plan, published a statement of the comparative merits of the various new street plans before the town, and showed by exact figures and facts the greater cheapness and the superiority of that by Mr. Ellison. On the 28th, the Town Commissioners appointed four of their number to be a per-manent new street committee, and at the same meeting a letter from Mr. Ellison was read, correcting a statement by the Governor, to the effect that his scheme would be as costly as Mr. Culshaw's, and asserting that he was prepared with contractors to carry out the work at a nett cost of about £15,000. On February 11th, a letter was received by the Commissioners from the Hon. J. K. Howard, agent for the Woods and Forests' office, extending the speeified time within which the embankment was to be formed until April 5th, 1876. A deputation was appointed to confer with the Governor respecting it. On the 18th February, Mr. Adams, the Board's solicitor, made application on behalf of the Town Commissioners asking leave to bring in a Bill to empower them to make a new street leading from the Victoria Pier to Prospect-hill, upon Mr. Culshaw's plans, and to borrow £30,000, and levy the necessary rate for that purpose. They also asked that the three shilling house tax paid to the Highway Committee should be remitted for the purpose of this improvement. On the motion of Messrs Dumbell and LaMothe, the required leave was given. On 25th February the Commissioners decided, on the motion of Messrs D. Corrin and W. Kelly, to purchase the southern half of the foreshore on the terms offered ; and, on the motion of Messrs G. Sherwood and Clinch, to make application to the Woods and Forests office for the remainder as far as the old Promenade. On the 23rd May, a reply to this application was received from Mr. Howard, agreeing, under certain conditions, to include the part of the shore applied for in the sale. A plan was forwarded by Mr Cartwright, giving a sea line outside of Ellison's original line, but very like another line published by him, and the originality of Mr Cartwright's line afterwards formed one item of the verdict of a jury, who found that Mr Cartwright had not copied Mr Ellison's other line, but they were rather of opinion that it was suggested by Mr Ellison's plan. Other meditated improvements were originated on Mr Cartwright's plan. On the 24th May, the draft of the New Street Bill was published, and on the 9th June, it came before the Council for consideration, when a petition, signed by 450 ratepayers, was presented by Mr. Laughton against the Bill, and in favour of Mr. Ellison's scheme. Messrs Sherwood and Laughton addressed the Council at length in sup-port of the petition, and Mr. Ellison gave evidence as to the nature and cost of his scheme, showing by figures and plans that the entire cost of his plan of an embankment from the Victoria Pier to the Promenade, with a parade along it, and a new street from the Pier to Prospect-hill, would not exceed £30,000, or the same amount that it would take, by the Culshaw route, to construct the new street alone. On the 17th June, the Council, departing from its usual custom of sitting in private, assembled in the Court House, to receive further evidence on the New Street Bill. Before the proceedings commenced, Mr. Adams explained, on behalf of the Commissioners, that having brought forward the Bill on the assumption that the line of street had been definitely decided upon, and if this point were to be re-opened, they would withdraw the Bill altogether. Acting, therefore, under instructions, he should decline to call or cross-examine a single witness, but leave the matter with the Council. Mr. Laughton, on behalf of Mr Sherwood and other opponents to the Culshaw route, expressed his surprise and regret at this announce-ment, and then presented a petition against the Bill, signed by no fewer than 613 ratepayers, which, with the 450 who signed the former petition, made up a total of 1063 out of a total register of 1500. He then addressed the Council in explanation of what was then distinguished by the name of " the Ellison scheme ;" after which evidence was given by Messrs Ellison, C.E., Cregeen, C. I~J., and Bell and Kewley, two experienced builders of Douglas, chiefly with reference to the feasibility of the enclosure and the value of the land so enclosed. It appeared at this examination that Mr Ellisonhad increased his estimate of cost of Promenade from about £12,000 to £19,000, and in explanation he stated that he had adopted the Town Commissioners' line, which went further out than he had intended, and had increased the filling in by it. At this inquiry the plans produced were made by Mr Cregeen, but Mr Ellison, in a suit respecting them, denied that any of Mr Cregeen's plans were produced. Mr Adams still declining to call any witnesses on behalf of the Bill, the Governor called Mr. Powell, CE., engineer to the Harbour works, whose evidence, while differing in some particulars from that of Mr. Cregeen, was on the whole favourable to the proposed embankment scheme. He next called Alderman Picton, of Liverpool-one of the three arbitrators-whose evidence also was strongly in favour of such an embankment being made as a work which would, in his opinion, greatly benefit the town ; but he thought that it should be carried out by a private company, and not by the Town Commissioners. He also, when pressed closely by Mr. Laughton, admitted that the Ellison line of street " was shorter and the gradients better " than those of the Culshaw plan, and that the whole scheme, as giving two good roads to the pier, while the Culshaw scheme only gave one, was the better ; but with regard to the street alone, he said he was still in favour of Mr. Culshaw's line. This concluded the evidence, and the Council then adjourned to its Chamber, where the discussion on the Bill was resumed in secret. On the 24th the Commissioners confirmed the action of their committee in refusing to contest the New Street Bill if the question of the line of route was re-opened. The Council subsequently introduced several slight alterations into the Bill, and then passed it. On the ~th August, it was read a first time in the House of Keys, after which the House, by a majority of 18 to 2, passed a resolution (proposed by Mr. Christian, and seconded by Mr. Leece)- That before considering the Douglas Street Improvement Bill it is advisable that the whole of the plans which have been prepared, and which have been reported on by Messrs Picton and others, should be laid before the House, and also the land valuations thereof made by the valuers of the Douglas Town Commissioners ; and further, that the Governor be requested to obtain for the information of this House an estimate from Mr. Powell, CE. , of the cost of enclosing and filling in the shore of Douglas Bay, as proposed to be purchased by the Town Commissioners from her Majesty's Woods and Forests ; and also an estimate from the said Commissioners' valuers of the probable amount of business compensation and other incidental expenses attending the making and completion of the street proposed by the Bill.
On the 28th October, the House again met, when a communication from the Governor was read, in which he stated his inability to supply the information the House required. On the Bill coming on for its second reading, the Secretary (Mr. B. J. Moore) reminded the House that the Douglas Town Commissioners had petitioned to be heard by counsel, and moved that they be thus heard. Seconded by Mr. Dumbell. Mr. Sherwood, in opposition, called the attention of the House to the fact that the information which the House had declared on the 7th of August to be essential to an understanding of the Bill, and which it had requested the Governor to furnish, had not yet been received, and moved, as an amendment, that the promoters of the Bill be requested to supply this information. Mr. Corrin seconded this motion. In reply to Mr. Dumbell, Mr. Sherwood said that he was not opposed to counsel being heard on the Bill, but he was anxious, before it was allowed, that the particulars the House had requested should be in its possession. Mr. Dumbell opposed the amendment on the general question. Mr. Farrant said that the question was one on which opinions were much divided, and, therefore, it was not unreasonable for the House to desire to obtain the information it had requested ; and as the Town Commissioners must be in possession of most of the particulars they had asked for, he could not understand why they had not already supplied them to the House, with the Bill. Mr. W. F. Moore was also in favour of the House obtaining the information it had requested. Mr. Christian, in view of the difficulties in the way of the Bill, thought that a committee of the House, to take both rival schemes into consideration, would be the best way out of them. This suggestion being favourably taken up, it was agreed at this point to withdraw both the motion for hearing counsel and the amendment for first obtaining the particulars referred to in the resolution of the 7th of August, and Mr. Sherwood moved, and Mr. Corrin seconded- That a committee be appointed to take evidence and report upon the land, cost, and all other costs and expenses attending the street route proposed by the Bill, including business compensation ; and also the costs and compensation of all other routes of which plans may be laid before the committee, and of the enclosure of the foreshore of Douglas Bay ; and to report generally upon the relative advantages of the different routes which may be proposed, and generally on the best means of providing new street accommodation for Douglas.
To this Mr. Dumbell moved, and the Secretary seconded, an amendment almost identical but omitting all reference to the enclosing of the Douglas foreshore. During an irregular debate which followed, Mr. Adams gave notice on behalf of his clients, the Town Commissioners, of their withdrawal of the Bill; and Mr. Sherwood, on behalf of the opposition, gave notice of his readiness to bring in a new bill for. the rival route. The House, nevertheless, divided, and Mr. Sherwood's motion was carried by a majority of 19 to 2. The House then proceeded to appoint the committee, and ultimately Messrs Christian, Farrant, Gell, LaMothe, and Stevenson were appointed, and it was agreed that they should give in their report within two months. Mr. Sherwood then gave notice of his intention to move for leave to bring in a bill to provide for the enclosure of the foreshore of Douglas Bay, and for the making of a new street to connect the Victoria Pier with Prospect-hill.
On the 11th November, the New Street Committee reported to the Town Commissioners that the House of Keys had appointed a committee to receive evidence upon the different plans for the new street, and recommended the Board to supply the information required in support of their Bill. In connection with this report, a letter which had been sent to the Commissioners by Mr. Laughton threatening them, on behalf of a number of ratepayers, with legal proceedings if they expended any of the rates upon the expenses incurred over the new street. This letter was, by a motion agreed to by all the Commissioners, except Mr. Kinley, ordered to be returned, as insulting, to Mr. Laughton. The report of their committee was then formally adopted, all voting for it except Mr. Kinley. On the 26th November, Mr. Sherwood, in accordance with his motion of the 28th October, applied for leave to bring in his Bill in favour of the Ellison scheme, but it was refused on technical grounds raised by the partizans of the Culshaw route. During this interval, Mr Sherwood got the needful plans prepared by Mr. Cregeen, and wrote to Ellison, informing him of the suggestion of an 80 feet promenade, made by the Governor, and supporting it. Mr Ellison wrote raising objections. The plan, however, was prepared and completed, with the 80ft. road, the building land being blocked out by Messrs Craine and Kewley. This plan was the one laid before the Committee, and the deposited plan copied from it. In the suit referred to, Mr. Ellison alleged it was not produced, and he had never seen it in his life. The judge stopped the proof of the identity ~f the plan, as it had been conclusively demonstrated by Mr Sherwood. On the 9th December the committee of the House of Keys sat in the Douglas Court House to receive evidence respecting the various plans. Mr. Adams, the Board's advocate, explained the Culshaw plan from official papers, but called no witnesses. In support of the Ellison plan, Mr. Laughton examined Mr. C. 0. Ellison, whose evidence was very similar to that which he had given before, except that he now proposed to make the parade 80 feet wide, instead of 50, as before. In addition also, he read letters from Mr. Dixon, the constructor of the Douglas Iron Pier ; Mr. John Little, the borough engineer of Torquay ; Mr. Wm. Andrews, borough surveyor, Hastings ; all favourable to the proposed embankment. Mr. Laughton also read a communication from Mr. William Powell, in which he said that he was still in favour of the proposed embankment, and estimated its cost at about £300 less than Mr. Ellison. Mr. D. Cregeen was next examined, and also gave evidence in support of the scheme similar to what he had given before. Mr. Ii. Sherwood gave evidence as to a memorial and plan of Mr. Ellison's embankment and Loch Parade, with connected street, having been laid before the Governor in September, 1870; of the great traffic passing along the narrow dangerous Strand-street (much greater, as he showed by authentic statistics, than that passing up Prospect-hill) ; of the practicability of the Ellison plan as a whole ; and of the benefits which it would confer upon the town, if carried out. Mr. F. Sherwood also appeared to explain Mr. Robertson's plan, who, being unable to be present, had authorised him to say that, while he believed his own plan to be superior to Mr. Culshaw's, he had signed the petition in favour of Mr. Ellison's plan. Mr. John Parkes was then examined by Mr. Laughton, and gave evidence in favour of the proposed embankment and street. Deemster Drinkwater then laid before the committee of inquiry a letter from Capt. Veitch, dated December 18th, 1861, together with an accompanying plan, in which, after considering the position and requirements of the town of Douglas, he proposed that a sea-wall should be constructed along the shore to the Ramsey road ; that within this sea-wall a terrace or promenade, 900 yards long and 100 to 120 feet wide, should be formed, with stairs leading to the beach ; that five streets, almost at right angles to the promenade, should be made as a means of access from it to the mercantile streets ; and that, on its land side, a line of superior houses looking toward the sea should be built. He further proposed, as an additional promenade for the visitors, that a pier should be run out from the embankment to the Conister Rock. With regard to the Ellison scheme, the Deemster said that, " if the promenade and the street could both be constructed for anything like the same money as Mr. Culshaw's plan, then the town would be gaining very much by adopting Mr. Ellison's plan." After some documentary evidence had been given as to the absence of special damage done by the sea to property near the shore, the committee rose, having sat for more than five hours.
On the 17th December, Mr. Christian read the report of the committee of inquiry, appointed on the 28th October. After briefly reviewing the evidence taken respecting the different routes proposed, and pointing out that, though the Town Commissioners had declined to advocate before the committee any particular plan, they were willing to carry out any plan for the benefit of the town which might receive the sanction of competent authority ; the report thus concluded-" The committee, therefore, have the honour to recommend that the support of your Honourable House should be given to the combined plan prepared by Mr. Ellison, and that a communication should be made to his Excellency the Governor to the effect that your Honourable House is prepared to aid any well-directed movement for effecting a work so full of advantage to Douglas and the Island generally." Immediately after the reading of this report, Mr. Sherwood, in accordance with his notice, moved for leave to introduce a Bill for carrying out the Ellison plan. After some debate it was decided to allow Mr. Adams, the advocate for the Town Commissioners, to state whether his clients would go on with their Bill in view of the report of the committee. Mr. Adams, in reply, then said that the Town Commissioners had, all along, only one object in view. " They were a public body, having a public duty to perform. The public of Douglas required a street to be made through the centre of the town, and certain means were adopted to ascertain the best line of route for that street. The Town Commissioners then took up the matter, and had this Bill prepared to carry out the scheme which had been selected, not by them, but by arbitrators appointed for the purpose, supposing that, by the mode adopted, the best line of street had been selected, and that the Bill authorising it would be passed by the Legislature. if the Legislature were now disposed to amend the Bill so far as the line of street is concerned, the Town Commissioners fell in with the amendment. They would go on with their Bill, and accept it as passed by the Legislature. There was no disposition on their part to say if a particular line of street is not adopted, they would abandon the scheme. The Bill has merely to be amended by striking out the words referring to the Cuishaw scheme, and inserting words referring to Ellison's, and they would go on with the Bill. The Commissioners did not say which was the best plan, but they were ready to carry out any plan." Mr. Sherwood said the entire body of his Bill was the same as the Town Commissioners'Bill, and the latter would only require slight alterations to make it suit the plan recommended in the committee's report. This course was then adopted ; Mr. Sherwood withdrew his application for leave to bring in a new Bill, and, after complimenting the Town Commissioners for their public-spirited conduct, the House proceeded to consider the New Street Bill on this understanding-Mr. Sherwood taking charge of it. After a prolonged sitting, the House completed its consideration of the measure on the following day, only one or two amendments of any consequence being introduced into it, the most novel of these being a proposal to permit the Town Commissioners to issue Town Notes for .£1 and £5, in order to raise money for the purposes of the Act. This proposal, founded upon an old practice in England and upon an existing one in Jersey, met with some resistance, but it was ultimately approved by a majority of 13 to 4. The Bill finally passed by a majority of 16 to 1 the dissentient being Mr. Dumbell. The rapidity with which this important measure was thus passed through the House was as unexampled as it was unexpected, and it was only accomplished through the patient and untiring energy of Mr. Sherwood, who had for some time been supporting the Ellison scheme at a great cost to himself both of personal labour and money. In fact, as afterward appeared, the scheme, though popularly known as the Ellison plan, was in reality more due to the intelligence and industry of Mr. Sherwood than to Mr. Ellison's inspiration, and to his persistent determination to carry this scheme to a successful conclusion, the town of Douglas, and the whole Island generally, are mainly indebted for the magnificent marine parade, and the fine street which his self-denying labours and sacrifices contributed to bestow upon them.
On the 24th December, the Governor, in consequence of the proceedings in the House of Keys, addressed a communication to the chairman of the Town Commissioners, in which he reviewed the position of the New Street question, and concluded by saying that, under the circumstances, he had thought it right to communicate with Mr Picton and the two other arbitrators in order to ascertain, " whether the opinion they expressed in their reports were arrived at under the impression that the scope of the reference submitted for their consideration was limited in extent, and whether, if they had considered Mr. Ellison's plan had come within the limit of the reference, this would have had the effect of modifying in any manner the opinions they expressed."
On the 8th January, 1874, the friends of the Ellison plan assembled at the Castle Mona Hotel to celebrate their victory over the rival plan with a great dinner, after the custom of triumphant Britons. Mr. Laughton presided, and the gathering was addressed by Messrs Dalrymple, H.K., Corrin, H.K., Sherwood, H.K., Adams, and others, mainly upon the benefits which were to accrue to the town from the carrying out of the great improvement scheme, whose success they were met together to celebrate.
On the 13th January, the letter of the Governor came before the Town Commissioners, but no action was thought necessary. The action of their advocate, Mr. Adams, in accepting in their name, but, from the statements made by the members of the New Street Committee, without their sanction, the Ellison plan in place of the Culshaw plan, was strongly commented upon by the Board ; and it was resolved that he be requested to procure for the Commissioners copies of the Amended Bill.
On the 29th January the Town Commissioners held a special meeting to consider a communication from the Governor, dated the 27th, enclosing a copy of the further report of the arbitrators in reply to a letter to them from the Governor, dated 24th December, 1873. This report, which was dated January 9th, began by explaining the grounds upon which they had selected Mr. Culshaw's plan, and continued that upon the more enlarged conditions under which they were now asked to examine the question, they had " no hesitation in reporting that Mr. Ellison's plan presented many decided advantages "-which they concluded by enumerating. in the enclosing letter of the Governor, he expressed his surprise at the misapprehension by the arbitrators of the reference of the different plans made to them, and then laid down the following as the conditions upon which Government assistance would be granted :-" The Governor apprehends that the amount that will be more immediately required will be the sum requisite for the construction of the sea or enclosing wall, which has been approximately estimated at £8,000 to £9,000. (1) The Governor is, therefore, prepared to accede to an advance of £6,000 secured on the land to be enclosed. (2) That in the event of a scheme hereafter being sanctioned by the Legislature for improving the communication between Queen Victoria Pier, Duke-street, and the Market-place, an additional £4,000 upon the same terms to be advanced. (3) The above-named amounts to be repaid within six years from the first advance, and to bear interest for the last three years at the rate of 3 per cent. (4) That the appointment of the engineer under whose charge the sea wall and enclosure are to be carried out should be subject to the approval of the Governor. (5) That the Governor shall have the right to require the Commissioners to report from time to time as to the progress of, and expenditure upon, the works. Subject to the conditions above stated, the Governor is prepared to submit the measure, as amended by the House of Keys, for the consideration of the Council, on Tuesday next, the 3rd proximo."
The Commissioners discussed these proposals at some length, butt finally adjourned until the 31st without coming to any decision. On the 31st, a deputation of the Board had an interview with the Governor to obtain an explanation of certain difficulties in connection with the offered guarantee. At the special meeting of the Board which followed, the New Street Committee of the Board presented two hurried and discordant reports. One, signed by Messrs. Clinch, Corrin, and Todhunter, described at some length the present position of the question, and after reciting the altered character, and, in their opinion, the smaller amount of the guarantee offered by the Government, they said that they " could not advise the Board to undertake the work contemplated by the Bill, as amended." And, further, " having regard to the great difference of opinion which still exists, the committee submits that the Board has not sufficient evidence of the feeling of the ratepayers being in favour of Mr. Ellison's scheme, and consider that the ~ only method of arriving at a satisfactory settlement of the question as to route, and the extent of the work to be undertaken, would be to ascertain the feeling of the ratepayers by a dissolution of the present Board." They, therefore, recommended ( i) The election of a new Board of Commissioners ; or (2) The present Board to seek power to select its own route, &c., of the new street ; or ( 3) That the parade scheme be carried out by a company, and the Board contribute towards the work a fixed sum, not exceeding £6,000. The report prepared by the dissenting member of the committee (Mr. Cleator, chairman of the Board), was moderate in tone, and stated that the Board saw no reason why the Ellison scheme should not receive the sanction of the Legislature ; but they demurred to the smallness of the Government aid proposed to be given towards the undertaking, and asked for the same amount of aid to the Ellison scheme as had been offered towards the Culshaw scheme. If this financial difficulty were satisfactorily removed, the Commissioners would be willing to carry out the undertaking. These reports having been read, Mr. Todhunter moved that the report signed by the majority of the New Street Committee be adopted. Seconded by Mr. Clinch. A warm debate upon this motion followed, in the course of which the chairman (Mr. Cleator) moved an amendment in accordance with his report, which was seconded by Mr. Robertson. On a division upon the amendment three only voted for it, and on a division upon the motion, all the Commissioners voted for it except Messrs. Cleator and Robertson. A deputation was then appointed to confer with Mr. Adams as to the best way of carrying out the recommendation of the report. On the 3rd February the Board met again to consider a further communication from the Governor. In this communication he observed that the Town Commissioners suggested that a new Board of Commissioners be elected, with power to select the route, &c., of a new street, and that, having viewed this suggestion in the light of the course the Commissioners had hitherto taken, he was at a loss to understand it. He had also carefully considered their remarks upon the comparative value of the Government assistance offered to the two different schemes, and to meet their objections he would arrange that the assistance to be provided towards the street and promenade scheme should be proportionately the same as that which was proposed to be provided towards the Culshaw plan. To meet the wishes of the Commissioners, as expressed in the last paragraph of their report, he had no objection to the insertion of a clause in the Douglas Street Improvement Bill to anticipate the period for the election of Town Commissioners, and further to enable the retirement of individual members. In the discussion which followed the reading of this communication the dissatisfied majority complained of the refusal of the Governor to subisiit the whole scheme to the ratepayers (though what they could hope to gain by such a reference, except an indefinite postponement of the improvement, it is difficult to see) ; and Mr. Clinch moved, and Mr. D. Corrin seconded- That the Commissioners, though much regretting the refusal of his Excellency the Governor to sanction the dissolution of the present Board, and the submitting of the New Street question in a direct manner to the ratepayers, accept the provision for the retirement of individual members, which it is proposed to introduce into the New Street Bill.
Mr. Robertson then moved, and Mr. Kinley seconded, an amendment that the first part of this resolution be struck out ; but upon a division the original motion was carried by a majority of 6 to 3. The Board then adjourned. On the 4th, the Amended New Street Bill came before the Council for consideration, and, by adjournment, upon the 5th and 6th, on which day the Keys assembled in the Court House, Douglas, and the following alteration introduced by the Council into the Bill as passed by the Keys, was considered by the House and agreed to :-"That the Board constituted to carry out the Act should be the members of the Town Commission, and one person nominated by the Governor to be called the Government Commissioner, instead of three as at first pro. posed." At this point a petition was handed in, signed by 18 rate-payers, belonging to the Market-place, Duke street, and adjoining parts, whose property would be injuriously affected by the carrying out of the Ellison scheme, praying that the Bill might be deferred until it had been printed and laid before the public. The Secretary moved, and Mr. Dumbell seconded, that counsel be heard in accordance with the prayer of the petition. Mr. LaMothe urged that the petition had been presented too late, and moved that it was out of order. Mr. Sherwood seconded this amendment. The Secretary said that the Governor and Council had heard counsel that morning on the subject of the petition, and considered that was precedent sufficient to guide the House. Mr. Sherwood and Mr. LaMothe did not object to counsel being heard on the amendments, but on the question of printing the Bill, Mr. Dumbell contended that the ratepayers had a right to an opportunity to see a Bill which would so affect their property. A personal altercation here arose between Messrs Dumbell and LaMothe, after which Mr. LaMothe withdrew his amendment and substituted for it-" That counsel be perniitted to appear before the House upon the amendments and upon the Bill generally." This was seconded by Mr. Sherwood, and agreed to. Mr. Callow, on behalf of the objectors to the Amended Bill, then addressed the House at great length. He was followed by Mr. Laughton, who appeared later for two other ratepayers, and by Mr. Adams, who appeared for the Douglas Town Commissioners, who both contended that the time for discussing the measure had long passed, and that the time for action had now arrive4. The latter, especially, pointed out that the petitioners were moved by motives of self-interest alone. Mr. Sherwood, replying, said that the publication of the Bill would not afford the petitioners any relief; and it was resolved, on the motion of Mr. Sherwood, seconded by Mr. LaMothe, that the alterations in the Bill were not of such a nature as to require its reprinting. Mr. Callow then addressed the House on the Bill generally, urging that, as the arbitrators had recommended, the improvement of Duke-street from the Market-place to King-street should be incorporated in the Bill before the House. Mr. Laughton then presented a petition from two ratepayers, Messrs. James Kissack and Wm. Waid, whose places of business were close to the line of the new street, praying to be heard by counsel on certain clauses, which were greatly to their disadvantage. On their behalf Mr. Laughton contended that the improvement rate, not exceeding six shillings in the pound, should be levied only on property abutting on the new street. Later in the day, after consultation with the Council, this alteration, on the motion of Mr. Sherwood, was agreed to. The other alterations introduced into the Bill by the Council were then agreed to. The most important of these was clause 57. for enabling the one-third of the Town Commissioners to retire from office on the second Tuesday after the promulgation of the Act, instead of on the third Tuesday in May, according to the Douglas Town Act; and also to enable any other Corn-missioner who did not wish to continue in office to retire within seven days after the promulgation of the Act. Mr. Stevenson then moved, and Mr. LaMothe seconded, that the Bill, as amended, do pass ; which was agreed to without a division. On the motion of Mr. Sherwood, it was then agreed that the improvement of Duke-street below King-street should be suggested to the Governor and Council On the return of the deputation from reporting progress to the Council, they reported that his Excellency had said that he would be very glad to receive any communication from the Keys on the subject of the improvement of the lower part of the town. Later on in the day, a Tynwald Court was held, at which all the members of the Court signed the New Street Bill preparatory to its being sent to London for the Royal Assent. On the 21st February, the Bill received the Royal Assent (the recommendation to the Queen to sanction it being one of the last acts of the Gladstone ministry ~an additional act of friendliness to the many previously shown by this eminent statesman to the Isle of Man) ; and on Tuesday, the 3rd of March, 1874, it was formally promulgated on the Tynwald Hill, at St. John's. Among the formal business transacted by the Court after the promulgation, was a vote of £61 towards the preliminary expenses in connection with Mr. Culshaw's report, &c. This was one of the last acts of this Tynwald Court, as on the morrow the House of Keys was die-solved by proclamation after having existed the full term of the law. With this act this long-continued agitation was brought to a successful issue ; henceforth the story of the New Street and Promenade assumes a new and more attractive form, one of practical difficulties vigorously met and triumphantly overcome.
On the 24th February, the Town Commissioners transacted some business in connection with the purchase of the shore for the purposes of the embankment and parade ; and on the 26th they held a special meeting in order to affix the seal of the Board to the deed of purchase from the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, the total cost of the foreshore being £600. On the 6th March they held another special meeting for the purpose of signing a cheque for £57 on account of Mr. Culshaw's plans, &c. ; and also to receive the formal resignation of those members of the Board who did not wish to be concerned in carrying out the New Street Bill. The following members gave in their resignations:- Messrs. Clinch, Todhunter, McGhie, Cowle, and Kelly. In addition, the chairman (Mr. Cleator), and Messrs. Corrin and Kinley retired by rotation, and thus Mr. Robertson was the only member of the Board who still retained office. On the 25th March, the Governor issued his warrant to the High-Bailiff of Douglas for the election of three Town Commissioners in the place of Messrs. D. Corrin, C Cleator, and P. Kinley, whose term of office had expired ; and of five others, in the place of Messrs. W. Kelly, J. Cowle, J. McGhie, IV. Todhunter, and J. W. Clinch, who had resigned ; and, in accordance with this warrant, the High-Bailiff fixed the 8th, 9th, and 10th of April for these elections. As the time approached considerable excitement began to be displayed in the town, and several meetings of the ratepayers were held to select candidates and catechise them as to their views ; but, as usual in the Island, nothing like the same amount of interest was shown as ordinarily takes place during municipal elections in England. On the 8th April, Messrs. W. A. Breary, W. Kneale, and H. Gelling, were elected in place of the three retiring Commissioners, and on the 9th and 10th, W. Allen, J. Jefferson, C.E., M. Glover, T. Keig, and J. Curphey were elected in place of the five who had vacated their seats by resignation. In each case, the total number of voters polling was considerably less than half the entire constituency ; a significant instance, on so important an occasion, of that want of public spirit among Manxmen which has operated so injuriously upon the progress of the country.
On the 14th April the newly constituted Board held its first meeting, and, as its first business, appointed Messrs Brearey and Jefferson chairman and vice-chairman. A communication from the Governor was then read, dated the 7th instant, announcing the appointment of Mr. W. Dalrymple as Government Commissioner on the New Street Board. Other communications, dated the 11th instant, were also read, informing the Board of the appointment, by the Governor, of Mr. Powell, CE., to be the engineer to the Board, and of Messrs. J. T. Clucas, I. K. Greig, and W. Culshaw, to be valuers under the Act ; and reminding it that the New Street Act required it within three months after its promulgation, to submit to the Governor plans and estimates of the proposed work. On the 16th the New Street Board held its first meeting ; all the members were present, including the Government Commissioner, Mr. Dalrymple, who was cordially welcomed by the other members. A letter from Mr. Ellison was read, asking for the appointment of architect and surveyor under the Board, on the ground of being the author of the plans adopted. This application occasioned a short conversation, in which the Board, while admitting Mr. Ellison's claim to consideration " as he had spent a great deal of time and money " upon the scheme, showed that it did not think itself at liberty to sacrifice the interests of the town. It was at last decided that the Board form itself into a committee, and have an interview with Mr. Ellison. At this interview, which took place immediately after the general business of the Board was over, Mr. Ellison, in reply to questions from the Board, said that the usual professional terms were 5 per cent. on the cost of the work carried out ; but, as Mr. Powell had been appointed engineer, he would charge one only 2½ per cent. on Mr Powell's work. In reply to further questions and a request to name a fixed sum so that the Board might be able to calculate the entire cost of the works it was undertaking, Mr. Ellison at first objected to such a proposal, but afterwards, it appeared, offered to accept £1,000 in lieu of all his professional charges. After some further conversation, in which Mr. H. Sherwood, who had that day been appointed second legal adviser to the Board, took part, the meeting was adjourned to the next day in order that Mr. Powell might be present. Mr. Ellison had informed the Board that he ought to prepare plans for Mr. Powell ; but upon Mr. Sherwood coming into the meeting, he informed them that this was not correct, and advised an adjournment for Mr Powell to attend. After the adjournment, Mr Sherwood informed the Board that the deposited plan, for which Mr Ellison claimed compensabion, was not drawn by Mr Ellison, nor the plan from which it was copied, the latter (the one laid before the Committee of the Keys on the inquiry) having been drawn by Mr Cregeen, C.E., from his own instructions, and finished before Mr Ellison saw it, and that he had paid for these plans out of his own pocket. These statements were afterwards effectually established. At the adjourned meeting, Mr Powell refused to work from any plan made by Mr Ellison, or from any but his own. Mr. Ellison's services in respect to the shore enclosure part of the scheme, became unnecessary, and were, accordingly, declined by the Board. On the suggestion of Mr. Sherwood, the Board and their engineer, Mr. Powell, on the following day, the 18th, inspected the shore, and marked out the line of the proposed sea-wall with poles and flags, and fixed upon a line a little further seawards.
On the 20th the Board held its second meeting, at which all the memhers were present ; and, in addition, Messrs Adams and Sherwood, the legal advisers to the Board. At this meeting, on the motion of Messrs Robertson and Dalrymple, a letter prepared by Mr. Sherwood was ordered to be signed and forwarded to Mr. Ellison, commissioning him to prepare plans and estimates for the new street portion of the work (excluding the promenade, which, it was expressly stated, belonged to " Mr. Powell's department "), and also explaining that, while the Commissioners " had every desire to give him the appointment of architect to the Board," they. could not make any appointment until their plans and estimates had been submitted to the Governor; and further, " the Commissioners, for their own satisfaction, did not intend to bind themselves to undertake any works or make any appointment until the matter was placed before them in a definite form." For these reasons the Board gave Mr. Ellison (whose overweening claims it was already feared would give trouble to the Board) distinctly to understand " that in executing the above plans, &c., for the Commissioners, you will be entitled to reasonable payment for the labour upon the work so done, and this will not be regulated by way of commission on any of the proposed works, whether afterwards erected or not ; and further, that in case they afterwards arrange with you to act as their architect for the execution of the works comprised in the plan, estimates, and reports, or any part of them, your payment for the work now requested to be done, to form part of your remuneration as such architect." It was further resolved, on the motion of Messrs Curphey and Robertson, that Mr. Powell be requested to supply a plan of the proposed shore enclosure, with estimate of its cost ; and that he be also requested to give a report on the whole proposed work.
On the 2nd June, the Board held its next meeting, all the members being present, and, in addition, Messrs Powell and Sherwood. The Town Valuers' estimate (excluding business compensation) was read, from which it appeared that they estimated the value of the properties required at £26,597 ; and the value of the land to be re-sold at £20,700, leaving a nett cost to the Board of £5,897. A communication from Mr. Ellison was next read, enclosing his plan and estimate for the new street. A comparison of the two showed his estimate to be about £2,000 higher than that of the Town Valuers for the same work. Mr. Powell's report and estimate of the cost of the shore enclosure were then read, from which it appeared that he estimated the total cost of the work at £22,800 ; that, deducting the estimated value of the land reclaimed, £19,578, the nett cost would be £3,222 ; and that he calculated the work would be completed " by the end of 1877."
Looking back, after a period of only five years, the expectations expressed respecting the success of this great improvement by those selected to carry it out, and the hopes and fears which alternately agitated them, appear most extraordinary ; and should act as a warning against attempting to measure the future without sufficiently considering the past. The New Street Board was composed of experienced business men, well known among their fellow-townsmen as shrewd, practical men, and selected by them on account of their exceptional knowledge of the requirements and capabilities of the town ; and yet there was scarcely one of them who did not, in the early days of this great undertaking, expect it to land the town in hopeless bankruptcy, and who did not again and again express that expectation in most desponding terms. At this meeting of the Board, the first at which the Commissioners were compelled to face the actual cost of the works they had undertaken, the magnitude of the works, their certain enormous cost, and the uncertainty which attended that sale of the reclaimed and improved land upon which their hopes of carrying the undertaking through successfully depended, seemed to overwhelm their cautious, timid natures, and caused them to express such dolorous anticipations as must have made them later on blush with shame. The following are a few condensed examples of this, given as instances of what had occurred frequently both before this time and after, in the meetings of the Board and in almost every gathering of the townsfolk. The reports being read, Mr. Robertson said, " It was here that he got into difficulties. Where were they to get persons to give £19,000 for this land during the next twenty years P" Mr. Dalrymple (who throughout took a more hopeful view) : " The valuers say it is worth the money, and there is no use in employing doctors unless you take their medicines." Mr. Robertson : " I am not going to take their medicine unless it agrees with me." Mr. Dalrymple : " They are practical men." Mr. Robertson : " I know they are ; but I think they have valued this land too high." The Chairman (Mr. Brearey) : " if one-third of the valuers' estimate is got for the land, we shall be within the mark." Mr. Robertson : " Take half. I am agreeable to half." Mr. Dalrymple : "Then we shall be a long way within the limit "-(of the amount borrowable by the Act, £30,000). Mr. Robertson : " But the difficulty will be to get persons to buy the land. And if we cannot get persons to buy it, we shall be in a nice difficulty. I do not want Douglas to be encumbered with more than £30,000. I think it a hard case for Douglas that the entire cost is to be saddled on the town, although, as every one admits, it will be a benefit to the whole Island. If we go rashly into it, it may cost us £40,000, and Douglas is by no means prepared for an expenditure like that. I want to be clear upon the cost." Mr. Gelling "Mr. Powell does not guarantee that the work will be done for the amount he estimates. He only gives us the probable cost?" And so on, wrangling and whining hopes and fears in spite of the efforts of the more sanguine and enterprising to encourage a more hopeful prospect. After a lengthened conversation with Mr. Powell as to the best way of carrying out the work, it was agreed to begin the sea wall at once, and to do it by day-work, and thus avoid the charges of a contractor ; and that a deputation, consisting of Messrs. Brearey, Jefferson, Dalrymple, and Sherwood, wait upon the Governor, in accordance with section 48 of the Act, and lay before him the report received that day, and also inform him of the resolutions just agreed to. . At the interview, which immediately followed, the Governor expressed himself as highly satisfied with these reports, and a formal intimation to that effect was subsequently received by the Board. On the following day another meeting of the Board was held, at which it was resolved to make application to the Tynwald Court for leave to borrow £10,000; that Mr. Powell be requested to prepare a specification for the sea wall, and that tenders be advertised for, as soon as possible, for the construction of the sea wall, and of the inner wall, and for the filling up ; and that notice be served upon the owners of certain properties required by the Board. Intimation was also given to the Board that the Governor had fixed the remuneration of Mr. Powell, as engineer to the Board, at £400 per annum for the first two years ; and at the rate of £300 per annum if the work was not completed in that time. On the 5th the Governor had another interview with the Board, and, in consequence of his representations, it was agreed to rescind the resolutions of the 2nd, and instruct Mr. Powell to proceed with the sea wall in as many places as he thought desirable. On the 15th June, the Tynwald Court granted the Board power to borrow the required sum, and also, on the suggestion of the Governor, appointed a committee to examine the account of the preliminary expenses incurred in connection with the New Street Act. On the 17th the Board held . a private meeting and transacted some formal business ; and on the 19th the work actually began on the shore, a number of labourers, under the direction of Mr. D. Cregeen, assistant-engineer, began the preparations for laying the foundation blocks of the sea wall. On the 8th September, an important meeting of the Board was held ; and on the 15th a special meeting was . held to consider a deviation from the proper line of the sea wall, by which the enclosure was made about 10 feet narrower opposite the end of the new street, which Mr. Powell now reported, and which he stated had been made by Mr. Cregeen, the assistant-engineer, during his absence. This statement was, afterwards contradicted by Mr. Cregeen. Mr. Powell recommended that it would be better now to continue the line as laid out, and this suggestion was adopted. Mr. Sherwood, in his character of ratepayer, then suggested a modification of the line of the sea wall opposite Castle-street and Strand-street to the extent of 10 feet, a suggestion which was ultimately adopted at a later meeting of the Board. On the 6th October several matters of interest were considered. The amount of expenditure on the shore enclosure to Sept. 30th was stated to be £2,066. A lengthy conversation was held respecting the claims of proprietors and tenants to compensation, but nothing was decided. A warm discussion followed between the Board and Mr. Powell respecting the progress and cost of the shore works, and especially respecting the cost per cubic yard of the sea wall, which Mr. Powell declined to furnish to the Board under the plea that it would be unfair to the Harbour Commissioners. Finally, the Board resolved unanimously that Mr. Powell be requested to furnish the Board with a detailed statement of the cost per cubic yard at different points, and that a larger number of men be employed upon the works. The remainder of the meeting was occupied by an explanation by Mr. Cregeen as to the circumstances under which the error in laying out the line of the sea wall had occurred : Mr. Cregeen charging it to Mr. Powell. On Nov. 3rd the Tynwald Court gave ite formal sanction to the deviation from the proposed line rendered necessary by this error. The Board met on the 5th November to consider a communication from the Governor asking for certain particulars of information respecting the progress and cost of the work ; and a draft answer containing the information required was approved. On December 1st Mr. Powell proposed to raise the height of the sea wall one foot nine inches, and afterwards Mr. Ellison's plans for the drainage of the new street were considered. On the 4th, Mr. Powell was instructed to make the alterations in the sea wall which he had suggested; and on the 14th the formal sanction of the Governor to this alteration was received. The work of the Board now went on with considerable regularity, its meetings being chiefly occupied in considering and regulating the progress of the work, in urging Mr. Powell to push it on, and in other routine business. In these important labours the Board zealously engaged and gradually developed a surprising amount of practical sagacity and even engineering skill, extraordinary in men not professionally trained in such difficult duties. Already a considerable amount of divergence of opinion had arisen between them and their engineer Mr. Powell upon several points, especially upon the question of Mr. Powell's subordination and responsibility to the Board, and the rate at which the sea wall and embankment should be pushed on. The Board, representing the interests of the ratepayers, were naturally wishful to hasten the completion of the work, and particularly of that part of it which required the superintendence of a highly paid marine engineer ; and Mr. Powell, owing his appointment to the Governor, was inclined to treat contemptuously the authority of the Board, and imbued with professional ideas as to how his work should be done, and swayed probably by self-interest, steadily urged a slow rate of progress. This divergence of motive and interest had already led to several disputes, and was steadily tending to produce ill-feeling between the Board and its engineer ; especially as neither party, unfortunately, showed much wish to conciliate the other. On the 5th January, 1875, some very strong remarks were made by the Board respecting Mr. Powell's dilatoriness; and a resolution was unanimously adopted to hasten the filling in of the embankment in opposition to his objections. On the 26th January, dissatisfaction was again expressed at Mr. Powell for neglecting to build a cross-wall to strengthen the work, as had been agreed on by the Board; and a motion was adopted asking him why he had not done it. At the same meeting, the salary of Mr. Bell, the foreman mason, was increased by the Board, in consideration of his diligence in pushing on with the inner wall of the embankment; and Mr. Powell, when he was informed of the act of the Board, wrote a letter protesting against it. On the 29th a special meeting was held to consider this letter. A motion was made to the effect that Mr. Powell had better mind his own business, and after an angry discussion, an amendment, moved by Mr. Keig, was carried that the Board had, under the Act, the fixing of all the salaries, &c. (except that paid to Mr. Powell), and that it did not mean to give up that power. On the 9th February further complaints were made of the way in which the work was being carried out by Mr. Powell, especially of his neglecting to begin operations for opening out Victoria-street ; and on the 23rd the Board occupied itself with further grumbling. These unpleasant differences, which had now grown to such dimensions that they seriously injured the proper relations between the Board and its engineer, culminated in an interview with the Governor on the 8th March; at which was seen the strange spectacle of the New Street Board vigo rously accusing its engineer of neglect of duty, almost of incompetence, of arrogance, and presumption ; this engineer sullenly attempting to defend himself, and the Governor endeavouring to mediate between the two parties and to smooth their ruffled feelings. This attempt of the Governor to smooth over the differences between the Board and Mr. Powell produced little practical effect, their interests were so directly opposed. At their very next meeting, held on the following day, their quarrelling was renewed, and it continued with even increased bitterness until the completion of the work severed their involuntary connection. On the 21st April, Victoria-street was opened for traffic as far as Duke-street ; and on June 9th, 1875, or less than a year after the laying of the first block of the sea wall, the Loch Parade was sufficiently advanced to be " informally " opened by the Governor and Mrs. Loch driving along it from Senna-slip to Victoria-street amid the congratulatory cheers of the crowds who had assembled along its course. On the 19th October formal intimation was given to the Board by Mr. Powell that the whole of the sea wall, 2,477 feet in length, was completed, except the placing in its place of the final block ; and that the cost of the work, up to that date, had been £18,049. This announcement was received with great satisfaction, and it was unanimously resolved, on the motion of Mr. Keig, seconded by Mr. Curphey- That his Excellency the Governor be informed that in about a fortnight from to-day the filling in will be completed, except a small portion reserved for the debris of the houses to be pulled down in Victoria-street, and that this Board is of opinion that it is not necessary to retain the services of the engineers for any longer period."
On Thursday, the 21st, the last block of the sea wall was placed in position. No public intimation of the occurrence had been previously given, and few were present ; but the whole of the working staff were present, together with the New Street Board, and after some congratulatory remarks from the vice-chairman, Mr. Keig, a scroll, containing the names of the members of the New Street Board, the Governor, the engineers, and the clerk to the Board, Mr. Cartwright, together with the date of the laying of the first block, 24th June, 1874, and of the last block, 21st October, 1875, was enclosed in a bottle and embedded in the block, which was then fixed in its place. On the 25th October, a communication was received from the Governor acknowledging the receipt of the resolution of the Board of the 19th inst. ; and on the 2nd November, the Board had an interview with the Governor, at which the question of dispensing with Mr. Powell's services, as engineer to the Board, was discussed. Nine days later the Board held a special meeting to consider a mass of correspondence relating to this point. By the terms of section 46, of the Douglas Streets Improvement Act, Mr. Powell had been appointed to superintend the construction of the sea wall and inner or retaining wall of the embankment, and the filling-in of the enclosed space between the two. These were now completed, and the Board wished to get rid of Mr. Powell's costly services. But Mr. Powell was not equally anxious to dissolve his connection with the Board. His position as their engineer gave him a salary of £400 a year, in addition to his salary of £1,200 as engineer to the Harbour Board, and this additional salary he had calculated upon enjoying for several years. Owing, however, to the energy and persistence of the Commissioners, the work had been pushed on at a much quicker rate than he had expected, and he now sought to retain his position by claiming the right to carry out certain unfinished parts of the embankment, such as macadamising the roadways, concreting the foot. paths, placing the gutter-blocks and curbstones, fixing the drainage pipes and cesspools, and setting up the lamp-posts, or that he ought to receive £200 as compensation for giving up this claim. The Board objecting to pay an engineer £400 a year to superintend such work as this, or even to pay him compensation to the amount of £200, submitted the facts to the Governor which, after reference to the Attorney-General, led him to say, ultimately, that these matters did not fall within an engineer's work ; while the Attorney-General gave it as his opinion that the Governor " might consider the terms of section 46 of the Act as to the completion of the sea wall and filling sufficiently complied with." Mr. Dalrymple reported that in his opinion the work contemplated by section 46, was completed on the 24th November, the other two referees declined to report. After giving this circumstance his careful consideration, the Governor, on the 7th December wrote to Mr. Powell stating that, while he gave his decision " without prejudice to either party," in consequence of the Douglas Street Board having declined to be parties to the reference, it appeared, from the report of the Government Commissioner, that the work contemplated as coming within the meaning of section 46, had been completed, and therefore his appointment under the 46th section ceased from the 24th ult. With this communication Mr. Powell's official connection with the New Street Board ceased ; but he did not by any means abandon his claim for compensation, as we shall see in its proper place.
In the final block of the sea wall of the embankment, a parchment scroll, as has been related, had been inserted, containing certain official names and dates. The omission of Mr. Ellison's name from this list caused a revival of his claim to the authorship of the embankment scheme ; and in December he published several long letters on the subject in The Isle of Man Times. Mr. Powell declined to enter into a controversy with him ; but Mr. Kneale, then chairman of the New Street Board, published a lengthy statement on the 8th January, 1876, detailing the circumstances of the case, and showing by reference to facts and by formal statements by Mr. Cregeen and Mr. Cartwright, that Mr. Ellison's claim was unfounded. Mr. Ellison, the following week, published a reply to Mr. Kneale's statements, and further, laid his unredressed grievances before a meeting of the Liverpool Architectural Association; which, of course, heartily sympathised with the misfortunes of a professional brother. The dispute, thus begun, was taken up by the press; and the Liverpool Mercury of the 18th January, published a severe condemnation of the treatment Mr. Ellison had received from the Board, under the heading " Shabby Treatment." On the 29th, 'an equally strong reply to this appeared in The Isle of Man Times, contesting the Mercury's assumptions, and re-asserting, with additional proofs, Mr. Kneale's statements. The New Street Board next took the matter up, and at a meeting held on 2nd February, a motion, approving Mr. Powell's action in leaving out of the parchment scroll Mr. Ellison's name, was unanimously adopted. By passing this motion the Board, for the first time, departed from the strictly neutral position which it had assumed from the first; its position being, so far, that if Mr. Ellison had any claim at all in respect of his connection with the scheme which had gone under his name, it was upon the Highway Committees Funds, out of which the preliminary expenses were paid, and not upon the New Street Boards funds. In their reply, the Board first publicly stated, as a reason for refusing to take the onus of deciding on his claims, that they had evidence that Mr. Ellison was, in effect, a copyist of the plan issued and published, in 1865, by Mr. John Paul Harrison and Mr. Williams, CE., of Liverpool, and that they were prepared to prove the plan and prospectus into Mr. Ellisons hands early in 1870, before he took any action as to shore enclosure. It soon became known that Mr. Noble, of Villa Marina, was the witness.
On the 6th March, a large number of plots of building ground, both on the Parade and in Victoria-street were sold by auction by Mr. Raby; and up to that date the amount obtained for land sold by the Board amounted to about £21,000. The prices obtained for this land far exceeded what had been expected, while the eagerness shown by the town tradesmen to obtain sites for their business premises in the New Street, and by the leading lodging-house keepers to secure plots on the Parade was so great that it produced an extraordinary change in the anticipations of the Board. Even Mr. Robertson, who, a short two years before, expected nothing but bankruptcy for the town from the improvements, now saw brightness in the prospect, and began to talk of a new market and other improvements. At the meeting which followed this great sale of land, the Board seriously discussed the idea of forming a second new streeta continuation of Prospect-hill to the North Quay, a most desirable scheme, and one which it is to be hoped will yet be carried out. Upon obtaining possession of their plots, which, by the terms of their agreement, they did almost immediately, the purchasers began building operations at once ; and soon there began to rise along the line of the New Street and of the Promenade such shops and boarding-houses as the town had certainly never seen before. The wisdom of this proceeding was soon seen. Owing to its width and convenience the greater part of the traffic which, until then, had been compelled to pass along Duke-street, was diverted into Victoria-street, while the character of its buildings and the unexampled show of attractive goods which was made in their windows, soon made it not only the main thoroughfare of the town, but also its principal business street. So, too, with the Loch Parade. The great majority of those who frequent the Island in the summer are from the inland parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and they come to it mainly for the sake of its sea-bathing, and all wish to secure lodgings within sight and sound of the sea. This feeling has always made the houses possessing these advantages more sought after than those farther away from the sea, and enabled them to command a higher rate. This now caused the building plots on the Loch Parade, all of which commanded land and sea views scarcely rivalled in any part of the kingdom, to be eagerly competed for, notwithstanding their high prices and the stringent conditions imposed by the Board as to the character of the buildings to be erected upon them. The demand for plots, both in Victoria-street and the Loch Parade continued to increase rather than abate, and as fast as the Board could prepare them for sale there were eager purchasers for them. Within a few weeks after the first great sale additional sales had been privately effected to the amount of nearly £3,000 ; and other plots continued to be sold at intervals after-ward, and at the present time there is not a single plot unsold, all have been bought, and at the Boards own prices. Among the many useful schemes originated by these great public works, and among the buildings erected upon them, were a large and commodious hotel, placed opposite the Victoria Pier, and named the Peveril Hotel, the property of a Manx company; a magnificent aquarium and marine baths in course of erection along the south side of Victoria-street at its junction with the Loch Parade, the property of a company formed in Manchester, but including a large number of Manx shareholders ; another, and even larger hotel, the Villiers, erected by Mr. Udall, opposite the aquarium; a new church on the Loch Parade for the Primitive Methodists, while the various tradesmen and lodging-house keepers vied with each other in the elegance and completeness of their premises. In addition, a tramway along the Parade and the shore road was laid down by Mr. Lightfoot and opened in the winter of 1877. The result has been that at the present time (1880) not only is every inch of building land bought up, but the greater part of it has been built upon, and in the course of another year or so the town of Douglas will be able to boast, not merely that it possesses greater natural beauties than most of its rivals, but that it has also the finest marine promenade, and one of the most splendid streets in the kingdom.
About the time we are treating of, an excellent suggestion was made in The Isle of Man Times by " A Douglas Tradesman," that a commemorative statue of the Governor should be erected by public subscription in the noble square opposite the Peveril Hotel. It is not too much to say, without in any way overlooking the patriotic exertions of the members of the New Street Board, that but for the intelligent and continued support afforded by Governor Loch, this great improvement would never have been carried out ; and remembering, too, the important services which he has rendered to the Island since his accession to office in 1863, such a suggestion appears eminently suitable and well-timed; and though in the hurry and confusion of that busy time it was allowed to pass unheeded, it is to be hoped that now when the town has more leisure, and has too begun to experience some of the benefits of the great improvements he fostered and assisted, that the proposal will be again revived and carried to a successful issue.
From this point the proceedings of the New Street Board possess little public interest. Much of their work remained yet to be done, and they did it conscientiously and well ; but it was work of a routine character, such as plotting out the reclaimed land, forming the parapets along the Parade (which was done mainly under the able directions of the chairman of the Board, Mr. T. Keig), and Victoria-street, making the road-ways, enforcing their regulations respecting the character of the buildings to be erected along the line of the Parade and the New Street, strengthening the sea-wall by groins, watching and attempting to counteract the effect of the sea upon it, checking the increased scour of the tidal currents which threatened to sweep away the sandy part of the shore, and many other such duties, locally and personally interesting, but uninteresting and tedious to the general public. Steadily the work approached its completion. On the 20th February, 1877, the Loch Parade was formally declared to be completed by the New Street Board, and handed over to the Town Commissioners, in trust for the town. Its total cost had been £24,860. The total expenditure upon both the new street and the shore enclosure had been £47,496, of which £21,100 had been paid for properties purchased for the improvement ; while to June, 1878, the amount realised for land sold by the Board amounted to £36,000.
We noticed, as one of the adventures suggested by the construction of the Loch Parade the formation in Manchester of a Marine Baths and Aquarium Company. This scheme, in its early days, met with much public favour ; numerous shares were taken up, and in consideration of the benefits which it promised to confer upon the town, the New Street Board, in 1875, sold to the directors on easy terms a large plot of ground admirably situated for the purpose at the juncture of the New Street and the Promenade. Owing, however, to miscalculations as to the cost of the necessary buildings, and to extravagant outlay upon them, and also to gross jobbery and mismanagement on the part of some of the officials, the company soon fell into difficulties ; and, after building the basement portion of their projected building, they were unable, from want of funds, to complete the structure. On 13th August, 1877, the New Street Board formally notified the Company that by the terms of their agreement the time allowed for completing the structure had elapsed, and that unless steps were taken at once to complete their engagements, the Board would feel itself compelled to reenter upon the premises. To avoid this disaster, the directors made a desperate attempt to continue the undertaking, and on the 25th August, the baths were opened to the public ; Capt. Webb, the great swimmer, giving a serious of performances in the baths, which are among the finest and most complete in the kingdom. Though late in the season, this attempt proved fairly successful ; but it was insufficient sensibly to relieve the company from their difficulties. After struggling on for another year, the directors were obliged to succumb ; and at a general meeting of the shareholders, held at the Waterloo Hotel, Manchester, on the 21st August, 1878, it was decided to wind up the companys affairs ; Mr. Harding, the companys secretary, being appointed liquidator. These proceedings caused the Manx shareholders to take steps to secure their own interests, and on the 14th September, they held a meeting at the Peveril Hotel, Douglas. After a somewhat unsatisfactory discussion, the meeting was adjourned to give time for the Manx shareholders to come to some satisfactory arrangement with the English representatives. On the 5th October the adjourned meeting was held, at which it was agreed to wind up the affairs of the company voluntarily under the supervision of the Manx Court of Chancery, and that Messrs Harding and J. K. Greig be appointed liquidators in the Island. On the 30th November, the property of the company in Douglas was sold by public aution by Mr. J. Johnson, to Mr. Lightfoot, the proprietor of the Douglas Bay Tramway, for the very inadequate sum of £5,000, or including the cost of the ground, £8,500subject to the approval of the Court of Chancery. After having had the matter before it on several occasions, the Court formally confirmed this sale on the 21st December.
Failing to effect such a compromise of his claim for compensation with the New Street Board as would be agreeable to him, Mr. Powell instituted legal proceedings for the recovery of one years salary, £400, to the 11th April, 1876. The evidence in the case was taken on the 28th June, 1877, and after several adjournments, it came on for final hearing before Deemster Drinkwater on the 16th. November. After hearing the arguments on both sides, the Deemster reserved his judgment, but strongly recommended the litigants to come to an agreement. This recommendation failing, he gave his judgment on the 4th December, dismissing the suit on the ground of want of jurisdiction, without costs. On the 26th February, 1878, the chairman of the New Street Board stated that an attempt was being made to settle the matter by arbitration ; but later this idea was abandoned in consequence of Mr. Adams, the Boards legal adviser, discountenancing it, and Mr. Powells claim is still in abeyance.
On the 5th December, 1877, Mr. Ellison again addressed the New Street Commissioners, asking for a settlement of his claim for compensation as author of the New Street Plan ; and on the 7th of the same month, he wrote to the Governor, enclosing a copy of his letter to the Board, and requesting his influence to procure a settlement of his claim. The Board referred this communication to its " legal committee " for consideration. Five months later, on the 27th April, 1878, he again wrote, offering to refer his claims to arbitration; but his offer was not accepted by the Board. He then entered a suit against the Board, which, after passing through the usual preliminary stages, came on for hearing on the 17th July, 1879, at the Summer Common Law Court, before Deemster Drinkwater and a special jury. He claimed damages to the extent of £3,000 for the wrongful use of his plans of the Promenade and New Street. The case excited great interest, and was remarkable for its disclosure of the secret history of this improvement scheme, with which, until now, the outside world had been only very partially acquainted. From the first the case appeared to go strongly against Mr. Ellison, whose exaggerated claims and statements were frequently contradicted by direct and conclusive evidence. After occupying several days, the case was adjourned to the October sitting of the Court in consequence of the serious illness of one of the jurors. The case again came on, on the 1st November, 1879, and occupied 14 days in hearing. During the evidence Mr. Noble positively testified to showing one of Mr. Harrisons plans to Mr. Ellison early in 1870. Mr. Ellison as possitively denied this ; and Mrs. Noble and Mrs. Faulder being called, corroborated Mr. Noble, and the result was that the following points were settled : (1) That the deposited plan and the plan from which it was made were not made by Ellison, who declared that the latter, the plan produced before the committee of the Keys, had never been even seen by him (the proof to the contrary being so strong that the judge stopped any further evidence) ; 2, that the sea line fixed by Cartwright and the Woods and Forests was not copied from Ellisons line, though suggested by it ; and 3, that Ellison was not the originator of the idea of the Promenade. The judge held that Ellison could not recover, and his suit was dismissed with costs. Before disposing of the story of the Promenade, we will award to each person entitled his share of the design and work as carried out. The line of sea wall was laid down by the Board and Mr. Powell. Its symmetry was spoiled by Cregeens default. The sea wall and cordon block were entirely designed by Mr. Powell. The magnificent foot-path and road-way and its drainage were designed by Mr. Thos. Keig, one of the Board. Before being adopted it obtained the condemnation of Mr. Ellison, who proposed to drain the foot-path by holes through the sea-wall!