[From IoM Charities, 1831]


THE following Publication cannot fail of being both interesting and useful to the inhabitants of the Isle of Man. It contains a faithful and accurate statement of all the Public Charities within the Island, with a short history of their origin, the manner in which they are secured, and the objects to which they are applied. Such a publication is desirable on many accounts:–

1. To commemorate the benevolence of the generous Benefactors of Mona.

2. To prevent the loss of any of the Charities, by neglect, or invalid securities.

3. To secure their application to the specific purposes for which they were bequeathed.

4. To encourage others to enlarge the catalogue by similar benefactions.

The public are here presented at one view with all the different Charities belonging to each Town and Parish in the Isle of Man, and may now watch over these several Charities, and guard them against all abuse or misapplication.

It is hoped that a work in which the interests of the Island are so deeply involved will meet with general encouragement; and that all the friends of Mona will soon be in possession of this record of her insular Charities.

Copy of a Letter to William Courtenay, Esq., at whose desire the following account of the Isle of Man Charities was prepared for the use of His Majesty's Government.

Isle of Man, 7th December, 1827.


We are at length enabled to send you what we consider a correct statement of all the Public Charities in this Island: at least, if it is not so, we cannot reproach ourselves with any want of care in the preparation of it, having diligently applied all the time we could spare, since we had the pleasure of seeing you in the Island, to this interesting subject. You will perceive that the Charities are divided into two classes,

1. Charities of a General nature, 2. Charities which are Local, and appertain to each Parish; concluding with some account of the Parish Libraries, &c.

Perhaps some of the extracts and memoranda embraced in the detail might have been omitted, and the whole made shorter and more convenient for your purposes: but we found, on referring to the Parochial Registers, and to the Vicars and Wardens of the several Parishes, &c. &c., that no return could be made, that would be esteemed a convenient and useful direction to the present and succeeding Trustees of many of these Charities, unless accompanied with extracts from Deeds, Wills, and other public documents. We have therefore, with this view, made extracts from all such documents as could be found, and were considered material. These extracts will be further useful as Records, to be preserved in one of the public offices of the Island; and will also answer the important end of preserving in each Parish to which they belong, a memorial of the Bequests and Endowments, as directions for their due appropriation.

Before Col. Wilks left the Island, he perused the account of the " Charities of a General nature," and as it is probable you will see him in London, We think you may derive from him any further information which you may require respecting those Charities.

It would be desirable that, hereafter, publicity should be given at least to the distribution of the Parochial Charities. Perhaps some such plan as the following would answer the purpose; and it would be attended with little trouble, and no expense.

The Vicars General go round the Island twice in the year, to hold Chapter Courts, sometimes called Circuit Courts: the Vicar and Wardens of each Parish attend these Courts; and they might be directed to return at the Courts, in the month of May, an account of the Charities,and the distribution of them, in each Parish, to the Episcopal Registrar, who should be directed to send a copy of the whole to the Rolls' Office, before the 1st of July, so that the same might be laid by the Clerk of the Rolls before the Tynwald Court, annually holden on the 5th of July. The Keys, who are members of this Court, and reside in different parts of the Island, would thus have an opportunity, and they would feel an interest, each to inspect the distribution which concerned his immediate neighbourhood; and the accounts, if it were thought necessary, might be examined by the Committee who are appointed at the Court in July to audit the Highroad accounts.

It would also be desirable that the Episcopal and Archdeacon's Registrars should be instructed to transmit to the Rolls' Office, from every Will hereafter proved, which may contain bequests to any Charity, an extract of such bequests, in order that the same may be presented together in a book to be kept for that purpose.

If any explanation or further information on this subject should be required by you, it will be gratifying to us to have an opportunity of affording it.

We are, Dear Sir, very faithfully,

Your most obedient, Humble Servants,


W. COURTENAY, ESQ. &c. &c. &c.


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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