Illustrative of Manx Life and
Manners at that Period.
COMPILED FROM VARIOUS AUTHORITIES
BOTH PRINTED AND MS.
A. W. MOORE, C.VO, M.A., S.H.K.
Reprinted from The Manx Sun.
DOUGLAS 100 YEARS AGO.
We have entitled this sketch "Douglas 100 Years Ago," because it was in Douglas that the Insular life and movement were chiefly concentrated at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. We shall, however, also refer briefly to other parts of the Island. It was not till the beginning of the 18th century that strangers began to come to the Isle of Man in any great numbers. About 1720, Bishop Wilson wrote that "the great resort of strangers has made provisions of all sorts as dear again as formerly." (1).
It has been very generally supposed that the Isle of Man did not become a refuge for those who could not pay their debts till after the passage of the Act of 1737, the effect of which was that no strangers coming to the Island could be prosecuted for debts contracted before they arrived there. (1). But if the following extract from a book entitled "A Journey through England in familiar letters from a Gentleman here to his Friend abroad" is to be believed, it had attained that position at an earlier date. This gentleman, one John Mackay, writes from Douglas in 1722:
I designed to have finished England by my last letter to you from Carlisle; but going over to Whitehaven to visit our old acquaintance, Mr Lowther, and seeing the Isle of Man so near, I thought England would be imperfect without it, since that Island belongs now to an English subject, the Earl of Derby. 'Tis true, it is not governed by the Laws of England, but by its own particular Laws, made by their Deemster and Keyser Parliament, assembled at the Pleasure of their Sovereign the Earl of Derby, who also coins money. I therefore took a Boat at Whitehaven, a populous rich town, well built, and has a great number of shipping, which furnishes Ireland with coal, and did also Scotland with Tobacco and Sugars before the Union; and in five hours arrived at Castletown, in the Isle of Man.
I was surprized to see abundance of fashionable People on the Shoar, who, at my landing, complimented me with a half-pennyworth of Brandy, which is near half a Pint; and taking me to be a Gentleman in Distress, as most of them were, and not one come out of Curiosity, were very officious in the offers of their Service; for you must know that the Isle of Man is an Asylum or Sanctuary for all crimes committed out of the Island; but they must take care to do nothing against the law there, which is strictly put in execution. Many gentlemen that owe thousands of pounds in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, live in the greatest tranquility here at - a small expense. It is not only a Sanctuary for men, but for goods; for nothing pays Custom here. I have seen several ships unloaded here with wine and brandy from France, Rum from the West Indies, and Callicoes, and other East India. Goods from Holland, which were put into Warehouses, and afterwards run in small boats into Ireland, Scotland, and the Western Parts of England; here are no Custom House officers, and if England should send any spies, it would signify nothing; for none knows the particular places these small boats are designed to. The disaffected that come here for sanctuary may talk treason and broach their schemes with security, so they don't disturb the Government of the Island; and no doubt of it, they have their correspondents on the Continent; for everything done at London, Paris, or Rome, is perfectly well known here; although I must say, the natives, and natural inhabitants of the place, are a quiet people and don't much trouble their heads with politicks; They obey the Earl of Derby, and look no further. Their Religion is purely church of England." (2).
A further proof of the advent of this class is afforded by the fact that it was thought necessary to explain, on the tombstone of an Irishman who died in Man, about that period, that he had not. come to the Island on account of being in debt. The inscription on this tombstone, which is, or was, in Marown Old Churchyard, is given by Feltham, as follows
Francis Blackmore, of Ireland, buried September 25th, 1734, aged 65. (2)
"Stop, traveller, I pray; but then take heed,
You judge not hard of him, when this you read,
No debts, no laws, obliged him to fly
From the dear land of his nativity;
But warn with cares, he chose this place to end
His days in peace, and make his God his friend." (2a)
The immigrants, however, can not have been numerous, for, as late as 1773,: we find the Rev. Philip Moore expressing wonder that people of "middling easy fortunes don't retire to the Isle of Man, where the necessaries and even the luxuries of life are exceeding cheap and in great abundance, where a small family or a single person can live better on £60 or £70 a year than in England for £150, and so on in proportion." (3) A few years later, however, the same authority informs us that several families arrived, induced thereto by "a puff in the papers of such cheap and elegant living in Mona." (3) After the Peace of Versailles, in 1783, some half-pay officers and their families arrived, and they were accompanied, by many of those who found it inconvenient to pay their debts. Nearly all these people settled in Douglas. But it was not till after the war with France broke out, in 1793, that members of the latter class, driven from France thereby, came to Man in any great numbers.
We propose to give, first, a general account of Douglas and its society, derived from contemporary authorities. Then we shall refer more particularly to the strangers and their doings, and, finally, to the natives and to the relations between them and the strangers.
The earliest writer about this period in Man is Colonel Richard Townley, who lived there for about 10 months in 1789 and 1790. He gives the following favourable account of the Island : -
Strangers may then be glad to visit an Island, so beautifully romantic, so abounding in the most picturesque views; and where they may live so well and comfortably, if the climate suit their constitutions, not only in the summer, but the winter months too; for they may live, at all times, as well in the eating way, as reasonable people can desire, and where a bad bottle of port, or rum-spirit, is as rare to be met with, even in village inns, as a good one, of either kind, at any common inn or house for the reception of travellers, within the noble Island of Great Britain. (4)
David Robertson, who made a tour in the Island in the summer of 1791, speaks of Douglas as "not only the chief seat of commerce," but as the "principal residence of the English"; and he continues:
Officers on half-pay, and gentlemen of small fortunes, resort hither; invited by the abundance of the necessaries and the easy access to the luxuries of life. Besides these, there axe several decayed merchants who have sought shelter from the persecution of unrelenting creditors. (5)
In a curious and very scarce book, called " The Itinerant, or Memoirs of an Actor," by S. W. Ryley, published in 1808, there is an account of the author's visit to the Isle of Man in 1795:
In September, 1795, we sailed from Liverpool in the "Duke of Athol " packet....
After a, pleasant, though tedious voyage of two days and a half, we anchored in Douglas Harbour, amidst as animated a scene as ever I remember to have witnessed, occasioned by a numerous fleet of shipping smacks, just leaving the port as we entered it, their white sails unfurled and bending before the breeze; this gave a degree of life to the view which greatly increased its natural beauties, and added an exhilaration to the spirits truly delightful. (6)
In another place, he says:
Douglas is the principal town on the Island, greatly exceeding others in population, refinement, and, of course, in expense. (7)
Feltham, who was here in 1797 and 1798, remarks that Douglas "has public breweries, tan-yards," and, as instances of its progress in refinement, " a circulating library, a theatre, several billiard tables, assemblies, and races." (8)
Nathanael Jefferys, who came ten years later, writes that its "streets are very narrow, and in no part of Douglas, except by the side of the quays and the river, do the buildings extend in a straight line for fifty yards together; and the best houses are often times mixed with the worst." (9) And, in another place, that "Douglas, carrying on the principal trade and commerce of the Island, has the greatest intercourse with strangers. The residence of the English is chiefly confined to this town, among whom are many officers on half-pay, and gentlemen, as well as families of great respectability, of small fortunes, who are invited to take up their residence here, from the pleasantness of the situation, the abundance of necessaries and the cheapness of luxuries." (10)
He is followed in 1811 by George Woods, who writes:
The Isle of Man is a place of considerable resort for strangers, and is become so ehieflv or altogether upon two, accounts. The first is that it is a place privileged by law from all debts not contracted here; and from debts contracted here, if not with the inhabitants as far as respects the person and money of the debtor, but not his goods. . . . The Island is so much the resort of persons of this description, that a man, on his arrival, is, "ipso facto," immediately suspected of corning hither to avoid his creditors.
The second reason is, that a family may live, especially in the country, and more particularly at the Northern part, at a very small expense. (11)
Then, referring to Douglas
The streets are very irregular, and in some places extremely narrow. I had the curiosity to measure the chief street, opposite the projecting corner of a house, and found that it did not exceed seven feet, its average width being twenty or thirty, but without a pathway. . . . At the commencement of the Pier are a court. of justice and temporary prison, the latter only being used for securing prisoners till their removal to Castletown. (12)
On the south side of the harbour "there, is a row of modern houses of very good appearance." (13) Before 1810, houses had only been built on the North and South Quays, and on the ground between the Market Place,
' the sea and the harbour. But, in that year, Duke Street and Sand, now Strand, Street, were begun, and, by 1815, the town, according to a local author, Thomas Callister, had been almost entirely rebuilt within 30 years. He speaks of The Parade, Redfern's Square, and Bridge Place, as the " most genteel " parts. But there were also "handsome and genteel houses" in Fort Street, while "Shaw's Brow is composed of new houses, all in the modern style." Duke Street, where there is a public library and a news-room, is the "largest and finest street," though St. George's Street is "very handsome," but Athol Street, then being commenced, " is to surpass them all." He also refers to the "superb Court House," on the North Quay, and he status that the Quay itself, completed in 1804 -now called the Red Pier-is "handsomely paved with freestone, and this part constitutes the chief promenade of the gentry, particularly in the summer-time, and there are seats for their accommodation, all along the wall, that was erected on the north side thereof." (14)
We are told, indeed, that such care way taken of the pier that the promenaders had to remove their pattens, then generally worn in wet weather, before they were allowed to go on it! Prior to 1790, the Hill's Garden, which extended nearly to the sea, was the favourite promenade, but it was closed to the public in that year.
The "Manks Mercury" of the 26th of February, 1793, informs us that "When the Hill Garden remained open to the inhabitants of this town it afforded them a clean and pleasant walk; while their ears were agreeably entertained with the delightful notes of the thrush and blackbird. It is now almost two years since the famous thrush mentioned by the celebrated Col. Townley, in his "Tour through the Isle of Man," was shot when singing on a tree on the How side, opposite the Watch House, and the town has ever since been deprived of the pleasure they received from the charming melody of its voice; however, another has a few days ago taken its place. whose notes are equally attracting. It is heard distinctly morning and evening from the Quay, and the very agreeable cello it produces on this side has a very pleasing effect." (15)
Callister then goes on to state that
The Harbour and Quay, from the Lighthouse to the New Bridge, is nearly a mile in length, on the north side whereof, facing the harbour, and all along from the Court House, there are very few houses, which are not of modern construction, and some of there that are not so are remarkably genteel.
At a little later date, the South Quay was the most fashionable quarter. Advertisements in the "Manks Advertiser," in 1811, refer to "an elegantly furnished house in Thomas Street," and inform us that "Dr. Bible has taken a lease of, and will remove in May into, the house next to Mr Clucas's, Druggist, Muckle's Gate, at present in the possession of the Rev. Mr Haining,"; so that it is evident that these also were desirable quarters.
As regards Douglas society, we learn, from Robertson, that it is "considerably indebted to the English," who "have given life and geniality to the town ; and have contributed to polish the manners of the natives." He informs us that "convivial societies, assemblies, and card-parties are now frequent among the higher circles of Douglas. Whist is their favourite game; and they seldom play high. Cards are, however, introduced on every occasion, and generally accompanied with a plenitude of excellent wines. (16) Jefferys confirms this account, but gives the Irish, as well as the English, the credit of having; "given life and gaiety to the place." (17) Public assemblies, for dancing, took place at frequent intervals, and dancing masters were much in request. One of them issued the following entertaining advertisement : -
T. Munday begs to inform his Friends and the Public that his first Public Ball will be on Wednesday, the 4th of December, at the Assembly Roots, when his Pupils will dance an entirely new ballet, such as he flatters himself has not been seen in the Island before; in the course of which will be introduced a great variety of the Newest Dances Parisot's favourite Pas Seul, Minuet Dauphin, Vestris's New Gavot, and Peregourdin, besides many others too numerous to insert. The Ballet to commence at half-past seven, and at ten Ladies will draw for Places, when Mr Munday, by using his utmost exertions, hopes to make it as agreeable as a regular assembly to those Ladies and Gentlemen who may honour him with their Presence.Tickets, 3s. each, to be had at Mr Munday's, corner of John Street.
Another of their amusements was provided by the theatre, which had been erected, according to Colonel Townley, about 1788, by "Caption Tennison, with the benevolent, design of contributing to the relief of the poor. (18) The same writer tells us that be submitted to "a stew in the play-house in order to see Mrs Blanchard" (18) ; and that, on another occasion, he was tempted there to see "some gentlemen of the place upon the stage," when, as he truly remarks, "there was a very extraordinary bill of fare given out, viz., Three Pieces; Love-a la-Mode; Lettie and the Citizen; besides occasional prologues, spoutings, dissertations, readings, rantings, singing, etc." On this "Bill of Fare" he remarks that "If it had not been for considerable merit in the pleasings of Mrs Blanchard, Captain Tennison, and Mrs Bibby, the patience of many would have been exhausted long before the conclusion of the first piece; for, to speak of the whole truly, and in general terms, it was acting without stage abilities, and singing without voices." A severe indictment indeed ! (19).
It was there that, in 1809, an affray took place in consequence of Major-General Stapelton having pushed a man off the stage. The General, Sir John Piers, and Captain Edwards were thereupon summoned to appear in the Deemster's Court at Castle Rushen, when Deemster Lace reflected on the character of General Stapelton. The General complained to the Secretary of State, who ordered an investigation to be made into the charges made against the Deemster. The result is not, known.
In 1805, the famous dwarf, Rush, who was 35 inches high, appeared in this theatre, and we may mention that it was not till 1816 that Captain Tennison's house was superceded by the Waterloo Theatre, in Wellington Buildings. The state of Society in Douglas at this time, and the change introduced by its stranger inhabitants is sadly referred to by Thomas Stowell (20), a local poet, as follows:
O Luxury! whom Eastern kings revere
Do'st thou maintain a little empire here?
Could not whole kingdoms thy desires allay,
But must poor simple Douglas be thy prey?
Ah! see what desolation thou hast spread;
Young industry is sick, and virtue dead;
While pride and pomp so absolute are grown,
That friendless modesty's kicked out of town.
Douglas, the seat of scandal-nurse of pride
To ignorance by lasting ties allied;
With self-tormenting spleen, and envious strife,
Sours her own cup, and blastz the joys of life.
Let not the peaceful stranger hope to find
An Eden here, and saints of human kind;
No sooner is he landed on the quay
Than vigilant detraction grasps her prey,
And though his kinder fates protect his life,
Misfortunes suffer-or his faithful wife.
Another poet (anonymous) views the isle and its society from a different, though seemingly a sarcastic, standpoint
Wee, wee Isle-I like thee well;
For here no Bailiff dares to dwell,
No Sheriff seeks his fee; Here liberty restrains the law,
And, acting like our patriot Shaw,(21)
Would set the captives free.
Of the character of the, strangers, to whom by common consent the tone of Douglas society was mainly due, we have much contemporary evidence. As regards the worst class of them, the local poet first quoted is very bitter:
Yon swindler, just arrived, not worth a. groat,
Gets credit here, and wears a costly coat;
Games, wenches, drinks, gallants, commences buck,
His sole dependence impudence and luck. (22)
Many of the English gentlemen, resident here, are more acquainted with convivial enjoyments, than with the pleasures of retirement. They are more Bon Vivants, than Penserosos. Accordingly, the festive entertainments of the English are numerous and splendid; while each studies to emulate the other by the sumptuousness, or delicacy, of his table. But this prodigality of the English, frequently exceeding their income, becomes highly capable. It injures the natives; it affects the credit of other strangers; and often precipitates themselves into the deepest distress. (23)
And Ryley : -
Without introduction, the inhabitants of Mona are very backward in noticing strangers, yet this can scarcely be called a fault, when we consider the number of unprincipled refugees who fly to the Island as a place of sanctuary. Of this description were several of the most "dashing" inhabitants at this period, who lived in "style" upon the means that ought in justice to have been appropriated to their creditors. (24)
Mrs Bullock, a lady who lived in the Island from 1804 to 1814, and wrote a history of it, states that:
Though the protection granted by the laws of the Island had "invited the unprincipled and extravagant to a temporary residence," yet that, at the same time, the Island had "afforded a retreat, where, by the practice of economy, those affairs have been retrieved, and debts paid, which, had the individuals been subjected to imprisonment, with its attendant disadvantages and expenses, never would have been effected." (25)
And, in another place, she remarks that:
Luxury, as it. advanced in Great Britain, continually drove out those sons and daughters of dissipation, who, had sacrificed too largely at her altars, to expiate their vices or their follies in other climes; and when the revolutionary war broke out, the Continent being closed against, such incursions, the Isle, of Man became the sole retreat left open to them." (26).
She comments with same severity upon the, character of the stranger ladies:-
"Till now the most striking traits exhibited by these fair wanderers have been a sovereign contempt for those they came to live amongst, a prodigious flippancy, a vast affectation of high breeding, and pretensions to, a rank in their own country, not always borne out by facts." (27)
We will now give some particulars about some of the most notorious strangers who came to the Island at this time. One of the most remarkable of them was Whaley (born 1766, died 1800), who was nicknamed "Buck" or Jerusalem Whaley. He was a son of Thomas Whaley, of Whalley Abbey, County Wicklow. His youth was spent chiefly in Paris, where he distinguished himself by wild extravagance. His nickname arose from his acceptance of a curious wager. Some friends of his, hearing of his intention to re-visit, the Continent, asked him where he was going, to which he replied, "Jerusalem." Upon this they wagered him a sum variously estimated at from £15,000 to £30,000, that he "would never reach the Holy City. He at once took up the wagers, and in the autumn of 1788 started on his journey. He returned in June, 1789, having duly, as arranged, played ball against the walls of Jerusalem. He immediately recommenced his riotous mode of life in Dublin, and indulged in various foolish wagers. On one occasion he wagered he would jump from the drawing-room windows of his house in Stephen's Green into the first barouche that passed, and kiss its occupant. This feat he accordingly performed. After further escapades, he again went to Paris, where he witnessed many of the scenes of the Revolution, but was obliged to leave during the height of the "Reign of Terror." He re-appeared in Dublin for a time, and then went to the Isle of Man about 1795. He there built a house on Douglas Head, called Fort Anne-now the hotel of that name-which he dedicated to Venus and Bacchus From traditions which survive, it is evident that both these deities received no stinted worship there. Some idea of the sumptuousness of the appointments of this house may be gathered from the beautiful inlaid doors which still remain there. He was a member of the Irish Parliament-having represented Newcastle, County Down, between 1785 and 1790, and Enniscorthy from 1797, to 1800. He was bribed first to vote for the Union, and afterwards againnst it. (28) Among other interesting strangers were Sir John Macartney, Bart., of whom it was said in a local paper on his death in 1814 that his, "Memory will always be held in the highest veneration" by the inhabitants of this Island." Sir John B. Piers, Bart., the hero, as we shall see, of more than one duel, and Samuel and Francis Turner, Govermnent spies.
"Samuel Turner (1765-1810) (29) was the son of Jacob Turner of Turner's Glen, near Newry, a gentleman of good fortune in County Armagh. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he entered in 1780; graduating B.A. in 1784, and LL.D. in 1787. Turner was called to the Irish Bar in 1788, but does not seem to have practised, and became involved in the United Irish Movement. He was closely associated with the Northern leaders of this Movement, and was a member of the executive committee when its principal leaders were arrested in 1798. Turner had escaped to the Continent early in 1797, and spent the next few years at Hamburg, "where he maintained the most intimate relations with the Irish patriots. He was included in the Act of Attainder in 1798 as one concerned in the rebellion; but in 1803, on the death of his father, he returned to Ireland, and appeared at the bar of the King's Bench, when the attainder was reversed, with the assent of the Attorney-General, on proof of Turner's absence from Ireland for upwards of a year prior to the outbreak of the insurrection. Thenceforward he continued to reside in Dublin (30) until his death (31), preserving to the end the reputation of a patriot among the popular party in Ireland, and enjoying the friendship of Daniel O'Connell. The industry of Mr W. J. Fitzpatrick (32) has, however, conclusively established the treachery of Turner to the cause he espoused, and has identified him with the mysterious visitor to Lord Downshire, mentioned by Froude in his "English in Ireland," as having in 1797 betrayed important secrets to the Irish Government, and with 'Richardson,' 'Furnes,' and other aliases under which he was known to the Government, and by which he is mentioned in the 'Castlereagh Correspondence,' and elsewhere. For his services as an informer Turner was awarded a secret pension of £300 a. year by the Government, which was subsequently increased to £500. Sir Arthur Wellesley, Irish Secretary, afterwards Duke of Wellington, mentions him in a letter to the Admiralty, dated December 5th, 1807, as having 'strong, claims to the favour of the Government for the loyalty and zeal with which he conducted himself during the rebellion.' (33).
The letter from Sir A. Wellesley, which we have already quoted in the account of Samuel Turner, was written to recommend his son, Francis, for promotion, on account of his father's services. Francis Turner according to, Mr Fitzpatrick, "came to the Isle of Man, and having, quarrelled there with a Mr Boyce, agreed that the dispute should be settled by an appeal to arms. Both, with their friends, repaired to the field of honour, and, as Turner was preparing for the struggle, his adversary shot him through the head, and thus terminated the career of a man whose only regret was that his life was not lost in the service of his country." (34) How, then, did such men as these amuse themselves here? Their chief amusements, as will have been gathered from the accounts already given, were carousing, card playing. and duelling, also, what would now be called "larking; "
One of the.most notorious of the duels was that fought between Sir John B. Piers and Mr John Meredith, in December; 1806. An account of it was given by the, Samuel Turner already referred to. It originated in a difference between the combatants relative to a bet at dinner. Mr Meredith fired before the time, but missed Sir John, who advanced towards him, and ordered him to go, down to his knees and beg, for pardon and life. The unhappy Meredith was, however, shortly afterwards slain in a similar affair by Mr Boyce, who also, as we have seen, put an end to Francis Turner.
Sir John was scarcely more fortunate, as, in the following August, he was arrested at the suit of Load Cloncurry for a. debt of £20,00) (Irish).
In 1810, a duel took place, at Ramsey, Between Sir John Macartney and Mr Dempster. Shots were exchanged without result. The seconds then interfered, and Mr Dempster apologised.
Mrs Bullock comments contemptuously on these affairs, which, she states, originated with " a tribe of duellists, or, what Addison would have called, 'Mohawks,' chiefly drawn from the green shores of Erin." (35) No sooner had these gentry landed, in 1804, "than peace spread her wings, and for many months was heard of no more." (36) "I am not exaggerating," she continues, "when I assert that every evening closed upon a quarrel, and every morning dawned upon challenge! Explanations! apologies! points of honour! and effusions of valour formed the sole subjects of discourse! No meetings, however peaceable arranged between the most intimate friends, could ever break up without a deadly feud, which nothing but lead and gunpowder could allay." (36)
"Notwithstanding all this bellicosity, however, but one fatal duel (37) took place, and on this occasion all the 'Mohawks' present took 'to flight in different directions' (37) and left the unhappy man (38), who was fatally wounded, 'to breathe his last, unassisted and unsupported.'"
After this duel, the 'Mohawks' "sat down pretty quietly under the shade of their honours; only now and then taking advantage of the renewed fears of the ladies to mutter at, execration, look fierce, and exhibit their skill at snuffing candles with pistol balls." (39)
Not satisfied with these exploits, they broke out in a new direction-"they clothed themselves in long, dark cloaks, encouraged the growth of their whiskers and mustachios, girt their loins with leathern belts, in which they stuck pistols, and a stiletto, and in this terrific array did a band of these worthies parade the streets of the town." (39) But they seem, after all, to have been very harmless. Our authoress confesses that she "never heard of any essential mischief achieved by them, though one of them planted the lawn before his house with cannon, and certainly killed all the ducks and geese of a neighbouring farmer with grape-shot; but as he liberally paid the damage, it was, perhaps as well as any other market to which the good dame could have sold her poultry." (39)
There are numerous accounts of the natives of Douglas at this period. The most lengthy, and the most dismal, of them is by the Rev. W. Fitzsimmons, a, Manxman, a retired episcopalian minister, and a member of the House of Keys, who lived at Glenroy. (40) In, this account, which is evidently grossly exaggerated (41), he compares their condition in 1755 with their condition 50 years later : -
1755.-They who were styled merchants though wallowing in wealth, were remarkable for their economy and the simplicity of their manners. The shopkeepers possessed both capital and credit and were temperate, moderate and obliging. It was common for either merchant or shopkeeper to, give £1,000 in. marriage portion and to bequeath £10,000 at death. Tradesmen were scarce, but they were frugal and modest and starved for wart of employment. The, inferior order of them was obliging and civil; so sober that none will taste what. is stronger than small beer, and so conscientious that nought could tempt then to abstract a chip or absent themselves a moment front their work.
Merchants, from an approved principle of economy and prudence, rode their ponys, and shopkeepers and tradesmen travelled on foot
Wines and spirits were plentiful and cheap, but were in no request. Public-houses were deserted, and they who kept them starved. There were but twelve paltry ale-houses, and only eight retailing-shops; all brewed their own ale. There were but two petty breweries, very ill employed.
There. were but six odd people and four helpless cripples, who solicited. They were modest, sober, and thankfull, and cleanly apparelled at Church on Sunday. Ladies of the first style wisely wore what was wrought in their own families. Servant maids and workmen's daughters wore Linsey Woolseys. Their dress was adjusted to their circumstances; their carriage so correct and guarded that their character could not be mistaken without injustice. Ladies of fashion wore what was comfortable and becoming. Their bosoms were covered with the most cautious delicacy. There was not, one milliner and only two mantua-makers, who fared extremely ill. There was but one small chapel, which was perpetually crowded.
All heads of families inculcated on their children the importance of religious duties, heard them read the Scriptures, and punished the violation of the Sabbath. From the best motives they made the education of their children their chief concern. Their sons were intelligent, modest, and tractable; their daughters constantly employed in domestic duties. The young men displayed a thirst for knowledge and read every author of approved character. The young women imitated, nay, surpassed them, and were well versed in all the modern classics.
The Police were managed by the Chief Constables, who were stiled Captains, with so much vigilance and activity that public order was never interrupted; a riot, was a prodigy. No man's house was violated by day or night.
The presence of a governor was accounted indispensable.
The Lord Superior secured the Constitution of the Island by the strongest barrier. He admitted the hereditary tenure and was well-satisfed with his quit-rents. He used all his influence to relieve his subjects. He generously sacrificed his own interest for that purpose, and he and his subjects were at perfect friendship. He venerated the House of Keys and respected the persons and characters of its members.
The bishops regularly made their annual visitation and were particularly solicitous about the parish schools.
They paid particular attention to the natural endowments of candidates for the Church. Their clergy consequently displayed sensibility and taste in their performance of their public duties.
Church discipline was strict. No breach of of order escaped censure. Gambling and drunkenness on Sunday were never heard of.
The bishops, actuated by Christian meekness, have been gentle towards all men, and have cultivated the attachment of their clergy by the most winning acts of friendship. Their revenues did not exceed £300 a year, which they expended in charity to the poor and in generous and general hospitality.
The herring fleet consisted of 300 small boats. The fishery was uniform and abundant. The farms were free; owners and crews were all wealthy.
The crews were, with few exceptions, sober, mannerly, civil, and so piously disposed that not a man embarked without having performed his devotions.
The people were so friendly, so peaceable, so honest, so wise that a cause seldom went before the Deemster in a month.
Such was the neglect of foreign luxuries that two small sloops, measuring about sixty tons, did all the business of the country. The voyage required about six weeks. (?)
The port of Douglas was constantly crowded with large ships, which traded to all quarters of the Globe. The pier, which had fallen, was re-built at the moderate cost of £1,500.
The Pier-Master, who was educated in a barber's shop, was a man of the most obliging, civil and engaging manners.
The Receiver-General accounted the custody of the Revenue a. sacred trusty and speculation as a violation of his official oath and honour.
The officers of the Customs were unassuming, moderate citizens. Their salaries were small, yet they conscientiously rejected all fees and received no gratuities of any kind. The quantities of imported spirits were immense; yet so delicately cautious were the Custom officers that they ascertained the proof strength merely by the smell. Not a drop was retained for their own use. The Custom House transacted its business with impartiality and candour. Merchants and shopkeepers were perfectly independent and imported at their own discretion.
1805.-The merchants possess little property and little credit, and yet injure both by their splendid houses, costly furniture and expensive manner of living. The shopkeepers possess neither capital nor credit., yet are intolerable for their ignorance and insolence.
Neither merchant nor shopkeeper give a daughter a penny in the way of marriage portion, and few leave a shilling's worth of property at their death.
Tradesmen are numerous. They tipple in the forenoon. Some make fortunes and are insolent and purse-proud. The inferior orders of them are unprincipled and shameless and drink all they can.
Every merchant keeps his chaise; shopkeepers drive their gigs; tradesmen have their handsome nags.
Wines and spirits are extremely scarce and dear; yet the higher orders affect the rarest French wines and drink hard. The secondary orders are prodigal in the use of port. Trades men drink spirits without measure. Public-houses are for ever full, and those who keep them become rich.
There are eighty-six public-houses in Douglas, and a hundred shops in which wines and spirits are retailed.
No one brews his own good ale. All are served by the public-house [ ? breweries]. These are nine in number and all made pretty fortunes.
There are a hundred beggars in Douglas sturdy, saucy beggars, who, in stead of asking, demand money, which was despatched at once at the gin-shop. A beggar is never seen at Church.
Manchester manufactures are plentiful and cheap; yet ladies of fashion are loaded with sattins, cambrics, brocades, and Brussels' lace. Shopkeepers' and tradesmen's wives ape their folly. Only servant-maids and workmen's daughters wear plain or printed muslins. Women's dress and carriage are so light and frivolous that people frequently mistake their character. Owing to the thinness of their dress, Ladies of Fashion in winter wear warm breeches instead of pettycoats. In summer they wear neither. The outer garment is chosen for the fineness of its texture to display the elegance of their limbs. They freely expose their bosoms. There are nine established milliners in Douglas and twenty-four mantua-makers. There are two chapels and a large methodist meeting house in Douglas-all unfrequented. Heads of families never encourage their children to attend Church. They pay no, regard to religious instruction or the manner in which they spend the Sabbath Day. Nor do. they attend to the education of their children. Their sons are ignorant, idle, impudent; their daughters are strangers to domestic economy, and think of nought but dress, and are ever a-gadding on the streets. The few young men who can read despise reading and read none. Young women read only plays and luscious novels and romances. 'The bishops never visit the several parishes; make no enquiries concerning the perilous condition of their flock. Nor do they trouble their beads about the Parish Schools : and the Insular administration is conducted by a Governor and lieutenant-Governor. Yet both are frequently absent from their charge for months together. Government so long suspended is usurped and administered by a school-boy.
They (the bishops) have no regard to the natural endowments of young men intended for the Church. The clergy are dull, monotonous, destitute of taste or sensibility, and performing their public duties with a most disgusting coldness and indifference. Church discipline is shamefully relaxed and has almost. sunk to nothing. On Sundays the streets are crowded with idlers and drunkards. Private families have drums or musical parties. Every irregularity is committed with impunity.
The bishops confer orders on strangers of every country-or men of bad character-on soldiers, surgeons and fox-hunters. They are avaricious and haughty prelates, who detest and, on all occasions, insult their clergy, and are detested by their clergy. Their incomes amount to £1,800 per annum, and they exercise neither alms-deeds nor hospitality.
The herring fishing; fleet consists of 400 large smacks, whose owners and crews are mostly farmers. The farmer mortgages his estate to build his smack. The fishery is precarious. The farmer sunk the smack. The smack sunk the farm. The crews lose their time and labour and all are ruined. They are, with few exceptions, drunken, brutish clowns, and so insensible of their dependence upon Providence that none attend the accustomed devotions on shore.
The people are so quarrelsome, so contentious, so dishonest, that above 500 (?) suits either of battery, knavery, or folly are heard and discussed at the Deemster's Court in each week.
Such is the rage for foreign luxuries that, besides numberless occasional vessels, six regular traders ply between Liverpool and Douglas These measure about 400 tons, and they perform the voyage in a fortnight. The port, of Douglas is frequented only by small coasters of the neighbouring countries. Its pier is a heavy mass of dressed freestone, which cost £30,000. It was a. job.
The Pier-master had his education on board a privateer, and is an impudent, blustering, swearing, and swaggering monkey.
The Receiver-General, having charge of the. Crown Revenues, like a cunning "specutatist" (sic), avails himself of that advantage and exercises the profession of banker.
The officers of the Customs are shameless extortioners. They have large salaries, but demand exorbitant fees. The higher officers keep their curricle, the inferior, their gig or pony.
The quantity of imported spirits is very limited; yet the Custom officers unconscionably drew no less than a bottle from every piece in order to ascertain the proof strength. The Custom House is an engine of oppression. Neither merchant nor shopkeeper is allowed to import license goods unless their ideas of Insular politics coincide with a certain system.
The Police is administered by High-Bailiffs, but in so negligent a manner that the public peace is constantly disturbed by drunken riots. No man's house or person is secure.
The Lord Superior has attempted to overthrow the Constitution and Tenures of the Island. He has rejected his quit-rents and has resolved to oust the Proprietors of their customary estates of inheritance. He has procured the enactment of heavy Custom duties, which he intends for his own use; and has involved the country in a tedious and vexatious litigation. He has granted no office, nor shown respect or favor, except to those who have insulted the persons and divided the functions of the members of the house of Keys, in order to destroy all confidence between his subjects and that branch of the. Insular Legislature.
The poet Stowell writes in similar, but more moderate, strain :
In former times ere Manksmen understood
What noble was, and what plebeian blood;
When good "squire Puffin" and his humble madam,
Believed the parson that they sprang from Adam;
Thank'd Heaven that made so many pounds their own,
Nor scorned their honest neighbours who had none:
But, strange! they credited, 'mongst other things,
Poor folks were made of just such stuff as kings.
The Bible was no fable in those days,
Which girls an Sundays read instead of plays:
For every matron catechis'd her daughter,
And every virgin practis'd what was taught her;
As duly went to church to say her prayers,
As modern ladies do to shew their airs.
'Twas then, Philemen, modest maids were known,
And decent Douglas call'd those maids her own.
Females were rear'd to sense and virtue then,
To be companions, not the toys of men.
Mild in deportment, elegant with ease,
No, affectation barr'd the power to please.
Their taste was dust, their manners were refin'd,
Tho' frank, discreet :-in short, they had a mind.
From Industry they caught the bloom of health,
And rich contentment was a source of wealth.
'Tis true, tradition some where plainly tells,
They were not half so fine as modern belles;
Nor dignified the head with a balloon,
Nor ever dreamt of sailing on the moon;
Nor knew so :yell to mirnick modish tricks;
But ev'ry girl has now a coach and six.
And, in another poem, he treats the Manx girls with even more severity:
The Pa'cket's come, I'll lay my life upon it.
I know by Laura's strange new-fashioned bonnet.
Her clothes are all exactly in the TON;
Could no one shew her how to put them on?
Ask not from whence my little Daphne came;
A gay coquette is everywhere the same;
Manks born, Manks bred, Manks made, Manks fed, Manks taught,
She's Manks in everything but what she ought.
Pray, what is that? In modesty and sense
Virtues, alas, too long departed hence
Daphne would fain disown from whence she Sprung,
Altho' the herring scales are on her tongue.
The non-native critics give a much more favourable verdict, especially as regards the better class. Feltham says:
The ladies are sensible, polite, and accomplished; pleasing and elegant in their address, and of a more domestic turn than the ladies of England of the same rank or fortune They are also fond of music and dancing, and excel in each. Fashion soon finds her way hither from the three kingdoms. (42)
According to Ryley :
The inhabitant's, generally speaking, are independent, indolent, dissipated, and, above all, curious after every trifling occurrence that may supply food for conversation, in which defamation bears no inconsiderable part. (43)
As to the higher ranks, the men are, in general, very civil, attentive, and very hospitable to strangers. . . . The ladies are exceedingly civil, affable, and polite; very sprightly in conversation, and uncommonly neat and smart in their dress. There are many very pretty women in the Island, and some very accomplished. As to the middle ranks, when they are sober and cool, they are decently civil, and attentive even to strangers ; but the, lowest classes are rude, ungovernable, and uncivilized.
This observation about the lowest class is confined to Douglas, "for," he says, "I have often noticed, with pleasure, that the common people in the, inland parts (as well as the other towns) are as civil and obsequious as could be wished." (44)
Robertson mentions the prevalence of gambling "among, the inferior classes," and remarks: "Inebriation is its constant attendant. The taverns are nightly filled with tradesmen, who, on the chance of a card, a die, or a billiard ball, will hazard their last farthing" (45)
Mrs Bullock deals with the ladies as follows The generality of native ladies belong to that rank most favourable to feminine virtues, neither elevated by superior rank, talents, or attainments, nor sunk in vulgar and degrading ignorance. (46) They are, in general, admirable economists, and good mothers; they are rather fond of dress, but even ,his taste is so circumscribed that it never leads them beyond the bounds of decency, whilst the vigilant superintendance of a narrow society restrains them from extravagance. (47)
She then remarks that their education is very superficial, and states that
The style of visiting is like that which prevails in most country towns in England. They meet to play cards, to practise a little extrajudicial inquiry into the proceedings of their neighbours, to relate their own domestic afflictions, to show their own clothes, and to kill time; but for any intellectual attainments . . it is as little to be found or expected here, as in any other circle of the same confined dimensions. (48)
As would be inferred from the accounts given of them, the relations of the natives and strangers were not, generally speaking, of a very amicable nature.
"The harmony of society in Douglas," says Robertson, "is sometimes marred by mutual prejudices. In many of the natives, notwithstanding a show of politeness and hospitality, there is a secret aversion to strangers, and in several of the English an unreasonable contempt of the Manks. The one is deemed too shrewd and selfish ; and the other too prodigal." (49) The question is very well stated by Mrs Bullock:
At first . . the natives, dazzled by the polished manners and superior acquirements of their visitors, opened their hearts and their houses to them; but this cordiality was short lived. Gold had, at this time, become one of the household gods of the Manx, and it was not possible to preserve this deity inviolate from the attacks of strangers, hence arose suspicion on one aide, and contempt on the other, in that, at last, both parties drew off into separate associations, and all chance of conciliation was at an end. (50)
This lady arrived in the Island in 1804, when this feud was at its height. She confesses that she "was both astonished and alarmed at the enmity" existing between the Manx and their visitors, and, she continues :
The weekly paper was the instrument of war, and the anger on both sides was vented in repartee and innuendo. . . . The Manx continually threatened to withdraw the protection afforded to these interlopers, who, in their turn, warned them that the Island would be ruined by such a measure; they insisted that all the prosperity of the country originated with them! that it was supported by their money, and might be civilized by their example. Whilst the Manx as sturdily denied the benefit, and expressed their wish to be left in mediocrity and ignorance, rather than be annoyed by the airs of superiority assured over them. (51)
While discoursing of native and stranger and their relations, there is one element, and a very important one at that time, to which we have not yet referred, i.e., the military and naval. We must remember that, during nearly the whole of the 22 years between 1793, and 1815, England was engaged in a great war. It is natural, therefore, that the soldier and the sailor should be much in evidence.
English soldiers were quartered in Castletown, Castle Rushen being garrisoned by them.; and there were drafts of English: regiments in the other towns. These drafts were constantly coming and going. Let us quote the "Manks Mercury," in 1793:-"A party of soldiers for the Blues, or Lord Doroughmore's regiment, arrived here; also a party of Whites, for Col. Talbot's regiment, both of which are forming at Douglas. . . . The Governor presented colours to Col. Talbot's, or the Fingall Regiment, in a field adjoining the new chapel."
There were numerous native soldiers as well. The first corps of the famous "Royal Manx Fencibles," 333 in number, was formed in 1779, disbanded in 1783, after the Peace of Versailles, and re-embodied in February, 1793. Two, years later, a second regiment of Fencibles, about 700 strong, was formed. This was the regiment that served in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
The ancient Foot Militia had not been called out for drill since about 1770, but their captains, who have survived as civil officers, continued to wear their dark blue uniforms with red facings. The "Horsemen of the Militia," or the "Parochial Horse," however, still survived. In 1793 more than a hundred of them accompanied the Duke of Atholl to Tynwald, and they are described as "a remarkably fine body of men" (52); and, we may mention, that they continued to perform that office till 1820.
Besides the Fencibles and Militia, there were a number of Volunteers, horse and foot. The former were variously named "The Manx Gentlemen and Yeomanry," "The Troop of Constitutional Dragoons," and "The Yeoman Cavalry"; and, the latter, "The North Manx Volunteers," "The South Manx Volunteers," and "Dawson's Volunteers." (53)
The following extract from a letter, written by Mrs Lucy Quayle (54), of Castletown, on the 21st of March, 1793, to Miss Elizabeth Tyldesley, of the Friary, a, girl.at school in England, refers to the formation of one of these Volunteer Corps.
Our gay doings with Volunteers you have doubtless heard of, their uniform is a blue jacket, edg'd with scarlet, white waistcoat and trousies (sic.), a round hatt with two smart black feathers, the hatt wore to one side, could you get, a glimpse of Mr Robert Quayle (55) and my good man in their uniform, you can't think how well they look. There are three companies of Royal Manx Fencibles rais'd by the Duke of Athol, a hundred men in each. Yr. Brother has got an ensighncy (sic.) ; the Lieutenant-Governor is his Captain. This makes us a little lively here at present. . . Richard (56) is quite the Beau among the ladies." (57)
Not, only was the military element conspicuous in Douglas, but sailors, English and Manx, of the Royal Navy, and of the Merchant Service, swarmed on its quay. Men of War hovered about, privateers brought in their prizes, the sailing-packets and merchant ships came to and fro. Smuggling had by no means ceased. Recruiting parties and the press-gang were active. Riots were not unknown. Extracts from the annals of that time will, perhaps, give us the most vivid idea of its salient events (58) :
Liverpool Pilot Boat No. 5, having on board Captain Stowell and Mr Edward Keig, passengers, arrived at Douglas from Liverpool, the former having been sent over by some merchants to purchase the Hope cutter belonging to, Mr Tobin, in order to fit her out and send her to the coast of Africa to apprize the ships there of the French declaration of war. Bought the cutter and sailed with her on Saturday.
A great cannonading was heard in the South of the Island, supposed to be near Port Erin.- It lasted several hours, and was generally believed to have been an engagement between a King's cutter and some smuggler. Afterwards reported to be between the Squirrel frigate and the smuggling lugger Spider of 20 guns. Reported to have lasted greatest part of two days, and that of 150 men the Squirrel had only twelve left when the action terminated, and that out of 93 the lugger had only six.
Very busy in Liverpool fitting out privateers. Surrey, Capt. Brew, detained there by embargo. All the half-pay officers in the Island in daily expectation of being ordered off to their respective stations. Special meeting of the Isle of Man Friendly Society at Douglas for taking opinion of the Club on the necessity of arming themselves for the defence of the town in this time of general danger, until fencibles may be established in the Island.
The Lord Bishop and leading officials of the Island paid their respects to his Grace. There was a general enthusiastic display of loyalty and love to the Duke. About eleven o'clock his Grace appeared at the door, dressed in the uniform. of his corps of Royal Manx Fencibles, three companies of which he is about to raise. In the afternoon his Grace took several turns down the Quay and round the Market.
A general illumination at night. His Grace visited the other towns in the Island which seemed to vie with Douglas in paying homage to the man whom they looked upon as their friend and protector. Recruiting for the Manks Fencibles going on with great spirit. The neat guns are to be planted near the Old Fort, and workmen are now making the platform for them.
Five of the finest ships ever built in Liverpool are commanded by Manx-men, viz., the Trelawney, Capt. Harrison; the Ann and Susannah, Capt. Quill; James, Capt. Wilks; Hope, Capt. Taylor; John, Capt.. Cowle ; all three-deckers. Capt. Shimmin is going out Commander of the Tom, a Guineaman, mounting 20 twelve-pounders.
Battery near the Old Fort completed, and the remainder of the guns planted on platforms near the Ballaquayle stream, except six 18-pounders still lying at the Watch House.
The Mary, Guineaman, Capt. Cannell, took a valuable prize and brought her into Milford. Mr John Clague, of Douglas, who had, some years ago, been taken by the Algerines, and kept a slave in Barbary for two years, and who had since been employed at a slave factory on the coast of Guinea for 28 months, has come home Captain of a Guineaman.
A large St. Domingoman, of 1,020 tons burthen, laden with sugar, was taken by the Mary, privateer, 14 guns, Capt. Cannell and Lieutenant Quayle Crebbin, both of this Island.
Phoenix captured French Indiaman, La Pauline, valued at £30,000. Mr Paul Crebbin is Lieutenant of the Phoenix, and Mr Cowley quartermaster, both of Douglas
The Snow, Christian, of Douglas, Captain Bacon, taken by a French frigate. Captain Bacon, with other prisoners, put on board another prize; and sent to France, but on the passage rose upon the French crew, took the vessel, and brought her to Penzance.
H.M.S. Adamant, 50 guns, in Douglas Bay. Same evening came to off Derbyhaven. On her appearing the drums at Castletown were ordered to beat to arms; and the Fencibles quartered there were ready to march in an instant. They were immediately marched to Derbyhaven, and they soon found that the intention of their meeting was not to burn, sink, or destroy, but merely to prevent the crew of the privateer from effecting their escape; for they were all lined along the shore round the vessel. When the Adamant put out her pinnace, several of the privateer's crew jumped into the sea with an intention. of swimming to shore, but the Fencibles prevented them from landing, so they were forced to their vessel again. They took out of her about 30 men, nearly all she had. The privateer is called the William.: she mounts two six-pounders and ten swivels, and is commanded by Capt. Philips, formerly of Castletown, (59)
We have endeavoured, in the foregoing pages, to give a glimpse of the Douglas of 100 years ago, and we are sure that our readers will agree with us that it was a very different Douglas from the Douglas of to-day.
+Note.-Since writing the above we have discovered that Francis Turner (see p, 16) was buried in Braddan Church-yard in January, 1807. It is evident, therefore, that Sir A. Wellesley's reply to his father's letter must have been long delayed.
[These are as appear in the reprint however they are not always clear as to which document they refer]
(1)-Manx Soc., Vol. XVIII., p. 111.
(2)-5th Edition (1732), pp. 249-51. The first edition was published in 1724.
(2a)-Manx Soc., Vol. V., p. 195.
(3)-Letters published by the Writer in the " St. Paul's (Ramsey) Magazine."
(4)-Journal, Vol. II, p. 194
(5)-"A Tour through the Isle of Man," p. 22.
(6)-Vol. III., pp. 221-2.
(7)-Ibid, p. 28I.
(8)-"A Tour through the Isle of Man," Manx Soc., Vol. VI., p. 200.
(9)-"A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Isle of Man," pp. 60-1.
(10)-Ibid p. 64.
(11)-"An Account of the Past and Present State of the Isle of Man," pp. 97-8.
(12)-Ibid p. 104.
(13)-Ibid p. 107.
(14)-"A Description of the Herring Fishery," &c., pp. 12-14.
(15)-Callister tells us that this garden was "a very large one, abounding with fruit trees of various kinds, and it is surrounded with a number of lofty trees." Ibid p. 17.
(18)-Townley, vol. I., p. 149.
(20)-See "Manx Worthies," pp. 97-9.
(21)-The mover of one of the last Acts of the Irish Legislature: "An Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors."
(22)-One of this class, Joseph Elkin Daniels, a defaulting member of the Stock Exchange, for whom a reward of £400 was offered, was arrested here, and £10,000 found on him.
(24)-Vol. III., p. 223.
(25)-" History of the Isle of Man," p. 327.
(26)-ibid, p. 357-8.
(27)-Ibid, p. 343.
(28)-See the "Dictionary of National Biography," Vol. LX., pp. 393-4, from "which most of these particulars are taken.
(29)-The particulars about him are taken from the "Dictionary of National. Biography."
(30)-He certainly was in the Isle of Man in 1806 and 1807.
(31)-The exact date is unknown, but it was probably 1810.
(32)-" Secret Service under Pitt," P. 104.
(33)-IbidĄ P. 8.
(34)-Ibid, p. 104. Letter from John Matthews, of Dundalk, 1869.
(35)-"History of the Isle of Man," p. 359.
(37)-There were certainly two fatal duels, see ante.
(38)-i.e., Meredith, see ante.
(39)-Ibid, p. 361.
(40)--This MS., which has never been published, is re-produced here by the kind permission of Mrs Christian, of Milntown.
(41)-It will be observed that the author deals with the condition of Insular affairs generally at the epochs mentioned, as well as with that of the people of Douglas, but what he says is so interesting that we make no apology for giving it in extenso.
(42).-Manx Soc., Vol. V., p. 118.
(43)-Vol. III., p 284.
(44)-Vol. II., pp. 193-4.
(52)-" Manks Mercury."
(53)-For a full account of the Fencibles, Militia, etc., see "The Military Organisation of the Isle of Man " in YN LIOAR MANNINAGH.
(54)--She was the wife of John Quayle, of Castletown, daughter of Archdeacon William Mylrea, and grandmother of Mr G. P. Quayle, Mrs Ferrier, etc
(55)-Robert Quayle, of West Hill, Castletown, brother of John Quayle.
(56)-Elizabeth's brother, Richard Tyldesley (b. 1776, d. 1805), son of Richard Tyldesley and Margaret Quayle. He was afterwards a. lieutenant in the 39th Regiment.. He retired in 1802, and went to Guadeloupe, where he died
(57)--This letter is published by kind permission of Mrs Ferrier.
(58)--From the Manks Mercury." All the events noted took place in 1793.
(59)-It is said that the only other occasion on which the 1st Royal Manx Fencibles were called out, except for drill, was when a report reached Castletown that the French had landed at Peel. Their commander, Colonel Cunninghame, mustered them in the Market Place, and told them that if any man quitted the ranks he should be shot on the spot. They marched as far as Silverburn, where they were met by a man on horseback, who told them that the report was untrue.
Printed at the "Manx Sun" Office.
Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The
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