[from D. Robertson, Tour, 1794]


These notes are my own commentary on the text - mainly in the form of additional crosslinks to other documents or to point out errors.


Little seems to be known about David Robertson except that he was at one time shortly after the Act of Revestment appointed, by the British Government, as a Customs Officer on the Island.

That he had decided republican views is obvious from his comments within the text - according to Cubbon these views, especially the passage [Chap VI of History]

Good God ! is there no region where the Sun of Freedom shines unclouded where the Sovereignty of the People is revered? Must the sacred rights of Mankind be for ever the monarch's scorn, and the courtier's jest ? Shall the despot for ever vaunt a delegated power from Thee, God of justice ! to crush his subjects with the rod of power; or deluge thy fair creation with the blood of thy children? Shall the guardians of the nation barter its interests for the smile of the monarch? ...

got him into so much trouble that he was briefly imprisoned.

He was no friend of the 4th Duke of Athol who in 1791 was attempting to obtain redress from the British Government for what he saw as the very low sum for which his father had been forced to sell the regalities of the Island. In 1793 the British Government appointed the Duke as Governor-in-chief which began a period of near open warfare between him and the House of Keys which lasted until his departure in 1828.

Dedicatee - J.C.Curwen

J. C. Curwen, was a member of the Milntown Christian family, the only person to have been at the same time both a British M.P. and a member of the House of Keys. He was no friend of the Duke of Athol.

He was a significant mover in the improvement of Manx Agriculture.

For a brief biography and other references see elsewhere.



It must have been the most reprinted guide to the Island - first published in 1794 it was translated into French and German as well as being abridged in W.F. Mavors The British Tourists; or Traveller’s Pocket Companion through England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Comprehending the most celebrated tours in the British Islands1798 (Vol. 6 - somewhat amended and without the history section).

It was not reprinted by the Manx Society - possibly they felt that Feltham's tour of 1797/8 covered too similar a ground.

Notes on Tour

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVI

Chapter XVII

Chapter XVIII



Notes on History

Much of this material is apocryphal, and of little historical accuracy, however it illustrates Robinson's strong republican sympathies.

Chapter I

1.1: Name of the Island

1.2: The Druids

1.3: Orry

1.4: Origins of Castle Rushen

1.5: Godred Crovan

1.6: Battle of SkyHill

Chapter II


Chapter III


Chapter IV


Chapter V


Chapter IV



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2000