[from History of IoM, 1900]



Evidence as to the importance of the fishing formerly.

THE important place which the fishing industry anciently held in the social organization of the Isle of Man is quaintly reflected in the wording of the oath, formerly taken by the deemsters, who promised to execute the laws between the sovereign and his subjects, and " betwixt party and party, as indifferently as the herring back bone doth lie in the midst of the fish." 1 Every book that has been written about the island mentions the fact that fish formed the staple food of the inhabitants ; and the Statutes and Records abound in evidence of the great extent to which both the people and their rulers were dependent on the produce of the sea. As early as 1291, the Church claimed a tithe of all fish caught, a contribution which it continued to exact till the end of the eighteenth century. 2

The lord’s share, in accordance with customary law, was one maze (or mease), 3 out of every five caught by each boat,4 and there is evidence that this payment of fish formed, before the eighteenth century, a considerable part of his revenue.5

In 1777, an import duty of 1s. per ton, or 1d. per maze (mease) was placed on all herrings, 6 with a view, according to Train, of excluding Dutch fishermen from the Manx markets.7

The laws of 1610 relating to the herring fishery.

In 1610, the Statutes contain a series of enactments for the regulation of fishing, with the following emphatic preamble : " As the Herring Fishery is as great a Blessing as this poor Island receives, in enabling the Tennants for the better and speedier Payment of their Rents, and other Impositions, and have wherewithal to supply their other Wants and Occasions, when as all other their Endeavours and Husbandry would scarce advance any such Advantages and Gains unto them : So it hath been the incessant care and regard of the Government of this Isle always, when the Season of such Fishing falls out . . . to make open and publick Proclamation to the whole Assembly of the Island, to remind them to be careful in providing their Boats and Netts to be in Readiness, whensoever it pleaseth God to send them that Blessing." 8 On this occasion it was enacted that all tenants should provide themselves with nets, that the fishing should not begin till after the 16th of July, that none should fish in the day time or from Saturday morning to Sunday night, and that none should shoot their nets till the admiral or vice-admiral had taken in their flags or given a watchword. The duties of a water-bailiff in collecting the boats together, in seeing good order preserved among their crews, and in securing the lord’s share of the fish, were specified, 9 and provision was made for divine service being performed before the fishermen set out to the fishing. 10

Further Laws at later dates

The next legislation relating to fishing was in 1687, when a law was passed to compel the fishermen, who had gone to Scotland and other places to fish, instead of near the Isle of Man, to pay the lord’s custom on their return, and to ensure " that all masters and owners of Boates within this Isle shall before the first day of July next put their Boates and netts in good order and readiness to look after and search for the fishing about all parts of the Island." 11 In 1737, it was ordained that no herrings should be exported till the inhabitants had been supplied at the rate of is. 2d. per hundred. 12

In 1796, this law was repealed, and in that year, as well as in 1794 and in 1817, there was some further legislation about the herring fishery, it being ordered that, since damage had resulted from nets having been cast on different sides of the boat, they should always be cast from the starboard side ; that tarred nets, being prejudicial to the fishery, were not to be used, and that the boats should be numbered on each side.13 In 1873, an Act was passed for regulating the oyster and mussel fisheries and for the protection of oyster-beds.14 It has, however, proved quite ineffective.

We thus see that the fishermen were subjected to very strict regulations. On land they were under the control of the water-bailiff, who, in addition to the powers already mentioned, had authority to impanel juries to determine all maritime affairs 15; while, on sea, they were under the orders of an admiral and vice-admiral chosen from the fishermen themselves by the water-bailiff.

Summary of Imperial legislation affecting the fisheries.

After the Revestment, the English market was opened to the Manx fishermen and fish-curers under certain restrictions; and it is with these restrictions and with bounties given from time to time that the Imperial legislation affecting the Manx fishermen has been mainly concerned. We will, therefore, briefly review its history in connexion with these matters.

In 1765, the Keys petitioned George III. to grant them the " liberty and privilege " of curing fish on the coasts of Great Britain, together with a bounty.16 This request was only partially acceded to in 1767, when bounties were granted to those who caught the first mease in the season, to those who fished the greatest number of nights, and to those who caught the greatest number of herrings.17 In 1771, these bounties were withdrawn, but, in 1772, with a view of cheapening the process of curing herrings,18 salt was permitted to be imported free from Great Britain by the fishermen, on their giving a bond to use it for curing only. In the same year duties were imposed on cured herrings, but their export to the British colonies in America was allowed free. In 1786, these duties were abolished, and new bounties were granted, but, by some mistake, they did not include a bounty on the herrings cured red, except when exported, though this was then the most important industry in connexion with the fishery. 19 In the autumn of 1791, the Keys complained of this to the commissioners,20 by whom the error was rectified. 21 The bounties were increased in 1795, modified in 1800 and 1808, and continued up to 1812, 22 when they were dropped till 1820. In that year a bounty of four shillings per barrel on all herrings was granted. This was paid till 1833, when all bounties were finally discontinued, on the passage of an Act to permit " herrings from the Isle of Man, taken and cured by the inhabitants thereof " 23 to be imported into the United Kingdom duty free.

The size and number of the herring-fishing boats at various periods.

Let us now give some particulars concerning the size and number of the Manx herring-fishing boats at various times. The earliest date at which we have any information about their size is in 1610, when it was ordered that all boats, or "scowtes," as they were then called, which went to the herring fishing, must be of four tons burthen. 24 But this regulation must have been disregarded, for, towards the end of the seventeenth century, the cost of the boats was only from thirty to forty shillings,25 which, even at the then value of money, could not, we think, have purchased a four-ton boat ; and, early in the following century, Bishop Wilson tells us that their average burthen was only about two tons. 26 It is not till 1670 that we get any account of the number of the Manx fishing-boats, which was put at 200. 27 A century later, in 1777, there were 415, 28 their burthen being then from three to ten tons. 29 In 1791, the Duke of Atholl estimated the number of boats employed in the herring fishery at about 400. 30 These boats averaged 26 feet in length of keel and 13 in breadth of beam, and were about eight tons burthen. Their average cost, including nets, was £75. 31 In 1810, they had advanced to an average of 16 tons, and their cost, with equipment, to £200.32

These boats usually had one mast, carrying a square sail which went from top to bottom of it. There was also the " wherry " rig with two masts and fore and aft sails. About 1830, the rig was generally changed to the " dandy " or what is now usually called the " yawl " rig. All these classes of boats went by the generic name of "smack."

In 1840, they were, as a rule, half-deckers, instead of open boats, and their burthen varied from 12 to 18 tons. Their cost, with nets, was about £250 each, and their equipment had so much improved, mainly owing to the exertions of Admiral Quilliam, R.N., 33 that they were able to do with less numerous crews than formerly. 34 In 1864, their burthen varied between 15 and 25 tons, and their cost, without nets, was, for an average burthen of (say) 20 tons, about £250. The nets alone cost £100, or more than double their price in 1827, and the capital invested in the herring fishery had increased in the same proportion. 35

The " nickey " 36 rig, i.e., two masts with large rhomboidal sails, which had been first introduced about 1850 had, by 1876, practically superseded the " dandy " rig, because it was found that the boats sailed faster under it. 37 Since 1876, there has been a great tendency to increase the size of the boats, and the average Manx herring boat of the present day is probably one of the largest, best built, and most seaworthy boat of its class to be found anywhere.38 Its average burthen is about 22 tons, its dimensions being from 45 to 50 feet on keel, 15 feet beam, and 8½ feet depth of hold, and its cost, with equipment, about £750.

The fishermen.

As regards the fishermen themselves, the first mention of them is in the middle of the seventeenth century, when we are told that they are of two kinds, those who have boats and nets of their own and those who are hired by the owners to assist them during the fishing season. 39

They were also farmers till about 1840.

Both the boat-owners and the hired men, 40 seem, up to quite a recent date, to have been, for the most part, employed in agriculture, except during the chief fishing months, which were July, August, and September, 41 and there are constant complaints of the injury caused to both pursuits by this practice of dividing attention between them.

The want of division of labour 42 between the two industries was very general till about 1840, but since then the tendency has been for the fishermen to devote themselves more entirely to the sea, going to the mackerel fishing off Kinsale from March to June, to the summer herring fishing off the Manx coasts from June to September, and to the autumn herring fishing off Howth and the north-east coast of Ireland from October to December.

Their numbers at different periods.

We have no account of the number of men and boys employed in the fishing till towards the end of the eighteenth century, when it was about 2,500,43 which would mean that about 10,000 people, or nearly two-fifths of the then population, were, partially at least, dependent upon the fishing for a livelihood. 44 It was calculated that, in 1883, the 2,872 45 men and boys actually employed in the Manx fisheries had a population of 11,000 connected with them, and that 700 other people employed as boat-builders, net-makers, &c., had a further population of 2,000, or 13,000 in all, which meant that about one-fourth of the insular population was, either directly or indirectly, dependent on fishing.46 The Manx fishermen are, as is well known, a remarkably fine race of men.

Periodical failures of the herring fishery

Their chief industry, that of the herring fishing, has unfortunately always been liable to periodical failures. The first of these, of which there is any record, was about 1612 ; in consequence of it the allowance of herrings to the lord, to which we have already referred, was considerably reduced. 47 There was another failure about 1648, and another about 1687. 48 So numerous were the herrings caught previously to this last date, that, though 500 herrings were sold for a groat (4d.), the annual value of the herring fishery was estimated at £3,000. 49 It was during this failure that Manx fishermen went, for the first time, to a distance from home in search of fish, they having hitherto confined themselves to the home fishing in the months of August and September. A few years later, between 1700 and 1710, herrings were again very scarce.50 There was a serious failure in 1827, but after that year there was a gradual improvement, and, between 1840 and 1864, the fishery was prosperous on the whole. After 1864 the takes gradually dwindled till 1883, when there was a recovery. They then rapidly fell, and, in 1886, their total value did not exceed, approximately, £5,500. The years 1887 and 1888 showed a slight improvement, but since then their value has fallen to the insignificant total of less than £1,800, in 1897. 51

Reports of committees on failures of fishing

These periodical failures of the herring fishery have been several times investigated by committees, but their recommendations have never been of any practical use because of the want of success in obtaining Imperial legislation which alone could control the Irish and Scottish fishermen as well as the Manx. The first of these investigations was in 1827, when it was reported that the diminution of the number of herrings was due to shooting the nets before sunset. Further reports, in 1849 and 1873, attributed it to deep-sea trawling over the banks. Messrs. Buckland and Spencer Walpole again reported against the shooting of nets before sunset, but committees of the Tynwald Court appointed to consider this question in 1881 and 1887 failed to arrive at any conclusion. Finally, a Commission, which was appointed in 1896, recommended, as regards herrings, that instructions should be given to the fishermen to preserve all spawn and to replace it in the sea, that Imperial Acts should be passed to establish a close time during the spawning season and to prevent nets being shot before sunset. They also recommended generally, that the arrangements for the transport of fresh fish should be improved, that efforts should be made to establish an industry for curing fish and utilizing the products from them, and that proper regulations for supervizing the fisheries in the Irish Sea and protecting the spawning beds should be made by a Manx Fishery Board in conjunction with the Imperial Government.

Fish other than herring.

So far we have referred to the herring fishery, but there were, and are, plenty of other fish round the Manx coasts besides herrings. Writing at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Sacheverell tells us that the sea about the Isle of Man " has great variety of excellent fish, as halybut, turbut, ung, cod, &c., and all sorts of shell-fish . . . the oysters are very large but scarce." 52 And, in 1777, in answer to queries from Pennant, the antiquary, Vicar-General Wilks wrote : " We have many sorts of fish caught, such as herrings, cod, haddock, ling, whiting, pollocks, sea carp, mackerel, gurnets, ray, flounders, congers, and sometimes and but seldom turbot, soles and John Doreys. . . . In the months of June, July, August, and September we have at times on our shore 53 great quantities of sand eels . . . also some musel (sic) banks along shore, 53 but they are seldom come at or used." 54 In addition to these we may mention plaice, fluke, and britt.

Vessels engaged in the cod fishing. etc

In 1840, there were fifteen vessels and 120 men employed in the cod fishery, and eighteen fast sailing vessels, with 120 men, belonging to the island, were employed in the transport of fresh fish to Liverpool.55

This trade, owing to the improved means of transport to the inland towns of Great Britain by the railways, has rapidly grown in importance, while that in cured fish has decreased. 56 The transportation is now entirely conducted by steamers.

Line fishers vs trawlers.

In 1849, appeared the first of the reports of the insular Legislature which reflected the popular opinion in favour of the long-line fisheries and against the practice of trawling, as well as against the use of trammel nets. But, though it was suggested by Messrs. Buckland and Walpole in 1879, that, as an experiment, trawling should be prohibited in Castletown Bay, 57 nothing was done in that direction till 1894, when a committee of five members was appointed by the Tynwald Court with power to make bye-laws regulating the sea fisheries. 58 Among these bye-laws was one prohibiting trawlers from fishing within three miles from the shore. The question of this prohibition was considered by the commissioners who reported in 1898, and they came to the conclusion that, though the evidence concerning the damage done by trawlers was conflicting, it was desirable to continue it. They also recommended that the trawlers should be compelled to use nets with a larger mesh, that the use of all trammel, seine, trawl and drag nets should be prohibited within the limit referred to, and that a hatchery for lobsters and flat fish should be established at Port Erin.59

It will have been seen, from what has been said, how great the value of the fisheries is to the Isle of Man. In 1883, their produce was estimated at £140,384 ; the value of the boats, with their equipment, being placed at £241,306. 60




7 Geo. III. c. 45, sec. 17 (1767) granted bounties for encouragement of the herring fishery and allowed utensils to be used in the fisheries to be imported.

11 Geo. III. c. 52 (1771) repealed these bounties.

12 Geo. III. c. 58 (1772) gave permission to export to Great Britain herrings bone fide caught off the Isle of Man provided a certificate to that effect was produced and a payment per barrel (32 gallons) of 3s. 4d. for white herrings and of is. 8d. per 1,000 red herrings was made. Herrings could be exported to British colonies free and salt could be loaded by fishermen, on their giving a bond that such salt should only be used for curing herrings.

25 Geo. III. C. 34 (1785) prohibited the exportation of herrings caught off the Isle of Man, unless a proper certificate was obtained that they were actually caught there.

26 Geo. III. c. 81 abolished the duties imposed by 12 Geo. III. c. 58, and granted bounties of is. per barrel on herrings cured white, and 2s. 8d. per barrel if they were either exported direct from the island or through Great Britain to foreign parts. Cured red herrings received a bounty of is. 9d. per barrel only when exported, the is. bounty on them having been omitted by mistake.

35 Geo. III. C. 56 (1795) granted an additional bounty of is. per barrel for every barrel of herrings landed in the island.

39 and 40 Geo. III. c. 85 (1799—1800) enacted that the bounty paid under 35 Geo. III. c. 56 was to be taken out of the surplusage of the Manx customs.

41 Geo. III. C. 9i (1801) put Manx fishermen and fish-curers on the same terms as to bounties as their compeers in Great Britain.

48 Geo. III. (1808) granted a bounty of £3 per barrel to all vessels employed in the white herring fishery on the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland.

1 Geo. IV. (1820) abolished this bounty, but extended the bounty of 4s. per barrel, on all herrings caught, landed, cured and packed in Great Britain, to the Isle of Man.

3 and 4 William IV. c. 59 (1833) abolished all bounties.


Date. No. Fishing Boats. Tonnage. Men and boys employed. value of boats and gear. Value of catch
1777 (a)
From 3-10 tons
1791 (b)
3,000 §
1810 (c)
av. 16 tons
1840 (d)
From 12-18 tons
1,500 +
1846 (e)
70,000 §
1849 (f)
1850 (g)
80,000 §
1852 (h)
1859 (1)
1860 (j)
1861 (l)
1864 (m)
1876 (n)
40,000 (p)‡
1879 (s)
1887 (s)
1892 (s)
3,942 (q)‡

(a) V. G. Wilks. Manx Note Book, vol. p. 180.
(b) Duke of Atholl’s Evidence. Cornrs.’ Report. App. D, No. 28.
(c) Woods, p. 79.
(d) Quiggin’s Guide, 3rd Edition, pp. 65-73 and 193-198. Also Train, vol. ii. pp. 301-5, and Laughton’s Guide (1842) pp.177-182.
(e) Quiggin’s Guide. * Herring boats only. § Men only. ‡ Value of herrings only. I Of all fish.
(f) Royal Commission.*
(g) Capt. John Washington’s Report.*
(h) Report of Commissioners for British Fisheries.*
(j k 1) Report in Imperial Blue Book.
(m) Royal Commission.’:~
(n) Brown’s Guide.
(o) Official Report. Fisheries Exhibition.
(p) Estimate by R. Corrin, Peel. All fish £140,384 (o).
(q) Estimate obtained by reckoning the Peel catch at three-fifths of the whole, and adding 5 per cent. for private sales.
s) Statistical abstract. Manx Blue Book.

PEEL (Herring boats only.)

Date. No. of boats. Tonnage. .  Men and Boys employed Cost value of boats and gear Value of catch

There are at present 56 Manx fishing boats at Port St. Mary, with 346 men and boys. The value of these boats fully equipped is £9,100. The average value of all kinds of fish landed at Port St. Mary during the last four years is £2,927. Between 1852 and 1882 the average value of herrings alone landed at this port varied from £35,000 to £45,000


1 " Constitution " (Manx Soc., vol. xxxi. p. 189)

2 Sodor and Man (A. W. Moore), pp. 63 and 241.

3 A maze, now usually spelled mease, is 620 fish, made up of 5 long scores with 3 warps and a tally, i.e., 5 times 124

4 This was called the " Castle Maze," because it was used for feeding the soldiers of the garrisons. For any further quantity the lord had to pay 6d. a maze, " provided that the buyers of the first maze shall have for the same three shillings and fourpence " (Statutes, vol. i. p. 5).

5 Statutes, vol. i. p. 14. Blundell (Manx Soc., vol. xxv. p. 86). At a later period, though the date, according to the Commissioners of 1791, has not been ascertained, this duty was commuted for a money payment of 10s. for every Manx boat that took ten maze, and with a smaller payment when the quantity was less. Foreign boats, i.e., all boats except English, paid double these amounts (Report (1791), p. 11), but in the Knowsley Muniments, in 1670 (1777/1) it is recorded that " when a good fishing doth fall" each boat paid to the lord per 20 maze, 2 maze, or 10s. If 5 maze, one maze, or 5s. If 2½ maze, then half a maze, or 2s. 6d." In 1771, by Act 12 Geo. III., the payment was fixed at 10s. per boat, and it was handed over to the Harbour Commissioners to expend on the harbours.

6 Statutes, vol. i. p. 38.

7 Train, vol. ii. p. 287 The amount seems rather small for this purpose

8 Statutes, vol. i. p. 74, and though this law has never been repealed, the fishing now begins in May, usually ending towards the latter part of October. Before 1877, it continued to the end of the year off Howth Head, but, in that year, the Howth fishing became practically exhausted.

9 Ibid., vol. i. pp. 73-75. These were the chief regulations, there being a number of others

10" That the Vicar or minister of the parish where the fishing is gotten repair to the harbour every morning and evening to read them divine service, and to deliver them good admonition upon paine of every default to forfeit his tythe fish the ensuing night, which is to be given to the poor at the admiral’s discretion. And if any such person neglect to come to the place where such service is to be read, when the admiral or vice-admiral sets out his flag (which is the sign or token they are to observe for that duty) to offer their prayers and praises for such blessings, such, upon knowledge thereof, is to be excluded from the benefit of the fishing that night." f See p 520. -I Rotul. (omitted in Statute Book).

11 Statutes, vol. i. p. 141.

12 Ibid., pp. 216-7. In 1738, the deemsters decided that every master of a boat following the herring fishing, " upon requirement of the water-bailiff or admiral be obliged, together with two of his crew at least, to take their corporal oathes . that when and as often as they do meet with a scull of herrings at sea . . . they shall reveal the same to the next boat to them " (Lib. Scacc.).

13 Statutes, vol. i. pp. 344-5, 348-9, 396-400. Regulations were also passed in 1817 for the selling of herrings by the cran, containing 42 gallons wine measure, but this was soon given up, as it led to cheating.

14 Ibid., vol. iv. pp. 304-12. See p. 954.

15 Lib. Cancell., 1678.

16 Comrs.’ Report, App. (A) No. 17.

17 For particulars as to duties and bounties see Appendix A.

18 Train describes the process of curing red herrings as follows : " Men shovel them up in layers, throwing a quantity of salt over each layer, and in that situation they are allowed to remain for several days. They are then spitted on hazel rods and hung up in the drying houses, where wood fires are lighted under them, and when they are sufficiently smoked, are packed for exportation " (vol. ii. p. 294). There was formerly a considerable trade in them to the Continent. An English merchant in Leghorn informed Feltham that before the war (1793) they used to receive their cargoes of Manx red herrings yearly, and from 2,000 to 3,000 barrels of pickled salmon, each barrel weighing from 100 to 200 lbs. (Manx Soc., vol. vi. p. 82). After 1798, when smuggling became less profitable, this business largely increased and continued to flourish till about 1860, but it has since then shrunk to very small dimensions.

19 Between 1787 and 1790, on an average, 1,325 barrels of herrings were cured white, of which 113 barrels were exported,while, on an average, 6,881 barrels of herrings cured red were exported to foreign countries and 3,068 barrels to Great Britain. (Feltham, Mann Soc., vol. vi. p. 81). The quantity of herrings cured red for home consumption was also very large.

20 Comrs.’ Report, App. (B.) No. 84.

21 In 1782, when the whole of these bounties were paid for the first time, their amount was estimated to be £976 14s. 7d. per annum (Train, vol. ii. p. 296).

22 Manks Advertiser. See also Bullock, p. 273. The bounties on herrings between 1799 and 1803 amounted to £9,364.

23 3 and 4 Wm. IV. c. 59.

24 Statutes, vol. i. p. 73.

25 Lib. Scacc. 1677.

26 Manx Soc., vol. xviii. p. 104.

27 Knowsley Muniments, 1717/1

28 The various accounts of the numbers of the fishing-boats are unsatisfactory, as we can never be sure whether or not they are intended to cover all the boats employed in the fishery generally or the herring boats only.

29 V. G. Wilks (Manx Note Book, vol. iii. p. 180).

30 Comrs.’ Report, App. (D) No. 28. In 1787, some fifty of the Manx fishing-boats had been lost in a terrible storm on the 21st of September.

31 Robertson, p. 117.

32 Woods, p. 79. Another writer, in 1812, put their burthen at from 15 to 40 tons, but this is certainly an exaggeration (Quayle, p. 145).

33 Usually called " Captain," but he had been an admiral for some years before his death.

34 Quiggin’s Guide (1847), pp. 65-73, and 193-98.

35 Report of Royal Commission.

36 Mr. Cashen says that about 1850 a number of Cornish fishermen, whose boats were rigged in this way, came to the island, and, since Nicholas or Nickey was a common name among them, it was applied to the rig of their boats.

37 Recently, however, some " dandy " rigged boats have again been built.

38 The Yarmouth and Lowestoft deep-sea herring fishing-boats and a few of the Scottish boats are somewhat larger.

39 Blundell (Manx Soc., vol. xxv. p. 82).

40 In 1648, the fish caught were divided into eight parts, the owner of the nets getting three, the owner of the boat one, and the remainder being divided among the crew. Blundell (Manx Soc., vol. xxv. p. 85). In 1840, the fish were divided into fourteen parts, the owner receiving two, the owner of the nets six, and the crew six (Quiggin’s Guide, 1847, p. 197).

41 In old days the herring fishing did not begin till the end of July or later, even, according to Blundell (in 1648), about the end of August (Manx Soc., vol. xxv. p. 85), but now it begins much earlier.

42 See evidence of the Duke of Atholl in 1791. He said that this had " nearly ruined numbers," and that " the mortgages within the island, incurred mostly by the expence of herring boats and nets, have increased since 1765 nearly £100,000" (Comrs.’ Report, App. (D) No. 28).

43 Reckoning the average crew of a boat at seven.

44 Manx Note Book, vol. iii. p. 180.

45 These are the figures given in the official catalogue of the Fisheries Exhibition, but the insular " statistical abstract" gives them as 2,507 (Appendix B).

46 Official catalogue of the Fisheries Exhibition.

47 Statutes, vol. i. pp. 79-80.

48 It was represented to Lord Derby, in 1705, that the fishing had failed for nearly 30 years (Knowsley Muniments, 1720/11.)

49 Manx Soc., vol. i. pp. 14-15.

50 It was at this time that Bishop Wilson added the petition in the Manx Litany : "That it may please Thee to restore and continue to us the blessings of the sea," which is still read in the Manx churches.

We have accounts of the lord’s receipts from the herring fishing for most of the years between 1702 and 1764 which give a good idea of how it varied

1702-4 nil. 1718 £50 1738 £69
1705 £6 1719 missing 1739-40 £86
1706—9 missing 1720 £41 1741 £92
1710  £2 1721-8 missing 1742-5 £452
1711 £34 1729 £45 1746 £114
1712 £42 1730 £68 1747-8 £222
1713 £49 1731 £38 1749 £109
1714 £52 1732 £49 1750 £109
1715 £55 1733 £50 1751 £109
1716 £43 1734 £44 1752-64  £1,525
1717 missing 1735-7 missing    

(From Knowsley Muniments and seneschal’s office, Douglas.)

51 See Appendices B and C. The best idea of the failure of the fishery during the last seventeen years will be gathered from the figures in Appendix C.

52 Manx Soc., vol. i. pp. 14-15. About 1869, a bank of these was discovered near the Point of Ayre by Jersey fishermen, and was practically destroyed by them.

53 At Ballaugh.

54 From Ballaugh Parish Book (MS.).

55 Laughton’s Guide (1842), pp. 177-182 ; Train, vol. ii. pp. 301-5 ; and Quiggin’s Guide (1847), pp. 65-73 and 193-8.

56 Barrels cured averaged : 1787—1790, 11,274 ; 1841, 667,245; 1848, 644,368; 1849, 770,698; 1852, 28,845; 1859, 34,357; 1860, 44,120 ; 1861, 18,112 ; 1864, 34,357. A barrel contains 600 herrings.

57 Insular Blue Book, 1891. They also suggested that conservators should be appointed for the preservation of salmon and trout. We have not entered into the question of river fisheries because they are of small importance, though the island contains several excellent trout streams.

58 Statutes, vol. vi. pp. 613-17.

59 For general recommendations see Blue Book (1898) pp. 12-14.

60 Statistics as to the number of fishing boats, their tonnage, the number of men and boys employed, the value of the boats and lines, and of the fish caught, will be found in Appendix B, but, unfortunately, they are not sufficiently accurate to be of value. Some accounts give the number of the herring boats only, others of all the fishing boats ; sometimes the value of the catch of herrings only is given, at other times, of all the fish, and the accounts of the tonnage are uncertain, while sometimes the men and boys indirectly, as well as directly, employed in the fishing are included.

61 These are in Imperial Blue Books.

62 Information supplied by the late Robert Corrin. These are boats belonging to Peel only.

63 Information from Captain Qualtrough (Harbour Master).


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