[from History of IoM, 1900]


ALTHOUGH the ancient Kingdom of Man is in extent inferior to all but one of the counties of England, it has remained to this day a separate political community, with its peculiar institutions and laws, and a very considerable share of legislative and administrative independence. On this ground it may be reasonably claimed that the history of this little island stands on a higher level of dignity and interest than that of a county or district, however extensive or populous, which is merely a geographical division of a larger whole. It may, in fact, be said to occupy a position intermediate between mere " local " history and the history of a country or nation. In attempting to trace, with greater completeness of detail and fuller use of documentary material than previous writers have done, the fortunes of the Isle of Man from the earliest period to the present time, I have, of course, primarily in view the information of those who are connected by birth, descent, or residence, with the island; at the same time I venture to hope that the result of my investigations may occasionally prove serviceable to students of the history of the three great divisions of the British Isles, with each of which the Isle of Man has been in turn politically connected. Let me trust that these considerations will afford some excuse for treating the annals of my Lilliputian native land on so Gargantuan a scale. Whatever mistakes I may have made in doing so, and no doubt they are numerous, I can claim that I am the first to utilize, to any extent, the valuable information given in the insular Records and in the Muniments at Knowsley, and the first to attempt a detailed account of the social and industrial progress of the Manx people.

I have now to perform the pleasant duty of thanking those who have kindly assisted me. First, I must acknowledge my obligations to Mr. Henry Bradley, not only for literary advice, but for largely re-modelling the arrangement of the chapters and for corrections on points of detail. The substance of the Geological section and part of that on Mines is due to Mr. G. W. Lamplugh, F.G.S., and of the account of Historic Monuments and Buildings to the Rev. John Quine, M.A. Mr. Lamplugh and Prof. W. Boyd-Dawkins, F.R.S., have given me suggestions in the chapter on the Earliest Inhabitants, as have Sir Spencer Walpole, K.C.B., Sir James Gell (Clerk of the Rolls), and Mr. G. A. Ring (Attorney General), in the chapters on the Constitution; and Mr. George Drinkwater, M.A., J.P. (H.M.'s Crown Receiver and Seneschal), in the chapter on The Land - Question.

I have, finally, to thank the Custodians of the various Public Offices in Douglas for permitting me to inspect and take extracts from the Records in their charge, and their officials for having placed every facility for this work at my disposal. Equally are my thanks due to Lord Derby for giving me access to the documents relating to the Isle of Man at Knowsley; to his Librarian, Dr. Richardson, and to Mr. P. M. C. Kermode, who helped me in copying them. Nor do I forget the good offices of Mr. Taylor, of the Free Library, Douglas, of Mr. A. H. Story (Treasurer of the Isle of Man), of Mr. Ailken (Government Office), of Colonel Freeth (Chief Constable), of Mr. M. M. Bridson (Harbour Commissioners' Office), of Mr. R. Garside (Secretary, Council of Education), and of Mr. Cubbon (Editor of the Manx Sun) in procuring statistical information for me.



September, 1900.

* Further special acknowledgments have been made in the text.


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