[From Johnson's Guide, 1850]
In the preparation of works, the interest of which centres in so small a spot as the Isle of Mann, one difficulty is peculiarly felt. This arises from the danger of mistaking the relative, for the real magnitude of objects and events. Under such an impression the writer of the following pages has endeavoured to avoid too great minuteness in his descriptions and details, and has satisfied himself with presenting views of the History and Topography of the Island, from which all that is merely of microscopic interest has been discharged, while he trusts that nothing of real importance will be desiderated.
In a work of this description, much originality could not be expected. The writer, however, feels himself at liberty to say, that he has neither servilely followed the opinions of others, nor adopted their words without proper acknowledgment.
The arrangement of the Second Part will, it is hoped, appear satisfactory, not merely to the stranger, but to the resident, as affording a compendium, easy of reference, of such information as it is generally desirable to have in a small compass.
The orthography MANN has been adopted throughout, in preference to that in common use, as being more consonant with the etymology defended in the first Chapter, and as being calculated to prevent confusion. If any authority be required, the writer refers to the Patent of James I., where the Island is designated Mann. In a subsequent " Acte for the " Assuringe and Establishing of the Isle of Manne," an additional e will be observed; ;though at the same time it must be admitted, that in the Latin Patent of Henry IV. the designation Man is adopted.
The writer desires to express his grateful sense of the kindness of Mrs. E. S. Craven Green, and D. Mac Askill, Esq., the Bard of Skye, whose poetical contributions have so greatly enriched his pages. It is his pleasing duty also to acknowledge the kindness of G. H. Wood, Esq., who has placed at his disposal a large collection of valuable documents, illustrative of the Civil and Ecclesiastical History, and Antiquities of the Isle of Mann. To his numerous correspondents, who have so obligingly answered his enquires, the writer cannot sufficiently express his thanks. Had he merely consulted his own feelings, he would have been tempted to adorn his humble pages with their names, but he is reminded that in so doing he would have incurred a charge of ostentation, which it was equally his wish to avoid.
In conclusion, he can only observe, that if the perusal of this volume should afford to any of its readers a tithe of the gratification which the collection of the materials has afforded to himself, bis success as an author will be at once decided.
Douglas, June, 1847.
[note the preface is the same as initial 1842 preface dated 1 June 1842 - JBL was almost certainly in Australia at this time]