Account of the Imports and Exports to and from the ISLE OF MAN, for the year ending 1835.


The whole of the goods enumerated in the fourth section of the 3 and 4 Guilielmus IV., c. 60, termed licensed goods.

Also British manufactures, which pay 2½ per cent. ad valorem duty, amount of value

£ 80 000

Timber and Wood, value


Various small articles from Foreign ports fieldseeds, hams, &c.


£ 89,000


Ale and Beer

5,380 gallons.

Black Cattle


Bacon and Hams



2 tons.

Beans and Pease

106 quarters.


31,000 quarters.



Fullers’ Earth

287 tons.



Herrings, white and red, (exclusive of those sent in bulk)

3,000 barrels.

Hat bodies

130 dozens.


9,000 barrels.


2,500 tons.

Lead and Copper ore

1,624 tons.

Black Jack

560 tons.

Linen Cloth

21,185 yards.


2,235 tons.


337 tons.


131,000 lbs. weight.

Sail Cloth

14,000 yards.




50 tons.


4,000 gallons.

Woollen Cloth

40 pieces.

Wool and Woollen Yarn

400 cwt.

In the same year there arrived at the Island, from foreign parts, 84 vessels, tonnage 12,000. Tonnage of vessels belonging to the Island, about 5000.

I am indebted to John Mac Hutchin, Esq. for some statements explanatory of this return, and of the commercial policy of the government of Great Britain towards the Isle of Man. These documents illustrate also the intercourse between Great Britian and the Island, previous and subsequent to the transfer of the sovereignty of the latter to the British crown, and indicate the opinion respecting the justice and expediency of that transfer entertained by the Manksmen. From these it appears that the Island of Man was pronounced by the Lords of the Privy Council and the judges of England, in the reign of Elizabeth, to be an independent kingdom ; and was treated as such by the British government till the Revestment Act, in 5th George III., when, according to the opinion of the Manks, they were transferred unlawfully, without their consent, as feudal vassals, from the Earl of Derby to the King of Great Britain. A principal object of this arrangement was to cut the Gordian knot of those commercial disputes which had been carried on between the two independent kingdoms: and it was followed immediately by the imposition of grievous and intolerable restrictions on the trade and commerce of the Island, which were consequently entirely destroyed. For in a short time after the passing of the Act, the trading towns in the Island became almost deserted ; the rents of houses and lands fell to one-third of their former value ; and many of the inhabitants, although affectionately attached to their native Island, were obliged to forsake it, and seek their bread in foreign lands.

The sequel to the narrative contained in this sketch, is written in 1825.

" After the Revestment in 1765, various Acts of Parliament were passed to prevent smuggling, and 40,000 gallons of British spirits were allowed to be imported annually, at a duty of 1s. the gallon. Foreign spirits (brandy and Geneva) could not be imported, but on the payment of the English duties.

" In the year 1791, the late Sir William Grant and four other gentlemen were appointed Commissioners to report on various points respecting the Island. They found that no part of the British spirits had been imported from the year 1784, that brandy and Geneva were in common use, and that smuggling into the Island was carried on to a great extent, although revenue cruisers were stationed on the coasts.

£. S. d.

The gross Revenue from January, 1790 to 179l was

3,016 8 11

The Disbursements for the same year

3,272 2 2

The whole of the Revenue from 1765 to 179l

75,576 1 3½

" With a view to prevent smuggling, as well as to increase the revenue, the Commissioners recommended that a limited quantity of foreign spirits, &c. &c., should be allowed to be imported on moderate duties. Their recommendation was adopted, and an Act was passed, 38 Geo. III., cap. 63, to regulate the trade of the Island, in the spirit of which Act all the subsequent Acts respecting the trade of the Island have been made.

The last Act was passed in the 3 and 4 of William IV., cap. 60,—the gross Revenue is now about

25,000 per ann.

The expenses of the government, customhouse establishment, &c. &c., do not amount to


Net Revenue -

£. 15,000

" A pretty good proof of the wisdom of the recommendation made by the Commisioners : there is not now one revenue cruiser stationed on the coast; indeed there is no smuggling, except it be in foreign corn. See remonstrance of the Keys on this subject.

" It is said that the Island is prosperous, and can bear taxation.

" We have no trade but the exportation of the surplus produce of the soil and the herring-fisheries, and scarcely any manufactories.

" The apparent flourishing state of the Island arises from the number of half-pay officers and gentlemen of moderate incomes, who have retired there for the purpose of enjoying their luxuries ; and it is ascertamed that they draw from England more than 100,0001. annually : any considerable change in the revenue laws would drive these gentlemen to the continent.

" The whole of the Island contains about 130,000 acres of land, 30,000 of which are barren wastes, and 25,000 acres of intack lands : it follows that the whole rental of the Island cannot exceed 100,0001.; and the mortgages chiefly held by people in England amount to 800,0001., which, at five per cent interest, makes 40,000l. per annum.

" If the British Government adopts any measure which will deprive the Island of the benefit of the 100,0001. brought in by half-pay officers, &c., the Island will sink into what it was previous to the passing of the Act of 1798, and smuggling into the Island would be resumed ; in fact it is feared it would become a smuggling depot, unless coast-guards and revenue cruisers were maintained there at an enormous expense.

List of annual Allowance of Licensed Articles.






110 tons of Wine

12 0

per ton.

10,000 gallons of Brandy

4 6

per gallon.

10,000 gallons of


4 6

per gallon.


Rum -

3 0


60,000 lbs. of


1 6

per lb.

70,000 lbs. of

Black Tea



5,000 lbs. of

Green Tea

1 0


8,000 lbs. of

Coffee -



10,000 cwt. Muscovado


1 0

per cwt.

800 cwt. of Refined Sugar 2½ per cent. , ad valorem,— to supply a population of 40,000.

" The whole of the wine, rum, and tobacco, are seldom imported -*.

" Timber.—The existence of the herring-fishery depends on the importation of timber ; not one boat could be built with timber the growth of the Island."

* A proof of the cessation of smuggling


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