[from Mills' Statutes, 1821]

 

L.S. ISLE OF MAN, to wit.

At a Tynwald Court holden at Castle Rushen the 22d Day of July, in the seventeenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of GOD of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, and in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, before his Excellency EDWARD SMITH, Esquire, Governor in Chief and Captain General, the Council and Keys of the said Isle.

An Act for the Confirmation of the Act of Settlement, and for the repealing of certain obsolete Laws and Ordinances; for the altering and amending of others; for the explaining and establishing the Jurisdiction of the Courts of Law and Equity and other Purposes.

Whereas many of the Laws and Customs of this Isle have been found not only to be defective, but in many Instances impolitick and very inadequate to the Purposes of good Order and Government, it being now thought expedient to repeal all obsolete and useless Laws, which however properly adapted to more early Ages are now become insufferable and oppressive, and to institute a new Arrangement and Connection of the most wholesome Laws, retaining every Part possible of the ancient Constitution, and being made to bear the nearest Resemblance to the System of English Jurisprudence, which is conceived may greatly conduce to the Honour, Welfare, and Happiness of this Isle: We your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects the Governor, Council, and Keys of the Isle of Man, being deeply interested, in promoting the salutary Purposes aforesaid, do most humbly beseech your Majesty that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice, and Consent of the Governor, Council, and Keys of the said Isle, in Tynwald assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the Statute relative to the Payment of Herrings, and the Carriage of Turf to the several Garrisons, provided in an Act inserted in the Beginning of the Statute Book, the Date whereof being defaced by Time doth not appear, and confirmed by the Orders of certain Commissioners dated Anno Domini 1561, and that the Statutes made the 10th Day of October 1609 and the 21st of September 1667, for the Regulation of Wages and Labour of Artificers and Servants, be, and the same are hereby severally repealed; and that the Statute made the 7th Day of November 1747, relative to Servants, being a temporary Act, and since expired, be revived and made perpetual; and the same is hereby revived and made perpetual accordingly.

An Act for the giving Strangers the Privilege of Natives in the Recovery of Debts.

Whereas many Inconveniences have arisen and may arise to the Trade, Agricultures, and Manufactures of this Isle, from the Practice of giving the Natives thereof a Preference to all others in the Payment and Recovery of their Debts or Demands against Debtors, whose Property and Effects fall Deficient in the Payment of Creditors, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That for the future no Priority or Preference shall take place in such Cases amongst the Creditors, but that all His Majesty's Liege Subjects, and all others whose Princes are in Amity with the Crown of Great Britain, shall for the future be intitled to the same Rights and Privileges in the Payment of their just Demands, upon the [360] Distribution of Insolvent Debtors Effects, as the Natives of the said Isle have heretofore had; provided nevertheless that the Governor or Lieutenant Governor shall always, upon granting a Decree or Judgment in Favour of any Person whatsoever against any of His Majesty's Subjects and others in Amity with his Crown residing in this Isle for the Recovery of Debts contracted and due previous to such their Residence within the same, may exclude the Whole of such Debt, or order and allow such Part or Proportion thereof to be paid in a proper Dividend and Share with the other Creditors, for Debts Contracted by them within the said Isle, out of such Insolvent Debtor's Effects as to him shall appear just and reasonable according to the Circumstances of the Case, any Thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided also, that Landlords Rents and Servants Wages shall always be paid in Preference as heretofore accustomed.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That any Person or Persons whatsoever who shall be imprisoned for Debt under a Decree or Judgment, and it appearing to the Court that the said confined Party hath justly and faithfully accounted for all his Effects upon Oath, and, hath delivered up the same without Fraud or Collusion to satisfy such Decree or Judgment, that in all and every such Case the Governor or Lieutenant Governor may order and allow the said imprisoned Party a daily Sum not exceeding Sixpence each Day, to be advanced and paid by the Plaintiff for Subsistence during the Time the said Party shall afterwards remain imprisoned, and in Default of the like Payments weekly, that the Governor or Lieutenant Governor may lawfully order the said Party in Duress to be enlarged from Imprisonment: Provided always, that such several Sums paid, or to be paid for Subsistence as aforesaid shall be a lawful Charge against the Defendant and Effects, as well as the Sum or Part of the Decree or Judgment remaining unsatisfied by the Proceedings aforesaid at all Times afterwards, until such several just Sums are paid off and discharged, any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding.

[361] An Act for the more effectual Confirmation and Establishment of the Act of Settlement, and the Act of Tynwald explanatory thereof.

The ancient feudatory Tenures of this Isle between the Lord and his Tenants having, in the Year 1643, by undue Means, being changed into Leasehold Estates, the regular Course of Descent, which before had flowed in an easy uninterrupted Stream, was thereby clogged with Difficulties not to be born, the Tenants grew dissatisfied, and much Litigation ensued, which tended to dissolve all Harmony and Subordination between them and their Chief, so essential to their mutual Interest and Happiness; for remedy whereof, the Act of Tynwald, commonly called the Act of Settlement, intituled, "An Act for the perfect settling and confirming of the Estates, Tenures, Fines, Rents, Suits, and Services of the Tenants of the Right Honourable James Earle of Derby within his Isle of Man, passed at a Tynwald Court holden at St. John's Chapel within the said Isle the 4th Day of February, in the Year of our Lord 1703," and the Act of Tynwald explanatory thereof, bearing equal Date therewith; which said several Acts are in the Words, or to the Purport and Effect following that is to say,

An Act for the perfect Settling and Confirmation of the Estates, Tenures, Fines, Rents, Suits, and Services of the Tenants of the Right Honourable James Earle of Derby, within his Isle of Mann, passed at a Tynwald Court holden at Saint John's Chappell within the said Isle the fourth Day of February, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and three, by the said James Earle of Derby, Lord of the said Isle, Robert Mawdesley, Esquire, Governor, and the rest of his said Lordship's Officers, and 24 Keys, the Representatives of the said Isle.¾ [Vide Folios 163 and 173.]

Which said several Acts of Tynwald being now the Basis of the Tenure of the Lands and Hereditaments, and the true Security of the real Estates and Premisses within the said Isle, be it hereby declared and enacted by the Permission and Authority aforesaid, That the said Act of Settlement and the said Act of Tynwald explanatory thereof hereinbefore set forth, and every Clause, Article, Matter and Thing therein and hereinbefore contained, shall be, and the same [362] are hereby ratified and confirmed, and binding and effectual for and against all and all Manner of Person and Persons, Lands and Hereditaments therein and thereby meant, mentioned, and intended, to all Intents and Purposes.

An Act recognizing the Power of the Court of Chancery to regulate its own Proceedings.

Whereas the Court of Chancery hath hitherto exercised a mixed Jurisdiction of Law and Equity, which may occasion Doubts and Difficulties in Practice, and great Expence and Delay, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Court shall have full Power to make such Rules and Orders (from Time to Time) touching its own Practice and Proceedings, and for the better Conduct of Suitors and Practitioners as shall be found expedient; which said Rules and Orders shall be written in a fair Hand, and hung in a conspicuous Place in the said Court for the Inspection of all People.

An Act for the better Regulation of the Proceedings in the Court of Exchequer.

Whereas all Disputes respecting the Rights of the Crown, the imposing of Fines, and the recovering of Debts or Duties due to the Sovereign, and the determining the Right of Tythes, being properly cognizable in the Court of Exchequer, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That hereafter the said Court shall be regularly held on the Day after every Chancery Court, or immediately after on the same Day, (if the Governor or Lieutenant Governor shall see proper), to hear and determine all Suits thereto appertaining; and that His Majesty's Attorney General for the Time being shall in the first instance prosecute all Offenders in Revenue Matters by Summons, or Process in the Nature of a Capias, praying an Arrest against the Person of the Defendant, which Capias is returnable at the next Court to be holden after the issuing thereof, (three Days, being allowed between the Service and such Return); and when any Offender shall thereupon be apprehended, or being apprehended, shall have given Bail for his personal Appearance, the Attorney General shall, before the second Court, file an Information setting, forth the Cause of Suit, (of which Information being filed three Days Notice shall be given to the Defend- [363] ant or his Attorney before such second Court), requiring the Defendant to appear and plead thereto at such second Court, and in Default of such Appearance Judgment and Execution shall go against Defendant's Person and Effects. And at such second Court the Suit shall be heard and determined, unless sufficient Cause (to be approved of by the Court) shall be shewn to the contrary. And the Governor or Lieutenant Governor is hereby impowered to make such Rules and Orders from Time to Time for the better regulating the Practice and Proceedings of the said Court as Occasion shall require, any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding.

An Act for the better regulating the Proceedings in the Court of Common Law and the Proceedings therein.

Whereas great Inconveniences have arisen for want of a more frequent Holding of the said Court, and also from the dilatory Mode of Procedure by Juries out of Court; for Remedy whereof, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That hereafter a Common Law Court shall be holden at Castle Rushen, or at such other Place as the Governor or Lieutenant Governor shall appoint, at the four following Terms or Times in the Year; that is to say, Hillary Term to begin the Monday next following the first Thursday in February; second, Easter Term to begin Monday: next succeeding the first Thursday in May; third, Trinity Term, to begin Monday, next following the last Thursday in June; fourth, Michaelmas Term, to begin Monday next following the fifth Day of October, for the hearing and determining Actions, real, personal, and mixed, at which the Governor or Lieutenant Governor may preside by the Deemster; and that the Plaintiff in all civil Causes, brought before the said Court shall cause each Defendant, if in this Isle, to be summoned by the Coroner or Lockman three Days at least previous to the Court Day, which Summons or Notice is to be verified by the Oaths of two Witnesses, whereupon the Plaintiff shall then commence his Action or file his Declaration, in which the Plaintiff shall set forth the Right or Title under which he claims specially; and if the Defendant be of this Isle, then such Summons shall be given, not only to the Tenant in Possession, but likewise Notice left at the last Place of Abode of him the said Defendants and that each Defendant do thereupon enter his Appearance and proceed to his [364] Defence, so that the same may be tried by a Jury of six good and lawful Men, to be summoned, impannelled, approved of and sworn as hereinafter mentioned for that Purpose the second Term; Provided that in case the Defendant shall file a Special Plea or Demurrer within twenty Days after the said first Court, the same shall be argued at such short Time afterwards as the Court shall upon Application direct; and in case the same be over-ruled, the Defendant shall pay Costs at the Discretion of the Court; and if within this Isle, be also obliged to join Issue, so that as the Cause may come on to be tried the second Court Day; and if resident out of this Isle, on the fourth Court Day; And provided, that in mere Matters of Debt, where either Party shall intend or be obliged, or shall be suspected of an Intention to leave the Island speedily, the Suit may be heard and determined at a Special Court; upon Application to the Governor or Lieutenant Governor at such Time as he shall appoint; And provided also, that in case the Defendant, or all or any of his Evidences, shall live or be out of the Isle, upon good Cause shewn, supported by Affidavit, such reasonable Time shall be allowed for his Defence as the Court shall see proper to give; Provided nevertheless, that the Deemster shall hear and determine all Causes and Suits in a summary Way without a Jury as heretofore accustomed; And that this Act shall not restrain, or be construed to restrain the said Court from giving such further Time to the Parties, Plaintiffs, or Defendants, for the appearing to and prosecuting or defending their respective Suits as the said Court shall direct, any Law, Custom or Practice to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding.

An Act for Trials in Treason and Felony, and regulating the Proceedings of the Court of General Gaol Delivery.

Whereas the Method of finding Bills of Indictment against suspected Persons or Felons by a Jury of six Men, wants some Regulation, which may tend to the more certain Detection of enormous Crimes, and the more effectual Punishment of such Offenders, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That where any Person shall be apprehended on Suspicion of having committed any Crime, or any Act which by the Laws of this Isle is declared to be Treason or Felony, the Coroner, in whose Sheading such has been committed, shall, after the Offender is taken into Custody and [365] secured by him, (ex officio), thereupon proceed by a Warrant from a Deemster, and summon a Jury of six good and lawful Men out of the Sheading, together with all such Persons as can give any Testimony in the Matter, to appear before the Deemster, and in his Presence and under his Direction to make Enquiry and to take Evidence in Writing touching the Facts complained of; and the Deemster, after due Enquiry and Examination had as aforesaid, is hereby required to receive the Indictment or Verdict of the said Jury according to the Law of this Isle, and to transmit the same, together with the Depositions, to the Office of the Clerk of the Rolls, and to release, admit to Bail, or imprison such Person or Persons so charged and indicted by the Jury as the Nature of the Cause shall require. And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in all criminal Cases when the Prisoner shall be so indicted, and shall have been so committed to Prison at least three Days before the Head Court is held, a Jury shall thereupon be convened according to ancient Custom, consisting of twelve good and lawful Men to try the Fact before such Court of General Gaol Delivery. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Court of General Gaol Delivery shall be holden at Castle Rushen as Occasion shall require by Order of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor; at which Court all Persons so indicted as aforesaid shall be arraigned and tried in Manner heretofore accustomed, any Law, Custom, or Practice to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding.

An Act for the better Regulation of Proceedings by Juries before a Court of Common Law.

Whereas great Inconveniences have arisen from the Proceedings of Juries out of Court, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That hereafter all Actions and Suits at Common Law, which require a Trial by Jury, shall be tried and determined at the Common Law Court, and that the Juries for that Purpose shall severally consist of six Men, to be duly impannelled, approved of, and sworn to try the Issue between the Parties as hereafter mentioned, and that upon such Trial the Court may, upon sufficient Cause shewn, order the Evidence to be taken in Writing, and the Jury, upon mature Deliberation thereon, shall return their Verdict, in the Face of the said Court in Writing, and not depart therefrom, till a Verdict is so given but if it shall happen that such [366] Jury shall not agree in their Verdict in any convenient Time the said Court shall in that Case be impowered to order such Jury to be confined in some proper Place, and there to remain until they have agreed, and such Jury shall not be discharged until they have delivered their Verdict to the said Court or Magistrate; and if any Person or Persons shall apprehend him or herself aggrieved by the said Verdict, such Person or Persons shall be at Liberty to traverse the same to the House of Keys in all Actions wherein the Title of Lands, or its Appurtenances, come in question, and by Appeal to the Governor or Lieutenant Governor in all other Cases whatsoever, who shall proceed in such Manner therein as to him shall seem Right; and the said Party so traversing or appealing as aforesaid shall give in Bonds in three Pounds within twenty-one Days from and after the Day of recording the Verdict to prosecute such Traverse or Appeal with Effect; provided always that nothing herein contained shall subvert or alter the present Mode of Proceeding in a summary Way by Jury of Enquiry to find out lost or stolen Goods and Trespassers, wherein a Jury of four Men shall be sufficient. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That hereafter in the Trial of all Suits where a Jury is by Law necessary, the Court before whom such Trial is to be had shall at least six Days before the Sitting of the said Court issue Process to the several Coroners, thereby requiring them to summon two or more good and lawful Men as required out of every Parish to appear and attend at such Court, of which such Jurors shall have at least three Days Notice, and at the Sitting of such Court every Coroner shall make Return in Writing of the Persons Names which he has so summoned, with his Addition and Place of Abode, which shall be written by the proper Officer of the Court on distinct Pieces of Paper of equal Size, and shall be by him given in such Court publickly to the proper Judge or Magistrate then presiding, who shall cause the same in his Presence to be rolled up and put into a Box, and when any Cause is, so called to be tried some indifferent Person shall in open Court draw out six of the Papers; and if any of the Persons therein named and so drawn out do not appear, or shall be challenged by a Party and disapproved of by the Court, then a further Number shall be drawn to compleat the said Jury, and the said six Persons so drawn and approved of (their Names being marked in a Pannel), and sworn, they shall be kept apart in a Box or Place during [367] the Trial; and the same Mode of Procedure to be repeated in ascertaining Jurors as often as Occasion requires; and if it shall happen that a Cause shall be brought on in the said Court to be tried before the Jury in any other Cause shall have returned their Verdict, the Court may order six of the remaining Number to be drawn as before to try such Cause, and so on in like Manner; provided always, that if either Party Plaintiff or Defendant, shall move the Court of Common Law to have a View or Special Jury, and the said Court find such Cause for the same, a View shall be granted, and a Special Jury shall be returned, impannelled, and sworn in such fair, open, and impartial Manner as the said Court shall direct. And whereas from the Proceedings of the Great Enquest in Matters heretofore cognizable by them a Traverse was allowed to a Long Jury, and from them to the House of Keys, which Mode of Proceedure is found to be dilatory and vexatious, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That hereafter such Great Enquest, and all Proceedings before them, shall cease, and that all Matters heretofore cognizable before the Great Enquest and Long Juries shall be tried and determined at Common Law according to the Rules hereinbefore provided for the Regulation of that Court, any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding.

An Act for the better Regulation of the interior Police of the Island, and the Recovery of small Debts before the High Bailiffs.

Whereas the Multiplicity of trivial Causes, Suits, and Controversies cognizable by and before the Deemster of this Isle, hath been found to be attended with great, Inconvenience, Fatigue, and Expence, as well to the said Magistrate, who for the better accommodation of the Public, hath been obliged to make frequent Circuits to the North Division of this Isle, as to the Suitors, Witnesses, and Jurors, who must necessarily attend the said Causes at such Time and Place as the same when Issue is joined may require; for the Remedy of which said Inconveniences, it hath been judged expedient to erect a new Jurisdiction in each of the four several Market-Towns of this Isle for the Hearing and Determination of Matters of Debt where the Demand doth not Amount to the Sum of forty Shillings; be it therefore enacted by the Permission and Authority aforesaid, That from and after the [368] Promulgation of this Act it shall and may be lawful to and for the High Bailiff of Castletown for the Time being to issue his Warrant for the convening of any Party or Parties, Witnesses, or other Persons whom it may concern, before him in Matters of Debt arising within Castletown aforesaid, or within the several Parishes of Malew, Santon, Arbory, and Rushen, or any of them; in which Warrant the Sum in Demand shall be specified, and shall not Amount to forty Shillings; and the said High Bailiff is hereby authorized and impowered to hear and determine all and every such Cause and Controversy at Castletown aforesaid, and to give Judgment therein, and grant Execution for such Debt and Costs, so that the principal Debt doth not amount to forty Shillings, exclusive of Costs, in his Discretion, in such and the like Manner and Form, and with the like Authority and Jurisdiction as the said Deemster now doth and hath hitherto done; and the High Bailiff of Douglas is hereby in like Manner authorized and impowered to hear and determine all and every such Cause and Controversy aforesaid, under the Limitation and Restriction beforementioned, arising within the said Town of Douglas, or the several Parishes of Lonnan, Conchan, Braddan, and Marown, or any of them; and the High Bailiff of Peeltown is hereby in like Manner authorized and impowered to hear and determine all and every such Cause and Controversy aforesaid, under the Limitation and Restriction beforementioned, arising within the said Town of Peel, or the Parishes of Patrick, German, Michael, and Ballaugh, or any of them; and the High Bailiff of Ramsay is hereby in like Manner authorized and impowered to hear and determine all and every such Cause or Controversy aforesaid, under the Limitation and Restriction beforementioned, arising within the said Town of Ramsey, or within the Parishes of Jurby, Andreas, Bride, Lezayre, and Maughold, or any of them; which said several and respective High Bailiffs are to be nominated and appointed by the Governor in Chief, or Lieutenant Governor of this Isle for the Time being; and all Coroners, Lockmen, Petit Constables, and others whom it shall and may concern, are hereby required to execute their Office and yeild Obedience to such Directions, Orders, and Judgments of the said several and respective High Bailiffs in such and the like Manner and Form as now and heretofore they did yield Obedience to the Directions, Orders, and Judgments of the Deemster; provided always, that if any Party or Person shall find himself [369] grieved by the Order and Judgment of the said High Bailiffs, or any of them, it shall and may be lawful to and for such Party or Person to prefer his Appeal from such Order or Judgment to the Deemster, and the said High Bailiff shall accept the same, provided that such Appeal be preferred within seven Days from the Day of the Service of such Order or Judgment, which Service is to be certified by the Officer executing the same, and exhibited to the High Bailiff with the Appeal which may be preferred from such his Order or Judgment; and that the Appellant or Appellants do also enter into a Bond with or without Sureties at the Discretion of the High Bailiff in the Rolls Office in the Sum of three Pounds to our Sovereign Lord the King, that he or they the said Appellant or Appellants shall and will prosecute such Appeal with Effect within the Term limited in the Acceptance thereof, which shall not exceed one Month, and shall also answer such Judgment, Costs, and Charges, as shall be awarded by the said Deemster in case the Order or Judgment appealed from be affirmed; but if no Appeal be preferred, or if Bonds be not entered into according to the Directions of this Act, then the Order or Judgment of the said High Bailiffs severally or respectively shall for ever thereafter be final and conclusive upon all Parties, provided always that if the said High Bailiffs or any of them shall, upon hearing of any Cause or Controversy brought before them in pursuance of this Act, find that the Plaintiff's Debt or Demand, exclusive of Costs or Fees, doth amount to the Sum of forty Shillings, that then such High Bailiff shall dismiss such Suit for want of Jurisdiction with Costs.

And it is hereby further declared and enacted by the Permission and Authority aforesaid, That if any Party or Parties shall commence any Cause or Suit before the Deemster for Recovery of a Debt or other Demand under the Value of forty Shillings, or without shewing good Cause why he apprehended that such his Debt or Demand should amount to that Sum, it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Deemster to dismiss such Suit with Costs as not cognizable before him.

And it is further declared and enacted, That no Party or Parties Plaintiff shall recover any Debt or Demand, unless he or they shall serve the Defendant or Defendants with an Account or State of his Claim or Demand three Days at the least before the Hearing of the Cause by the said Deemster [370] or the said High Bailiffs, or any of them, severally and respectively.

And be it further enacted by the Permission and Authority aforesaid, That all and every civil Duty and Power heretofore vested in the Captains of the several Market Towns, shall, and are hereby committed to the Jurisdiction, Orders, and Directions of the High Bailiffs severally and respectively, and that the said several High Bailiffs in their respective Towns shall have full Power and Authority to make and give such Rules, Orders, and Directions, with respect to the repairing, amending, and compleating of the several Streets, and the Removal of Encroachments, Nuisances, Filth, and Rubbish in the said Towns, or the Districts thereunto respectively belonging, in such Manner as in his and their Judgment shall be most conducive to the Publick Convenience, any Law, Custom, or Practice to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the several High Bailiffs in the respective Towns and Districts to take the Acknowledgment of Parties or Testimony of Witnesses for the Probate of all Deeds and Instruments in as ample a Manner as the Deemster hath hitherto practised, or shall appear to be lawfully authorised to do.

And it is hereby further declared and enacted by the Permission and Authority aforesaid, That the High Bailiffs in the Execution of their Offices shall be considered and reputed as Civil Magistrates of this Isle to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever; and that each High Bailiff shall have a concurrent Jurisdiction with each other as Occasion may require.

An Act for the ascertaining of Weights and Measures.

Whereas diverse Frauds have been committed with respect to the Weights and Measures used in this Isle, and the several Acts, Statutes, and Ordinances relative thereto having proved insufficient to prevent the same; for Remedy whereof, be it enacted by the Permission and Authority aforesaid, That from and after the tenth Day of October 1777 the said several Acts, Statutes, and Ordinances be, and the same are hereby repealed; and that all Weights and Measures made use of in the buying or selling of any Goods, Wares, Mer- [371] chandize or other Matter or Thing whatsoever within this Isle, shall be according to the Standard of His Majesty's Exchequer in England, and that a Standard of such Weights and Measures shall be kept in Castle Rushen by the Regulator of Weights and Measures, who shall be appointed by the Governor for the Time being, and such Sets of the like Weights and Measures shall be delivered to and kept by the respective High Bailiffs in the several Market Towns of this Isle, and that all Weights and Measures made use of in the said Towns or Districts thereof shall be compared, examined, and regulated thereby, and shall be stamped or marked by such High Bailiff in whose Possession a Standard as aforesaid shall remain, such High Bailiff taking for each Weight or Measure so compared, stamped, or marked by him as aforesaid, the Fee of one Penny; and he the said High Bailiff, with the Assistance of one or more Petit Constables, hereby required to inspect the Weights and Measures used within his District from Time to Time four Times in the Year at least; and in case any Person or Persons shall weigh or measure out any Good, Wares, or Merchandize or other Matter or Thing whatsoever by any Weight or Measure not stamped or marked as aforesaid, or by any Weight or Measure which shall be upon Examination found deficient, according to the said Standard, shall be forthwith renewed, or broken and destroyed, the Offender and Offence shall be reported in Writing by the said High Bailiff to the said Regulator, and the Person or Persons so offending, by such unlawful or defective Weights or Measures, shall thereupon severally forfeit for the first Offence the Sum of ten Shillings, and for the second Offence twenty Shillings, and for the third Offence three Pounds, and for every Offence thereafter such Offender or Offenders shall severally be subject to a Fine not exceeding the Sum of five Pounds, or Imprisonment not exceeding one Month; which said several Forfeitures or Fines shall by Order of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor for the Time being, be forthwith levied by Execution and Distress, and paid into the Hands of the said Regulator of Weights and Measures, and by him distributed among such High Bailiffs, Petit Constables, and others employed in the carrying of this Clause of the Act effectually into Execution, in such, Manner, Shares, and Proportions as the Governor of this Island for the Time being shall for that Purpose direct or appoint; and the said Regulator of Weights and Measures is hereby required to keep a Book and make [372] Entries therein of all Proceedings and Transactions which shall occur in his Department as aforesaid for the Examination and Inspection of all and every Person and Persons whom it shall or may concern.

An Act for the Prevention of arbitrary and unjust Imprisonment.

Whereas unwarrantable Arrests and arbitrary Imprisonments are not sufficiently provided against by the Laws of this Isle, to the great Infringement of Personal Liberty and the natural Rights of the Subject, be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That hereafter all Arrests for Debt or Contract, without Specialty, by virtue of any Process issuing from the Courts or Magistrates of this Isle, shall be granted on the Affidavit in Writing of the Party Complainant, or some proper Person in that Behalf, according to the best of his Judgment and Belief, and not otherwise, which Affidavit is to specify the Cause of such Debt or Contract, and that the same is just and reasonable according to the Nature thereof; which Affidavit may be taken by the Clerk of the Rolls, or other Person duly authorised by the Court or Magistrate for that Purpose, and such Affidavit shall be annexed to and filed with such Process, for the taking and filing thereof Sevenpence only is to be paid; and that Process of Arrest issued for the Recovery of Debts by Specialty may be granted without Affidavit on Sight of such Specialty, and a Recital thereof in such Process; provided also, that if any Person or Persons who shall be liable to any civil Process for Debt, Contract, or otherwise, shall be about to leave the Island without settling the same, it shall and may be lawful for the Person likely to be aggrieved (taking with him a civil Officer) to stop such Person or Persons, or to cause him or them to be apprehended and detained for the Space of twenty-four Hours, and no longer, until a regular Process of Arrest be obtained, or the Matters adjusted.

And be it also enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Warrants to apprehend, and all Commitments in Criminal Cases, shall be issued upon Oath of the Prosecutor or Person aggrieved, setting forth the Fact, or the Cause of Suspicion of some criminal Act, or upon the Return or Verdict of some Jury duly sworn and authorised, and not otherwise; and that in all Cases when the Party imprisoned shall think himself injured, either from frivolous or vexatious Ar- [373] rests in Civil Matters, or from Commitments in Criminal Proceedings, such Party may sue for Damages against such Prosecutor by Action at Law, to be ascertained and adjudged by a Jury of six Men according to the Circumstances of the Case.

An Act to prevent Fraud and Imposition in the making of Nuncupative Wills.

Whereas the Custom of making Nuncupative Wills prevails almost generally in this Isle, from which People are induced to leave the Settlement of their Affairs till their last Moments, when they are unable or unfit to make a proper Disposition thereof, which frequently gives Occasion to much Dispute and Litigation, and tends to introduce Perjury and other Enormities; be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That hereafter no Nuncupative Will shall be valid whereby Lands are devised or personal Estate bequeathed, that is not proved by two Witnesses at the least who were present at the making thereof, and that the Testator at the time of pronouncing the same being of sound and disposing Mind, Memory, and Understanding, did bid the Persons present, or some of them, bear Witness that such was his Will, or to that Effect; and that six Months after the Testator's speaking the pretended Testamentary Words no Testimony shall be received to prove any Nuncupative Will, except the said Testamentary Words, or the Substance thereof, were committed to Writing within ten Days after the making or publishing of the said Will; and that no Letters Testamentary or Probate of any Nuncupative Will shall be granted by any Court till fourteen Days at the least after the Decease of the Testator be fully expired; nor shall any Will whatever be at any Time received, unless Notice has been given to call in the Widow Relict, or next of Kindred to the Deceased, to the End that they may object if they please; nor shall any Will in Writing concerning any Goods or Chattles, real or personal, be revoked, altered, or changed in the Whole, or in Part, by any Nuncupative Will, except the same be in the Lifetime of the Testator committed to Writing, and read to him or her, and allowed or approved of, and so proved by the Oath of two Witnesses at the least, any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding.

[374] An Act for ascertaining the Interest of a Wife or Widow in the Estate

of her Husband.

Whereas Feme Coverts are by Custome entitled to one Half of their Husband's personal Estate and Effects within this Isle, originally meant as Dower, which by Usage hath been so perverted that by this Custom married Women now claim an absolute and distinct Property in one Half of the Goods and Chattles of their Husbands, insomuch that they make Wills during Coverture, and dispose of one Half; or in case of their dying intestate without Issue, Administration is granted to their own Kindred in Seclusion of the Husband's Right; from whence it often happens, that a Man in flourishing easy Circumstances, by the Accident of his Wife's Death, is utterly ruined, his Goods and Effects being immediately inventoried and sold, and one Half of their Value distributed among Strangers; to prevent which, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from henceforth, upon the Death of a Husband before his Wife, one Half of the whole Goods and Chattles, purchased Lands and Premises, shall become the Property of his Wife or Widow, to be disposed of at her own Will and Pleasure, subject to one Half of the Debts. but that in case the Wife dies before her Husband, and without Issue, her Right in such Goods and Chattles, Lands and Premises, shall cease and determine, and the same be and remain wholly to the Husband as his sole and absolute Property; provided nevertheless, that nothing herein shall prevent a Wife from making a Will of the Lands, Premises, and Effects aforesaid, even in the Lifetime of her Husband as heretofore accustomed, in Favour of the lawful Issue of her Body, or to her Husband, but of no other Persons whatsoever.

And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Houses, Lands or Premises, either Quarterland, Mills, Cottages, or Intacks, purchased or acquired, shall be construed deemed, or taken to be personal Effects or Chattles, so as to be considered as Assetts in the Hands of Executors, or subject to be claimed by Right of Consanguinity, or next of Kindred, in Exclusion of the Heir at Law, any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding; provided always, that this Act, nor any Thing therein contained do affect or prejudice any Articles, Settlement, Contract, Agreement, or other Deed heretofore made, or hereafter to be made and executed by or between any Party or Parties, either before [375] or after their Intermarriage, for the Settlement of the purchased Lands and Premises, or personal Estate of such Parties, or either of them, married or to be married, but that such Deeds shall have their full Effect according to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, and of the Parties thereto, provided also, that nothing in this Act shall exclude nor restrain the Purchaser or Purchasers of such purchased or acquired Premises from granting or devising the same as he, she, or they, shall by Deed or Will think proper; provided also, that nothing herein contained shall preclude or prevent the Proprietors of Lands, of whatsoever Nature or Tenure, from selling or alienating such Lands and Premises by Deed duly executed for a full and valuable Consideration as heretofore accustomed, or lessen the Rights of Mortgagees in any Houses, Lands, or Tenements, or of any Persons possessed of Leasehold Estates for any Term or Terms of Years, or prejudice just Creditors, but that such Houses, Lands, and Tenements shall be held and enjoyed by them according to their respective Claims, Rights, and Interests therein.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person being seized of any lands of Inheritance shall be, and is hereby empowered to grant a Lease of the Whole or any Part of such Estate of Inheritance for any Term not exceeding twenty-one Years in Possession, and that the highest and most improved Rent be had for the same.

An Act for the Distribution of Intestates personal Estates.

Whereas the Practice of granting Administration of the personal Estates of Intestates to Brothers and Sisters, or other collateral Kindred, in Exclusion of the Intestate's Parent, hath occasioned Family Disturbances and Litigations; for Remedy whereof, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the personal Estate of any Person dying intestate, after the Payment of Debts and Funeral Expences, shall be distributed in Manner and Form following; that is to say, one Half of the Surplusage to the Wife of the Intestate, and all the Residue by equal Portions to and amongst the Children of such Persons dying intestate; and such Persons as legally represent such Children, in case any of the said Children be then dead, other than such Child or Children who shall have any Estate by Settlement of the Intestate, or shall be advanced by the Intestate in his Lifetime by Portion or Portions equal to the Share which shall, by such Distribution be allotted [376] to the other Children to whom such Distribution is to be made; and in case there be any Child who shall have any Estate by Settlement from the said Intestate, or shall be advanced by the said Intestate in his Life-time by Portion not equal to the Share which will be due to the other Children by such Distribution as aforesaid, then so much of the Surplusage of the Estate of such Intestate to be distributed to such Child or Children as shall have any Land by Settlement from the Intestate, or were advanced in the Life-time of the Intestate, as shall make the Estate of all the said Children to be equal as near as can be estimated; and in case there be no Children, nor any legal Representatives of them, then one Moiety of the said personal Estate to be allowed to the Wife of the Intestate as aforesaid; the Residue of the said personal Estate to be distributed equally to every of the next of Kindred of the Intestate who are in equal Degree, and those who legally represent them, provided that there be no Representation admitted among Collatteralls after Brothers and Sisters Children; and in case there be no Wife, then all the said personal Estate to be distributed equally to and amongst the Children; and in case there be no Child, then to the next of Kindred in equal Degree of or unto the Intestate, and their legal Representatives as aforesaid; and in case there be no Wife or Child, then the Whole of the personal Estate of such Intestate to go to the Father; and if there be no Father, then to be distributed equally to and amongst the Mother, Brothers, and Sisters, or their legal Representatives; and in case there be neither Father, Mother, Brother, or Sister, then to the next of Kindred in equal Degree of or unto such Intestate, and in no other Manner whatsoever.

An Act for the Appointment of Attorneys, and for the fixing of their Fees.

Whereas the Custom of permitting Persons not bred to the Profession of the Law to practise as Attomeys hath been found greatly to promote, a Spirit of Litigation, and the Want of a proper Table of Fees hath been the Occasion of frequent Instances of Imposition upon Clients, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that hereafter no Person shall plead in any Court, (except in his own Cause), or sue out any Process, or act in the Character of an Attorney or Advocate before any Court, Judge, or Magistrate, until he be [377] first approved of and commissioned to act by the Governor or Lieutenant Governor of this Isle under his Hand and Seal, and until he shall have publickly taken the Government Oaths, as also the following one: "I, A. B. do swear that I will truly and honestly demean myself in the Practice and Knowledge of an Attorney to the best of my Ability."

And whereas it hath been the Practice for Attorneys to become Bail for their Clients, which is often attended with many unfair Consequences, be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that no Attorney shall become Bail in any Suit whatsoever. And for the further Discouragement of Law Suits which are or may be fomented and carried on within this Isle by Champerty, be it also enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from henceforth no Pleader, Attorney, Solicitor, or other Person, shall take up, move, or maintain any Plea, Cause, or Suit in any of the Courts of the said Isle, or before any Judge or Magistrate thereof, by way of Champerty; that is to say, by making any Bargain, Contract, or Agreement beforehand, or during the Plea, to have Part of the Lands or Profits of the Lands, or other Thing in Litigation, or Part of the Debt or other Thing in Suit, or any Reward thereof, either by their own Procurement or by others, nor to carry on such Suit or Plea at his or their own proper Cost upon the Event of the Cause; and if any do and be thereof lawfully convicted, he or they so offending shall be fined and imprisoned at the Discretion of the Court for any Time not exceeding three Months, and be declared incapable of practising in the Law at any Time afterwards; and if any Champertor shall happen to be discovered upon the Hearing or Trial of any Cause or Suit, the Judge before whom it is depending shall remit him or them over to be tried; and all Trials for Champerty shall be by Procedure by a Jury as in other Criminal Offences according to the due Course of Law, and the Prosecution may be commenced and carried on either at the Suit of our Sovereign Lord the King by the Attorney General, or by the Party aggrieved; provided always, that this Act shall not be understood to prohibit Parents, near Relations, or Friends from giving Aid or Assistance to any Party in Suit, and that a Grant or Bargain made to have Part of the Thing in Demand when recovered to satisfy a just Debt or other Thing justly owing shall not be deemed Champerty within the Intendment hereof. Provided also, and be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That any poor Person or Persons [378] (destitute of Relations and Friends to yield such Assistance) who hereafter shall have Cause of Action or Suit against any Person or Persons within this Isle shall, upon Application to the Court or Judge before whom the Suit depends or is to be commenced, and making Oath that he or they is or are not worth five Pounds after his or their Debts paid, be allowed to employ any Attorney or Attorneys who will undertake his or their Case to manage, solicit, plead, defend, and carry on the same through the Course of Law, which Attorney or Attorneys shall be allowed to lay out and expend his or their own Money as necessary in the Prosecution thereof, to be paid upon the Event of the Cause; and for their Indemnification therein, and to recompense him or them for his or their Fees, Trouble, and Expences, such Court or Judge, upon the Request of such poor Person or Persons, is hereby authorized and empowered to grant him or them Liberty to give and make such Attorney or Attorneys Security upon the Estate, Houses, Lands, Goods, Chattles, or Effects in Issue, or to be sued for either by Sale, Mortgage, or Assignment to such Extent or Amount as such Court or Judge shall see reasonable; and such Deeds or Assignments so made shall receive the necessary Qualifications and formalities of Law, and shall, both in Law and Equity, effectually operate upon the Estate or Thing in question, When the same shall be recovered or finally determined in his or their Client's Favour, any Thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

TABLE OF FEES FOR ATTORNEYS.

 

s.

d.

A Retainer

0

2

11

Attendance receiving Instructions

0

3

4

Drafting a Bill in Chancery for each Sheet wrote on all Sides, except the last Sheet if it should not happen to be wholly wrote

0

3

6

Attendance filing the same, and ordering an Office Copy thereof for Service

0

1

2

Attendance at the Office receiving the said Copy

0

0

7

Taking out a common Action

0

0

7

Attendance to obtain Process on the Bill or Action

0

1

2

Attendance on the Constable directing the Bill or Action to be served

0

1

2

Drawing a Petition for each Sheet wrote on all Sides, except as aforesaid

0

2

11

Preferring the same for a Reference or Order

0

1

2

[379] A common Motion in Court

0

2

11

Drafting the Answer of each Defendant for each Sheet wrote on all Sides, except as aforesaid

0

2

11

Drawing a Replication, Rejoiner, Demurrer, or Exceptions

0

2

4

To Drafting a Plea, or such like Special Proceedings, for each Sheet wrote on all Sides, and fair copying the same

0

2

11

Attending the Examination of Evidence

0

5

10

And if a whole Day, or more, to be allowed each Day

0

12

3

Preparing and producing a Brief for the Hearing of any Proceeding on the Merits, 3s. 4d., and if more than one Sheet 3s. 4d. per Sheet

0

3

4

Arguing the same on the Merits

0

5

10

But if the Cause be by Bill, Answer, and Depositions, in that Case to be allowed in each Cause

0

12

3

The beforegoing Fees to arise on any such Business and Proceedings as hereinbefore mentioned done in the Chancery, Exchequer, Common Pleas, or the Courts of Admiralty, Spiritual or Manorial Courts within this Isle

     

Attendance on the Deemster on a common Application

0

1

2

Arguing or Pleading on a Trial before the Deemster

0

2

11

Appearing in the Proceedings before a Jury

0

2

11

And if a whole Day, or more, for each successive Day to be allowed

0

12

3

Attending Business before any of the Courts, Magistrates, or Jurys, for each Day

0

12

3

Taking Depositions in Writing, before a Jury, for each Deposition

0

1

2

Drawing any Deed of Conveyance, Will, or other Instrument

0

2

11

But if the same be more than one Sheet, then for each such Sheet wrote on all Sides, except the last, if it should not be wholly wrote

0

2

11

Drawing a Personal Bond, Note, Draft, or the like

0

1

2

Drawing a Jury's Verdict

0

1

2

Attendance on Business at pr Mile

0

1

2

Which Attendance and Journies are to he paid for over and besides the Fees arising for the Business done at the Place of each Attendance.

And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case any Dispute do arise between the Attorney and his Client or other Party subject to the Payment of the Bill of Costs, that such Attorney shall give a Copy of such his Bill to the Person or Persons disputing the same, and shall afterwards cause such Party or Person to be noticed of the Taxation of such Bill six Days at least previous to the Taxing thereof; and if in case such disputed Bill of Costs be found just and fair upon Taxation, that the necessary Trouble and Charges attending the same to the Attorney shall be added and allowed him, with the Amount of such original Bill of Costs; and that in case the said Bill of Costs has been overcharged, and that the Party had just Cause to litigate the same as aforesaid, That then such litigating Party shall be allowed for his Trouble in the Dispute by the Clerk of the [380] Rolls, and the Amount of such Allowance to be deducted in the first Instance out of the said Attorney's Bill of Costs.

 

E. Smith,

}

Governor in Chief and Captain General

Tho. Moore.

Wadsworth Busk.

 

John Quayle.

The Keys.

 

Tho Radcliffe,

John Taubman,

James Oates,

George Moore,

William Cubbbon,

William Murray,

Tho. Fargher,

Philip Moore,

Philip Moore,

John Frissell,

William Callow,

William Quayle,

John Caesar,

Tho. Christian,

William Qualtrough,

Samuel Wattleworth,

Hugh Cosnahan,

William Callow,

Philip Garrett,

William Christian,

John Stevenson,

Thomas Arthur Corlett.

Examined by JOHN QUAYLE, C. R.

St. James's, August 21st, 1777.

SIR,

Having received and laid before the King Governor Smith's Letter of the 24th of July, transmitting several Acts of Tynwald, passed in the last Tynwald Court which met at Castle Rushen, I am now to inform you in the Governor's Absence, that the said Acts have been taken into Consideration, and are thought well calculated to promote the good Order and Prosperity of the Isle of Man, as well from their Contents as from the Manner in which they are recommended by the Governor, and from the Sanction which the Attorney General has given to them by his Signature.

I am now, therefore, to return the said Acts, and am to signify His Majesty's Approbation thereof according to the List inclosed herein.

I am, with great Truth and Regard,

SIR,

Your most obedient humble Servant,

SUFFOLK.

Lieut.-Governor of the Isle of Man.

[381]

L.S. ISLE OF MAN, to wit.


 

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