[from Mills' Statutes, 1821]
IN the compilation of the following Work, comprising, at large, the Ordinances and Statutes of THE ISLE MAN, from the earliest period of which any record is extant, down to the present day, due care has been taken to preserve the antient orthography of the Original Manuscripts, from whence copies have been extracted with greater accuracy, and committed to the press with more circumspection, than has hitherto been adopted by any preceding publisher of Manks Laws.
The APPENDIX will be found to contain a valuable collection of copious extracts from such British laws as have reference to the Isle of Man ; the selection of which has been attended with considerable labour and may be looked upon as an Index to the British Statutes, so far as they relate to the Island. In fact, it; will afford a series of information equally important to the Private Gentleman, the Merchant, the Farmer, and Public Officer, as to those who belong to that Profession of which I have the honor to be a Member. And, upon the whole, it is presumed, that the Work has been got up with such attentive consideration, as will entitle it to be recognised in the Law Courts of the Isle of Man as one of legal reference, to which more than ordinary authority may be attached.
For this reason, it is, therefore, as well as from the general contempt in which fulsome Dedications are held, that I have not offered my Book to the particular patronage of any of the distinguished personages who have honoured me by their approbation of my labours nor prefixed to it any comment on either the antient or present jurisprudence of the country ; for, besides the carelessness with which the introductory observations of a compiler or author are perused, some disadvantage might accrue from any lengthened dissertation on the general tendency of the laws of a country, when preceding a Compilation of its Statutes and Ordinances by the conflicting constructions of the less learned, and the consequent speculative disrespect which so large a portion of the community might by possibility be disposed to manifest towards the decisions of those appointed for their government.
That trifling inaccuracies may have found their way into this first edition, and escaped my most attentive revision, is not only possible, but probable. And as it is to be recollected, that the greatest portion of the Statute Laws of the Isle of Man have not been hitherto correctly printed, and that the present edition has been in a great measure taken from manuscript copies, I have some pride in anticipating that the inaccuracies which may be discovered in it, will not exceed a few typographical errors ; and that such will in no respect either confound the meaning, or interfere with the true construction of the passages wherein they may be found.
Notwithstanding that my undertaking was commenced under the most flattering patronage. patronage continued to the moment of its completion yet, obstacles, which the peculiar situation of the island rendered it difficult to surmount, and by which the expence of printing has been considerably augmented, have occurred to render a protracted publication unavoidable ; a circumstance, however, which I am persuaded neither the public or the subscribers will ultimately have cause to regret, as, in consequence, they now have THE ONLY PERFECT EDITION OF THE LAWS OF THE ISLE OF MAN, which has ever been offered for the general information of the public.
MARK ANTHONY MILLS.
ISLE OF MAN, AUGUST, 1821.