[From Cumming, Rushen Castle, 1857]
" There, too, Ive mused, when moonbeams gemmd the lea,
Oer wondrous legends of our fairy isle,
Legends, by gentle rustics firmly held
A horror, and deep credence. Sweet belief!"
THE ancient castle of Rushen, as I have said, occupies a commanding position. The best near view of it is perhaps from the stone bridge at the northern extremity of the harbour. Its resemblance to the Danish castle of Elsinore has been often noted ; and of its great antiquity there is no doubt, even should the date 947, fixed upon for its commencement, be incorrect. This date was found on an old oak beam, along with some apparently MæsoGothic characters, in making some repairs in the Governors house a few years ago. [the date is nonsense]
There is a solemn majesty about it, and a solidity in its masonry, which betokens great strength. In the centre is the keep, whose ground-plan is an irregular rhombus, the longer sides running nearly north and south. It is flanked with towers on each side ; the eastern, southern and western standing out from it of a square form ; the northern rising upon the building itself ; of course I do not include in it the very modern barbarous additions. At its northern extremity is a lofty portcullis, passing which is an open quadrangular court, with a well in the centre. The height of this keep at its entrance is seventy-four feet, and on the right hand side of it at entering, a winding stone staircase leads us by ninety-nine steps to the summit of the northern, or flag tower, the total height of which from the ground is eighty feet. This, however, is not usually shown to visitors. The southern tower rises seventy feet, and contains the clock, which was presented by Queen Elizabeth in 1597, when she was holding the island in trust, whilst the rival claims between the heirs of Ferdinand and William, the fifth and sixth Earls of Derby, were being litigated. The east tower is seventy feet, and the west the same, if we allow one foot for the rise in the ground.
The thickness of the walls of the keep varies from seven to twelve feet. On the outside of it, at a short distance, is an embattled wall, in height twenty-five feet, and nine feet thick, with seven square towers at irregular intervals. Exterior to this wall was a fosse, or moat, now filled up. On the exterior of this moat is a glacis, erected, it is said, by Cardinal Wolsey, when he was guardian, during his minority, to Edward, third Earl of Derby, and then Lord of Man. At three several points in this glacis were formerly three low round towers, or redoubts, now in ruins. The only remaining specimen of them is seen on the north-western side, near the harbour.
If the ditch were filled from the river, it is plain that there must have been some elevation of the land since its formation ; at the present time the highest tides seem hardly capable of surrounding the castle with water to any depth. But it is stated that a few years since some wooden pipes were discovered conducting water to the castle from a reservoir in the higher ground. There is a winding road conducted between lofty ramparts from the ditch, where formerly was the drawbridge, to the castle gate and the first portcullis.
Anciently at the castle gate were placed three stone sedilia, one for the Governor, and the other two for the Deemsters. In the year 1430, Henry Byron, the Lieutenant-Governor, held a court of all the Commons, between the gates, on the Tuesday next after the twentieth day of Christmas.
To the left hand a flight of stone steps leads to the Rolls Office ; and on passing through the portcullis into the open space, we observe, on the right hand, another flight of steps leading to the ramparts, and conducting also to the Court House and the Council Chamber. These buildings were formerly occupied by the Derby family, and by the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of the Isle to the time of the late Lieutenant-Governor General John Ready, who resided there between two and three years. A stone was lately thence removed in making some repairs, on which are inscribed the letters D. I. C., with the date 1644 ; that is, James and Charlotte Derby, who, it is known, resided here at that date, when they saw the commencement of the great rebellion, in which the former, like the king whom he served, lost his head under the hands of cruel and unreasonable men.
As we enter the inner keep, we have here, too, the memorial of another holy man, who preferred a clear conscience and Christian consistency to wretched expediency and a time-serving surrender of a good cause. In this little dark cell, on the left hand, was confined the apostolic Thomas Wilson, who, ere he died, was one of the two oldest, poorest, and most pious prelates in Christendom. Cardinal Fleury was the other. He had suspended Archdeacon Horrobin, the Governors chaplain, for a serious breach of ecclesiastical discipline. Governor Horne, in his rage and fury, sent a band of soldiers to Bishops Court, who conveyed the good man to Castle Rushen, where he was immured for two months.
Mrs. Home, wife of Captain Horne, Governor of the Isle of Man in the year 1729, accused Mrs. Puller, a widow lady of fair character, of improper intimacy with Sir James Pool ; and Archdeacon Horrobin, the government chaplain, upon this accusation, debarred Mrs. Puller from the Holy Communion. She had recourse to the mode pointed out by the constitution of the Manx Church to prove her innocence, and she and Sir James Pool took the oath of compurgation before the bishop, with compurgators of the best character. No evidence being produced of their guilt, they were by the bishop cleared of the charge, and Mrs. Horne sentenced to ask pardon of the parties whom she had so unjustly traduced. This she refused to do, and treated the bishop and his authority, as well as the ecclesiastical constitution of the island, with contempt. She was consequently put under censure, and banished from the Lords Supper till atonement should be made. In defiance of this censure, the archdeacon received her at the Communion, and was in consequence suspended by the bishop. The archdeacon, instead of appealing to his metropolitan, the Archbishop of York, the only legal judge to whom the appeal could be made, threw himself on the civil power, and the Governor fined the bishop £50, and his two vicars-general, who had been officially concerned in the suspension, £20 each. This fine they all refused to pay as arbitrary and unjust ; on which the Governor sent a party of soldiers, and they were, on 29th June, 1722, committed to the prison of Castle Rushen, where they were closely confined, and no persons admitted within the walls to see or converse with them. The Governor would not even permit the bishops housekeeper, Mrs. Heywood, the daughter of a former governor, to see him, or any of his servants to attend him in his confinement. From the dampness of the prison, the good bishop contracted a disorder in his right hand which disabled him from the free use of his fingers, and he ever after wrote with his whole hand grasping the pen. He was confined in this prison, as we said, for two months, but released at the end of that time by petition to the king ; and on the 4th July, 1724, the king in council reversed all the proceedings of the officers of the island, declaring them to be oppressive, arbitrary, and unjust. The expenses of his trial were very great, and it is said that, when his lawyers bills were paid, little indeed remained to him, or his son. The king offered him the bishoprick of Exeter to reimburse him, but he could not be prevailed on to quit his own diocese, nor would he prosecute the Governor to recover damages, though urged so to do. He had established the discipline of the church, and he sincerely and charitably forgave his persecutors. The concern of the people was so great when they heard of his imprisonment, that they assembled in crowds, and it was with difficulty they were restrained from pulling down the Governors house, by the mild behaviour and persuasion of the bishop, who was permitted to speak to them only through a grated window, or from the walls of the castle, whence he blessed and exhorted hundreds of them daily, telling them he meant to appeal to Cæsar.
The attachment between the bishop and his flock was mutual, and so well known, that in the year 1735, when attending a levee of Queen Caroline, where there were several prelates in attendance, she turned round, and said :" See here, my lords, is a bishop who does not come for a translation ! " " No, indeed, please your majesty," replied the good bishop, " I will not leave my wife in my old age because she is poor." He had before this been offered English bishopricks by Queen Anne and George I.
His coffin was made of one of the elms which he had planted on his arrival upon the island, and which he caused to be cut down and prepared for the purpose a few years before his death.
The life of this good bishop was a forcible illustration of that declaration of Scripture," The path of the just is as a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day." The character given of Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, very faithfully tallies with his : " Faith and love and native simplicity appear to have been possessed by him when an early convert. He saw with pity the poor of the flock, and he knew no method so proper of employing the unrighteous mammon as in relieving their distress. His looks had the due mixture of gravity and cheerfulness, so that it was doubtful whether he was more worthy of love or reverence ; his dress also corresponded to his looks. He had renounced the secular pomp to which his rank had entitled him ; yet he avoided affected penury."
Bishop Wilsons liberality was such, that it was said by a gentleman who knew him well, " that he kept beggars from everybodys door but his own."
The following anecdote is to the same purport. He had ordered a cloak to be made by his tailor, giving him directions that it should be quite plain, with merely a button and a ioop to fasten it. " But, my lord," said the tailor, " what would become of the poor button-makers and their families if every one thought in that way ? They would be starved outright." " Do you say so, John ? " replied the good bishop ; " why then button it all over, John."
One day he gave a poor man in rags money to buy a coat at the ensuing fair ; the man expended the cash in drink, and continued in rags as before. When by accident the bishop seeing him, expressed his surprise, and asked how it came that he was still in that condition. " Why, my lord," answered he, " I have bought with the money a very warm lining, but I am in want of an outside yet."
He used to keep pigeons, which he would not kill till they were past three years old ; in order to know them, at end of the first year he cut off one toe, at the end of the second year another. Those which had three toes cut off were ready for killing.
His early medical studies he turned to great account, and practised as a physician, bodily as well as spiritually, to the poor of the Island. He kept a constant store of medicines, which he distributed, as well as his advice, gratis. His private papers note almost annually the gift of sums of money for the erection of churches, parsonages, and school-houses, in his own diocese and elsewhere. He always kept an open, hospitable table, covered with the produce of his own demesnes, in a plentiful though not extravagant manner, and he maintained in his own house, under his own immediate care and instruction, candidates for holy orders.
He very frequently on Sunday rode out to distant parishes without giving the clergy any warning, doing duty, and returning to Bishops Court to dinner, and this even after he was eighty years of age, and on horseback.
In his private diary we find, under date 1712
" I supplied the vacant vicarage of Kirk Arbory for one year, and applied the income towards building a new vicarage house; with this and what I begged of the parish, and two pounds ten shillings I gave myself, we have erected one of the best houses in the diocese."
He did not interfere in temporal or political concerns, unless when called upon at the request of the inhabitants to serve them on particular occasions. Such an occasion was that on which he gained for the people, from the Earl of Derby, their Magna Charta, the Act of Settlement of 1703. Again, in the year 1740, a year of great scarcity, and famine, and pestilence on the Island, the bishop distributed all his own corn, and bought up what he could at a very high price, selling it out to the poor at a low one ; and when all the corn of the Island was well nigh exhausted, he engaged his son to make interest with George II., by which an order in council was obtained, taking off the embargo for a certain time upon corn imported into the Isle of Man.
On the opposite side of the entrance, at the foot of the flag tower stairs, is another cell, in which were confined, at the same time, the bishops two vicars-general.
After these cells, the portion of the castle usually shown to visitors is reached by a flight of stone steps at the opposite angle of the central court, passing through the debtors rooms. In the central court is the draw-well which anciently supplied the castle. A very interesting study is the clock tower, (it was the old chapel of the castle) ; the present chapel is over the gateway of the keep.
On each side of the oriel window of the clock tower is a stone ledge (bracket), on which rested the ancient altar (mensa), on the southern side of it a piscina, and on the north a small niche, or cupboard, (an aumbrye, or equivalent of the credence table,) for containing the sacred elements. In the northern angle of the little chapel, which is hardly fifteen feet square, is a small grated window, communicating apparently with a cell, which has been since thrown into a passage ; we may readily conjecture this to have been the confessional. Here at any rate was the old chapel of the castle garrison, and we may feel thankful that it has been converted to no other use than that of containing the more recent, though still venerable clock, which is itself not without interest. It was a present from Queen Elizabeth ; and the bell upon which the hours are tolled, was, by its inscription, the gift of James, tenth earl of the noble house of Derby, the last connected with the Isle of Man, in the year 1729, six years before his death.
The architecture of this portion of the castle (and, in fact, of the whole of the keep) is plainly of the latter part of the twelfth, or beginning of the thirteenth century, though there are insertions of windows of a later date, made in freestone, the compact limestone of which the castle is built hardly admitting of use in decorated architecture. We must in truth regard this portion of the castle as built in the reigns of the later Norwegian Vikingr, either Godred V., (Goddard II. of the line of Goddard Crovan, see Appendix A. p. 3,) or his successor, the usurper Reginald.
In casting our eyes around we can hardly help reverting to the history of the daring and remarkable people who for so long a period managed to hold their own in the midst of the British Isles, and, on this spot, swayed the sceptre of the neighbouring seas. It was a period of fearful struggle of might against right, as a reference to the catalogue of kings given in Appendix A. will show. The condensed history of their reigns, as there given, sufficiently indicates the importance of their possessing such a stronghold as this, to which in emergencies they might betake themselves, and wait the arrival of succour from the distant out isles. Even after the overthrow of Haco, by Alexander III. of Scotland, at the battle of Largs, October 3, 1263, and his subsequent cession to the Scottish monarch (1266) of the Isle of Man, with the viceroyalty of the isles, for 4000 marks to be paid iii four years, and 100 marks per annum for ever, it would seem that the possession of this castle gave encouragement to the Manx to resist the occupation of the Isle by the Scots.
The history of the Isle of Man immediately subsequent to the Scottish conquest, and for the next fifty years, is somewhat complicated ; but the following explanation will enable the reader to comprehend more clearly that portion of the Appendix A. which relates to it.
Magnus, son of Olave II., and last of the legitimate male race of Goddard Crovan, as we know, did fealty to Alexander for his crown ; but, upon his death in 1265, Ivar, an illegitimate son of Godred 11., aspiring to the hand of the widow of Magnus, and the crown of Man, took up arms against the Scots, but was defeated in 1270 at the battle of Ronaldsway, and fell with 537 of the flower of his country.
Alexander, on his conquest of the Island in 1270, placed in it a succession of Thanes as Governors, who were never acceptable to the Manx, and against whom there were many insurrections. At length, in 1290, Edward I. of England, at the request of the inhabitants, took possession of the Island, receiving a surrender of it from one Richard de Burgo. I have before given an extract from the Patent Rolls of the twentieth year of Edward I., showing that at that time, he (Edward) was exercising authority in the Isle.
The same king by letters patent, 4th June, 1290, gave the Island to hold to Walter de Huntercombe, who, by order of the same king, surrendered it in 1292 to John Baliol, King of Scotland, to be held by him as a fief from the crown of England.
It is not certain whom Baliol appointed as Governors in his behalf in the Island. It would seem, however, that the Cummings, whose attachment to the party of Baliol, and opposition to the pretensions of Bruce, is well known, exercised (probably in virtue of the share they had in the conquest of the Island) some right or title in the govern-ment ; for we find in Chaloners History that Henry de Beaumont, who quartered the arms of the Isle on his escutcheon, is said to have done so in right of his wife ( Alice Cumming), " daughter and co-heir of Alexander Comin, Earl of Buquhan." Also John de Ergadia, Lord of Lorn, who married a daughter of John Cumming, (the Red Cumming, who was slain by Bruce in the church at Dumfries,) and had large possessions in the Isle of Man, was obliged to fly with his family into Ireland upon the occupation of the Isle by Robert Bruce, and afterwards obtained from Edward II., in 1314, a competent maintenance for himself, his family, and soldiers, on account of his brave conduct in driving out the Scots.
It appears from Sacheverell that, in the beginning of the year 1307, Edward I., dispossessing Henry de Beau-mont, granted the custody of the Island to Gilbert de MacGaskill, and he was allowed by Parliament the sum of £1596 0s. 10d. for his expenses, being £1215 3s. 4d. for the cost of defence against the Scots, and £380 17s. 6d. furnished by him for provisions to the Governor of Carlisle.
King Edward I. died July 7th of that same year. His son within the period of the year following made no less than three grants of the Island to as many of his favourites, viz., Piers Gaveston of Gascony, Gilbert de MacGaskill, and Henry de Beaumont, who thus again got possession.
The following is a translation of the charter of Edward II., making over the Isle of Man to Henry de Beaumont (Henrico de Bello Monte)
" The king to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. " Know ye that for the good service w" our beloved and faithful kinsman Henry de Beaumont hath hitherto rendered to us we have given and granted to him for ourselves & our heirs the whole of that our land of Man to be held & possessed by the said Henry for the whole of his life from us & our heirs, freely quietly, well entirely & in peace with all dominion & regal justice, together with the service of soldiers, the visitation of churches & religious houses, liberties, free constitutions, escheats & all other things pertaining to the aforesaid land or wh seem to pertain thereto after the manner in service wh the Lords of the aforesaid land have been accustomed to render to the Kings of Scotland. In testimony whereof, &c.
" Witness the King at Newcastle upon Tyne the first day of May, by the King himself."
The tenure of the Island by these nominees of the English king appears to have been of a very uncertain character. In the year 1308, Robert Bruce is said to have gained possession of the Isle, and to have made a grant of it to his nephew Randolph, Earl of Murray; but, if he did so, that his party were again driven out is clear from the Chironicon Manniæ, which states that, in the year 1313, " Robert, King of Scotland, anchored at Ramsa (Ramsey) with a numerous fleet, on the 18th of May, and on the Sunday following went to the monastery of Dubh-Glass (Douglas), where he spent the night. On the Monday following he laid siege to the castle of Russin (Rushen), which Lord Dungawi Macdowal" (Dugald Macdougal), called by Sachevereli Dingay IDowill, and in the Annals of Ulster Donegal ODowill, " held out against the aforementioned king till Tuesday after the Festival of St. Barnabas, when Robert took the fortress." I suspect, however, that the Rushen Chronicle is wrong here by five years, as it has post-dated the Scottish conquest by that same amount. By this repeated transfer from one party to another, the Island appears to have been reduced to the greatest distress, and exposed to the attack of any adventurer. From the Chronicon Manniæ we learn again that
" In May, 1316, on Ascension Day, Richard de Mandeville, and his brothers, John and Thomas, with a company of Irish freebooters, landed at Ronaldsway, and demanded of the Manx supplies of provisions, cattle and money. Their request being rejected, they formed themselves into two divisions, which marching up the country, again united at the foot of South Barrule ; then uttering the Irish war-whoop, they fell upon the Manx who had there drawn up their forces to receive them. At the first onset the Manx fled in a body. The victorious Irish, roaming through the country, plundered it of every thing on which they could lay their hands. The sanctity of the venerable abbey of Rushen availed nothing against this lawless company ; they stripped it of all its furniture, flocks and cattle. Spending a month in this manner, and at their leisure digging up much silver which had been buried in various places, they stowed their vessels with the best effects of the country, and returned safe home."
We find in Chaloner an account given of certain proceedings of King Edward II. against Henry de Beaumont, in the year 1323, when, on account of certain acts of disobedience and insolence towards the king, he was corn-mitted to prison. It appears that, in the sixteenth year of the reign of that king, on the 13th of May, the king, being at York, summoned a Privy Council to advise about a certain treaty between himself and Robert Bruce. When Henry de Beaumont was called upon to give his opinion, he insolently refused to stir in the matter ; upon which the king ordering him out of the council, he replied, that it was more agreeable to him to depart than to stay.
It was whilst Murray held the Island that Martholine, almoner to the King of Scotland, was sent over, in the year 1329, to take care of the business of religion, and reformation of manners. Sacheverell tells us that he wrote a work against witchcraft, then greatly practised here, and minted a copper coin, with the kings effigy on one side, and a cross on the other, with the inscription " Crux est Christianorum gloria."
The Scotch, during their tenure of the Island, appear to have been regarded by the Manx with intense feelings of hatred, and these feelings continued long after their expulsion. A law was passed in 1422, " that all Scots avoid the land with the next vessel that goeth into Scotland, upon a paine of forfeiture of their goods, and their bodies to prison."
In 1333, Edward III. directed seizin to be made of the Isle of Man, then in possession of the Scots ; but Edward Baliol presenting himself to him as his liege lord, did fealty for the same, and under him the Scots still retained the Island. The expulsion from Scotland of Edward Baliol, who had been intruded upon the throne by Edward III. in the place of David II., placed the Isle of Man again in the power of the Bruce family.
At this time there appear to have been three parties claiming the Lordship of Man
First, the Murray family, who, as successors to Randolph, held it by the grant from Robert Bruce, and though driven from the actual possession, still styled themselves Lords of Man, and quartered the arms of the Island with their own certainly down to 1398, when the first Duke of Albany was created of that family.
Secondly, the Montacute family, deriving their claim from Affrica de Conaught, who, in the year 1305, had made over her presumed right to Sir Simon (Ic Monte-acuto, (Simon Montacute, or Montague,) by a deed of gift recorded by Sacheverell, out of the Chartulary of Castle Acre, of which the following is a translation
" Affrica de Conaught heir of the land of Man to all her friends & men of the same land health & love.
" Whereas we of our good will & pleasure have given & granted the whole of our estate & right in the aforesaid land of Man to the noble & powerful Sir Simon Montacute as is more fully contained in a certain Charter w~ we caused to be made thereupon in his behalf; We earnestly pray you & enjoin upon all that ye will receive kindly as your rightful Lord the aforesaid Lord Simon doing to himself whatever ye would do to us and even of right ought to do if we were present with you. Iii testimony whereof we have given these our letters patent under our sign & seal.
" Dated at Bridgewater in Somersetshire on Thursday the eve of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary A.D. 1305."
From Sir Simon Montacute, the claim thus descended to his son Sir William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury.
The third claimant was Mary, daughter of William do Waldebeof, whose father, John de Waldebeof, had married Mary, daughter of Reginald, last king but one of the race of Godard Crovan. Mary was thus great-grand-daughter, in direct descent, of Reginald, the son of Olave the Black.
Through the influence of Edward III. a reconciliation of the last two claims was effected, by the happy union, in 1343, of Sir William Montacute (the Earl of Salisbury) with Mary de Waldebeof.
The king then furnished him with men and shipping to prosecute his own and his ladys right, which he did so successfully that he soon won the Island from the Scots, and was crowned King of Man, A.D. 1344.
It is extremely important to mark this point in Manx history, as giving a clue to the real position of the Isle of Man with respect to the crown and constitution of Great Britain. The Isle of Man was plainly at this period not held by the crown of England in right of conquest, nor has it ever since been. It belonged by right of descent from the ancient Norwegian kings to a subject of the King of England. It came afterwards, as we shall see, into the possession of the English crown by the at-tainder of a subject, to whom it belonged by purchase from the rightful heirs ; it was re-granted by the crown, with all previous privileges, to another subject, from whose descendants, in lapse of time, it was again purchased by the crown, by virtue of which purchase it is now held. Hence it seems it was properly determined before the judges of England in 1598 (the fortieth year of Elizabeth) " That the Isle of Man is an ancient kingdom of itself & no part of the kingdom of England & no part of England, nor governed by the Laws of England but like to Tournay in France, & Gascony in Normandy when they were in the King of Englands hand."
It is therefore entirely out of the power of Chancery, nor can a writ of Habeas Corpus run hither, nor can any general Act of Parliament extend to the Isle of Man, unless it be approved of and passed by the insular legislature, and, as their act, receive the sanction of the Queen in council, and be promulgated, according to ancient constitution, at the Tynwald Hill. The British Parliament therefore can have no right (except that which might makes) to annex the Isle of Man as a county to England, or alter the ancient form of government, without the sanction of the insular legislature itself.
In consequence of the great expense to which Sir William Montacute was put in acquiring the Isle, he was forced to mortgage it for seven years to the notorious Anthony Beck, the belligerent Bishop of Durham, and Patriarch of Jerusalem, who managed to prevail on the weak and facile Richard II. to give him a grant of it for his life. The Montacute family, however, still retained their claim ; and, in the year 1393, William, Earl of Salisbury, son of the former William, and grandson of Sir Simon Montacute, sold his right and title to Sir William Scroop, chamberlain to the king, and afterwards ( 1397) created Earl of Wiltshire. The record of the purchase runs thus, in a translation from the original
" William le Scroop buys of William Montacute the Isle of Eubonia i.e. Man. It is forsooth the law of the said Island that whoever be its Lord shall have the title of King & also the right to be crowned with a golden crown."
Whilst it was in his possession, the Earl of Warwick, being a favourer of the House of Lancaster, was banished to the Isle of Man, and confined in Peel Castle.
It is well known, however, that Henry, Duke of Lan-caster, (afterwards Henry 1Y. of England,) soon after his landing, in 1309, besieged Bristol Castle, which, not being able to hold out more than four days, the garrison surrendered at discretion. Amongst the prisoners were the aforesaid William Scrope, and two others of Richard II.s council, and extremely obnoxious to the people. Without any form of trial, Henry ordered them to be immediately executed. Notwithstanding the Act 34 Edward III., chap. 12, which inhibited the escheators from claiming land, on the ground of treason surmised in persons then dead, who had not been attainted in their life-time, Henry set up in opposition the military judgment, or council of war, which had condemned these persons to death, and proceeded at once to deal with their property as that of persons under attainder forfeited to the crown, and, subsequently, as appears by the proceedings in Parliament the 19th of November of that year, obtained the sanction of both the Lords and Commons to legalize these acts.
He had, however, previously, on the 18th of October, given and granted the Isle of Man to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, by charter, to the following effect, as given in Camden : " We of our special grace have given & granted to Henry Earl of Northumberland the Isle, Castle, Pile & Lordship of Man, with all such Islands & Seigniories thereunto belonging as were Sir William Le Scrops kt now deceased ; whom in his life we conquered ; & wch by reason of this our conquest fell to us. Which very conquest & decree as touching the person of the said William & all the lands, tenements goods & chattels, as well within as without the kingdom belonging to him are now, at the petition of the Commons of our kingdom & by the consent of the Lords, temporal now assembled in Parliament ratified & confirmed to have & to hold to the said Earl & his heirs &c. by service of carrying at every coronation day of us & our heirs at the left shoulder of us & our heirs either by himself in person or by some sufficient & honorable deputy that sword (wh we wore when we arrived at Holderness) called Lancaster sword," &c.
The possession, however, of the Island by the Earl of Northumberland was but of short continuance.
He was four years after, on his attainder, deprived of it again by Act of Parliament, and in the seventh year of his reign (A.D. 1406) the king granted it to Sir John Stanley for life only. Subsequently (A.D. 1407) he extended the grant to him in perpetuity, in as full and ample a manner as it had been granted to any former lord to be held of the crown of England, by paying to the king, his heirs and successors, a cast of falcons at their coronation. Sir John Stanley died in the beginning of 1414, being at the time Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, " a man truly great and an honour to his country." He married Isabel, only daughter of Sir Thomas Latham, of Latham, and thence took the eagle and child for his crest.
He was succeeded by his son Sir John Stanley, who came into the Isle in the year 1417, and in the June of the same year convened a meeting of the whole Island at the Tynwald Hill, on which occasion were promulgated the laws which appear first in the Statute Book of the Island.
He held subsequent Tynwald Courts, either in person or by his lieutenants, in the years 1422, 1429 and 1430, in which important alterations were made in previous laws, and new ones enacted ; amongst the former, " prowess, or trial by combat," which had hitherto been allowed, was henceforth abolished. He married Isabel, the only daughter of Sir John, and sister of Sir William Harrington, of Hornby Castle, near Lancaster. Both these Isabellas appear to have been styled Queens of Man. His death took place in 1432, when lie was succeeded by Sir Thomas Stanley, his son, created (A.D. 1456) Baron Stanley by Henry VI. ; after whom succeeded (A.D. 1460) Thomas, his son, created first Earl of Derby by Henry VII. in 1485. He married Margaret, daughter of the
Duke of Somerset, and Dowager-Duchess of Riclimond, and mother of Henry VII. He is remarkable in English history as having crowned the Earl of Richmond immediately after the battle of Bosworth Field. In 1505 he was succeeded by Thomas, his grandson, who resigned the regal title, under the conviction that " to be a great lord is more honourable than to be a petty king."
On his decease in 1521, Edward, his son, was only fourteen years of age, and the Island was, therefore, during his minority, under a commission, consisting of the Bishop, the Lieutenant-Governor, and Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England.
After his accession to the Lordship of the Isle, lie lived forty-four years, in the reign of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary and Elizabeth, and saw through the eventful period of the Reformation. He died October 24, 1572.
Henry, his son, succeeded him as fourth Earl of Derby. He married Margaret, only daughter of Henry Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, by his wife Eleanor, daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, by Mary, younger sister of Henry VIII. His wife was thus first cousin, once removed, to Queen Elizabeth. He appears in all his acts to have been a strenuous supporter of the Reformation, which hardly was carried out in the Isle of Man during the life of his father. He was a bitter enemy of Mary Queen of Scots, and was appointed one of the commissioners for her trial at Fotheringay. He died September 25, 1594, leaving two sons, Ferdinand and William, of whom the latter had been Governor of the Isle the year before his fathers death.
Ferdinand, the elder son, succeeding to the Lordship of Man in 1594, was poisoned by his servant in the beginning of the following year. Seacome hints that he was put out of the way at the suggestion of Queen Elizabeth, as having too close pretensions to the crown of England. He appears to have been a literary character and a poet. A sonnet by him may be seen in the Anti-quarian Repertory, Vol. III., No. V., p. 134. Upon his death, his younger brother William, endeavouring to take possession, found his claim contested on behalf of the four daughters of Ferdinand, who had left no son.
Queen Elizabeth appointed a commission to determine the question ; in the meantime taking the Island under her own protection, and appointing Sir Thomas Gerrard Governor. When James I. came to the throne, he seems to have taken advantage of the doubts created as to the rightful heirs to make grants of the Island at different times to other parties not connected with the Derby family, as the Earls of Northampton and Salisbury, and their heirs, then on lease to Robert, Earl of Salisbury, and Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, for twenty-one years. Perhaps he may have been led to this from a consideration of the feeling shown towards his unfortunate mother by Earl Henry.
After years of litigation the result was given in favour of the female succession, but a compromise being entered into between the daughters of Ferdinand and their uncle, an Act was passed in 1610, assuring and establishing the Isle of Man in the name and blood of William, Earl of Derby, who then entered upon possession. Towards the close of his life, being desirous of retiring from public business, he, by deed of gift (A.D. 1637) to his son James, Lord Strange, placed in his power the Isle of Man, and all his other estates, on condition of the payment to himself of an annuity therefrom of £1000. Earl William died in 1642.
James, some time before this deed of gift, had visited the Isle of Man, and took order for the settling the government. His name appears connected with the acts of Tynwald passed in 1629 and 1636. The conduct of this noble earl during the civil war, and the particulars of his execution at Bolton in 1651 , are matters of history well known ; but it may be well to give here a brief sketch of some of the latter years of his life, for the purpose of introducing one or two particulars which have not, I believe, hitherto appeared in print, and which are more immediately connected with the Isle of Man, and his occupation of this ancient castle of Rushen.
After raising the siege of Latham House in 1644, the Earl of Derby retired with his noble and heroic Countess Charlotte (daughter of Claude de Tremouille, Duke of Thouars, and grand-daughter of William I., Prince of Orange) to his dearly-valued Ellan Vannin and Rushen Castle. A threatened invasion of the Island by the Parliamentary forces, and rumours of disaffection amongst the Manx, made him the more anxious to be upon the spot. Here he bid defiance to the power of Parliament, acknowledging the authority of none but the exiled king himself.
I subjoin a letter of the noble earl written at this time, which is characteristic. It is preserved in the Rolls Office in Castle Rushen, and has not hitherto been published : " October 28th 1648.
" Sir,I am not very sure whether I can be at the next head Court at Castletown but however I think good to advertise you of my desire wh is by your mouth to thank my Officers and the 24 Keys for that free gift in money wch they readily bestowed on me in my late intended journey for England ; that failing I have (as all know) returned back the money, wch though I was willing to part with all yet shall I never part with the remembrance of that love from wch it came & I heartily rejoice that thereby I find myself so well seated in the affections of this people whose good & profit I take God to witness I shall ever study to advance. I am therefore upon these considerations encouraged to let them know my present occasion in these necessitous times ; for the supply of w" I would by no means keep that wch was given me but would rather chuse to try the same affections once again in the way of a loan, the sum of five-hundred pounds wch I do hereby fttithfully promise to repay so soon as it shall please God to restore nie to my estate in England. And I trust that by my return of the same affection back again unto them whenever I shall have occasion to express it, they shall find they have laid up their money in a good hand to receive it again with many other advantages. This I do desire you together with my love to recommend unto them & so I rest
" Your very loving friend
" From Bishops Court. " J. DERBY.
" For the Governor at Castletown, these."
Very many were the offers which were made to him by the Parliamentarians, if he would but surrender to them the Isle of Man. The restoration of his English estates was promised, and the release of his children, who, by a gross breach of faith, and in defiance of a pass from Fairfax, were detained in captivity ; but his constant answer was, that much as he valued his ancestral lands, and dearly as he loved his offspring, never would he redeem either by an act of disloyalty. Angry at solicitations which implied an insult to his honour, Derby returned the following reply to that fierce republican Ireton, who had urged the old proposal with renewed earnestness : " I received your letter with indignation, and with scorn I return you this answer : that I cannot but wonder whence you should gather any hopes from me, that I should (like you) prove treacherous to my Sovereign, since you cannot be insensible of my former actings in his late Majestys service ; from which principle of loyalty I am no way departed. I scorn your proffers; I disdain your favours ; I abhor your treasons ; and am so far from delivering this island to your advantage, that I will keep it to the utmost of my power to your destruction. Take this final answer, and forbear any further solicitations ; for if you trouble me with any more messages upon this occasion, I will burn the paper and hang the bearer.
" This is the immutable resolution, and shall be the undoubted practice of him, who accounts it the chiefest glory to be
" His Majestys most loyal and obedient subject,
" Castle Town, 12th July 1649."
Looking from this spot to the north-east over Castle-town Bay and Hango Hill, our eye rests, at the distance of a mile and a half, upon the little Islet of St. Michael, forming, with the causeway which connects it with the northern end of Langness, the eastern side of Derby Haven. We can, perhaps, distinguish with the naked eye two ruined buildings upon it. The more southerly is a ruined chapel of considerable antiquity, for it was a ruin more than two hundred years ago, when figured by Chaloner, and it will well repay the visit of an antiquarian; the more northerly is a dilapidated fort, which, according to the same Chaloner, was raised by James, the aforesaid illustrious seventh Earl of Derby, as a protection to the harbour of Ronaldsway. Over the doorway is an oblong stone with an earls coronet in relief, and a date, the two first figures of which are 1 and 6, but the last two much defaced, which has given rise to many absurd statements respecting this building. The question is set at rest, and the date determined to be 1645, by the following memorandum, which occurs amongst the archives of Castle Rushen : " Liber Scaccar. 1645. Castle Rushen.
" Be it recorded that James Earl of Derby, Lord of Man, being in his Lordships Fort in Saint Michaels isle, the 26 of April 1645 the day twelve months that the house of Lathom having been besieged close, near three months, and gallantly defended by the great Wisdome & valour of the illustrious Lady Charlotte Countess of Derby by her Ladyships direction the stout soldiers of Lathom did make a sallie & beate the enemie round out of all their works saving one & miraculously did bring the enemies great morter-piece into the house, for which the thanks & glorie is given unto God, and my Lord doth name this fort
" Derby Fort.
" Charlotte Delatremoille."
The thickness of the walls is eight feet, but they are not solid throughout. Forty years ago it was furnished with four iron cannons. A turret has been raised upon the wall on the eastern side as a light-house, in which, during the herring season, a light is kept burning from sunset to sunrise.
There is a proverb that " he that is born to be hanged can never be drowned." The great Stanlagh was born to be executed at Bolton ; in all other respects he seems to have borne a charmed life ; his miraculous escape from the malice of his enemies near this very spot, the fort of his own erection, and the trophy, as it were, of his wifes victory, has never, that I am aware of, appeared in print, but it was faithfully recorded at the time in the parish register, in the following terms
" The 15th of August 1650. Our honourable Lord James Earle of Derby with some men were on board a shipp of Captt John Barklow in Derby-Haven, and at his Honourables return from that shipp, after night-fall being scarce fiftie yards gone from the said shipp, a peece of ordnance loaden with cartridge shot Collonel Snayd through the Shoulder, and brake all the bones thereof being on one side of our honourable Lord in the Boate, and Colonel Richard Weston on this side of my Lord was shott through the head (the top of the skull & the Brains was taken away) and dyed immediately. The Lord God of Israel for ever be praised for his mighty & miraculous protection & preservation. Our Right Honourable Lord was kept by the hand of Providence safe & not touched. Likewise one Phillip Lucas, Maister of the fishing boate, was shott through the head and presently dyed. And the next day, being August the 16th, the said Collonel Weston was buried in the Chance! of Malew by the side of the altar on the east side & Phillip Lucas buried in the Church yard. Collonel
Ralph Snaid buried Feb16th and that upon the right side of Collonel Weston in the Chancel."
The " Great Stanlagh " remained in the Isle of Man till 1651, when Charles II. entered England at the head of an army of Presbyterians, with whom it was impossible that he and the English royalists could cordially co-operate. Still he was present and fought at the disastrous battle of Worcester, September 3rd ; conducted the king after the battle to St. Martins Gate, and directed him to concealment at White Ladies and Boscobel ; was himself made a prisoner, under promise of quarter, by Major Edge; which promise was violated, and Derby was cruelly beheaded at Bolton-le-Moors, on Wednesday the 15th October, 1651.
After her husbands death, his noble countess still held out her domains of Man, " ruling it with a broken heart, but unbroken spirit." But there was a traitor in the camp, and one who added to his treachery the basest ingratitude.
William Christian (or, as the Manx call him, Illiam Dhone, i.e., William the Fair-Haired, from the colour of his hair) had been a protege of the Earl of Derby, who reposed in him sufficient confidence to leave him, on his unfortunate departure for England, with the command of the insular troops, and the care of the Countess and children. He entered into a conspiracy " to withstand the Lady of Derby and her designs," and it is said that, on the first appearance of the Parliamentary troops, under Colonel Duckenfield, off the Island, he seized upon her at dead of night, and conveyed her and her family as prisoners to the invading army.
Into the true character of this man we may gain a further insight from the circumstance that, when James Chaloner was appointed commissioner by Lord Fairfax, he found it necessary to sequestrate the estate of Illiam Dhone, who, as the reward of his treachery, had been made receiver-general in 1653, and, in addition, held the office of Governor from 1656 to 1658, in which capacity lie received the profits of the sequestrated bishopric. This Chaloner did to make compensation for arrears of the exchequer, and imprisoned Williams brother John for assisting him in escaping off the Island.
After the Restoration, Illiam Dhone, under the impression that Charles II.s amnesty and indemnity would be a sufficient bar against all legal proceedings, returned to the Isle of Man. By a mandate, however, of Charles, the eighth Earl of Derby, dated at Lathom, September, 1662, William Christian was proceeded against for all his illegal actions at, before, or after 1651, and the majority of the Court overruling the plea of the general amnesty as not availing in the Isle of Man, in case of treason against a member of the reigning family, he was sentenced to be forthwith " shot to death, that thereupon his life may depart from his body."
The following entry occurs in the parish register of Malew : " Mr. William Christian of Ronaldsway, late Receiver was shot to death at Hango Hill, 2nd January 1662 (1663 N.S.) He died most penitently & most courageously, made a good end, prayed earnestly, & next day was buried in the chancel of Kirk Malew."
His memory is held sacred by Manxmen, and by them he has been regarded as a martyr in the cause of popular liberty.
Charlotte de la Tremouille, the noble and heroic Countess of Derby, seems to have taken no part herself in the death of Illiam Dhone. She spent her few remaining days at the family seat of Knowsley Hall, in Lancashire, and died there on March 21st, 1663. Her earthly remains lie at Ormskirk.
In contrast with the character of William Christian, it is quite refreshing to study that of his almost immediate predecessor in the Governorship of the Isle of Man, the faithful and heroic John Greenalgh. He had been selected for that post of honour and high trust in those troublous times by the great Stanlagh, for the following reasons, which he (Derby) has handed down to posterity in that famous letter to his son, which is published in Pecks Desiderata Curiosa : " First, that he was a gentleman well born and such usually scorn a base action.
" Secondly, that he has a good estate of his own, and there-fore need not borrow of another, wh bath been the fault of this country, for when Governors have wanted & been forced to be beholden to those who may be the greatest offenders against the Lord & Country, in such case the Borrower becomes servant to the Lender, to the Stoppage, if not the perversion of Justice; Next he was a deputy Lieut and Justice of the Peace for his own county ; he governed his own affairs well & therefore was the more likely to do mine so ; he hath been approved Prudent & Valiant & as such fitter to be trusted. In fine he is such that I thank God for him, and charge you to love him as a Friend."
Subsequent events proved the discernment of the noble earl, and the wisdom of his choice. John Greenalgh preserved tranquillity in the Isle of Man from 1640 to to 1651 . In that year, with the Earl of Derby, and 300 Manxmen, he left the Isle of Man, and hurried to the support of Charles II. He was present, with his noble master, in the battles of Wigan Lane and Worcester. In this latter, in order to save the standard from being taken, he tore it from the pole, and wrapped it round his body.
After securing the retreat of King Charles, who, with the Earl of Derby, Father Huddleston, and some others, made their way, after the battle and defeat, to Boscobel and the " White Ladies ;" he died of the wounds which he received in that encounter with Major Edge, to which allusion has before been made, in which the Earl of Derby was himself made prisoner, surrendering under promise of quarter. The portrait of this remarkable man is still preserved to us in the family of Thomas Sutcliffe, Esq., one of his descendants, of Ashton-under- Lyne, and it exhibits the characteristics of honesty, with sternness of purpose. There is something of romance in the history of this portrait. It travelled abroad, and went to the Isle of Juan Fernandez, and was rescued from destruction in a very remarkable manner, during the notorious earth-quake which occurred there in 1835, when it was very nearly carried out to sea by the refiux wave. With such a governor as this, had he been spared to her, with faithful and brave Manxrnen around her person, and such a castle as this for her refuge, can we doubt but that the noble Countess, who had so valiantly defended Latham House, would have given the Parliamentarians some further trouble, and perhaps have gained for herself and her family more honourable and easier terms than those with which she was at length permitted to " depart the Isle ? « rfhe limestone of which the castle is built is nearly as hard as granite, and there are within the keep several rooms vaulted with stone, with walls seven and eight feet in thickness ; and there were the glacis, the moat, and the rampart without the keep, first to be overcome, ere an approach could be made to the inner gate. It is recorded by Sacheverell that, in 1313, the redoubted Robert Bruce himself sat down before this castle of Rushen for six months, whilst it was obstinately defended by one Dingay Dowyll, or Dugal Macdouall, " though in whose name we do not find."
Perhaps some may feel interested in learning how this castle was defended in the olden time. Here then are the regulations ordained by an Act of Tynwald, at a Court holden 24th June, 1610:
" Whereas we are enjoined by the right worshipful John Ireland Esq Lieut & Capt~ of this Isle by Vertue of our oaths to give notice of our knowledge of the ancient order and duties observed by the souldiers of the castles of Rushen and Peele, in our times and memories, and for that purposs wee twelve, whose names are subscribed, were chosen, whereof six be sworne souldiers at the castle Rushen, and six at the castle Peele, upon advised consideration had, wee find and knowe, rfht all the ancient orders, customes, and duties to be performed in the said castles, are extant in the rowles, and enrolled in the bookes of the statutes of this Isle, and these which we do add hereafter are, and have beene, customarie and usual.
" First, At the entrance and admittance of any souldier to either ofe ither of the said castles, the ordinarie oath was to this purpose:
First, Our allegiance to our soveraigne, next our faith, fedilitie, and service to the right honoble earls of Derbie and their heires, our duties and our obedience to our lieutenant or cheefe governour and our constable in all lawful causes, and noe further.
Item. It hath been accustomed and still continued, that every souldier at the sound of the drume, or ringinge of the alarums bell (the heareing. or knowinge of the same) shall forthwith make his present appearance in the gate of either castle, then and there to pforme what shall be enjoyned one them by the lieutnnt, or the constable in his absence.
Item. It hath been accustomed that night bell should be runge a little after the sun settinge, and that by the porter, and the constable and his deputie with a sufficient guard to be in the castle, for the saufe keepinge and defence of the same.
Item. It hath been accustomed and continued, that the constable or his deputie should goe with the wardens to the castle gates, and there cause the porter to locke the castle gates, and then the watch to be fourthwith set.
Item. It hath been accustomed, that at either castle there hath beene two standinge porters, who have by course every other weeke held the staff and given attendance at the gate during one whole yeare, begininge at Michallinas ; the said porters to be nominated by the constable, and then allowed by the lieutant and governour, and two standinge watchmen in like manner for the nightlie watchinge upon the walls ;
and every officer, souldier, and servant, is to doe his pettie watch from May till Michalimas.
Item. It hath been accustomed, that the castle gates should not be opened by any man after lockeinge at night (the governor onelie excepted) until the watchman ringe the day bell, which was to be done so soone as the watchman could pfectli discover the land markes bounded within a mile and a halfe of either castle ; which beinge done, the porter was accustomed to goe about the walles, and looke that all things be deere, and forthwith to returne to the constable or his deputie, and affirme all things to be as the watchman had formerlie spoken to the constable or his deputie.
It hath been acustomed, that the souldiers should ward in the castle gates one day in the weeke, and they of the castle Rushen to lye within the house the night before their warding-day, and the souldiers of the castle Peele to lie in the night before, and the night after, in respect the tyd fallinge out uncertainlie, and for more saufe guard of that castle, beinge nearer to our enemies the Redshankes.
It hath been accustomed and still continued, that one of the wardens of the inward ward at castle Rushen shall at night locke the inner gate, and keepe the keys thereof to himselfe till morninge, and hath pformed all things therein as constable that night in that ward.
The receiver at Michelimas chuseth a steward.
It hath been accustomed, that the receiuer of either castle hath at Michelimas made yearly choise of a steward, who hath beene allowed by the lieutnnt or captain for the time beinge.
It hath been accustomed and still continued, that the souldiers of either castle have wrought the Lords hay, whensoever they have beene thereunto called.
" It hath been accustomed, that Mr. Gunner of either castle hath had allowance of an apprentice, and that either himselfe or his apprentice hath every night linen in the said castle.
Notwithstanding all theise orders, usues, and customes, here set downe, the lieutnnt, captain, or chiefe governor for the time beinge, in his wisdome and accordinge to the neces sitie of time set downe orders and decrees for both castles in all lawfull causes, and repeal the same againe, which every inferiour officer and soldier is to obey by reason of his oath.
At castle Russhen the 20th day of July 1610-
" Thomas Moore, Henerey Garrett, Tho. Whetstone, Tho. Lea, Wm. Lassell, Edward Lucas, Will. Bridgen, John Crellin, Jo. Gauen, Hugh Lambe, Rich. Fisher, John Colbin.
" John Ireland, Lieutnnt.
" William Lucas, Will. Ratcliffe, Tho. Sainsbury,. Da. Ewan Xian.
In the Lex Scripta and Statute Books of the Isle of Man, ranging from the beginning of the fifteenth century to the close of the seventeenth, we have various singular ordinances relative to the garrison of Castle Rushen, and the supply of provisions to it and the castle at Peel.
In each of these castles it was ordained that there should be " Eleven bowles of mault ground, and eleven bowles wheate, the mault to be laid upon the floor and the wheate to be put into pipes," and that " thirty cast of bread be made out of one bowle of wheate and ten hogsheads of beer from nine bowles of mault ; and that no chessel, bread, or grain go forth of the castle into any mans house before the said bread be seen by the butler and two hall keepers, nor till the bread be brought into the pantrie."
Again, stewards were appointed to see that " the beeves be brought into the castles and salted between Michaelmas and St Andrews day, so many as they shall need at the said castles till StAndrews day come again, except every week one beefe to be spent through the year; and the said beeves left unkilled of the stores to remain in the hands of the richest men and best farmers ; and that they be charged to keep them upon double value of said beeves until they be called for to the use of the said castles."
Several of these enactments seem to have been of a most oppressive character. The feudal spirit powerfully prevailed, and the Lord of the Isle exercised his authority in exaction to the utmost extent that the poverty of the Isle allowed. A comptroller was appointed, whose duty it was to consult what was needful for the castles, and then to send for the receivers of both places, and have their farther advice, " That my lord might have what was necessary or was his pleasure before any man."
That the burden was felt to be severe, and that the inhabitants of the Isle made remonstrances, may be gathered from the following ordinance of 1593
" Whereas, heretofore every quarterland bath been accustomed to pay every year a beefe into the Castle and Peele which is above six hundred beeves a year ; it is my desire that one hundred of the poor shall be spared every year at the discretion of my captaine and the rest of my chief officers, and so to pay five hundred beeves, if the country like well of this my order, or els to pay as they have been accustomed heretofore, and I to be answered wch of these ways the country will make choice of; provided always that this shall not in any ways hinder or he prejudiciale if any occasion of wars or other causes whereby I shall have occasion to send more number than my ordinary garrison for defence of the said Island ; but that theii provision may be according to the ancient lawes of my said Island to have what is necessary."
Statutes were also passed enjoining contributions of turf and ling for fuel to these castles, and a fine of four-pence was imposed in default of every enjoined carriage of turves, each carriage being required to contain " fifty two turves, one cubit long, and three inches square in the middest." Even the herring fishery, so important to the Isle, did not escape. For every fishing-boat on the coast, whether belonging to landholders, barrons, officers, or soldiers, it was anciently ordained that " a castle maze should be paid out of every five maze, and so in proportion as such boat went to sea." This heavy contribution of a fifth of the fishing was subsequently remitted in part, for we find an act passed in 1613, limiting the contribution to " four mazes from a countryman who keeps a scowte for the fishing season," whilst foreigners were required to pay " two mazes out of the first nights fishing, and a like number weekly;" but for smaller boats only half that quantity was to be demanded.
It is somewhat amusing to trace out the distribution of all these imposts amongst the various government officers and the soldiers of the garrison. They are given very exactly in the ordinances of 1422, for the regulation of Castle Rushen. Thus we read : " It is ordained that the lieut have one loafe of breade and one gallon of ale, two candles in summer and three in winter, and reasonable fuel every night from All Hallow day till Easter and ij men and one page, iij horses at hay with xx bowles of oats at the Lords price. And the Receivers to have a pottle of ale, halfe a loafe of breade, one candle in summer and ij in winter, and reasonable fyre in the same manner ; and one man ij horses at hay and xij bowles of oats. The Cierke of the Rowles to have one quarte of heere, one candle in summer and ij in winter, one horse at hay and six bowles of oats, with one page. The constables of both places (i.e., of Castle Rushen and Peel Castle) a quarte of beere, half a loafe of breade, ij candles, fuel in winter reasonable and ij turves a night in summer to search the watch; and the water bayliffe to have as much as the receivers aforesaid and no more liveries without special warrant from the Lord.
" Item. That none of the souldiers or officers shall have any liveries or allowances forth to their houses att any time from henceforward, except they be visited with sickness at least two days before and so known to the head officers, and then by their discretion, to allow them honestly for a day the third part of a tyld of beefe, one mess of mutton one caune of beere of two quarts one loafe of breade for dinner and the third part of a tyld of beefe and a caune of beere of two quarts for supper."
To turn from these realities, which are all more interesting than fiction, we may just record one or two of those strange tales respecting this castle in the days of yore which Waldron loves to dwell upon : " They tell you that the castle was at first inhabited by fairies, and afterwards by giants, who continued in possession of it till the days of Merlin, who, by the force of magic, dislodged the greatest part of them, and bound the rest in spells, which they believe will be indissoluble to the end of the world : for proof of this they tell you a very old story : they say there are a great number of fine apartments underground, exceeding in magnificence any of the upper rooms ; several men of more than ordinary courage, have, in former times, ventured down to explore the secrets of this subterraneous dwelling-place, but none of them ever returned to tell what they saw ; it was therefore judged convenient that all the passes to it should be kept continually shut, that no more might suffer from their temerity. But about some fifty or fifty-five years since, a person who had an uncommon boldness and resolution, never left soliciting permission of those who had the power to grant it, to visit those dark abodes : in fine he went down, and returned by the help of a clue of packthread, which he took with him, which no man before himself had ever done ; and brought this amazing discovery, viz. :That after having passed through a great number of vaults, he came into a long narrow place which, the farther he penetrated, he perceived he went more and more on a descent, till having travelled, as near as he could guess, for the space of a mile, he began to see a little gleam of light, which, though it seemed to come from a vast distance, yet was the most delightful he had ever beheld in his life. Having at length come to the end of that lane of darkness, he perceived a very large and magnificent house, illuminated with a great many candles, whence proceeded the light just now mentioned : having, before he begun this expedition, fortified himself well with brandy, he had courage enough to knock at the door, which a servant at the third knock having opened, asked him what he wanted. I would go as far as I can, replied our adventurer ; be so kind therefore to direct me how to accomplish my design, for I see no passage but this dark cavern through which I came. The servant told him he must go through that house, and accordingly led him through a long entry, and out at a back-door. He then walked a considerable way, and at last beheld another house, more magnificent than the first ; and the windows being all open, discovered innumerable lamps burning in every room. Here he designed also to knock, but had the curiosity to step on a little bank which commanded a low parlour ; on looking in, he beheld a vast table in the middle of the room, of black marble, and on it, extended at full length, a man or monster ; for by his account he could not be less than fourteen feet long, and ten or eleven round the body.
This prodigious fabric lay as if sleeping, with his head on a book, and a sword by him, of a size answerable to the hand which it is supposed made use of it. This sight was more terrifying to the traveller than all the dark and dreary mansions he had passed through in his arrival to it : he resolved therefore not to attempt entrance into a place inhabited by persons of that unusual stature, and made the best of his way back to the other house, where the same servant re-conducted, and informed him, that if he had knocked at the second door he would have seen company enough, but never could have returned. On which he desired to know what place it was, and by whom possessed ; but the other replied that these things were not to be revealed. He then took his leave, and by the same dark passage got into the vaults, and soon after once more ascended to the light of the sun. Ridiculous as this narrative appears, whoever seems to disbelieve it is looked on as a person of weak faith."
The same veracious author relates the following marvel also, with which I shall close this notice of the ancient Castle of Rushen : " A mighty bustle they also make of an apparition, which they say haunts Castle Rushen in the form of a woman, who was some years ago executed for the murder of her child. I have heard not only the debtors, but the soldiers of the garrison, affirm that they have seen it at various times ; but what I took most notice of was the report of a gentleman, of whose good under-standing as well as veracity I have a very high opinion. He told me that, happening to be abroad late one night, and caught in an excessive storm of wind and rain, he saw a woman stand before the castle gate ; and as the place afforded not the smallest shelter, the circumstance surprized him, and he wondered that any one, particularly a female, should not rather run to some little porch or shed, of which there are several in Castletown, than choose to stand still, alone and exposed to such a dreadful tempest. His curiosity exciting him to draw nearer that he might discover who it was that seemed so little to regard the fury of the elements, he perceived she retreated on his approach, and at last, he thought, went into the castle, though the gates were shut. This obliging him to think that he had seen a spirit, sent him home very much terrified : but the next day relating his adventure to some people who lived in the castle, and describing as near as he could the garb and stature of the apparition, they told him it was that of the woman above-mentioned, who had frequently been observed by the soldiers on guard to pass in and out of the gates, as well as to walk through the rooms, though there were no visible means to enter. Though so familiar to the eye, no person has yet had the courage to speak to it ; and as they say that a spirit has no power to reveal its mind unless conjured to do so in a proper manner, the reason of its being permitted to wander is unknown."