[From 3rd Manx Scrapbook]
1. In Old Chester 2. In Wigan, 16th and 17th Centuries. 3. In Conway, 16th Century. 4. Manxmen in Shakespeare's London.
HAVING dealt, very cursorily in most cases, with English families which took root in the Isle of Man, I turn now to three pockets of names in the North of England three or four hundred years ago, which were also found in Man at an early period. All three groups were probably due for the most part to the presence of the Stanley family, which carried or attracted Manx retainers and hangers-on into the Northern counties. Moreover, Chester, being the chief port of intercourse between Man and England, would naturally retain in its meshes a proportion of the many emigrant Manxmen.
Of the names which follow, some are native Manx, others belonged to English families which had, even then, been long established in the Island. The sources are : (a) The Rolls of the Freemen of Chester (Lancs. and Ches. Rec. Soc.), which begins in 1392. (b) The Mayor's Book, which is partly collateral with the Rolls and helps to fill breaks in them. (c) The Hearth Tax Returns for the City of Chester, 1664-65 (Record Sec.). In (c) the total sum payable in each case, at the rate of 2s. per hearth, reveals the civic status of the individual. Those who were unable to pay were excused, but their names appeared, with the addition of the word "poor." Names from this source are distinguished by " H.T." For the corresponding insular families which are now extinct an early (if not always the earliest) date of record is noted in brackets ; also in a few other cases. The dates 1510 and 1513 denote the years of the compilation of the first extant Lord's Rent Book or " Manorial Roll " of the Stanley family in Man. The other dates refer to various printed sources, such as the Rushen Abbey Rent-roll, 1540-41, the Statutes, the Bishop's Book, Jury Lists, Parish Registers, and the House of Keys.
Barowe, Thos., Mercer, 1476, son of John B. the elder. Manx Barowe, Kirk Patrick, 1598 ; equated with Barron. (See Wigan Names, below.)
Bithell, John, weaver, 1476 ; Richard B. being his guarantor as Freeman. John ap Bithell, butcher, son of Walter, 1500. Numerous later. Also in H.T. A Welsh name, but as Bithell, Bittle, Bettle, etc. it was in Jurby, e.g. in 1632. Bytehell, German, 1611. Perhaps descended from William ab Ithell, Receiver of the Peel c. 1513, through Richard Ithell of Peel, 1540. Ithells were lords of Bryn near Wigan hence the Stanley connection.
Bridge, Thos., Richard, John, H.T. Mx Brech, Marown, 1510 ; Bredg, Lezayre, 1580.
Callcot, Alice, " poor," H.T. A Lancs. and Cheshire name. Callcots were influential in Man in 15th and 16th cents. Robert Calcot of the Isle of Man was cited as debtor to the Crown, 18 Eliz. (Lancs. and Ches. Records, viii. ; Rec. Soc.). See also Crane.
Calye, Thomas, 1469. Oates Calley, Catherine Calley, etc., and John Cally, all in H.T. Mx Caley was formerly spelt Calley. Oates is both a surname and a forename in the Island.
Carrin, John, " poor," H.T. Carran, Karran, etc. in Man.
Catherall, Wm., H.T. Otnel Caterall, small land-holder and householder, Castletown, 1510. The home of the C.'s at that period was Caterall, near Blackburn, Lancs. Now obs. in Man.
Cayne, Adam, 1600 ; as Cane in Mayor's Book. This is the earliest of variants, unless they were descended from Maccane, q.v.
Christian, Wm., fishmonger, 1560 ; Thos., son of Wm. Christian, defunct, 1585 ; Wm. Christian of the Isle of Man, beer-brewer, 1587 ; Chas., son of Wm. Christian, of the Isle of Man, ironmonger, 1666. A Galloway, Cumbrian and Manx name from very early times.
Clucas, " Widdowe," " poor," H.T. Common in Man. A " Widdowe Clucas " was among those who petitioned for compensation after the taking of Liverpool by Rupert in 1644.
Clewes, Richard, H.T. Clues, 1675, Clewes, 1704. Now rare in Man, where it may be derived from the McLewis which is found in Scotland. Clewis in Man is dissyllabic in polite use, but the old colloquial sound was " Cleowsh," with a triphthong. Lewis is not, in itself, a Celtic name, and the base of McLewis is probably the name which appears as Makgilhewous, 1465, in Reg. Mag. Sig. Scotd. ; " son of the servant of (St.) Thomas."
Cooile, Richard, tailor, 1784 ; Mayor's Book only. Characteristically Mx. MacCoile, 1510.
Corkill, Wm., chandler, 1573. Common in Man. As Corkhill rare in England, and independent.
Costyn, Katherine, " poor," H.T. A coeval spelling of modern Mx Costain.
Cotyngham, Cotingham. Earliest is Thos. C., Mayor in 1470. Cottingham in H.T. Cotyngham, witness to a Chester grant, 1446 (Moore MSS., Rec. Soc.) Similarly spelt in Man (1622), also Cotynghin, Cottiman, etc. A West Lancs. and Yorks. place-name.
Cowap, Cowop, 1627. Mx Cowap, Cowp ; Marown 1580. From a Lancs. place-name.
Cowen, Henry, 1669. Common in Man and N. of England, though not all of same origin.
Cowley, Thos., tanner, 1673 ; six later. Cowley, " poor," H.T. Hawley and MacCowley, 1422. Gall Gaelic Amhlaidh, Runic Oulaity. Also English, of different origin.
Cowmishe, Thos., 1584, son of Philip Cowmishe of Chester, cowper, defunct. (Mayor's Bk. only). Mx Comish. MacThomas.
Cowsnock, Robert, "poor," H.T. McCostniough, c. 1595, Cosnock, 17th cent. Peter Cosnock and his son, with other Maughold Quakers, were imprisoned by William " Dhone " Christian, and banished in 1656. Qu. abbreviation of Mx Cosnahan ? q.v., chaps. iii, iv.
Crane, Daniel, Richard ; Thos., " poor, " all in H.T. MacCraine, 1429 ; Crane later; now Craine. Cf. Margery Callcot uxor Thomas Crane of the Isle of Man, c. 1580 (Calcot pedigree, Cheshire Visitation). Also English, of different origin.
Crosse, Richard, draper, 1543 ; many later. Four in H.T. Numerous in Man from 1510. An old Liverpool name.
Dannold, Dannald , forty of these spellings in Freemen's Rolls. Donald and Downald once each. Earliest are John D., 1476, William D., 1488, milner, son of Donald Walsh, baker, which looks like the inception of the hereditary surname. No more Freemen until John Dannold, baker, 1558. Danneld, and Danold, " poor," H.T. Mx (Danell, MacDanell, Daniell, 1513) ? Danold, Peel, 1587. A Danold was a tenant of the Moores at Liverpool in 1410. (See Gawne.)
Duke, Thos., alias Rogerson, corvisor (shoemaker), 1531. No more until 1700, then numerous. Mx Juck, 1449, Juick, 1532 ; Jick, Dik and Duke, 1510-13. Juke again, 1681. Extant as Duke and Gick. Also Eng. and Sc. Dyk, Dik, Exchqy. Rolls of Sc., 1492-1500.
Ellison, Wm., 1732; Elletson. Mx Elletson, end 16th cent. ; modern Ellison. North of Eng. in both forms.
Fairebrother, Robert, " poor," H.T. Farebrother, Peel, 1611.
Finloe, Thos. ; Finlow, Richard; Finloe, H.T. Mx Finlo, 1422, MacFynlo, etc. later. Formerly common as surname and forename. One of the prototypes of modern Kinley.
Fletcher. Numerous among Freemen and in H.T. Fletcher, Castletown, 1510 ; Edward F., Governor, 1622. An important Anglo Mx family in 17th cent. The last in the direct line died 1778.
Fox, Foxe, Foxse. Earliest, Henry F., 1508 ; Walter F., 1549. Also in H.T. Fox, Foxe, in Maughold and other parts of the I. of M. in 17th and 18th cents.
Frer, Hugh, 1459. Mx Freer, 1607. An old Jurby name.
Garratt, Garrot. Nine, from Richard G., 1548. Wm. and Margaret, H.T. Mx; early as MacKeird, later Carret. Confused with Gerrard, which is in H.T. : Gilbert G.
Gawne, Thos., 1615, partner of Thos. Dannold, glover, defunct. Wm. Gawne, tailor, 1638. Lucas Gawen, gentleman, 1725 ; his Freedom granted by Order of the Assembly. Common in South of Man, formerly MacGawen. (See Hudson.) Also English, of different origin.
Gill, variously spelt, numerous from Roger Gill, 1420, Edward Gill, glover, 1567. John and Jane G., H.T. Francis Gell, 1698, Freeman by Order of the Assembly. Giell, Wm., of Chester, mariner, apprentice of John Warton, of Chester, mariner. Common in Man.
Hampton, Mary, H.T. Hamptons first recorded in Man about the same time.
Hog, John, 1463 ; Richard Hogge, merchant, 1565. A Lonan name since 17th cent.
Hoole, Christopher, mariner, 1598. John H., H.T. Mx Hoole, Braddan, 1643. A Cheshire place-name and surname.
Hudson, Gawyn, 1619, apprentice of Wm. Fisher, innholder. His son Gowen Hudson, merchant, 1653. A Hudson in H.T. pays tax for 12 hearths. Mx Hutcheon, Hudgeon, have been made Hudson ; the same change may have occurred in Chester earlier, or it may be the English name.
Ince, Nicholas, Mayor, 1626-27. Wm. Ince, Alderman, and four others in H.T. Mx Inch, 1499, Ince, 1510. A Lancs. and Ches. place-name and surname.
Kelly, son of Kelly, of Chester. Date uncertain. Common in Man.
Kenyough, George, weaver, apprentice of Robert Wareton of Chester, weaver, 1597. A characteristic Mx name, spelt Kennaugh, but pronounced Kenyough. MacCoinnich (Mackenzie).
Kessack, John, apprentice of Daniel Woods of Chester, slater, 1732. Mx Kissack. MacIssak, 1418. See also Woods.
Key, Keay, Kay, numerous, none very early. Key and Keyes in H.T. Key and Kay in Man. MacKey, 1429.
Kneckell, Wm., 1582. Nicchol, Nichol and Niccol appear in H.T., possibly Kneckell's descendants. Characteristically Mx. MacNakell, 1418, Nychol and MacNichol, 1510, from which Knickell survived into recent times. " Creakill," 1662.
Lace, Robert, 1497 ; two in 1528. Later in Man. Leonard, Alice, John, H.T. English, but found in Peel in 1611.
Leuinge, Richard, Recorder of Chester ; H.T. Luyn, Glenfaba, c. 1590, modern Lewin.
Maccane, Thos., fisher, 1476.-Mx MacKane, 1408, now common as Cain-e. See Cayne.
Macwyn, Donald, alias Donald Saer, 1500. (Gaelic saer, a craftsman, especially a wood-worker.)-Mx MacQuyn, 1403, 1417, 1510. Modern Quine.
Mercer, Lawrence and Richard, H.T.-From 1510 in Man. English.
More, Hamlet, son of Philip, innholder, defunct, apprentice of John Leckonby, ironmonger, 1637. Four Moores in H.T.-Common in Man. An old Liverpool family, and " Moore " in its earliest Mx form, 1499
Nowell, Christopher, H.T. A property-owner in Chester, but living at Fingerne.-Roger Nowell, Governor of Man, 1660 ; Henry N., Deputy-Governor 1663.
Oates, Alice and Jane, H.T. See Calye.-Common in Man as a surname and formerly as a forename. English. Qua, William, son of Wm. Qua of the Isle of Man, tailor, 1658.-Mx MacQua., 1510, now Quay.
Quaile, John, 1626 ; John Queile the younger, tanner, 1658.-Common in Man. Queel was a Liverpool craftsman, circa 1513.
Quirke, Gilbert, 1542. Kerke, Kirkes, H.T.-Mx MacQuyrk, 1510. Sometimes pronounced Kirk in the North, where it is commonest.
Richardson, very numerous from 1505. Wm. R., H.T.-Richardsons in Malew, 17th cent. English and Ulster.
Ridge. Four in H.T.-Extant in Man, but I do not know how far back.
Russell, Edward, ten hearths in H.T.. only two fewer than the Bishop in the previous Return.-Russell, Malew, 1540 ; Russhele, Braddan, 1611. (Russell, Bishop of Man, 1348, and Abbot of Rushen, was a Scotsman. There were Russells in the South of Scotland before the English Russells came over with the Conqueror.)
Saer, Robert, H.T. (See Macwyn.) As the latter name did not persist, this may represent " Donald Saer." Thos. Sayer, miller, 1603. But also an English name in the latter spelling.
Sale, James, H.T.-The early Mx spelling of present Sayle.
Shurlocke, Shurlacke ; numerous from 1664. Also in H.T.-Mx Shirlocke or Shylock? 1418, Sherlok, Shirlok, 1510. Shurlogue, 1681. Modern Sherlock. Qu. obs. ?
Standish, Daniel, " poor," H.T.-Standysh, Castletown, 1510 ; Standish, Lezayre, 17th cent. A Lancs. and a Glos. name, both from place-names.
Sylvester, Thos., H.T.-Formerly a favourite fore-name in Man, therefore perhaps a surname earlier.
Trollock, Thos., H.T.-Mx Trolloge, 1611, Trollag, 1643. Trouloik (Trouloik?), Douglas, 1828 (Pigott's Directory). Obs. as a surname, but preserved in the farm-name Ballatrollag.
Vaus, Vawse, Vawes, Vouse, Vos ; numerous from 1555. George Vause, H.T.-Mx Vause, and land called Vausetown, Castletown, 1510. Voase, 1672. A powerful family in Galloway from early 15th cent. Also Lancs.
Wade, Ellis del, 1419; George, corvisor, 1543. Ten more to Wm. Wade, mason, 1687. Wade in Man, but not early.
Waite, Weite. Three sons of George Waite of Chester, x568. There was a Mx MacQuaite in i510. See Wigan Names, below.
Wainewright, Dr., Chancellor, and Thos. W.; H.T. Mx Wanewright, Malew, 1643. Also disguised in the Par. Reg. as " Wanricks." A Cheshire name.
Waterwood, Wm., H.T. Waterforth, 1422 (but Watersone in Sloane MS., Acts of Stanley), Waterward, Wattleford, and modern Wattleworth, have been much confused in Mx records. Probably Waterward is the true form.
Woods. Numerous from Robert and Stephen, 1565, cowper and fishmonger respectively. Mx Wodde, 1510, Wodds, 1540, now Woods. English.
Woodward, Wodward, Wodwerde, etc. Robert, son of Wm. W. of Houston, 1419, and a dozen later, of whom Peter Woodworth, ironmonger, 1663, was probably the same as Peter Woodward, H.T. Thos. Widdewerd witnessed a marriage contract between Ric. Calcote of the Nunnery, Man, and Elizabeth Moore of Liverpool in 1606. Part of her estate was in Chester. Woodworth fairly numerous in the South of Man from the 18th cent. Woodwort, Malew Par. Reg. 1683. A family tradition that they came from Cornwall is improbable.
A little nest of names with Manx connections is revealed in Vol. IV. of the Lancs. Parish Register Soc., in Wigan Parish Church, 1580-1625, and in Hitchings, References to English Surnames. Their presence was doubtless due, in the first place, to the strong local influence of the Stanleys. The Manx element in the population would be reinforced when the Earl of Derby returned to England for the last time and brought with him from the Isle of Man 700 of his soldiers, among whom would be a sprinkling of Manxmen, perhaps accompanied in some cases by their wives and families. In return, Lancashire supplied the Manx garrison, and the Island at large, with a steady influx of population, and still does so.
Allan. Numerous from 1602. Mx MacCallan, 1417, MacAllen 1504, Aleyn and MacAleyn, 1510, Allyne, 1601, doubtless survive as Callin. Allen, chiefly in the North, is a 17th-cent. incomer, from Norfolk by tradition. The Wigan Allans may have migrated from the Island, but more probably not.
Arthure, numerous. Not a local name, and the spelling is comparable with Mx MacArthure, Patrick par., 1513. Carter ffaile, buried at Kirk Malew in 1689, may show it as a forename.
Ascowe, Ayscow. Mx Aystogh (Aystogh), Peel, 1526; Ascogh, Peel, 1540; Aiscough, Lezayre, 1780 (Mon. Inscr.).
Banks, very numerous. Mx Banks were 17th-century incomers, chiefly near Douglas.
Barron, very numerous. Mx Barron, Lezayre and Ballaugh, 1513 ; Patrick, 1580-1600.
Birch, variously spelt, very numerous. Mx Byrch, Castletown, 1510.
Bridge, numerous. Mx Brech, Marown, 1510 ; Bredg, Lezayre, 1580. Also in Chester.
Bullock, numerous, 1418 ; Bullor (?Bullogh or Bullok), 1510 ; both in the Castletown neighbourhood.
Casse, Cash, Case, numerous. Mx MacCash, Braddan, 15x0, Bride, 1513. Casse and Cash later. Corran, 1601. Mx Corran and Corrin. MacCorran, 1429.
Cowl, 1520. Numerous in Man from early times, at first with Mac and MacGil-.
Cowley, fairly numerous from 1582. Also Cooley. Numerous in Man.
Cubbon, Cobbon, Cubban, Cubame, Cubbane ; 12 in all. The first is 1617, " James Cubbon of Wigan, base ; " i.e. illegitimate. Common in Man ; a forename in 1429, a surname later.
Ellison. Thus, and as Elletson, a Lancs. and North-Western name. Mx forms the same. See Chester Names, above.
Fairbrother, very numerous. Mx Farebrother, Peel, 1611. Cf. Chester Names, above.
Garret, Gerrard, both very numerous. Formerly, with Jarrat, confounded or deemed interchangeable. Both Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Derby called the Lancashire man Sir Thos. Gerard, when he was appointed Governor of Man in 1595, " Sir Thomas Garret." Gerrard is an English name (Man. Roll, 1510) ; the Mx Garrett is probably MacKerd, " son of the Tinker." MacKarrad 1504, MacKerad, Mac Kerd, 1510-13.
Makatire, 1616. Mx. MacTere, 1510-13, MacAtyer, 1611, now Teare. Also Scotch and Irish.
Sayle, Saile, Sale, Salle ; 26 in all. Same spellings in the Island, from MacSale, 1513. Now Sayle. Skillicorne, from 1520 ; four in all. For Mx and Lancs. Skillicornes see chap. i, sec. vi.
Vauce, Voace, Voce, 1600-16.- In Castletown, 1513, Malew Register, 1672. Cf. Chester Names, above.
Waite, etc. Fairly numerous. Cf. Chester Names, above.
Wandie, Wanthie. Ferdinando Wandie alias Langtrie, buried 1587. Mx " Wady " (Wandy), 1418, Quanty 1429, MacWhanty, 1510 ; all in South. Qu. MacVondy in the North (now Vondy), the same ? John Langtre had a house in Castletown in 1611. The home of the Langtrees was Langtree Hall near Standish, close to Wigan.
Waterworth, Waterwarte, very numerous from 1585. Also a Furness name at that time. Now Wattleworth in Man. See Waterwood in Chester Names above.
These distinctively Manx people whose surnames occur at a certain period in the Conway Parish Register, edited by Alice Hadley, may be perhaps accounted for, as in the cases of Chester and Wigan with more certainty, by the influence of the Derby family. A similar colouring might be found about the same time in the population of other towns lying between Chester, where the Stanleys had a large house, and Holt in Flintshire, and Denbigh, where they had castles.
Barratt. " Jenny Barrett, Mankswooman," was buried in 1588. There are many other Barretts at this period. Further entries classified as " Marks-women " appear in the Index, but not at the pages indicated. Mx Barret, 1510-13, 1540, 1580.
Christian, Margaret, married 1584. See Chester Names, above.
Cowle. William Cowle was married in 1560 ; his wife was buried in 1588. Other Cowles appear. Mx MacCowle, MacGilcowle, 1510-13. Now Cowle.
Macanane. Wm. Macanane, 1572, 1581. " A poore man that died in William Mackanane his house," 1581. Also Canans and Conans later. Mx MacCanan, 1417, MacCannon, 1510, now Cannan.
Mackorkyn. Jane Danoel Mackorkyn, buried 1542. Hugh Macke Corkyn baptised 1543. Mackorky later. Mx Corkan, 1510, Corkine, 1521, later Corkan.
Maderell, Maderyn, and Madryne also occur, but the indexing presents difficulties. Mx Matherell, 1499 (1521 Sloane MS.), Maderer, 1510, Medderel, 1710, now Maddrell. Matherer in King's Rental of Liverpool, 1533. English.
Quane. John Mac Quayn married 1560. Eme Quaine fil. Thomae Quaine baptised 1585. John Macquaine buried 1507. Susana Quaine buried 1634. Katherin Quain buried 1635. Mx MacQuane, 1510, MacQwhane, etc., 1540. Now Quane.
The intercourse of the Isle of Man with England in the 16th and 17th centuries was not, as might appear by the provenance of its surnames, confined to Lancashire and other Northern provincial districts. A strong nexus existed between the Island and London, and it might not be a flagrant overstatement to say that the capital was nearly as much visited by Manxmen proportionately, of course, to their smaller number as it is to-day. The metropolis sheltered permanent settlers also who had been attracted thither by the auriferous quality of its paving-stones. Some of these who prospered in their businesses of the others we do not hear put their savings into suburban real estate, a shrewd and profitable form of investment in a rapidly growing town. In one case an Insular family owned during four generations an extensive and increasingly valuable piece of property on the fringe of Tudor London, as well as the theatre which one of their lessees built on a corner of their land. That they were not the only Manx people having local interests is shown by the personal names which crop up in the multitude of legal documents and letters relating to their fifty-four years' tenure. It would be tedious to cite more than a couple of the most essential and interesting of these. The forty-four documents can be referred to in Warner's Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Muniments of Dulwich College, 1881, by anybody who thinks it worth his while, and some of the correspondence is printed in The Alleyn Papers (Shakespeare Society) ; but the former are scattered inconsecutively through a mass of miscellaneous materials, and a clearer view of the subject will be obtainable by digesting them into a connected narrative, with some assistance from Young's History of Dulwich College.
The tract of land in question lies a couple of hundred yards to the East of Aldersgate Street, between the parallel thoroughfares of Whitecross Street and Golden Lane. It is said that on the portion of it which coincided with the site of the theatre subsequently erected stood a Royal Nursery whither Henry VIII. sent his children for the benefit of the purer air than the more central part of the city enjoyed, even then. If that was so, then Mary, as yet unbloody, and Elizabeth, before she became a Virgin Queen, must have mothered their dolls on the spot, and Prince Edward prepared his head for the weight of a crown by standing on it occasionally. Be that as it may, in 1546, the last complete year of Henry's reign, a gentleman of Norfolk, Ralph Symonds (whose name is to be found in Stowe as that of a prominent Londoner), sold to a London fishmonger, Thomas Langham (twice a Sheriff of the city Stowe again), a tenement in Whitecross Street in the Parish of St. Giles-without-Cripplegate, then in the tenancy of William Gill. In 1566 Langham sold this, and two other tenements in " Golding " Lane adjacent, then in the tenancy of William Gill or his assigns, to the same William Gill, gardener (i.e. market-gardener), for £100 the lot. William Gill in his will dated 1575 bequeathed his dwelling-house there and four other tenements partly to his wife Katherine and then to his son Daniel, and four further tenements there to his grandson, another Daniel Gill. In 1584 Daniel Gill the elder, of the Isle of Man, yeoman, leased his share to Patrick Brew, of London, goldsmith, for 41 years, and immediately afterwards made it over by feoffment to his son Daniel Gill the younger, clerk of " St. Andrew's in the Isle of Man " i.e. Kirk Andreas. The latter in his will proved at Douglas in 1592 left the estate in trust for the benefit of his four daughters. He died a few years later, and the property became administered by his father, Daniel the elder, and his uncles William and Edmond. In 1599 Patrick Brew assigned his lease to Edward Alleyn, " Gent.", otherwise the eminent actor-manager. In 1601 Daniel and his brothers William and Edmond Gill of Lezayre, yeomen, leased the whole property to John Garrett of London, clothworker, for 21 years from the expiry of Brew's lease. Alleyn evidently now became increasingly desirous of purchasing the land on which he had already built, in 1600, the Fortune Theatre in conjunction with Philip Henslowe, but it had been so leased and re-leased that his way was far from clear. His difficulties were accentuated by the fact that after the death of Daniel Gill, the younger, the family had fallen out among themselves with regard to the estate, as is seen from the following Award which terminated the dispute.
" Award by William Norres, clerk, vicar of Kirke Lonan, Isle of Man, Nicholas Moore, yeoman, William Crowe, parson of Kirke Bride, John Vescye, Constable of Rushen Castle, and John, Bishop of Sodor and Man, in a dispute between Daniel Gill, the elder, and Katherine, Elizabeth, Jane and Margaret, daughters of Daniel Gill the younger, deceased, whereby land, tenements, etc., in Whitecross Street and Goldingelane, in the par. of St. Giles without Cripplegate, London, are divided between William Gill and Edmond Gill, sons of Daniel Gill the elder, and the said Katherine, Elizabeth, Jane and Margaret, with a proviso that the said Daniel Gill and Isabell, wife of William Norres and widow of Daniel Gill, the younger, shall not be molested in their life-interest in their several moieties of rent, and that £21 shall be paid by Daniel, William and Edmond Gill to the said Katherine, Elizabeth, Jane and Margaret. Dated 19 Dec., 3 Jas. i., 1605. Signed, with seals. . . .
Three years later Alleyn entrusted his friend Brew with a commission to cross to the Island and buy the estate on his behalf, of which Norris had promised him the first refusal, without any obvious right to do so. Garrett, as both Brew and Alleyn were aware, had already bid £300 for it, exclusive no doubt of the current leases. In 1609 Brew wrote to Alleyn from Douglas thrice (and probably much oftener) reporting progress, and finally brought the negotiations to a head. Sir Jeremy Turnour, a prominent Surrey man, went over to attend to the legal side of the transfer. The vendors were the four daughters, now married, of Daniel Gill, the younger, deceased, and their respective husbands, Philip Moore of Kirk Lonan, William Clarke of Jurby, yeomen, Hugh Cannell, Vicar of Kirk Michael, and Donald Qualtroughe of Kirk Lonan, yeoman. Sir William Norris, Vicar General and Vicar of Kirk Lonan, had acquired a right to half the rent through his wife, but she had died in July, 1609, and their names do not appear in the Deed of Sale. Parson Crowe's matter-of-fact comment on this union was, " she is now married to a better living." The property is described as twelve tenements and " all that their Playhouse, comonlie called or knowen by the name of the Fortune," six tenements being on the East side of Goldinge Lane and six on the West side of Whitecrosse Street. The document is dated 30 May, 1610. For the entire estate Alleyn paid the Gills £340. He also paid £240 for Brew's lease of a portion of it, and £100 for Garrett's lease, and thus became with his partner and father-in-law Henslowe, owner of the land, the twelve dwelling-houses, the theatre, and other buildings which he had erected in connection with it. That the ground was of considerable extent is evident from a recommendation made subsequently that further twenty-three houses should be built on it. The Fortune, which cost him £520, was on independent testimony " the fayrest Playhouse in this Towne." It was a three-storey edifice, designed to resemble the Globe in Southwark. At its entrance stood a plaster figure of the Goddess Fortuna, but she was unable to prevent its destruction by fire in 1621. It was rebuilt immediately. " A Playhouse Yard " now enters Golden Lane about midway in its length. Farther North on the same side is " Garrett Street," but this name may be of modern origin. The profits from this theatre, together with those from his other enterprises, enabled Alleyn to found Dulwich College, which he endowed with the property he had purchased from the Gills.
Concerning most of the men appearing in these transactions particulars are discoverable. Bishop John Phillips, as an earnest prelate and the first translator of the Prayer Book into Manx, is a well-known figure, and it is unnecessary to say more of him, except that Crowe mentions him then merely an Archdeacon and Rector of Andreas as being in England in January, 1592. Sir William Norris, a lesser light in the Manx Church, was of Lancashire extraction, like so many of the Insular clergy. Hugh Cannell, Vicar of Michael, assisted Phillips in his translation. He is mentioned by Chaloner in his Treatise published in 1656, and numerous details of his life are given by Paul Bridson in the notes to Cumming's edition of Chaloner. Donald Qualtroughe was probably one of the Qualtroughs of Raby, a member of which family, " Colcheragh Raby," is the hero of the old Lonan legend and song of " Kiree fo Niaghtey." A Dan. Qualtroughe was among the Lonan representatives chosen to confer with the Lord, the Lord Bishop, and the Keys in 1643. " Dan." is probably short for Danold, but in many cases Daniel was used as its equivalent, and this individual, if not our Donald, was in all likelihood his son. A Philip Moore and a Nicholas Moore were members of the House of Keys at the period of the sale to Alleyn. A John Garrett kept the Cross Keys Inn, Whitecross Street, in or immediately before 1601 (London Inq. Post Mortem, iii., Brit. Rec. Soc.). He may not have been the same man as the clothworker who leased a portion of the Gills' estate and was Alleyn's competitor for the purchase of the whole of it, but such a doubling of occupations was not uncommon ; Alleyn's step-father, Browne, was described as " actor and haberdasher." Garrett, Garrard, Gerrard, was a common name ; there was a Nicholas Garrett, for example, in Alleyn's company at the Fortune, whose name occurs twice in Alleyn's diary. Gill is also to be found in the metropolis from quite early times, as it is in the Isle of Man. A marriage solemnised in 1569 at All Hallows, Barking, between Thomas Gill of St. Peter in the Tower of London, and Alice Garrett, widow, of Barking (Chester's London Marriage Licences), might perhaps be fancied to bear on the present subject. But whether Thomas was a relative or not, it is probable that William Gill, the first owner of the property, came, like Patrick Brew, from the Isle of Man to make his fortune in London, and left no surviving children in his adopted city.
Of Patrick Brew it is possible to glean a few particulars from contemporary sources. In the Marriage Licences just mentioned, which cover the requisite period, the name Brew occurs virtually but once ; Patrick Brew married Margaret Battle, spinster, of the City of London, by general licence in 1571. From this it is fairly deducible that he came to town as a youth, probably to serve in the workshop of a London goldsmith the long apprenticeship customary in those days. At any rate, he was a goldsmith by trade, and lived in Lombard Street at the sign of the " Eagle and Child." That he, Rector Crowe of Kirk Bride, and the Gills were all related to each other appears in their various letters. Crowe, besides addressing Brew twice in the course of a long epistle as " Cousin," continues thus (I modernise the Rector's spelling, which is surprising even for the age in which he lived) : " Having had perfect intelligence of your prosperity in your late letter sent by young Gill . . . your well-willers and poor kinsmen, of whose number I protest unfeignedly to be one." " Young Gill " must have been Daniel, Curate of Andreas. He is alluded to in a later letter of Brew's to Alleyn : " the eldest of Gylle's sons was att Chester, intending to go for London att halantyde, and hearinge of the sicknes cam home agayne, butt I thinke he will go agayne at the Springe." Another Insular messenger was John More (Moore), to whom, as bearer of one of his letters from Douglas, Brew asks Alleyn to pay certain rent due to his " cozin Norris." Young, in his History of Dulwich, ii., 256, calls Brew a nephew of Daniel Gill the elder. Norris, writing to Alleyn, speaks of his " Cozin, Mr. Patricke Brewe."
Brew's friendship with Alleyn must have been the means of introducing him into literary and theatrical circles. The atmosphere of the house in which he lived and presumably carried on his business may have had a similar influence, if it is to be identified with a house of that title used as a meeting-place for the transaction of theatrical affairs. In Henslowe's Diary there is a note in the year 1601 of a loan evidently an advance made to Harry Chettell " by the company " of the Rose Theatre at the " Eagle and Child " in part payment for " a book called the Rising of Cardinal Wolsey ; " probably the manuscript acting-copy of a play. In the same year Henslowe has another entry, " Paid at the appointment of the company to him [a Mr. Gosson] at the Eagle and Child for halberds, 18s. " evidently stage properties. In his Memoir of Edward Alleyn Payne Collier observes that the name was uncommon, and that there was a Henry Gosson who published the first edition of Pericles in 1609. At an " Eagle and Child " lived Thomas Walkley, the publisher of the first edition of Othello in 1622 first played in 1602 before Queen Elizabeth at the house of Sir Thos. Egerton and his wife the Dowager Countess of Derby.
Certain passages in Brew's letters from the Island to Alleyn are worth quoting. In one his account of the situation there is quaintly picturesque. " This is to certifye you that the Gylles, and the daughters of Gill deseased, cannott agree uppon the sayle as yet, and yett theye would sell, and yett theye strayne curteseye who shall begynn." There are other passages which are a good deal less lucidly expressed, and arouse a mild curiosity as to the nature of the secret of which he makes so much mystery. On the 8th of August, 1608, he writes from Douglas : " . . . I dyd send to youe by my wyffe those wrytinges I promysed youe ; I pray youe keep them saffe." On the 6th of April, 1609, he writes again : " I woulde have sente to you the writinges whiche I dyd promys to sende to youe, but I can not meete with a trustye messenger to sende them bye; as also to write untoe youe sum other thinges whiche I dare nott put to writtinge, except I knewe him very well, and to be verye trustye too, for they are thinges youe littel thinke of ; but eyther I wilbe messenger my selfe or sum other trustye and spetyall frende, for oure letters are commonlye opened commynge or goinge ; but assure youre selfe that you shall have them God willinge. . . . Your verye lovinge frende to his power, Patricke Brewe." In a letter carried by the John More mentioned above, he says " I have sente youe according to my promys, and my wyffe will tell youe other thinges which I spare from writinge. Douglas, this 3 of Auguste, 1609."
It seems pretty clear that Brew had some other business in hand besides the purchase of the estate, or had made some discovery which impressed both of them with its importance, but there is nothing to show what it was. The politics of the Isle of Man were then at a crisis, for the fifteen years of litigation between branches of the Stanley family had just terminated in the grant of the Island to William, the sixth Earl, and he was on the point of coming into his kingdom. But it is difficult to see how this could interest a London entrepreneur, whose only concern with the country was that the owners of the land he wanted to purchase lived in that inconveniently remote region. In the Church, the " Spiritual Statutes " were then being codified for the first time ; they gave the Bishop power to amend wills in certain cases of injustice to infants and orphans, but these Statutes, though hitherto unwritten, had been operative for long before, and they could have imported no new difficulty into the Gills' right to dispose of their land. There is no reason to think that Alleyn could have had any other interests there. He never, so far as is known, came nearer to the Isle of Man than Chester, where he acted while touring in 1593 with the company of Ferdinando Stanley, Lord Strange, afterwards the fifth Earl of Derby. He was of Buckinghamshire extraction and born in London ; his first recorded wife was Henslowe's step-daughter, Joan Woodward, of unknown lineage ; his second marriage and this measures the extent of his rise in the social scale was with Constance Donne, daughter of the famous Dean of St. Paul's, whom, by the way, Alleyn did not scruple to address after the marriage in extremely outspoken terms, both verbally and in a long letter. His mother's name was Towneley ; in his pedigree he states that she belonged to the Towneleys of Towneley in Lancashire, of which proof is said to be lacking. There is a tradition that he was a companion of Shakespeare's. For that too there is no good evidence, but they must have known one another ; the company to which Shakespeare belonged was, while under Lord Strange's patronage, combined with that of Alleyn, the Lord Admiral's, at Henslowe's new theatre the Rose, for some months in 1592. During that period Alleyn was manager of both troupes, and some degree of contact between the two men was inevitable. It is unfortunate that the surviving portion of Alleyn's diary only begins in the year after Shakespeare's death. It is such a detailed and comprehensive record of his doings that entries of this kind for previous years might have contained names of wider renown : " 18 September 1615, Dinner att ye Marmayd in bred street wt mr Edmonds mr bromfeeld The: Allen & 5 of ye fortune company, 5s." Yet Shakespeare came so near to being a nonentity in his early life that Alleyn after leaving the Rose might easily have forgotten the existence of a small-part actor who was temporarily under his control. Sir Sidney Lee, it is true, states that Shakespeare's membership of Lord Strange's company of actors is proved for the years 1592 and 1594, and he infers that it was the only company to which Shakespeare belonged. But Alleyn's sole mention of the name is a note of the purchase of a copy of the Sonnets at the time of its first and pirated publication in 1609.
Amid the struggling mass of Shakespearean controversialists there is a small party consisting of scholars, critics and others in unequal proportions who maintain that the plays were not written by Francis Bacon, or by a Secret Society, or even by William Shakespeare, but by William Stanley, sixth Earl of Derby and Lord of Man. Professor Abel Lefranc of the College de France has published two or three enthusiastic volumes which I have read with interest; but it is conceivable that a Frenchman may not be the final authority on such a question. Admittedly, in letters intercepted by the Government, one Fenner, an English " political agent," wrote to two of his foreign correspondents in June, 1599, that " the Earl of Derby is busied only in penning comedies for the common players " ; but whatever sustenance the Derbyites may extract from this crumb of gossip, it does not help us to interpret the pivotal but tantalising Mr. Brew, for the Earl did not enter the Island until 1610. In 1599 he was living in retirement in Essex.
The only justifiable inference is a negative one, and therefore disappointing. Plainly, the " writings " and the secret information which agitated the minds of Brew and Alleyn, and of their prying messengers or the invisible interceptor of their correspondence, related to a matter other than the purchase of the property ; perhaps to politics, or to the religious affairs with which national politics were entangled. But though these "writings" belong to the year to which is assigned the composition of The Tempest, there is no reason to suppose that their discovery would help to solve a problem which many people find the most absorbing in the world's literature the identity of " Shakespeare."