[From Short History of Transactions in the IoM (or 'Blue Book'), 1825 

No 11.



GENTLEMEN—I have convened the present meeting for the purpose of swearing in, as special or supernumary Constables, such of the respectable inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, as may be disposed to tender their services on an Occasion of such general importance, namely, the preservation of the peace ; and by so doing as far as in me lies, to put down insubordination, give full protection to persons and property, and administer equal laws to every member of the community.

The late much to be lamented riots, by which not only this town but other parts of the Island have been so shamefully disturbed, have, I trust and hope, so completely subsided, as never hereafter to make their appearance amongst us ; and in truth, they appear to me, from all the enquiries I have made, to be attributable, in a considerable degree, to the pinching necessities of the poor; and to the unlooked for rise in that necessary of life—corn and flour ;—.of the tatter of which they could, on the one day, purchase seven pounds for a shilling, whilst on the following (without any visible cause for such an exorbitant rise) they could, with difficulty, obtain four pounds for the same money.

The speculations to which this rise may be ascribed, It is not my intention this day to investigate or explain , but of this the inhabitants of the Island may be assured, that I shall, at all times, endeavour to guard against the effects of any such unexpected rise, and provide against the contingencies which either real or artificial scarcity may induce.

After having most attentively investigated, since my arrival, the general state and temper of the inhabitants of this Island, I have the satisfaction to find, that even the most misguided of those guilty of insubordination, have become sensible of their error ; I have received petitions from them, expressive. of! their contrition, praying for forgiveness, and that only upon their solemn assurances of future good conduct. The mercy I have, therefore, extended towards them, will, I trust, be productive of the most salutary result ; and will, when thus extended, be the means of rendering its objects better future members of society. For this reason, therefore, Gentlemen, it is that, as representative of my Sovereign, I have suffered all those convicted of the late riots, with the exception of two, to return home to their families, in peace and thankfulness; reserving those two, from their general bad characters, as proper subjects for public example.

The persons thus selected are, John Kelly and William Quirk ; and that all may know how much more powerful is the arm of the law than the turbulence of a mob, I have sentenced John Kelly and William Quirk to be respectively fined in a sum of £10, and to be imprisoned in the Jail of Castle Rushen for a period of twelve months.

Gentlemen,—from the respectability of the appearance of the inhabitants of Castletown, on Monday last, and of this town on the present occasion, who have made a tender of their services for the preservation of the public peace,—I think I can, with great confidence, guarantee the safety of both the persons and properties of the people in general,—. for those persons appear to me a proud body of his Majesty’s loyal and faithful subjects.

Gentlemen, under all circumstances, I shall use my best endeavours to secure to the poor, as well as to the rich, all the comforts which the situation of this Island can afford— both are equal objects of my care, and so long as I can, without other extraordinary means, keep the necessaries of life at a reasonable price, I shall not recourse to any embargo.

Gentlemen, during a life in which I have now borne my titles, and enjoyed my property for a space of nearly fifty years, I have witnessed many periods of public scarcity and distress ; on those occasions, I have uniformly endeavoured to ameliorate the condition and relieve the necessities of the poor. So LONG AS I HAVE A LOAF, THE POOR MAN SHALL NOT WANT HIS DAILY BREAD.

Gentlemen, in the name of my King, who I have the honor to represent, I return to you, collectively and individually, my warmest thanks for your prompt and zealous exertions for the restoration of the peace on the late unfortunate occasion, and particularly to the Gentlemen, civil and military, who have brought their families to settle amongst us ; to whom I shall grant commissions for the preservation of tranquillity, and many of whom, I am informed, have the honor, at this moment to carry the commissions of his Majesty.

For this most respectable class of our society, I shall use my best endeavours to render their situation comfortable ; and I look forward with a pleasing anticipation to a day not far off, when this Island will be as respectable and as happy as any other in his Majesty’s dominions

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