[Pages 22-42 dealing with Isle of Man]
WALK THROUGH SHREWSBURY,
EXCURSION TO HAWKSTONE,
JOURNEY TO HALTON AND RUNCORN,
A TRIP TO THE ISLE OF MAN,
TO WHICH ARE ADDED SUBLIMITIES AND CURIOSITIES OF
IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE GLOBE
BY C. HULBERT
Author of the select Museum of Nature and Art, Literary Beauties and Varieties, &c
Perhaps I may see these delightful scenes no more: but oh ye objects, do you appear as lovely and delightful to my Children, and to my Friends, as ye now do to me
PRINTED BY THE AUTHOR; SOLD BY G & W.B WHITTAKER, LONDON ; AND ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
[My thanks to Doug Canepa for the copy from which this page derives, the book is a treasured possession of the family ]
TRIP TO THE ISLE OF MAN BY WAY OF LIVERPOOL,. Passage from Runcorn, by Steam Vessel Liverpool Town Hall, Exchange Buildings, and New Market Isle of Man Mona Castle Douglas Pier Mr. Mills Mr. Jefferson TOUR of THE ISLAND, including Notices of the Nunnery Kirk Stanton Balla Salla Castletown
... active use of our own feet, would have been the most convenient mode of travelling on this occasion.
+There are coaches from Shrewsbury to Liverpool every day, which are certainly the cheapest mode of conveyance, for those who wish to go direct to Runcorn or the Isle of Man. The JOURNEY AND TRIP, in that case, may be accomplished in two short days.
THE Steam-boat is of comparatively modern invention. But what an improvement in navigation! How steadily and delightfully we sail along! 'File twenty miles from Runcorn to Liverpool, will, at this rate, be performed in less than two hours. How charming is the scenery on the river's banks; never surely was a more delightful excursion. What an incredible number of vessels stud the river, as we approach the second Sea-port in the British Empire. A little past four o'clock, we have time on hand, before the evening closes, to visit the different docks crowded with the shipping of all Nations: we will then take a gentle walk up Pool-Lane, and through Dale-Street to the Liverpool Exchange, and from thence to the New Market, a building, probably, unequalled in the World
In Dale-Street, Lord-Street, or Church-Street, we shall meet with excellent Booksellers' Shops, where we may purchase a Liverpool Guide for information and amusement on our voyage to the Isle of Man.
is certainly a fine town, and the improvements daily in a course of completion, must render it in time very little inferior to the Metropolis itself, indeed, in some respects, it is even now more than its rival. That noble building is THE TOWN HALL, and was built about the year 1750, at an expense of about £100,000; but in the year 1796, a considerable part of the interior was destroyed by fire, which has since been repaired at an expense of more than £60,000. Adjoining, you see, are
erected in 1803, for commercial purposes, at an expence of upwards of £100,000. The area or space inclosed by the fronts of these buildings and the Town Hall, is 197 feet by 178, containing upwards of 25,000 square feet, being more than twice the area of the London Exchange, which is 144 feet by 117. In the centre of the area is erected a superb group of bronze statuary, supposed to be the largest in the kingdom, to commemorate the death of Lord Nelson ; designed by the late Mr. M. C. Wyatt, and modelled and cast by Mr. Westmacott : the expense was defrayed by a public subscription of upwards of .£9000, raised in a few days. In the east wing is a news and coffee-room, 94 feet by 52 ; and above this, one of 72 feet by 63, appropriated to the underwriters. These buildings may be esteemed among the finest specimens of Grecian architecture in this country; and perhaps the most splendid structure ever raised in modern times for purposes purely commercial.
I will now take you to
This stupendous building, designed by John FOSTER, jun. Esq. and erected by the Corporation of Liverpool, at an expense of £35,000, was begun in August, 1820, and finished in February, 1822. It is situated in the centre of the town, in the immediate neighbourhood of Queen-Square, Clayton-Square, and Williamson-square. Its principal front is in Great Charlotte-Street It is built of brick, with the exception of the foundations, the handsome entrances, the cornices, &c. which are formed of massy stone; and it is roofed throughout, in five ranges from end to end, two of the breadths being considerably elevated for the purpose of affording the advantages of side-lights and ventilation. There are 136 windows, all the casements of which are upon swing-centres, and easily opened. The length of the building is 183 yards ; its breadth, 45 yards; forming a covered space of 8235 square yards, or nearly two statute acres. There are six spacious entrances.
On entering the interior, the spectator is amazed at the immense size of the structure, its loftiness, lightness, and airiness. It is one large, well-formed, and lightly-painted Hall; compared with which, the celebrated Fleet Market is a miserable shed, and Westminster Hall is a moderate-sized room. The interior is divided into five avenues, there being four rows of handsome cast-iron pillars, 23 feet high, supporting the conjoined abutments of the roofs along the entire building. The pillars are 166 in number. The walls are lined by 62 shops and 6 offices, close to the lower tier of windows, between which and the upper ones the sloping roofs of the shops are placed. The shops, the dimension; of which are 6 yards by 4, and which are provided with fire-places, are let to dealers in various kinds of provisions, namely, Butchers, Pork-dealers, Fruiterers, Fishmongers, Poulterers, Cheesemongers, Bread-bakers, &c The offices are for the use of the Superintendent of the Market, the Collector, of the tolls and rents, the Weighers of provisions,
The shops, of course, present their fronts to the interior of the Market, and, by means of doors and shutters, the whole can be safely inclosed during the night. The great body of the Market is occupied by four ranges of stalls, tables, &c running in a line with the pillars from end to end, including 160 stalls ; 34 green-standings ; 13 fruit-standings ; 44 stone compartments for potatoes; 36 fish-standings; 201 table-compartments for eggs, poultry, and vegetables; and 122 forms or benches for similar articles. There are 144 gas lights, by which the place is brilliantly illuminated every night; there are 23 store-cellars under the shops. In different parts of the Market, there are four cast-iron pumps supplied from beneath by excellent wells ; and every evening, as soon as the place is cleared, a signal bell being sounded half an hour previously, the floor is well washed and swept by twelve scavengers ; after which all the gates are closed, and two watchmen are locked in to guard the property from depredation
How busy the little slop and stall-keepers appear, all life, bustle and animation : this seems to be the House, the Land of Plenty. The bell rings, the doors will quickly close, we must hasten to secure lodgings, some where in the neighbourhood of the Docks, probably the Crown, Red Cross-Street: yes, there engage beds, and refreshed with good viands, rest under the protection of the best of beings, and in the morning take our passage in the SUPERB STEAM-BOAT for
" No dire alarms that humble Isle infest,
All live in peace, and peaceful sick to rest;
There contemplation clears the clouded eye,
Expands the soul, and lifts it to the sky.
All well, now on our voyage : ten hours most agreeable sail on board this charming vessel ; the passengers polite and agreeable ;. the Captain, Steward and hands attentive to those afflicted by sea sickness; the Library in the State-room select and amusing; but the picture of Liverpool engages our attention, till superseded by "Wood's account of the past and present state of the Isle of Man,'' which has just been resigned to our hand by an agreeable young lady, from Birmingham, taking a trip to Douglas, for the benefit of her health. While the hours, like our vessel, are gliding smoothly away, the mountains and rocks of Mona meet our view.
To our right, as we approach
the noble mansion Mona Castle, the seat of the Duke of Athol, is a most conspicuous object. 'This building has been the subject of many a witlings sneer, and we must confess, there is as little real taste displayed in its deign and style of architecture as could well be manifested in a building of such extraordinary dimensions The expense of erection, I am informed, was upwards of £50,000.
The PIER has an animating and imposing effect, being in length 520 feet, by 40 feet, paved with free stone; on its extremity towards the sea stands the Light-House, a beautiful structure.
We will now, my friend, take a friendly leave of Captain Oman and our attentive fellow passengers; pass the Custom House, the best building in Douglas, and take up our quarters at Dixon's Hotel. After due refreshment, we will spend the evening in conversation ; and, as my various avocations at home demand my earliest attention, you will excuse me making any longer stay in Douglas than one night, and, if I understand rightly, your design being to settle on the Island, or at least to make here a considerable stay. I Will briefly relate to you some of the most interesting particulars of a Tour I made two years so, at the same time, I trust your kindness will permit me to assist my recollection, when necessary, by the aid of Bullock's History of the Isle of Man.
I visited this place in the month of May, 1820. The first thing I did was to pay my respects to my relations; I then called on Mr. Mills, the intelligent Editor and Proprietor of the Isle of Man Gazette ; and on Mr. Jefferson Bookseller Duke's-Street, who also Publishes the Manks Advertiser ;both of whom I found truly civil and obliging, and I have no doubt their united talents and exertions, have contributed in no mean degree to the improvement and benefit of the population. Another paper, entitled the Rising Sun, has been subsequently established.
Douglas, as you will perceive, is far from being either a large or an elegant town, the streets are extremely narrow and inconvenient. There is a small episcopalian Chapel, and a neat new Church, a Methodist Chapel, and a Free School ; but few shops of magnitude or respectability. Inhabitants, about 3 000, or nearly one-tenth the population of the whole island. The market, are plentifully supplied and well attended; and provisions, in general, cheap, but owing to the influx of visitors, dearer than in other parts of the country. I spent a few days here very agreeably, but the greater portion of the period of my stay was embittered by extreme anguish and suffering, occasioned by a very trifling circumstance, but one to be avoided and dreaded by all tourists and travellers. Previous to leaving home, in an attempt to extract a portion of the nail which inconveniently grew into my left toe on the right foot, I pierced the toe itself, from which accident I felt no particular pain or inconvenience at the time; but in a few days from the pressure of my shoe and constant travelling, the part became greatly inflamed, and finally matter was formed, and a wound of considerable depth succeeded. It is proper for me to observe, that I had neglected to apply for surgical aid, till it was too late to prevent suppuration, and every one knows the violent pain with which, in such cases, the extremities are affected: yet how few are sufficiently aware of the extent of the danger. A few years ago, a respectable owner of vessels on the River Severn, who resided near the Iron Bridge, lost his life in three days, in consequence of a mortification taking place under similar circumstances so slender is the thread on which our existence is suspended.
Having hired a gig of the civil landlord of the York Hotel, in company with a worthy and respected relation, who then resided in Douglas, I commenced the pleasing and delightful Tour of the Island
We set out from Douglas for Castletown, 10 miles; passed the beautiful seat of Major Taubman, called the Nunnery; from the ancient structure formerly occupying the same site, not a vestige of which remains, except the Gateway, still supporting the Old Bell. The gardens and grounds surrounding are delightful. Above the Nunnery, the road commands a beautiful and rich valley, in which stands Kirk Braddan ; and over all rises the lofty Mountain of SOUTH BARRULE : on the left is the delightful Villa of Major Tobin. Half-way to Castletown is Mount Murray : Kirk Santon lies on the left; and about a mile from thence are several druidical vestiges. Following the direct road, you arrive at BALLASALLA, the most populous village. in the Island; the river and scenery are particularly beautiful : here you would imagine yourself in some of the most interesting parts of Wales. The Abbey was founded by Olave, King of Man in 1104 this sovereign died at Peel Castle, 1137.
From Balla Salla to Castletown, a distance of only two miles, the road is greatly beautified by some flourishing thorn hedges, which I assure you are no inconsiderable rarity on this Island; banks of earth forming the chief fences and divisions of the land.
is certainly a very clean and regularly built small town ; is the centre is an open space or square, around which are several good houses; and at the end a neat Episcopal Chapel. There is an excellent Free School : and the Methodists have (if I recollect perfectly) a small Chapel. But our attention was chiefly attracted by the CASTLE erected in the year 960, by Guttred, the second Danish Prince from King Orry. This building which is remarkable for solidity, bears a strong resemblance and it is said was probably constructed on the same plan with the Castle of Elsineur in Denmark. Within the wails are some convenient and partly modern raised apartments appropriated to the use of the Lieutenant-governor: and also a rather convenient Court-room devoted to public use, some years ago the prisons for debtors and criminals were each of them in so ruinous a condition and so totally void of comfort or indeed of safety, that humanity even now shudders at the recollection. Very great improvements have, however, recently taken place.
I felt considerably affected on being introduced into the cells which once confined the magnanimous Countess of Derby, and the good and virtuous Bishop Wilson. Would time permit, with what enthusiasm should I recount the history and the virtues of those distinguished individuals. I lent through the window, from which the apostolic minister of heaven addressed his weeping auditors,* and almost imagined I beheld their sorrowful tears, and heard their piteous lamentations. *vide Life of Bishop Wilson by his Son.
A very sensible obliging man conducted my relation and myself through the various departments of the Castle ; and I regret extremely that I do not recollect his name, that I might have been enabled to recommend him to your attention.
Two Clergymen (debtors) to whom we were introduced, performed divine service in the prison gratuitously no regular chaplain appointed. An old clock of a very peculiar construction here engaged our attention. I should imagine it could not be fewer than 200 years old. Mr. W. Craig was governor. [ie Chief constable and Gaoler]
After a walk round the town we dined at the George Inn, and had a very comfortable dinner ; the landlord of which, recollected Mr. Feltham, (who has written a valuable History of the Isle of Man), being there.
Castle Rushen being the town where the public court, &c. are held, is greatly resorted to by genteel families; and is certainly a most desirable retreat for a person whose income is circumscribed, and who wishes to live genteelly at a little expense, provisions, &c. being very cheap, something above half the English prices ; wines and spirits + little more than one fourth.
+Adjoining the high road from Castle Rushen to Peel, there is a small Public-house, sign of Gen. Lord Hill, and the only painted sign I saw on the Island; the landlord of it had been a serjeant in a British corps, and served under Lord Hill at Gibraltar, and in Egypt, his name is James Hassall; his house cost him £22, and is very comfortable ; I had a bottle of French Brandy for which he charged twopence, same in England would have cost me ninepence. In the Isle of Man Gazette, I lately noticed an advertisement of Mr. Stowell's, offering Port Wines at 16s. per dozen; superior Port 18s. fine Sherry 20s. Claret 21s. Burgundy the same. The importation duties are extremely moderate, and taxes almost unknown on this Island.
About a mile and a half across the sands is Derby Haven, where are the remains of a round Tower, built by the Earl of Derby in 1603. I beg leave here to remark that the Earls of Derby were formerly Sovereigns of this Island. The noble Athol family, heirs of the Derbys, where in a manner compelled to dispose of the sovereignty to the British government about 57 years ago. But I take it for granted you are entirely acquainted with the History of the Island.
About two miles west of Castletown, is Port le Moray, and a little beyond that, Port Erin ; not far distant are the Giants' Quoiting Stones, lame masses of unhewn Slate standing erect; and a little farther is a Barrow, called Fairy Hill, very probably thrown up in commemoration of Reginald, King of Man, who was slain in single Combat, by Ivar in 1248.
at the distance of about three miles from Port Erin; is an object of attraction to many visitors, being a small Island of about five miles in circumference.
This islet is said to have been at different times the retreat of two hermits. The first in the reign of Elizabeth, imposed on himself a residence in this dreary solitude, as a penance, for having murdered his mistress in a fit of jealousy. The other was one Thomas Bushel, who made it his abode in the time of James I. in order to try the experiment how far a life of severe abstinence would promote longevity. What is called Bushel's house is now in ruins ; it bears the outline of a small building, apparently consisting of two rooms, situated on the highest ground, and within a few yards of a perpendicular rock.
Whether this extraordinary ascetic died in this melancholy retreat, tradition gives us no certain information; but there is a place called Bushel's Grave, on the top of the adjoining rock, from whence we are led to suppose, that he did so.
Leaving PORT ERIN, the road to Peel lies through the pretty village of KIRK ARBORY. At a short distance is Kirk Patrick, a Church erected in 1710, by the exertions of Bishop Wilson.
Not far from hence is the most romantic and beautiful spot in the island, a valley called Glenmoi. It is a deep and rocky glen, well wooded, through which runs a rivulet, murmuring over its stony bed, and in one part forming a delightful fall of from thirty to forty feet. The northern bank is almost perpendicular, covered with luxuriant ivy, intermixed with holly; the south side exhibits a rich plantation of ash, chesnut and hazel. As the valley winds considerably, all foreign objects are necessarily excluded, and the whole has an air of the most pleasing solitude.
twelve miles from Castle Town, is more remarkable for its ancient than present importance.
In the feudal times, this town must have derived consequence from its vicinity to the castle; and when the smuggling trade was at its height, Peel was a station of importance, but it is now little more than a narrow fishing town. The population is estimated at thirteen hundred people. The bay abounds with excellent fish,+ and on this coast the herrings have, for many years, been taken in the greatest abundance. PEEL CASTLE stands on a peninsula about one hundred yards west of the town ; at low water it is joined to the main land by a stone wall, shelving to the top.
The ruins of this venerable structure have yet an imposing appearance, the walls are still flanked by towers, and the outline is pretty well defined; it encloses an irregular polygon of two acres. The building was originally composed of a sort of red slate, winged and faced in many parts with red stone. Almost in the centre is a square pyramidical mound of earth, each of its sides facing one of the cardinal points. The admeasurement of this elevation is seventeen yards, and it is surrounded by a ditch five feet and a half broad, but of the use for which it was designed, no account is extant ; it is conjectured either to have been an eminence whence a commander might harangue his troops, or with more probability, the burial-place of some great personage.
In this fortress, two eminent persons have been imprisoned at different times, the one Eleanor, wife to Humphrey. Duke of Gloucester, in the reign of Henry VI. the other, the great Earl of Warwick, who, on one of his reverses, was banished to the Island, and detained in the custody of this garrison.
Within the Castle walls are the remains of two cathedrals, one dedicated to St. Patrick, and believed to be the first Christian Church erected here ; the other, in scribed to St. Germain, and built about 1245. This last is described by several ancient authors, particularly Waldron, as having been richly ornamented, and abounding in monumental inscriptions; but, if it ever was so, the page of history has been more lasting than even memorials of stone and marble, for, at present, not a trace of these embellishments is discoverable to the most curious research. It is completely unroofed, and only occasionally used as a cemetery. Bishop Wilson was the last diocesan enthroned in this cathedral.
+There is no great variety of fish at Peel, but codfish and herrings are abundant and very cheap. I saw hundreds of the former very fine indeed, sold singly at 6d. and 9d. each.
Three miles from Peel is the celebrated TYNWALD Mount. Its appearance is pleasing from the neatness with which its singular form is preserved, and venerable from its antiquity, and the interesting purposes to which it is entirely dedicated. It is a circular barrow, of moderate height, formed into a pyramid of three circles, the lowest being about eighty yards in circumference, and the top not more than seven feet in diameter. On this, when the legislative assembly is collected, a canopy and chair are placed for the lord, or his deputy, and the different officers, clergy and keys, take their respective stations below him, whilst the surrounding area is filled with the people. Near the mount stands St. John's Chapel, from whence, after prayers and a sermon, the several persons forming the Tynwald court, move in procession to the mount, the ancient regal formulæ being still observed.
The first part of the road to Ramsay from St. John's, lies through a deep and solitary glen, of two miles in length, a most hermit-like solitude, steep, lofty, barren, and desolate. In the bottom runs a narrow rivulet, above which, the road is cut on the side of the hill, and very dangerous for carriages. Leaving this dingle, you approach the pleasant
a place rendered interesting to the admirers of superior goodness, as having been the home-scene of Bishop Wilson's active benevolence for more than half a century.
This most excellent of men, was loved and esteemed for his goodness, by all ranks and degrees of men; the most exalted personages in various parts of Europe, bore testimony to his virtues, In the Isle of Man, the people were so strongly persuaded that a large portion of the blessings of heaven attended on him, that they never beg n their harvest till he did, hoping to participate, through him, in these advantages : and if by chance he passed near any field where they were at work, their labours were suspended for a moment, whilst they asked his benediction ; and then renewed, under an increased conviction, that for one day, at least, they would be prosperous.
The same reverential regard he obtained even in the great City of London, where, during his last visit, crowds would flock around him, with the cry of " Bless me, too, my lord."
The end of this good man was easy and tranquil, it was like his life, devoted to prayer and praise, till he fell asleep to wake in heaven.
Words are inadequate to paint the anguish of his flock, when first deprived of their beloved pastor. He was attended to his grave by the whole population of the island, without a single exception, unless of those who, by age or sickness, were incapacitated. The tenants of his nearest demesnes were appointed to bear him to his last earthly home ; but at every resting place a contest ensued. amongst the most respectable persons present, and happy were they who could perform this last sad office for their friend and benefactor. he was interred in Kirk Michael church-yard, at the east end near the chancel, and over his grave, a square tomb-stone is placed, surrounded by iron rails, on which is the following inscription on the sides,
"Sleeping in Jesus, here lieth the body of THOMAS WILSON, D. D. Lord Bishop of this Isle, who died March 5, 1755, aged 93, and is the 58th year o£ his Consecration."
At the ends,
"This Monument was erected by his Son, THOMAS WILSON, a native of this Parish, who. in obedience to the express commands of his father, declines giving him the character he justly deserved
Let this Island speak the rest."
It will be impossible for me to describe to you the reverential awe and sacred affection with which I approached this heavenly Evangelist's grave it was about five o'clock in the morning the sun was pouring his gentle rays on the Earth, and dispelling the nightly dews I was alone overwhelmed by my feelings, I extended, myself on the ground as near as possible over the remains of the venerable saint and there, I believe, I could have died, to have been interred in his grave. Perhaps my feelings were sinful, and I pray for heaven's forgiveness: but they were sincere they were delightful. On retiring, I plucked a green clod from the earth, which covered the precious deposit, and carefully transplanted it to occupy a conspicuous situation in my favourite garden at Shrewsbury.
Near the church-yard is an upright stone, of great antiquity, on which are chiselled various devices of horses, riders, dogs, and stags; on the upper part is a warrior, with a spear and shield ; on the edge are some runic characters, which are thus variously translated by different antiquarian, Sir John Prestwich asserts, that the words form the following sentence:
"Walter, son of Thaurulf; a knight, right valiant, Lord of Frithu, the Father, Jesus Christ:'
Whereas, Mr Beaufort with equal confidence, reads the inscription thus:
" For the sins of Ivalsir, the son of Duval, this cross was erected by his mother Aftridi."
'There are some other monumental relics, which make a better appearance in description than reality, being almost defaced by time.
In this parish is a pile of stones, called Cairn Vial, probably raced in commemoration of some contest, or of some eminent chief buried on the spot.
I forgot to inform you that we slept all night at Kirk Michael, as the had done the night preceeding, at Peel, but not very comfortably at either place. At Kirk Michael, I had the; pleasure of a long conversation with the worthy Mr Ray, a considerable land proprietor and a brewer. I found in his possession, a mind of no common excellence; and I then, certainly, felt a desire to become his neighbour, but Manchester, Halton and Shrewsbury each seem to possess priority of claims; still I cannot totally abandon the wish to reside on this peaceful island; and you, like myself, will be pleased, I am sure, with the general civility and kindness of its inhabitants. We had at Kirk Michael, also, the company of Mr. Smith, an intelligent land Surveyor, and who was then engaged in constructing a map of the Island. This gentleman informed me, that himself and his son, a youth of twelve years of age, had been accommodated with very comfortable board and lodging in the Parish of Kirk Patrick, for eight shillings, a week, and that he only paid twelve shillings a week, for the same, at the half-way public-house, between Douglas and Peel.
A mile from Kirk Michael is the Bishop's Palace, a moderate sized building The present excellent Prelate, Dr. Murray, is a spirited agriculturist, as well as a judicious divine, and his example appears to animate the neighbouring land-owners and farmers : for this part of the Island bears the marks of recent and remarkable improvement.
Two miles north-east of Kirk Michael is
here we met with a most extraordinary
FOSSIL SKELETON OF AN ELK,
which was exhibited in a large building of boards, in the garden of Mr. Thomas Keruish, near the Brewery. From the height it stood, and the extreme length of its legs, a middle sized man might have walked under its body perfectly erect. It stood from the hoof to the summit of its antler; thirteen feet ; its length from the forepart of the head to the setting on the tail was eight feet, Each horn was five feet ten inches long; at the palm eighteen inches broad: on the right seven, and on the left, eight fine branches, distant from each other, at the extremities, eight feet The whole of the bones were in the highest state of perfection and preservation, and put together with strict care and anatomical accuracy, a small part of one hoof appeared to be all that was wanting.
This rarity was discovered on the 14th March, 1819, in a solid bed of Shell Marl, 13 feet beneath the surface, in a part of a field very near to the place of its exhibition ; and which it was evident had not in any period been dug up or disturbed since the deposit of the animal.
The sight of the Skeleton of an Elk, of a species now totally extinct or unknown, naturally excited in my mind a variety of conjectures, as to whom were its contemporaries, were they the inhabitants of this or the Antedeluvian world, or did this stupendous animal live even before the period of the Earth's renovation, as related by the Prophet Moses: for I was at that moment most powerfully impressed with the idea, that the Fossil bones of animals, &c. found sometimes in beds of Marl, in blocks of Marble, and various Rocks, could not in every case, have been deposited and inclosed by the action of the Waters of the general Deluge. Nor do I now see any rational or scriptural objection to the conjecture : but as the thought is speculative and abstruse, I will not pursue it; but rather amuse you with reciting the particulars of an Advertisement, we also met with at Ballaugh, which I think in point of Auctioneering Incitement quite equal to any thing produced on the other side the water
" To the Farmers of the North. A great bargain ! ! ! The One-Third of the Ballaugh Brewery to be Sold, to pay an Execution, because Interest was not paid in "time" It is to be Sold next Wednesday, the 26th of this Month, by Auction, on the Premises.
"'This One-third Part of the Brewery in the year 1813, brought a clear Income of £600, all Expences paid; and since that time it is well known that this same Third part has yielded £400 yearly. Corn is cheaper now, and ale as dear as ever. Now any body that hath common Sense, and a little Skill at reckoning, must know that £800 is not too much for such a Concern as this,; and it is about £800 that is on it; and it may be paid by degrees. it has been set by a Mortgagee these Two Years past at £60 a Year, the Interest of £1000;+ and the Man that has it is making a Fortune, and it is his advantage to keep it going on as it is. Money is 'scarce to be sure ; but let two or three stout Farmers join and pay the present Execution, or may be a Part of it, and put their Barley in the Mash-tub : let them get a Clerk and carry on. The Income of it would be better for them than 2 Quarter lands Many a poor Man now a Days out of Bread, would be glad to do the Business for 30 or 401. a Year, and pay his Employers a good round Sum at the Year's end. They may talk of sending Corn off the Country here is a Market by the Fireside certain Profit without risk Come on then my Boys and bid, if you have Money; if not, it is a pity you will miss a good Bargain, such as may not come your Way as in in a hurry.' Douglas, April 20, 1820.
+Interest of money is six per cent. on the Isle of Man.
A cross road leads from Ballaugh to Kirk Bride, situated five miles from Ramsay, and two from the point of Ayr. Between Kirk Bride and Ramsay, is Kirk Andreas bear an ancient Seat called Balla hurry, is the Encampment formed by the Troops of Oliver Cromwell.
The approach to
is truly pleasant It is but a small place, deriving its chief importance from being the Seat of Justice for the Northern Circuit. The Pier is good. The Bay is spacious ; but the Harbour, from neglect, is nearly choaked up with sand Here I made a few purchases of toys, knives, &c. for my dear little youngsters at home. Provisions are very cheap at Ramsay, and the neighbourhood is good ; many respectable families residing in it You will here find some fruitful Orchards, fine growing Timber, Quick-set Hedges, spirited Farmers, &c. And your opinion of the Isle of Man will here be very different to what it must necessarily be were you to visit the South side of the Island only.
In proceeding from Ramsay to Maughold, you leave the lofty Mountain North Barrule on the right. Maughold head is a bold promontory, beneath which, under some moss-clad rock:, is a deep spring, much celebrated for its medicinal virtues These waters are supposed to derive additional efficacy, if drank sitting in the chair of saint Maughold which still remains near the well.
This point, and the adjacent village, take their name from the venerable person (St. Maughold) who was there cast ashore, and who, as tradition informs us, made himself a dwelling on the spot where he landed: and where his exemplary piety, and the uncommon severity of his life, attracted such universal reverence, that his solitude was soon invaded by a number of votaries, who, desiring to shelter themselves beneath the protection of his sanctity, or to profit by his example, soon raised a town in his immediate neighbourhood, which became one of the most populous in the island. Of the truth of this legend no evidence remains, except the uncommon dimensions of the church, which greatly exceed those of any other place of worship on the island: and the circumstance of its standing in a space of five acres of consecrated ground, certainly implies a larger population than that by which it is at present surrounded.
Passing on towards Laxey, Snowfield rears its venerable head, and invites the traveller to a view which, for its extent, is unrivalled in Great Britain, of which empire this mountain is said to be the exact centre ; and a great part of which may be distinctly seen from the top of it. Of Ireland you behold the Arklow mountains, the high point of land on this side the bay of Carlingford, and the hills behind Strangford. Of Wales, the towering Snowdon and great Ormshead, besides a long line of mountains. Of England, part of the coast of Cumberland and Lancashire ; and of Scotland, all the high land between Dumfries and Port Patrick Whilst the Isle of Man itself forms the home view, and is spread out like a map beneath your feet.
LAXEY in a village of little trade, composed of about thirty houses, the retreat of fishermen; but the glen is deserving of notice, for the romantic beauty of its scenery. It is well planted with trees; about half-way up are some copper mines, from whence no Great advantages have as yet been derived, though they are occasionally worked: a little way up the valley was formerly a flax spinning-mill, but now a paper manufactory. KIRK LONAN, the parish church, is a mile from the village. At some distance on the road to Douglas, are twelve stones placed in an oval form; just without the oval are two others, six feet high, one of which is cloven from top to bottom. The whole are erected on a mound of earth, elevated four or five feet; in the centre of which is an excavation seven feet long and three wide : the natives have connected several supernatural tales with this spot, but they give no rational account of its origin most probably the whole is a remnant of Druidism.
KEN DROGHEAD is a village rather more than two miles from Douglas, of which the parish church is dedicated to St. Onca, the mother of St. Patrick, though the name is usually corrupted to Conchan This neighbourhood has been held up of late years as an example to the rest of the Island, on account of the great and visible improvement effected here by different agriculturists, to which its vicinity to Douglas, and the facility of obtaining manure, have no doubt contributed.
Having now completed the circuit of the Island, I have only to notice the inland parish of Maroun, which offers no extraordinary particulars to record. It is intersected by a road leading to St. John's; nearly opposite to the parish church are the walls of a chapel, called St. Trinnian's, said to have been erected in consequence of s vow made by. a shipwrecked mariner; and its present ruinous state is ascribed to the malice of the demon by whom this unfortunate had been persecuted, who being restrained from any further personal injury to the sufferer, amused his revenge by throwing off the roof of the building."
I shall now endeavour to give you a just and candid opinion of the Island, its
The Isle of Man has certainly within itself the seeds of ease, happiness, and plenty. But I am sorry to observe that there does appear among the lower orders in general, a great neglect of the comforts within their reach ; a want of neatness or contrivance in their huts and dwelling, is every where apparent ; while the generality of native farmers, are too negligent or too prejudiced to adopt the modern improvements in agriculture. Some of the laws of the Isle of Man, as they have been represented to me, are still unfavourable to Foreigners, as all but natives are denominated ; particularly those relative to debtor and creditor. The law, at present, allowing a native on oath of a debt being due to him from the stranger, to have him arrested his goods seized and sold, not only to pay the debt for which process is issued, but servants wages, rent, costs, and charges; and no redress for any illegality or injustice can be obtained in less than four months.
Formerly strangers were protected from all foreign claims and arrests ; hence, numbers of debtors, took refuge on the island. Now the law allows no such protection ; still there are artifices by which debtors are detained or screened, under real or pretended obligations, and remain on the island with impunity. These, and all other cruel, unjust, or illiberal statutes and usuages, must ere long give way to humane, equitable, and enlightened enactments.
From the integrity, talents, wisdom, justice, and moderation of the noble Duke of Athol, the present Governor of the Isle of Man, we have every thing to hope for, and to anticipate. His government is that of the affectionate virtuous parent and upright judge : Instance his humane dignified conduct towards certain misguided persons, who the latter end of last year, (on account of the sudden rise in the price of grain), alarmed the island by their violent and disorderly behaviour. Among the many wise, pious, and humane sentiments delivered by his Grace on the occasion, at Douglas and at St. John's, and reported in the Isle of Man Gazette, of December 5th, 1821, I recollect being particularly impressed with the following
" Gentlemen after leaving 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 assurance of future good conduct. The mercy I have therefore extended towards them, will, I trust, be productive of the must 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.",
" Gentlemen I have had commands on the other side of the water, and in the execution of those commands I have at all times endeavoured to mingle the balm of mercy, so as to soften down the necessary severity of occasional justice."
" Gentlemen," continued his excellency " 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,; they are equally objects of my paternal care.'' .
" And should the poor of this Island be, by any fatality, placed in a situation to want it, I should cheerfully extend to them my best assistance, for I say it, and that from my heart, that SO LONG AS I HAVE A LOAF THE POOR MAN SHALL NOT WANT HIS DAILY BREAD''
" Gentlemen in the King's name, I thank you for this additional proof of your loyalty and attachment to his person and his government, and you. may depend upon it that in the faithful discharge of my office, I shall prove to you that it is my inclination as well as my duty, not to distress, but to raise the contrite offender. The period is gone by for vindictive punishment to those who have manifested contrition, I have extended clemency, and if any there yet be so little regardful of their duty and their interest as to persevere in error, I will nevertheless keep open the door of forgiveness. I will hold in mind that universal prayer handed down to us from our Blessed Redeemer, and as I offer my daily supplications, (a duty which I hope I have not hitherto neglected, nor ever shall), I will feel disposed, on the repentance of others, mercifully to forgive their trespasses, as I pray that, on similar conditions, my own trespasses may be forgiven; hoping that you will collectively do your duties, as I shall endeavour to do mine faithfully and honestly before God and man."
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ISLAND (under the king) seems to be vested in the Governor. Two Deemsters and 24 Members of the house of Keys. The council consists of the Bishop, the Receiver General, the Water Bailiff, Attorney General, Clerk of the Rolls, and the Arch-deacon:
But, I fear, Sir, my account of the Isle of Man, and several other descriptions, must to you, have appeared tedious, and egotistic; I will therefore conclude ; and as I before intimated, engagements at home pressing an immediate return, I propose to take a passage on-board the Elizabeth, which sails, for Anglesey early in the morning, I shall, in that case, be varying the route, and arrive at home pretty nearly as soon as by way of Liverpool. Taking the stage at Holyhead, the outside fare of which to Shrewsbury, is only 25s., I Shall cross the Menai Strait, and have a view of the grand Chain Bridge erecting over it; pass within a short distance of Snowdon Mountain, and through the beautiful Valley of Llangollen to Oswestry and Shrewsbury.
Should the morning prove unfavorable or dull, perhaps you may determine to remain in your Hotel for an hour or two; in which case, reading. will be found the most agreeable recreation, I therefore beg to leave with you, a few extracts from a work, entitled, THE SELECT MUSEUM OF NATURE AND ART; and which, to one of your intelligent and cultivated mind, I have no doubt, will prove interesting. ....