[From Land of Home Rule, 1893]



JAMES, the second Duke of Athole, who had succeeded the tenth Earl of Derby in the Lordship of Man, died in 1764. He left only one child, a daughter, Charlotte, who was married to her cousin John, the third Duke. The accession of a new Lord probably suggested the renewal of the negotiations which had been commenced more than a generation before for the sale of the island. The necessity for some such measure had not diminished in the interval. On the contrary, smuggling was still rife ; the revenues both of England and Ireland were still suffering; and successive British Ministries had resumed the negotiations which had been commenced in 1726. In these circumstances, Duke James seems to have doubted whether he should be able to retain the ancient sovereignty to which he had succeeded; and by several deeds he conveyed the island to trustees, with power to make an absolute sale of the whole of the property, and invest the proceeds in real property in Scotland, to be strictly entailed on his descendants, and, failing them, on the descendants of other members of the Athole family. Lawyers have disputed whether it was within the Duke's power to make the trust which was thus created. The succession to the Isle of Man, it was argued, was governed by the Act of James the First, and nothing could be done which was contrary to the letter of that statute. In the end, however, no real importance attached to these arguments. When the sale was ultimately effected, it was confirmed by Parliament; and the Parliament of George III. could of course undo what the Parliament of James I. had done~ The trusts which Duke James created are only interesting now because they furnish evidence that the idea of a sale of the Island still prevailed in his lifetime.

When Duke James died, George Grenville was Prime Minister of England. The author of the famous Stamp Act was not likely to feel much sympathy with small dependencies of the British crown, and a Minister who risked the loss of the American colonies for the sake of the £100,000 a year which the Stamp Act was expected to produce was certain to take strong measures to save the much larger sum of which Manx smugglers were depriving the English revenue. Writing on the 25th July 1764 to the Duke, he thought proper to inform him, in his own name and in that of his colleagues at the Treasury, that, "in pursuance of the powers vested in us by the 12th of George I., we are willing to treat with you for the purchase of the Isle of Man, or of such part of the rights, claimed by your Grace in the said Island, as it shall be found expedient to vest in the Crown, for preventing that pernicious and illicit trade which is at present carried on between the said Island and other parts of his Majesty's dominions, in violation of the laws, and to the great diminution and detriment of the revenues of the kingdom.

The House of Commons, during the last session of Parliament, thought fit to inquire whether any and what steps had been taken for this purpose; and we have reason to think that it is expected of us that we should pursue every legal method for the prevention of this evil. We are now ready to treat with your Grace, pursuant to the said Act of Parliament, and to receive from you a proposal for that purpose, specifying what part of your property and rights in the said Island you are disposed to sell, and the value you put upon them ; that we may know whether the terms are, in all respects, such as we, who are the trustees for the public, can admit. But, if your Grace is not inclined to enter into a treaty with us upon the subject, we beg to be informed of it, that we may then pursue such other measures as we shall think our duty to the public requires of us." 1

This strong language and hardly covert threat must have convinced the Duke that the days of his sovereignty were numbered; and, before he found leisure to reply to the Treasury letter, the Ministry proceeded from strong words to strong deeds. It issued an Order in Council on the 17th August 1764 specifying his Majesty's intentions that the laws against smuggling, particularly on the neighbouring coasts of the Isle of Man, should be strictly enforced ; directing the Admiralty to station a number of ships and cutters, under the command of discreet officers, in the harbours and on the coasts of that island; and adding that, " in order to take from foreigners all excuse on the score of ignorance, His Majesty's intentions have been notified to most of the courts of Europe." 2

Both the words and the action of the Ministry must have shown the Duke that England was at last in earnest, and that it was no longer possible to avert a change which the English Government was determined to effect. Professing, therefore, that "no temptation of gain could induce him to give up so ancient, so honourable, and so noble a birthright," and that "nothing could be an equivalent to one of his rank and circumstances for so great a patrimony," the Duke added that his duty and attachment to the King were such, that if it was esteemed, upon a full consideration, an important point for his Majesty's service, and for the good of the public, he was willing to enter into a treaty for the disposal of" the island. As, however, he had only been a few months in possession of it, and had never in the least turned his thoughts to the sale of it, it was impossible for him to fix upon an adequate price for a possession so very considerable both for honour and profit. He could therefore make no proposal himself, though he would be ready to receive with respect any that should come from the Treasury.

If, however, the Duke declared himself unable to name a just price for the island, the Lords of the Treasury contended that they were equally unable to do so. The Duke, in fact, had, while they had not, the statistical information which would enable them to determine the point. The Treasury, therefore, suggested that the Duke should supply their Lordships with this information. The Duke in the first instance, however, seems to have neglected this duty. At any rate, before the autumn closed, he was informed that the Government did not intend,to proceed with the treaty, but that they proposed to. effect their object by Act of Parliament. Accordingly, in the beginning of 1765, a Bill was introduced into the House of Commons to remedy the mischiefs resulting from Manx smuggling.

A strong policy of this kind naturally brought the Duke to reason, and on the 27th February 1765 he addressed a letter to the Treasury, in which he supplied the information which the Government had demanded in the previous September, and expressed a hope that " neither his Majesty nor the Parliament will think the clear sum of £70,000 too great a price to be paid to us in full compensation for the absolute surrender 3 of what, for want of a better word, may perhaps be called the royalties of the Island. The Duke added that the Duchess and he presumed to "hope that our particular situation, arising from rent-charges upon our other estates, in consequence of settlements made by the late Duke of Athole, from a prospect that the revenues of the Isle of Man would continue to us, will, through your Lordships' favourable mediation, recommend us to his Majesty for such mark of his royal munificence as from the consideration of the case shall appear to his Majesty to be reasonable."

This letter, of course, settled the business. Government had made up its mind to resume possession of the Isle of Man, but it had no desire to treat the Duke and Duchess with harshness. The Duke's offer was at once accepted. A Bill was introduced to give effect to it, and rapidly passed. After its passage a pension of £2000 a year was granted out of the Irish revenues to the Duke and Duchess for their joint lives. Ireland, it was argued, had suffered like England from the illicit traffic, and Ireland therefore, like England, should contribute some portion of the compensation.

The measure which thus revested the Isle of Man in the Crown of England is a very short Act with a very long preamble ; for the preamble contains a concise history of the relations of the Stanleys and of the Atholes with the island from 1407, while the Act only confirms the bargain for the sale, and excepts from it the property, the patronage, and the privileges which were still to continue with the Duke. For, though the Act deprived the Duke of his sovereignty, it left him a great manorial lord, with the land, with the minerals of the island, with large ecclesiastical patronage, and with the privilege, which no other subject possessed,. of presenting to the bishopric.4

It preserved to him the honorary service of presenting to the king two falcons on his coronation. But this Act — the Act of Revestment, as it is generally called — if it had stood alone, would not have accomplished the objects which Parliament desired. It was therefore supplemented by another measure "for more effectually preventing the mischiefs arising to the revenue and commerce of Great Britain and Ireland from the illicit and clandestine trade to and from the Isle of Man."

The Mischief Act, as it was commonly called, empowered officers of customs and excise to visit and search all vessels on the coast and in the harbours of the Island, and to seize any goods imported contrary to law; it rendered all vessels, except those driven in by stress of weather, hovering within three leagues of the Island, and having on board any prohibited goods, liable to forfeiture; it directed that offences against the Act committed in the territorial waters of the Island might be tried in any court either of Great Britain or Ireland ; and it prohibited the importation of all foreign spirits, teas, and East India goods, even for the consumption of the Island, except from Great Britain. And this Act was followed in 1767 by a still more stringent measure, which repealed the old book of rates which had been imposed by Tynwald, which substituted new and heavier duties to be levied on the authority, not of Tynwald, but of Parliament, and which limited the quantities of spirits, tea, tobacco, and other goods which should thenceforward be imported into the Isle of Man.5

The urgency of the case was perhaps sufficient justification of these laws. No Minister could allow a little island to defy the power, to embarrass the trade, and to cripple the revenue of Great Britain; and possibly the illicit practices, which had assumed such large proportions, could not have been checked by any milder legislation. But the Acts which were then passed not only inflicted an apparently irremediable wound on the prosperity of the Manx people ; they concurrently aimed a fatal blow at their independence.

For centuries the Island had preserved the appearance of independence: it had been left to regulate its own affairs and to make its own laws. It had the mortification now to see that the Parliament of Great Britain was disposing of its sovereignty, and imposing new and heavy burdens and restrictions on its trade.

Yet the change was quietly accomplished. The English Ministry at once selected a new Governor to represent the Crown, and the choice fell on Mr. Wood, who appears to have been a gentleman of capacity and discretion. It issued a proclamation notifying the change, and directing that it should be read at Castletown ; it despatched the 42nd regiment of foot to support the Governor's authority ; and accordingly on the 11th July, the Manx colours, which had been hoisted upon Castle Rushen in the morning, were struck ; the English colours were hoisted in their room ; the troops fired three volleys; the Governor made a judicious speech. The reign of John, Duke of Athole, had ceased; the reign of George III. of England (or George I. of Man) had begun.

The leading people of the island, who subsequently dined at the Castle, perhaps forgot their grievances while they were drinking the Governor's claret ; the soldiers drank his Majesty's health in a hogshead of beer which the Governor provided for them; while "bonfires, illuminations, and other demonstrations of joy," amused the more idle among the crowd." 6

Whatever demonstrations, however, may in the first instance have followed the proclamation of the revestment, it could hardly be expected that the people would have welcomed a change which deprived them of the chief occupation of their lives, and raised the cost of living in the Island.

"All the babes unborn will rue the day
That the Isle of Man was sold away,;
For there's ne'er an old wife that loves a drain,
But what will lament for the Isle of Man"7

So ran the popular refrain which was fashionable at the time. The people, too, complained not only of the thing itself, but of the manner in which it was done. The negotiations between the English Government and the Duke had been conducted without the knowledge of the Manx Legislature and Tynwald considered that in common courtesy it might have been consulted before the dynasty to which the Manx people had owed allegiance for nearly four centuries had been summarily deprived of its royalty. They did not, however, blame the Duke for his share in the matter ; they regarded him, on the contrary, as the victim of a policy which had been forced on him against his will; and the Duchess and he for many years received their sympathy and retained their attachment.

The Duke died in 1774. His Duchess, who survived him, and who had brought him the Island on her marriage, transferred on his death all her rights in Man to her son, the fourth Duke. The third Duke had silently submitted to the decision of 1765, to which, in fact, he had been technically a party. The new Duke had hardly acceded to the title, or at any rate had hardly attained his majority, before he used all the influence attaching to his high position to disturb it. During the next twenty-five years the Duke's claims were constantly before Parliament.

It is possible to put the arguments which were raised by the Duke, and the arg,uments which were returned to them, concisely. Practically, the Duke contended that the sale which his father and mother had made they were incompetent to make, and that the compensation which was awarded was inadequate. On the first point it is not necessary to say much. The universal opinion of competent authorities may be cited to prove the capacity of Parliament to do what it chooses; and any defects in the sale, if defects there were, must necessarily have been cured by the Act of Parliament which sanctioned it. jurists indeed might possibly argue that Parliament, omnipotent at home, had no power to legislate for the Isle of Man. But even this contention was hopeless. Parliament has technically the right to legislate for any portion of the British Empire, and its exercise of this right does not depend upon questions of supremacy, but on questions of expediency. Parliament, moreover, had, as a matter of fact, on several occasions exercised its right of legislating for the island. It had done so on three occasions during the half-century which preceded the revestment. And, to quote the words of the law officers of the Crown in 1802, "These instances we think abundantly sufficient to show that the Parliament of this country has exercised that right of legislation for the Isle of Man, when it has thought it necessary, which Lord Coke and Mr. Justice Blackstone state to belong to it.8

On one part of the question, therefore, little doubt can be felt. Parliament was within its rights in legislating for the Island and the flat of the Legislature covered any possible defect in the capacity of the Duke and Duchess to sell. But it was still open to the Duke's successor to maintain that his parents had been forced into an unjust bargain, and that the compensation paid was inadequate to the value of the revenue sold.

The actual revenues of the Island during, the ten years which preceded the revestment amounted to £85,085 Manx, or £72,930 British.9 The mean annual revenue of the Lord was, therefore, nearly £7300 a year. This sum, however, included the rents derived from property which was not purchased in 1765 ; and the actual revenue transferred to the Crown had yielded on an average not quite £6000 a year. It was obvious that if these revenues were fairly receivable, and if they belonged to the Duke, the 70,000 which the Duke asked and the Government paid was a very inadequate compensation for the income of which he was deprived. Those who opposed the Duke's claim and those who supported it equally admitted that the revenue was the bona fide property of the Duke; and no one was found bold enough to urge that duties granted by the Legislature were practically given in trust for public purposes and could not properly be regarded as private property. Viewed, therefore, as the transaction was on every side in the closing years of the eighteenth century the only question for consideration was whether a sum of,£70,000 and an annuity of £2000 Irish on the joint lives of the Duke and Duchess was an adequate price for an income estimated at £6000 a year? If this income was certain and assured, it was difficult to see how any answer but one could be returned to this question; and the Duke contended that it was not only assured, but that with careful collection it could have been made much larger, while it was capable of almost indefinite increase by the action of the insular Legislature. The Government~ however, replied that it was in the highest degree unlikely that the court of Tynwald would have agreed to additional taxation for the purpose of increasing,, the private revenues o f the Duke, and that his income such as it was had been swelled by the illicit practices which had prevailed. The custom duties in the island were so low that the commodities imported for local consumption would hardly have produced one-tenth of the duties which were actually received ; and, as a matter of fact, immediately after the revestment, when smuggling was checked, the revenues at once fell from thousands to hundreds. It was absurd, so it was argued, to vest an income obviously derived from illicit practices with the sanctity attaching to private property, and the compensation actually given was an ample price for the legitimate revenues of the island. The history of 1765 confirmed this view, for the £70,000 then paid was not the price named by the Government, but the price named by the Duke. It was reasonable to suppose that, in naming this sum, the Duke had not suggested one which was wholly inadequate.

Such was the substance of the very able reply ultimately returned to the Duke's claim. In 17 8 I this claim was formally raised. The Duke presented a petition to Parliament praying, for leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Act Of 1765. The measure actually passed the Commons, but it only reached the Lords towards the end of the session, and the Lord Chancellor urged, and the Duke himself acquiesced in the argument, that the period was too late for its consideration.10 Its introduction, however, had probably convinced the Duke that its passage was likely to be resisted in an unexpected quarter. Many of the Duke's arguments were clearly opposed to the. true interests of the Manx people. The Keys petitioned against the measure. Their Speaker gave evidence against it at the bar of the House of Lords. The people of the island instinctively felt that the claim of the Duke was opposed to their own privileges ; and that, in some way or other, if increased compensation were paid to his Grace, they would directly or indirectly suffer.

Deterred probably by the opposition, which his proposal provoked both in Parliament and in the Island, the Duke forebore for many years from pressing his claim. In 1790, however, it was again renewed, a relation of the Duke's, General Murray, asking leave to bring in a bill for appointing commissioners to inquire into the extent and value of certain rights, revenues, and possessions in the Isle of Man.11 The proposal was again resisted by the Opposition — on the ground that it was unfair to the public to reopen a transaction which had been definitely concluded a quarter of a century before but was supported by the Ministry, who contended that the bargain of 1765 had been hastily arrived at, and that several things had been left uncertain which, in the best interests of the public, it was desirable to determine. The Keys again petitioned against the measure, and were heard by counsel against the Bill. Supported by the whole strength of Pitt's Ministry, it was read a second time in April, and the House of commons subsequently decided on going into committee upon it by sixty-three votes to thirty-four.12 But the feeling against the measure was so strong that Government did not venture on pressing it any further on the House, and Pitt himself, notwithstanding his full conviction of the propriety, and even necessity, of proceeding with such a measure," moved its rejection.'.13 With the Government on his side and Parliament against him, the Duke in 1791 took another course, and petitioned the King in council for the redress which he had failed to obtain from the Legislature. At the close of 1791 a commission was accordingly appointed and instructed to proceed to the Island and examine the allegations of the Duke, inquiring at the same time into the constitution and circumstances of the Island.

Whatever other results may have ensued from this commission, there is no doubt that it succeeded in collecting a mass of information which has made its report a mine of wealth for the historian ; but, with respect to its immediate object, the report probably gave only imperfect satisfaction to the Duke. The Duke alleged that: —

1 The revenues arising to his family were not fairly collected,even before the revestment.
2. His family had the power of increasing, the duties, with the consent of the Legislature, and that such consent, to any reasonable degree, would not have been wanting.
3. Some rights, unnecessary to be vested in the Crown for the purpose of preventing illicit practices, had been so vested , while others, meant to be retained, had, by the operation of the Act Of 1765, been rendered nugatory, by being left in a mutilated and unprotected condition, the protections which they enjoyed under the former Government of the island having been destroyed, and no new or adequate protection substituted in their room.

On the first allegation the commissioners held that " the Lords' revenues were not fairly collected or paid prior to the revestment." The first part of the second allegation, that the Duke's family had the power of increasing the revenue with the consent of the Legislature, they considered a self-evident proposition ; but they added, in reference to the second part, that it was not probable that such consent would have been given without an equivalent.

The Duke defined the rights which he stated in his third allegation to be unnecessarily vested in the Crown to be the following: —

(a.) The herring custom, being. a tax of 10s. on each boat engaged in the herring-fishery.
(b.) The salmon fishings.
(c.) The harbours and quays of the Island.
(d.) The Isle — and Castle of Peel.
(e.) Treasure trove.

All these five rights, the commissioners held, were not necessarily vested in the Crown for the purpose of preventing illicit practices.

The rights which the Duke alleged to have been left in a mutilated and unprotected condition were the rights to wrecks, game, unappropriated lands, and boons and services.14 So far as his right to wrecks and boons and services was concerned, the commissioners thought that the Duke might obtain redress by resorting.(y to the courts of justice. His right to game, secured to him by laws conceived " in the jealous and vindictive spirit of the ancient forest laws," was not affected by the Act of Revestment. So far as the unappropriated lands were concerned, the Keys undertook in writing, and the Duke expressed himself satisfied with the undertaking, to give the Duke the necessary relief.

Technically, therefore, the decision of the commissioners was in the Duke's favour; but at the same time the examination of his claim must have convinced every one that the pecuniary value of the rights of which he may have been unnecessarily deprived was very small. The only things of value among them were the herring customs and the right of free carriage ; and the value of the former was estimated at £100, that of the latter at about £130 a year.15 The truth of the Duke's allegations, moreover, did not advance his claim. If it were true, on the commissioners' showing, that his family had unnecessarily been deprived of certain small rights, the words of the Act could be quoted to prove that these rights had been included in the bargain between his predecessor and the Crown. There may have been no public necessity for compelling the Duke to part with them, but there could be no reasonable doubt that, as a matter of fact, he had knowingly sold them.

The Government in these circumstances did not venture to take any action on the commissioners' report, but it gratified the Duke in 1793 by appointing him Governor of the Island. The pay of the office was not large, but the position gave him an obvious advantage in protecting his interests, while it enabled him to exercise ' as the representative of the Crown, the functions which his ancestors had discharged by virtue of their inheritance. The Manx, too, though they had hitherto opposed the Duke's claims, accepted him as their Governor with acclamations. They regarded him as "a fellow-sufferer with themselves." He and they had been equally injured by the Act of Revestment, and his influence, they hoped, would thenceforward be exerted to remedy their grievances and promote their interests. They received the Duke accordingly with enthusiasm, took his horses from his carriage, drew him themselves to his residence, and cheered him to the echo.16

Some years passed before the Duke formally renewed the claims which he had raised in 1781 and 1790, and which had been referred by Pitt to the commissioners appointed in the autumn of 1791. In 1798, however, he was instrumental in procuring the passage of an Act through Parliament intended to promote the trade of the island, and at the same time to increase the insular revenue.17 The Act, which carried out some of the recommendations of the Commissioners, was passed for only three years. It had the effect of raising the revenues, which since the Revestment had not amounted on an average to £4000, to £8000 a year.18 Taking advantage of this circumstance, the Duke in 1801 — before the Act had actually expired — again memorialised the King in Council, and asked that some additional compensation might be granted to him out of the improved revenues.19 The memorial was evidently prepared while Pitt was still in office: it reached the King, however, during the crisis which led to that great Minister's withdrawal from power, and it was referred to a committee of the Privy Council during the earliest days of Addington's Administration. Six months later, their Lordships sent it to the law officers of the Crown, whose report upon it was made in November 1802.

This report, to which allusion has already been made in this chapter, is the best extant analysis of the Duke's case. In substance, the attorney and solicitor-general declared that the revenues before the revestment had been swelled by smuggling; that a revenue based on the legitimate consumption of the Island would not have exceeded, after allowing for the expenses of collection, £800 a year; and that this revenue, "at thirty years' purchase, would give £24,000, which would leave £46,000 out of the £70,000 for the account of the royalties." 20 Convinced by this reasoning, the Lords of the Council reported in 1804 — for their Lordships in those days moved very slowly — that " there do not appear sufficient grounds to consider the compensation made to the late Duke of Athole . . . and their Lordships cannot advise your Majesty to signify your royal consent to such an application to Parliament as is sugg,ested in the prayer of his Grace's petition to your Majesty in Council."

The Duke had now maintained the struggle for the best part of twenty-five years. He had been defeated in the House of Lords, he had been defeated in the House of Commons, and he had been defeated, it might have been thought, finally, in the Privy Council; yet he was on the very eve of securing a long-deferred victory. The whirligig of politics, which had disappointed his expectations by replacing Pitt with Addington in 1801, was replacing Addington with Pitt in 1804. The Privy Council reported adversely on the 31st day of March. On the 13th April the Duke asked (and on the 17th his request was granted) that the report might be suspended till he had prepared a supplemental petition, which it was his purpose to present. On the 15th May, Pitt resumed office; and on the 27th June the Duke's supplemental petition was referred to a fresh committee, which on the 18th August recommended that the Duke's claim should be complied with.21

Accordingly in the following year a Select Committee was appointed in the House of Commons, and recommended that additional compensation should be granted to the Duke.' The Crown was thereupon advised to grant, and Parliament was induced to approve, the issue of an annuity to the Duke22 and his heirs for ever equal to one-fourth part the gross customs revenue of the island;23 and a Bill was introduced and passed consolidating the duties granted under previous Acts, and directing the payment of the revenues into the Consolidated Fund of Great Britain.

It is not necessary in a history of the Isle of Man to consider the motives which may have induced Pitt to press forward this extraordinary policy. Whether private friendship, or the desire to secure political support, may have actuated his conduct, there seems no justification for the act itself or for the manner in which it was done. The House of Lords, with all its natural prejudices in favour of a nobleman of high rank and great descent, had refused the claim; the House of Commons, a House returned not by popular constituencies, but mainly composed of the representatives of great borough owners, had declined to consider it; the Privy Council, after an elaborate inquiry, and after referring the case to the law officers of the Crown, had rejected it. Pitt's chief legal adviser, his Attorney-General, had himself prepared the elaborate and cogent, report which had guided the decision of the Privy Council; he displayed his adherence to his original opinion by absenting himself from the debate on the Prime Minister's proposal; the Chief justice of England led the opposition to it in the House of Lords, and declared that the transaction was "one of the most corrupt jobs ever witnessed in Parliament; " and that the manner in which the claim was pressed was "a proceeding which could only be sanctioned by Parliament in the worst and most corrupt times."24Yet, in the face of the previous refusals of the Legislature, in face of the decision of the Privy Council, in face of the opinions of the men by whose advice lie should have been guided on a question. of law, Pitt forced his colleagues in the Privy Council and his supporters in Parliament to adopt the measure, which it is fair to add that he had consistently recommended, but which they had as consistently refused if, moreover, his policy redressed the grievance of the Duke, it created a much more serious grievance in the Island. The Duke's family could hardly have received any compensation for the customs revenue in 1765, except on the assumption that taxes imposed on the Island were his private property, and not held in trust for public purposes. He could hardly have received increased compensation in 1805 except on the still more monstrous assumption that he had a right to the improved revenues imposed neither by himself nor by the local Legislature, but by the Imperial Parliament; and this contention was indirectly supported by the language of the new Act. In the Acts of 1767 and 1780, the surplus revenues of the Island imposed by these Statutes which remained after defraying the necessary expenses of government had been reserved for the disposition of Parliament. In the temporary Act, which the Duke had secured in 1798, this provision was for the first time omitted. But, in the Act of 1805, Parliament took a much more formidable step, and directed that these revenues should be carried to the Consolidated Fund of Great Britain. Under the earlier Acts it was probably the intention — it was certainly open to every Manxman to contend that it was the intention — that these revenues should be expended, under the authority of Parliament, on insular pur poses. But the Act of 1805 made such a contention no longer admissible. The local revenues ceased, as it were, to be earmarked; they were merged in the general income of the larger country. The admission of the Duke's claim made it almost inevitable that they should be so merged. If the Duke was entitled to an additional £3000 a year out of the revenue, it was only right that the Consolidated Fund should be recouped for the loss. If, in short, the increased revenues had belonged to the Duke, they obviously and legitimately belonged to the Power which stood in the Duke's shoes. The moral claim, which, up to 1805, the Manx people might fairly have made, that revenues raised in the island should be spent in the island, was thus barred by the words of the Act; and the injustice which was thus perpetrated was not remedied for another sixty years.

Unhappily, in the history of England there are too many instances where the claims of an individual have been treated with respect, and the claims of a people have been overlooked; and in the political atmosphere of the earlier years of the century the claims of individuals were regarded with more consideration than the present generation would pay to them. Pitt's advocates may therefore fairly claim that he should be judged by the standard of his own age, which rarely forgot that property had its rights, and hardly ever remembered that it had its duties. But, unhappily for Pitt, the excuse is not available in the present instance; for, so far as the Duke of Athole was concerned, Lords, Commons, and Councillors were all favourable to a more appropriate policy. It was the influence of Pitt which secured the Duke the compensation he sought; it was Pitt's authority which persuaded a reluctant Legislature; and Pitt, and Pitt alone, must be held responsible for what was done, and for the manner of doing it.


1 Parliamentary Papers respecting the Isle of Man, 1805, P. 13.

2 Arm. Reg., 1764, P. 90

3 Parliamentary Papers respecting Isle of Man p. 17.

4 The right of presentation to the bishopric, which was preserved to the Duke, but which sixty years afterwards was purchased by the Crown, is different from the right which the Crown enjoys of appointing English bishops. In England and Wales the Crown technically authorises the Dean and Chapter to elect a bishop, though it nominates the person whom the Dean and Chapter are to elect. In the Isle of Man it appoints the bishops. The bishopric of the Isle of Man may., therefore, be styled a " donative " of the Crown.

5 The Act of Revestment is the 5 Geo. Ill., C. 26. The Mischief Act, 25 Geo. Ill., c. 39. The Act of 1767, the 7 Geo. Ill., c. 45. The duties imposed in 1767, and the quantities of foreign articles allowed to be imported into the Island, were affected or amended by subsequent Acts passed in 1780 (20 Geo. Ill., c. 42), in 1798 (38 Geo, Ill., c. 63), and by subsequent statutes.

6 Manx Soc. Pub., vol. xii. p. 129.

7 Ibid., vol. xvi. P. 233.

8 Parliamentary Papers respecting Isle of Man, 1805, P. 57.

9 £7 Manx was equal to £6 British. See for this account, ibid., p. 64,

10 Parliamentary Register, vol. xxi. P.348.

11 Parliamentary Register, vol. xliv. P. 307.

12 Ibid., PP. 385-395. .

13 Ibid., p. 561.

14 The tenants and inhabitants of the Isle were bound, by an Act of 1645, to furnish labour for the repair of the Lord's forts and houses, or to pay a fine of sixpence on each instance of default; while each owner of a quarterland was bound to furnish a cart and horses on four days of the year, or to pay a fine of 2s., to be employed in the repair of the Lord's fences, houses, &c., and on other duties

15 Report of the Commissioners, p. 18, Appendix, No. 28.

16 Train, vol. i. P. 252.

17 38 Geo. Ill., c. 63. Manx Soc. Pub., vol. xii. p. 194.

18 Papers respecting the Isle of Man, P, 21.

19 Ibid., p. 8.

20 Ibid., p. 62.

21 Papers respecting Isle of Man, p. 11

22. Part. Deb., vol. v. p. 52.

23 45 Geo. III., C. 123. Train, vol. i. P. 249.

24 Parl, Deb,, vol, v, PP, 776-778,


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