[From Land of Home Rule, 1893]
" OUR Doughtfull and GratiousLord, this is the Constitution of old time, the which we have given in our days, how you should be governed on your Tynwald Day. First, you shall come thither in your royal array, as a king ought to do, by the prerogatives and royalties of the Land of Mann. And Upon the Hill of Tynwald sitt in a chaire, covered with a royal cloath and cushions, and your visage unto the east, and your sword before you, holden with the point upward; your Barrons in the third degree sitting beside you, and your beneficed men and your Deemsters before you sitting; and your Clarkes, your Knights, Esquires, and Yeomen about you in the third degree; and the worthiest men in your land to be caUed in before your Deemsters, if you will ask anything of them, and to hear the government of your land, and your will; and the Commons to stand without the circle of the Hill, with three Clearkes in their surplisses. And your Deemsters shall make call in the Coroner of Glenfaba; and he shall call in all the Coroners of Man, and their Yards in their hands, with their weapons upon them, either sword or axe. And the Moares, that is, to wits, of every Sheading. Then the Chief Coroner, that is, the Coroner of Glenfaba, shall make offence, upon Paine of life and Iyme, that noe man make any disturbance or stirr in the time of Tinwald, or any murmur or rising in the King's presence, upon Paine of hanging and drawing. And then shall let your Barrons and all others know you to be their King and Lord, and what time you were here you received the land as Heyre Apparent in your Father's days. And all your Barrons of Man, with your worthiest Men and Commons, did you faith and fealtie. And in as much as you are, by the Grace of God, now King and Lord of Man, yee will now that their Commons come unto you, and show their Charters how they hould of you. And your Barrons that made no faith nor fealtie unto you, that they make now."
Such was the answer, which Deemsters and Keys gave in the fifteenth century, to a question evidently put to them by Sir John Stanley as to the course to be pursued at the annual gathering on Tynwald. The answer initiated, it must be recollected, no new custom, but directed how an old ceremony already venerable from age-should be conducted. The visitors to the Isle of Man to-day, who are drawn in their hundreds and in their thousands to witness the promulgation of the laws on the 5th July, only see a faint copy of this mediaeval spectacle. There, indeed, the Governor, as representative of the sovereign, still sits in a chair, draped with red, with his visage to the east, with his drawn sword on the table before him. There the Bishop, the solitary survival of the mediaeval barons, sits by the Governor's side. Now, as in the olden time, the Deemster calls upon the Coroner of Glenfaba to fence the court. Now, as then, the retiring coroners deliver up their wands of office to the Governor, the incoming coroners receive them from him. And, if now the worthiest men in the land are no longer called in before the Deemsters to answer the questions of the Lord, the laws which Council and Keys have passed in the last twelve months are read out ;1 and Council, Keys, clerks, and laity encircle the hill on which they are read.
Thus the modern ceremony, shorn as it is of much of its original significance, still preserves the traditions of the past, and carries back the reflecting visitor not merely to the time of the first Stanleys, but to the still older customs which Sir John Stanley revived and desired should be observed. At the same time, the alterations which have been introduced into the formula testify to the modifications which have been made in the government of the Island. For the constitution of the Isle of Man, like the constitution of the United Kingdom, is no rigid law. It has never been embodied in any document or regulated by any statute. It has changed, it is changing, it is susceptible of further change. Keys, Council, and Governor still represent, in some fashion, the Taxiaxi, the barons, and the Lord. But the functions of each of them have been modified in the course of ages. They are not what they were a century ago. They hardly resemble their predecessors five centuries ago. The influence of surrounding countries, and the introduction of modern ideas, have left their mark upon them; and except that there are still twentvfour Keys, and that the Keys are parties to the legislation of the Island, there is little resemblance between the modern Assembly and the old Legislature, which owes its traditional origin to King Orry.
It is the boast of the Manxman that the House of Keys had its origin before the House of Commons; and, as a matter of fact, it is probable that the ancient men of the Isle were gathered round the Lord in Tynwald before the sheriffs of English counties were instructed to send representatives to the King's court, and centuries before Simon de Montfort gave members to the English boroughs. But probably from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries long periods elapsed in which no Tynwalds were held, and the Tynwald court, when it was assembled, could hardly be called a legislative body. The judicial functions of the Keys were of more importance than their legislative duties. J'he Keys were a jury rather than a Legislature. It is true that the Deemsters or judges were accustomed to consult them when they declared the law; but even in this duty the Keys resembled a jury aiding a judge. The points referred to them for decision were usually judicial rather than legislative. The Breast I aws I of the Deemsters were expositions of the common law of the island accepted by the Keys, the jury, who acted with them.
When the Keys thus met for the transaction of their ordinary business there is no evidence that they were elected by any popular voice. They were drawn, as special juries are drawn, from men of substance. They were the worthiest, the " auncientest " men, the elders of their own neighbourhood. Even then their presence in Tynwald was subject to the veto of the Lord. " \N ithout the I.ord's will, none of the Keys to be." The Lords, in short, had the right- if modern language may be used-of challenging each of the jurymen.
But, though on ordinary occasions the Keys were selected by the Lord's officers, when they were assembled for the special purpose of agreeing to more important legislation they were apparently elected by the several sheadings. For in 1581 the Bishop ()Ierick) took occasion to object that, " if the twentyfour and the rest be called together for the establishing of a law to stand in force and bind his successors and the whole country, and not to decide a controversy, then he is of opinion that the twenty-four should be elected by the whole country -viz., of every sheading a number to say for and represent the rest." The Keys formally endorsed the claim which the Bishop thus made. "The twenty-four say that for establishing a law the country ought to give its consent for the choosing of the said twenty-four." The proceedings were thereupon stayed till the Lord's pleasure was known, and no laws were made till October of the following year, when Lord Derby either yielded the claim or the Keys abstained from pressing it." 1
It seems clear, therefore, that-while, in ordinary circumstances, when they were assembled for judicial purposes, or, as the Bishop put it, to decide a controversy, the Keys were selected by the Lord's officers,-on special occasions, when laws of more than ordinary importance were proposed to them, they were sometimes elected by the people. But it may be assumed that this rule was not regularly observed. On occasions of unusual importance the Keys themselves were either supplemented or supplanted by representatives of all the commons of Man. In 1429 and 1430, for instance, the representatives of the commons, six of whom were chosen in each sheading, seem to have taken the place of the Keys. In 1643, on the contrary, four men were drawn from each of the parishes, and the laws proposed to be made were referred to a body composed of twelve men chosen out of the twentyfour Keys and twelve men out of the representatives of the parishes. The committee-if the modern name may be used-to which the laws were thus referred was not invested with legislative powers, for the laws which they made were confirmed some months afterwards at a meeting at which the whole of the Keys and all the representatives of the parishes had the opportunity of being present; and, as a matter of fact, no less than t~venty-one of the Keys signed and consented to the lass which were then added to the statute book
If, then, it is on the one hand probable that the Keys in the olden time were occasionally chosen by the people, so, on the other hand, it is apparent that the right of election was only exercised at rare intervals. By degrees, indeed, it dropped altogether out of use, and the practice grew up that, when a vacancy occurred among the Keys, the twenty-three surviving members nominated two persons for the vacancy. The Governor thereupon selected one of these two persons, who was entitled to continue in office for life, or until his resignation, or his expulsion from the Keys, or his promotion to the Council.
The election (if it can be so called) of the Keys continued to be conducted in this fashion till 1866, when, on the institution of the important financial reform, which has been described in the preceding chapter, the House was at last turned into an elective body.
In that year an Act of Tynwald was passed directing the dissolution of the old House and the election of a new House of Keys. Under this Act each of the six sheadings of the Island were given three members, the town of Douglas three members, and the remaining towns-Peel, Ramsey, and Castletown-one member each. The franchise was allotted to £8 owners and £12 occupiers in sheadings, and to £8 occupiers in towns. These enactments have since been modified.. The franchise has been extended to £4 owners and occupiers, both in town and sheading; it has been given to widows and single women as well as to men. The two least populous sheadings have been deprived of one member each; the two members taken away from these divisions have been allotted to the growing town of Douglas, which has been divided into two electoral districts, returning three and two members respectively; and the electors throughout the Island have received the protection of the ballot.
The Act of 1866, which converted the Keys into an elective body, deprived the House of the last remnant of its judicial authority. Up to 1825 the Keys had been regularly summoned to the court of general gaol delivery; and all serious offences had been tried before a court consisting of the Governor, the whole of the Legislature, and a jury drawn from all the parishes of the island. The court which was thus constituted was usually held twice in the year within the outer gate of Castle Rushen. The ecclesiastical members of the Council were accustomed to withdraw before sentence of death vitas pronounced,1 and they were gradually relieved from attendance at a court at which their presence was obviously anomalous. In 1825 the Privy Council decided that the Keys did not, by the laws of the Island, form an integral or constituent part of the court of general gaol delivery; thenceforward they were no longer summoned to the court; 2 and in 1866 the appellate jurisdiction of the House was abolished by statute.3
Thus, in the course of ages, the constitution and functions of the House of Keys have been wholly altered. The assembly, which had originally been chiefly a judicial body, has become a branch of the Legislature; the House, which had been usually selected by the Lord's officers, and none of whose members could sit without the Lord's will, has been converted into a representative Chamber. But time, which has thus played such pranks with the Keys, has added another important element to the Manx Legislature. By a process which can only be dimly traced, but whose effects are plainly visible, an Upper Chamber had been added to Tynwald.
The Lord in Tynwald, it has been shown, has not merely surrounded by the Keys: his greater barons were also present. But the greater barons had not apparently any particular part to play in the proceedings. They do not appear to have been consulted on the Breast Laws or judicial decisions which the Deemsters pronounced in concert with the Keys. They exercised, indeed, formidable powers on their own estates, but they had no special authority at Tynwald. Their presence at Tynwald was, in fact, evidence rather of subordination than a proof of power. Their fellowcountrymen might otherwise have forgotten that these formidable ecclesiastics could to some extent be checked by the sovereign-that they were, after all only the Lord's men.
However this may be, with the dissolution of the monasteries the greater barons, with the single exception of the Bishop, disappeared from Tynwald; and about the time of their disappearance the Lord's chief officers, who came to be gradually known as his Council, took their place at that assembly. The Council indeed is mentioned in the Statute Book at least as early as 1422,l but it is mentioned as an executive, and not as a legislative, body. One hundred and sixty years later, or in 1582, it appears to have acted in a legislative capacity. From 1628 the Council, or some parts of it, are expressly mentioned as assenting parties to legislation; and so lately as 1692 the whole customs duties of the Island were revised by the Governor and Council without reference to the Keys, and the book of rates which was then established was accepted and continued in force for forty-five years.l
In fact, during the greater part of the period in which the House of Stanley reigned in Man, the Island can hardly be said to have had any settled Legislature. " The laws and ordinances that were enacted during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries," wrote the Royal Commission of 179l, "appear by the Manks Statute Book to have been prescribed by such different powers, or combination of powers, that as precedents of the exercise of legislative authority they can have but little weight." the Lord or his deputy sometimes acted on the advice of his Council; at other times he referred a doubtful point for solution to Deemsters and Keys; and this variation in the practice was so usual that the two bodies-one of which traced back its origin to a remote antiquity, while the other had been only recently constituted-were gradually recognised as equal in authority, and, in consequence, became the two branches of the Manx Legislature.
It was only, again, by gradual process that the Council acquired its present name. In some statutes it was called the "lord's officers," in others the " Lord's Council," in others again the " officers of the Lord's Council." It was only gradually, too, that its composition became fixed. So lately as 1791 the highest authorities in the Island differed in opinion as to those who were or were not entitled to a seat in the Council; and from 1777 two successive Governors declined to summon the clerical members of the Council to its meetings.1
The Council now consists of the Bishop, the Attorney General, the Clerk of the Rolls, the two Deemsters, the Archdeacon, the Receiver-General, and the Vicar-General. It can only sit on the sumtnons of the Governor, who presides at its meetings. With the exception of the Vicar-General, vho receives his appointment from the Bishop, all the members are appointed by the Crown; but the odd rule prevailing in Crown colonies, under which official members of the Council are required to vote with the Governor, has never been applied to this body.
The two branches of the Legislature are of co-ordinate authority. Public Bills may be introduced in either of them, though, as a matter of fact, legislation usually emanates from the Council. In the Isle of Man, as in the United Kingdom, the work of legislation tends to fall more and more into the hands of the Government, and the Chamber in which the Governor sits, and in which his chief legal adviser, the Attorney-General, is present, naturally tends to become more and more the House in which new laws originate.
The course which is followed with legislation is similar to that pursued at Westminster. In the Council, Bills are read a first time, a second time, are considered clause by clause, and read a third time and passed. In the Keys, leave is asked for the introduction of a Bill; the Bill is subsequently read a first time, considered on the second reading clause by clause, and is then passed. In the event of a disagreement between the two branches, conferences are usually held. These conferer.ces are always held in the Council Chamber, and the Governor, as a general rule, represents and explains the views of the Council. The Keys are represented in the conference by a deputation of five, six, or seven members, one of whom usually acts as spokesman, but whose views are frequently supported by his colleagues. The conference, therefore, closely resembles what used to be known as a free conference in Parliament; but it usually proves an efficient contrivance for reconciling differences.
On the passage of a Public Bill it is signed at a meeting of the two branches of the Legislature, meeting in Tynwald under the presidency of the Governor; and no Bill can become law unless it receives the signatures at this stage of at least thirteen members of the Keys, or a clear majority of that house. The Bill thus passed is sent by the Governor to the Home Office for the royal assent. The practice in London is to refer it to the law officers of the Crown, who draw up a report upon it. If that report is favourable to its passage, it is laid before Her Majesty in Council, who thereupon, by and with the advice of her Council, approves thereof, and orders that the measure be confirmed, ratified, and enacted accordingly. The Act, however, does not become law till it is subsequently promulgated on the sth July, or on some other day specially named by the Governor, at the Tynwald court annually held at St. John's in the open air.
As a matter of fact, the law officers not unfrequently draw at ention in their reports to slight technical points which they consider should be amended before a measure actually receives the royal assent, but there is not, at any rate in recent years, any precedent for the assent of the Grown being withheld from a measure on its principle. It is difficult to imagine that such a course could arise. The Governor represents the Crown in the Island; his assent is necessary to every measure before it can become law; and it may be reasonably expected that any Governor who understood his duty would ascertain from the Government their wishes in respect to any legislation which seemed likely to be regarded as objectionable; and, by refusing his own assent to it, would save her Majesty from taking the extreme course of disallowing it in Council.
Private legislation follows much the same course as is pursued with public Bills. Private Bills, however, usually, though not invariably, emanate in Tynwald. A petition is presented to the Governor praying for leave to introduce the Bill; the Governor directs that the petition shall be heard itl Tynwald on a certain day. The advocates promoting the petition is then called into Tynwald and heard; and the petition is usually referred to a committee to ascertain whether the standing orders of the court have been complied with, and occasionally to report on the merits of the measure. On receipt of the report, a motion is made that leave be given for the introduction of the Bill; the motion is put, and, if carried, the Governor names the branch of the Legislature in which the Bill will be taken up in the first instance.
In nothing, perhaps, is the advantage which the Manx enjoy from the existence of their local Legislature so conspicuous as in the case of private legislation. Bills of the utmost importance to the Island, involving perhaps the construction of a new railway, are considered at a cost which is simply biding compared with the expense of similar legislation in England. Bills of a minor character can be carried at a cost of a few pounds; and it may safely be stated that no village in the Island, however small, would be deterred from asking for the power which it required to obtain water by compulsion, for example, from any dread of the expense which such an application might entail. It is curious, too, that the insular Legislature, in dealing with private legislation, has from the first adopted without question a principle which is still disturbing the peace of larger communities. In the few cases of considerable improvement which has been made in the larger towns, a special rate has regularly been imposed on the property which has derived special benefit from the improvement. And every one is so convinced of the policy and propriety of the policy, that it is adopted as a matter of course, and regarded as a measure of justice. "Betterment" in London, where it is still unknown, has apparently many opponents. " Betterment" in Douglas, where it has been at work for a quarter of a century, has only supporters.
Private legislation embraces, or may embrace, most of the subjects dealt with by Parliament in what are known as public local Acts as well as in private and personal Acts. Public measures deal with almost every subject connected with the public welfare of the Island.1 There are certain points, however, with which Tynwald does not deal, and which it leaves to Parliament to determine. For instance, matters affecting the post-office and telegraphic service, the regulation of the army, the conduct of the mercantile marine beyond the territorial limits of the Island, and others, are almost necessarily dealt with by Imperial legislation. Even in these matters, however, there is an increasing indisposition on the part of Tynwald to allow Parliament to legislate; and the members of the court are always really to supplement an Act of Parliament by an Act of Tynnwald to prevent the necessity of seeing the Isle of Man expressly included in Imperial legislation.
In the few instances, in which Parliament legislates for the Island, a careful catch is kept on the progress of such Legislation. The Governor's attention is expressly drawn to every Bill introduced into Parliament, whether by a private member or by the Government, affecting the Island either directly or indirectly. If he has any doubt upon it, he consults the Attorney-General; and, if necessary, communicates with the Imperial Government, and asks that the Island may be omitted from the measure, or that the measure may be amended in some particular v ay. In practice these communications uniformly receive attention; the Imperial Government acts on the principle that the Island should be suffered to regulate its own affairs, and does not attempt to include it in Imperial legislation.
There is, however, one important exception to this general rule. Parliament in 1765, as has already been shown, bought the royalties of the Island from the Duke of Athole for the purpose of terminating smuggling into England; and it took then, and it has ever since retained, the control of its customs duties into its own hands. The insular customs duties are imposed by Imperial statutes; they are collected by officers of the Imperial Government; and, though Tynwald has the right of disposing of the surplus revenues, the normal expenditure of the Island is controlled by the Treasury. Whatcver judgment may be formed on this arrangement, it is obvious that while it remains in force such a crisis as occurred in Canada at the commencement of the present reign can never arise in Man. The Tynwald court cannot stop the machinery of Government by withholding supplies. The cost of Government might indeed be largely increased by the Treasury without the consent or the knowledge of Tynwald; and, as a matter of fact, the salaries of high officials in the Island have been so raised without any reference to Tynwald. For the last ten years, however, the Governor, while reserving the rights of the Imperial Government and of his successors, has given a personal undertaking that he will make no addition to the cost of government without first acquainting the Tynwald court. Following the rule of the statutes, however, he does not ask the concurrence of Tynwald to the new change; he merely gives the court an opportunity of objecting to the change, binding himself to defer to its decision if the objection is sustained on a division.
For some years after the Act of 1866 had passed, the Treasury had a direct interest in maintaining its strict veto over the expenditure of the Island. The surplus revenues were so narrow that its £10,000 might have been imperilled by any considerable addition to the cost of Government. But of late years the revenue, partly from a natural expansion, partly from increased taxation, has grown very rapidly, while the cost of government has not sensibly increased. In consequence the Treasury has no longer a direct interest in interfering with the wishes of Tynwald; its sanction has tended to become more and more a matter of form; and it practically accords a free latitude to the Governor and the Tynwald.
So long as it has confidence in the Governor, it is difficult to see how it could wisely act otherwise. The Governor, it has been already shown, has by statute a direct veto on all expenditure, but by usage he exercises a still stronger power. Just as in Parliament no motion involving expenditure can be brought forward except on the recommendation of the Crown, so in Tynwald no motion involving expenditure may be made without the sanction of the Governor. The financial control, therefore, to a large extent rests with the Governor; he shapes the financial policy of the Island, and is responsible for its results.
It will be seen from the foregoing paragraphs that the disposal of the surplus revenue practically rests with the Governor and the Tynwald court. When the court meets for financial purposes, the two branches of the Legislature sit together, and the Governor presides. Debate is carried on by the members of both branches. In the discussions on these subjects neither branch has any privilege over the other. The rule which gives to the House of Commons an exclusive financial control is unknown to the House of Keys; and, whatever may have been the course of its financial history, there never was a period when supplies were voted by the Keys without the concurrence of the Council. In fact, the origin of the House of Keys and the origin of the House of Commons was different, and the difference has effected their later history. The Commons were originally summoned because the kings of England were in want of money, and had been forced to admit that they could not levy scutage, aid, or tallage without the consent of the people. The representatives of the people in England, as Sir W. Anson has put it, first calculated the amount due from each individual of a tax fixed by the Crown; next they determined the total amount which should be granted to the Crown; finally, they determined not merely the amount which the Crown was to receive, but the way in which the Crown was to spend it ! The representatives of the Commons exercised, in short, financial duties before they obtained any legislative power. But there is no trace of any similar process in the history of the Keys. The Keys were originally not a financial body, but a judicial body. The process in their history was that they first adjudicated; that from adjudicating they were asked to declare the law, with which their judicial work made them familiar. On finance they were rarely consulted before the eighteenth century, and they never, consequently, obtained any exclusive financial privilege.
Though Keys and Council intermingle in financial matters in debate, when divisions are taken, each branch votes separately. The Governor takes the votes of the Council, and directs the Speaker to take the votes of the Keys. The members of neither branch retire while the division is taken, but merely answer " aye " or " no " when their names are successively called out. When the division is completed, the Speaker reports the result in the Keys to the Governor, who thereupon announces that " the Council is of the same opinion," or that the Council is of a contrary opinion, as the case may be. When the two branches concur in opinion, the question is carried or lost accordingly. When they differ in opinion, the question is lost, the separate concurrence of both branches being necessary for its passage.
On ordinary occasions no inconvenience results from these circumstances; in fact, no more difficulty can ordinarily result from a difference of opinion between two branches of a Legislature sitting in the same Chamber, than from a similar difference between two branches of a Legislature sitting in different Chambers. But for certain purposes the Tynwald Court acts not as Legislative, but as an administrative, body. It appoints, for instance, the boards or committees which govern the lunatic asylum and poor asylum, which supervise the highways, and which regulate education; and, as these boards and committees are required to be appointed on particular days, a difference of opinion as to their constitution may no doubt lead to administrative embarrassment. Such a difficulty did arise a few years ago in constituting the Asylums Board. The Council, which was in favour of some extensive additions to the asylum, vetoed the nominees of the Keys; and the Keys, who were desirous of greater economy in building, vetoed the nominees of the Council. In the result, the court was kept alive by adjournment, while the Houses agreed each to nominate two members for each vacancy on the Board, allowing the other House the right of vetoing one of those so nominated.
It is probable that with the exercise of a little tact any similar difficulty hereafter arising may be avoided in the same way. Yet it must be acknowledged that, while the forms of Tynwald remain as they are, the embarrassment might at any moment recur and become critical. But the highest inconvenience that would consequently result would be the protracted failure to elect an administrative board. In every other respect the machinery of Government would go on as smoothly as ever.
Any one who has read the preceding account with attention will have observed the unique position which is occupied in the Island by the Governor. As the representative of the sovereign, he has succeeded to many of the functions and privileges of the old Lords; and the circumstances of the Island, which is too small for the formation of a regular Ministry, has confirmed him in the possession of these powers, and has vested in him the sole executive authority. Thus, in addition to his legislative duties as president of the Tynwald court and of the Council, he discharges many of the duties which in other countries are performed by responsible Ministers. He is his own finance minister, his own home secretary, his own president of the Local Government Board. If taxes are imposed, they are imposed at his suggestion; if expenditure is brought forward, it is proposed on his authority; if licenses are issued for the custody of dangerous goods, they are issued under his signature; if even local authorities require to borrow fresh money, the Tynwald court has required them of recent years to lay their applications before the Governor, with such information as he may require, in order that his opinion may be pronounced on their policy. Add to this that the Governor is responsible for the preservation of order; that the police of the Island are directly under his control; that, from the chief constable to the lowest constable, they act under his commission; that the insular prison is under his supervision; and it will be seen how large is the range of his administrative duties, which steadily tend to increase with the increasing requirements of modern society.
But the administrative duties of the Governor form only one portion of his functions. He is not only Governor, but chancellor. Till a few years ago he regularly presided at every sitting of the Chancery Court; he is also president of the Common Law Division of the High Court; he always presides when appeals are heard either from the superior or inferior courts of the Island; he presides at the general court of gaol delivery; he directs the examination of candidates for the Manx Bar; he regulates the terms of their admission to it he commissions them to practise; in short, just as he is the supreme administrative authority in the Island, so the highest judicial powers are confided to him.
To these duties must be added those which he discharges as the representative of the sovereign. In this capacity he summons the Legislature, he dissolves the House of Keys, he may prorogue the Legislature. The Tynwald cannot even adjourn of its own motion; it can only be adjourned by the Governor. Its members are forced to obey the Governor's precept to attend its meetings. His name may not be used to influence debate. When he speaks, he speaks sitting. The Keys at the end of each sitting send him a deputation to report their proceedings. In addition to these duties connected with the Legislature, he exercises as representative of the sovereign the prerogative of pardon; he disposes of most of the patronage of the Island. The appointments, which are made directly by the Sovereign are made on his recommendation, conveyed through the Secretary of State. Justices are similarly included in the Commission of the Peace on his nomination. Traces of a Manx militia still survive in the appointment of captains authorised to train the force in their respective parishes, and these officers receive their commissions from the Governor. The officers of the Isle of Man Volunteers also receive their commissions from the Governor, and not from the Crown.
Thus, in the Legislature, in the Judicature, and in the Executive, power is largely concentrated in the Governor; and, strangely enough, the progress of ideas, instead of limiting, tends to extend his authority. The precise influence which he may exert will necessarily depend on the character and capacity of the individual who happens to hold that office.
But it will in any case be large, and in the hands of a man of judgment it will continue to increase. Judged by the powers which have been already enumerated, the Governor appears possessed of almost autocratic authority. Responsible as he is to the Crown alone, there seems at first sight no limit to his power. But, in practice, a Governor thrown into constant com munication with the people, who approach him on every kind of business, and periodically confronted, not with his Council alone, but with the two branches of the Legislature in Tynwald, necessarily learns to mould his views to the people's views, and to give shape and effect to their wishes. Thus vhile the authority of the Governor tends to increase, its increase is regarded without jealousy. And the Legislature over which he presides, instead of restricting his functions, recognises, and even extends, his authority; and gladly sees him exerting his legitimate influence in promoting and directing the good government of the Island.
1 To save time the side headings of the statutes so passed are
only read out first by the senior Deemster in English, afterwards by
the coroner of Glenfaba in Manx.
2 it may seem strange to a modern reader to hear of Breast Laws; but the practice of the island has a parallel even in the Language of Richard I I who said that his laws were in his own mouth and often in his own breast (Stubb's court Hist. of England vol ii. p. 5o6)
3 Manx Soc. Pub. vol. xxxi. p. 7 note, and Isle of Man Statutes, vol. i.
4 Manx Soc. Pub., vol. xxxi. p. 75. A Ibid., p. 45, note. 3 House of Keys Election Act, 1866, sec. 4.
5 It is worth while quoting the law in which the Council first appears:- " Alsoe that all great matters and high points that are in doubt, even as they fall, I will that my Lieutennant, or any of the Councell for the time being, take the Deemsters to them, with the advice of the elders of your land of Mann, to deem the law truly to the parties, as they will answer me thereof. And that all doubtful! points be always registered upp, that it may be ready when such a chance falleth, that one doome or judgment be not given at one time one way, and another time contrary.-Statutes, Isle of Man, vol. i. p. II.
6 Report of Royal Commissions 1791, Appendix A., No. 3; and .Manx Soc. Pub., vol. xii. p. 191.
7 See Lieut..Governor Shaw's Paper in Appendix B., Report of Royal Commission of 1791, and in Manx Soc. Pub., vol. xxxi. p. 277.
8 There is only one legal profession in the island. The members of the Manx bar discharge the duties both of the solicitor and of the barrister; but they are, like Scottish barristers, known as advocates.
1 Tynwald has full power to deal with questions affecting real property, the Church, trade (so far as internal trade and patents are concerned), and presumably copyright.
1 The Law and Customs of Parliament, sol. i. p. 14.