[From Thwaites' Directory, 1863]
RAMSEY is a rapidly improving market town, occupying a pleasant situation on the north east coast of the island, at the mouth of the river Sulby, and on the margin of the beautiful bay to which it gives its name. It is situated in the Sheading of Garff, and is mostly comprised in the parish of Kirk Maughold, though a small part of the town extends into the parish of Lezayre. The town is distant from Douglas 16 miles north; from Castletown, 25 miles north-east; and from Peel, 16 miles north-east. In population and importance, Ramsey ranks the second town in the island According to the census returns of 1861, the number of houses at that period was 478, and the number of inhabitants 2839. Of the houses, 452 were occupied, 20 uninhabited, and six building. Of the population, 1312 were males and 1527 females. In 1851, the number of houses were 464, and the population 2701; thus showing an increase, in the ten years, of 14 houses and 138 inhabitants. The town, though not regularly built, contains some good and spacious streetswell paved and clean. During the last few years, considerable improvements have been effected: new streets have been formed, containing many excellent houses, from some of which most extensive and beautiful prospects are obtained. Here are also some excellent hotels, and many good lodging houses; and all the appliances of comfort and convenience, either for the resident or visitor. The shops are spacious and well stocked with a profusion of goods, in all the various branches of retail trade. The Market Place, the most complete and convenient in the island, occupies a spacious area contiguous to the harbour. In 1830, it was enlarged and otherwise improved, to meet the requirements of the times. The Market is held on Saturday; it is well attended, and abundantly supplied with meat, fish, vegetables, and other provisions. From the proximity of the town to the best agricultural districts the necessaries of life are much cheaper in Ramsey than in any other town in the island. Fairs are held on the 25th of March and on the 8th of November. Since the establishment of steam communication with the sister kingdom, Ramsey has become a favourite resort of sea bathers, for which the salubrity of the air, and the extent and fineness of the beach, renders it eminently worthy. On the approach to Ramsey by sea, the visitor is struck with the charming prospect that presents itself. The northern extent of the great mountain range frowns over the ocean in wild magnificence. To the north-east, stretching out into the sea a considerable distance, appears the Point of Ayre; to the south-west are the lofty mountains of Barrule and Snafell, while to the west is seen the garden of the islanda fine and fertile undulating district, interspersed here and there with neat mansions and sheltering plantations.
The principal object that attracts the visitors attention is the tower on Albert Mount. It was erected in commemoration of the visit of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, and her lamented Consort, Albert the Good, on the 20th of September, 1847. On that occasion, His Royal Highness, after viewing the beautiful scenery of the neighbourhood from the deck of the royal yacht, by the aid of most powerful glasses, landed, and proceeded to this mount, which has since been called by his name. From this eminence His Royal Highness obtained a most extensive and magnificent prospect, embracing the northern district of the island, the beautiful bay of Ramsey, the mountains of Cumberland, and the coast of Scotland. The inhabitants gave the royal party a most enthusiastic reception, and in the exuberance of their loyalty, the hill was subsequently named the Albert Mount. On the summit has been erected a beautiful commemorative tower, bearing the following inscription
"THIS TOWER, ERECTED ON THE SPOT WHERE H.R.H PRINCE ALBERT STOOD TO VIEW RAMSEY AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD, DURING THE VISIT OF HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA TO RAMSEY BAY, THE 20TH SEPTEMBER, 1847."
The tower is a substantial square building, with machicolated battlements. It is erected of granite, and rises to the height of 50 or 60 feet. The foundation stone was laid on Easter Monday, by the lady of the then Lord Bishop of the diocese, in the presence of a vast concourse of spectators from all parts of the island. A most appropriate and impressive prayer was offered up by the Rev. William Kermode, the incumbent of St. Pauls, and addresses were delivered by other gentlemen of the island. The inscription placed beneath the stone, in an heremetically-sealed glass bottle, is as follows
"THE FIRST STONE OF A TOWER, ERECTED BY THE LOYAL LIEGES OF THE ISLE OF MAN, TO COMMEMORATE THE AUSPICIOUS VISIT OF HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA TO THE SHORES OF THIS ISLAND, AND THE LANDING OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE CONSORT, ALBERT, AT RAMSAY, ON THE 20TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 1847, WAS LAID BY MRS. EDEN, THE LADY OF THE HONOURABLE AND RIGHT REVEREND ROBERT JOHN EDEN,D.D., LORD BISHOP OF SODOR AND MAN, ON THE 24TH DAY OF APRIL, 1848."
Ramsey Bay, the largest in the island, extends inward about two miles, and is about five miles across. On its south-west extremity is Maughold Head, the place where, according to tradition, St. Maughold was driven ashore after his perilous voyage in the leathern boat. The bay affords good anchorage to shipping, from a mile to a mile and a-half opposite the town, as the bottom is good stiff clay. It is protected from all winds, except from the south to east north-east. In the bay the stream runs nine hours north and three hours south, beginning at two hours flood. Outside the bay are sandbanks, where a light-vessel, the Bahama, has been placed to warn the passing mariner of danger. This ship was placed in her position soon after the Royal visit; the result of Her Majestys inquiries while anchored in the bay. In the night time, the Bahama exhibits two bright fixed lights, which in clear weather are visible at ten miles distance. The banks abound with all descriptions of fish, and are the resort of the trawling boats of the surrounding English ports.
The bay presents unrivalled facilities for sea bathing. in summer time, the sea is so clear that the fish can be seen - in the water quite distinctly. The shore is composed of sand, with a margin of small gravel, which renders sea bathing safe to the most inexperienced. Accidents similar to those occurring at other places, are never heard of here. To those fond of boating, numerous and safe gigs and barges may be hired for a trifle; and the bay being free from dangerous tides and eddies, the most nervous amateur need have no fear of: taking exercise on the placid bosom of its waters. During the summer season, there are an abundance of bathing vans on the beach, all ready for use, for those who are willing to avail themselves of this exhilarating exercise.
The Harbour of Ramsey, which is a dry one, affords every convenience for vessels of considerable burthen. During spring-tides it will admit vessels drawing 17 to 18 feet of water. In neap-tide, vessels drawing from 11 to 12 feet of water may safely enter. The harbour was considerably improved in 1836, when an additional pier was constructed, nearly parallel with the old one. Previous to the construction of this pier, vessels beyond 100 tons burthen could not be admitted in the harbour. In order, however, to keep pace with the increasing requirements of the place, further improvements are yet necessary. A new pier is expected to be constructed in course of a short time, which will add much to the safety and improvement of the harbour. For this purpose £7000 has been voted by the Insular Legislature. The pier will be constructed by Thomas Jackson, Esq., of London, under the direction of James Abernethey, Esq., C.E., of London. The constructions are to be chiefly of heavy timber, prepared by a patent process to resist the action of the weather, the water, and the destructive sea-worms and insects. The harbour forms the mouth of the river Sulby, the most considerable stream in the island. A little north of the harbour, the river is crossed by a stone bridge of three substantial arches. The length of the bridge is 180 feet, and its width is 12 feet. This bridge connects the town with the more modern suburb of North Ramsey. The Sulby is noted for its excellent trout fishery; and affords considerable sport to those interested in aquatic pleasure. The quays are spacious and well adapted for the purposes intended. The piers are substantial stone structures, but from their unprotected state, several unfortunate accidents have occurred. It is to be hoped, however, that measures will be adopted which will in future obviate these fatal occurrences. At the extreme end of the southern pier, is a lighthousea plain stone building, erected in 1845. The light exhibited is a fixed red one, which is visible in clear weather at a distance of ten miles. From this port the chief part of the agricultural produce of the island, not required for the home market, is shipped for the English markets.
Ramsey was constituted an independent port by the Lords of the Treasury, and the business was commenced as a separate port on the 1st October, 1855, by order of the Honourable Commissioners of Her Majestys Customs; greater facilities to the merchants for the transaction of business having become necessary in Consequence of the progress of trade. Since that time the business has steadily increased. In 1862, the principal merchants at the port forwarded a memorial to the Lords of the Treasury, requesting that the privilege of bonding might be extended to Ramsey. This boon was granted by the Treasury, upon a recommendation of the Commissioners of Customs. The merchants, availing themselves of this privilege, have at present in bond at Ramsey large quantities of rum, brandy, and Geneva. The Custom House is very conveniently situated near the pier, and the limits were fixed by the Treasury, as under, that is to say: Commencing at Maughold Head on the east side of the island, and extending to Jurby Point on the west side. The number of vessels belonging to the port on the 31st December, 1861, was 42, with a tonnage of 1,743 tons, and navigated by 160 men. The present establishment of the Custom House consists of a collector, examining officer, and three outdoor officers. To Mr. Thomas Corlett, the junior of the class last mentioned, is entrusted the duty of locker at the new bonding warehouse. The present collector is Mr. Thomas Jackson, who is also receiver of wreck and collector of light dues. The other officers areMr. G. A. Adams, examining officer; and Mr. G. S. Farrington and Mr. W. Quayle, outdoor officers. During the past year, the amount of customs duties received was £5,250. The number of coasting vessels, inward, was 334; outward, 220. The number of vessels of all descriptions, with the exception of fishing boats, which entered and departed from the harbour from the 1st of January, 1862, to the 13th of December the same year was, inward 777; outward, 764. Ramsey derives considerable benefit from the shipbuilding establishment of Mr. Thomas C. Gibson. At this establishment are employed upwards of 250 men. Here is an excellent patent slip for repairing ships, with a powerful moveable crane, capable of lifting boilers of 40 tons in and out of steamers. The yard affords every convenience for building either wood or iron ships up to 2,000 tons burthen. Besides the ship-yard, here are also extensive chemical works, patent manure works, vitriol chambers, mineral oil distilleries, &c. Mr. Gibson has also just completed a well-arranged Workmens Hall, for the use of the men connected with the various works. It consists of a coffee and reading room, supplied with books, newspapers, and periodicals; a public eating room, with a kitchen attached; and twenty comfortable sleeping rooms, for the use of single men. There is also a school-room and a chapel, forming altogether a most complete establishment.
For direct communication with England, Ramsey and the northern parishes are indebted to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, whose head offices are at Douglas. One of their steamers makes a weekly trip to Liverpool, and a fortnightly one to Whitehaven, in winter; while in summer, there is communication with Liverpool on every alternate day, and numerous pleasure excursions by water to Douglas and other places, which affords pleasant and healthy enjoyment to the numerous visitors resorting hither. A few years ago, a local Steam Packet Company was started, with a capital of £1600, raised in £5 shares. Their object was to establish a regular steam communication with Liverpool, and for this purpose, a first-class steam ship was obtained from the building yard of John Laird, Esq., of Birkenhead, costing the amount of the capital of the company. The unsuitableness of the steamer for the station, combined with an unfortunate accident in the river Mersey, producing expensive litigation and heavy damage, brought the steamer to the hammer in 1858, and broke up the company. Several of the former shareholders again combined, purchased the steamer at the auction, refitted her, and again placed her on the former station, but the public having lost confidence in the boat, (as not being suitable for the station,) the shares in the new company were not taken up, and in the year 1861 she was again sold off, and now runs the mail at some of the Italian ports, her name of Manx Fairy being changed to the " Dispaccio." In the attempts to establish the local company, the shareholders sustained in the aggregate, the loss of about £20,000, and signally failed in their object; though not for the want of either enterprise or perseverance. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company have their offices on the Quay; adjoining, is a neat shed for the landing and embarking of goods in wet weather. Mr. William Crennell is the Companys agent at Ramsey. The Isle of Man Telegraph Companys offices are also on the Quay. From this office, messages may be telegraphed to Douglas and all parts of England, the Insular Company being in connection with the Electric and International Telegraph Company, England. At the present time, the cable is being taken up for the purpose of being relaid from Maughold Head, about three miles and a quarter from Ramsey, to St. Bees Head, Cumberland; Mr. John Charles Jones is agent for the Company.
The Chapel of Ease, dedicated to St. Paul, occupies a pleasant situation on the south side of the Market Place. It was erected in 1819, with funds raised by subscription, aided by a grant of £300 from the Incorporated Society for Building and Enlarging Churches. It is a neat stone building, with nave, chancel, side aisles, and tower. In the latter is a good clock, the dial of which faces the Quay. The interior, which contains a good organ, is neatly arranged. The Chapel being found too small for the requirements of the increasing population, in 1844 it was considerably enlarged and otherwise improved. At the present time it will hold from 700 to 800 worshippers. Of the seats, 100 are free, in respect of the grant for the erection by the Church Building Society. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop and incumbency of the Rev. William Kermode. The Rev. William C. Sparrow, M.A., is the curate.
The ancient chapel of St. Mary, a small plain stone building, occupies a picturesque situation to the right of Ballure road, about a mile and a-half from the town. It stands on the site of an ancient Catholic Chapel, and was rebuilt by Bishop Parr, in 1640, and again by Bishop Wilson, in 1747. From some cause, it had again been allowed to fall into decay ; but in 1850, it underwent a thorough restoration, and is now occasionally used for divine service, and its cemetery as a place of interment. To the north of the town, on the Sandy road, has been erected a neat chapel, dedicated to St. Olave. It was consecrated in 1861, and opened in 1862. It is a small stone building, neatly fitted up, and contains accommodation for about 350 hearers. The cost of erection, about £1500, was raised by subscription. The Vicar of Lezayre (it being situated in that parish) or his curate officiates.
The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, in Waterloo road, was erected in 1845. It is a large substantial stone building, capable of accommodating about 800 worshippers. The Primitive Methodist Chapel, in Chapel lane, is a small stone building, erected in 1823. It will seat about 300 hearers. The Presbyterians have a small neat chapel in Albert Street, which will hold about 300 hearers. Most of the places of worship have Sunday Schools attached which are well attended.
The Grammar School, which was founded by Mr. Charles Cowle, is at present held in the old National School, which was erected by subscription, aided by grants from the British Parliament, in 1831. A new school is expected to be erected and completed during the present year. The school will be built on land situated between Waterloo Road and College Street, and will have entrances from both thoroughfares. The cost of erection will be defrayed by voluntary contributions and the proceeds of a very successful bazaar, which was held in Ballure Glen, in 1859, and which, when all expenses were paid, realized a nett profit of £500. When the new premises are ready, the school now so ably and successfully conducted, will be removed there. The affairs of the school will be managed by seven trustees, (of proper qualifications,) to be elected every five years by the householders occupying houses of the annual rent of £15 and upwards. Three of the trustees (the Bishop of the diocese, the incumbent of St. Pauls, Ramsey, and the High Bailiff of Ramsey) will be ex officio. The other trustees for the ensuing five years, are Captain George Hall, and Messrs. James Corlett, John James Corkhill, and Willhiam J. Monk. The school is at present conducted by the Rev. William Charles Sparrow, M.A., head master; M. Otto Wickert, classical and German master; M. Charles Joseph Gaudemard, French master; Mr. Thomas Whewell, English master; Mr. J. Barber, music master; Mr. Charles A. K. Kidd, drawing master; and Sergeant Stapleton, drill master.
The National School in connection with St. Pauls, is situated in Church Street. It was originally used as a place of worship, and was dedicated to St. Peter. It was presented by Lady Huntingdon to trustees. The school at present Consists of two roomsthe upper story being occupied by the girls, and the lower one by the boys. Each room is calculated to hold about 180 children. There are about 80 boys and 90 girls receiving instruction here. Mr. Edward Barton is the master, and Mrs. Catherine Sprainger, mistress. St. Olaves National School, on the Sandy Road, is held in a large building which was formerly used for divine service, previously to the erection of the present church. The school is attended by about 40 children, who are instructed by Mr. James Blair.
An Industrial School has just been erected at North Ramsey, but at present no master is appointed. The object of the founders of this institution is the instruction of those children who have been entirely neglected by their parents, or prevented by other circumstances from partaking of all other means of instruction and improvement. In cases of extreme destitution, it is intended to provide food as well as education. The object chiefly in view at present is the rescue of poor girls for whom, if left without a home, (as is the case in many instances,) there is absolutely no rescue and no hope. These girls will be trained to habits of order and industry, and every way fitted for domestic service. The school will be supported by voluntary contributions. The number of children received will, therefore, depend upon the amount of the subscriptions. With the exception of two very little children, whose extremely destitute condition first suggested the idea of the school, no provision at present is made for boys. It is, however, to be hoped that the institution will meet with that patronage it so justly deserves, so that in a short time not only the poor girls, but the most destitute of the male children may be received, clothed, and educated within its walls. We need not dwell on the benevolence of the founders, in bringing into existence an institution so noble in its object and so beneficial in its results; yet, we doubt not but in after years, many there are who will look back with a grateful eye on the originators of this institution, as being the instrument of redeeming them from a life of darkness and ignorance, and raising them to stations in life quite unattainable but for the good-will and kindness of the benevolent and esteemed founders of the Ramsey Industrial School.
The Court House is situated near the centre of the town. It is a neat stone building, was erected in 1800, and repaired and otherwise improved in 1837. The Courts of Law held here are, the High Bailiffs Court, for the recovery of debts under forty shillings Manx, weekly. The jurisdiction of this court comprises, besides Ramsey, the parishes of Maughold, Lezayre, Andreas, Bride, and Jurby. F. Tellet, Esq., is the High Bailiff. The Deemsters Court, for the northern division of the island, is held here every fortnight. The Magistrates and Vicar-Generals Court are held here once a month; the Common Law Courts quarterly; and the Seneschalls Court half-yearly. The Water Bailiff likewise holds his court here when occasion requires. Part of the Court House is occupied by the police. The force consists of three men, besides the Chief-Constable, Mr. Claude A. Bennett. Here are two cells for the confinement of prisoners previous to trial.
The Gas Works were established in 1857, by a company of proprietors, with a capital of £4000, raised in shares of £20 each. The works are situated at North Ramsey, and comprise one gasometer and one bed of retorts. The gasometer will hold 20,000 cubic feet of gas, which is supplied to the inhabitants at the rate of 6s. 8d. per 1000 cubic feet. Mr. Thomas Richards is the lessee of the works; and Mr. John Hampton the secretary to the company.
The town is supplied with pure and wholesome water, from the stream which flows into the sea through the secluded fairy Glen of Ballure, about a quarter of a mile to the south of the town. The supply is unlimited at all times, and the works are sufficiently elevated to secure a high pressure in all parts of the town. The works are on the most improved principle, with anti-corrosive high-pressure castings, from the celebrated works of Messrs. Edington and Sons, of Glasgow ; and the hydraunts, stopcocks, &c., from Messrs. Guest and Chrimes, of Rotherham. The rates charged to the inhabitants are very moderate, and the supply is constant. According to the Act of Tynwald, the capital of the Company is limited to the amount of £3000, raised in six hundred shares of £5 each. The Companys Offices are situated in Parliament street. Mr. John Jefferson, C. E. of Douglas, is the consulting engineer, and Mr. Daniel Joughin, secretary and treasurer.
There are two Banking establishments in the town, both branches from Douglas. The Bank of Mona is situated in Auckland Terrace; Mr.Joseph Mawby is the agent, and Mr. William Ellis, sub-agent. The Douglas and Isle of Man Bank (Messrs. Dumbell, Son, and Howard) is in Waterloo Road. Mr. Thomas Corkill is the agent. The Savings Bank is held at the National School, and is open for the transaction of business, every Friday evening, from six to eight oclock. This bank receives deposits from the industrial classes of from one shilling to thirty pounds, and allows deposit accounts to accumulate to two hundred pounds in the name of one depositor. The present rate of interest allowed is 3½ per cent. per annum. William Calhister, Esq., is the treasurer, and Mr. Richard Mark the secretary.
There are several excellent Hotels in the town, the principal of which is The Albert. It is a noble and spacious building, and occupies a most pleasant situation in front of the bay. This hotel is replete with every convenience, both for commercial gentlemen and private families. Over the smoke room is a balcony, facing the bay, and above are two towers, from which a most varied and picturesque prospect is obtained. The hotel is at present under the proprietorship of Mr. Wm. G. Higson. The Mitre Hotel, in Parliament Street, is also well known, and well suited to the accommodation both of commercial men and private families. It is at present conducted by Mrs. Pilkington. The Royal Hotel, in the Market Place, is also well worthy the attention of visitors, as well as commercial men. Its interior arrangements have all been conceived with especial regard to the comfort and convenience of those who make it,their home; and under its present efficient management it is certainly not surpassed by any other similar establishment. Besides these, there arethe Commercial, Crown, Marine, Stanley, and Union Hotels, all well suited to the accommodation of either families or commercial gentleman. There is also an excellent billiard room in the town. The proprietor, Mr. Chas. J. Midwood, of Mona Street, has likewise first-class baths, adjoining to the Albert Hotel.
It appears that in former times the inhabitants of Ramsey have had a peculiar taste for the drama. According to the" Encyclopaadia Britannica," we find that in the winter of 1801, a society of ladies and gentlemen was formed, and met together three evenings every week, for the purpose of reading and acting Shakespeares plays, and such a number of members were procured that each character of the drama was supported by a separate individual.
In ancient records the name of the town is written "Ramso," probably derived from time Norsk, "Ram-s-voe," (i.e., Rams Bay,) or from "Ram-s-oe," (i.e., Rams Island.) If from the latter, it would date back to the period of the islands reemergence out of the Arctic Sea, (see Geology,) when the northern district of the island abounded with hollows and pools, which only disappeared after the subsequent gradual elevation of the land. [fpc: nonsense!]
In an historical point of view, Ramsey is one of the most noted towns in the island.
According to the " Chronicles of Man and the Isles," we find that Goddard Crovan, (who after the defeat of his party at Stamford Bridge, by the King of England, sought refuge in Man, where he was kindly and hospitably entertained,) collecting a multitude of ships, came to Man, and joining battle with the inhabitants, was beaten and put to flight. Having recruited his forces, he made a second attempt, but was as unsuccessful as on his first visit. A third time assembling a considerable army, he came to the island by night, and anchored in Ramsey Bay. Having landed 300 men, he concealed them in a wood on the slope of the mountain promontory called Scacafel (Sky-hill.) At sunrise, the young Manx king, with his forces, attacked Goddard and his men with great impetuosity; but in the heat of the conflict the 300 men issued from their place of concealment, and attacking the Manx in the rear, compelled them to fly. In the conflict, the young King Fingal was slain, as also Sygtryg McOlave, King of the Danes in Dublin. On the following day, Goddard gave his followers the option of dividing the island among them and settling on it, or plundering the country and departing. The men chose the latter course, and collecting the greater part of the valuables of the island, returned home. Goddard, however, chose to remain on the island, and he and his followers occupied the southern district, while the northern portion he gave to the natives, on condition that they should never attempt to establish a hereditary claim to any part.
In 1154,.Olave II. was killed by his nephew, Reginald, near Ramsey Harbour. It appears that Olave, who was a wise and good prince, and much beloved by his subjects, paid a visit to Norway. During his absence, his three nephews caused much dissatisfaction among his subjects, and raised an army to prevent his return. Oti. Olave requesting the reason of this, they demanded that he should give them one-half of the island. Being desiious of maintaining peace, Olave promised to consider their demands, and. for that purpose appointed a conference to be held near Ramsey, on the day of the Festival of St. Peter and Paul. On the appointed day, both parties repaired to time place of meeting, and sat down one by one: the king with his followers on one side, and they, with their accomplices, on the other~ Reginald, who gave the fatal blow, stood in the middle, talking to one of the chiefs of the land. When called to come to the king, he turned as if to salute him, but raising his battle-axe, he at one blow severed the kings head from his body. This preconcerted signal for attack was followed by a sanguinary conflict, in which many fell on both sides. Subsequently, Reginald was put to death for this act, and his two younger brothers were deprived of sight. -
In 1156, Ramsey Bay was the scene of a naval engagement between Goddard the Black, (the son and successor of Olave,) and his brother.in-law, Somerled, the Thane of Argyle. The object of the latter was to dethrone Goddard, and place his eldest son, Dugald, on the throne. The conflict, however, which was fought on the feast of the Epiphany, was undecided, neither party being enabled to claim the victory. It was therefore decided that the kingdom should be divided, Goddard retaining the Isle of Man, and Somerled being allowed to take possession of the remaining isles. The avaricious Somerled, however, was not satisfied, for in 1158 he again visited Man with a fleet of fifty-three ships, and giving battle to Goddard, defeated him, and compelled him to fly.
In 1171, a battle was fought at Ramsey, between Reginald, (the brother on Goddard,) and the Manx, in which the latter, were defeated, owing to the treachery of a certain sheriff. Four days afterwards, however, Goddard arriving from Norway, seized Reginald, and deprived him of his eyes and otherwise mutilated him..
In 1205, in obedience to the call of the "war arrow," 100 vessels rendezvoused in Ramsey Bay, from whence they steered for the coast of Ireland, under the command of Reginald, (King of Man,) and. the Lord of Ulster. The object of the Manx King was to assist his brother-in.law, De Courcy, against Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Ulster.
In 1313, Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, came to Ramsey on the 18th of May, with a numerous fleet, and on the following Lords day visited the Monastery at Douglas, where he remained the whole night. Subsequently, he laid siege to Castle Rushen, which he ultimately succeeded in taking.
In the early part of 1645, a band of Scottish Pirates landed at Ramsey, and plundered the town. In order to guard against such an occurrence.in the future, James, the great Earl of Derby, erected a fort called Fort Loyal, and mounted it with several pieces of cannon. According to Feltham, this fort was erected in or about the year 1648.
In 1651, the Parliamentary forces, under Colonels Birch and Duckenfield, anchored in Ramsay Bay, and soon afterwards a deputation went on board to negotiate for the surrender of the island. The only stipulation which was made on the part of the Manx was, that they should enjoy their lands and liberties as they had done beforetime. In 1690, the Prince of Orange, when proceeding to the battle of the Boyne, had a narrow escape of being shipwrecked on King Williams Bank, in Ramsay Bay, between Maughold Head and the Point of Ayre. From this cause, this sandbank received its present appellation.
On the 29th of February, 1760, a naval engagement occurred near Ramsey Bay, between Captain Elliot and the noted Admiral Thurot. In this engagement, the fleet of the latter was defeated and Thurot himself slain. In Smollets History of England, we find the following, description of this conflict :" Thurot, the French pirate adventurer, whose name had become the terror of Great Britain, .by his enterprising achievements in the North Seas, was raised by the Court of Versailles to the rank of Commodore. In October, 1759, he left the harbour of Dunkirk, with a squadron of five ships and 1700 men, to make occasional descents on the Irish coast, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the Government, and by dividing the troops, facilitate the proposed invasion of that kingdom. He lost two of his vessels at sea, and a number of men at Carrickfergus, where he came off victorious. The success, however, which he had experienced on shore was not destined to be of long continuance. Captain Elliot, who commanded three frigates at Kinsale, hearing of Tliurots exploit in the north, set sail in quest of him, and on rounding the Mull of Galloway, on the 28th of February, descried his fleet at anchor near the offing at the entrance of the Bay of Luce. He attempted to embay them, which Thurot observing, weighed anchor with all despatch . amid stood out to sea, in the direction of the Isle of Man. Elliot gave chase, and a warm.action ensued, which was maintained with great spirit on both sides for an hour and a half. The French Commander at length struck his colours, and the whole squadron was conveyed to Ramsey Bay by the Captain."
According to the account of Captain Elliot, the enemys squadron was composed of the Marshall Belleisle, of 44 guns and 545 men, (including troops,) Thurot commander, (who was killed); the La Blond, of 32 guns, and 400 men, commanded by Captain La Kayce; and the Terpsichore, of 26 guns and 300 men, commanded by Captain Desrandias. The English squadron comprised, the Eolus, of 32 guns, and the Pallas and Brilliant, of 36 guns each. In the engagement, the English lost 5 killed and 31 wounded. The loss of the French, by Captain Elliots account, amounted to about 300 men. The French ships suffered considerably in the engagement, particularly the Marshall Belleisle, which was in such a bad state, that it was with great difficulty she was kept from sinking. Her bowsprit, which was shot off during the action, came ashore near Bishops Court, and was erected by Bishop Hildesley in the grounds of the palace, as a trophy of the victory.
It is said that Thurot fell early in the engagement, as he was leading on his men to the conflict. His body was thrown overboard, (some say by mistake,) and was afterwards washed ashore near the Mull of Galloway. It was subsequently interred in the churchyard of Kirkmaiden.