[From T.Quayle Agriculture of IoM, 1812]



FROM the great inequality of surface in the Isle of Man, and its being crossed by little angry mountain-streams frequently plunging into deep ravines, the construction of roads has been attended with peculiar diffculties. When once constructed, the great abundance of materials, the absence of waggons, or heavy carriages, facilitate their repairs. No complaint can be made of the roads not being sufficiently numerous ; but as well from the defect of funds, as from errors in their due application, the state of the roads is in general but indifferent ; and in winter they are said, in many places, to be nearly impassable.

In former days, at the first laying out of roads, when the product of each farm was inconsiderable, and principally consumed at home, few wheel-carriages, if any, had probably been introduced. The roads were, therefore, originally designed for the use of horsemen, who found little inconvenience in crossing a ford, or in ascending a hill in quest of the driest and nearest path. The first wheel-carriage introduced here being the Irish car, which does not require any great breadth of road, it is probable, from the appearance of such ancient roads as remain, that they were next adapted to the passage of an Irish wheel-car only. 'Till 1712, no regulations on this subject seem to have been effected by the Legislature. Provision was in that year made for the appointment of an overseer in each parish, who is empowered to require all persons possessing lands adjacent to a highway out of repair, to lay out 3s. 4d. each, in any manner the overseer thinks fit, in its repair. If this sum prove insufficient, then every holder of a quarter-land is enjoined to send a horse, with a car, or creels, and also an able man with an English spade; and every intack or cottage-holder, by himself or a sufficient laborer, to come to the highway, with such tools as they use in their own work. Authority is given to the overseer to dig stone, gravel, and sand for materials, and to widen the road when not of lawful breadth. An insular statute of the year 1753 next directs, that out of the money paid for each public-house licence, the sum of 3s. 6d. shall be appropriated to the repair of high-roads ; and the sum of 3s. 4d. payable by the adjacent proprietors under the preceding act, is directed to be laid out at the same time as the parish labor proceeds. Powers are given for cutting roads in new directions, making satisfaction to the owners of lands through which they pass ; and a general supervisor of roads for the island is appointed, with powers over the parish-overseers. But the duration of this statute was limited to fourteen years.

The first legislative measure, after the extinction of the Proprietory Government, was a Highway Act, to which the royal assent was given in 1776. The sum, payable out of public-house licences, from 3s. 6d. was raised to 9s. 9d. ; a tax of 6s. each was imposed on all sporting dogs, except hounds ; of 3s, each on hounds ; and 6d. on all other dogs, the whole of which is applied in aid of the highway fund. The proprietors of quarter-lands are directed to send four men, the proprietors of less holdings in the proportions prescribed by the act, and the occupiers of houses, one man, to the repair of the highways. Persons in possession of wheel-cars or carts, are directed to send them for the same purpose ; one day's labor of a cart with two horses and a driver, standing for the labor of four men ; of a cart or wheel car, with one horse, and a driver, for two men. This labor is directed to be performed in rotation, so as not to exceed three turns in one year. Defaulters incur a penalty of but 1s. for not sending a man ; and of 2s. 6d: for not sending a cart or car, and horses with a driver.

The Governor, Council, and Keys, are authorized to nominate a standing committee for putting this act into execution, who are empowered to lay out and make highways, provided that they be not cut through any house, garden, or yard near a dwelling-house ; and that satisfaction be made for lands taken, at the discretion of the committee ; for which purpose they have authority to give the contiguous proprietor the old highways. The committee are also authorized to enter into any lands, and to take materials as they think fit, and also to cut drains, which are to be kept properly cleansed by the proprietor of those lands. New highways are directed to be of the width of eight yards from ditch to ditch. The act contains some other minor regulations as to the passing the accounts of the committee ; the appointment, removal, and remuneration of surveyors ; and confers on the magistrates power of imposing fines on persons found guilty of wilful obstructions and nuisances. Under its powers a committee has been appointed, who act without any recompence, and who have no other guide for their conduct but the defective system which the act itself contains, and no other funds beyond the insufficient means which it supplies. An account is subjoined of the amount of those funds for the five last years, in Manks currency.1

The number of quarter-lands, as well in the larger manors, as in the baronies, is about 771. The proprietors of each of these may be called on to find the labor of twelve men to the roads in each year. The number of inferior holdings, called cottages and intacks, paying quit-rent to the several lords of manors, is stated to be about 2700. In proportion to the amount of quit-rent paid, the proprietor, or occupier, may be called on for the labor of three, of six, or of twelve men, in each year.

This statutory labor is inadequately performed the persons on whom it is incumbent, send thither substitutes, whose youth or infirmities prevent their doing a man's work ; and what they do perform, from the inattention or want of authority in the surveyors, is negligently done. A commutation of this labor into money-payments, is much desired by some persons ; but as the ancient division into quarter-lands was at its commencement wholly arbitrary, as their value has become in process of time still more unequal, and as the quit-rent paid on these, and on the intacks and cottages, forms no criterion of their value respectively, it does not seem advisable to perpetuate a burden unjust in its basis, In commuting labor for money, extraordinary precaution would be necessary, to avoid evils. arising from its depreciation. Of these evils, this act, of only 35 years standing, furnishes a pregnant example. The penalties imposed for not sending men and horses to the highway, now fall short by one-half of the expense of sending them thither ; and it is indeed not easy to account for the reasons that the penalty is not more frequently paid, than the duty performed.

The necessity of a revision of the highway laws must sooner or later force itself on the attention of the insular legislature. The burden of maintaining roads in repair, can no where be imposed more justly than on those who receive the greatest benefit by their use. The erection of toll-bars is certainly open to many objections ; but as there do not exist in the island any taxes, on wheels, or on horses, as it is in order to afford a passage for these, that roads are constructed, and by their means, repairs become necessary, a moderate impost on one of these objects, or both, would appear the most just and best adapted to the purpose. To replace the statute-labor incumbent on quarter-lands, a tax of 10s. on each wheel of carriages with springs; of 2s. 6d. each, on those without springs ; of 5s. each on riding-horses, and 2s. 6d. on those employed in drawing on the road, with authority vested in the commissioners to borrow money on the credit of these taxes, would afford sufficient funds, if no better can be devised, to put bridges and roads in a fit state for the increased traffic. Were the funds in the disposal of the Committee, more ample, many evils now in existence might be avoided. Within the last twenty years, several new roads have been constructed ; but it does not appear that in a single instance, any compensation in money has been made to the persons whose lands these roads have intersected. The cession to these persons of the ground on which the ancient road ran, seldom affords an adequate compensation ; and in some cases, the road newly cut does not replace any old road, but is wholly new. The power which the act confers on the commissioners, to break up adjacent lands in search of materials, should also be exercised with more circumspection. In one instance, of a road running near the town of Ramsey, between a creek of the river and a meadow, now letting at 31. 9s per acre, the undertakers of the road appear to have gone into the meadow on their left, and dug up the soil in a channel to the depth of three or four feet, the whole length of the meadow, which they have carried to their road in order to raise it in height, instead.of turning to the right, and taking better materials out of the creek, where no mischief would have ensued. In this excavation of theirs, water now stagnates. In these cases also, of searching for and carrying away materials from adjacent fields, no compensation whatever appears to be made to their owners.

It were to be wished too, that the gentlemen who conduct this trust had at their command the means of engaging the permanent assistance of persons conversant in road-making. The direction of the roads might, in many instances, be altered to much advantage, and at a trivial expense. The present mode of management is, in many instances, defective. The roads are seldom properly barreled. Small arches, running under the road, are frequently wanting. Of these the use is indispensible in a mountainous region, in order to give passage to the water, from the elevated to the lower side of the road.

The stones at present laid on the roads by way of repairing them, are often too large, thrown on irregularly, and never broken ; the ruts and hollows are in part filled up with earth instead of stones and gravel ; in winter this is converted into mire, and being mixed at intervals with stones, becomes dangerous for horsemen as well as carriages.

The bridges over the small streams are rarely in a finished state, wanting parapets and other repairs. Over some of the streams, bridges have not yet been erected, although, as the water rises occasionally in some of them to a dangerous height, the erection of new bridges would be highly useful. The inhabitants of certain districts frequently apply to the high-road commissioners, for their aid to effect specific objects; and sometimes obtain a sum of money applicable to those purposes, on condition of defraying the remainder of the expense out of their own pockets. No iron railways have yet been laid in the island. Near some of the slate quarries, these might be employed with considerable advantage.


In the early stages of European civilization, when coin was scarce, and the wants of the agricultural portion of the people, were in a great measure supplied by barter ; when it was usual also to lay up family stores for the consumption of the winter, the institution of fairs at fixed epochs was highly useful. With the change of manners, their utility is in a great degree diminished ; and in the Isle of Man, as elsewhere, they are passing into oblivion. Of the forty-five established fairs in the island, there may be six or eight at which dealings take place. At these, cattle and horses are exposed to sale, of which many have been brought over by Irish dealers. Those belonging to the natives, generally change hands in consequence of bargains made at the farm-houses ; but the payments are often stipulated to be made at these meetings.


PROVISIONS for the consumption of each town are sold on Saturdays at a certain spot ; but there is not in the island a market of any sort for grain. After harvest, the brewers, millers, and bakers, deal with the farmers at their own houses, and contract for their crops. But it is asserted, that the barley is even at an earlier period often engaged by the brewer. The establishment of weekly grain-markets, in the two principal towns, would meet with considerable support, and much conduce to the interests of the farmer.


THE English shilling is here divided into fourteen pence. Small copper coinage, bearing that proportion, for the use of the island, are occasionally made by the authority of the crown. Such halfpence and pence of the coinage of England and Ireland as enter into the insular circulation, are exchanged, together with their own coinage, at fourteen pence to the shilling. The whole currency of the country becomes, by this means, one-seventh less than sterling. The legal interest of money is here six per cent.

Land is measured by the statute acre : corn by the Winchester bushel : and liquids, by measures bearing the ordinary denominations, and of the ordinary contents. The Manks cloth-yard contains 38 inches, by which linen and woolen manufactured and sold in the country are measured. The corn, though measured by the bushel, is not sold, as usually in England, by the quarter. The denomination here used of " a boll," contains different quantities ; of wheat and peas, four bushels, being exactly equal to the Norfolk comb; but of barley and oats, it contains six bushels. A firlot is one half of each quantity.2 A peck is here called a kishon. Wool is sold by the quart, containing 7lb. This term is perhaps abbreviated from quarter; being the quarterof a quarter of a cwt.


THE importation into Great Britain, from the Isle of Man, is permitted of goods the growth, produce, and manufacture of the island; with the exception of woolen manufactures and of beer, and subject to duties on importation, equal in amount to the internal duties. The only article being the growth and produce of another country, but manufactured in the Isle of Man, which the custom-house regulations of Great Britain suffer to be imported from the Isle of Man, is cloth made of hemp or flax. As the foreign raw material is not at present to be obtained, the islanders cannot avail themselves of that permission. Of hempen cloth, there never was any manufacture ; and that of linen is in a declining state. The quantities exported for 30 years are stated in a table in the Appendix.3

After supplying the home demand, the surplus of native produce must always be insignificant in amount, and cannot furnish the materials for manufactured goods to be exported to any beneficial extent. Until the island is relieved from these restrictions on her external commerce (if that should ever be the good pleasure of the mother country) there is no room for any manufacture to expand.

The manufacture of cotton-yarn, or twist, was once established in the island, and goals of its fabric were admitted to an entry in England, and wrought up at Manchester. After existing twelve years, the officers of the Liverpool custom-house discovered that the im portation was illegal. Cotton yarn, spun in Ireland from cotton of foreign growth, is imported into England free of duty ; but that from the Isle of Man, not being admissible, the goods were detained, and a period put to the manufacture. The proprietor, after seeking in vain redress, abandoned the island.

On some part of the rocky coast the sea-weed grows, from which is manufactured kelp, but not of the best quality. Unless the weed be of three years growth at least, it is stated that the kelp is of inferior value. The shores of the island being open and much exposed, if the winter be stormy, the weed which has attained maturity is often broken off that part which has thus been separated and driven on the shore, is found, on burning, to contain less of the alkaline salt by three-fourths than such of the reed as is freshly cut from the rock. If the summer be wet, the quantity of kelp burnt is diminished, and its quality is inferior. From 15 to 25 tons are annually made in the island; and usually consumed at home in soap making.

A manufactory for printing cotton was also once tried and abandoned. About six years ago, machinery was erected for the spinning, dressing, and dyeing the native wool, and for its manufacture into cloth for home consumption. To the farmer this has been found highly beneficial, by creating a steady market for his wool; and the cloth of this fabric is of good quality.

The hemp, flax, and wool, which the lower class of farmers raise, is spun and prepared at home. Dispersed through the country are several small bleach-fields, falling-mills, dyeing-houses, &e. at which these domestic manufactures are completed.

Bricks are made near Douglas, and in the northern district. Though they are ill burnt, and not subject, of course, to any duty, yet a price of 40s. a thousand is asked for those which the brickmaker calls of the best quality.

Among domestic manufactures, it fortunately happens that the distillation of spirits from grain is not to be reckoned. An act of parliament of 1767, imposes a penalty of 200l. besides the forfeiture of the materials, &c. on persons engaged in distillation in the island.

It is said that at one time two or three small stills were introduced from Ireland, and clandestinely wrought; but that there does not at present remain one in the island. Should the attempt be renewed, of taking the people's bread and converting it into poison, it will become every man's duty to detect and punish the offenders. The co-operation of the insular legislature would become necessary, and certainly would not be wanting, to prevent an evil taking root here, which occasions so much mischief and misery to their neighbours.


THE external commerce of the island was anciently regulated by a singular institution. Four persons were chosen on the part of the country, usually at the Court of Tynwald, or Assembly of the Legislative Body, held annually at Midsummer. After the magistrates had administered to these four persons (who were called the four merchants) an oath to deal truly, and as might appear most for the country's advantage, the duty was confided to them, on the arrival of a stranger's vessel containing commodities of which the island might stand in need, to negotiate with him for the purchase of the cargo. To whatever bargain the four merchants might make (which usually proceeded in the way of barter) the country was bound. The first occasion on which this institution is recognized by the insular records is in 1523, but is treated as being then well known and esta blished. Minute directions are given as to the' Merchant Stranger his Duty :" These are concluded by an express order, " That no man is to have choice wine but my Lord, the Captain, Bishop, Abbot, or Archdeacon."

The appointment of the four merchants had not gone into disuse in the middle of the 17th century. If faithfully executed, it might have been productive, in those simple days, rather of benefit than of injury. The ignorance of the natives of the English tongue, and inability to cope with the skilful trader exchanging commodities which the natives required, for those of which they had a superfluity, would disqualify them from dealing on terms so advantageous, as persons acquainted with the foreigner's tongue, and with the value of the subjects of reciprocal exchange. There were then in the island probably few retailers of foreign commodities.

Early in the 18th century, the Isle of Man became an entrepôt for commodities on which high duties were paid in Great Britain, to be afterwards smuggled on the neighbouring coasts. In 1711, an act was passed by the Insular Legislature for the prevention of frauds on the British customs. This act expresses the desire of the legislature to prevent such frauds as much as in them lay, in the hope that the British Parliament would, in consideration of that law, and of the poverty of the Isle of Man, give permission that the bestials, or other goods, the growth, produce, and manufacture of the island, might be imported into Great Britain, duty-free. It enacts that no foreign goods of any description should be shipped for any part of Great Britain or Ireland, unless bonds were entered into, with sureties to be approved of by a British custom-house officer, for payment of the duties on importation : and also inhibits the exportation of the wool produced in the island to any other than a British port.

In 1713, it appears that the boon solicited of Great Britain was withheld ; that the insular product continued burthened with the same heavy duties, whilst their Act of 1711, had faithfully been observed. It was therefore suspended by the Insular Legislature, until the reasonable terms expected on the part of the island were granted. The illicit trade then recommenced, and continued augmenting yearly, 'till the year 1765 when Great Britain re-purchased, at the price of 70,0001. the seignory of the island from the Duke and Duchess of Atholl, to whom it had devolved by means of an inter-marriage with an heiress of the Stanley family, the minister afterwards granting an annuity for life to them and the survivor of 20001. on the Irish establishment.

The boon required by the islanders, of the admission into British ports of their produce, has been granted by Great Britain in 1765; a traffic most injurious to the interests of both parties was then most happily put down, and is at this moment forbidden by the insular laws, as well as by those of the parent state.

In return for the fuel, the timber, and all other the necessaries and luxuries for which the Isle of Man is tributary to the mother country and her colonies, she has at present but one object of exchange to offer, and that is the herrings caught on her shores. This fishery is of considerable antiquity, and appears, by the Manks records, to have been fully established in the 15th century. Early in July it generally commences, and terminates about the end of October. It is at present carried on in boats of from 15 to 40 tons burden, in general manned by a crew of eight men ; sometimes of but seven, and rarely by nine and ten men each. The persons to whom the greater number of herring-boats belong, are the yeomanry of the country, and their crews consist of their neighbours of still inferior degree, who bring each their proportion of nets.

On account of the present advance of price in all articles of naval equipment, the expense of constructing a herring-boat, of a medium size, including all the articles with which she is found, cannot be estimated at less than 2001. One of the larger size, built last sum-mer, cost 2601. Another, the largest, 3001. This computation is made without taking into account the copious libations which it is ever customary to make whilst she is upon the stocks, and at her launch, to her future good fortune. This latter article of expenditure has however been known to amount to 151. The price of a pair of nets is about eight guineas. Each man on board has with him a pair, 14 yards deep and 48 yards long. He ought to be provided with a second pair on shore, for use in case of any accident to the first. These nets are sunk in a row by means of stones attached on one side, and supported by buoys, made of inflated dog-skins, on the other. The boat then drifts in expectation of the shoal of herrings striking this wall of nets, in the meshes of which the fish are caught by the gills.

The owner of the boat is entitled to double the share of a man : For instance, if the number of the crew be eight, two shares out of ten, into which their capture is divided, are allotted to the boat; each of the crew takes one share, without any per centage or additional profit being allowed to him who has the command. In the early part of the season, the fish being better in quality and seldom caught in great quantities, are sent to the neighbouring coasts, or consumed at home in a fresh state. The supply of the country with herrings for salting afterwards takes place, and then the curers of red herrings also commence purchasing.

The art of curing red herrings was introduced from Yarmouth into the island about forty years ago. Cargoes of Manks herrings were formerly annually sent up the Mediterranean, principally to Leghorn ; but were not in equal esteem with those cured at Yarmouth, not preserving so well in that climate.

The number of boats employed for two series of years is stated in the Appendix.3

In years when 20,000 barrels of herrings are cured and exported, the fishery is considered as tolerably good.

The effects of mixing the occupations of husbandman and fisherman cannot but be most injurious to both. The absence of so large a proportion of able-bodied men during the hay-harvest, the season for hoeing, and the corn-harvest, must occasion the loss of many a crop. But the moral effects consequent on this change of vocation are much more injurious-to the character of the man, than the pecuniary loss, great as it may be, is to his purse. Every fishery is a species of lottery ; and those who enter on it are gamblers; uniting with the risk of capital, considerable personal danger. It is natural for us to entertain the expectation that our own good fortune will be greater than our neighbour's. Such a pursuit is therefore attractive ; when occasionally successful, its profits are dedicated to those gratifications which men in that condition of life have been accustomed to view as the greatest, Others are incited to follow their example, both in the pursuit, and in the enjoyment of its supposed reward. Whilst engaged in the fishery, much of their tithe is spent on shore, at a distance from their homes, and with no immediate occupation. The example of their companions, the mischief of vacant hands and vacant minds, here seduce them to the ale-house ; and speedily the habit is acquired. When the judgment is disturbed by frequent ebriety, excesses, at which the perpetrator would have shrunk when sober, are committed, and the character of the man is lost. On the other hand, it is as improbable that the quiet and orderly farmer can become at once a good fisherman. His employment on shore does not furnish him with information or habits likely to be useful at sea. His mind must ever be rivetted on his home. On the dark tempestuous night, at every shock of the wave on his half-decked boat, bitterly he must rue the hour when the dæmon of gain led him into that fearful scene. Self-command must be then lost, even by those few who possess some skill, and who are disposed to obey the ignorant skipper.

The Saturday and Sunday nights are by these devout gentry never profaned by fishing. The pretext is godliness ; but the truth probably is, that there are many inducements to return to the interior besides their prayers. Men to whom fishing alone is a profession, and who are accustomed to subordination, to the duties, and the hazards of a sea-life, would speedily dedicate their attention to that pursuit exclusively.

For the sake of agriculture, it were to be wished that these naturally discordant professions were disunited; and the hands restored to the country of which it is deprived at the most valuable season. The mischiefs which at present ensue from the junction of these professions, by no means terminate with the return of the laborer to his natural employ. His morals being often corrupted, he ceases to be a useful servant ; some persons, indeed, have formed a rule never to employ a man who has been engaged in the herring fishery. Altogether it appears a drain on the resources of the island, yearly bringing her more deeply into debt ; but as it gradually becomes more unproductive, and as it receives much interruption from the occasional appearance of vessels in the impress service, it is to be hoped that few herring boats will in future be built. The fishery in that case will be either wholly discontinued, or will fall into the hands of those who in the winter and spring carry on the grey fishery, gaining their livelihood constantly on the sea.

The custom-house duties at present levied in the island, were imposed by Parliament in 1767, and increased and modified at subsequent periods. An account of the annual gross amount of the insular revenue received since the extinction of the proprietory government, is stated in the Appendix G.4


THE condition of the Minks peasantry has for many years been gradually improving, particularly since the year 1765, when the proprietory government ceased. The attention of the landowners has, since that period, been more directed to the improvement of their estates ; agriculture has been put on a new footing; and within the last fifteen years in particular, wages have been doubled. There is, at this moment, a demand for labor, both of husbandry-servants and of mechanics, beyond the supply ; and as provisions are plentiful, and the rent of such houses as are occupied by the humbler classes moderate, population must be advancing with rapidity. The state in which many persons have wished to place the peasantry of England, is that in which a considerable portion of the peasantry of the Isle of Man at this moment lives. They are often proprietors of a cow, sometimes of two ; of hogs, and poultry ; raise a great part of the food for their families by their own labor, on land which they occupy ; and bring up numerous families without any aid. It is but justice to say, that the Manks proprietors of land do not extort unreasonable terms from their cottlers ; are guilty of no oppression ; and, on the whole, seem kind, charitable, and indulgent masters.

In the towns, the mechanics and their wives having often been brought up, or resided in England, retain English customs ; breakfasting on tea; eating butter, cheese, wheaten-bread, and butcher's meat, when their earnings afford it. Their example is said to make some progress, but the diet of the great majority of the working class continues on the primitive footing ; oatmeal-pottage, and barley-bread, milk, potatoes, and herrings. This food appears not to have any unfavourable effect on health. The peasantry, though not ruddy complexioned, are, in general, athletic and strong limbed, particularly in the mountainous and northern division of the island. The yeomanry, with the exception of those who have given themselves up to the odious and too prevalent vice of ebriety, are a well favored people, and their children healthy. In their manners they are civil, without being cringing. They are all of the church of England ; unless methodism, to which there are many converts of the middle and lower classes, be considered as a different mode of faith. Each parish has now its methodist chapel ; some of these are erected in the vicinity cf the churches. A previous disposition to credulity and to superstition in the people certainly existed, and must have made them easy proselytes. In the towns are also a few Catholics, but of these hardly any are natives. There are not, nor ever were, in this island, any religious feuds, or any penal or incapacitating laws to create them, or to impede its inhabitants from worshipping their maker in the mode which their own conscience dictates.

In the towns of the island, box-clubs have existed for several years, and are now spreading in the country-parishes. The extent of these institutions is too limited, and their introduction too modern, to have produced as yet any sensible effects ; but it would seem that they are peculiarly adapted to a small district, where no legal provision for the poor is in force, and where the confined state of society will naturally produce constant watchfulness of one member over another, and there-fore check abuses in the bud. Instances have already occurred, since the establishment of these clubs, where relief has been administered to deserving individuals. who would otherwise have been destitute. No ill effects whatever are foreseen as likely to flow from them ; their general adoption therefore is earnestly to be wished.

In the Appendix H. are given, 1st. Tables of the population of the island, prepared from returns made by the clergy of the island, at different periods, in obedience to directions from the Governor, or the Bishop. 2d. A table of the baptisms, marriages, and funerals, prepared from similar returns, for two periods of five years. This table is extracted from the Report of the President of the insular Agricultural Society for 1810, in some instances, compared with the original returns. 3d. A list of all the houses in each parish now inhabited. For this valuable document, which has been prepared with care, the Reporter is indebted to the friendly aid of the highway commissioners, who communicated the returns of their surveyors. If in this table there be any error, it is that of omission: but it cannot be considerable. There are in the island few houses, in habitable repair, not more than five in number, which have not inhabitants.

No pains have been spared in seeking information as to the domestic economy, and general condition of the peasantry. With the aid of several well informed persons, the following tables have been formed of the means and the wants of two laborers' families. The first table applies to a family employed in husbandry, and residing within reach of the principal town. The second to another family also employed in husbandry, but living more nearly on the ancient footing, in a part of the island less visited by strangers, where wages and provisions are at a lower rate.

It should be observed, that the majority of able-bodied men, who depend on their labor for support, and who are not artizans of some description, are employed as fishermen during the herring season: The profits of this employ being precarious, and their expenditure more lavish, the example is taken of families who gain their livelihood exclusively by rural labor.

Estimate of the income and expenditure of a cottager's family, consisting of the father, mother, and four children, residing in the parish of Kirk Conchan, two miles and a half from Douglas, Isle of Man.

1811. INCOME.
L.s. d.
Labor of the man 300 days, at 1s. 8d. per day
25 0 0
Labor of the woman, 80 do. at 10d. -
3 6 8
20 do. at 1s. 6d. -
1 100
200 do. at 2d. -
1 13 4
Labor of eldest child, 30 do. at 5d. -
0 12 6
2o do. at 9d. -
0 15 0
200 do. at 1d. -
0 8 4
33 5 10
Profits of a pig reared on offal, and of the
man's work after six o'clock in the evening -
3 3 0
£.36 8 10
Ten bolls of potatoes, at 8s.
4 0 0
Six cwt. oatmeal, at 21s.
6 6 0
Four do. barley, at 17s. 6d.
3 10 0
One maze of herrings, at 30s.
1 10 0
1 15 0
Clothing, shoes, &c.
7 0 0
Groceries, soap, candles, and salt
1 10 0
Fuel, with carriage
2 0 0
0 5 0
Three quarts of milk per day, at 1d.
4 11 3
Butcher's meat and ale
3 6 8
Subscription to a friendly society
0 12 0
£.36 5 11

N. B. During 200 days, a woman may spin to the amount of 2d. per day, besides attending to her family ; if a good spinner, she can earn from 3d. to 4d. and a girl of eleven years old may at least earn 1d.

A garden is highly beneficial to a laborer; employing his evening advantageously, and keeping him out of the ale-house ; but a croft is generally a losing concern, being commonly ill-managed, and his cow being half-starved at home, is often trespassing on his neighbours ; it also tempts his family to commit petty thefts of straw, hay, and grain for her support, which involves him in trouble, and introduces a laxity of morals.

Estimate of the income and expenditure of a cottager's family, consisting of the father, mother, and four children, residing in the parish of Kirk German, in the Isle of Man.

1811 INCOME..
£ s. d.
Labor of the man 150 days, at 1s. 6d. per day
11 5 0
200 days, at 1s. 6d. Manks currency, abate one-seventh -
6 8 7
Labor of the wife, 60 days, at 10d.
2 10 0
30 days during harvest, at is. 6d.
2 5 0
Labor of the eldest child, 50 days, at 4d.
16 8
30 days during harvest, at 9d.
1 2 6
£24 7 9
Ten bolls of potatoes, at 6s. 8d. -
3 6 8
Five bolls of oats, at 1l. mulcture, one-twenty-fourth deducted
5 0 0
Three bolls of barley, at 11. 7s. do.
4 1 0
Seven hundred herrings, each 124
11 5 0
11 0
Clothing, shoes, &c+
5 10 0
Beer, groceries, soap, candles, salt, &c.
1 11 6
Fuel, and paid for carriage -
11 0
Crockery, cooper's ware, tools, and wear and tear of do.
10 0
£.24 6 2

No charge is made for milk, butter, butcher's meat, or fish (except herrings) consumed by the family. These are calculated to be paid by profits on pigs and poultry, and by extra work of the woman and eldest child within doors, in spinning, knitting, &c. beyond the wants of the family.

Besides the parochial schools, several free schools exist in the island, which have formerly been endowed by the charity of individuals. One called " the Academical School," situated at Castletown, supplies the island with candidates for the ministry. Another at Douglas, also affords classical instruction. A school at Peel, formerly founded by the family of Moore, and more recently, another school at Castletown, founded by the family of Taubman, give gratuitous instruction to a limited number of boys, preparing them for a sea-life. At Douglas a school has been founded on the Lancasterian model, and continues to be liberally supported by voluntary annual contribution.


1 Amount of fund applicable to the repairs of highways in the Isle of Man, from 1806 to1810, inclusive.

1806. ale-house Licences
214 19 9
91 13 7
1807, Licences
191 11 9
306 13 4
91 16 4
1808. Licences -
155 0 6
193 8 1
93 9 2
1809. Licences
227 7 13 3
243 9 8
  Dog tax -
93 17 1
1810. Licences -
155 18 9
321 10 4
97 17 6
353 16 3
  Currency of the Island  
1573 17 8
302 15 6 5/8per an.

2 The circumstance of the same denomination being given to a corn measure, containing different quantities, must be productive of some inconvenience. The reason that barley, oats, and malt are sold by a boll 50 per cent. larger than that by which other grain is sold, may possibly be this; that the former species of grain were formerly sold upheaped; wheat, rye, vetches, and beans stricken. By an order of the Insular Council in the year 1582, this is stated to be the then ancient custom. To obviate complaints, and prevent the inconvenience arising from an arbitrary and uncertain measure, as that which is upheaped, in a certain degree, must ever be, the seller might probably agree to deliver six bushel stricken, of grain, which had usually been sold upheaped, instead of four upheaped. From mutual convenience this may have grown into a custom. At least, all species of grain are at present sold stricken : and those alone, which appear to have been by ancient custom sold upheaped, are now sold by the boll of six bushels.

3 Vide Appendix D. No. I. and II.

4 Appendix E. Nos. 1. and 2, The former table is given on the authority of the Isle of Man Commissioners Report to the Secretary of State, in 1792 : The latter, on that of Mr. Scott, the receiver-general of the insular customs : For the interval between the two accounts, Mr. Scott states that the documents are not in his possession.

5 The legislative authority of the island rests, 1st, in the king. 2d, The resident governor, or lieutenant-governor and council, the members of which are nominated by the king, and hold their offices for life; and 3d, The house of keys; who are also elected and nominated for life. When a vacancy takes place, the house itself returns to the resident governor, or lieutenant. governor, the names of two persons, of whom he makes choice of one. This house is always composed of the persons possessing the greatest property and influence in the island.

6 If a small garden or croft be attached to the cottage, the rent is higher; but its produce economises the consumption in grain more than in proportion to the additional rent.

7 Linen is manufactured at home from the flax, for the weaver. Wool is also spun at home. Shoes are not generally worn by women and children. A pair of sandals, made of un-tanned hide, laced over the foot, called in the Manks language kerranes, are sometimes made and worn by the men. Price of their shoes 8s. Manks coarse woolen cloth, yard wide, is 3s. 6d to 4s. per yard. About five yards make a suit of jacket, waistcoat, and breeches. Cost of making such a. suit, 7s. It lasts a year.

8 In June or July peat is raised, and ling (or heath) pulled in the Mountain by the man's own labor. Fern or furze for baking is also cut by himself, on a slight acknowledgment, generally in labor, to the farmer; sometimes gratis.


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