[From Train's History, 1845]



Monumental Effigies — Image Tombs of Danish Warriors — Monumental Inscriptions — Relics of Brass and Gold — Treasure Trove — Ancient Coins — Leather Currency — Ducketoons — Buteher's Brass Money — Johnnie Murray's Pennies — The Eagle and Child — Promissory Notes — Present State of the Currency — Armorial Ensign of the Island — Arms of the Bishopric.

WE are always inclined to regard with veneration those objects of antiquity which are in anywise associated with the heroic deeds of our ancestors. Among these, monumental effigies of the illustrious dead are calculated to kindle in our breasts feelings equally favourable to virtue and to patriotism. It was perhaps a conviction of this kind, added to the advice of the Norman earl, which induced William the Conqueror to cause all the funeral monuments in England to be destroyed, in order that, by their means, no memory of ancient pedigrees might be presented to incite the people to disaffection and revolt.

From the superstitious notions prevalent in ancient times, it was the practice not only to inter the dead, but also to die in the dresses of their respective stations. Hence it is that we meet with so many effigies in sacerdotal robes, and so many warriors in panoply, on the ancient tombs. Sigurd, Earl of Northumberland, being sick, rose in his bed and put on his armour, saying, it was meet that a man of his rank should die in mail.1

If we can place implicit reliance on the statement of Simon of Durham, Henry II, of England, was borne to church for interment in his regal robes, with his crown on his head, his sceptre in his hand, and his spurs on his heels, It was the practice, too, when a person of rank died, to have his effigy cut in stone, and placed over his grave. Examples of this may still be seen in the Isle of Man, as well as in the burial places of many of the ancient families of Great Britain. Near the abbey church of Rushen, there is a tomb, with an effigy of a prelate in a sacred vestment, holding a crosier in his hand, and having a broad-sword at his side, as described in the preceding chapter.

Ancient monumental remains appear to have been formerly very numerous in the Isle of Man.2 So long as the power of the Danes was respected or dreaded in the Island, the effigies of their warriors were allowed to remain within the limits of consecrated ground ; but when their piratical incursions were no longer feared by the inhabitants, Danish or Norwegian images were no longer tole rated. They were either defaced, removed to a place of obscurity, or carried off by the people, as it were to wipe away all remembrance of their former task-masters. Colonel Townley thus describes one of these monumental stones which he discovered outside the wall of the churchyard of St. Michael:-

"I had not gone far, till I stumbled on a venerable stone, displaying, by rude chiseling, the figure of some mighty Danish chief in complete steel. The stone has received some little injury, but is not so mutilated as to prevent the intention of the artist from being fully expressed. He has clothed his warlike figure in complete armour, with a helmet on his head, and a tremendous broad-sword flanging before him by two straps from a studded belt, with which he has properly girded his warrior, to make him invulnerable at all points. He has represented him with his arms uplifted and his fingers gripped in a supplicating posture." The colonel rescued the figure from its ignominious concealment, and, placing it in his carriage, conveyed it to more respectable quarters in his own gallery.3

Another of these stones, representing, in rude carving, the figure of a Danish warrior in complete armour, is to be found at the entrance of Onchan church-yard.

Such monuments as bore the signs of the cross, were, out of respect to that sacred symbol, longer preserved than the rude image tombs; yet many of those mentioned are now nowhere to be found,' although, in Bishop Wilson's time, the Island is said to have presented more ancient monuments and runic stones than any other country.4

In the absence of written records, the views of the historian are often assisted by the discovery of ancient relics. During the time of Bishop Wilson, there were found in the Isle of Man, under ground, brass daggers and other instruments of the same metal. They were all well formed, and as fit for doing execution as if made of steel. Very lately, there were also found some nails made ofpure gold, having rivets of the same metal on the small end. Their make shewed evidently that they had been made to stud a royal target.

Relics of this description are still to be found in the Island.5" Weapons of pure gold were found in the Calf of Man, and a large silver crucifix was found there some years ago.6 What is still more singular, "a pair of brass shoes was found sixteen yards below the ground, of such monstrous length and thickness, that they would have overfitted the giant's feet set up in the Guildhall, in London."7

Had the various remnants of antiquity, hitherto discovered in the Island, been preserved and deposited in a place fitted for the purpose, they Would ere now have formed an interesting collection of antique curiosities. Might not the runic monuments taken sacrilegiously from every church-yard in Man, and converted into stiles, gate-posts, and such like purposes, be yet laudably collected and placed in an apartment in the college ?

It is certainly in the power of the governor to do so ; and, likewise, to claim for the same purpose, all the treasure trove found within his jurisdiction. The crown would, in that instance, undoubtedly forego its right for the establishment of such an institution as a public museum, tending to illustrate the ancient history of the Island.

From an early period, all treasure found in the Island, was claimed by the lord superior. In the year 1586, the .Earl of Derby, in a letter to his nephew, Richard Sherbourne, then captain-general, says, " One Edwardson, of my Isle of Man, hath, as I am informed, found certain gold hidden, which, by ancient laws of that my Isle, and by my prerogative of right, appertaineth to me." On investigation, it was found that the person here alluded to, had discovered gold to the amount of thirty-three pounds and upwards; but whether coin or bullion, does not appear. This treasure was awarded by the governor and twenty-four Keys, to the lord, in virtue of his prerogative; and, that no doubt might be entertained on the subject in future, it was given for law, that " any treasure whatsoever, being found hidden under ground, either within the house, or without in the fields, or in the thatch of the house, or in any covert place, shall be due to the lord by the laws of this Isle."8 This was called, " Treasure Trove."

It is highly probable that many valuable relics of high antiquity have been found in the Island, and secretly disposed of,' lest they should be claimed by the constituted authorities, as appertaining to the lord proprietor. From the time of Waldron, till the following discovery recorded by Dr. Oswald, more than a century had elapsed without any account of ancient utensils having been found:-

" In February, 1824," says Mr. Oswald, " There was discovered, about six feet below the surface of the ground, at the village of Balloch, part of a broad-sword, the guard hilt of which, and the breadth of the blade had a striking resemblance to those delineated by Meyrick, as ancient British weapons."9 It may be proper, however, to observe that no lance heads of bone, arrow heads of flint, or battle-axe heads of stone,10 have ever been found in the Island. Hence it may be presumed that neither of the two great nomadic tribes, the Cumnerii and the Celtic, who wandered from the shores of the Thracian Bosphorus to the northern coasts of Europe, or passed from Gaul across the channel, ever reached the shores of Man.11

In May, 1836, a large iron gauntlet was dug up in the ancient battle field of Ronaldsway, and formed part of the curious collection of antiques formerly belonging to Mrs. Looney, of Maugherakew, near Ramsey. Since that period, another iron gauntlet has been found in the Island, and is now in the possession of my friend Colonel Colomb, late of Rushen Abbey.

In October, 1835, two urns were found in a stone coffin, near the church of St. Maughold ; these remnants of antiquity were broken by the workmen who discovered them, in the hope of finding treasure; but only a small quantity of dark ashes was found in each.

A great variety of coins and medals have, at different times, been discovered in the Island. Not many years ago, a coin of Ethelred II,12 who succeeded his half brother Edgar, in 979, was found in the north end of the Island. In 1789, when Professor Torkelin visited the Island, "a gentleman of Castletown, presented him with three or four Danish coins or medals found in that neighbourhood one of them of Canute, the Dane, who ascended the English throne in 1017."13

In the year 1780, a number of silver coins of William the Lion, who began his reign A.D. 1165, was dug up in the Isle of Man; the coinage of that reign was not known to antiquaries, before that time. The learned Snelling' thinks these coins were struck in the Isle of Man; but Cardonnel, the celebrated Scotch antiquary, is of a different opinion.14 Near the church of Lonan, in 1786, two hundred and thirty-seven pieces of silver were found by a person digging; and several others had been previously found at the same place;15 whereupon an information was filed by the attorney-general, and the whole were adjudged by the Court of Exchequer, to belong to his majesty.

About the middle of the seventeenth century, as some workmen were enlarging Lord Derby's wine vault, many Spanish pieces of eight were discovered.16 When St. Mary's Chapel, of Castletown, was pulling down, three Roman coins of Germanicus and Agrippina, were found carefully deposited in a square scooped out of freestone, near the place where the ancient cross stood, and exactly under the new portico.17

In 1828, on taking down a small wall in Kirk Marown, several silver coins, made under Edward I, by Stephen de Fulborn, while justice of Ireland, were detected among the rubbish; and in April, 1834, a large gold coin was turned up by the plough in a field near Kirk Andreas, having on one of the sides three rampant lions, and supposed to be of the reign of Richard Coeur de Lion. In Waldron's time, many ancient coins were found in the Island: " I had," says that author, "the privilege of taking the draught of some which I looked upon as being the most curious, thinking some learned and ingenious antiquarian in England, might, by the inscriptions and figures, be able to judge more truly of the form of government of these people and their rulers, than those traditions which pass for historical truths. I must acknowledge myself unable to comprehend them, although I have spent a great deal of time and pains in the endeavour."18 On one of these medals is a female bust, with a cross in her hand, on the reverse is a magic square surrounded by runic characters. On another, nearly two inches and a half in diameter, is a gothic castle surmounted by a Norman cross, and on the reverse, a sheaf of arrows. On the next was an angel, reverse, three half moons. But none of the legends have been deciphered.19 At all events they do not agree with Le Brune's general description of ancient coins, as cited by Stowe :-

" On the king's side, is his head,
And his name round it written ;
On the cross side is the city
Where the coin it was smitten."

The Danish coins presented to Torkelin, with those of William the Lion and Edward I, were all, probably, in circulation in the Island when it was under the dominion of these powers respectively ; but sufficient evidence has not been adduced to show that any of them were of Manks mintage. Several old coins were dug up in June, 1836, ' at Kirk Michael, near the old Tower of Refuge, which, I am informed, are in the possession of Mr. Skillicorn, painter. About the same time, a large gold coin was found in the harbour of Castletown, at least a foot below the bed of the river. It was a coin of one of the early English kings; but I had not an opportunity of observing it, the gentleman in whose possession it was, being from home at the time of my visit.

In 1835, a large quantity of silver coins was found near Balnabarna, in the parish of Maughold, by some men employed by Mrs. Rachel Looney, when working a stone quarry. These ancient relics were disposed of in England, for fear of detection.

In December, 1842, in ploughing a field on the Howe, dear Douglas, about two hundred silver coins, struck in the reign of the Norman Edward, were found; nearly equal portions of them appear to have been struck in London, York, and Canterbury.

A few years since, a pure gold coin was found on the estate of Slegaby, in the parish of Onchan. It is in a perfect state of preservation, and is supposed to be a noble of the reign of Edward the Third. On the obverse side is a representation of king Edward seated in a ship of war, with his sword of state in his right haled, and on his left arm, a shield, with the arms of France and England quartered, the fleur-de-lis appearing on the dexter side. The following words surround the entire of the obverse:- EDWARD ‡ DEI ‡ GRA ‡ REX ‡ ANGL‡ DNS ‡ HYB ‡ Z ‡AQVT ‡ On the reverse, the centre is occupied by a magnificent cross, surmounted at each extremity by the fleur-de-lis, and in the intermediate spaces are the English lions, surmounted by coronets formed of the fleur-de-lis; the words surrounding which are :- IHE ‡ AUTEM‡ TRANSIENS ‡ PER ‡ MEDIU ‡ ILLORUM ‡ IBAT ‡ This coin weighs two grains less than the standard sovereign. It is at present in the valuable collection of Sam. Sandilands Rogers, Esq., of Douglas.

The copper piece struck about the year 1338, when il2artholine, who had previously been almoner to king Robert the Bruce, was governor of Man, Avas, so far as I have yet discovered, the first essay of a coinage appropriate to the Island. It was "a copper coin with the king's effigies on one side, and a cross on the other, with the inscription, ' Crux est Christianorum gloria,'-'The cross of Christ is the glory of Christians.' 20 From Bishop Merrick's letter to Mr. Camden, written about 1550, there appears to have been a coin then in circulation peculiar to the Island: " Their language is peculiar to themselves, and likewise their laws and money, which are signs of a distinct sovereignty."21

The money coined at this early period, was circulated only at fairs and markets. At other times, cattle and corn were oftener resorted to as a common measure of value; and where a local circulating medium was required, leather was used for that purpose. Formerly, this leather money formed the currency of the Island, which every man of substance was entitled to make. These tokens had no other impression than the maker's name and date.22

To a currency of leather, succeeded one of brass; but of silver or gold pieces, the Manks had little knowledge, till the troubles of England, in the reign of Charles I, induced many persons of great wealth to seek shelter in the Island, carrying with them specie to a large amount.' The prosperity of the Island was greatly advanced by the amount of coin then put into circulation, and a striking improvement in the manners and habits of the society took place from that era.23

In the year 1646, " certain men came out of England, and did coyne and utter false moneys called ducketoons, in such base metal as pewter and the like," whereupon, in compliance with a petition from the twenty four keys to the Earl of Derby, it was enacted, " That any person who should thereafter falsifie, forge, counterfeit, clip or diminish any kind of current coyne, or bring false money into the Island, with the intention of deceiving the people, upon conviction of the offence, was to be guilty of high treason, and to suffer accordingly." Thus it was treason in the Isle of Man,24 to execute forgeries on a copper coinage, while in England it was confined to a coinage of gold and silver. Indeed the offence was unknown in the Island till the year in which the act was passed. Although the lord had the prerogative of coining, the money was not considered current until sanctioned by an Act of Tynwald.

Towards the close of the seventeenth century, a quantity of base coin, called Butcher's brass money, had got into circulation, which the insular government deemed necessary to suppress.25 At a Tynwald court, therefore, held on the 24th of June, 1679, it was enacted, " that no copper or brass money, called Butcher's halfpennies and farthings, nor any other of that kind, shall pass in this Island after the first day of January next, provided, always, that this shall not be prejudicial unto, or hinder the passing of the king's halfpence and farthings set forth by authority, or the brass money called Johnnie Murray's pennie."26

In 1710, the Earl of Derby, at the request of his Manks subjects, put into circulation a large supply of copper pence and halfpence; but, upon a further issue, in 1733, the coinage of 1710 was declared to be no longer a legal payment, although its intrinsic value was little more than half its nominal value.27 By the next copper coinage, in 1757, the currency of the preceding one was not affected. The coinage of 1733, amounted. to three hundred pounds in pence, and that of 1757, to two hundred and fifty pounds in pence, and one hundred and fifty pounds in halfpence. To prevent counterfeits, all persons were ordered, once a year, to bring to the respective captains of their parishes, such copper money to be examined and counted, and the account thereof was returned by them to the governor or receiver-general.28

The impression on the mintage of 1710 and 1733, was the arms of Man, with the letters J.D. between the bending limbs; the motto, " Quocunque Ieceris Stabit." On the reverse, was the Eagle and Child,29 the armorial bearing of the Derby family, a chapean motto, " sans charger," with the date under the chapean. I have in my possession a Manks brass coin of 1732, not hitherto mentioned by any author, exactly resembling that just described, with this difference, that the date, instead of being under the chapeau, is divided-the figures 17 being in front of it, the 32 behind it. I mention this merely to show that the best account of the Manks coinages has been incorrect. On the copper coinage of 1757, was the impression of a ducal coronet, with the letters A.D. and the date under the reverse. In the years 1786, 1798, and 1813, copper coins were put into circulation by the British government, having the usual impression of the British copper coinage on one side, and on the reverse, the Manks arms with the usual motto.

Copper being the only circulating inedium peculiar to the Island, and the balance of trade not being in favour of the Manks, gold or silver was only brought into circulation by persons from other countries, who had settled there under protection of the Act 1737, which provided that no person should be prosecuted for a foreign debt, within the royalties of the Lord of Man.30 In 1814, when this act was repealed at the request of the British government, and the decrees of the court of Great Britain and Ireland were consequently made recognisable in the Island,31 the currency became thereby so much affected, that, to obviate the great want of specie, the shopkeepers and merchants found it necessary to issue promissory cards of the respective value of one shilling, two-shillings-and-sixpence, five shillings, and seven shillings each, payable in British coin, on demand;32 but these were found to be attended with so many inconveniences, and with such risk to the public, that, in the year 1817, it was found necessary to restrain, by an Act of Tynwald, all persons from issuing promissory notes, with the exception of such as should be licensed annually, by the governor and council, for that purpose.33 It was, also, provided that no note should, in future, be issued under the value of twenty shillings.

The reason assigned for the passing of this act, was that promissory notes had been issued by divers persons for the fractional part of a pound sterling, whereby the public credit of the Island had been materially injured, the crime of forgery greatly facilitated and increased, and the legitimate currency nearly banished. On the 5th July, 1836, a bill was read in the council and agreed to, making it imperative on bankers to take up their cash notes by bills, at a date not longer than twenty-one days.

A silver coinage was struck by the last Earl of Derby who was Lord of Man; but it is questionable whether it was ever put in circulation.34 The silver coinage of Great Britain is now plentiful in the Island; but the bulk of the circulating medium consists of the notes of private bankers.

The greater part of the copper currency of the Island, between the years 1830 and 1838, was of foreign mintage,35 which, in a great measure, displaced the copper pence and halfpence struck in the tower of London, and designed solely for circulation in the Island, being of less value than the copper coinage of Great Britain. A British shilling was equal to fourteen pence of Manks copper; and one pound three shillings and fourpence Manks was equivalent to one pound sterling. All negociations for money, therefore, if intended to be according to the British standard, were so expressed, otherwise Manks currency was understood.

Such an immense quantity of base copper was in circulation in 1838,36 that the insular legislature deemed it necessary to prepare a bill to assimilate the copper currency, with that of the United Kingdom, which, having received the royal assent on the 3rd January, 1840, was promulgated at St. John's on the 17th March following.

The new coinage, which is very beautiful, the obverse bearing the impression of her majesty's head, and the reverse, the arms and motto of the Island, arrived in Douglas, on the 24th April, 1840. It consisted of £332 in pence, 446 in halfpence, and £222 in farthings, amounting in all to £1000. The following month, the lieutenant-governor issued a proclamation calling in the old copper, which was to be completed on the 21st September 1840, on and after which, the copper currency of the Island was to pass at the rate of twelve pence to the shilling.

So great was the excitement caused by this alteration, and such was the hostility to the innovation, manifested by the lower orders of the inhabitants, that, upon its introduction, a riot took place at Douglas and other parts of the Island. The windows and doors of the houses of the legislators, and of those shopkeepers who were favourable to the change, were demolished ; the riot act was read, the military called out, and the principal portion of the respectable inhabitants sworn in special constables ; but it was not until a company of soldiers had arrived from Liverpool that the Island was restored to its wonted tranquillity. The new copper now circulates quite freely, and is looked upon by the inhabitants as a great benefit in facilitating commercial intercourse.

An act was passed at the same time, to introduce the imperial measure and sell bread by weight.

In the year 1647, an act was passed by the insular council, regulating the interest of money. It was then fixed at 10 per cent. per annum; but in the year 1691, it was reduced to 6 per cent. per annum, which is the legal interest at the present time.

From the earliest record extant, it appears that every nation, tribe, or family had its peculiar standard, under which they went to battle. The children of Israel pitched under their own standard with the ensign of their father's house.' Our ancestors fought under their own peculiar banners. The Carians, again, were among the first people who bore marks on their shields;35 while coats of arms are not to be seen on coins older than the tenth century.36 The ancient kings of Man of the Norwegian race, had for their arms, a ship with its sails furled; motto, "Rex Manniae et Insularum."37 This emblem was peculiarly symbolical of the whole northern vikingr.

The present armorial bearing of Man, as represented on all the coins of the Island, are three armed legs,38 proper, conjoined in fess at the upper part of the thighs, fleshed in triangle, garnished and spurred topaz. Each knee is bent as if performing a genuflection. This ensign was evidently intended as a symbolical representation of the relative position of the Island, with respect to England, Scotland, and Ireland, when each was a separate kingdom. The legs in mail denote the power of self defence, and the spurred heels, speed to resent any insult that might be offered by any of the surrounding neighbours. The motto around the design, is, " Ieceris stabit quocunque,"-"Whatever way you throw me, I will stand." No transposition of these words can change their true meaning, neither can the altitude of the three legs be changed. This is an ingenious allusion to the three alternatives possessed by Mona, when an independent state, of leaning for support, as occasion might require, on one or more of her powerful neighbours : for in whatever posture the insignia are placed, one of the legs only can assume the attitude of kneeling, the other two always remaining upwards, thereby intending to signify, that should the Island be attacked by any one of the three surrounding kingdoms, the other two would rise in its defence. This emblem is remarkably significant with regard to the relative situation of Man and the neighbouring kingdoms, and of its dependence on them for aid. It has also been said of the three legs, that they represent the Manks as with the toe of one foot spurring at Ireland, with the spur of the other as kicking at Scotland, and with the knee of the third as bowing to England.The motto also proved very prophetic of the fate of the little territory, by the changes which occurred in the sister states. Were we to moralise on the armorial ensign of the Island, we would AEsop them thus : There are individuals both in the political and religious world who, when tossed about in the vortex of social life have, like the three legs, a wonderful aptitude to fall on their feet.

The rapidity with which the sovereignty of Man passed from one family to another, in the latter end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth centuries, seems to have occasioned some confusion, by raising competitors for the right of precedency in bearing the arms of Man emblazoned on their escutcheons, particularly in foreign parts. When Sir John Stanley became sovereign of Man, in 1407, he assumed the arms of the Island, as others had done before. John Lord Scroope, whose ancestor had, in 1395, purchased the sovereignty of Man from William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, presented a memorial to the king, in 1475, complaining of the heraldic intrusion of Sir John Stanley upon the arms of his family.39

Randolph, Earl of Moray, was created Lord of the Isle of Man, in 1313, by King Robert Bruce,40 and he placed on his escutcheon the arms of the Island. The Duke of Albany, brother to Robert II, King of Scotland, was the next Lord of Man; and the ruins of his castle of Dunbar still exhibit over the gateway, several shields with armorial bearings, amongst which are those of the Isle of Man.41 These arms were subsequently borne by the Earls of Nairn and Cromarty, and are still borne by the Duke of Atholl.

The piety and superstitions of the middle ages greatly enriched the science of heraldry. The Crusaders to the Holy Land, occasioned the invention of an infinite number of crosses to distinguish the various nations and families that engaged in these expeditions. Devotions and pilgrimages supplied it with the images of angels and saints, with escalop shells and pilgrim's staves.

The ancient sign armorial of the see of Sodor and Man, was Azure St. Columba at sea in a cock-boat, all proper in chief, a blazing star or.42 The present arms of the bishopric are, on three ascents, the Virgin Mary, her arms extended between wo pillars, on the dexter a church, n base, the present arms of the Island, ground an ornamented shield, surmounted by a bishop's mitre.


1 Borthwick's Remarks on the British Antiquities, Edinburgh, 1776, p. 123.

"To them that die in habit of a friar,
Rome hath granted full remission
To pass to heaven straightway, withoutten wear.
Is there such virtue in a friar's hood?
I think in vain Christ Jesus shed his blood."

-Sir David Lindsay's Monarchy, book iii, Edinburgh, edition 1776, p. 114.

2 "Many of these stones have on them the figure of a cross, with divers knots of grotesque scroll work, vulgarly denominated Danish tangles, with a kind of hieroglyphic"-Grose's Antiquities of Scotland, vol. i, p. 5.

3 Townley's Journal, vol. i, pp. 167, 176.

4 Waldron's Description of the Isle of Man, p. 175.

5 Ibid; Camden's Britannia.

6' Wilson's New Survey of the Isle of Man, ap. Gibson's Camden, vol. ii, page 1455.

7 Wood's History of ille Isle of Man, p. 102; Description of England and Wales, vol. iii, p, 56.

8 Waldron, p. 184.

9 In these countries, where men were continually afraid of the violence of their superiors, they frequently buried a great part of their wealth in the earth. All manufactured metals found concealed out of doors, were called treasure trove, and as such, were claimed by the king. In early times, treasure trove " formed no contemptible Part of the revenue of the greatest sovereign in Europe."-Smith's Wealth of Nations" edition 1819, vol. ii, pp. 14, 15; vol. iii, p. 387. At present, it would not make an important branch of the revenue of a private gentleman of good estate.

10 Statute, anno 1586; Lex Scripta, Douglas, 1819, pp. 81, 82.

11 In 1313, when Richard de Mandeville, at the head of a band of Kerns, from Ireland, had plundered the Island, and stript the Abbey of Rushen of its flocks and herds, and even of its furniture, they dug up much silver which had been buried under ground, in various places. Johnstone's Celto Normanicce, 1786, p. 152.

12 Communication from Dr. Oswald, Douglas, Isle of Man, September, 1824, in the Library of the Antiquarian Society of Scotland.

13 Archaelogia, vol. xv, book ii.

14 Planche's British Costume; Ancient British Period.

15 Communication from Dr. Oswald, of Douglas, July, 1830.

16 Townley's Journal, vol. i, pp. 156-158.

17 Snelling's Descriptive View of the Coins struck by English Sovereigns in France.

18 Cardonnel's Numismala Scotiae, p. 41.

19 Wood's History of Man, p. 175; Feltham's Tour, p. 243.

20 Waldron's Description of the Isle of Man, p. 184.

21 See vol. i, p. 43, of this work.

22 Waldron.

23 Waldron p144

24 Sacheverell's Account of the Isle of Man, London, 1702, p. 72; Seacome's House of Stanley, Liverpool, 1741, p. 543.

25 Britannia, edit. 1695, p. 1052.

26 Waldron, p. 183.

27 Ibid, p. 184.

28 Camden's Britannia, folio edition, 1695, p. 1061.

29 Lex Scripta, p. 133. To such an extent had the clipping the current coin of the realm been carried by the Jews in England, that Edward 1. caused two hundred and eighty of them to be hanged in one day, for that offence-Campbell's Naval History. I vol. i r, p. 163.

30 Butcher's brass money was probably smuggled into the Island from Ireland, as about the year 1679, " There were certain brass tokens current in the city of Dublin commonly called Butcher's ha fijence, for the exchanging of which, the undertaker who coined them had given sufficient security to the Lord tilayor and corporation. But this undertaker privately counterfeited his own halfpence, in so much that for one of the original stamp, ten or more of the counterfeits were in circulation ; and when any of these were brought to him to be exchanged, he alleged that he was not bound to do so, because they were counterfeits ; and having so cunningly managed the matter, that the cheat could not be brought against him ; the city lost, perhaps, little less than 1000 thereby.-From a pamphlet in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, marked RR. 22. 57, ag). Scott's Life of Swift, appendix lxxvii, edition 1814.

31 Statute anno 1679 ; MS. Statute Book, ' Money ;' Smith's Wealth of Nations, edition 1819, vol. i, p. 52.

32 Wood's History of the Isle of Man, p. 27 1,

33 Lex Scripta, p. 210, anno 1710.

34 Appendix, Note i, " The Eagle and Child."

35 Lex Scripta, Douglas, 1819, p. 281,

36 Lex Scripta, p. 485.

37 Wood thus describes the notes in circulation when he visited the Island in 1808 " The merchants and manufacturers are very desirous of preventing any inconvenience that might arise from the scarcity of silver, by issuing as many as they can of their small tickets or cards. The form of engagement on the card generally runs thus :` I promise to pay the bearer, on demand (so many shillings as the case may be), on his bringing the change of a one pound note." P I-p. 66.

38 Appendix, Note ii, " Banking."

39 Oswald's Isle of Man Guide, p. 55.

40 The following extract from the Mona's Herald of 2nd May, 1834, shows the state of the copper currency :-" We find and experience that the Island is being overran with the basest coin that could be brought from any of the lowest states of Kt. Europe."

41" Very recently, an inhabitant of this Island, when on a tour in Wales, found at a large smelting work, two casks of base coin, which were about to be smelted. He, however, purchased them for 30, and sent them to the Island for circulation, by which imposition he derived a nefarious profit of 200 or 300 per cent. To such a degree has this nuisance extended, that many of the retail tradesmen in Douglas are daily in possession of from 20 to £40 nominal value of this trash, taken in the way of business; the necessary consequence of which is, that there is no getting change for a sovereign or local note without taking one half of it in copper. "-Manx Sun, September, 1838.

42 Numbers, cap. ii, v. 2.

43 Borthwick's British A?itiquities, Edinburgh, 1776, page 64.

44" The most ancient coin now known with a coat of arms impressed on it, is a golden denier of Philip de Valois, on which he is represented as holding a shield in his left band. "-Borthwick, p. 66.

45 The word motto is derived from an Italian word which signifies saying. Anciently, in Scotland, it was called ditton. The motto generally relates to some part of the armorial achievements, particularly the crest, and from thence arises a comparison the one explains the other ; but some relate to the supporters.-Bortkwick, p. 65.

46 The arms of the ancient kings of Sicily were, likewise, ' Three naked legs of a man, linked together and bending in the hams." And were formerly stamped on the 'coins of Sicily, to signify the three promontories, with the motto, " velo complicato." "'-Gough's Camden Britt., article ` Man ;' Pennant's Toar, vol. ii, p. 286,

47 Seacome's History of the House of Stanley, Liverpool, 1741, p. 32; Speed's History of Great Britain, p. 896 ; Daniel's Collections of the History of England, page 212.

48 Chalmer's Caledonia, vol. iii, p. 67 ; Anderson's Royal Genealogies, p. 807.

49 Grose's Antiquities of Scotland, London, 1797, vol. i, p. SS ; Sir Walter Scott's Prose Works, vol. vii, p. 410.

50 Keith's Catalogue of Scottish Bishops, Edinburgh, 1824.




It is only on account of the Eagle and Child appearing on the Manks coinage that the traditional account of that singular armorial bearing, becomes connected with the history of the Island.

In the year 1340, Sir Thomas de Latham, in the county of Lancashire, married the youngest daughter of Sir Hanson de Massey, of Durham Massey, in the county of Cheshire, by whom he had only one child, a daughter, named Isabel.

As Sir Thomas and his lady were walking one day through that part of the great park at Latham, called the Wilderness, they heard the cries of an infant proceed from an eagle's eyrie. The nest was quickly brought to the ground, and found to contain a male child wrapped in fine swaddling clothes. He was taken to Latham House, and baptised Oskatel,' to which was added ` de Latham,' on account of his having been taken under the protection of that family.

Oskatel received a liberal education, and being of a fascinating disposition, was esteemed and respected by all who knew him. He was present at the great tournament at Winchester, where the French champion was slain, and was there knighted by the King, along with John de Stanley, who had married Isabel, the daughter of Sir Thomas and Lady de Latham.

Sir Thomas and his lady were now greatly advanced in years. In order. therefore, that the name of Latham might not wholly pass away in the female line, Sir Thomas made Sir Oskatel his beir, and granted him in perpetuity the manors of Islam and Urmston, near Manchester, with many lands and tenements in the county of Che shire. The greater part of his immense fortunc, however, he conferred on Sir John Stanley on his assuming for his crest the " Eagle and Child,"-an armorial bearing which still continues in that family to this day.

In the days of superstition and bigotry the discovery of an infant in the situation and under the circumstances just described, was sufficient to constitute a miracle of the highest class ; but, according to Seacome, the placing of the child in the eyrie, was only a stratagem successfully accomplished by Sir Thomas to deceive his lady and the censorious world as to the real cause of his adopting as his heir Sir Oskatel, who was his natural son by a lady of that name.-Bishop Rulter's Memoirs of the House of Stanley, ap. Seacome, p. 26 ; Seacome's History of the House of Stanley, Liverpool, 1741, pp. 22-27.



There are at present (1843) three banking companies licensed in the Island. These establishments are allowed to be of great use to the community, although the Manks bankers and bill brokers have hitherto received higher remunerating advantages than traders of similar description in any part of the United Kingdom. The legal rate of interest is six per cent., yet the common rate is five per cent., and more is never charged in some of the banking establishments ; payments on England, which is the universal custom established by trade, are remunerated by a half per cent. commission; and on cash accounts and bills discounted, a commission of one quarter per cent. is generally charged. The circulation, consisting exclusively of one pound notes, is circumscribed, never exceeding fifty thousand pounds, and if forced beyond its natural limit, the notes return immediately ; they are payable by bills on London, at twenty-one days after date. In the Island, no stamp duty is chargeable on notes or bills, or any other documents whatever. The insular bankers are required to lodge with the Clerk of the Rolls, security on landed property to the full amount of notes issued by them, which secures the holders against loss, by this circulating medium.

There are saving banks in Douglas and Castletown. The deposits in the former, for the year ending 1842, were 9,129, with five hundred and sixty-two depositors.


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