[From Train's History and Account, 1844]




Ancient territorial Jurisdictions — Fiefs — Custom of Gavelkind — Quarterlands — Tenure of the Straw — Conveyance of Property — Nuncupative Wills — Right of Inheritance — Fuel — Enclosures — Multure, Suit, and Soken — Ways of Ease and Suferance — Bridges — Use of Lime introduced by Governor Greenhalgh — Old Implements of Husbandry — The Fodder Jury, a singular Tribunal — Laws for the Protection of Farm Stork — Condition of the Peasantry in the last Century — Description of a Manks Cottage — Progress of Agriculture since the time of the Revestment — Tenures of the Impropriate Fund — The Academic Masters and Academic Students' Funds — Burning of King William's College.

ALL our historians admit that martial fees were the oldest fiefs throughout Europe.1 With these military tenures both civil jurisdictions and territorial honours were incorporated: and hence the origin of sheriffdom, thanedom, and dukedom; but that which came to be most commonly granted was denominated a barony. In lieu of these holdings, the service of ward and livery was always required by the sovereign.2

Cawder is the most ancient thanedom in Scotland, of which any thing is known with historical certainty. It was from these lands that Macbeth, who afterwards usurped the Scottish throne, took his title of thane;3 but nearly five centuries before that time, Aidon, king of Scotland, conferred the generic title of thane of Man on Brennus, his nephew, who, in performing the military services required for his lands in Man, fell in Scotland fighting against the Picts.4

In the little kingdom of Man the title of thane was succeeded by that of comites, vicecomites, and most of the other territorial honours which followed the Norman conquest in Britain. 5 When the king of Man appeared in state at the Tynwald, he was surrounded by "his barons in the third degree, and by his knights, squires, and yeomen."6

The Romans were equally remarkable for their polity and economy. By the former they secured the countries which their valour had obtained ; and by the latter, they rendered them valuable to the state. Agriculture was, therefore, with them a principal object, and in order to promote its cultivation, they distributed lands to the soldiers, reserving only the payment of a certain rent for the use of the public. This example was followed by Goddard Crovan when he conquered the Isle of Man.

That the custom of Gavelkind, observed by the Anglo-Saxons, the Cambrians, and the ancient Irish, was the hereditary law of succession in Mona, during the period when the Island was governed by princes of the house of Powys, is uncertain ; but the subdivision of property among the ancient inhabitants appears to have been in general as minute as if effected either by Gavelkind or an Agrarian law.7 The Island is divided into seven hundred and seventy-one portions, called quarterlands,8 supposed by some to be analogous to the hides of land, formerly so denominated in England, and which usually consisted of about one hundred acres.9

These quarterlands have immemorially been considered property of the highest nature in the Island, and although now absolute estates of inheritance, are subject to the payment of an annual rent to the lord.10 All the other inferior holdings, called intacks, milns, and cottages, appear to be allotments out of, or encroachments upon, these quarterlands,11 with the exception of these holdings, which at a recent period have been erected out of the waste lands.

" If there be two or three tenants dwelling on a farm, and holding it by the same tenure jointly, if one of them wish the ground to be divided, he must divide it himself, and give the eldest his choice. But if they cannot agree in that division, then the one is to occupy one butt, another the next butt, and so on."12 This is evidently the cause of the irregularity that yet appears in the division of land in the Island, about which so many fanciful conjectures have been published. The epithet quarterland, as appears by the old statute book, is a term synonymous with farmland. Several of the original portions still remain, forming, as in the small Isle of Alderney, long narrow stripes, inconvenient for the modern system of tillage.13

The Norwegians, on the conquest of the Island, found it inhabited by a people evidently less advanced in civilization than themselves. When Magnus, the powerful king of Norway, arrived in Man, he found the inhabitants living in dens and caves; and even five hundred years after that period, the Islanders appear to have made little progress in the arts of civilized life, as at the accession of Sir John Stanley, " the husbandman's son was the Lord's treasure."14 They seem to have made no exertions to better their condition; their houses were unprovided with doors; but to supply this want, they made bundles of gorse and heath, and therewith stopped up their entrances, to defend themselves from the injury of the weather and from the invasion of thieves.15 This was the result of their not having any right of inheritance in the Island; they were only tenants at will, and held their lands of the king for the performance of certain duties and services, called by them the tenure of the straw.16

It appears that, soon after the accession of the Stanley family to the sovereignty of Man, the Manks people began to take in lease, for a few years, the lands which they formerly held by the " tenure of the straw." This is the most ancient right, now discoverable, of holding land in the Isle of Man. In transferring property, all the formality requisite was, that the person or otherwise disposing of his land, was to make consignment thereof by the delivery of a straw to the person who receives the same, and thereupon a record was made, which was all the assurance a succeeding occupier had of the estate in the nature of a copyhold, and was sufficient evidence of his holding without any writing.'17,18

In what age this mode of conveying property originated, cannot be now ascertained. If such were the custom before the conquest of the Island by Goddard Crovan, son of the black king of Iceland, the old tenures must have become extinct by his dividing their lands among his soldiery, with the exception of a small part of the north end, which he granted to the remaining natives on condition that none of them should ever presume to claim any part of it by inheritance.19

Down to the sixteenth century, no person could sell or in any way alienate his land by whatever title acquired, without licence from the lord proprietor, or from three of his principal officers 20

The opinion of James, earl of Derby, on this subject, is thus recorded in a letter to his son, " There comes this very instant an occasion to me to acquaint you with a special matter, on which, if by. reason of the troubles and dangerous times, I cannot bring my intent to pass, you may, in your leisure, consider thereof and make better use hereafter of my present labours in the matter of a certain holding called `The Tenure of the Straw,' whereby men think their holdings are in their own ancient inheritance, and that they may pass the same to any, and dispose thereof without licence from the lord, by paying him a base small rent like unto a feefame in England, wherein they are much deceived."

William the Conqueror, among his plans for the benefit of his English subjects, adopted that of inducing them to surrender their allodial lands and receive them back under a feudal tenure. The Stanleys followed his example, although not with equal success. James, earl of Derby, endeavoured to abrogate wholly the tenure of the straw, by appointing commissioners, in 1643, to compound with the Islanders for leases either for their lives or for twenty-one years; and for this purpose, by way of setting an example to the people, he induced the commissioners, who were his principal officers,21 to surrender their estates, remarking, that " if they broke the ice, he might haply catch the fish."22

The simple and unsuspecting Islanders following the example of their deemster, who was a native of the Isle, upon whom they placed their greatest reliance, and who, moreover, assured them that leases were title deeds, which would render their property more secure than the mere tenure of the straw, by which they could show no evidence of their right, were persuaded to make the voluntary resignation required of them; but, when they saw their favourite deemster 23 reinstated, by an act of Tynwald, in his former possessions, their indignation was roused, and their discontents became so violent, that it was judged prudent to convene the keys. Some preliminary articles of agreement were entered into ; but fifty years elapsed before the difference between the lord and his people, respecting the abrogation of the tenure of the straw, was finally settled.

This important event was brought about through the influence and persevering exertions of Bishop Wilson, by the passing of the famous act of settlement, or as it is called, — the Magna Charta of Manksmen.24

This act passed into a law in February 1703. It is therein provided, that " in case his . lordship should be pleased to declare and confirm unto his tenants their ancient and customary estates of inheritance, in their respective tenements, descendible from ancestor to heir, according to the laws and custom of the said Isle, that then the said tenants should, in consideration thereof, advance and pay unto his said lordship the same fines which they severally and respectively paid for their several and respective tenements, at the general fining, which was held about the year of our Lord, 1643 ;" and " that upon. the change of any tenant, by death or alienation, the next succeeding heir or alliance should pay unto the Lord of the Isle, for the time being, the third part of the said entire sum paid for a fine at the said general fining in 1643 ;" and " that the tenants of the abbey lands, as well as the Lord's tenants, be included in the said proposals.," These conditions, which were proposed by a committee deputed on the part of the people for that purpose, were agreed to by James, earl of Derby, on reservation "to himself, his heirs, and assigns, of all such royalties, regalia, prerogatives, homages, fealties, escheats, forfeitures, seizures, mines and minerals of what kind on nature soever, quarries and delfs of flags, slate and stone, franchises, liberties, privileges and jurisdictions whatsoever, as they were, or at any time heretofore had been, invested in him or in any of his ancestors, Lords of the same Island."25

The Lord's dues were then incontrovertibly fixed, however much the land, at any future time, might be improved, and the value increased, which was, certainly, a great point gained by the Manks landholder.26

The act of settlement absolutely and irrevocably confirms estates of inheritance which are descendible from ancestor to heir. Lands cannot be disposed of except by the first purchaser; when not disposed of by him, they remain assets in the hands of the heir at law, in default of personal property for the payment of debts; and often, one descent from the purchaser, are in the nature of estates of inheritance in manner prescribed by the act of 1645.27 It may be farther observed, that as the Manks have been adjudged to owe allegiance to the crown of Great Britain, they were, even before the revesting act, capable of inheriting lands in any part of his majesty's dominions.

Some of the baronial lands were formerly held by paying an annual rent and rendering an heriot of an ox to each new bishop; but this has now, by custom, been commuted for forty shillings. Church-lands, properly so called, do not exist in the Island.28

The common conveyance of a Manks freehold is a deed signed by both parties in the presence of two witnesse , without seal or stamp, neither of which are necessary to any deed executed in the Island.

With respect to wills in writing, there is no law which prescribes any particular form of execution, excepting that two witnesses are requisite where territorial property is embraced; but by the statute of 1777, " No nuncupative will shall be valid that is not proved by the oaths of two witnesses."29

Regarding the rights of husband and wife to freeholds or quarterlands of inheritance, it is enacted by the common law of the Island, that if a woman marry a man who is seized of a freehold inheritance and survives her husband, she is entitled to a moiety of his estate. She is likewise entitled to a moiety of her husband's purchased lands, absolutely, and may dispose of it in his life time, either to himself or to any of her children, although even by a former marriage. This right of dower, however, may be barred by a settlement before marriage, or by joining any sale of mortgage during marriage. In case the man shall marry an heiress and survive her, he shall be entitled to one moiety of the estate acquired by descent as long as he remains a widower, and to a moiety of her land acquired by purchase, absolutely. It is farther enacted, that an heiress so married has no power to sell or lease her estate without the consent of her husband, and in like manner a husband cannot sell or make lease of his estate without the consent of his wife, so as to prejudice her right in case of survivorship.

Should a man marry a second wife, having issue by the first, she shall, after his decease, enjoy only one-fourth part of his estate ; but if there be no children living by the first wife, the second shall be entitled to a moiety.30

From these premises, it appears that nothing can be more simple or more easily defined than the modern Manks tenures, which are totally unshackled by abstruse family settlements, for no entail of hereditaments, within the Isle, can be created beyond the life of the grantee or the heirs of persons in esse.31

The insular laws do not seem to authorize leases being extended beyond twenty-one years. Previous to the year 1777, they expired with the life of the granter; but by a statute of that year, proprietors of lands were empowered to grant leases for any term not exceeding twenty-one years.

All tenants upon the lord's lands enter to their farms in May. It is declared by the statute that "The old tenant must goe his way soe that the new tenant may enter, at the court holden in May, upon the farm, and alsoe that he may enter upon the grass, because he pays the setting turff; provided always, that the old tenant shall have the cropp which he may take with his sickle or syth, as well grass as corne ; and also he ought to have of the eddish as much as he can eat with his beast from morning till xii o'clock, and the new tenant to have the afternoon's grass, and soe continue until lie have stacked his corne, and then to have no more grass at all ; but he ought to have a barn to thresh his corne in, or other house, at the discretion of the Deemster; and the old tenant to pay the yeare's rent."32

The greater part of the mountainous district, in the centre and south-western part of the Island, has not been reclaimed for the purpose of agriculture, but is occupied as a common. Every landholder has a right, by immemorial custom, to have his sheep or cattle fed upon the common,33 the number being in proportion to the quantity of land which he holds. Every inhabitant possesses the right of quarrying stones for his own use, and also, on the annual payment of one halfpenny to the lord superior, of digging peat in the mountains. But moss mail 34 is not now demanded ; neither is the penny every seventh year, for keeping the lidgate on the fell hedge at the highway, leading to the forest, exacted from such as draw turf or ling out of the common.35 The following are a few of the regulations established for keeping up the hedge that surrounded the common:-

All tenants whose lands adjoin to the fell or lord's common are to make and repair the fences thereof; and if they neglect to do so they are, upon presentment to the grand enquest, to be severely fined. As it has been an ancient custom that " all the gorse, whins, or heath that doth grow or join to the fell or outgray hedge, as far as a man from the same can throw or cast his hatchet or gorse-hook, shall be reserved for maintenance of the said hedge ;" it is declared that " if any person shall presume to pull, cut, or carry away any of the said gorse, whins, or heath that groweth within the said limits, unless it be for the use of the said hedge, he is to be presented to the grand enquest and fined."36

It is also declared unlawful for any one to " go to the mountains or commons after the hour of five of the clock in the afternoon, or before day in the morning, for the carrying off any turff or ling, seeing that complaint bath been made that some persons do frequent that course, especially upon days of haddy or dark mist, and do purloyne and carry away their neighbour's turff and ling."37

One of the most important objects of any government should be to excite, methodize, and direct the endeavours of the people towards the common benefit of the state; but the general policy of the ancient Lords of Man had, evidently, an opposite tendency. At a time when corn continued to be ground, generally by the hand, in querns, in Scotland, water-mills appear to have been used extensively for the same purpose in the Isle of Man; but the spirit of improvement, which then existed, must have been checked for a time by an edict issued by Lord Strange, in the year 1636, ordering all " new corn mills," erected on intacks, copyholds, or customary lands entitled to pay mulcture, suit, or soken, to be demolished on account, as it appears, of their being preferred to the old mills.38 By this edict it was ordered and provided " that the officers of the Island make strict enquiry of such new erected mills, and report the same to the lord, that speedy course may be taken to demolish such new mills, that his lordship may have his ancient rents preserved to him, and the suit, mulcture, and soken continued." "And if the ancient mill of any tenant be so far out of repair that he cannot grind the corn brought to the same, he is to carry the said corn to another mill, and bring it back again without making any other charge than the usual mulcture of a twenty-fourth part of the said corn." To obviate this hardship, however, it was farther declared by the edict to be an ancient custom, that " the tenants bound to any mill should keep the fleaw or damhead in repair, and give a proportion of straw towards thatching the mill, and also to bring home the millstones by land to the said mill, provided they be within the sheading."39

These mills were of very peculiar construction, and from the amount of them given by Bishop Wilson, appear to have been invented in the Island. " Many of the rivulets not having water sufficient to drive a mill the greater part of the year, necessity has put them upon the invention of a cheap sort of mill, which costs very little. The water-wheel is about six feet diameter and lies horizontal, consisting of a great many ladles, against which the water brought down in a trough strikes forcibly, and gives motion to the upper stone, which, by a bar of iron, is joined to the centre of the water-wheel."40

To construct such machinery required more ingenuity than some authors would wish to concede to the Manks ; but it is as evident that the spirit of agricultural improvement commenced early in the Island, as that it would have prospered more, had the endeavours of the people met with suitable encouragement from the government.

By an act of Tynwald passed in 1599,41 all bye-roads leading to the king's highway were allowed to be eighteen feet wide, although certain " old ways of ease and sufferance" leading to church, market, or mill, were recognized and tolerated by law.

By an act passed in 1712, for repairing highways, "every person holding a quarterland is required to send a horse with a cars or creels, and an able man with an English spade, to assist in repairing said highway." In 1776, the penalty for non-performance of the statute labour was increased, and a tax upon dogs and also on ale-houses was likewise imposed for the purpose of repairing the highways. This act was continued by another in 1815.42

Another proof of the early commencement of the internal commerce and cultivation of the Island, is the number of bridges that bestrode its rivulets and streams, even in the seventeenth century;43 while in the neighbouring district of Galloway, to supply the want of these useful erections, stones were placed at the fordable places, even of the principal rivers, to mark the depth of the water, and intimate whether it might be forded in safety. I may here enumerate a few of the Manks bridges. That of Ballasalla was, even at the time to which I have alluded, supposed to have withstood the lapse of centuries ; while those of Marown and Millaroats were objects of curiosity to the antiquary. The bridge over the dark water at Kirk Braddan was a stately structure, and Peel bridge was generally admired for its strength. That of Laxey had seats on each side for the accommodation of passengers, and the arch of the one at Castletown was so high that a boat with a mast might pass under it. The bridge of the Nunnery had been swept away to the foundation, by reason of the turbulence of the river, and the one at Douglas fell by the rapidity of the current, during Mr. Waldron's residence there;-" A woman who was going along it, with a bottle of brandy in her hand, at the moment when the accident happened, was saved by the stiffness of her hoop petticoat, which kept her above water."44

A writer who, availing himself of every circumstance that will illustrate his subject, cites facts apparently ridiculous, may sometimes expose himself to the derision of the fastidious, and among this class of writers, I doubt not, some will be inclined to rank me for the following, among other stories, which I have made use of in this work.

That the Manks were acquainted with the process of preparing shell lime for building, may be inferred from its being used in the walls of the old fortifications ; stone lime, oil the contrary, was wholly unknown to them.44a In the year 1642, Governor Greenhalgh 45 made an ineffectual attempt to introduce the practice of using lime as manure ;46 but he had no sooner built a. kiln than it was circulated as an article of news that the deputy-governor was actually engaged in a project to burn stones for the improvement of the land. The people hastened in crowds to witness the result of this wonderful process, and probably not without some doubts of the governor's sanity. When however they beheld large masses reduced to powder by the action of fire, they eagerly resolved to profit by an example from which they expected the most beneficial results. Earth pots, as they were termed, were raised in all parts of the Island, in which every kind of stone, flint, slate, or pebble were indiscriminately subjected to the process of burning. As might have been expected, their efforts were fruitless; but for the ill success which attended their exertions, they were at no loss to find an infallible cause — that the governor had intercourse with the fairies, by whose agency his minerals were converted into powder, whilst those of the more upright native Islanders were only condensed to a greater degree of hardness.

Of this curious fact many evidences still remain. Large quantities of calcined stones are frequently found in different parts of the Island.47 In the time of bishop Wilson, however, who wrote about a century after the period of the burning experiment, the Islanders seem to have un derstood the use of lime. " The way of improving their lands is either by lime, by sea-wreck, or by folding their sheep and cattle in the night and during the heat of the day in little enclosures, raised every year to keep them within a certain space. In about fourteen days the ground is so well manured as to yield afterwards a plentiful crop. The little hedges are very easily raised, by a spade peculiar to the Island."48 These sods being dried in the sun, and flung down before seed time yielded very good corn.

The Manks farmer has often been taxed with neglecting his agricultural concerns to pursue employments more hazardous, and eventually less profitable. For a century after the act of settlement came into operation, husbandry continued in a state of primitive rudeness. The plough then generally used resembled the old Scottish peeuch, but was of a construction still more rude. It was drawn by four oxen yoked abreast ; the assistance of two men was also required, one to hold the plough and another provided with a fork to assist in regulating the depth of the furrow.48a These furrows were seldom drawn in parallel lines, and no attention was given to forming ridges of an equal size.

If their ploughs were bad, their harrows were still worse; the teeth were made of wood hardened over the fire, and were sharpened every morning before yoking. With these the fields were scratched over, and part of the seed was covered. The crop, however, was seldom a thin one, weeds and coarse grass springing up in greater abundance than the corn, which was always of indifferent quality.49

A most primitive mode of transporting the harvest from the field to the farmyard was also practised. This was performed either on horses' backs or on sledges, formed of two shafts connected by five or six cross-bars, slightly widening at one end, which trailed on the ground; the other end being secured to the horse's back by a rigwoodie of twisted twigs.

A principal object of extensive tillage is to afford straw or green-crop — the winter support of cattle. From an early date down to the present day, this has been an object of high concern to the Manks husbandman.

If any person gave notice to the coroner that a gentleman, farmer, or cottager had a larger stock of cattle than his apparent means could support, he was obliged to summon four men out of the same parish, three of whom must be farmers, who are to make inspection what grass or fodder the said person has provided for these cattle, as well in summer as in winter; and if it should appear that such provision is not sufficient for the support of the cattle, it shall be lawful for them to make sale of such at the current price, and " to return the rates to the owner, deducting to themselves one shilling per pound for their pains, and presenting the same that they may be likewise fined according to their demerits."50 A case of this kind occurred in the spring of 1842, in the parish of Kk. Onchan.

The following laws, relating to the protection of cattle, are likewise singular: — " If any person keep a foul horse, the coroner shall take the same to the next bough, and cast him down the same; and the owner is to pay a fine of three shillings and fourpence, whereof the coroner is to receive one shilling for his pains."51 If any man's beast becomes diseased or maimed and he cannot tell how, he is to have the benefit of a jury of enquiry, to swear all his neighbours, and all others suspected, that they may clear themselves; and if there be any person whatsoever that cannot clear himself upon oath, or that will refuse to take an oath for the same before the said jury, such person is to be deemed criminal, and shall make satisfaction to the injured person.52

At the commencement of the eighteenth century, the houses in the country were mere cabins built with sods, and covered with the same rude material, excepting those of the better sort of farmers, which were thatched with straw.53

A gentleman who visited the Island in the year 1787, thus describes the abject condition of the peasantry at that period :" If the landed proprietors wish to better the condition of these poor wretches who are scarcely better fed than their domestic animals, they should begin by building them more comfortable habitations. At present they are no better sheltered from the inclemencies of the weather, than the beasts of the field that graze around their execrable huts."54

The description of a Manks cottage, by Mr. Quayle, in his Survey, drawn up for the information and at the request of the general board of agriculture and internal improvement of the United Kingdom, brings our account of the Manks ' peasantry down to a recent period. On viewing the hovel in which the Manks peasant shelters himself, the first impression on the mind of a stranger must be that this is the abode of misery ; the walls are constructed of sods of earth ; at each side of the door appears a square hole containing a boarded window ; chimney there is none, except a funnel of sail-cloth covered with a coating of lime, but a perforation of the roof, a little elevated at one end, emits great part of the smoke from the fire underneath. The timber forming the roof is slender, coarse, and crooked.55 It is thatched with straw, crossed chequerwise, at intervals of twelve or eighteen inches, by ropes of the same material, secured either by being tied to the wall by means of coarse slates, fixed and projecting, or by stones hanging from the ends of the ropes, called in Manks iwhid suggane.56 From that end of the roof whence the smoke issues to the other end, the roof generally declines in height. If the means of the inhabitants enable them to keep a cow, a continuation of the roof covers another hovel of similar materials. On entering that end which is destined for the lord of the creation, the appearance of wretchedness unfortunately continues — the floor is hardened clay ; the embers burn on a stone placed on the hearth, without range or chimney; the turf smoke, wandering at random, darkens every article of furniture till it finds an exit at the aperture in the roof or elsewhere.

These primitive dwellings of the peasantry are more common in the northern than in the southern district of the Island, stone quarries being less accessible and lime more distant.57,58 It is singular that in the eighth section of the act of settlement passed, as before stated, in 1703, the intacks and cottages, taken out of the highways adjoining the quarterlands, are represented as " great nuisances."59

It has been observed, by settlers from other countries, that the Manks servants are in general indolent, although tractable and ready to adopt any new practice: many of them become good ploughmen; and as mowers, they are more expert than their neighbours in Cumberland, equalling them in quantity and excelling them in goodness of work.60

At the time of the revestment of the Island in the crown of Great Britain, nearly all the farms were occupied by native landholders, who cultivated small portions of their estates and submitted the residue to the undisturbed dominion of heath and gorse. Bigotted to their ancient habit, they thought if they could raise enough to supply the instant wants of their families and retain seed for the coming year, they had performed all that industry and foresight could obtain : and if taunted for their improvidence, they had the unfailing apology that it was the practice of their fathers before them. An instance of this was remarked by Mr. Curwen : — A person, who occupied at least four hundred acres of his own estate, had for the cultivation of it only one plough and one harrow. In years of abundance, the estate produced bread corn for the family; in failing years, not even so much. The cattle depended on the gorse and furze,61 with which the land was covered, both for food and shelter. The same estate is now let to a thriving tenant at £800 per annum.62

The Manks people, it is said, are indebted for any improvement they have lately made in the science of agriculture, " to the spirited exertions and superior practice taught them by those of their fellow subjects, whom they are too fond of separating from themselves by the offensive designation of `strangers.' It is those strangers who have ascertained the grateful nature of the soil, called forth and applied the various species of manure, which nature, with abundant liberality, had for ages offered in vain to native indolence or prejudice; and by these means have transformed a sterile heath into luxuriant corn fields and verdant pasture. "63

A Scotch farmer, who had removed to the Island, first set the example of ploughing with two horses abreast without a driver. It was also this individual who introduced the quadrangular harrow with iron teeth to supplant the more ancient one with wooden pins; but neither precept nor example could induce some of the Islanders to part with their ancient customs.

In many instances, the Manks farmer yet uses horse creels for the conveyance of manure into the field. When the cadger horse is stationed in the furrow, the peg must be drawn out of each muck creel at the same instant by a person who creeps under the belly of the horse for that purpose, otherwise the full creel would descend with its load on the head of the unfortunate operator.64 The greater part of the field labour is performed by the women, the male part of the population being engaged in the herring fishery, and nothing can exceed the activity and cheerfulness with which they undertake and effect labours apparently incompatible with their strength, particularly in reaping and thrashing.

The primitive mode of transporting the harvest from the field to the farmer's yard, by means of rude sledges, which I have already described, is not yet wholly discontinued. I saw one of these awkward implements at work at the foot of South Barule, whilst I was traversing the uplands of the Island.

The first thrashing machine used in the Island was completed by a Scotchman in 1793. They have since multiplied considerably, although women may yet be seen thrashing in the uplands. The late Mr. Dunlop, a lineal descendant of the great Scottish patriot, Sir William Wallace, established on his farm of Ellerslie, in the parish of Kirk Marown, an Ayrshire dairy.65 Another enterprising agriculturist from Ayrshire, Mr. Miller, of Ballaquinnea, nearly adjoining Ellerslie, showed me thirty head of fine Ayrshire cows, which he had brought over only a few months previous to my visit. Several English farmers also, who have become tenants in the Island, manifest habits of industry worthy of imitation.

Many obstacles are said to stand in the way of the Manks farmer improving his land to the extent of its capability. His capital and his servants are often employed in prosecuting the precarious trade of the herring fishery to the manifest diminution of his stackyard ; and the faulty system of boundary fences is too frequently the cause of litigations and often ruinous law suits.66

The Island possesses within itself the rich means of agricultural improvement. The southern extremity of the Island rests on a rock of limestone, extending nearly four miles along the coast and three miles inland. In some places the top of the rock is not more than six inches below the surface and it extends to a depth that has not yet been explored. In the northern division of the Island, an inexhaustible store of marl is found at the depth of a few feet from the surface.67

In the creeks and curvatures of the several bays, the remains of testaceous fish, mixed with fragments of marine vegetables or with pulverized limestone, may be gathered in abundance. These, together with large quantities of sea-weed thrown high upon the beach by the autumnal floods, afford the Manks farmer the means of fertilizing his land at an easy rate; yet with all these natural advantages at command, and having even models of improvement before his eyes, he deviates slowly from the ancient practice of exacting from the soil nine or ten crops of pease and barley.68

Large families of the rural population grow up and live under the same roof,69 in listless inactivity, until by the death of the parent holding the land, the younger branches are thrown upon the world, often wholly unprovided for ;70 because, by the insular law, the estate must descend to the nearest heir, to the total exclusion of the rest of the family. 71

These remarks only apply to a part of the old native race of agriculturists, there being now many active intelligent Manks farmers, who are sensible of the advantages to be derived from adopting the modern system of husbandry, in preference to the old mode of deteriorating the soil by incessant cropping.72

Within the last few years, a disposition has been manifested to beautify the country by planting belts and clumps of forest trees, which will, in due course of time, enrich the landscape. A taste for horticulture too is making some progress, nor is the mild and genial climate of the Island unfavourable to that delightful branch of rural economy. In shrubberies and pleasure grounds sheltered from the south west winds, the arbutus, the fuschia, the myrtle, the hydrangea, and many other exotics attain a perfection rarely exceeded in England.

No trace of garden ground appears to have been attached to any of the ancient baronial fortins, the remains of which are so frequently to be seen in Scotland; nor has any record reached our times tending to skew that roots or vegetables of any description were used for culinary purposes by the hardy occupants of these fortilages, in the middle ages.

The earliest allusion to horticulture being attended to in the Isle of Man, is in the Book of Orders, made by the commissioners, A.D. 1651, of Edward, Earl of Derby, where, by the concluding articles, it is ordered " That the Clark of the Garden is to be appointed in either of the said houses, (Castles of Rushen and Peel,) by the receivers thereof, the same to be such as they will answer for."73 [fpc a misreading by Train The clerk of the garden [gardner] is in charge of provisions for the castles]

Many farms in the Island are held by suit — covenant suit, custom, and even suit service are not extinct. An attendance of this description, of high antiquity, is rendered at the chapel of St. John and at the adjoining hill, as often as the Tynwald court is holden there to promulgate, according to the ancient form, the laws of the Island. The performance of this olden service, on 5th July, 1844, is thus alluded to by a talented Manks journalist: — " This being midsummer fair-day, according to usual custom of time immemorial, the proper officers, at an early hour, began to make preparations on the ancient Tynwald Hill for the reception of his excellency the governor and ' his beneficed men.' The standard of England floated in the breeze, whilst the steps leading to the summit of the hill, as well as the entrance to the chapel, were plentifully strewed with green rushes, the boon from the occupier of an adjoining farm, who holds his lands tithe free on condition of this yearly service."75

The tenures of the " impropriate fund," the " academic masters' fund," and the "academic students' fund," with other benefactions, remain yet to be adverted to. Soon after the restoration, Isaac Barrow, then bishop of Man,76 obtained from king Charles II a grant of one hundred pounds a year, payable out of the excise revenue for ever, for the better maintenance of the poor vicars and school masters of his diocese. He also procured from Charles, Earl of Derby and Lord of Man, a long lease of the impropriations of the Isle, then in the hands of his lordship, " which belonged to him either as lord or abbot, and consisted of one-third of the whole tithes."77 Beside which, he obtained the right to an old rent and fine, formerly payable to the Lord of the Isle, which produced to the schoolmasters and clergy one hundred pounds annually. He collected in England six hundred pounds, the interest of which has been applied to the maintenance of the academic masters, and he left, as his own private charity, two estates in land, for the support of such young persons as should be designed for the ministry.78,79

By letters patent, dated at Whitehall, 15th November, 1676, provision was made for granting certain schoolmasters, within the Isle of Man, a salary of three pounds per annum, and by Bishop Wilson's Ecclesiastical Code of 1703, the charge for teaching English was fixed at six-pence per quarter, with half that sum in addition if the scholar was taught to write.80 These schools were generally kept by clergymen who were not wholly dependant on these small pittances for support, otherwise the school-masters of the Island must have been a very necessitous class of the community. It was not till the year 1813 that the masters of the parish schools were " allowed to receive, over and above their salaries, the sum of two shillings and eleven pence per quarter for each scholar taught to read English, and three shillings and four pence for every scholar taught to read and write.81

In the year 1827, the salary of the parochial teachers was raised to five pounds ten shillings respectively out of the " impropriate fund,"82 which, with two pounds thirteen shillings and seven pence from the donation of Lady Elizabeth Haistings, is the amount of the fixed salary of nearly all the parochial teachers in the Island.83 Among the lists of donations bequeathed for charitable purposes, required to be laid before parliament in the year 1830, none exhibited so many instances of what appears to have been true philanthropy on the part of the donors, as flint of the Isle of Man. It is very amusing, however, to observe what importance some of the testators attached to small sums;84 but so far as I have been able to learn, the wishes of the testators have been carried out with fidelity. Bishop Barrow's benefactions have produced the most satisfactory result.

The lands of Ballagilly and Hango-Hill, bequeathed by Bishop Barrow for the education of boys at the academic school, were then under lease at twenty pounds per annum. These lands, by indenture dated 19th May, 1769, were let for a term of thirty-one years at the annual rent of one hundred pounds. At the expiry of that lease in 1800, they were again let at the yearly sum of three hundred and forty-one pounds, fifteen shillings; and in the year 1826, they were re-let at a rental of four hundred and eighty-nine pounds, one shilling.

The trustees of this property are the governor, the bishop, one deemster, the archdeacon, vicar-general, and the attorney-general for the time being. They had an accumulated fund of £2,692 1s. 5d. in their hands, when it was proposed to erect a college on the academic lands in the vicinity of Castletown, bequeathed by Bishop Barrow.

A draft of the design of the proposed buildings, with the estimated cost of completing the plan, having been submitted to the trustees, they were induced to set a subscription on foot. Bishop Ward, without any consideration of personal interest, subscribed £1,200 ;85 this sum was increased by other private subscriptions, chiefly by inhabitants of the Island, to £2,000, and £2,000 was raised by mortgaging the funds,86 making in all £6,000, the estimated amount of the cost of erecting the proposed edifice.87

The first stone of this noble building was laid by the late lieutenant-governor Smelt, on the 23rd April, 1830, and iu the summer of 1833, it was opened for the reception of students. The building is partly in the Elizabethian style, forming a spacious cruciform structure, two hundred and ten feet in length from east to west, and one hundred and thirty-five feet from north to south, from the intersection of which rises an embattled tower, one hundred and fifteen feet high, strengthened with buttresses, and surmounted by an octagonal lantern turret. This tower is intended for an observatory. The transept of the college is called Saint Thomas's chapel.

The principal and other masters must be members of the church of England and graduates of one of the universities. The governor and the attorney-general have each founded prizes to be contended for immediately before the summer vacation. The first subject given for a prize poem was " Scotland," and that produced by Master William Kermode, in 1836, obtained the governor's purse of five sovereigns. The number of pupils attending this seminary at first of January, 1844, was one hundred and ten, beside day-scholars. In preference to king William IV, who merely condescended to allow his name to be coupled with the establishment, it should have been unquestionably dedicated to Bishop Barrow.

On the morning of the fourteenth of January, 1844, these extensive premises unfortunately became the prey of a destructive conflagration, which broke out in the western wing of the building, and spread with uncontrolable fury till the interior of the building was destroyed, with the exception of a few apartments in the eastern wing, occupied by the vice-principal of the college. The very valuable library of the college, containing many rare works, part of which was a curious collection of bibles from the time of Coverdale, in upwards of fifty different languages, with several manuscripts relating to Manks ecclesiastical affairs,88 and also much private property, were all completely destroyed.

On the fifteenth of January, at a meeting of the trustees, held in Castletown, it was resolved that instant measures be pursued towards the restoration of the college; which was acted on with so much spirit that on the 4th of June, the rebuilding was so far advanced as to allow of the annual examination of the students being held there, and on the 1st of August was again opened for the reception. of pupils.

The building was insured for two thousand pounds; but the damage done to it by this calamitous fire was estimated at double that sum. The difference was soon however made up by subscriptions.


1 Montesquieu's Spirit of Law, b. xxx, c. iii and iv; Robertson's Charles V„ pp. 260, 263 ; Abbe Millot's History of France, vol. i, p. 190.

2 Appendix, Note i, " Military Tenures."

3 Wallace's Nature and Descent of Ancient Peerages, edition 1775, p, 103..

4 Shuydd's Chronicles, 1731, p. 142; Collectanea de Rebus Albanius, vol. i, p. iii, p. 217; Annals of Ulster by Johnston, 1786; Hollinshead's Chronicles of Scotland, 1805, vol. i, p. 208.

5 Seacome's History of the Isle of Man, Liverpool, 1741, p. 4.

6 Mills's Ancient ordinances, p. 1.

7 Dickson's Husbandry of the Ancients, Edinburgh, 1788, vol. i, p. 6. Gavelkind was an ancient Saxon custom, enacting an equal division of the lands of the parent among the children. It is a corruption of the German Biel alle kind — give all to the children. — Grose's Provincial Glossary, p. 73, London edition, quarto, 1811.

8 Quayle's General View of Agriculture in the Isle of Man, London, 1812, p. 134 ; Pliny, Natural History, lib. xviii, cap. ii.

9 Johnstone's Jurisprudence of the Isle of Man, Edinburgh, 1811, p. 36. Mr. Johnstone is of opinion that the " Manks name quarterland is derived from the act of quartering or allotting the principal lands to the Lord's tenants," whereas, the name appears to be derived from the rent originally paid to the superior. " Nothing is more perplexing, in Highland charters and rentals, than the various denominations of land, which we meet with, for instance, we have penny lands and their fractional parts — quarterlands, and others of still less value called marklands. — Collectanea de Rebus Albanius, vol. i, p. iii, p. 179. These denominations appear to have been first applied by the Scandinavians, during their occupation of the Western Isles and Man.

10 Wood's History of the Isle of Man.

11 Though these quarterlands are not subject, generally speaking, to the payment of debts or devisable by will; yet, this is not the case with such as are newly purchased, for in the Island purchased lands, though quarterlands, are on an exact footing with intacks and cottages.Feltkam, p. 47.

12 Liber Placitorum, anno 1586, 1666-1668, up. Parr's MS.

13 In his tour, Mr. Inglis says of Alderney; The Island is all laid out in narrow stripes of different sorts of grain. These lie in all different directions, straight, across, and transversely; and to so great an extent has the division of property extended, that in looking at a proprietor ploughing his stripe, it is difficult to see how he will have room to turn his plough on his own land. Inglis's Tour in the Channel Isles. The Isle of Man is somewhat similar — the cultivated parts presenting a singular appearance, owing to the very minute portions of property into which they are divided.

14 Customary Statutes, ap. Mills's Laws, pp. 58, 59.

15 In the day when leaving their cabins to go to work in the fields, they set up two sticks across the door, or a couple of flails or any thing of that kind, which the law made it capital to remove, without permission from within, after thrice calling " Vel peccagh sthie ?"" any body within ?"Moore, ap. Feltham, p. 60.

16 Camden's Britannia, folio edition, 1695, p. 1067,

17 MS. Statute Book, Statutes anno 158.7, 1594, 1612, 1636 ; Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, p. 449. " Upon the sale of a horse or any other thing, they make the stipulation perfect by the delivery of a straw."Coke's Institutes, iv, 69. In some of the Out isles of the ancient kingdom of Man, contracts by the tenure of the straw were made down to a comparatively recent period. Martin's Description of the Western Isles; Morrison's Picture of Scotland, vol. ii, c. ix, s. iii.

18 Appendix, Note ii, " Sale of Lands."

19 Chronicles of the Kings of Man, ap. Camden's Britannia.

20 Sacheverell's Account of the Isle of Man, p. 83. Bishop Wilson thus expresses his opinion on the subject. " The Earl of Derby is absolute lord of the soil, and immediate landlord of every man's estate (some few barons excepted), so that reserving his homage to the crown of England, no man hath a more full and ample authority."Ward's Ancient Records, pp. 17, 18.

21 " The commissioners consisted of the governor, the comptroller, the receiver-general, and one deemster."-Mills's Laws, p. 106.

22 Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, p. 448. This commission does not appear to have been attended with any success, as another was appointed in 1650 for the same purpose, at which period only three persons had resigned their lands to hold them from the Earl of Derby, at a fixed rent.-Mills's Ancient Ordinances, p. 505.

23 The Islanders remark, that not one of the families, who assisted the Lord in his attempts to violate their tenures, has endured or retained an acre of land in the Island. This, it seems, was predicted in a popular song of the period. It is remarked too, as having been predicted in the same song, that a particular estate, the property of the celebrated Governor Christian, (who was put to death in the Island, after the restoration, on account of his political conduct) would return to his name and family. This prediction has also been recently and literally fulfilled.- Quayle's Agricultural View of the Isle of Man, p. 18 ; Loyan's Scottish Gael, London, 1831, vol. i, p. 193.

24 For Act of Settlement, see p. 129, vol. i, of this work.

25 Statute, anno 1703; Lex Scripta, pp. 191, 192, 199.

26 Report of the Commissioners of 1791, Appendix A. No. 71.

27 Lex Scripta, pp. 127, 12S, 129, 130.

28 Quayle's General View of Agriculture, p. 18

29 Mills's Laws, p. 373.

30 Appendix, Note iii, " Law of the Descent of Hereditary Property."

31 The Deemsters and Keys; after solemn argument in 1745, declared that they knew no law in the Isle of Man by which estates taillie could be created. "-Johnstone's Jurisprudence, Edinburgh, 1811, p. 40.

32 Statute, anno 1577; ap. Mills's Laws, p. 57.

33 This right did not extend to all waste lands. By an ancient law, " All persons taking up waste lands are to pay for the same as valued by the Great Inquest of the sheading; every person offending against the law shall have their enclosures demolished and be themselves fined, except they be such sort of tenants as have been anciently called julaynes, that is to say, the cottars or cottingers that hold enclosures or crofts, between farmland and quarterland, that beareth the ancient rent to the Lord."-Statutes, 1582, 1645 ; Mills's Laws, p. 110.

34 Statute Book, anno 1583, 1637, 1645, 1662, 1703.

35 Statute, 1577, ap. Mills's Laws, Douglas, 1821, p. 56.

36 MS. Statute Book; Customary Law, 1577 ; see chap. xix, note ii..

37 Statute, anno 1661 ; Mills's Laws, p. 114. The turf and ling of the Island afford but a scanty supply of fuel, even in ordinary seasons. In March, 1837, "Sixteen vessels laden with coals arrived in the harbour of Douglas in one day. The news instantly spread throughout the Island, and the quays were immediately thronged with the inhabitants, who have been in a most destitute condition for fuel during this inclement season."-* Mona's Herald.

38 Orders of James, Lord Strange, 22nd November, 1636; Mills's Laws, p. 89. According to Feltham the monastry of Rushen possessed sixty-six milns, (Tour through the Isle of Man, p. 272.) a much greater number than is to be found in the Island at the present day.

39 Statutes, anno 1579, 1595, 1597, 1609, 1636; Mills's Laws, pp. 21, 89, 166.

40 Camden's Britannica, vol. ii, p. 1448. Mr. Townsend informs us that he observed, while in Spain, that all mills there had horizontal water-wheels. " These grind corn very slowly, being fed by single grains, but then to compensate for the defect, they place many near together on the same little stream, having communicated motion to one wheel, it passes in succession to the rest."-Journey through Spain in the year 1791, ap Feltham, p. 124. Sir George Staunton also observed such water-wheels in China.-See Account of China, vol. i, p. 88, Stockdale, edition 8vo

41 Statute, anno 1599, confirming and extending the statutes of 1577 and 1581. Another act was passed respecting the roads of the Island in 1615, and referred to settling disputes about nzeers, ditches, and commons.

42 Lex Scripts, pp. 31, 32, 66, 230, 390, 508.

43 No bridge can be built without an act of Tynwald. The expense incurred is usually defrayed by a poll tax of one penny per annum of all inhabitants, as well strangers as natives between 16 and 60 years of age.-Statute, 1739, ap. Mills's Laws, p. 257.

44 Waldron's Description of the isle of Man, p. 167,

44a Appendix, Note iv, " Ancient Mode of Burning Lime."

45 Mr. Greenhalgh was Governor of the Island from 1640 to 1651.

46 Sacheverell's Account of the Isle of Man, London, 1702.

47 Curwen's Agricultural Report, ap. Bullock's History of the Isle of Man, p. 245.

48 Camden's Britannica, vol. ii, p. 1447. It may be remarked that the spade here referred to, which I find in use in the Island upwards of three hundred years ago, is still an implement of Manks husbandry. The iron part is throughout about four inches wide, and strongly constructed; near to the top, an iron spur projects at right angles, which the labourer presses with his foot. The use of this tool is principally found in raising the surface sods of which their fences are yet composed. It is a clumsy instrument, but not more so than the old Scotch spade, which made the initial letters of the owner's name on each peat, as a protection for his property. Although the crooked spade is now peculiar to the Isle of Man, it appears to have been at one time common throughout the Hebrides. Martin, who visited St Kilda, the most remote of these isles, in 1697, thus alludes to it; — " They use no ploughs but a kind of crooked spade : their harrows are of wood, as are the teeth in the front also, and all the rest are supplied only with long tangles of sea-ware tied to the harrows by the small ends, the roots hanging loose behind scatter the clods ; this they are forced to use for want of wood."-Voyage to the Hebrides, edition, London, 1749, p. 15.

48a Appendix, Note v, " Rude Manner of Tillage."

49 The agriculture in Ireland, in the year 1620, was in a still more wretched state. It is thus described by Lithgow, the celebrated traveller:- ` I saw in the north of Ireland two remarkable sights : the one was the manner of tillage — ploughs drawn by horse tails without any garnishing, they are only fastened by straw or woollen ropes to their bare rumps, marching all side for side, three or four in a rank, and as many men hanging by the ends of that untoward labour. It is as bad husbandry as I ever saw among the wildest savages alive. "-Lithgow's Travels, part x. For the other remarkable sight, totally unconnected with agriculture, I refer to this amusing traveller's own work.

50 MS. Statute Book, Customary Law; Statute, 1691. In 1748, the legislature again instruct their fodder jury strictly to do their duty; and in 1753, these commands were repeated. On account, however, of the inquisitorial powers exercised by this singular tribunal, it became unpopular and is now rarely convened. — Lex Scripta, pp. 174, 316, 355.

51 MS. Statute Book, fol. 44, 54, 68 ; Statutes, anno 1502, 1584, 1602.

52 MS. Statute, anno 1673.

53 Waldron's Description, p. 95. Of the condition of the people at that time, sacheverell gives this account : — I As there are few that can properly be said to be rich so neither are there many that can be said to be miserably poor, and there are fewer beggars in proportion than in any nation." — Introduction to Account of the Isle of Man.

54 Townley's Journal, Whitehaven, 1791, vol. ii, pp. 43, 45.

55 Wood's History of the Isle of Man, p. 38. The cottages of the island of Isla, formerly one of the isles of the kingdom of Man, were exactly similar at the time of Mr. Pennant's visit. Pennant's Tour, vol. ii, p. 246. The practice of thatching their houses with straw appears not to be of late introduction in Man, as by an act of the general council, passed in the year 1679, the wages of a person who could thatch " after the English fashion" was fixed at four pence per day with meat and drink. — Statute Book, p. 63.

56 Cregeen's Manks Dictionary, p. 31.

57 Appendix, Note vi, " The Peasantry of Scotland, &c."

58 In the northern corner of the Island, the lower class of farmers live very poorly. In autumn, when the receding tide leaves a large sandy tract of dry shore, every one hies away to a place called the Rue of Kirk Andreas to dig up sand eels, called in Manks gibbyn. The implements used for this purpose area gripe, or fork with several prongs, and a hook resembling a reaping sickle. One person can turn up, in the course of a single tide, a thousand of these little sand eels. Having placed them in a kind of basket called a kishan, the gibbyn fishers return merrily homeward rejoicing over what he terms " a great manifestation." when the eels are dried, they stow them away in bags or barrels for future use; and while a poor Manksman, in this quarter of the Island, has a sand eel to eat with a potatoe he considers himself well provided.

59 Mills's Laws, p. 167.

60 Quayle's General View of the Agriculture of the Isle of Man, p. 126.

61 The common, or uncultivated land of the Island, is estimated at rather more than one-third of the whole. On it horses, cattle, and sheep are turned out to graze. " They have each a fore and hind leg tied together with a straw band, to prevent their straying far, and to increase the facility of catching them. An animal thus served is, in the appellation of the Manks, lanketted. The ever green furze yields them the chief nourishment in winter. Sheep can eat only the young shoots, and they keep the bushes so round and even that they appear to have been under the hands of the pruner. Horses, being accustomed to take in larger mouthfuls and longer branches than the sheep, cannot eat the furze in its natural state on account of the prickles. They trample upon the branches and paw them with their fore feet till the prickles become mashed together or rubbed off, and so completely do they perform their work that the food, thus prepared, might be squeezed by the bare hand with impunity."-Wood's History of the Isle of Man, p. 35. To save the horses this trouble, they now pound the whins in a mortar. I saw this operation performed at Ballaquinnea, near Douglas, in 1836.

62 Bullock's History, p. 246.

63 Bullock, p. 244.

64 Bennett's Sketches of the Isle of Man, London, 1829, p. 27.

65 Appendix, Note vii, " Origin of the Ayrshire Breed of Cattle."

66 Quayle's General View of Agriculture, &c., p. 156.

67 Quayle's General View of Agriculture, 8,rc., p. 93. " It is a singular circumstance that notwithstanding there being abundance of marl in the northern part of the Island, marl and shellsand were brought from Scotland, and sold at about six shillings per ton out of the vessels. "-Feltham's Tour through the Isle of Man in 1797 and 1798, p.167.

68 Mr. Quayle says, " An instance is recollected of eighteen crops being taken by a native farmer, without cessation."-Page 94.

69 " In the villages and dispersed houses in the country, it frequently happens that from the habitual early marriages, two or more families live under the same roof. In the towns, particularly in Douglas, the population is peculiarly dense. Each house may be reckoned to contain ten inhabitants. "-Quayle's Agricultural View, &c., p. 191.

70 Bullock, p. 248.

71 However gratifying to the speculative philanthropist might be the aspect of a country parcelled out into small lots held by proprietors, transmitting them in hereditary independence to their eldest sons, the system appears to be practically vicious. When the proprietor of a quarterland becomes involved in debt, as he cannot dispose of his land, he borrows money on the security of a mortgage, and if he fails in redeeming it, is dispossessed of his property; accordingly, this class of proprietors are fast disappearing, multitudes of them having been already swallowed up in the extending estate of Mr. Gawne, and that of Englishmen and other strangers who have embraced opportunities of purchasing land in the Island. According to Mr. M'Hutchin, the present clerk of the rolls, the mortgage on Manks estates, within these few years held chiefly by people in England, amounted to £800,000. Lord Teignmouth's Sketches, vol. ii, pp. 203, 414.

72 Appendix, Note viii, "Agricultural Society."

73 Mills's Laws, p. 42.

74 Mona's Herald of 9th July, 1844.

75 Appendix, Note ix, " Suit Service of Strewing Rushes."

76 It was to Bishop Barrow's illustrious nephew that King Charles paid the compliment mentioned in vol. i, p. 352, not to the Bishop of Man, as stated by my author.

77 The clear revenue of the impropriated tithes from 1754 to 1763 was as follows

In 1754

£179 18 8

In 1755

185 17 9

In 1756

187 14 6

In 1757

147 5 0

In 1758

786 17 2

In 1759

187 15 0

In 1760

287 13 1

In 1761

318 1 6½

In 1762

317 15 4

In 1763

306 2 4


£2305 0 4½

Rolt's History of the Isle of Man, London, 1773, p. 109.

78 Bishop Wilson's Works by Crutwell, page 456.

79 Appendix, Note x, " Bishop Barrow's Bequest."

80 Mills's Ancient Ordinances, p. 160.

81 Isle of Man Charities, drawn up by order of government, in the year 1831, p. 59.

82 Appendix, Note xi, " Parochial Teachers."

83 Lady Elizabeth Haistings, of Ledstone, in the County of York, by a deed of settlement, dated 14th December, 1738, granted out of certain lands in Yorkshire, a sum to be distributed yearly to certain schoolmasters and mistresses of schools, in the Isle of Man. The sum thus distributed in the year 1826 was £37 10s. 2d.- Isle of Man Charities, p. 46. It thus evidently appears that the schoolmasters of the Island are badly rewarded for their labour, and the following letter to the Editor of the Manx Sun, shews they were ill provided with dwelling houses down to that period:-

" Sir,-There are no suitable residences in the Island for parochial teachers. Most of the present dwellings are wretched hovels — in some instances not habitable; their dilapidated state has been already noticed by the Lord Bishop, and it was only last week that he inspected the cottage attached to the school of Ballaugh, now nearly an hundred years old, and originally intended for a dwelling and schoolhouse. The walls are built of small shore stones, with mortar of mud, are cracked in different parts, the mud-mortar having lost its tenacity, and the walls shake with every high wind, so that the master and family are kept in a constant state of alarm: it is no uncommon thing for the candle to be blown out on the table by the wind through the walls ; and if a better dwelling house be not speedily provided, some of the inmates maybe buried in its ruins, The Lord Bishop saw how unfit it was for occupation, and kindly offered to put his name the first to a subscription for the purpose of erecting a more suitable dwelling." November 14, 1838. "J. T. CREGEEN."

84 Appendix, Note xii, " Extracts from Parish Registers."

85 Speech of the Earl of Ripon, in the House of Lords, on 14th December, 1837.

86 Address to the Public, dated Bishop's Court, 4th May, 1842,

87 The original draft of the design was furnished by Messrs. Hanson and Welsh, architects. The contractor was the late Mr. Fitzsimmons, who, it is said, lost £1,500 by that undertaking.

88 Fortunately duplicates of these ancient MSS. are now in the Seldonian Collection of Ancient Records, in the British Museum. They are given also in Sir William Dugdale's Monasticon, from which work they have been transcribed by Ward into his Ancient Records of the Isle of Man, appendix, note xxi, and so much of these remarkable documents as relates to the ancient canons of the Manks church, are given in English. — See vol. i, page 380 of this work.


Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2002