[From Train's History and Account, 1844]




State of the Peasantry in the Seventeenth Century — Contraband Trade commenced by a small Band of Adventurers from Liverpool — The Islanders engage deeply in the illicit Traffic — Commodore Thuròt commences his seafaring career as a Manks Smuggler — The Running trade of the Island proves injurious to the Revenue of Great Britain and Ireland — All the Measures taken by Government to suppress this clandestine Commerce prove, for a time, ineffectual — Commissioners appointed by Parliament to visit the Island — Management of the Insular Revenue revised — New Laws enacted — Fiscal Ordinances amended — Import Duties rescinded — And Harbour Dues abolished.

IT has been already stated, that down to near the close of the seventeenth century, the Manks remained vassals in a manner attached to the soil, employing themselves in fishing during the short season the herrings were on the coast, and for the remainder of the year devoting themselves to complete idleness, whilst the women performed the task of cultivating just as much land as, on the closest calculation, would supply the wants of the family and pay the lord's rent.1 They dwelt in mud huts, without doors and windows, and 'which merely served the single purpose of defending them from the inclemencies of the weather.

About the year 1670, however, a company of adventurers, from Liverpool, settled at Douglas, for the avowed purpose of carrying on a contraband trade2 with the surrounding shores, and to this date may be traced the commencement of a new era in their history.

The goods thus landed were, from the convenient position of the Isle, exported by the barks, boats, and Wherries of the Island, into Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland, to the detriment of the revenue and the prejudice of the fair trader.

The profits attending this iniquitous trade soon induced many of the most wealthy of the Manks people to engage in it likewise. The great body of the people, who had no capital to embark in speculations, became carriers; for which hazardous employment they were suitably qualified, being inured to hardships and trained to a seafaring life. But a commerce founded on trick and fraud, could not be prosecuted without an entire surrender of principle; and of this Bishop Wilson must have been aware, when he wrote to his son: — " Our people are mightily intent upon enlarging the harbours of Peel, Ramsey, and Douglas; but the iniquitous trade carried on to the injury and damage of the crown will hinder the blessing of God from falling upon us."

"The Island became the great. storehouse magazine for the French and Dutch to deposit vast quantities of Indian goods, which are carried oft by the Islanders in wherries built for that purpose." The loss to Great Britain," continues the same author, and the gains to the French are inexpressibly great. As all the sums drained from us are employed by them, in time of war, to hire troops and pay armies to fight against us, it will be no exaggeration of truth to say, that since the peace of Utrecht, they have drawn more money from us, by means of their trade with the small Isle of Man, than was sufficient to maintain thousand men with a train of artillery, during the war in Flanders."3

The fatal practice of smuggling was attended with mischievous consequences to the revenue of Great Britain. In a memorial laid before the lords of the treasury by the " fair traders of Cumberland," the injury was stated at four hundred thousand pounds per annum; but other accounts state it at half a million sterling.

In the surrounding countries, the spirit of industry was likewise checked by a passion for smuggling, which was nourished by their vicinity to the Isle of Man4. Soon after the completion of the union between England and Scotland, in 1707, a proposal was made in parliament to assimilate the fiscal laws of the Isle of Man with those of Great Britain. This alarmed the Manks people so much that on the 31st October, 1710, the constituted authorities petitioned the Earl of Derby to lend a sum of money sufficient to pay the expense of a deputation from the Island to London, for the purpose of striving to ward off what they considered an impending danger. It appears that the Earl of Derby advanced a hundred pounds for that purpose, as on the 8th January, 1711, an act was passed to assess the inhabitants for that amount.5 The object of the deputation to London was not, however, attained.

In the beginning of the reign of George I, an act was passed to prevent East India goods being landed in the Isle of Man,6 except when direct from a British port, upon pain of forfeiting the ship and cargo. This law not being found so efficient as was anticipated, another, more severe in its operation, was passed in the same reign,7 enacting that no goods not the growth, produce, or manufacture of the Isle of Man, could be imported into Great Britain, under pain of incurring heavy penalties. Other laws were enacted for a similar,-purpose; but as they also were rendered abortive, it became evident that only the strong arm of power could extirpate the nest of plunderers who had taken up their residence in the Isle of Man, in order the better to evade the law of Great Britain.

In 1711, at the request of the British legislature, a law was passed by the insular government against the smuggling trade with England, making it, however, a provision of the enactment that the British government should grant some encouragement to their trade, agriculture, and manufacture, by opening a free trade between the two countries.

This, provisional measure was treated by the British legislature with silent contempt. Two years afterwards, therefore, the Manks government pretending "that a continuance thereof would soon cause the misery and decay of the land," repealed the law. This was openly divesting themselves of any thought of honest improvement.8

The protection afforded to smuggling by the Manks is thus described by Waldron, who was then residing on the Island in the capacity of a commissioner from the British Government : — " His majesty of Great Britain is master of the seas, yet the Isle of Man has the jurisdiction of so much round the Island, that a master of a ship has no more to do than watch his opportunity of coming within the piles, where he is secure from any danger from;the King's officers. I myself had once notice of a stately vessel that was steering her course into this harbour and would have boarded her before she got within the piles but for want of sufficient help to execute my design. Her cargo was indigo, mastic, raisins of the sun, and other rich goods, which I had the mortification to see sold to traders in Douglas, without any duty paid to his majesty."9

In gloomy or tempestuous weather, when the revenue cruisers had sought for safety under cover of the land, the adventurous smuggler generally set sail with his contraband cargo, alike regardless of the dangers of the sea and the power of the law. Among the many daring individuals engaged in,that hazardous trade, no name is now so well remembered as that of Francois Thuròt, who, about the year 1742, when only fifteen years of age, left Dunkirk with an Irish smuggler, who was a relation of his own, named Farrell, and took up his residence in the Isle of Man, where he' entered into the service of a Welsh smuggler, in whose employment as a sailor, he remained some time, running goods betwixt the Isle of Man and Anglesey. It was here Thuròt acquired a knowledge of the English language, and imbibed that spirit of daring and adventure, as well as that skill in a seafaring life and, in the contraband trade, which subsequently distinguished his character. In 1752, he went to reside at Boulogne, and still continuing in the same line, his daring and experience soon raised him to eminence as a successful smuggler. His vessels ran immense quantities of goods between the French, Manks, and English coasts. On the breaking out of the war with England in 1755, he joined the privateers of Dunkirk, and by his brilliant exploits, speedily rendered his name terrible to the merchants of Britain. Being now well known for his bravery and experience in naval affairs, he was, in 1757, appointed by the French government to the command of a frigate, and soon afterwards to the command of a small squadron. As is well known, he fell in action off the coast of Man in the year 1760.10,11

As the lord of the Isle received certain duties which were increased by the illicit traffic then firmly rooted in the fancied interests of the people, he consequently being averse to its suppression, was for a long time hostile to all attempts, on the part of the British government, to subtract from his gain. At length, however, when the clandestine commerce, carried on with the Island, could no longer be tolerated,12 he entered into a treaty with the lords of the treasury, which was confirmed by the act of revestment.13

The people became so much alarmed by the sale of the Island, that they looked upon that transaction as a certain forerunner of the individual ruin of the whole population. They even despatched commissioners to London to represent their miserable condition to the British parliament but without effect. A song composed at that time is yet popular in the Island and in Galloway:

"Ah! babes unborn will lament the day
When the Isle of Man was sold away;
And every old wife who loves a dram
Will bewail the loss of the Isle of Man."

In consequence of this cession, another act was speedily passed by the British government for effectually preventing the illicit trade of the Island.14 In a third act, passed in the same session of parliament, it was judged expedient to give the inhabitants full liberty to export their native produce to Great Britain,15and to allow bounties on linen16 exported from thence. In the seventh year of the reign of George III, an act was passed for encouraging the trade, manufactories, and fisheries of the Ireland, To the person who should spin the greatest quantity of yarn, a premium of five pounds; to him who should manufacture the greatest number of yards of linen cloth, a premium of six pounds; and to the weaver who should weave the greatest number of yards of linen cloth, a premium of four pounds was annually given.

By the same act, salt, timber, and iron rods or bars, indigo, and naval stores were allowed to be imported into Douglas free of duty. But by the statute 11th, Geo. III, cap. 52, which took effect on 5th July, 1771,17 a certain duty was imposed on all spirits, tea, and tobacco imported into Douglas, and on all vessels entering the seaports and harbours, under particular regulations, according to the tonnage of each. This act was followed by another in the same year, for establishing a regular pacquet between Liverpool and Douglas, and empowering the postmaster-general of Great Britain to establish a post-office and post-roads within the Island, and to levy for the inland conveyance such rates as were paid in England.18

The measures taken to carry this rapid succession of enactments into operation had the effect of extinguishing for a time the clandestine trade so much complained of19. Some merchants of capital who remained in the Island, turned their attention to the cultivation of waste lands ; and consequently greater quantities of wheat and flax were raised than formerly.

Manufactures improved, and the drunken and dissolute life which naturally attends smuggling, seemed to give place to more industrious habits; but it proved only a temporary suspension of the wayward propensities of these Islanders.

The fostering aid of Great Britain, which allowed them many commercial advantages riot enjoyed by the inhabitants of the United Kingdom, was undervalued by them. While they reluctantly submitted to the strong arm of law, they secretly sighed for the halcyon days of the free trade. The flame which appeared to be quenched, was only smothered as it were, to blaze anew when the means used to suppress it were removed.

A military force was maintained in this Island, and a large establishment of armed cutters and cruisers were stationed in the channel for the protection of the revenue ;20 but in the same ratio that this force was diminished, the contraband trade increased, nor was its progress impeded even by what was called "Pitt"s burning and staying act," passed in 1792.21

The illicit intercourse carried on between the Isle of Man and the opposite shores of Scotland, was now carried on to a greater extent than at any former period. Many persons of capital engaged in the precarious enterprise. Companies of these adventurers, chiefly Manksmen, were stationed at Baleary, Clone, Furniness and other convenient places on the shores of Galloway. Some of the buckkar captains were daring, resolute fellows, of great nautical acquirements. The exploits of Yawkins, a Dutchman, who commanded a smuggling lugger called the "Black Prince," are yet related by both the Manks and Gallovidian peasantry, and the poetasters of the day employed their pens in his praise.22

On one occasion, as Yawkins was landing his cargo at the Manksman',s lake, near Kirkcudbright, two revenue cutters, the Pigmy and the dwarf, hove in sight, on different tacks; the one bearing round from the Isles of Fleet, and the other between the point of Raeberry and the Muckle Ross. The dauntless free trader instantly weighed anchor, and bore down between the cutters so close that he tossed his hat on one deck and his wig on the other, hoisted a cask on his maintop to shew his occupation, and bore away under an extraordinary pressure of canvass, without receiving injury. To account for this and other hairbreadth escapes, popular superstition alleged that Yawkins insured his celebrated buckkar by compounding with the old enemy of mankind, for one tenth of his crew every voyage. How they arranged the selection of the tithe, is left to our conjecture. The buckkar was, perhaps, called the " Black Prince" in honour of the formidable insurer. On another occasion, when Yawkins east anchor at the Manksman's lake, an inexperienced tide-waiter supposing the Black Prince to be a timber ship then expected to arrive, went on board alone; but he saw his mistake when too late, for he was not permitted to land till the vessel arrived at Amsterdam, where he was set at liberty to find his way back to his station at Auchencairn in the way most convenient to himself23.

Goods run direct from the Isle of Man into Great Britain, were neither conveyed in such ships as the Black Prince nor commanded by such captains as Yawkins. The vessels chiefly employed in this department of the free trade, were a kind of small craft, called scouts, fashioned and rigged in a peculiar manner. During the darkest nights of winter and in the most tempestuous weather, when the best equipped cutters would make for shelter in the neighbouring bays, these fragile barks generally put to sea, under the command of mariners disqualified by their habits for such a hazardous employment.24

A large establishment of revenue cruisers in the English channel and along the southern shores of Scotland was required for the protection of the revenue.25 Many skirmishes took place between the kingsmen and the contraband traders; but the briskest fight now remembered was that by Sir James Bristo, near the Isle of Whithorn, when striving to capture a smuggling lugger that sunk, with all hands on board, fighting till she was swallowed by the waves. Captain Cook, also, was long the terror of every smuggler who dared to navigate the Irish channel. These commanders ably acquitted themselves in the active discharge of their duties; and some of them amassed considerable riches.26 But none of their names is associated with such a tragical story as that of Sir John Reid, then commanding in the Solway Frith.27

By the act, 12th George III, salt was allowed to be imported from Great Britain into the Isle of Man for the purpose of curing herrings; but this boon was turned to the disadvantage of government, by smuggling from the Island back into Britain large quantities of such duty free salt.

The practice of depositing cargoes of vessels engaged in the smuggling trade in. the Isle of Man, to elude the laws made for the protection of British commerce, rendered it necessary that secret places should be constructed for securing the goods from the grasp of the revenue officers. Waldron, whose name I have had occasion frequently to mention in the course of this work, resided on the Island fifty years after the commencement of the smuggling trade there. In his time, many of the ample cellars which he describes, were used for concealing contraband goods. "The former inhabitants of the Island," he remarks, "seem to have taken great delight in subterraneous dwellings; for there is not an old building in the Island, which has not, at least, an equal number of rooms below ground as above it."28

The Manks smugglers, who took up their residence on the coast of Galloway, constructed places of similar description below their houses. The cellars at Baleary remain as a specimen of the ingenuity displayed in the construction of these subterraneous apartments. Immense quantities of smuggled goods, however, were occasionally concealed in caves, and among rocks on the shore, so as often to elude the most diligent search of the revenue officers, unless pointed out by very direct information.

The carriers from the coast to the interior were called Lingtowmen, from the coil of ropes or Lingtows which they generally wore-like a soldier's shoulder belt, when not employed in slinging or carrying their goods. The fixed price for carrying a box of tea, or a bale of tobacco from the coast of Galloway to Edinburgh, was fifteen shillings; and a man with two horses could carry four packages.

Two hundred horses have been frequently laden in a night at Baleary, and at the Abbey-burn-foot of Dundrennan.

Annan Water-foot was another noted landing-place. Many a large cargo of contraband articles was discharged there during the time our celebrated poet Burns was excise officer at Dumfries.29

Had the officers, whose duty it was to guard the ports and creeks of the Isle of Man, exercised proper vigilance in counteracting the manoeuvres of those engaged in the illicit trade, such large shipments of run goods could not have escaped their observation.30

By the act 3rd and 4th, William IV, cap. 60, which came into operation on 1st September, 1833, seeds, ashes, corn, cattle, sheep, and horses, with farming and fishing implements, and several other articles are allowed to be imported into the Isle of Man free of duty.

Application for license to import goods must be made between the 5th of May and the 5th of July, annually, to the collector of the port of Douglas, who, within fourteen days after, is required to transmit the same to the governor or his deputy, that he may allot the whole quantity of each article among native applicants, who are to be supplied before strangers.

A decked vessel bound from the Isle of Man to any part of the United Kingdom, is not permitted to have more than one-half gallon of spirits and one pound of tobacco per man, for the crew as sea stores.31 An open boat or vessel is allowed one quart of Spirits for each sea,man on board, and one pound of tobacco for the crew; but no tea as sea store.

These duties, being lower than on articles of a similar description, when consumed in Great Britain since the revestment, have been in no ordinary degree injurious to the revenue and trade of the empire, without producing any real or permanent advantage to the Island. The illicit trade has always been carried on chiefly by strangers, who have reaped by far the greater part of the profit, all that the natives have derived from it being only higher wages for their perilous and precarious labour, and in some instances an advanced rent for houses, cellars, or magazines.

Since the Island became subject to Great Britain, it has been the peculiar care of the British government to improve the condition of the Manks people, by encouraging them to cultivate their lands and extend their manufactories. Two thousand five hundred quarters of grain were allowed by act of parliament to be imported annually into the Island, free of duty, from the ports of Liverpool or Whitehaven.32 By a subsequent statute, various kinds of goods, wares, and merchandise were allowed to be imported free of duty.33 The first of these laws was very acceptable to the inhabitants, as it delivered them from many of the restrictions of former statutes. The second was likewise beneficial in establishing a regular intercourse with Great Britain.

By an act of the British parliament, passed in 1828, certain duties were made payable in the United Kingdom, upon the importation of corn, grain, -meal, and flour; but such duties were not payable in the Isle of Man, although the surplus productions of Man were admissible, under existing laws, into the United Kingdom, without payment of any duty.34

Many British merchants, taking advantage of this lenient law, imported grain into the Isle of Man direct from foreign ports; not so much for underselling the Manks farmer as to export it from the Island into the United Kingdom free of duty. This subject was brought under the notice of parliament in a petition by the landholders of the Island; and to such an extent was this fraudulent practice found to have prevailed, that, in 1835, it became necessary, for the protection of the revenue, to enact that "it shall not be lawful in future to import into the Isle of Man any foreign corn or grain, meal or flour, except upon payment of the same duties as are made payable on the importation into the United Kingdom of corn, meal, or flour."35

This enactment had the effect of stopping, in a great measure, both the importation and exportation of all kinds of corn or grain.

So frequently have the fiscal privileges of the Manks been taken advantage of in every possible way, to the detriment of the revenue and the trade of the empire, that the president of the Board of Trade notified to parliament in June, 1836, that it was the intention of his majesty's ministers to introduce a bill in that session, to assimilate the fiscal and commercial laws of the Isle of Man with those of Great Britain.

Being in the Island when the news of this proposed alteration first reached it, I had an opportunity of witnessing the high state of ferment into which the people were in consequence thrown.

At a Tynwald Court, held in Castle Rushen, on 5th July, 1836, it was intimated by Governor Ready, that he had just received information that it was the intention of his majesty's government to introduce forthwith a bill into parliament to regulate the trade of the Island : that he understood the object of this measure was to assimilate the duties payable on the importation of license goods, with the duties payable in Great Britain; and that the duty on timber would be included, having reference to the ship building for foreign purposes, which had been carried on in the Island.

No circumstance had occurred since the revestment calculated to call forth feelings of alarm so generally as the announcement made by the governor, with regard to the proposed alterations in their laws. Every class of the community seemed to indulge in the most gloomy forebodings of the disasters which would inevitably result from such a radical change in their fiscal regulations.

When the public mind was at the highest pitch of excitement, information unexpectedly arrived that the proposed measure of assimilating the taxes of the Isle of Man with those of Great Britain, had been postponed till another session of parliament. This gave great satisfaction to the populace, as it afforded them time to use their best endeavours in warding off what they called the impending blow against the peculiar privileges of the Island.

After much disputation as to the choice of individuals, a deputation of three persons was sent from the Island to London in April, 1837, for the purpose of laying before his majesty's ministers the objections of the Manks people, to the proposed alterations in their laws. But on account of the death of the king on 20th June, the session was brought to a close so soon as the most important bills, then in parliament, would admit all others were allowed to stand over for the consideration of the first parliament of the new reign.

This unexpected occurrence gave the Manks people a still further respite; but the deputies, although they had remained several weeks in London, returned without being able to give their constituents any satisfactory information as to the future views of the government respecting the object of their mission.36

It has already been stated that the allotment of the articles enumerated in the act 6th George IV, cap. 151, and allowed to be imported under special licence, is a privilege reposed solely in the hands of the governor. Seeing the difficulty, however, of doing equal justice to every applicant, governor Ready, in the first year of his administration, established an open court for the adjustment, of such claims; but that system having been discontinued, the public sentiment was loudly expressed at almost every public, meeting and by every class of society against the partiality shown in the distribution of these allotments before the present fiscal law came into operation.

By the act for the regulation of the customs, passed in August, 1838, it is provided that goods, of the manufacture of the Isle of Man, "shall be charged with such proportion of the duties of importation as shall fairly countervail any duties of excise payable on the like goods in the United Kingdom. And whereas doubts have arisen whether such charge may be made in respect of the materials of such goods, it is enacted and declared that such goods are and shall be chargeable to such proportion of the said duties of importation as shall fairly countervail any duty of excise upon any of the materials of which the goods are manufactured."

While this bill was in progress through parliament, Lord Lowther took the opportunity of asking Mr. Poulett Thompson, president of the board of trade:-"Whether it was his intention, during that session, to bring in the Isle of Man fiscal regulation bill?" Mr. Thompson stated in answer, — " that he had a bill prepared on the subject, in the last session, but so many objections were taken to it, that he was induced to abandon it; but if he could overcome these objections, or some of them, he would introduce the bill in the next session of parliament."

The proposed alteration of the fiscal laws continued to be agitated by the Manks periodical press, notwithstanding Mr. Poulett Thompson being removed from the board of trade to be governor-general of the Canadas.37

By the act 5th and 6th Victoria, cap. 47, sec. 24, 25, and cap. 56, sec. 3, some regulations were made as to the Manks coasting trade and " to certain manufactures of the Isle of Man."38 These acts became the law of the land in July, 1843..

On the motion of Dr. Bowring, in the same session of parliament, a "Return of the Receipt and Expenditure of the Isle of Man" was ordered to be printed by the house of commons.39

In March, 1844, governor Ready received from the home office a document containing the provisions of an extensive reform in the fiscal duties of the Island, which was forthwith laid by his excellency before a Tynwald court at Castletown, called specially for the purpose of taking that measure into consideration, At this meeting, it was resolved to publish the substance of the government proposal, and to communicate the same to the captains of the respective parishes to be laid before the whole community.

Public meetings were consequently held in various parts of the Island, where their views were freely expressed on the different points of the proposed alterations of the existing laws. The point seemingly most at variance with the wishes of the populace was the retention of any part of the "licence system." The right of being allowed to have bonded warehouses in the Island for the purpose of storing foreign corn under modified regulations, was strongly urged, as provided by the act 3rd and 4th William IV, cap. 54. They did not object to the increased scale of duties, but they respectfully insisted that the surplus revenue, arising from the duties to be levied in the Isle of Man, should, for the future, be placed at the disposal of the Insular legislature, for local improveinents — a principle amply acknowledged by the act, 18th George Ill, cap. 12, (A.D. 1778,) which declares the revenue of the colonies to be at the disposal of the colonists themselves.

Deputations were appointed to present their memorials to the Tynwald court, which had adjourned to the 9th April for the purpose of receiving such documents as the people might choose to present — this being the most legitimate channel for pressing their views on the British government. A deputation was also appointed to proceed forthwith to London,40 to lay the claims of the Islanders respectfully before the proper members of her majesty's government, whose reiterated declarations were, that they did not wish to increase the pressure of taxation upon the inhabitants of the Isle of Man to a greater extent than was necessary for the protection of the revenue of the United Kingdom; and they acted most liberally in altering the draft of the bill, so as to meet the wishes of the Islanders.

This bill to amend the laws relating to the customs in the Isle of Man, was prepared by Messrs. Greene, Gladstone, and Sutton. Permission was given by the house of commons to bring it in on 24th May, 1844. On the 21st June, it was ordered to be printed ; and after having undergone several amendments in committee, was finally passed by the house of commons on 5th July; and after having been slightly altered by the house of-lords, received the royal assent on 19th July, and immediately thereafter became the law of the land, without having been promulgated on the Tynwald Hill according to ancient form.

The Islanders thus, fortunately, have succeeded in obtaining a more favourable tariff than that proposed in the month of March. Their trade with the United Kingdom is no longer liable to the formalities of foreign voyages, it being now upon the same footing as the coasting trade of Great Britain, with the privilege of carrying bonded goods in smaller vessels. Though the license system is not wholly swept away, a check is put to huxtering in surplusuages. Whoever shall not, within each year, import the whole quantity specified in his license, shall be disqualified from obtaining a license the following year. A license is only now required for the importation of brandy, geneva, colonial rum, liqueurs, and tobacco; and the quantities of these articles now allowed to be imported, are greatly increased. Foreign corn is allowed to be imported and bonded under payment of the same rate of duties as that imported into the United Kingdom.41 Wines, tea, coffee, and sugar are henceforth wholly relieved from the license system, and may be imported in unrestricted quantities. The harbours of the Isle of Man will henceforth be "harbours of refuge," open to every tempest-tost vessel free of "entrance tolls,"42 which may be hailed as matter for general congratulation, not only by the Manks people, but by the shipping proprietors of the United Kingdom.



1 Quayle's View of the Agriculture of the Isle of Man, p. 123.

2 Bullock's History of the Isle of Man, p. 190. Such advantages were held out by these illicit traffickers, as they were then called, to merchants engaged in the foreign trade, that many ships laden with the produce of the East and West Indies, touched at the island, and met with a ready sale for their cargoes.

3 'Scots' Magazine, vol. xiii, pp. 225, 226.

4 Chalmer's Caledonia, vol. iii, p. 286.

5 Mills's Laws, P. 193.

6 Statute, 7th George 1, cap. xxi, see. ix.

7 Statute, 12th George I, cap. xxviii, sec. xxii.

8 It was enacted by the British parliament that every person detected in anywise aiding or assisting in smuggling after the 1st day of May, 1757, and should be sent to serve as a common sailor in the navy, for the space of three years. — Smollett's History of England,cap. xii.

9 Waldron, pp. 102, 103.

10 French Biographical Dictionary.

11 Appendix, Note s, "Defeat and Funeral of Thuròt".

12 The following is an extract from an amount of the smuggling trade, published in the year 1753: — " Government does not know. perhaps, to what height it has come. The captain of a cruiser did venture to do his duty by following a Dutch dogger into a port in the Isle of Man, and seizing her; but five of her men were thrown into prison, where they will probably be till their death. The captain himself, with his two men, narrowly escaped to Whitehaven. Are the officers of the Isle of Man not guilty of rebellion, in seizing the king's boats and arms ?" — Postlewaite's Commercial Dictionary, vol. ii.

13 We are informed that there are at present (25th August, 1764) in the Isle of Man near one hundred tons of teas, five thousand gallons of wine and brandy, large magazines of Irish wool , and large quantities of imported French commodities, now hoarded up for the purpose of smuggling, all which, by the new regulations, will be required to be duly entered and pay duty, or otherwise will be confiscated. — Scots' Magazine;August, 1764, p. 457.

14 Statute, 5th George III, cap. xxvi.

15 Statute, 5th George III, cap. xxxix.

16 Statute, 5th George III, cap. xlix.

17 The following extracts tend to shew to what extent the contraband trade of the Isle of Man was encouraged in Galloway and Ayrshire. Extract of a letter from Barr in Carrick, 20th April, 1771 : — " On Thursday last, at mid-day, in contempt of all the authorities, civil and military, there marched through this parish, in the direction of Dalmellington, upwards of one hundred smugglers, with about one hundred and fifty horses, all laden with tea, tobacco, or spirits. They were laden at the bay of Luce, in Galloway, from three luggers from the Isle of Man: there were about two hundred of the smugglers there, but the rest took another road, and the vessels being disturbed, sailed for the coast of Ireland to discharge the rest of their cargoes. The band that passed through this place had been attacked by a party of military and excise officers ; but the soldiers, consisting of a serjeant and sixteen men, were defeated, got their firelocks broke, and several of themselves nearly killed." — Edinburgh Weekly Magazine for 1771. Out of the proceeds of two seizures of contraband goods from the Isle of Man, made in December last, (i. e. 1777) at the Mull of Galloway, by Mr. Reid, inspector general of the customs, the military who assisted on that occasion have received as follows : — the lieutenant £269 14s. ; serjeant £42 16s. 10d.; corporal £28 11s. 4d.; each private £14 5s. 8d.-Scots' Magazine for June, 1778, p. 239. On the appearance of excise-men, particularly if attended by military, the nearest church bell was usually rung with great violence, to alarm the neighbourhood, so as to give the people time to put the smuggled goods out of the way.

18 Statute, 7th George Ill, cap. 1. see. v.

19 A royal proclamation was issued on the 30th March, 1778, offering the king's Pardon to every person who had been engaged in the contraband trade, who, within six weeks thereafter, should enter his majesty's service, either an a sailor or a soldier. Accordingly upwards of five hundred smugglers surrendered themselves, and were incorporated with the army and navy. — Scots' Magazine for 1778, p. 449.

20 We have several regular regiments here, and in pursuance of the late order of council to prevent smuggling, the lords justices of Ireland have despatched nine armed cutters to occupy the following stations on the Isle of Man : — three in Douglas bay, three in Ramsey bay, and three before Rushen harbour. By this disposition no vessel can possibly approach the shores of Man without having a thorough examination. — Scots' Magazine for Sept. 1764, p. 516.

21Statute, 32nd George III, cap. 1.


The thunder boomed loud, and the lightning was strong,
As the buckkar of Yawkins went scrieving along
The mountain-like billows, that washes the shore,
Where Raeberry's turrets stood frowning of yore.
The king's men were foiled when she left the Isle bay,
With a cask at her maintop in vaunting array;
The sails of the cutters spread fast in the wind,
But the buckkar of Yawkins soon left them behind.
Ah! what could the buckkar of Yawkins assail,
If there is at all any truth in the tale,
That satan, for guarding her, claimed as his due,
When landed his cargo, a tithe of her crew,
But this might be said, just because she could sail,
When no other vessel could ride out the gale;
Because skipper Yawkins could take any bay
Any creek in the Solway, by night or by day.
* * * *
Oft at the Ross, with Yawkins and with Doal,
And Manksmen gabbling from the manor hole,
What noggins have I drank of smuggled rum,
Just from the little ' Isle of three legs' come."

— Huckston, ap. Mactaqgart's Gallovidian Encyclopaedia, London, 1824,p.85.

23 In a letter, dated Castle Douglas, 16th May, 1829, I sent Sir Walter Scott an account of Yawkins, as related to me by an eye-witness, which he has acknowledged with his usual kinduess.— See Waverley Novels, vol. iv, p. 374.

24 It was proceeding from the Isle of Man to Galloway in one of these smuggling scouts that Alexander Millar, the hero of the beautiful song, "Mary's Dream," was drowned near the Isles of Fleet. " Mary weep no more for me" is known to every admirer of poetic excellence.— Murray's Literary History of Galloway, Edinburgh, edition 1822, p. 245.

25 The yachts in the service of the excise in 1794, were the Royal Charlotte and Royal George, of sixty men each, and the Prince of Wales and Princess Elizabeth, of fifty men, with others of less dimensions. The cutters and sloops in the service of the customs were the Royal George, the Prince of Wales, Prince William Henry, Princess Royal, Prince Edward, Prince Ernest Augustus, and Osnaburgh.

26 "I was up at the Hague this morning to look at Captain Cooke's new purchaset with which he seems much pleased. He has let it at £60 per annum, which gives him five percent. for his purchase money.— Townley's Journal, vol. i, p. 78. Captain Crawford, of the Royal George, purchased an estate in the island of Cumbria.

27 Near the farm house of Glenstocken, in the parish of Colvend, is a lonely spot on the Solway side, called "The Manksman's Grave," with which a tragical story is connected of an unfortunate young man, who, on the eve of his intended marriage, was, near the end of the last century, killed by a shot from a revenue cutter, when bearing up the Solway Frith with a few bags of run salt in a scout from the Isle of Man.

28 Waldron, p. 152.

29 See Lockhart's Life of Sir Walter Scott, edition 1828, p. 218.

30 By the statute 3 and 4, Wfiliam IV, enacted for the prevention of smuggling, persons committing olfences against the revenue laws, on the high seas, may be prosecuted in the Isle of Man; persons unshipping any prohibited goods in the Isle of Man, to forfeit treble the value or £100 ; and every poor person confined in the Isle of Man for infringing the revenue laws, may receive, for subsistence, an allowance not exceeding seven-pence halfpenny nor less than four-pence halfpenny per day.— See. xliv, xlviii, xlix, lxxiv, lxxvii.

31 Act, 6th George IV, see. xiv. But by the Act, 3rd and 4th Willian, IV, cap. lx, ace. xiv., two pounds of tea are allowed for the crew of a decked vessel, and for the crew of an open boat one pound.

32 Statute, 5th George III, cap. xxvi, sec. xxxix , xliii,. and 7th George III, cap. xlv,, see. xxv.

33 The Act, 6th George III, cap. xlvi, empowers the commissioners of customs to grant licences to import into Great Britain a certain quantity of bugles from the Isle of Man.

34 Statute, 9th George IV, rap. lx.

35 Statute, 5th and 6th William IV, cap. xiii, sec. i, iv.

36 The expense of sending these deputies to London was defrayed by voluntary subscription. The sum thus raised amounted to £213 4s. 8d.

37 Appendix, Note ii, " Return of the Import Duties."

38 Bateman's Laws of Excise, London, 1843, p. 282.

39 Appendix, Note iii, "Parliamentary Paper."

40 The deputation consisted of Messrs. S. S. Rogers, Thomas Garrett, jun., and Robert Duff, all gentlemen of high standing in the Island.

41 See Act, 5th Victoria, cap. xiv, see. iii, 29th April, 1842.

42 Appendix, Note iv, "Table of Duties."


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