[from Isle of Mann and Diocese of Sodor and Mann, 1837]
THAT Portion of the foregoing history, which treats of the Civil Affairs of the Isle of Mann, having been too hastily, brought to a close at that date from which the Laws given in the Statute Book, and other Documents, become both interesting and important, as proving the complete independence of the Manks Legislature, and at the same time its invariably careful and upright administration of power, I have thought it best to add those documents in this place: in doing this I shall not confine myself to those only, which treat of Civil Affairs, but I propose to give in their order, and connect by a relation of facts, all that may seem calculated to throw any light either upon the Civil or Ecclesiastical Constitution of the Isle of Mann.
From the first committing of the breast-laws to writing, under Sir John Stanley, 1417, full Records have been kept of all the Acts of Tynwald, which form the Statute Book, now used by the Insular Lawyers: this Statute Book, therefore, is a perfect history of the Constitution from that day to the present. The account of Sir John Stanley's proceedings have been given so fully in the history out of this same book, that it would be useless to dwell upon them here. Five years after the first settlement of the laws, some further cases having arisen, it was necessary for the Lord to inquire of his Deemsters, what the antient law said respecting them: the form in which he did so was as follows: " Our most gratious and excellent Lord, Sir John Stanley, King of Man and the Isles. In the the Vigil of your Lady Set. Mary, An. Dom. 1422, att his Castle of Rushen, asked his Deemsters, and the 24, the laws of Mann in these points underwritten. To the which the said Deemsters, with the 24, gave for law, that these be points of your Prerogatives." These points so given for law, relate to outlaws, wrecks, game laws, robberies, murders, and aliens; also, (what was directly contrary to the English law at that time,) " if any man who have done any treason, or any man-slayer, taketh sanctuary for dread of punishment, the Sanctuary shall not avayle him by the law of Mann." Then follow the different points of treason, the authority and antient constitution of the Keys, or Taxiaxi, (see history, p. 19,) " and as to the writeing of laws, there was never any written since King Orry's days, but in the time of Michael Blundell, that we have knowleeige of." The Lord's power in holding Tynwald, and the power of levying fines upon the Clergy were defined. " Also, that all great matters and high points that are in doubt, ever as they fall, I will that my Lieu tenant, or any of the Councell for the time being, take Deemsters to them with the advice of the Elders of your Land of Mann, to deem the Law truly to the parties, as they will answer to me thereof, and that al ' I doubtful points be always registered up, and laid in my Treasurie, that it maybe ready when such a chance falleth." Some regulations concerning the Bishop and Abbot in matters relating to the Treasury follow this point: some agricultural regulations; licences for ships going to England necessary ; some Chancery regulations; also about the maintenance of soldiers, and their discipline; some points relating to the duty of the Officers of the Council, and some restrictions upon the mode of carrying on merchandize between the coast and the interior of the Island. These constitute the principal points laid down for law by the Deemsters in 1422, in answer to the questions of Sir John Stanley ; and such were some of the internal regulations, over which no foreign Parliament had the pretence of control ; and among them are some relating to Ecclesiastical Officers, Sir John Stanley was succeeded by his son Sir Thomas, created Baron Stanley by Henry 6th: his son again was created Earl of Derby by Henry 7th. to whom succeeded Thomas, his grandson, who resigned the regal title. His reasons are explained in the following extract of a letter from the seventh Earl of Derby to his son :-
"The isle was sometime governed by Kings, natives of its own, who were converted to Christianity by St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland; and Sir John Stanley, the first possessor of it of that family, was by his patent stiled King of Man; as were his successors after him, to the time of Thomas, second Earl of Derby; who for great and wise reasons thought fit to forbear that title. Some might think it a mark of grandeur, that the Lords of this isle have been called Kings; and I might be of that opinion, if I knew how this country could maintain itself independent of other nations; and that I had no interest in another place: but herein I agree with your great and wise ancestor Thomas, second Earl of Derby, and with him conceive, that to be a great Lord is more honourable than a petty King. Besides, it is not fit for a King to be subject to any other King, but the KING of Kings; nor does it hardly please a King, that any of his subjects should affect that title, were it but to act it in a play ; witness the scruples raised, and objections made, by the enemies in his Majesties council, of my being too nearly allied to the royalty, to be trusted with too great power; (as before herein mentioned) whose jealousies and vile suggestions have proved of very ill consequence to his Majesties interest, and my service of him.-Take it for granted, that it is your honour to give honour to your sovereign, it is safe and comfortable; therefore in all your actions, let it visibly appear in this isle."
Thomas, second Earl of Derby (see history, p. 36), made a confirmation of all the temporalities of the See to Huan, the then Bishop, in that deed, which is given in the original at the end of the Synodal Constitutions, in this Appendix. it will be sufficient therefore to observe here that the Earl of Derby, who styles himself "Thomas, by the grace of God, King of Mann and the Isles," says, " we have conceded and given to Huan, by divine permission, present Bishop of Sodor, by a grant absolute and permanent, for his Episcopal table, all the churches, lands, tithes, and possessions, which our predecessors, Kings and Lords of Mann, conceded and confirmed." Here follows a list of all the possessions, being the same as those held by the present Bishop; and these revenues and possessions he gave " to be held and possessed by the aforesaid Huan, and by his successors, Bishops of Mann, for ever, as freely, quietly, and honourably, as any grant is conferred upon and appointed to any Episcopal table whatsoever, by any Kings or Lords whatsoever, to last through all ages."
After this Earl of Derby the Lords of Mann never resumed the regal title, though their power and dignity remained undiminished. 1521, Edward, son of Thomas, second Earl of Derby, succeeded: in his time the following Indenture was made, from which it will be seen most clearly how entirely all matters relating to the Church, and belonging of right to the Civil Power, were considered as internal regulations. "This Indenture made, the last day of July, A. D. 1532, between the Rt. Revd. Father in God John, Bishopp Sodorensis and the Isle of Mann, and all the Clergy and Spiritualtie of the said Isle on the one parte, and "........................ of the different Sheadings, or hundreds, "on the other parte, witnesseth, that whereas varience and discord has risen between the said Bishopp and Clergie, and the persons above said, and all other the temporall inhabitants of the said Isle and Comonalty, for when the taking of Mortuaries was called in the said isle Corse presents, and other exactions and wrongs, which the said Comonalty alledgeth the Spiritualtie of the said Isle did unto them for the appeasing and ordering of which controversie, the Rt. Hon. Edward Earl of Derby, Sovereign and liege Lord of the same Isle, by his writing of Commission under his scale of Mann appointed" the officers of the Council, and one of the Deemsters, to hear the case, and order it " according to equity and justice." The Bishop, the Abbot of Rushen, and the Clergy, were accordingly summoned to Castle Rushen, where they entered into a full defence of their right to all the different tithes and fees named at length in the Indenture, the commonalty on their part pleading against their claims; after both sides had been heard, the Earl's Lieutenant and the members of the Council, bound both parties to certain terms, which were signed by all; and thus this whole question concerning the temporalities of the Church was settled by the internal Government of the Island. After this Indenture follows "A Book of the Spirituall Lawes and Customes belonging to the Isle of Mann." The laws and customs there recited are only so far spiritual, as they relate to what pertains to spiritual persons, for they speak only of the temporalities of the Church, and some matters belonging to the Ecclesiastical Courts, such as wills, &c.; but they prove how entirely independent of any other Government the Manks Legislature was at that time in regard of all such points: those matters Ecclesiastical therefore come under the head of "internal regulations." In this Earl's time the Bishoprick was by an Act of the British Parliament, rendered subject to the See of York, though before that united to Canterbury. This was an important era in the history of the Manks Church: Edward, Earl of Derby, lived till the year 1592. An. 1542 Thomas Stanley was Bishop. With regard to this Bishop I have made a very great mistake in the history, page 36: I have said there, that he was deprived in Queen Mary's days, and restored in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign; this is incorrect: I was misled by Le Neve, who, though generally right, in this instance contradicts himself : I found this upon a closer investigation of his dates, after having read a MS. of Bishop Hildersley's, in the British Museum, in the Sloane Collection. Bishop Hildersley, in a Catalogue of the Bishops of Mann, says, "Thomas Stanley, 1542, in his times by Statute Henry 8th, the new erected See of Chester and Bishopric of Mann were dissevered from Canterbury's jurisdiction, and annexed to York. But Bishop Stanley, not complying with Henry, 8th's measures, was deprived An. 1545, and was succeeded by R. Ferran, translated to St. Davids. H. Man, 1546; upon his death, Stanley, who had been deprived by Henry 8th, was restored by Queen Mary, 1556; he died 1568." This statement of Bishop Hildersley's is confirmed by the dates of Le Neve, though curiously enough contradicted by his words. but after an investigation more careful than the nature of the case might seem to require, intending to make a further observation upon it, I am convinced that the Bishop's statement is correct, and Le Neve's wrong.
In the reign of Henry 8th,
Stanley was Bishop of Mann
was deprived by Henry
Bishop Ferrar translated the same year
Henry 8th died
Ed. 6th died
Mary did not deprive
Bishop Man, who died in possession, when Stanley was restored
Elizabeth did not deprive
Bishop Stanley, who died in possession
Thus it appears that Mann never lost the regular succession of its Bishops, being the only Diocese in the British Church, of which that can be said: Stanley was for a time kept from his See by regal tyranny, but was restored, and since his restoration, till our days, it has never been attempted to disturb the succession, Cromwell's tyranny merely causing a vacancy for a few years, but no change in the succession. Edward, Earl of Derby, who was Lord of Mann through the whole of this time, was evidently attached to Rome, or otherwise he would not have restored Stanley, though, like all the rest of England, he had succumbed to the tyrant Henry, in suffering his deprivation. Bishop Hildersley says that Stanley, " not complying with Hen. 8th's measures, was deprived." By virtue of Act 27 of Hen. 8, for the general dissolution of the Monasteries, the Monastery of Rushen, and the Priory of Douglas, and the Fryars Minors, commonly called the Gray Fryars of Bimaken, were vested in his Majesty, his heirs and successors. Again, Act 33 Hen. 8 declares the Diocese of Chester thenceforth to be taken, named, and reputed of the Province of York, and of the Metropolitical jurisdiction of the same, to every effect and purpose, according to the Ecclesiastical laws of this Realm; and that the Bishop of the same, that now is, and all other his successors, and to the same shall owe their obedience, and be under the jurisdiction Metropolitical of the same. That the Bishoprick and Diocese of Mann in the Isle of Mann be also annexed, adjoined and united to the said Province and Metropolitical jurisdiction of York, in all points, and to all purposes and effects as the said Bishopric of Chester is annexed, and united thereto." These are the only measures of Henry, which, being on record, appear to have in any way affected the Isle of Mann ; it was therefore for noncompliance with either or both of these that Bishop Stanley was deprived ; he could hardly have objected to the transfer of the Diocese from the Metropolitical jurisdiction of Canterbury to that of York, for the Church of Mann was no way bound to Canterbury by any antient ties of duty or affection. After the Norwegian conquest it had been subject to the Archbishop of Drontheim ; then again after the Scotch conquest under Bishops Russell and Duncan subject to no Metropolitan ; and had been only put under Canterbury as a matter of course when the English power was fully established under Sir John Stanley, when Bishop Waldby was elected, An. 1396. So that the Diocese had been only 149 years under the jurisdiction of Canterbury, when it was found more convenient to transfer it together with Chester to the Province of York. Bishop Stanley could not therefore have objected to this transfer; but he could, and naturally would object to the spoliation of those pious foundations, which Kings and Bishops had enriched long before England had a foot of land, or the shadow of power in the Island. For example, when the records of his country told him, that An. 1102, Olave, King of Mann, tributary to Norway, " gave part of his land in Mann, towards building an Abbey in a place called Russin; " -when he knew, that the same King had "enriched the estate of the Church -with revenues, and endowed it with great liberties; " and that in the same reign the revenue had been "set out in the most antient and apostolical manner, viz., one-third of all the tithes to the Bishop for his maintenance ; the second to the Abbey, for education of youth and relief of the poor; the third portion being given to the Parochial Priests for their subsistence ; " when he recollected, that these were the gifts of a King in no possible way connected with England; and that Henry IV., who had possessed himself of the Island, had " granted to Sir John Stanley and his heirs the Island and Lordship of Mann, and all royalties and appurtenances, with the patronage of the Bishopric and all Ecclesiastical benefices, in as full and ample a manner as they had been possessed by any of the former Lords or Kings of Mann;" and when he recollected that he was the responsible Guardian of all the rights and goods of the Church ; he would not have been the conscientious man, he evidently was, had he not resisted the arbitrary and cruel Act of Henry VIII., who, without pretending to cancel the grant of Henry IV. to the Stanley family, or to investigate the grant of King Olave, Nevertheless, by a royal fiat, "vested" in himself and his heirs the Abbey with all its lands, and those tithes, which it held in trust "for education of youth and relief of the poor," and then, like a glutted monster, disgorged them back again, not into the treasury of the poor, or for schools of useful learning, but into the coffers of some pampered favourite: of course Bishop Stanley resisted; as would the whole Church of England have resisted, had not her neck been broken to the tyrants hand by the debasing yoke of Rome; but the Church of England bowed her submissive head, as she has too often bowed it to her master, whether his voice have been from St. Peter's, St. James's, or St. Stephen's; she followed then, as before and since, her careful policy; "let us keep what we can," her little mottoe, whether a humble suitor to " His Holiness," "Our Gracious Lord the King," or "Your Honourable House." Not so Bishop Stanley; the mottoe of his noble House was his, and Henry found him " sans changer : " he would make no compromise with a sacrilegious tyrant, and he was deprived. In two years after this Act, Henry was called to give an account of those "ten talents " committed to his trust. Stanley's two successors were more compliant, and the Abbey was destroyed; it now lies " buried in its own ruins," like so many other monuments of a piety truly Catholic, the melancholy witness of an unholy, destructive, and miserable policy. But Bishop Stanley was restored in his old age to the Church and people for whose sake, as also for conscience sake, he had suffered all the unhappiness of banishment; he was restored under the auspices of a Queen, sent in retributive justice to be the scourge of the English Church for her treachery and cowardice; not because she had reformed herself, but because her reformations had been "devouring;" because she had yielded her spiritual power to a temporal Prince; because she had suffered adultery, sacrilege and tyranny, to go unrebuked; and more, because she had patiently endured, nay courted, the caresses of that polluted hand. Thus then was the Church of Mann a second time a faithful witness; in the fourteenth century her Bishop and Clergy had not been scared from their posts by war and anarchy; nor in the sixteenth did the Bishop yield, till driven from his Church and home by force. But though Bishop Stanley resisted tyranny he did not refuse to be reformed; on the contrary, after his restoration the Insular Church began, or carried on, the work of reformation directed by her own Bishop and her own Clergy; and though this "reformation was begun something later than in England, yet," says Bishop Wilson, "it was so happily carried on, that there has not for many years been one Papist a native in the Island, nor indeed are there dissenters of any denomination, except a family or two of Quakers, and even some of these have of late been baptized into the Church." Such in Bishop Wilson's day was the fruits of the reformation carried on and completed, if not begun under Bishop Stanley, of whom, as one of her Confessors, the Church of Mann may be justly proud.
It is our privilege to boast of the manner in which our reformation was carried on, and happily completed; yet, after the death of Bishop Stanley, and of the Earl of Derby, who had appointed him to the See, the first Act in the Statute Book relating to Church matters, certainly savours somewhat too much of that Erastian spirit, which seems ever doomed, as the Demon of disorder, to haunt the Protestant Churches. This Act contains "Articles delivered 24th of June, 1594, at the Tinwald then holden, to the Vicars general, by Randulph Stanley, Esq., the Captaine of this Isle; which Articles are to be enquired of at the next Consistory Court to be holden within this Isle; " and which " Articles," it must be confessed, included points of discipline belonging in their nature exclusively to Spiritual authorities ; they were such as Bishop Russell would not have received at the hands of any "Captaine," especially as one of his orders upon this occasion, to the Vicars General was, " that they enquire of and present all such as pray upon the graves of the dead:"1 nor would Bishop Stanley have suffered his Vicars General to receive their orders from the "Captain of the Isle:" but the errors of a Court soon find their way to the remotest corner of a kingdom, and the Lord of Mann did but imitate his Royal Mistress; the Church of England too, worn out with the persecutions of Mary, having gladly sought repose under the less troublesome tyranny of Elizabeth, had set a bad example, which also was contagious ; and this must be the excuse for the subserviency of the Bishop and Clergy of Mann on that occasion. This assumption of authority however on the part of the Civil Power over the Spiritual, seems to have caused after a time great inconveniences; as will be hereafter shewn. But to return to the Civil Affairs of the Island ; an Act passed in the same Court as this last mentioned, shows how the Lieutenant proceeded, when in doubt as to the law.
"Articles and Questions of Doubt, propounded by Randulph Stanley, Esq., Captaine of the Isle of Man, June 24th, 1594, at the Tyndwald then holden, to the two Deemsters and 24 Keys of the said Isle."
"For that I have received an oath to deale indifferently betwixt the Lord of this Isle, in matters of justice, and the people of ' the said land, and do find upon perusal of your lawes such repugnance as I cannot resolve, which of them standeth in force : I am therefore to crave the assistance of you the two Deemsters and 24 Keys of this Isle, collected for the resolving of all doubtfull pointes in Law, to give me your full resolution therein ; whereupon, God willing, I will during the time of my government here, put the same in due execution. The which Lawes and Doubts hereafter follow, together with the Answer of the two Deemsters and 24 Keys."
Hitherto it has been shewn how the antient laws of the Island were first declared and written by the Deemsters, with the aid of the 24, and how they were afterwards ratified and established by the Lord; with regard to the objects embraced by those laws, they were such as were sufficient for the existing state of the Insular Society, no other laws being so much as alluded to, as having any force in the Isle of Mann. But now it will be necessary to shew how, when these old laws became insufficient, new ones were enacted.
At the Tinwald holden the 24th of June, 1629."
As in every well-governed Commonwealth wholesome Statutes, Orders, and Laws, answerable to the times, are usually invented, prepared, and enacted, for prevention of such present and future inconveniences and losses, as the Magistrates find the Members thereof to be subject unto, and to suffer; so the Government of the Inhabitants of this Isle being exemplary of antient customs, provided for by the like Ordinances: we, therefore, the Captain, Deemsters, Officers, and 24 Keys, having advisedly considered the manifold misdemeanours committed in these times to the ruin of the Commonwealth, doe for remedy thereof enact, and publish to be executed for Law henceforth, as followeth." Here follow sundry new laws, and at the end of the recital, " All these confirmed by my Lord Strange, as in the Exchequer Book, 1630, appeareth."
As this was an important and interesting era in the history of these kingdoms, I shall make some further remarks upon it, so far as regards the Isle of Mann. It was in this year, 1629, that the King dissolved the Parliament, on account (as he expressed himself in his speech) of " the undutiful and seditious carriage in the lower house." Charles was beheaded 1648: the Lord Strange above named was afterwards Earl of Derby, and was beheaded at Bolton, three years after the martyrdom of Charles.
This brave and loyal subject was also a wise and good King, as the sound and wholesome laws he has left on record in the Manks Statute Book bear witness: but he was also a man of letters; and in Peek's Desiderata Curiosa are several fragments addressed to his son Charles, from the Isle of Mann, throughout which fragments there breathes the spirit of a brave man, an affectionate father, a prudent prince, an acute and experienced observer of human nature in action, a profound philosopher, and a good Christian; in one word of a great man. The account in the Desiderata Curiosa, after a detail of some previous occurrences, which had taken place in England, goes on thus: "Upon information that the enemy had a design upon the Isle of Mann, he was ordered thither for the security of the place, and went accordingly, having first made some necessary provisions of men, moneys, and ammunition for the protection and defence of his incomparable Lady at Lathom, to whose charge he committed his children, house, and other his English concerns. During his residence in the said Isle he wrote the following account thereof, and of his own proceedings there, by way of letter to his son Charles, Lord Strange, and had he not been prevented by the troublesomeness of the times, had much farther enlarged it." Of this account the following are extracts, a few only out of many worthy to be read, if not for the study of history, yet for the sake of philosophy and political economy.
"The Kingdom of Mann belongeth to the House of Derby, in which family the Lord continue it, while men live on earth. It bath heretofore been governed by Kings, natives and others, sometimes conquered, and sometimes gallantly defended. There have certain wise men dwelt there, who were called Druids. But when St. Patricke came here, they had no further power; but being taught Christianitie they became Christians, and so have continued to this day. It was given by Hen. 4th to Sir John Stanley, who was called King of Mann."
The Lord appoints a Governor, who hath the power of the Lord in his absence. He keepeth the Chancery Court, where he sitteth Judge. There be two Deemsters or Judges also chosen by the Lord, most commonly natives by reason of the language ; they be judges of the common law. There are four and twenty called Keys, who in all matters concerning the country are advised -withall : sometimes there be four of every parish joined with them by order of the Lord, when any great matter concerning the land is in hand. But more particularly hereof, if I have leisure, when I will annex hereunto some more perfect description of this Island and Lawes ; and before I proceed further in my intended discourse, I thinke fit to tell you, as briefly as I can, the occasions of my coming thither this time."
Here follow his reasons for leaving the scene of action in England, and he seems to have been sorely divided between his desire to secure the Isle of Mann, and his reluctance to leave the King. But his desire, as he expresses it, " to save this Island, which might serve for a retreat should the King come to the worst," overcame all his scruples, and he sailed thither in person, utterly regardless of the slander of those, who seemed ready to tax him with desertion of the royal cause; of them he said to his son, "I thanke God, I fear none, who understands me, or who understands me not." He then goes on to say," Meanwhile I received letters from the Isle of Mann, intimating the great danger of a revolt there; for that the people had begun the fashion of England in murmuring, and by some damned spirit had been taught the same lessons as I have known in London, to come in tumultuous manner, desiring new laws, a change of the old, that they would have no Bishops, pay no tithes to the Clergy: they despised authority, and rescued some committed by the Governor, and the like." In another letter he says, " The Almighty sent me in good time hither; for by most it was believed that a few days had ended the happy peace which this Island had so long enjoyed." Again, in another letter-
" No subject that I know hath so great royaltie as this, and lest it be thought too great, keepe this rule, and you will more securely keepe it. Fear God and honour the King. Have this in your thoughts first, to choose a reverend and holy man to your Bishop, who may carefully see the whole Clergie doe their duties. It hath been a custom, heretofore, that such persons have been chosen to the place, who were already beneficed in England, to the end they might better be enabled to live with reputation, and honour to the country. But I have considered a farther matter in it; for by the law and custom here, the Lord and Bishop agreeing might lease any part of the Bishoprick for 21 years, for lives, or farther time; which hath usually been done, and at this time it is so : whereby you see few Bishops have at any time enjoyed the full benefit, and have contented themselves to be called Lords; but in a few years the leases will be expired, and then the Bishopric will be worth the having, and, considering the cheapness of the place, I know few Bishops in England can live better than he, the whole being entire ; nevertheless I would not lose the power thereof, but to keep up my prerogative, unto which of all things have a most especial regard, you may give way to leasing some petty thing or other of little moment. One of the chief things I herein consider is, that if the greatest part of a Bishopric be leased you will find few worthy men desirous of the place, and if men be beneficed already, they will seldom live in the Isle, which indeed I would have the whole Clergy obliged unto; for so will they do God more service; they will relieve and instruct the poor people better.
"I had a design, and God may enable me, to sett up an Universitie, without much charge (as I have contrived it) which may much oblige the nations round about us: it may get friends into the country and enrich this land; this certainly will please God and man: but of this I shall tell you more, when it please the Lord to settle me again in my own.
"This Isle will never flourish untill some trading be, and though you may invite strangers or natives to be merchants, yet never anything will be done to purpose till yourself do lead, and therefore get some sum of money, as, God willing, I shall; for I rather will sell land in England, than miss so excellent a design. There is no doubt, but hereby you may enrich yourself, and others under you: your people may be set a work, that in a short time you will have no beggars; where one soul is now, will be many: every house almost will become a town; every town a city; the Island full of ships. This country is so seated, as I cannot conceive, but all this is very feasible: when I go on the Mount, you call Barroull, and but turning me round can see England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, I think shame so fruitlessly to see so many kindgdoms at once (which no place, I think, in any nation, that we know under heaven can afford such a prospect) and to have so little profit by them. But I have considered hereof, and as I think the reason. The country is indeed better than I was told. For which I blame myself, that I formerly enquired so little of it: for indeed he, who seeks not to know his own, is unworthy of what he hath : but I well remember, who told me, it was so little worth; even those, who have thriven by it: a master, whose servants prosper under him, is commended; but when they thrive unknown to him, and lie thrives not also with them, the wisdom of the one and the honesty of the other will be suspected.
I cannot brag of good breeding, as, God be thanked, you may and that is to you more than half of all I leave you. You know my instructions to you. In the first place to fear the Lord as the beginning of true wisdom; and I know you are taught it of Mr. Rutter, for whom both you and I may thank God. The method of your teaching you may well remember: when God blesseth you with children, you may yourself give rules unto their teachers. Nevertheless lest you forget any of it, I may haply desire Mr. Rutter to set it down in writing, that you may keep the same by you with this: and if others, when we are dead, pretend to greater knowledge, and a new way of teaching, you may compare his great skill with our true loves, of which these and the like endeavours shall be our witnesses."
These are a few extracts from Lord Derby's letters to his son, which I now proceed to illustrate by some other extracts from laws passed at this time, and afterwards, by himself in the Isle of Mann. It was in the year 1643, when he said, " The Almighty sent me in good time hither, for by most it was believed that a few days had ended the happy peace, which this Island had so long enjoyed." And in another part of the same letter he describes to his son the policy he had adopted when the people came to him in a tumultuous manner, desiring new laws, a change of the old," with complaints against the Bishop and Clergy, how he had attentively listened to all these complaints, " and had answered them with fair words," till he had fortified Castle Rushen with a strong garrison ; and then having appointed a day for hearing and deciding upon these alleged grievances, that he ordered the people to assemble, not at the Tinwald Mount, as usual, but before the Castle gates; for not being prepared to make the smallest compromise of justice, it was necessary that he should be in a position to enforce his own orders: in all this the Earl had learnt a lesson in England, which, when called upon to suppress the first risings of a rebellions spirit in his little Island-Kingdom, he did not forget; the example of his unhappy Sovereign was not lost upon him; and while he proceeded according to the strictest rules of equity, he yielded nothing to popular clamour. In describing the Constitution of the Island to his son, he said, that there were sometimes four of every parish joined with the 24 Keys, "when any great matter concerning the land is in hand." Following therefore this rule of justice, while prudently speaking to rebel subjects with a drawn sword, he redressed the grievances of both sides in a manner, which this statute will shew.
Insula Monae. "Apud Castrum de Rushen,
xxx die Octobris, 1643.
Whereas before this time, at Peele town, the 18th day of July, 1643, before the Right Honourable James, Earl of Derby, Lord of the said Isle, &c., the Officers Spiritual and Temporal, with the 24 Keys of the said Island, and four men of every parish, were assembled together to advise and consider of certain grievances of the Church and Commons of the said Isle, laid down and expressed in and by their several petitions and complaints unto his Lordship, and to study and devise such convenient remedy and redress therein as might best stand with the maintenance of his Lordship's prerogatives, the good and welfare of the Church and Commons, and the peace and safety of the whole state in general; at which place and day it was mutually condescended and agreed unto by all parties, and it was their humble desires that his Lordship should decide all their matters of complaint whatsoever, as in his Honour's wisdom shall be thought meet. To which decree every of them, viz. the Reverend Father in God, Richard, Lord Bishop of this Isle, with his Officers Spiritual, and the Body of the Clergy, the said twenty-four Keyes, with the four men of every parish, in the name of themselves, and of the whole Commons of the Isle, by whom they were chosen, did agree for them their heirs and successors to abide such his Lordship's decree. To which end, and for the more perfect performance of the business, according to justice and equity, his Honour (being willing to understand the true state of all their causes and grievances) was gratiously pleased to give order, that a select Jury or Grand Inquest of twenty-four men, newly chosen, whereof twelve of the 24 Keys to be part, and twelve of the four men of the parishes there present, should be impannelled and sworn to find out and present all such wrongs or abuses, as have been committed against his Lordship's prerogative, the Lawes of the Island, or the good of the Commonaltie."
Here follow the names of the 24 thus chosen, together with the form of their oath, and then-
" All of which as one Grand Inquest, do find and present upon their oaths certain proofs and examinations, which they had taken upon the petitions of the several parishes, the most of which did concern particular abuses of the Clergy, in the collecting of their tithes and duties to the Church, contrary to the known laws and orders of the Island: whereupon his Lordship gave order, that the Clergy should make their answers, and plead their defence against such complaints of the country; which accordingly they have done, and have given his Lordship such satisfaction therein, that his Lordship (for preservation of love and unity betwixt the Clergy and Commonaltie for time to come) thinkes fit that those matters of particular grievances on both parts shall be no more remembered . nevertheless, if any of the parties grieved think good hereafter to prosecute their grievances, and put them to a tryal, his Honour will take pains to give his especial order therein for relief of the wronged partie. And whereas, amongst other the complaints of the country, some particular matters concerning the general good are most considerable of Reformation, his Honour was gratiously pleased to assemble the Clergy and twenty-four Keys of the Island, with the four men of every parish, to meet this day, being the 30th day of October, 1643, at his Castle of Rushen, where accordingly they did appear, and then and there upon their ensuing business (agitated and disputed before his Lordship) betwixt the Clergy and Proctors upon the one part, and the said twenty-four Keys, and four men of the parishes in behalf of the country upon the other part, his Lordship doth order and declare as followeth."
Ten separate complaints were made against the Clergy, some with, and some without foundation, all of which were decided by Lord Derby in a manner, which cannot be too highly esteemed for its equity and simplicity. Thus was the whole question of Church dues at that time settled by the Insular Legislature.
In that and the preceding Statutes the Lord seemed to have the initiative in making new laws, but at a Tinwald Court held in 1645, when the Earl was again in the Island, sundry Legislative enactments are made "upon the humble suit of the twenty-four Keys of the Island, the Representative Body of the Country." The last clause of this Statute shews that Lord Derby's solicitude for improvement in the Insular Commerce, concerning which he had written to his son two years before, evinced itself in the laws enacted under him. " Whereas there are several Statutes concerning transportation of corn, cattle, and other commodities, which do not absolutely agree with one another, there shall be transportation of all such goods at such times, as the same shall be thought fit by the Governor and Council of the Island; and to that the Governor and Council shall consult once in every week, what is fitting to be licensed for the good of the country; and if there be complaint made by the country for restraint of such commodities, or of too much license given thereof, then the Governor to call the twenty-four Keyes and Officers of the Island, and to consider of and determine what is or may be most fit to be transported, always considering the general good and safety of the Island.
JAMES DERBY," ET CETERI.
In 1647, the year before the martyrdom of King Charles, the spirit of rebellion, which had before crossed the channel to this Island, seems to have possessed the people still more powerfully; and, as Lord Derby wrote in 1643, "the people had begun the fashion of England in murmuring, and by some damned spirit had been taught the same lessons, known in London, to come in tumultuous manner desiring new laws, a change of the old, that they would have no Bishops, pay no tithes to the Clergy: they despised authority; " for in that year, 1647, "it is enacted, that. whosoever shall accuse or speak any scandalous speeches against any chief Officer of this Isle, Spiritual or Temporal, or any of the twenty-four Keys, touching either their oaths, or the State and Government, or any other scandalous speeches, which might tend to the defamation of their offices, and be not able to prove it, shall be fined for every time so offending in ten pounds, and their ears to be cut off in punishment besides."
On the 30th day of January, 1648, King Charles the Martyr died upon the scaffold.
The Earl of Derby had some time before that event retired to the Isle of Mann.
The following extracts from a work published in 1836, by Mr. Coleridge, entitled " The Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire," will give an interesting and instructive account of the death of this great man. After the raising of the siege of Lathom House, An. 1644, " The Earl and his Countess returned together to the Isle of Mann. For Derby and his Consort, the following years were years, not of peace, but of comparative inaction. Cooped up in their diminutive kingdom, where they were honoured as patriarchal Princes, they bad defiance to the fleets, the threats, and the persuasions of Parliament. Even when their children, whom they had sent into England on the faith of a pass from Fairfax, were detained in captivity by the ruling powers, though repeated offers were made to restore them, with the whole of the English Estates, if the Earl would give up his Island: he constantly answered, that much as he valued his ancestral lands, and dearly as he loved his offspring, ' he would never redeem either by disloyalty.' Nor did they change their resolution, even when the King, for whom they held their rocks and little fields, was no more, and his son a wandering exile. Angry at solicitations, which implied an insult to his honour, Derby returned the following reply to that fierce republican, Ireton, who had urged the old proposal with renewed earnestness :-
"I received your letter with indignation, and with scorn I return you this answer. that I cannot but wonder whence you . should gather any hopes from me, that I should (like you) prove treacherous to my Sovereign; since you cannot be insensible of my former actings in his late Majesty's service; from which principle of loyalty I am no way departed. I scorn your proffers; I disdain your favours; I abhor your treasons ; and am so far from delivering this Island to your advantage, that I will keep it to the utmost of my power to your destruction. Take this final answer, and forbear any further solicitations; for if you trouble me with any more messages upon this occasion, I will burn the paper, and hang, the bearer
" This is the immutable resolution, and shall be the undoubted practice of him, who accounts it the chiefest glory to be
His Majesty's most loyal and obedient subject,
Castle Town, 12 July, 1649.'
" He remained in the Isle till 1651, when the younger Charles entered England at the head of a Presbyterian army, governed by Presbyterian preachers, with which it was impossible for the English Royalists cordially to co-operate. But Derby's loyalty had no reservations : his oath of allegiance contained no proviso for the case of a King bringing the solemn league and covenant along with him. At the request of Charles, (who sent him the Order of the Garter,) he left the Island and landed in Lancashire, to join in as unpromising an enterprize as ever threw away good lives. Having sent forth trusty emissaries in all directions to announce his arrival, and call his cavaliering friends and neighbours from their retreats, two or three days after he parted with the King he fixed his quarters at Wigan, to wait the coming up of the musters. But the next morning he was unexpectedly attacked by a large body of militia and regulars under Lilburn, whom Cromwell had detached to hang upon the king's rear, and prevent the junction of stragglers. Derby's ' band of brothers' were set upon in an irregular street, which enabled them to make a prodigious stand against over-running numbers. 'Three thousand veterans, practised in war's game,' were barely sufficient to cut to pieces, and trample under foot, two hundred loyal English gentlemen. In this skirmish the Earl received seven shots in his breastplate, thirteen cuts in his beaver, and five or six wounds in his arms and shoulders, and had two horses killed under him. Yet his time was not yet come. He escaped almost singly, and found his way through Shropshire and Staffordshire, to join the King at Worcester.
" Of the result of the third of Sept., and the subsequent wanderings and escapes of Charles, who in this land of oaks is ignorant ? It was Derby that with cold and bleeding wounds led the King in secrecy to St. Martin's gate, and directed him to the concealment& of White-ladies and Boscobel, where he himself had found shelter riot many days before. He then made for his own country, though sick of heart, and wounded sore; but scarcely had he gained the the borders of Cheshire, when lie was overtaken by a party under Major Edge, to whom he surrendered, under a promise of quarter. He was led prisoner to Chester. The Parliament sent down a Commission of nineteen persons, selected from the military, who formed a sort of court-martial, styled, ' a High Court of Justice,' in order to ' try the Earl of Derby for his treason and rebellion.' Of course the Earl was found guilty, and condemned to die; but by an unnecessary aggravation of cruelty, the execution was appointed to take place in his own town of Bolton-le-Moors, where a few years ago he appeared a conqueror. He was beheaded on Wednesday, the 15th of October, 1651. Two days before his death he wrote a letter to his Countess, which we will give entire.
" My dear Heart,-I have heretofore sent you comfortable lines, but alas I have now no word of comfort, saving to our last and best refuge, which is Almighty God, to whose will we must submit; and when we consider how he hath disposed of these nations, and the government thereof, we have no more to do but to lay our hands upon our mouths, judging ourselves, and acknowledging our sins, joined with others, to have been the cause of these miseries, and to call upon him with tears for mercy.
"' The Governor of this place, Colonel Duckenfield, is General of the Forces, which are now going against the Isle of Mann; and however you might do for the present, in time it would be a grievous and troublesome thing to resist, especially those that at this hour command the three nations; wherefore my advice, notwithstanding my great affection to that place, is that you would make conditions for yourself, and children, and servants, and people there, and such as came over with me, to the end you may get to the place of rest, where you may not be concerned in war, and taking thought of your poor children, you may, in some sort, provide for them: then prepare yourself to come to your friends above, in that blessed place, where bliss is, and no mingling of opinions.'
* * *
It now behoves us to say a few words of the subsequent fate of the woman to whom this writing was addressed. After her husband's death she still held out her domain of Mann, ruling it with a broken fortune, broken health, broken heart, but unbroken spirit, till those Christians, to whom the Earl at his leave taking had committed the care of his wife and children, and of the island forces, betrayed it to the government. Then was the Countess for a time a captive, and afterwards a wanderer, subsisting on such kindness as the poor can bestow on the poorer still. At the restoration, the estates reverted to her eldest son, and she spent the short remnant of her days at Knowsley Park. She died in 1662.
" Mr. Bagaley, one of the Earl's gentlemen, who was allowed to attend him to the last, drew up a narrative of his dying hours, the manuscript whereof still remains in the family.
" 'Upon Monday, October 13th, 1651, my Lord procured me liberty to wait upon him, having been close prisoner ten days. He told me the night before, Mr. Slater, Colonel Duckenfield-'s Chaplain, had been with him from the Governor, to persuade his Lordship that they were confident his life was in no danger; but his Lordship told me he heard him patiently, but did not believe him; for, says he, "was resolved not to be deceived with the vain hopes of this fading world.' After we had walked a quarter of an hour, he discoursed his own commands to me, in order to my journey to the Isle of Mann, as to his consent to my Lady to deliver it on those articles his Lordship had signed.
* * *
After we were out of town, the people weeping, my Lord, with an humble behaviour and noble courage, about half a mile off, took leave of them; then of my Lady Catherine and Amelia upon his knees by the road side, (alighting for that end from his horse,) and there prayed for them, and saluted them, and so parted. This was the saddest hour I ever saw, so much tenderness and affection on both sides.
"'That night, Tuesday, the 14th October, we came to Leigh but in the way thither, his Lordship, as we rode along, called me to him, and bid me, when I should come into the Isle of Mann, to commend him to the Archdeacon there, and tell him he well remembered the several discourses that had passed between them there, concerning death, and the manner of it ; that he had often said the thoughts of death could not trouble him in fight, or with a sword in hand; but he feared it would something startle him tamely to submit to a blow on the scaffold. ' But,' said his Lordship, I tell the Archdeacon from me, that I do now find in myself an absolute change as to that opinion. for I bless God for it, who hath put this comfort and courage into my soul, that I can as willingly now lay down my head upon the block as ever I did upon a pillow.'
Then we went to prayer, and my Lord commanded Mr. Greenhaugh to read the Decalogue, and at the end of every commandment made his confession, and then received absolution and the sacrament: after which, and prayers ended, he called for pen and ink, and wrote his last speech.
"' When we were ready to go, he drank a cup of beer to my Lady, and Lady Mary and Masters, and Mr. Archdeacon, and all his friends in the Island, and bid me remember him to them, and tell the Archdeacon he said the old grace he always used, &c.
Some remarkable passages in my Lord's going to the scaffold, and his being upon it with his last speech and dying words.
Now I must die, and am ready to die, I thank my God with a good conscience, without any malice, or any ground whatever, though others would not find mercy upon me upon just and fair grounds; so my Saviour prayed for his enemies, and so do I for mine.
"'As for my faith and religion, thus much have I at this time to say: I profess my faith to be in Jesus Christ, who died for me, from whom I look for my salvation, that is, through His only merit and sufferings. And I die a dutiful son of the Church of England, as it was established in my late master's time and reign, and is yet professed in the Isle of Mann, which is no little comfort to me.
" ' I thank my God for the quiet of my conscience at this time, and the assurance of those joys that are prepared for those that fear him. Good people pray for me, I do for you ; the God of heaven bless you all, and send you peace; that God that is truth itself, give you grace, peace, and truth. Amen.' So he laid himself down with his neck to the block, and his arms stretched out, saying, I Blessed be God's glorious name for ever and ever. Amen. Let the whole earth be filled .with his glory. Amen.'
And then, lifting up his hands, the executioner did his work, and no manner of noise was then heard, but sighs and sobs."'
" The Earl of Derby," says Clarendon, " was a man of unquestionable loyalty to the late King, and gave clear testimony of it before he received any obligations from the court, and when he thought himself disobliged by it. He was a man of great honour and clear courage ; and his defects and misfortunes proceeded from his having lived so little time among his equals, that he knew not how to treat his inferiors, which was the source of all the ill that befell him; having thereby drawn such prejudice against him from persons of inferior quality, who yet thought themselves too good to be contemned, that they pursued him to death."
Such is the character given by Clarendon of this great and good man, which we are bound to suppose impartial ; but when we read those laws proposed and enacted by him in the Isle of Mann, marked as they all are by a spirit of the severest justice and tenderest regard to his people's welfare when we see that Island enjoying under his care the blessings of quiet and good order in its civil government, as also the far greater blessings of peace and unity in its Church when we see himself and his noble Lady honoured among that poor but honest people, " as patriarchal princes," while a regicide ruled the destinies of England, Ireland, and Scotland when we hear him on the scaffold, certainly with the proud bearing of a gallant soldier, expressing the loyal spirit of an English nobleman, the fervour of a patriot, the tenderness of a woman for his friends and relatives, the charity of a saint towards his enemies, and the humble resignation of a Martyr, it is difficult to picture him as one, who "knew not how to treat his inferiors." But, however he may have been esteemed in the Court of Charles, in the Isle of Mann his name must be ever held not in honour only, but also in love ; to him we owe a name untarnished by the damned spot of rebellion against our King and Church ; that page, which in England's history is traced in the blood of her best and noblest that page is in Mona's history, and by the hand of her own prince, illuminated with the golden letters of paternal, just, and salutary laws. No . Derby "knew how to treat his inferiors: " he knew too how to treat his enemies, the enemies of his country: he knew too how to say, " I thanke God I fear none, who understands me, or who understands me not."
Justum ae tenacem propositi viruni,
Non eivium ardor prava jubentium,
Nee vultus instantis tyranni,
Mente quatit solida,
Si fractus illabatur orbis,
Impavidum ferient ruinae."
In 1662, Parliament granted the Island to Lord Fairfax, who governed it by Commissioners, after the cause of the noble Lady, who defended it, had been betrayed. This was the first and the last interference on the part of Parliament in the internal affairs of the Island; in what light that interference was afterwards regarded will presently be seen. During this interregnum of fourteen years, the Statute Book is silent till 1661 ; the year following the Restoration of Charles II. In this year 1661, Samuel Rutter was sworn Bishop; he had been Archdeacon, and had in that capacity governed the Church with great prudence during the civil wars: "he was a man," says Sacheverell, "of exemplary goodness and moderation." He had been the favourite companion of the late Earl before he left the Island for the last time, and had been also the tutor of his eldest son : the Earl's letter to that son (of which extracts have been given) will show how highly he esteemed Mr. Rutter; when therefore at the Restoration he succeeded to his Father's Government, he remembered the advice he had formerly received from that wise and careful parent; when councilling him upon the prudent management of the trust, which would one day descend to him, he said, " have this in your thoughts, first, to choose a reverend and holy man to your Bishop, who may carefully see the whole Clergy do their duties: " the young Earl of Derby remembered this paternal advice; and his very first Act, when together with his Royal Master he had " his right again," was to appoint to the vacant See that " reverend and holy man," who had been his Father's friend and councillor in a time of trouble, and who having as Archdeacon so " carefully seen the whole Clergy do their duties," that his Father upon the scaffold was enabled to rejoice and thank God that, at a time when the truth as well as the soberness of religion, seemed to be rooted out of all the land of England, both " were still professed in the Isle of Mann." In his time certain " necessary orders " were " enacted and published " at the Tynwald Court, but without the usual confirmation of the Lord: this was the case in two Tynwalds: from which circumstance it would appear, that though the young Earl had been enabled to perform his first duty, yet that the confusion of the times was still so great, the Insular Legislature was compelled to act without him for the peace and good order of the country.
During the unhappy Civil wars the work of destruction commenced under Henry VIII. had been completed, and when the Castle of Peel had been besieged by the Parliamentary forces, the Cathedral of St. Germanus, which is within its walls, had been left, like Rushen Abbey by the reformations of Henry, a melancholy proof how much more easy it is for man to pull down than to build up; the Abbey Church of Rushen had been 120 years in building, and the Cathedral commenced by Bishop Simon, Anno 1230, was the resting place of many of his successors in the See, before it was completed ; but one blow of a sacrilegious hand had buried either in its own ruins, and their broken walls now stand the " monitus locorum of ruder perhaps, but not less pious ages," when Catholic faith and Catholic devotion were held to be more acceptable in the sight of Him, who "is not unrighteous to forget" our "work and labour of love, which " we shew "towards his name," than those "devouring reformations," which were wrought by "the destructive knowledge of the 16th century; " by the blasphemous spirit of the 17th ; or than those endured by the cold apathy of the 18th ; or than those, which are threatened by the suicidal madness of the 19th, more widely destructive than they all-more widely destructive than they all ; for what our enemies force from us we may regain, but what we ourselves toss to the winds will never be borne back to us. But the ruins of those pious foundations are to those, whose scene of labour is now fixed in the Church of Mann, "monitus locorum" not to be lightly passed over. "Monitus " to them, how one by one their Church has lost her strongest bulwarks and her fairest ornaments: "monitus " to them, the successors and descendants of those brave defenders of their Church and Country, that as Rushen Abbey was the last religious House, which fell under regal tyranny, so was Peel [sic Rushen] Castle the last place of strength, which surrendered to Parliamentary forces; and that, till it fell by treachery within, a woman held it: and "monitus " they are, with many, many a mouldering arch and ivied tower, " monitus " to all, not to scatter abroad, but to gather together; not to destroy, but to rebuild, and beautify, and heal the breaches of Zion.
Bishop Rutter died 1663, "and was buried," as Bishop Hildersley's MS. says, "under the uncovered steeple of St. German's, then in ruins, with this Epitaph on a brass plate
In hac domo quam a vermiculis
Mutuo accepi confratribus meis
Sub spe Resurrectionis ad vitam
Jaceo Samuel, Permissionedivina
Episcopus hujus Insulae,
Siste Lector vide, et ride,
After the death of Bishop Rutter, the Earl of Derby still mindful of his father's injunctions, appointed another " holy and reverend man " to the vacant See: this was Isaac Barrow, of whom so much has been said in the history from p. 36 to 49, as also in the account of King William's College, p. 65. The Clergy of the Isle of Mann, who owe to Bishop Barrow all their learning, and who now live upon his bounty, are witnesses of the blessing, which in this, as in all other cases, has been the sure attendant upon acts of filial piety. The injunctions indeed of the murdered Earl seem to have been handed down from father to son for generations after he was gone: his grandson appointed Bishop Lake, who after his translation to Bristol was one of the seven holy Confessors committed to the Tower by James, and who afterwards was found in that goodly fellowship of Non-Jurors, men, whose equals the Church of England has never seen before or since. Another Grandson, brother and heir to the last, appointed Bishop Wilson a remarkable instance of four men so distinguished for their " holy and reverend " lives appointed to be Bishops of this remote and poor See within a period of little more than thirty years; and it shows that the Son and the two Grandsons, when called upon in succession to take charge of their little Island kingdom, obeyed the paternal counsel - "have this in your thoughts, first, to choose a reverend and holy man to your Bishop, who may carefully see the whole Clergy do their duties,"
An. 1664 Bishop Barrow being both Bishop and Governor, the first Act of Tynwald was to re-establish the antient Laws, and annul all those of the Commissioners of Lord Fairfax. "At a Court of Tynwald, the 23rd of June, 1664, before the Rt. Rev. Father in God, Isaac Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann, and Governor of the Isle, Henry Nowell, Esq., Deputy Governor of the same under his Lordship; and before the Officers, Deemsters, and 24 Keys, the Representative Body of the said Isle; these ensuing Orders, Acts, and Statutes were enacted and proclaimed, as wholesome Laws to be observed in this Island in future."
"Whereas there were certain Acts prepared and ordained, as appears in the Exchequer Book for the year 1655, which being in the time of the late usurped Government, the same Acts are now revised and enlarged with the stile of this Court of Tynwald, now holden under the Right Honourable Charles, Earl of Derby, Lord of Mann and the Isles, the true and undoubted Lord and Patron of the same Isle, and the said former Acts of 1655 to be reputed invalid, and cancelled for the future, and these now made to be the true and only Records and Statutes, as followeth." To these Statutes is attached the confirmation of the Lord, as in former times before the usurpation.
"These lawes, made and subscribed by my Officers of the Isle of Man, I do allow and approve of, and give my assent, that from henceforth they doe become Lawes. Given under my hand at Knowsley this 16th of June, 1665.
Such was the first Act of the Insular Legislature, when its antient rights were restored : the second Act in the same year, 1665, shows how from time to time the Insular Legislature has revised its laws.
"Notwithstanding the several Statutes and Ordinances already contrived and made at sundry times for Laws to be observed within this Isle, experience nevertheless finds it requisite by the observation of several occurrences in the progression and transaction of divers matters beside what the necessity of the times doth require, that further Orders and Laws be enacted, some to be repealed, and other to be enlarged and explained, as the present Government, with the approbation of the Right Honourable the Lord of this Isle, shall think fit and requisite to be put in execution."
"We, therefore, the Right Rev. Isaac, Lord Bishop, and Governor of this Isle, Henry Nowell, Esq., Deputy Governor, with the Deemsters and Officers of the Lord's Councell, and the 24 Keys, the Representative Body of the said Isle, being convened and assembled, have and do by and with the approbation of our Honourable Lord as aforesaid, (to which end these Acts are first in all humbleness proposed,order and enact for wholesome Laws to be observed and executed within this Isle as followeth." These Laws, being confirmed by the Lord as the last, were proclaimed upon the Tynwald hill before the people. At a Tynwald Court held in 1667, an example was given of the power of the initiative being vested both in the Lord and the Legislature, also of the general authority of the laws now in use, both civil and spiritual. At this Court five Statutes having been proposed to the Lord for his confirmation, he did so in the usual manner, making this addition~, "And I have thought fit to propose these ensuing Orders to my Governor, Officers, Deemsters, and 24 Keys of my said Isle, for their perusals and subscriptions; that my intention thereby may be extant to future ages, it so much relating to the good of my Island, and the people thereof in general."
Among these "Orders " is the following: " Having had information given me that by reason of several cross Statutes yet extant upon Record, and also of pretended Customs and Breast-laws, contrary sometimes to the Statutes in force, my people are much distracted in their affairs, These are to require my Comptroller, Deemsters, and all other my Officers, which are best acquainted with the Laws and State of my Island, together with the advice and assistance of the 24 Keys, to make an exact enquiry into the Statutes, that such as are found fit to be abrogated may forthwith be repealed, and the rest that are necessary for the Government of the Island, together with such customs as are thought worthy to be translated into' laws, may be wrote fair into a Book, and made the rule of proceeding in all cases. The same course I require also to be taken with the Ecclesiastical Statutes by the Spiritual Officers, with the advice and assistance of such knowing persons, both of the Clergy and Laity, as shall be thought fit to be joined with them by the Bishop of my Island."*
* By this procedure on the part of the Lord of the Isle, it will be seen that the Church had regained at least a portion of her antient authority since 1594, when " Articles were delivered to the Vicars General by the Captaine of the Isle."
These Orders, laid before the Legislature by the Lord, were agreed to by that authority, and accordingly acted upon . by them the internal affairs of the Island appear to have been so well regulated, that no new Statute of any consequence was enacted till 1696, when the following remarkable one, entitled " An Act against non-residence," shews clearly that whatever civil power was exercised over the temporalities of the Church, was exercised by the Insular Authorities, and no others.
" At a Tynwald Court holden 1696,
" Whereas it is observed, that severall great inconveniences have attended this Isle by reason of the Bishop, Archdeacon, Clergy, Temporal Officers, Soldiers, and others, often withdrawing themselves from their respective duties within the same, for prevention whereof for the future be it enacted by the Governor, Officers, Deemsters, and 24 Keys, that every Bishop, Archdeacon, Parson, or others who now hold and enjoy, or hereafter shall hold and enjoy the Bishoprick, Archdeaconry, or any Parsonage, or such like Ecclesiastical promotion within this Isle, to the value of ten pounds per annum or upwards, as also every Temporal Officer enjoying any Office under the Right Honourable Lord of this Isle, shall personally reside within this Isle, upon their respective Promotions, Benefices, or Offices, and if any of them shall at any time be non-resident, or not inhabit within this Isle, but shall be found willfully to absent him or themselves (wind, weather, health, and convenient shipping permitting) above the space of four months, (to be accounted at several times in any one year,) such person so offending shall for the first offence forfeit the full value of one half-year's profit of his said Benefice or Office, to be levyed and disposed of in manner as by this Act is hereafter mentioned: and if any person before-mentioned be found to offend in the like nature afterwards, for every such second offence he shall forfeit the full value of one whole year's profit, and be declared incapable of receiving any further benefit thereof untill such time as he so offending shall return to his duty: all such forfeitures to be disposed of for such pious, charitable, and public uses as the Governor and Council shall have directions from the Lord of this Isle concerning the same." In this Act there L., doubtless,a strange confounding of Spiritual and Temporal Officers, as if a Bishop and a soldier held their commissions under the same authority, and were amenable to the same tribunal : it was a direct usurpation of the Civil Power over the Spiritual in -t most important point of discipline, such an usurpation as had not been known but once before and never since in the Isle of Mann, and can only be accounted for by the fact that there was no Bishop at that time, the See had been vacant five years, and Wilson did not accept the charge till the year following, though it had been for some time often and earnestly pressed upon him; the discipline of the Church therefore being such as Sacheverell in his letter to Bishop Wilson described it to be, there being in fact no Government at all, the Civil Power took upon itself to reform some abuses within it. As therefore on the one hand this Act tells nothing against the Constitutional Independence of the Manks Church, as may be hereafter further shewn, so on the other it proves that whatever control the Civil Power may assume over the temporalities of the Church in the Isle of Mann, that control rests in the Insular Legislature and no other.
Again, this Act against non-residence, though passed so far as the Church was concerned, without the proper authorities, is nevertheless the law of the land; and having been received and acted upon by Bishop Wilson and all his successors, is to all intents and purposes the law of the Church : it cannot therefore be annulled, but by the same authority, which passed it; nor can that authority be put by any superior power into such a position, as to be compelled either to annul its own Act, or to remain content with receiving the fine imposed (the highest Spiritual Officer living the while under a direct violation of one of those laws, which on his installation he is sworn to maintain*) without an open breach of the Insular Constitution.
* Part of the oath administered to the Bishop of Mann at his installation is this --" To my power I shall defend and maintain the antient laws, statutes, and customs, proper and belonging unto this Isle. And with my best advice and counsel be aiding and assisting to the Governor of this Isle for the furtherance of the Government and benefit of the said Isle. So help me God." Bishop Wilson after having taken this oath offered up the following prayer, " O God, the King of all the earth, grant that no breach of this oath may ever rise up in judgment against me. Look down in mercy upon this part of thy dominions; put stop to all growing evils, and to the judgments that must follow."
Again, the Sovereign is bound, as long as that Insular. Constitution exists, to maintain and defend its laws, but if called upon to give the Royal assent to an Act of Parliament, which sets any one of those laws aside, he is called upon to violate his conscience, not in his legislative, but in his executive capacity. Thus then by an Act of the British Parliament over-riding the Manks Legislature on this particular point, we shall have a King and a Bishop living under, quasi legalized, but not the less flagrant perjury: there is certainly one, but only one, alternative to this, which is, that the Bishop of Carlisle should reside eight months of every year in the Isle of Mann ; should Parliament not repeal its Act of last Session, such an arrangement might be suggested, for the counties of Westmoreland and Cumberland are not so large as some others, and two or three resident Archdeacons with " respectable incomes" might "exercise an effectual superintendence" over them.
Two years after the passing of this last mentioned Act, Bishop Wilson accepted the Bishopric : his labours for the Spiritual Estate of the Island have been mentioned in the history: but it must be shewn in this place how as the Lord Spiritual of the Insular Constitution he brought his "advice and blessing to the counsels of the Temporal Estate. In a petition lately presented to parliament, and given in full in this Appendix, from Members of the Manks Bar, are these words. " The Bishop has ever been an influential Member of the Legislature, and your Petitioners cannot in their knowledge or experience point out a single instance in which that influence has not been exerted to the public good, whilst their daily practice as lawyers calls upon them continually to remember with gratitude, that it was the benevolent counsels, persevering exertions, and benign influence of their excellent Bishop Wilson, which were mainly instrumental in procuring the most important Act of the Manks Legislature, the permanent settlement of their Estates descendible from ancestor to heir." One of the Bishop's Biographers says, " In the year 1703 (the same year in which were passed the Ecclesiastical Constitutions) he obtained the Act of Settlement of which mention is made in his History of the Isle of Mann; but his great modesty would not permit him publicly to say that he was the author of that benefit to his Diocese, though it as attained solely by his indefatigable pains and application."
He would not " publicly " acknowledge the part he had taken in procuring this Act; but the following extract taken from his private .Memorandum-Book will shew how he felt upon it, when in his closet with the door shut he spoke and wrote in secret: " Sept. 6, 1703. Blessed be God for his favours. On this day I was, I hope, an happy instrument in bringing the Lord of Mann and his people to an Agreement; his Lordship having thus condescended to settle them upon a certain tenure, or rather to restore them to their antient tenure, which has been uncertain for more than one hundred years. What the consequence may be, I know not; but this I know, that I have acted uprightly in this whole affair, which God be praised for." "What the consequence " has been the learned Members of the Manks Bar, who declare publicly one hundred and thirty three years after the transaction, that " their daily practice as lawyers calls upon them continually to remember with gratitude " the part the Bishop " acted in this affair," are living witnesses, whose testimony founded upon practical experience is a response to the prayers of the venerable Prelate for the welfare, temporal and spiritual, of the people entrusted to his care. In his history he gives the following account of the Act.
The inhabitants are laborious enough; and those who think them otherwise, because improvements go so slowly on, do not see the difficulties that too many of them have to struggle with. Indeed, the present Lord of Mann (Lord Derby) has, to his great honour, removed one of the heaviest discouragements to industry and future improvements. His Lordship, at his accession, found his people complaining as their ancestors had been for more than one hundred years, of the uncertainty of their holdings; they claiming an ancient tenure, which they called, "The Tenure of the Straw,' by which they might leave their estates to posterity under certain rents, fines, and services, which his officers could not allow of, because of the many breaks that had been made by leases, &c., in that manner of holding. He, therefore, appointed Commissioners to treat with his people in his presence, and at last came to a resolution to restore them by a publick Act of Tinwald, to a tenure of inheritance under certain fines, &c. And the very great improvements which have since been made, shew plainly, that there wanted such a settlement to encourage industry ; and the present and future ages will have reason to remember it with the greatest sense of gratitude."
In the reign of Queen Anne, 1713, a remarkable instance occurs, shewing the entire independence of the Isle of Mann at that time, not only of the Parliament, but of the Sovereign of Great Britain. It appears from an Act of Tynwald passed that year, that the Queen's Commissioners of Customs complained that foreign goods imported free of duty into the Isle of Mann were afterwards smuggled into England from thence, in consequence of which complaints the Insular Legislature passed an Act for the prevention of this illicit trade, which fell heavily upon all the trade of the Island; but it was passed in the faith, that the produce and manufactures of the Island would be allowed to be imported into England duty free ; but Parliament not complying with these terms, the Island repealed its former Act by the following,-
"At a Court holden at Castle Rushen, 25th September, 1713, before the Governor, Councell, Deemsters, and twenty-four Keys of the Island.
" Whereas in compliance with proposals laid before the Hon. Commissioners of her Majesty's Customs to prevent the complaints made by them, touching the exportation of foreign goods from this Island, there was a law made here, 1711, restraining the trade of this Island, in consideration of which law so past and put in execution within this Island, it was hoped and expected that the Parliament of Great Britain would make it lawful for the inhabitants of this Island to import into Great Britain the goods of the growth, product, or manufacture of this Island, free of all customs and duties whatsoever, according to our true intent and meaning in passing the said Act, and according to the proposals laid before 'he said Commissioners considered and agreed upon by them: and forasmuch as the said Act hath ever since the said time been punctually observed, without any freedom granted to the inhabitants of this Island in respect to their trade with Great Britain, but that the commodities of this Island stand still burdened with the same high duties there as heretofore: therefore we, the Governor, Councel, Deemsters, and twenty-four Keys of this Island, do humbly pray the Right Hon. James Earl of Derby, Lord
1 Vide Bishop Russell's first Canon.