[from IoM & Diocese of Sodor & Mann, 1837]
THE most authentic, as well as the most concise accounts of the history and constitution of the Isle of Mann, both civil and ecclesiastical, have been written by Sacheverell, who was governor of the island when Bishop Wilson was first appointed to the see, and by Bishop Wilson himself. I will begin, therefore, with such parts of Sacheverell's history as will serve to throw some light upon the questions, which have given rise to the publication of these brief notices. In his introduction he says, speaking of the advantages of the country, " The first is a perfect unanimity in matters of religion; the next to this is the goodness of their laws, admirably adapted to their constitution. The Lord Coke saith, 'that the Isle of Mann has such laws, the like whereof are not to be found in any other place.' The inhabitants were formerly reputed courageous, and eminent for many excellent military commanders, as will more fully appear from the history; as likewise what respect their kings had among foreign princes, of both which Macon (not to mention more) was a most remark able instance. But above all they have been famous for their hospitality to strangers, as great numbers of English in the late civil wars, and many thousands of Irish Protestants in these last devastations of that kingdom can now witness. Nor were they less celebrated, in former ages, for sheltering distressed princes, of which I will venture to give my reader one instance.-Eugenius, when prince of Scotland, took sanctuary in this isle for nine years; and was afterwards recalled by the nobility and people, and crowned king of Scotland: to omit Ederius and Corbred, who were educated in this island, even before Christianity; for these princes chose the Isle of Mann for their retreat, because it was then, as many ages after, accounted the only seat of learning; first, under the Druids, of whom this was a principal seat, and was called Sedes Druidarum, and Insula Druidarum. Nor was it less remarkable under their first pious Bishops. Hector Boetius says, 'Mann was the fountain of all honest learning and erudition.' Others of the Scotch nation made it the royal academy for educating the heirs apparent of the crown of Scotland; as Eugenius III. himself, who likewise sent three of his sons into the Isle of Mann, to be educated under Couranus his uncle, at that time Bishop: and before this, ' the same Couranus ordered that the three sons of his brother Cougel, viz., Eugenius II., Cougalus II., and Kinotellus I., should be brought up in the Isle of Mann,' says Boetius, 'under the government of certain instructors and schoolmasters, to be trained up in learning and virtuous discipline, according to an antient ordinance thereof made and enacted.' So celebrated was the disciple of those ages, that it seems to have passed into a law, that the princes of Scotland should be educated in this island.
Having thus far shewn wherein the antient honour of the island consisted, I think I ought to let my reader know, that it had formerly an order of nobility, for I find both Earls and Viscounts mentioned, who, in my opinion, were the governors of the out isles. There were likewise several ecclesiastical Barons in this isle; but because those pious foundations lie buried in their own ruins, I shall crown my work with what is the greatest glory this world affords, that it was a kingdom, if you will take the words of my Lord Coke, " The antient and absolute Kingdom of Mann," in Calvin's case, lib. 7. cap. 21. Although since it fell under the homage of the crown of England, it was never granted but by title of the Island and Lordship of Mann, so that it pretends to no such absolute dominion, but allegiance to the crown of England is reserved in all publick oaths; neither do I find my author of opinion, that it was an absolute kingdom even in the time of the Norwegians; not but that it still retains most of the essential marks of power; as making laws, of pardoning, of holding all courts in the Lord's name, the patronage of the bishoprick, and many other inferior marks of regality, which, as they were derived from the favour of the crown to the house of Derby, so the uninterrupted loyalty of that family may be justly thought to have deserved it, especially, while they managed that great trust with so much care of the people; by which they stood examples to all in power, that there is one little barren spot, where law and justice, true religion, and primitive integrity flourished; in contempt of poverty, and all things the world calls misfortunes."
Such is the worthy Governor's introduction to his history, in which he fully substantiates every assertion here made. It must be borne in mind, that by the Act of revestment, the late Duke of Athol ceded his Lordship to the crown; all his rights, therefore, are now vested in the Sovereign, and her most gracious Majesty has become the sole guardian of our antient laws and constitution : and as that once "little barren spot " has, through the regard of its rulers have had to " law and justice," and through the people's observance of " true religion and primitive integrity," become a fertile and flourishing island, with the most cheering prospects of a still more rapid increase of all that which " the world calls " prosperity : so we may hope that, under the crown of England, that happy state of things, which have combined to promote the welfare of the inhabitants of the island in so marked a manner, may be continued, not only untouched, but doubly and trebly secured to us, by that golden chain which binds us to the throne of England. After his introduction, Sacheverell goes on to describe " the original Government of the Isle of Mann." As it would be useless to follow him through all the details of the history connected with their kings, I will only observe, before giving a brief outline of it, that his authorities are, at the least, as good as those upon which any other history of dark ages rests, viz. :-old MSS., histories, and tradition universally received. Nennius, Hector Boetius, Jocelinus in Vitae Patricii, and especially a MS. in the Cottonian library, now in the British Museum, called " Chronicon Insulae Manniae," had already supplied Cambden and Archbishop Usher with materials. for their different accounts of this island; and Sacheverell makes use of their researches, together with his own. He mentions a very antient manuscript, now in the British Museum, which was put into his hands by the executor of Dr. Fell, Bishop of Oxford, in which he found an exact succession of Bishops of Mann for above 200 years, and which he had reason to believe had been taken from the Roll of the antient abbey of Rushen, in the isle of Mann. This abbey was a branch of the Cistercian abbey of Furnes, in Lancashire, since the suppression of which the documents found there have come into the office of the duchy of Lancaster. Among them is an old MS., which I shall have occasion to mention presently. Another authority is Dugdale's Monasticon, in which are given some very interesting extracts from an old MS. in the Seldenian collection. Bishop Keith and Le Neve complete the list of the chief authorities who will be used in this account, till we come to speak of the laws, when, of course, the genuine Manks code itself will be our best guide. The MSS. in the British Museum, and in the office of the Duchy of Lancaster, I have seen myself, and compared with the translations given of them by Cambden and Sacheverell, and found them, as far as I had time to go into them, in perfect agreement, as also an original translation of the Cottonian MS. by Johnstone, who was our secretary of legation, at Copenhagen, in 1736. It seemed better to give a list of my authorities in the first instance, as I shall have frequent occasion to refer to them; and I will only add, that they are in themselves sufficient evidence to establish any history; and that they are still further corroborated by the generally received Manks and Irish traditions, as also by the names of places, parishes, and churches.
The first government was a sort of aristocracy, under the Druids, which lasted to the end of the third century, about which time, says Nennius, the island was conquered by Binley, a Scot, who divided the land between himself and his followers, and this " original contract" became the foundation of their laws; which the universal traditions of the Manks ascribe to Mannan-Mac Lear, whom they believe the father, founder, and legislator of their country; and place him about the beginning of the fifth century: he was brother to Fergus II., who restored the kingdom of Scotland, A. D. 422. Towards the latter end of his reign St. Patrick landed here in his second voyage to Ireland: and after some stay left Germanus bishop, as Jocelinus says, " ad regendum et erudiendum populum in fide Christi." This Germanus was canon of the Lateran, a prudent and holy man, and one of the first assistants of St. Patrick in the conversion of Ireland; by his wisdom and conduct he firmly established the Christian religion in Mann: he died before St. Patrick, and the church celebrates his memory among the blessed, and the cathedral in Peel Castle is dedicated to him. To supply his loss, St. Patrick sent over two bishops in succession, Corrindrius and Romulus; after whose death St. Maughold was elected A. D. 498, four years after the death of St. Patrick. How long he filled the chair is uncertain, but the Manks tradition says, the temporal government continued successively in the hands of the bishops. It is probable that about A. D. 594, the island was annexed to Scotland, for we find Brennus reigning there, who is called by Buchanan Brendinus Regulus, Euboniae; he was nephew to Aydan, King of Scotland, to assist whom against the Picts he brought over an island force; at this time Cenanus was bishop, under whose care the princes of Scotland were placed. Twenty years after the death of Brennus, the island was ravaged by Edwric, King of Northumberland. After this, for three hundred, years, it seems to have been at peace in itself, for we find no account of it in the British historians: but the Manks tradition supplies us with a line of kings, whom they term Orrys, and of whom they had a succession of twelve. The first was a son of a king of Denmark and Norway; he first conquered the Oreades, and the Ehxides, and at last fixed his residence in the Isle of Eubonia (Mann). he reigned long and peacably, and became the founder of their second race of kings, called Orrys. " During whose government the Christian religion flourished under the care of their Bishops, successors to St. Patrick." Castle Rushen (now the prison) was built by Guttred, the son of the first Orry., in breaking through a wall of this castle a few years since, an oak beam was taken out, on which was this date, A. D. 907-this vast pile of building is in the most perfect order, and a part of it was, till very lately, inhabited by the Governor, though certainly better adapted as a safe retreat from the attacks of Norwegian pirates of the tenth century, than as a residence for an English gentlemen, of the nineteenth. Fifth in succession from Guttred was Macon or Macutus, whom Edgar made Admiral of his fleet. Sir Henry Spelman calls him " totius Angliae archipirata," and from him was taken the antient bearing of the island, a ship in full sail with this inscription: " Rex Manniae et Insularum." When Edgar made the memorable confirmation of the Charter of Glastonbury, Macon subscribed to it immediately after the king of Scotland.
A. D. 1065 begins the " Chronicon Insulae Manniae," preserved in the British Museum ; it seems to have been written, says Cambden, by the Monks of Rushen Abbey. It begins thus..-" In the year of our Lord 1065, died Edward, King of England, of pious memory, to whom Harold, son of Godwin, succeeded. Harold Harfager, King of Norway, raised war against him, and was so beaten at a battle at Stamford bridge, that his men ran away. In this flight, one Godred, surnamed Crovan, the son of Harold the Black, escaping out of Iceland, came to Godred, the son of Syrric, King of Mann at that time, and was honourably entertained by him. The same year William the bastard, conquered England; and Godred, the son of Syrric, King of Mann, died, and was succeeded by his son Fingall. An. 1066, Godred Crovan got a numerous fleet together and arrived at Mann," which, after he had conquered, he divided between his own followers and the natives, the southern part to the former, the northern to the latter; "upon condition," says the chronicle, "That none of them should ever presume to claim any part of it as their inheritance. Hence to this very day the whole island is the king's, and all the rents that arise in it belong to him." The chronicle then gives a list of all the kings of this Norwegian line, with an account of the various actions of each ; but it is only an account of battles, till A. D. 1102, when Olave, the son of Godred, who had been brought up in the court of Henry, King of England, came to his father's throne, in 1134; he " gave to Yvo, abbot of Furnes, part of his land in Mann, towards building an abbey in a place called Russin: he enriched the estate of the church with revenues, and endowed it with great liberties." " The Abbey of Russin," says Sacheverell, " was to serve as a nursery to the church; from hence it is abbots of Furnes had the appointment of the abbot of Russin; and, as some believe, the right of electing the bishop himself, and was a sort of chapter to his diocese. Olave, having thus laid the ground work of his establishment, greatly endowed the whole church. The revenue was set out after 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 (for those good monks were then the publick almoners, and by their own labours rather increased than diminished the publick charity); the third portion, of- the tithes was given to the parochial priests for their subsistence." The chronicle gives a list of kings up to 1210, who were most of them buried in the Church of Rushen Abbey. An. 1219, Reginald, King of Mann, having been taken by King John under his protection, imitated that king in submitting to the Pope: this surrender was done at London, at the house of the Knights Templars.
" The Act of surrender made by Reginald to the see of Rome.
" Reginaldus rex insulae Mann, constituit se vassallum sedis Romanæ, et ex insull sua facit feudum oblatum Londini, 10. cal. Octob. 1219."
Here follows the deed of surrender to Pope Honorius. Anno 1249, another Reginald was king, and left one daughter, very young, who, in the year 1292 claimed the kingdom of the isles, and did homage to King Edward I. Although we do not find in the whole Norwegian line any pretence to a female succession; yet this gave ground for a plea near four hundred years after, upon which sentence was pronounced in favour of the heirs general of Ferdinand, Earl of Derby, against his brother, Earl William.
The old chronicle brings down the history to 1316. But I will finish the account of the Norwegian line in the words of Sacheverell. " In the year 1263 Aquinus, king of Norway made a descent upon Scotland, but was forced to take shelter in the Oreades, where he died at Kirkwall. This was the last feeble effort of that nation, which had spread its arms over all Europe for five hundred years past. It had given kings to England and Sicily, dukes to Normandy, and held the sovereignty of these isles for nearly 200 years; but by continual throwing off such vast numbers of the natives, had so weakened itself, that some time after it became subject to Denmark. This little kingdom deprived of the protection of Norway, could not support itself; and Magnus the Ninth and last of the race of Godred Crownan, who for two hundred years had enjoyed the name of kings, dying AN. 1265, their inheritance became an addition to the crown of Scotland." The king of Scotland governed the island by his Thanes, but " the natives, who, till this time, had followed their hereditary kings with a cheerful active obedience, being now oppressed by these foreign chiefs, rose universally against the Scotch nation, with a resolution either to exptirpate them, or fall to a man themselves; but by the interposition of their good bishop this general massacre was averted." After this the Isle of Mann seems to have been for many years the scene of continual struggles between subjects of Scotland, England, and the descendants. of the antient kings. Edward the Third granted it to the grand-daughter of Mary, the daughter of Reginald, the last of the family of Godred Crownan , and supplied her husband, Sir William Montacute, with forces to take it; and afterwards caused him to be crowned, and styled King of Mann, AN. 1344. " Est nempe jus," says a record of 1393, ipsius Insulae ut quis illius sit Dominus, Rex vocetur, cui etiam fas est Corona aurea coronari."
I will finish this account in the words of Bishop Wilson:
" In 1312, there is a second agreement made between Hacquin V. of Norway, and Robert I. of Scotland; and in 1426, a third agreement-all of which are set down at large in Torfueus' History of the Oreades. But before this last agreement, the island was in possession of John Lord Stanley and of Man, who had it given him by Henry IV. A. D. 1405. However, forasmuch as by the last agreement between the kings of Norway and Scotland, the latter claimed aright to this island, the lords of Man were obliged to keep a constant standing army and garrisons for the defence of it, till the reign of James I. of England. And in this honourable house it continued to the year 1739,1 except for twelve years, ,when it was given by the parliament to Lord Fairfax; but it returned to its antient lords at the restoration.
" Though this island (as the Lord Coke says) be no parcel of the realm of England, yet it is a part of the dominions of the kings of England, to whom therefore allegiance is reserved in all public oaths administered here.
"The lords of it have for a long time waived the title of kings, and are now only styled'Lords of Man and the Isles;' though they have still most of the regalia-as the giving the final assent to all new laws, and the power of pardoning offenders, of changing the sentence of death into banishment, of appointing and displacing the governors and officers, with a right to all forfeitures for treason, felony, felo de se, &c."
I now come to consider a most important point in this history, which is, the origin and authority of the antient laws and constitution of the Isle of Man, and before giving any documents relating to them, I cannot do better than repeat verbatim Bishop Wilson's description both of the laws themselves, and of the legislative and executive body.
" The laws of the island are excellently well suited to the circumstances of the place and the condition of the people ; anciently, the Deemsters (that is, the temporal Judges) determined most causes, (which were then of no great moment, the inhabitants being mostly fishermen) either as they could remember the like to have been judged before, or according as they deemed most just in their own consciences; from whence came the name of 'breast-laws.'
"But as the island every day improved under Sir John Stanley, and his successors; so they, from time to time, observing the many inconveniences of giving judgment from breast-laws, ordered, that all cases of moment or intricacy, decided in their courts, should be written down for precedents, to be a guide, when the same, or the like cases, should happen for the future.
"And that these precedents might be made with greater caution and justice, the law has expressly provided, that, in all great matters and high points that shall be in doubt, the Lieutenant, or 'any of the council for the time being,' shall take the Deemsters to them, with the advice of the elders of the land, (namely, the twenty-four Keys, as it is elsewhere more fully explained) to deem the law truly, as they shall answer it.
" Now, if to this we add, that once every year, namely, on St. John Baptist's-day, there is a meeting of the Governor, Officers spiritual and temporal, Deemsters, and twenty-four Keys, where any person has a right to present any uncommon grievance, and to have his complaint heard in the face of the whole country, there cannot be imagined a better constitution, where the injured may have relief, and those that are in authority may, if they please, have their sentences and actions, if righteous, justified to all the world.
"This court is called the Tinwald, from the Danish word Ting, that is, Forum Judiciale, " a court of justice;' and Wald, that is, 'fenced;' it is held on a hill near the middle of the island, and in the open air. At this great meeting, where all persons are supposed to be present, all new laws are to be published, after they have been agreed to by the Governor, Council, Deemsters, and twenty-four Keys, and have received the approbation of the Lord of the Isle.
The Council consists of the Governor, Bishop, Archdeacon, two Vicars-general, the Receiver-general, the Comptroller, the Water-bafliff, and the Attorney-general.
The twenty-four Keys, so called (it is said) from unlocking, as it were, or solving the difficulties of the law, represent the commons of the land, and join with the Council in making all new laws, and with the Deemsters in settling and determining the meaning of the ancient laws and customs in all difficult cases.
" The manner of choosing them at present is this: when any member dies, or is discharged, either on account of age, or for any great crime, which, upon a trial by his brethren, he is found guilty of; the rest of the body present two persons to the Governor, out of whom he makes choice of one, who is immediately sworn to fill up the body. A majority determines any case of common law that comes before them; for, besides that they are a part of the legislature, they frequently determine causes touching titles of inheritance, where inferior juries have given their verdicts before.
The two Deemsters are the temporal judges, both in cases of common law, and of life and death; but most of the controversies, especially such as are too trivial to be brought before a court, are dispatched at their houses.
" The Deemster's oath, which he takes when he enters upon his office, is pretty singular, namely, 'you shall do justice between man and man, as equally as the herring-bone lies between the two sides.' that his daily food (for in former days, no doubt it was so) might put him in mind of the obligation lie lay under to give impartial judgment."
After this description the reader will be better able to understand the following account given by Sacheverell, having been extracted by him from the MS. records in the island, of the manner in which, and the authority under which this legislative body assembles for the purpose of ratifying and explaining old laws, viz.-through the Deemsters and 24 Keys; and of making new ones, viz.-by theWhole Council and 24 Keys.
" Sir John Stanley, King and Lord of Man, as I, find him stiled in our earliest Records ; (for before his time we have none extant.2) He came into this Isle Anno 1417, which I find to be dated Anno quarto Regalilatis nostræ, which was the Ancient Stile of our Court Rolls. It is probable he had been here in his Father's time to receive the Homage of the People, and left one John Letherland Lieutenant, or Governor, but now returning in a mature Age, and wisely weighing that a just Regulation of the laws are a lasting happiness to a People, and the best security of a Prince, in this important Case he consults their Deemsters. By their Advice the whole body of the People were conven'd, at a place in the Center of the Country call'd the Tynwald; where every creature, even the Halt and Blind were to come, and receive the King of Man's pleasure. This Court is held Sub Dio, after the Ancient manner of all the Northern Nations, where the Lord is placed on the top of a little Rising, or Barrow, surrounded by his People, who, in silence, wait the future fate of their Nation in the promulgation of their Laws, which from the Birth of Time had been lock'd up in the breasts of their Magistrates. First therefore they declare to him the Orders of the Assembly, which I shall give you from the Original Record in the Ancient English of that age.
" ' Our Doughtful and gracious Lord, this is the Constitution of Old time the which we have given in our days, how ye should be Govern'd on their Tynwald day. First you shall come thither in your Royal Array, as a King ought to do by the Prerogatives and Royalties of the Land of Man, and upon the Hill of Tynwald sit in a Chair, covered with a Royal Cloath and cushions, and your visage unto the East, and your Sword before you, holden with the point upward, your Barons in the Third Degree sitting beside you and your Beneficed Men, and your Deemsters before you sitting : and your Clerk, your Knights, Esquires and Yeomen about you in in the Third Degree, and the worthiest Men in your Land to be called in before your Deemsters, if you will ask any thing of them, and to hear the Government of your Land, and your Will, and the Commons to stand without the Circle of the Hill with three Clerks in their Surplices; and your Deemsters shall make call in your Coroner of Glanfaba, and he shall call in all the Coroners of Man, and their Yardes in their Hands with their weapons upon them, either Sword or Ax; and the Moars, that is to wit, of every Sheading: Then the chief Coroner, that is the Coroner of Glanfaba, shall make a fence upon pain of Life or Lymme, that no Man make any disturbance or stir in the time of Tynwald, or any mur murer rising in the King's presence, upon a pain of hanging and and drawing.. And then shall let your Barons, and all other know you to be King and Lord; and what time you were here, you received the Land as Heir apparent in your Fathers days, and all your Barons of Man with Your Worthies Men, and Commons did you Faith and Fealtie, and in as much as you are by the Grace of God now King and Lord of Man, ye will now that your Commons come unto you, and shew their Charters how they hold of you, and your Barons that made no Faith nor Fealtie unto you, that they make now; and if any of your Barons be out of the Land, they shall have space of Forty days after that they are called in to come shew whereby they hold and claim Lands and Tenements within your Land of Man, and to make Faith and Fealty if Wind and Weather serve them; or else to seize their Temporalities into your Hands: And then to proceed in your matters whatsoever you have there to do in Fellonie, or Treason, or other matters that touch the Government of your Land of Man.'
"Having thus settled the Order of the Assembly, which from the place they call the Tynwald, they next proceed to acquaint him with the Duty of the People, as their keeping Watch and Ward, (a Caution very necessary in those troublesome Times) the Power and Authority of his Lieutenant, that all his Deeds be firm and stable, That no Man depart the Island without his License; then for regulating his Garrisons, with his Dues upon Fishing, Carriages, and his Bailigs Duties; the Power of his Coroners, with several Rules for letting his Estate, that his Counciil are in all things to move for his Profit: And Conclude in a most severe Sentence against Treason ; as Drawing, Hanging, and Quartering without any benefit of Inquest. These are the oldest Records we have extant, to which the People, by an universal Acclamation, gave their Assent. His Affairs called him soon after into England.
" On his return he called another Convention of the People, which was held, as follows from the Original Record, at Rencurling in Kirk Michael: In the which Court the Bishop of Man was called to come to do his Faith and Fealty unto the Lord, as the Law asketh, and to shew by what Claim he holdeth his Lands and Tenements within the Lordship of Man, the which came and did his Faith to the Lord: The Abbot also of Rushen, and Prioress of Duglass, were called to do their Fealty, and to shew their Claims, Holdings, Lands and Tenements, within the Lordship of Man, the which came, and did their Faith and Fealty to the Lord. The Prior of Whitern in Galloway, the Abbot of Bangor, the Abbot of Sabel, and the Prior of St. Bede in Copeland, were call'd in and came not; therefore they were deemed by the Deemsters that they should come in their proper Persons within Forty Days; and if they came not, then all their Temporalities to be seized into the Lord's Hands. After this he confirmed all such Laws as had been reduced to Writing."
" By the advice of his Council and four-and-twenty Keys, the Lord of Mann may make such laws as tend to the good government of his country and repeal others." But, like Parliament, they cannot assemble unless summoned by the Lord, or his Lieutenant: it is also not constitutionally incumbent upon him to summons the whole number of twenty-four, which power corresponds with that of the Sovereign in England, to grant or withhold the royal writ for the election of a member of Parliament: as too, in England, the executive can proceed without any Parliament being summoned, so in the Isle of Mann, the Lord, or his Lieutenant, can act in his executive, though not in his legislative capacity, without any of the twenty-four Keys. This appears from the records of a Tyndwald court, held in 1422; the words of which are as follows-" Our most gracious and excellent Lord, Sir John Stanley, King of Mann and the Isles. In the vigil of your lady St. Mary, A.D. 1422, at his castle at Rushen, asked his Deemsters, and the twenty-four, the laws of Mann in these points under written. To the which the said Deemsters, with the twenty-four gave for law, that these be points of your prerogatives." Among various other points are these
Whosoever constrains the Lieutenant by any means to hold a Tinwald, or any manner of thing els by constraint, he breaks the King's royalty, and that is high treason.
" Whosoever maketh Gathering or Councell in prejudice of the Councell, he is a traitor by our law.
" 'Also we give for Law that there were never Twenty Four Keys in certainty, since ,,y were first called Taxiaxi: These were Twenty Four Free-holders, to wit, Eight in the out-Isles, and Sixteen in your Land of Man, and that was in King Orry's Days: And since they have not been in certainty, but if a strange Point will come which the Lieutenant will have reserv'd to the Tynwald twice in the Year; and by the leave of the Lieutenant the Deemsters there to call of the best to his Council in that Point as he thinks fit to give Judgment; and -without the Lords Will none of the Twenty Four Keys to be.'
"Lastly, the Lord hath Power of holding Courts in his own Name: May Hang and Draw in his own Jurisdiction, and chiefly can Pardon for Life.
" His right of Admiralty was likewise asserted in this Assembly, as Wrecks, Royal-fish, &c. are his by his Regality: But this I find more at large in my Lord Cook from the report of Kellway, Surveyor of the Court of Wards in the Eleventh of Henry the Eighth.
" It was found by Inquisition, that Thomas Earl of Derby, tempore Mortis suæ was seized of the Isle of Man, upon which, Anne Countess Dowager of Derby, by her Council Sued to have Dower of the said Isle, to which Blundell Chief Judge, ex assensu Brook, Fitz-Herbert, and of all other the Council of the King, said, that ' the enquiry was merely void; for that the Isle of Man is no Parcel of the Realm of England, nor do they use the Law of England; and it is like unto Toumay when it was in the King of England's Hands; and unto Normandy or Gascoigne, which are merely out of the Chancery of England, which is the place, and no other, to Endow the Widow of the King's Tenants: But the Isle of Wight is made Parcel of the County of Southampton, and Wales and Ireland are Parcels of the Realm, and a Writ of Error or Judgment given there erroneously, lyeth here in England; but for such an erroneous Judgment given in Man, Gascoigne and Callice, no Writ of Error lyeth in England, for they be no Parcels of the Realm of England.' This Case being read at the Council Table to all the Lords, it gave full satisfaction to the whole Board; that the Admiral of England had not to do in the Ports of Man, but that the Earl of Derby is Lord of Man, and Admiral of the Isle.
" It may not be improper here to remark that Reginald, who was the First that Submitted to the Crown of England, did it upon express Condition, that the Admiralty of those Seas should belong to him; which gives a fair Origine to the Earl of Derby to, Claim the same Jurisdiction.
" Besides all this, he is absolute Lord of the Soil, and immediate Landlord of every Man's Estate (some few Barons excepted) so that reserving his Homage to the Crown of England, no Prince hath a more full and ample Authority.
"The Deemsters are the first popular Magistrates, and never were reputed part of the Family; they sit Judges in all Courts, either for Life or Property, whether the Court be held in the Lord's Name, or any of his Barons; they have always been two, one for each Division of the Isle, they are stiled in the Ancient Court Rolls Justiciarii Domini Regis; -,whether they have their Names from the old word to Deem, or think, or to Doom or Condemn, I cannot be positive ; by the Advice of the 24 Keys they may, in all new and emergent Causes, declare what the Law is, and all such Laws so declared were formerly call'd Breast-Laws; and in some measure they seem to keep up the old Authority of the Druids.
" After the Deemsters, the 24 Keys are the Representatives of the Country, and in some cases serve as the Grand-Inquest of the Nation. They are the last Traverse in all Cases of Common-Law,. are present at all Tryals for Life, and in Conjunction with the Govemour and Officers make the Legislative power of the Nation ; by a very Antient Law, it was provided, that none of the Lord's Feed-Men should serve as one of the 24 Keys. They were antiently call'd Taxiaxi."
As to the manner of their election as representatives of the people, we find that at this time, when Sir John Stanley was engaged in ascertaining and confirming the antient laws and constitution of his little island kingdom, the twenty-four were elected by the sufflages of the people. Anno 1428, Sir John Stanley sent over Henry Byron, as his Lieutenant, who, " whether he had observed some discontents in the manner of electing their representatives, or whether he thought it for the real honour and interest of his Master, to have the antient legislative power restored, he calls another assembly the year following 1430, and ordered six men out of every sheading, or hundred, to be chosen by the whole body of the Commons ; out of whom he elected four, which from the six sheadings composed the twenty-four, and by their entreaty all former laws were confirmed." The old Record says-"At a Court of all the Commons of Mann, holden at the Castle of Rushen, betwixt the gates, by Henry Byron, Lieutenant of Mann, upon Tuesday next after the 20th day of Christmas, A,D. 1430, in the which Court six men of every Sheading of Mann were chosen by the whole Commons of Mann, the which asketh and beseecheth Henry Byron, Lieutenant of Mann, the points asked in the Tinwald next before holden, to be granted and confirmed as law, if our gracious Lord will be contented. In the which Court the said Henry Byron, Lieutenant of Mann, sitting in the said Court, granteth and confirmeth in our Lord his name all the said aiskings to be holden as law from henceforth, as they are here of record written." -
Thus were the ancient laws and constitution fixed: when Sir John Stanley came to the island, he asked the Deemsters and the twenty-four Keys, whom he found there in authority, to declare to him what the unwritten or breast laws and constitution were: they did so at the first Tyndwald, described by Sacheverell, and he then confirmed them, the people consenting by acclamation: but, in order to give the people a freer, and more deliberative voice in this matter, thirteen years afterwards his Lieutenant dissolved the House of Keys; and summoned another, popularly elected, to reconsider these same laws; they did so, and confirmed them. "And this," says Sacheverell, "was the last finishing stroke of the settlement of this little state; " by which, he prays, the people may be governed, so long as there is force in law; "'which all good men will wish may hold, till time itself shall be no more." Up to this time it has held; though the 24 Keys, having been once elected by the people, have since been perpetuated as a self-elected body ; on the death, ejection, or resignation of one of their body two freeholders being chosen by the remaining 23, of whom the Governor selects one; but did he " observe any discontent among the people in the manner of electing their representatives," or did he think it " for the real interest " of his Sovereign, he could, I presume, under the authority of the crown, " call another assembly," as his predecessor did in 1430; and order " six men out of every sheading, or hundred, to be chosen by the whole body of the Commons," that, " by their entreaty all former laws" might be " confirmed," and if need be new laws enacted: but, as " without the Lord's will none of the 24 Keys to be; " so, without the 24 Keys no new laws may be. No necessity, however, for such a dissolution of the present legislative body exists, or is likely to exist. No " discontent " has 'been observed among the people; on the contrary, the excellence of their laws, and the impartiality of their administration, makes the poorest man feel, that his interests are fully represented and carefully guarded. Did any discontent exist, any person " has a right," as Bishop Wilson says, " to present any uncommon grievance, and to have his complaint heard in the face of the whole country; and there the injured may have relief, and those that are in authority may, if they please, have their sentences and actions, if righteous, justified to all the world; " and this opportunity is given to the people " once every year, namely:-on St. John the Baptist's day, when there is a meeting of the Governor, Officers Spiritual and Temporal, Deemsters, and 24 Keys," who together form the legislative body under the Sovereign, which body meets on these occasions to proclaim, after solemn public prayers in a chapel eastward of the hill, in the open air, before all the assembled people, any new laws they may have passed. As no people are more blessed, so none are more happy and content than the Marks under their venerable laws, and simple, primitive, I had almost said, patriarchal constitution. Universal suffrage, vote by ballot, annual, triennial, or septennial parliaments are terms unknown among us; and heaven defend us from ever knowing, them. Our flourishing and orderly state was well described to me by a traveller I accidentally met two years since upon the Continent-" I have lately been visiting," he said, " the Isle of Mann, and I found there what I did not believe existed, a Legislature governing wholly and solely for the public good, a people desiring nothing less than to send members to Parliament, and a Bishop happy in his freedom from the House of Lords."
This last consideration brings me to the second part of this account, which is the Ecclesiastical history of the Isle of Mann-the past and present state of the Church of Sodor and Mann.
As in the notices on this part also, I propose using extracts from Sacheverell's history, I do not think, I can do better than begin them with the letter of that excellent Governor to Bishop Wilson, to whom he dedicates his essay on the "Ecclesiastical Government of the Isle of Mann..-
To the Right Rev. Father in God, Dr. Thomas Wilson, Lord Bishop of the Isle of Mann.
The Honour you have done 'me in Your Friendship, makes me hope the ensuing Essay will meet with, if not your Acceptance, at least Forgiveness; since the vast length of Time, has left me nothing to present your Lordship with, but the Names of so many Saints and Holy Men, who have been your Predecessors in the first fix'd Bishoprick of the British Nations; which was Planted by St. Patrick, (even before Down Patrick, or Ardmagh) settled by St. German, confirm'd by St. Maughould, improved by Conanus to be the most celebrated Nursery of Learning and Religion in these Western Nations,): And if by the Barbarous Ignorance of the Eighth, or the Destructive knowledge of the Sixteenth Century, this Church has been sinking into a heap of Ruins; yet as Bishop Barrow first began to support it, so it seems design'd by Providence for your Lordship to re-build and Beautify, and heal the Breaches of so devouring a Reformation. And indeed the Advances you have made, in fewer Months than it was Ages in declining, give us a Specimen of that public Spirit, that Vivacity of Genius, which Shines thro' all your Actions, and make us wish, at least, that you may be the happy Instrument of Compleating so necessary a work.
" These, my Lord, are the Hopes and Expectations of a Poor People, who are not able to tell you themselves, how much they Reverence your Person, and, I doubt, they have but an ill Advocate in,"
Your Lordships Most humble and Obedient Servant,
After shewing from that learned work, the Britannicarum Ecelesiarum Antiquitates of Archbishop Usher, that some. accounts of its previous conversion to Christianity were not to be depended on, Sacheverell goes on to shew from the same work, that all the Ecclesiastical writers of any credit in those ages, agree St. Patrick was the first who planted the Christian religion in this island; and that the most antient and authentic traditions, both Irish and Manks, concur with them. The Cottonian MS. says, " Here begins the chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles, and of the Bishops." After the list of Kings already enumerated, it goes on, "These are the Bishops who filled the Episcopal See of Mann, since the time of Godred Cronan, A.D. 1056, and a few years before. A short time before the reign of Godred Cronan, Roolwer was consecrated Bishop; he is interred in the church of St. Maughold, (Sancti Machuti.) From the time of St. Patrick, indeed, who is said to have first preached the Catholic faith to the Manks, there have been many Bishops over them." Usher again, in proving this point, makes this quotation from Jocelinus in Vitâ Patricii. " Sailing back to Ireland, he turned from his course to convert the Islands of the sea; among which he converted to Christ Eubonia, that is, Mann, which was at that time subject to Britain, by his wholesome preaching and miracles, He appointed one of his own disciples, a man holy and prudent, named Germanus, and raised to the Episcopate by himself to rule over the infant church of that nation; and he placed the Episcopal Seat on a certain promontory, which to this day is called Patrick's Island,[Peel] because he himself remained there some little time. But ~,ther islands being converted to the faith of Christ, he placed one or even more of his own disciples, as Overseers to each;, and thus he returned to Ireland." The account collected from other sources by Sacheverell, is to the same effect :-" About the year 434 Pope Celestine Ist sent St. Patrick With twenty more to convert Ireland, or rather Scotland; for it is probable he came not to Ireland till 441, but finding the harvest great, and the labourers too few, he transported himself into Britain, from whence returning an, 444, with thirty religious and learned persons in his company, he landed in the Isle of Eubonia, where he found the people given to magick; but being, overcome or convinced, by his preaching and miracles they were converted, and St. Patrick going for Ireland an. 447, left Germanus Bishop, which for the honour of the Manks nation was sixty years more antient than Bangor in Wales, which was the first bishoprick that we read of among the Britains; and 114 years before Austin the Monk. Germanus introduced the liturgy of the Lateran, and so absolutely settled the business of religion, that the Island never afterwards relapsed. He died before St. Patrick, who sent two Bishops successively to supply his place, one of whom survived St. Patrick five years.
" St. Maughold, by some written Macfield, by Dr. Heylin Machilla, by the Latin authors Macutus, was elected Bishop, by the universal suffrage of the Marks nation; but by whom consecrated is very uncertain-for as the former Bishops -by right of conversion were consecrated by St. Patrick, so whether the Archbishop of Armagh continued the same does not appear; neither could it have been done by the Archbishop of York, because that Bishoprick was not erected by St. Paulinus till an. 622, above one hundred years after St. Maughold." Probus, in his second book of the Life of St. Patrick, confirms this account; and Archbishop Usher says, " Jocelinus indeed confirms the statement, that these two Bishops succeeded Germanus, and that Machaldus succeeded them; thus narrating the story:' He (Machaldus) having embarked in a boat, committed himself to the sea under the protection of God, and by his guidance he reached the island of Eubonia, which is called Mann. There were there two holy Bishops, called Conindrius and Romulus,3 whom St. Patrick himself had conse.. crated and appointed to that spot to rule the people of that island, and instruct them in the faith of Christ, after the death of St. Germanus, who was the first Bishop of the same Island. But Machaldus after a while increasing greatly in holiness, attained the Episcopal rank after the death of the last of those above-mentioned holy Bishops; and there he remained illustrious by his miracles and virtues. There was formerly a city in the Island of no small extent, the remains of the walls of which are yet seen, called by his name. And these are the facts, says Usher, which we find handed down to us concerning the succession of the first Bishops of Mann. An extract which I have made from the Annals of Ulster, copied by o Johnstone, says, "An. 432, St. Patrick came to Ireland; the great Chronicle written-an. 488, Machald, Bishop of Mann died-an. 492, St. Patrick, Bishop of the Scots died, in the 120th year of his age and the 60th after his arrival in Ireland to convert the Scots." Sacheverell says of St. Maughold, " I mention an error in Hector Boetius and his followers, who stile him Bishop of Sodor, and therefore will have the Episcopus Sodorensis and Mann the same, whereas this Bishoprick of Mann was erected many ages before St. Columbus, who is acknowledged by all writers to be the Founder of the Abbey of Hye, in the Island of Iona, which from him was called Hycolumb-kill, which Monastery was the Cathedral of the Bishop of the Isles, who was from that time stiled Episcopus Sodorensis from a village called Sodor, adjoining to the Monastery, in which the Bishop had his residence; for Mr. Cambden says, in his 'British Isles,' that they were called lnsulæ Sodorensis, when the bishops were ordained in Sodor ; and with him both Harrison and Mercator agree:
"After the Isle of Man was made the Seat of the Norwegian Race, the Bishopricks were united with the Titles of Sodor and Man, and so continued till conquer'd by the English, since which the bishop of Man keeps his Claim, and the Scotch Bishop stiles himself Bishop of the Isles, antiently Episcopus Insularum Sodorensium.
"How long St. Maughold sate Bishop we do not find, only, Dr. Heylin says, he was Bishop Anno 578,4 so that 'tis probable he sate more than Four and Twenty Years; neither have we any certainty of a Successor till,the year 600, his Name was
"Conanus, Tutor to the three Sons of Eugenius, the Fourth) King of Scotland, as Bishop Spotswood informs us. After him the Succession seems wholly broken till the Eleventh Century; yet during this long vacancy a new Error arose, viz. That the Bishoprick was erected by Pope Gregory the Fourth, Anno 840: Into which Mistake most of our English Writers, as Mr. Cambden, my Lord Cook, and Dr. Heylin, have faln, without any ground in History that I have yet met with ; except that the Bishoprick of the Isles had its beginning about that time.
" In a very Antient Manuscript, which was put into my Hands by the Reverend Mr. Henry Jones (Nephew and Executor to the Right Reverend Doctor Fell, late Bishop of Oxford) I find an exact Succession for above 200 Years; which, in my own Opinion, was extracted from the Roll of the Antient Abby of Rushen. This Manuscript, by way of Introduction, informs us, that though they had a Traditional Succession of Bishops from the time of St. Maughold, yet as it was not certainly known who they were, or in what Order they sate, it was thought more proper to omit them, and begins with one Roolwer. To him succeeded
"William. After him in the time of Goddard Crownan,
" Hamundus, by some written Vermuiidus, or Wymundus, who probably was the first Bishop stiled of Sodor and Man."
Bishop Wilson, who was perhaps, if possible, more perfectly acquainted with the history of his Church, than either Sacheverell, or Archbishop Usher, thus sums up the history of those early times in these few words:
" The Isle of Man was converted to the Christian Faith by St. Patrick, about the year 440, at which time the Bishopric of Man was erected; St. German, to whose name and memory the Cathedral is dedicated, being the first Bishop of Man, who, with his successors, had 'this island only for their diocese, till the Norwegians had conquered the Western Isles, and soon after Man, which was about the beginning of the eleventh century. It was about that time that the Insulæ Sodorenses, being thirty-two (so called from the Bishopric of Sodor erected in one of them, namely, the Isle of Hy), were united to Man, and from that time, the Bishops of the United Sees were stiled Sodor & Man, and sometimes Man & Insularum; and they,had the Archbishop of Drontheim (styled Nidorensis) for their Metropolitan. And this continued till the island was finally annexed to the Crown of England, when Man had its own Bishops again, who stiled themselves variously, sometimes Bishops of Man only, sometimes Sodor & Man, and sometimes Sodor de Man; giving the name of Sodor to a little isle, before mentioned, lying within a musket-shot of the main land, called by the Norwegians Holm, and by the inhabitants Peel, in which stands the Cathedral. For, in these express words, in an instrument yet extant, Thomas Earl of Derby and Lord of Man, A. D. 1505, confirms to Huan Hesketh, Bishop of Sodor, all the lands, &c., anciently belonging to the Bishops of Man, namely, Ecclesiam cathedralem Sancti Garmani in Holm, Sodor eel Pele vocatum, ecelesiamque Sancti Pairicii ibiden et locum Prafittum in quo prefaie ecelesie sitæ sunt. This was built by Simon, Bishop of Sodor, who died A. D. and was there buried'
Thus we find that that little rock, joined to the main land by a wall, and on which the ruins of Peel Castle, of the Palaceof the Stanleys, and of the two Churches dedicated to St. Germanus and St. Patrick, now stand, has changed its name three times: first, St. Patrick chose it as his residence (doubtless from its secure position, and yet convenince for access to all the parts of the yet heathen island), and from him it was called, down to the thirteenth century St. Patrick's Isle, as we find in the "Chronicles of Mann." "An. 1247, Simon, Bishop of Sodor, died and was buried in: the Isle of St. Patrick, in the Church of St. German, which he himself had built." But when, after 300 years, the See of Mann was reduced to its original extent of territory, namely, that lying within its own shores, the Bishops, unwilling to lose their full title, gave that rock, on which their Cathedral stood, the name of Sodor: it is now called Peel.
But to return to the succession of Bishops-although the writer of the " Chronicon Insulæ Manniæ," has not given us the names of the Bishops between A. D. 600 and A. D. 1100, yet he witnesses to the fact, that " there were many Bishops here from the time of St. Patrick, who first preached the Catholic faith to the Manks; " and the Insular; traditions, supported by other histories, universally maintain, that, under the race of their Kings, called Orrys, the Christian religion, not only kept its ground, but " flourished under the care of their Bishops, successors to St. Patrick." It is some confirmation of this to say, that the valley in which Bishop's Court now stands is called Orry's dale, and the more antient part of the house, which from the extreme rudeness and. massiveness of its masonry shews evident marks of very great antiquity, has been always designated " King Orry's tower: " that it was formerly a place of strength is evident from the structure of the building, and the remains of an old moat.
During this period, in the tenth century, Castle Rushen was built; and in the eleventh, the Abbey of Rushen was founded, during King Olave's minority, by Mac Marus. During this period also of 500 years, all those Saints (excepting those already named), to whom our Parish Churches are dedicated, lived and died: among others, Bishop Keith mentions, as Bishop, St. Brandanus, to whom the Church of Kirk Braddon Parish is dedicated.
Though much more might he said on the primitive state of this Bishoprick, from Usher, yet enough has been already said to prove, as the after history will shew, that during a period of 1400 years, 300 only have seen it united to any other See. throughout the remaining 1100 its own natural territory has not been thought insufficient for Episcopal jurisdiction.
We will now turn to the Chronicle, of which Johnstone in his "Antiquitates Celto-Normanicee " has copied the original verbatim, together with a translation. This gives a history of each Bishop; but, as it is needless to enter into all particulars, I will only give the names, till I come to any one whose actions may help to elucidate any particular point.
This record begins thus: These are the Bishops, who filled the Episcopal See of Mann, since the time of Godred Crowman (A. D. 1056), and a few years before. A short time before the. reign of Godred Crownan, Roolwer was consecrated Bishop. He is interred in the church of St. Maughold, (Sancti Machuti.)
1st, therefore, Roolwer. 2nd. William. 3rd. Wymundus whom the two Sees of Mann, and the Isles, were unitedand he therefore is the first we find stiled Bishop of Sodor and Mann, An., 1113. Mathew Paris, p. 85, has these words: " Post conquestum Norwegorum, An. 1098, binæ sedes, Sodor et Mann, in unam coaluerunt, et primus Episcopus fuit Wymunduis sive Wermundus." 4th, Gamaliel. 5th, Reginald a Norwegian, the first consecrated by the Archbishop of Nidrosia, or Drontheim. In his time the primitive tripartite division of the tythes, already mentioned in the account of King Olave's reign, was confirmed by that King; viz., one-third to the Bishop, one third to the Monks of Rushen Abbey for education and the poor, and the other third to the Parish Priests. The first-and the last remain as at the first; but the third belonging to these good Almoners the Monks (for such they were) fell with their noble Abbey into the hands of the of Lord at the time of the Reformation ; he retained the tythes, but the Abbey with its lands was sold, and now lies buried in its own ruins ; the " monitus locorum," as the present Bishop has said in his Memorial, " of ruder perhaps, but not less pious ages," surely we may say, of ages more pious than this age of " devouring reformations;" these tythes thus made impropriate are now vested in the Crown ; but of them hereafter. 6th, Christian. 7th, Michael, a Manksman, a person of great merit and exemplary life ; he died in a good old age, and was buried apud Fontanos Anno 1203.
7th, Nicholas de Meaux, Abbot of Furnes. 8th, Reginald. 9th, John. 10th, Simon, a person of great discretion, and learned in the Holy Scriptures ; he held a Synod An. 1239, in which thirteen Canons were enacted; most of them relate to Wills, the Clergy's dues, and other such matters.
9th, Lawrence. 10th, Richard ; in his time the Scots conquered the islands : he consecrated the Abbey Church of St. Mary of Rushen, An. 1257, which had been begun 130 years before, and had been the burial place of many of their Kings. 11th, Marcus, Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, as appears from their Records, "Marcus Sodorensis Episcopus, ipsius regnee Scotiae cancellarius ; " he held a Synod at Kirk Braddon in the Isle of Man, in March 1291, where 39 Canons were made. Allan. Gilbert. Bernard de Sinton, the famous Abbot of Arbroath, who for many years was Lord Chancellor of Scotland, in the reign of Robert Ist. Thomas, An. 1334, " during this Bishop's time," says Bishop Keith, " the English, taking advantage of the civil wars in Scotland, conquered the Isle of Mann, of which they have ever since retained possession." William Russell, " Abbot of Rushen, was elected by the whole clergy of Mann, in St. German's Church in Peel Castle, He was consecrated by Pope Clement 6th, at Avignon, and was the first that shook off the yoke of the Archbishop of Drontheim, by whom his predecessors had for many ages been consecrated." He is the first Bishop we hear of being elected by the Clergy of Mann; the reason of such an unusual mode of election was probably this :-when the two Sees of Sodor and Mann were united after the Norwegian conquest, An. 1098, the Bishop was elected by the Abbey of Furnes, in Lancashire, which was the Mother of Rushen Abbey, in the Isle of Mann, which last, Dugdale, in his Monasticum Anglicanum, calls, .Cella Furnesieiisis Coenobii," and quotes these words from the Chronicon Manniae: " An. 1133, Olavus Rex Manniae dedit Yvoni, Abbati de Furnes, partem terrae suæ in Manniâ ad abbatiam construendam in loco, qui dicitur Russin: deditque ecelesiis Insularum terras et libertates, et erat circa cultum divinum devotus et fervidus, tam Deo, quam hominibus acceptabilis." The Abbot of Furnes had the appointment of the Abbot of Russin: and from a MS. taken from the former Abbey, which I have seen in the office of the Duchy of Lancaster, it appears he had also the appointment of the Bishop of Mann and the Isles; in that MS. is a Bull of Pope Celestine to Furnes Abbey : " In eligendo Episcopum Insularum, libertatem, quam reges earum bonæ memoriæ Olavus et Godedus, filius ejus, monasterio vestro contulerunt sicut in authenticis eorum continetur, auctoritate vobis Apostolicâ confirmamus. Dat. Romæ, 10 cal. Julii, pontificatûs nostri 4,"
Such election then held good, so long as the Sees of Mann, and the Isles were united, as they were under the Norwegians and the Scotch; but when in the time of Bishop Russel's predecessor, an. 1340 about, the English got possession of the Isle of Mann, the two Sees were again disunited, after a union of 300 years: upon his death therefore, 1348, the Clergy of the Isle of Mann, finding themselves in a new situation, with an unsettled government both of Church and State, elected William Russel, who had been eighteen years Abbot of Rushen, their Bishop; and he being without a Metropolitan (the Archbishop of Drontheim having been supposed to have lost his spiritual jurisdiction, when the King of Norway lost the Island), went to Avignon to be consecrated by the then acknowledged head of the Church, Pope Celestine. His successor also, John Duncan, was elected in the same way by the Clergy of Mann, " and going to Avignon was confirmed by Pope Gregory XI., and consecrated 'per Cardinalem Prenestinum dudum Archi-episcopum."' Here the Chronicle ceases. But before his death the English were in full possession, and the government was settled under the House of Derby; Sir John Stanley therefore, to whom Henry IV. had " granted the Island, with the Castle of Peel, and all royalties, regalities, together with the patronage of the Bishoprick," proceeded to elect Robert Waldby to the vacant See, who was afterwards Archbishop of Dublin - " and the Scots," says Bishop Keith, " elected, for Bishop of the Isles, cotemporary with Waldby, John; stiled in the reign of Robert II., Johannes Episcopus Sodorensis." Having then shewn how the transition was effected in those days, and how the Clergy of Mann acted, even in the tumults of war, when deprived of the regular order in maintaining inviolate the succession of their Bishops : having shewn how they fell back, gladly as it would appear, certainly of their own accord, into that primitive order, which had been established by their Founder, St. Patrick, confirmed by St. Germanus, and continued for 600 years under their own Kings; till, 300 years before the time we speak of, a Norwegian pirate had changed that order, and, suppressing, the See of the Isles, had added it as an additional burden to the Bishop of Mann, forgetting that Bishops are not sailors: having shewn how, when a door was opened to them for a return to their primitive state, those Priests who were then, sede Episcopali vacante, the Guardians of the Church of Mann, the Church of their forefathers: having shewn, I say, how they, with a bold disregard of the contentions of those, who were quarrelling over the Island prize, rescued their Church from ruin: and not only so, but restored her to that form, which both nature and her Founder had determined: having shewn how the Clergy, when left without a Spiritual Overseer, asserted the Church's independence of civil turmoils; I will now make a few observations upon the actions of the Bishop, whom in these trying times they had elected. His first care, after he had returned from his Consecration at Avignon, was to hold a Synod, of his Clergy, an. 1350, in Kirk Michael, the Episcopal residence: in times of such confusion without, it was fitting the Church should look well to her own order within: in that Synod five articles were added to the former Canons, those former Canons were explained and confirmed, and the whole discipline of the Church of Mann so ordered, that nothing further was wanting to complete it, till after the Reformation, or as Sacheverell well says, till, "by the destructive knowledge of the Sixteenth Century," and its consequences, that Church having been sinking into a heap of ruins, " Bishop Wilson was sent by Providence to rebuild and beautify, and heal the breaches of so devouring a Reformation."
"But to return to the Synod of Bishop Russell: there is nothing more instructive to a Churchman, than to consider the fortunes of different portions of the Catholic Church, both in prosperity and under adversity, to see how often the former has corrupted her, and how the latter has invariably raised her to her pure and proper dignity; and when we can contract our picture to so small a compass as the Isle Mann, the colours are more distinct, and a child may trace each line. At this time,[vide page 10] An. 1350, the Kings of Norway and Scotland were making agreements for the possession of this Island, while the subjects of either made it a common object of piratical ravages; at the same time the King of England supplied a succession of his English Nobles with men and arms to take it in his name. Here then, were three powerful Kings enabling their unscrupulous subjects to carry fire and sword into the heart of this peaceable but helpless country; but in the midst of fire and sword the Church did not shrink from her task, as the witness of Him, who is her Prophet, Priest, and King, in Heaven. The Bishop and his Priests met in calm, independent, deliberative Council; and maintaining its decrees, they taught, ministered, and ruled, while the world around them was in wild confusion; and thus have they left their witness to us, that Christ's Church is not of this world, however she may, for the good of the world, incorporate herself into States, whose Rulers are her faithful Sons.
All the antient Canons of the Manks Church, passed in Synod at the three above-mentioned periods, have been transcribed by Dugdale, in his Monasticon. After his description of Furnes and Rushen Abbeys, he adds, to use his own words :-" Certain very antient constitutions of the Bishop of Sodor in the Isle of Mann passed in Synod, and never before this committed to print; which, although they be foreign to the direct purpose of this work, yet, for antiquity's sake, and as a monument under that title sufficiently remarkable, and as a thing acceptable to those studious of matters Ecclesiastical, I determined in this place to bring to light, and to add them to the description of the Abbey in that Island. From an antient Manuscript in the posses sion of John Selden:-' Hæc sunt statuta Synodalia et constitutiones Sodorensis Diocesis in Insulæ de Mann per Reverendum Patrem Simonem, Sodorensem Episcopum, ibi dem confecta et constituta A.D. 1239." Here follow thirteen Statutes and Constitutions taken from this MS. : they relate principally to the secular affairs of the Church. Again, from the same MS. :-" Incipiunt constitutiones Synodales Sodorensis Ecelesiæ in Synodo ordinatæ, celebratæ, et statutæ in Ecelesiâ Sancti Bradani in Manniâ sextoidus Martii A.D. 1291, cui preefuit venerabilis Pater Dominus Marcus, Sodorensis Episcopus." Here follow thirty five Canons or Constitutions, which were evidently framed to settle the discipline of the Island Church. At the end of them are these words-" Expliciunt statuta Synodalia." Then follows, " Hæ sunt additiones additæ per venerabilem Patrem, Dominum Willielmum Russel, Sodorensem Episcopum, una cum toto clero Manniæ A.D. 1350, in Ecclesiâ Sancti Michaelis Archangeli septimo Calendas Martii." Here follow six Canons, additions to the last thirty-five, needed for the guidance of the Church in those troublous times; and, as would be expected from a Church in the season of danger, more purely Ecclesiastical, and less infected with secular matters. At the end are these words " Expliciunt additiones Willielmi Russel." After William Russel and John Duncan, elected by the Clergy themselves in the face of the enemies of their country, "ad regendum," as Jocelinus said, many ages before, of St. Germanus, 'et erudiendum populum in fide Christi; "
after these two were taken from the Church Militant, Robert Waldby was elected by the English, Lord of the Isle, an. 1396, after him John Sprotton; John Grene 1452; Thomas Burton 1458; Richard 1483; Huan 1487. Dugdale has preserved the deed of confirmation given to this Bishop, of all his lands and possessions by Lord Derby." Confirmatio Ecelesiarum et terrarum atque libertatum, data, concessa, et facta per nobilissimum dominum Thomam Comitem Derbei, Dominum Stanley, ac Dominum Insulae de Mann et Insularum Huano Sodorensi Espicopo, suisque successoribus." In which " confirmation " is given a list of all the parishes and places in the Island, where the Bishop has tythes or land, or Parochial rights. After Huan came Thomas Stanley, he was deprived in .Queen Mary's days, and Henry Man was appointed 1546. Robert Farrier 1554. Thomas Stanley restored in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, and died in possession 1570. John Salisbury, John Merrick, George Lloyd, John Phillips, translated the Common Prayer into the Manks language, and the Bible, though the latter is not extant. William Forster, Richard Parr, 1635, died just before the Grand Rebellion.
Samuel Rutter " governed the Church with great prudence," says Sacheverell, " during, the late unhappy Civil Wars." Isaac Barrow, 1663, was both Bishop and Governor, a man," says the same writer, " of a public spirit, and great designs, for the good of the Church, to whose industry is owing all that little learning amongst us, and to whose prudence and charity the poor Clergy owe the bread they eat." To explain this last sentence of Sacheverell. I cannot do better than give an extract from Bishop Wilson's History of the Isle of Mann.
" That (through the poverty of the place) the Church may never want fit persons to perform Divine offices, and to instruct the people in necessary truths and duties, the pious and worthy Dr. Isaac Barrow, soon after the restoration, being then Bishop of Mann, did so effectually make use of his interest with his Majesty, King Charles the Second, and other noble benefactors, that he obtained a grant of one hundred pounds a year, payable out of the Excise for ever, for the better maintenance of the poor Vicars and Schoolmasters of his diocese. And the Right Hon. Charles Earl of Derby, being pleased to make a long lease of the Impropriations of the Isle in his hands, which, either as Lord or Abbot, were one third of the whole tithes, the good Bishop found means to pay for the said lease; which besides an old rent and fine, still payable to the Lord of the Isle, may be worth to the Clergy and Schools about one hundred pounds more. Besides this, he collected amongst the English nobility and gentry (whose names and benefactions are registered and preserved in public tables in every parish,) six hundred pounds, the interest of which maintains an academic master. And by his own private charity he purchased two estates in land, worth twenty pounds a year, for the support of such young persons as should be designed for the ministry. So that the name and good deeds of that excellent prelate will be remembered with gratitude, so long as any sense of piety remains among them."
In order to explain more fully those words of Bishop Wilson,"" the Right Hon. Charles, Earl of Derby, being Pleased to make a long lease of the Impropriations in his hands, -which, either as Lord or Abbot, were one-third of the whole Tithes, the good Bishop found means to pay for the said lease,'~it will be necessary to repeat what I have already twice mentioned, that about the middle of the twelfth century, during the reign of King Olave, " the revenue of the Church was set out after the most Antient and Apostolic manner, viz., one-third of all the Tithes to the Bishop for his maintenance; the second to the Abbey of Rushen, for education of youth, and relief of the poor; the third portion of the Tithes was given to the Parochial Priests for their subsistence." These thirds were not taken equally from every parish; some parishes were left as Rectories in the hands of the Incumbent; in others the Bishop's, Vicar's, and Monks' thirds changed each year; in the four parishes in the Bishop's gift, nearly the whole of the Tithes are his; again, in others, Rushen Abbey seems to have had, as the Crown now has, nearly the whole; those Clergy, that came under these two last classes, were of course supported by other means, most probably by those good Monks themselves, for they were noted for their charities, and the severity of their lives : but when the Abbey was destroyed in that " devouring Reformation," its charitable possessors driven out into the world, its lands sold, its Church, the resting-place of Kings and Bishops, desecrated, and itself " buried in its own ruins," the Lord of the Isle seized upon that third, which had been held in trust by the Monks pro bono publico: when therefore Bishop Barrow came to the See in 1663, he found those poor Vicars, the tithes of whose parishes were in the hands of the Lord, in the greatest destitution; and devoting all his energies to raise them from this state, he found means purchase a long lease of those Impropriations from the then Lord, Charles, Earl of Derby. Thus the Parochial Clergy were put in possession of the third of the tithes, once held by the Abbey in trust, for the general good; which was as good an appropriation of those tithes as the Lord's seizure of them, and holding them in trust for him.had been a flagrant impropriation.
1 An. 1739 James Earl of Derby died without issue, and the Lordship of Mann became the property of the Duke of Athol, who had married the heiress of a late Earl of Derby. In 1765 the Duke of Athol sold the "regalities " of the island, reserving his landed property and patronage of the Bishoprick; but these also he sold some years afterwards. The Sovereign, therefore, by this Act of re-vestment, stands in precisely the same relation to the legislature of the Isle of Mann, as the Kings formerly, and afterwards the Lords, have stood.
2 An eminent lawyer and member of the legislature in the Isle of Mann has lately given me this information: " Our antient records were taken to Norway, where, it is said, they were destroyed by fire ; our present records commence in the beginning of the 15th century, from which time the Bishop and Archdeacon have been members of the Council ; " and, consequently, before that time, because those records speak of them as having been in all times a component part of the legislative body.
3 The dates of their consecration, and the order of their succession are not preserved.
4 This date 578 must be a misprint in Sacheverell's history; the Annals of Ulster say St. Maughold died 488.