[from IoM & Diocese of Sodor & Mann, 1837]


This account of the affairs, Civil and Ecclesiastical, of the Isle of Mann, has been published at the express desire of many persons interested in the preservation of the antient See established in that Island.

The Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in their second Report, proposed to annex this See to that of Carlisle. The Archdeacon and Clergy of Mann, immediately upon the appearance of that Report, addressed a Memorial to the Commissioners, expressing the "deep concern" with which they had seen that proposition. The Archdeacon attended to give his personal evidence against the measure, before the Board : the late Bishop, the present Bishop of Rochester, signified to the Commissioners his readiness to do the same, and afterwards did so in his place in the House of Lords. Sir William Hillary forwarded to them a petition with 1200 signatures, among which were " the names of a large majority of the Gentry, Landowners, and most respectable Inhabitants, " expressing, as the Chairman of the Island-Committee said in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, " the most unanimous sentiments of the inhabitants of the Isle of Mann, on the ruinous consequences to the best interests of this Island, which, they feel convinced, must inevitably be produced by the incorporation of the Bishoprick of Sodor and Mann with that of Carlisle." Memorials, expressing similar sentiments, were presented by several of the Clergy and Laity of the Church of England ; and a petition was presented to his late Majesty, signed by 2000 Manksmen, in which the Petitioners humbly beseech " his Majesty's gracious consideration of their case; and that, in his wisdom, such means may be devised, as may avert the contemplated change, -and afford them a long continuance of their present privileges." The Bishop, also, first privately, and since publicly, has protested in the strongest manner, and in every possible way, against the proposed scheme: but especially in a petition to the House of Lords, and in a Memorial to the Commissioners, in the conclusion of which he says, " I will never cease to repeat the warning with the greater earnestness, as the approach of my death hastens the accomplishment of this measure. To avert the threatened calamity from my Church, I am prepared to make any sacrifice ; for I believe most solemnly, that in a very few years after the removal of the Bishop, the name only of a Church will be left to her; and her empty walls will stand as sad memorials of' an arrangement, needless and uncalled for in itself, burdensome to Carlisle, and destructive to her own best interests." The proposition was discussed when before the House of Lords, on which occasion it was said to be " defensible on the ground of territory: " owing to various causes the opposition was not brought to a decision, and the recommendation of the Commissioners accordingly passed into a law. Now, it is asserted, that in this Act Parliament has legislated for a part of her Majesty's Dominions, over which it has no control, except in Fiscal regulations, and Navigation laws: it is asserted, that, if the Act of any Parliament be necessary to make this exercise of the Royal Prerogative available in law, it must be the Act of the independent Insular Legislature itself. and can be of no other, so long as that exists. To establish this point, as well as to explain some parts of the Bishop's Memorial, it was thought necessary, that a short History of the Insular Constitution, both Civil and Ecclesiastical, should be published. In the present attempt to accomplish the object desired, the writer has had two difficulties to contend with a superabundance of materials, with a very short time, and that, too, unexpectedly interupted, in which to arrange them. These must plead his excuse for the want of brevity, and for defective arrangement two most desirable points to be attained, when the sole object of a Work is, that it should be read.


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001