[taken from Chapter 9 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]

JOHN MURREY (circa 1660),

who is famous as the issuer of the first Manx coinage, in 1668. We have evidence that coined money was very scarce in the island about that time, and so, no doubt, John MURREY's pence were very welcome. They had the legend—" John Murrey . 1668," with, in the centre, " His Penny, I.M." on the obverse, and Quounque Gessera Stabit, on the reverse. These pence were made legal tender by an order of the Council, and in 1679 an Act of Tynwald was passed which ordained that they should " still pass according to order." They did so till 1709, when they were superseded by the first Manx government coinage. They were then redeemed by his son, also named John, who married Susannah Patten, a first cousin of Bishop Wilson's wife. He was also a successful trader. In 1706, no less than 29 members of the Tynwald Court bound themselves to provide him with " 20 tunes of strong beere," for export to the West Indies, he paying them eighteen shillings per barrel and finding the barrels. This bargain was actually arranged at a sitting of the Tynwald Court. In the same year John Murrey presented St. Matthew's Church, in Douglas, with a clock which still (1897) bears the letters "J.M."* on its dial. He lived at Murrey's Court in Douglas. About the year 1720, he bought the estate of Ronaldsway from James Somerville, who had bought it from Illiam Dhones grandson, William Christian, in 1716. This estate remained in the Murrey family till about 1817, when it passed by marriage to the late W. W. Christian's father (see p. 67.)

* On the demolition of the church in 1899, the clock was placed in the tower of the new church, but it has not been set up.

[see also grandson John Murrey]


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