Orrisdale or Four-Towns

Taken from a 1870 Map by Philips - the railway is not accurate being only projected at that time

This small part of Kk Michael lies between Bishop's Court and the sea - the green line map section shows the boundary of the Bishop's Demesne to the east - the yellow line shows the boundary between the parishes of Michael and Ballaugh which follows the small stream down Bishop's Court Glen, the boundary then swings to the north along the Demense boundary before cutting back to the coast to the north of Orrisdale which thus lies entirely within Kk Michael - small stream however turns SW and is crossed by a small bridge which gives the name to one of the farms. It has been known as Four-Towns since at least 1689 though the origins of this name are not clear. The main A3 road between Kk Michael and Ballaugh and onto Ramsey runs NE with Bishop's Court to its west - the quiet country road or Orrisdale back road leaves the A3 just after the north end of Kk Michael village and loops through Orrisdale to rejoin the main road - the road running north just before this junction leads direct to Old Ballaugh Church at the Cronk - it is possible that this small back road was once the main route skirting the Bishops estate.

Working north along this back road which circles around Bishop's Court lie the farms of Ballarhenny (Ballry ny rhennee, 'farm of the ferns.'), Kiondroghad ('Bridge end.'), Ballamenagh ('Middle farm,') and Orrisdale which also gives its name to the treen. In the earliest of the manorial Rolls it is called Orestall - Kneen conjectures the derivation from Scandinavian. Orrastaõr, 'Heathcock or moorfowl estate.' or from the personal name derived therefrom 'Orri's estate.' "The personal names contained in Norse place-names are so worn down and corrupt that any derivation must always contain an element of doubt" - sometimes confused with a similar named Orrisdal in Malew. It is likely that a significant section of land to the west has been lost to coastal erosion - there are cairns, tummuli and the remains of a keeil. A small Primitive Methodist chapel was built on the road though those working at Bishop's Court or on the Demense would, it seems, have been expected to attend the Chapel at Bishop's Court.

The 1704 Composition book gives the following farms within the Treen of Oristall

58 Patt Cannell for a tennement called Ballacallow containing one quarter of land rent 29s 6d double compounded for in the year 1643 by Paule Quaile
59 John Stephan for the 4th part of a quarter called Ballamanaugh rent 7s 6d double and Ellen Stephan his daughter & Adam Caine her husband for the other fourth part of the same quartr Rent 7s 6d both compounded for in the year 1643 by William Stephan and William Mcylrea.
60 Adam Callister for the other half quarter called Ballamanaugh rent 15s compounded for in the year 1643 by Ro Callister.
61 John Curlett son of Gilbert Curlett for a half a quarter called Orristall rent 14s 9d compounded for in the year 1643 by Dollin Curlett
62 John Curlett for a fourth part of the sd Quarter - and Adam Curlett his son for the other fourth part rent 14s 9d compounded for in the year 1643 by Adam Curlett.
63 Hugh Callister for one quarter called Keondrughead rent 31s 4d compd for in the year 1643 by Hugh Callister his grandfather.

The 1636 Lib Assed - before the Act of Settlement of 1702/4 which doubled quarterland rents gives (note 1704 composition book entry numbers inserted for clarity):

58 Sr Hugh Cannell [Sir was a honorific for a clergyman - he was vicar of Michael]
14s 9d
59+60 Margrett ine Callister 7s 6d, Robt Callister
61+62 Mally Kelly 7s 4d, Adam Curleod
14s 9d
63 Hugh Callister
15s 8d
3 2d

and that 50 years later for 1686:

58 Patt Cannell
14s 9d
59+60 Wm Mcylrea 7s 6d, Robt Callister
61+62 Gilbert Curlett 7s 4d, Adam Curlett 7s 4d
14s 9d
63 Hu Callister
15s 8d
3 2d

The main farm is Orristal which from the early 19th Century was associated with the Crellins.

Part of Orrisdale (c. 2000) - used for holiday accomodation

The Caines of Ballamanagh

Ellen and her husband are entered in this way as the property passed to the Caines by marriage - Adam Caine + Ellinr Stoen (or stephen) were married Kk Michael 16960804
Their family was I think:
Margt Mic 16981106
Cath Mic 17010515
Jony Mic 17020220
John Mic 17040227
Kath Bal 17061105 - buried Michael 17131124 d/o adam + elinr stoen
Margt Bal 17091114
Mary Mic 17100204 (note O/S dates 14months apart - Margt probably died as infant)
Elinor Mic 17130325

There is also a son Patrick, who inherited the farm, but no baptism has been found found - the Michael register pre 1712 is a copy of a much damaged earlier register and has several gaps - one note re burials has 'several names omitted being not legible of ye yong childr'.

John as the eldest male would be heir - however he died before his father John's will:

d 18 feb 1731;fa Adam Caine;bro Patk;bro-i-law Wm Christian;sis Mary + Joney,Elinor(exex) w/o Wm Kelly;witt Thos Cannell (also pledge with Wm Christian smith)

Wm Christian m Cath Caine Mic 17271112 - in register Wm Xtn[Christian] of ballaugh Cath Caine of oristal

Jony would appear not to have married - her will 1754 d beg mar 1754;bro Patk's two daus Lucy + Esther ;bro-i-law Wm Kelly;bro Patt Cain exor
Adam died 3 Nov 1733 [bur Mic 17331104];dau Elinor,Joney,Mary;son Patt;sis Cath Caine;Wm Kelly h/o Ellinor [married Michael 17330112];wife alive;pledges Thos Cain balllei? + Thos Key tailor

The land had descended through Ellinor - Patrick was heir at law - however Elinor settled the land on Patrick by deed (NSS Michael Oct 1735 #8 - Ellinor Cain to son Patk)

dated 28 jul 1735;Ellinor Caine (Norrastal Kk Michael) settles + estates on her son Patt Caine all her estate of houses etc, gears + one plow beast on Michaelmas day next; Tho Caine is to pay £9 for a parcel of meadow [see NSSS Oct 1735 #7] which £9 Ellinor settles on Patt who is to lay out in purchasing a parcel of land and the land purchased thereby to descend heridiatry; Patt to give mother a house + qtr of crop;witt Patt Craine,Jon Tear

There was an earlier sale of the estate that seems to have been undone by mutual consent in (NSS Michael Oct 1735 #7 - Ellinr Cain als Steane to Tho Cain) - Thomas Cain buying instead a parcel of meadow land.

dated 28 jul 1735;Tho Cain has given up + surrended a bill of saile of her whole estate however she sells for £9 a certain parcell of intack (meadow land 1 daymoth adj rest of estate on north, meadow of Adam Corlet + Wm Corlet on east + Bps meadow on south + meadow Adam Callister on west - rent to be determined);Witt Thos Caine x,Wm Corlett

Ellinor would appear to have died in 1737 - buried Kk Michael Mic 17370424

Thus Patrick inherited the farm and can be found entered for it

{Thomas Cannell 29s 3d, Jo Cannell 3d}o1760 29s 6d
{Pat Caine} 15s, {Adam Callister junr}o1754 15s 30s
Wm Curlet 14s 9d, {Wm Cowle junr}m1752[Cath m1754] 14s 9d 29s 6d
{Hugh Callister & Cath Callister his grand daughter}m1750 [Cath Callister & John Clark her husb]o1750 31s 4d

Sum 6 4d

Patrick Caine's marriage cannot be found - his wife Alice could possible be Alice Cain d/o Wm Cain + Alice Looney, there are no marriages recorded in Ballaugh between Nov 1730 and Apr 1734 (there are 2 blank pages in the register) so it would appear many marriages are missing - Alice's will of 1731 has an annexed note that by 1754 dau Alice was wife of a John Cain

d 4 nov 1731;ch Alice,Jane,James + Wm;next reln mo side margt crow als looney;husb wm;inv;1754: john cain h/o alice - her sis jane dead

Two children were baptised in Kk Michael - Lucy Michael 17340918 (when Patk noted as of Oristal (only mother's first name given) and Esther Michael 17410503 - between these two daughters can be found a baptism of a son Patrick to a Patrick Cain of 'four towns' - a similar entry is in in Ballaugh register of the same date in which father Patrick was noted as of Kk Michael - it is possible that Patrick was a sickly child, Ballaugh church was an easier journey. However no further trace of Patk jnr can be found - there is no obvious burial. There must have been a son John as he inherits the land but no baptism can be found but again there is a 4 year gap in Ballaugh records - no baptisms noted between Jan 1730/1 and March 1734 except for one entry found in a memorandum on a loose sheet. Like the marriages this gap cannot be filled by Bishops transcripts as these only start 1734.

NSS Oct 1751 17 (dated 16 may 1751) details a sale by Patt Caine + wife Alice (unfortuneately family name not given) of Oristall to Robt Calister of said farm of a small parcel of Barley Flatt (ie a level field) adjoining Kiondrghad flatt (this is a little to south west of Oristall) for 20s on which the setting quest set 3d rent
- the rent for this part of Oristall is now 14s 9d in all future Lib Vasts
There are also two marriage contracts NSS Oct 1759 19 - dated 8 dec 1757;Patk Caine orristal + wife Alice obo their son John; Thos Cannel + wife Ellinor obo dau Ellinor
and NSS May 1756 3 - dated 6 Oct 1755;Wm Christian + wife margt obo son john kk Patrick;patt cain + wife alice obo dau lucy;Wm gives John land worth 8s 8d rent;patt gives dau 14;witt john kelly x,tho cannell;

Patrick is buried Mic 17580224 (note in register 'of Fourtowns') - his will

d 24 feb 1758;fourtowns;dau Esther Caine admr;other ch John + Lucy had mar contracts;pledges thos caine Ballalheij + wm kelly churchtown;thos caine chosen as guardian;

John inherited Oristall farm but died only a few years after his father - his will dated 18 Apr 1764;fourtowns;son hugh(heir + land purchased from robt callister) his dau born this day;wife exex - Elinor d/o John Caine + Elinor Cannel was baptised Mic 17640419.
Hugh inherited and can be found in later Lib Asseds;he married Mary Kneen 17840106 - register notes both of Kk Michael

Hugh's will: dated 6 oct 1825;ch Wm, John,Thos,Elinor;gson Wm Corlett;wife Mary exex;;1828 Thos acks
Mary's will; dated 14 oct 1834;widow of Hugh Caine of Orrisdale;'greatly advanced in age';ch Wm,Elinor(w/o Wm Corlett now in America),Thomas(now in America in case he comes),John exor;

Thus two of her children had emigrated - daughter Elinor with her husband William Corlett having joined the large scale emigration to Ohio.

John Caine d 1837 shortly after his wife Isabella leaving two sons Thomas(heir) and Henry

[deed of settlement/agreement accepted as will]dated 27 Jul 1831;Orrisdale;ch Henry, Thomas(heir-at-law - whole of my inheritance lands + my share of cattle etc - but reserving for my son Henry the house where the Bishop's pleasure boat is in); Thomas to support father + pay Henry £30 at decease of longest liver of father + mother - Henry not to bring forward any claim for the building of the houses; Thomas is to give up the half of the purchased lands to his mother during her life; Witt William Caine, Patrick Kelly; annexed note that Isabella Caine (m/o Thomas) d 13 Jul 1836 and Henry Caine (of Ballaugh) (her only other child) took out admin - agreed that goods be valued and shared, Henry acks £20 and by agt dated 1846 discharges bro re goods of mother + acks £30 from fa's will

Return to Index

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2010