[Appendix A(4) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]

N° 4.

The EXAMINATION of JOHN QUAYLE, Esq. Clerk of the Rolls in the Isle of Man, taken on the 26th and 27th Days of September, 1791, at Douglas.

[Examined by the Duke of Atholl.]

MR. QUAYLE saith, That he is Clerk of the Rolls for the Isle of Man ; that prior to the Year 1765 there was one Collector, or sometimes two, who acted under a joint Commision, who resided at Castle Town and not at Douglas ; and that the only Custom House in the Island was at Castle Town : That Paul Bridson was by his Appointment in 1765, and for several Years preceding, Deputy Searcher at the Port of Douglas, and was at that Time in Trade, and a Factor for others. This Examinant further saith, that in July 1755 he was one of the Collectors of the Island, and he then found Mr. Bridson in Trade and a Factor for others, and understood that this was by the Consent of James Duke of Atholl, then Lord of the Island : That James Duke of Atholl was in the Island in 1736, and, to the best of his Recollection, in 1739; but he does not recollect what Stay he made : That in the Winter of 1764, the then Duke of Atholl verbally informed this Examinant, that he would not part with the Isle of Man, and: desired him to inform the Inhabitants of the Island thereof: That the Duke gave him no Intimation of the Particulars of his Correspondence with the Lords of the Treasury respecting the Purchase of this Island till he saw it in the Act of 1765.

[Cross-examined by the Keys.]

This Examinant saith, that for every Entry of any Signification the Merchants came to Castle Town and entered themselves ; and in trifling Articles, where the Duties came to a few Shillings, the Deputy Searcher at Douglas calculated the Duties and received them, and sent an Account of the Goods and of the Duties to Castle Town that a proper Entry might be made : That he has no Knowledge of any Frauds, small or great, being committed in the Collection of the Duties of this Island, to the Prejudice of the Lord of the Island, from the Year 1755 to 1765 : That it was his Duty to inquire if any such Fraud had been committed, and he was very zealous in the Discharge of that Duty : That no Brandy, Teas, Rum, Silk, Tobacco, or Geneva, could be admitted to Entry but by the Collector, or any other valuable Commodity : That no inferior Officer could pass an Entry ; and he does not recollect an instance of its being done to any Value : that it was his Duty, and daily Study, to know the Articles from which the Revenues of the Island arose — Teas and Tobacco were two of the principal Articles of the Revenues of this Island

[ Re-examined by the Duke of Atholl.]

That prior to 1765 the Merchants brought to Castle Town the Accounts of the Arrivals of’ their Vessels, and made their own Entries there, and produced their Invoices, and swore to the Value of the Goods that paid Duty ad valorern : The Accounts were given by the Merchants by Memorandums in Writing of the several Articles to be entered, classing the rateable and ad valorem Articles separately; and the ad valorem Goods were valued in one Item, and the Merchant swore to the Invoice and the Value, and the rateable Goods were charged according to the Book of Rates.

[Re-examined by the Keys.]

That Mr. Bridson had an Assistant at Douglas upon the Establishmnent, whose Salary was paid by the Lord of the Island : That the Books of Entry and Revenue were delivered to the Duke of Atholl’s Seneschal or Steward, in Consequence of Orders from the Secretary of State subsequent to the Revesting Act. ,

[Re.examined by the Duke of Atholl and by the Keys.]

That there must have been Smuggling prior to the Year 1765, because there were Seizures and Condemnations ; but these were to small Amount.

[Re-examined by the Duke of Atholl, September 27th.]

That during the Time he was employed as joint Collector he was also Comptroller, and examined the Collector’s Books by the Returns of the Deputy Searcher in the most accurate Manner ; and they were examined again before the Governor at an Audit Court.

[Cross~examined by the Keys.]

That at that the Gcvernor of the Island was the Lord of the Island’s principal Servant, as well in his sovereign as in his manerial Capacity : That the Governor had the Appointment of all the inferior Officers of the Customs, and granted Commissions for that Purpose ; but when the Comptroller left the Island he appointed his own Deputy, with the Direction of the Governor : That all. the Revenue Officers employed in the Collection of the Revenues were commissioncd anol sworn to the due Execution of their Office before they could enter upon the Duties thereof:

That during the Time this Examinant was joint Collector, Mr. Mylrea was the principal acting Collector; and this Examinant acted only on extraordinary Occasions, and in the Conversion of foreign Money into Manks—the joint Salary to the Collectors was Twenty Pounds Manks Money, which they divided equally between them ; the Salary of the Receiver General was Forty Pounds Manks, and of the Comptroller Thirty-one Pounds and a Fraction Manks.


Jno Spranger.
Wm Osgoode.
Willm Roe.
David Reid.



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