[From Atholl Papers - AP 145-9]

Petition from Merchants of Douglas, 1780

My Lord

It afforded infinite pleasure to learn that your Grace has had the goodness to interest yourself in sollicting some immunities in trade for the benefit of this Island, and we hope your endeavours will be attended with success

The indulgences lately granted to Ireland with respect to the trade of the colonies, gives us ground to hope that something in the same way may also be extended to us.

We do not wish to obtain the liberty of importing any goods directly from America into this Island, but only to be indulged in exporting our produce and manufactures to the British Colonies on the same terms as are granted to Ireland.

Our Herring fishery also needs particular consideration, we really esteem it a great hardship to be placed in a worse situation with respect to prosecuting the fishery on our own coasts, than the inhabitants of other places, and we would gladly flatter ourselves that the British Legislature when this matter is represented to them, will allow the duty paid on importation of our herrings into Great Britain to be drawn back when they are re-exported from thence, and that they will be pleased either to allow a bounty on all herrings caught and cured on the coasts of this Island or to take it away from them all, so that all who prosecute the said fishery may stand on the same and equal ground.

The many severe and in many respects useless restrictions under which the trade of this Island labours, call aloud for redress.

The Act passed in the year 1727 limiting our exportation to Great Britain &c our our natural produce, then ineffectual as to the purposes intended by it, and now existing merely as a grievance, ought certainly in common justice to be repealed.

The many prohibitions on our exportation trade as on wines, coals &c are needless severities, because proper regulations which would prevent frauds, & at the same time leave the fair trade open would answer the purposes of the revenue much better.

The denial of all drawbacks of the duties paid at importation when the goods are re-exported in due time is an hardship peculiar to this Island.

But we should trespass too much on your Grace's patience to communicate all our grievances - this Island is naturally situate for being made a repository. And if we could obtain the liberty of importing wines & currants only, on paying a light duty, and of re-exporting these commodities to Great Britain & Ireland within a limited time, we are fully persuaded it would be of great advantage not only to the commerce & revenue of this Island but to the commerce and revenue of those countries.

Our agriculture and manufactures are also in a backward and unprosperous state and merit some encouragement, but as your Grace is acquainted of what is proposed with respect to this and other matters, by the papers which we did ourselves the honor to transmit to you through the hands of your agent, it is unnecessary to enter into further detail in this letter.

Upon the whole we trust that your Grace will take care that no additional taxes or duties are imposed on us, unless some new openings and advantages in trade are granted which may enable us to pay them.

Your Grace will be pleased to consider the destitute condition of this Island. we are not represented in Parliament, we have hitherto trusted to persons of little or no weight and consequently remain unredressed.

We therefore now rely solely on your Grace as our natural Representative, and whether your application meets with the deserved success or not, it will be always felt and acknowledged with the utmost gratitude & respect by your
most devoted & most obedient humble servants

Roger Haydock
Wm Crebbin
Phil Garrett
Edw Moore
Edw Forbes
John Gelling
Maxim Bonvillette
Peter Moore
Normand McLeod

Jno Jas Bacon
Robt Heywood
Wm Bridson
Robt Moore
Thomas Stephen
Ewd Gelling
John Stowell
William Callow
Lew Geneste
John Younger

The merchants and traders of the town of Douglas Isle Man

Douglas Isle of Mann
28th March 1780


Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2004