[Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 3 pp106/8]

BREWERIES IN THE ISLE OF MAN IN THE XVI. CENTURY.

REV. J. QUINE, MA.

 

The great Rent Roll of the Island (1511—1515), gives us a list of the persons who had licences to brew in the various parts of the Island for the current year, viz., in the three south-eastern sheadings in 1511, and in the three north-western sheadings in 1515.

i. The cost of licences ranged from 2d. to 12d., but there seems to have been two normal classes of licence, viz., 4d. for a smaller class, and 8d. for a larger.

ii.

       
s.
d
Rushen parish had 17 ; total amount,
11
0
Arbory ,, 9 ,,
4
4
Malew ,, 19 ,,
7
10
Santon ,, 6;  
2
3
Marown ,, 5  
1
0
Braddan ,, 7  
2
5
Onchan ., 13  
4
2
Lonan ,, 7  
3
6
Maughold ,, 8  
3
2
Pattick ,, 11;  
3
2
GeLman ,, 11 ,,
4
5
Michael ,, 7 ,,
3
7
Ballaugh ,, 12 ,,
6
11
Jurby ,, 5 ; ,,
2
6
Lezayre ,, 16 ; ,,
6
0
Bride ,, 9; ,,
6
8
Andreas ,, 15 ; ,,
8
6

iii. Of the 177 brewers in the Island 22 are women.

iv. Among the names appears that of John McCorkell, Vicar of Kirk Michael, who paid 4d. for a smaller class of brewery. In Lezayre appears the name of John McCristen. There was a John McCristen, of Altadale (Glen Aldyn or Milltown), who held half a quarterland of land ; and as a man of the same name was tenant of Altadale mill, of Breryk mill, of the salmon fishing of Sulby river, and also of Cornay mill, in Maughold, it is possible that he was also the brewer.

This is rendered more probable by the fact that the following millers had also brewing licences :—Robert McWhaltragh, of Kentraugh mill, in Rushen ; John Doncan, co-tenant of Colby mill, in Arbory ; John Gretehede, of Granby mill, and William Hubart, of Castletown mill, in Malew ; John Wode, of the Fulling mill and corn mill, in Santon ; Fynlo McClerke and Gibbon McHally, millers, in Marown ; Ottar McTaggart, of Mullen Doway (Union Mills), and Thomas Peterson, of Medall mill (Kewaigue ?), in Braddan ; Patrick McClerke, who has " a small mill " in Onchan; Nicholas Alchar and Reynold Crosse, co-tenants of Huburtown mill, in Patrick ; Patrick McBrew, tenant of Carlane mill, and of the salmon fishery, in Jurby ; John McCaly, of Sulby mill ; and, finally, Gilbert McHaliy, of the Lhen mill, in Andreas, who also is Coroner of Ayre Sheading.

Probably this is explained by the fact that the kiln attached to the mill could be used as a malt kiln.

v. Most probably those who sold ale (jough) brewed it themselves ; and many of these brewers practically meant keepers of public houses. The parish of Ballaugh was perhaps an exception, more ale being brewed there than in the parishes of Michael and Jurby together. We may infer that the Ballaugh brewers supplied ale to public houses. In this parish the brewing of ale survived down to a comparatively recent date. Rushen, similarly, and Malew indicate that brewing was carried on extensively in those parishes, and these also survived down to recent years.

vi. Castletown had 11 brewhouses, the names of the tenants appearing also in the list of licences. It is interesting to note their names not being Manx,—Litherland, Goldsmyth, Holt, Clerke, Walsh, Abell, Marshall, More, Hubart, More, and Parre.

vii. Castletown had also 12 cellars, at an average rent of two shillings, the most important being 45. 6d. They are held by persons of alien names (except More)—Lake, Parre, Crag, Calcote, Coke. Their use was probably as stores for imported goods, viz., Wines and spirits.(? spirits as not widely known at this period - fpc)

viii. Douglas had but one brewhouse, the tenant’s name duly having place in the list of holders of licences.

(ix.) The total rents of the several Parishes and Sheadings, and the total of the Island itself, is as follows

Rushen
£47
0
3
 
Arbory
34
10
2
Rushen Sheading...
£126 5 7
Malew
45
5
2
 
Santon
26
6
5
 
Marown
16
14
7
Middle
£73 17 2
Braddan
30
16
2
 
Onchan
30
9
5
 
Lonan
33
9
9
Garff
£99 16 3
Maughold
35
17
1
 
Patrick
36
13
4
Glenfaba
£71 12  5
German
34
18
10
Michael
42
3
7
Ballaugh
34
15
5
 Michael
£93 4 5
Jurby
16
5
5
Lezayre
42
18
9
 
Bride
39
0
0
Ayre
£137 19 0
Andreas
56
0
3
 
        Island
£602 14 10

x. The total revenue from licences to brew ale amounted to £4 1s 5d. ; with which may be compared the revenue from rents of mills, £21 75. 0d.

xi. On examination, the brewers are found to be also tenants of land generally of large holdings, practically three out of four of them appearing in the list of holdings.

xii. It is possible that the tax was paid on the brewing pans. A custom survived down to the present century, of farmers keeping a brewing pan, and lending it to their neighbours for use in home brewing. But from the fact that money then had practically thirty times its present value, it is more likely that the tax was on pans brewing ale for sale ; and that the brewer was a farmer who kept a country public-house.


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