[Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 4 pp96/110]


(By Mr. A. W. Moore, C.V.O., M.A., J.P., Speaker of the House of Keys.)

In a paper on the " Military Organisation of the Isle of Man," which was published in the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society's Magazine some years ago, I gave a brief account of the various Volunteer corps which were formed in the Isle of Man at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. Since then I have had an opportunity of taking extracts from an Order Book of the Peel Company of the " Manks Northern Volunteers," belonging to Dr. Tellet, which are, I believe, of sufficient interest to justify their publication. Unfortunately, through lapse of time and other causes, portions of the book have become wholly or partially illegible.



The book begins with the roll of the men, 68 in number, who joined the Peel Company of the Northern Manks, or, as they are sometimes styled, the Manx Northern, Volunteers, at Peel, on the 24th of October, 1803 On this day a meeting was held at which " Thos. Clark, Esq. (1), was elected captain ; Alex. Murray. lieutenant ; and Hugh Clucas (2), ensign." The next note is to the effect that, " since the above, several have enrolled, as per pay list."

Alex. Murray soon resigned, and his place was taken by John Moore (3). The sergeants were John Tait, Thomas Quiliam, and Edward Quirk ; the corporals, Richard Shimmin, Thomas Oldfield, and Thomas Mylrea ; the drummer, Robert Maddrell ; and there were 60 privates.

The average height of the men in the Peel Company was 5ft. 8¼in., a remarkably high one, being one inch more than the average height of the Fencibles. The captain was 5ft. 9in. ; their lieutenant, 5ft.11¼in., and their ensign (Moore), 6ft, The regiment consisted of six companies in all, the other companies having their stations at Michael, Ballaugh, Andreas, Bride, and Ramsey. We append the names of their officers and non-commissioned officers :—

Captn. Cannell’s Company (Michael).
Lieut. Monk Ensign Cannell.
Sergeants Corporals
William Kewley
Pat Cannell,
John Rogers.
Captn. Hughes’ Company (Ballaugh).
Lieut. Tear Ensign Crane.
Sergeants Corporals
Thos. Cowley Chas. Lawson,
Thos. Tear, John Tear,
John Boyde, Wm Tear.
Captn . Allen’s Company (Andreas).
Lieut. Thatcher Ensign Radcliffe.
Sergeants : Corporals
Chas. Cowle, Chas. Radcliffe,
Philip Tear, Robt. Christian,
Danl. Lace, Danl. Cormode.
Captn. Christian’s Company (Bride).
Lieut. Ivey(4) . Ensign Christian.
Sergeants : Corporals
William Christian, Patrick Christian,
John Cowell, Patrick Garrett,
Chas. Kewin, Danl. Cowle.
Captn. Howard’s Company ( Ramsey).
Lieut. Ruddiman. Ensign Kissack.
Sergeants : Corporals
John Quiggin, Willm, Wilson,
Hugh Corlett, Robt. Colquot.
David Hannah,  

The colonel in command was Deemster J. F. Crellin(5), and the headquarters were at his house, Orrisdale. The major was Robert Farrant (b. 1753, d. 1820), of Ballamoar, great-grandfather of Mr. Reginald Farrant, advocate. The total strength of the regiment was a little over 400 of all ranks.

The first duty of the colonel was to provide his newly-enrolled recruits with uniforms and accoutrements, and we find a number of " regimental orders " with these objects in view :—

Headquarters, Orrisdale, 2nd January, 1 804.

Lieut.-Colonel Crellin orders that the officers and non-commissioned officers do provide themselves with uniforms : Red jackets, with green caps and cuffs, the skirts turned up with white,, of which a pattern lies with the adjutant. White pantaloons, with black halfgaiters. it is recommended to the officers to order the red cloth from some one person, in order the colour may he uniform. The captains are to wear two ring chains or epauletts, the subalterns one ; and that they may be uniform it is recommended that they should apply to Mr. Jacob Pope, Birmingham, who can furnish these articles on the lowest terms. The patterns of the regimental caps may be seen at Daniel Christian’s, hatter, Douglas. Officers are also to provide themselves with white feathers, with red buttons, which for the sake of uniformity must be applied for to some one person. Mr. Jacob Pope, of Birmingham has been asked to send regimental buttons for the officers, commissioned and non-commissioned.

To the Adjutant McIntosh.

Major Dickson, through whose kind instrumentality the order book was obtained by the writer, says :— The jackets referred to were evidently what are called "coatees " and the caps must have been "shakoes," as the " tufts " are mentioned later. " Tuft" is the technical military term for the balls of different colours which the various regiments formerly wore in front of their shakoes.

Two months later we find the following, which shows that there had been some delay in carrying out these orders :—

Headquarters, Orrisdale, 26th Feby., 1804.

Sir,—Since an order was issued to regulate the uniforms the officers of his Majesty’s corps under my command were to wear, I have not yet heard that any step has been yet taken on this head. I have received the clothing for the men, and expect they will be clothed in the course of a month from this date, when that will be notified to the Secretary of State. There is not a doubt but Col. Harris, Volunteer corps inspector in the north of England, will he sent here, and it would be very awkward if the officers were not in uniform. I request, therefore, that you will remind the officers of the several corps to provide themselves, and inform them that I have got buttons and cap plates for them from Birmingham on consideration, I still think that plain chains for the shoulders—each officer will wear two, which can be got by a letter to Mr. Jacob Pope, of Birmingham, for 18s. the pair might answer very well . . . If the officers could get white cock feathers, and send them to Miss Clark, of Peel, she can send them also in a letter, and for a trifling expense compared to what they would cost in England or Ireland. I have further to state (?) that the swords of the officers of the late . . here are not regimental, and are very un- . . I have no doubt but Mr. Pope, of Birmingham, would make an allowance for them, if packed up and sent to him, and that he would send very handsome sabres of the pattern of issue for 12s. a piece The officers had better, therefore, send their swords to Captain Howard, of Ramsey, to pack them in a box or case, and send them off by the first opportunity to Liverpool, and I’ll write to Mr. Pope for the shoulderings and swords—I am, sir, your obedient servant, JOHN F. CRELLIN.

If the officers have chains since the last war, perhaps these might answer. The officers can get their caps made by Christian, hatter, Douglas, who is to make mine, and who has contracted to make the men’s.

Mr. adjutant McIntosh, N.M. Volunteers.

On the 7th of May, 1804, the officers are ordered to certify that the non-commissioned officers and drummers are supplied with uniform , and that they are to apply to Sergeant William Kewley, of the Kirk Michael Company, who will pay the allowances for clothing to which they are respectively entitled, viz. :—

Sergeants .

£3 3 9


1 120


2 3 6

We gather from the following correspondence of three years later that new uniforms had to be provided :—

Kirk Michael, 17th April, 1807.

Sir—I am directed by Lieut.-Col. Crellin to inform you that a bale of clothing, containing 63 jackets and 63 pantaloons, will be left at Mr. Mylchreest’s, near St. John’s, on ‘tomorrow for your company. The Lieut.Col. requests you will send immediately a receipt for the clothing, and return the canvas round the bale. The largest men in the company are to be first fitted. The cap; will be provided in a few days. WM. KEWLEY.

208 is the number of your bale.

On the 4th of May, 1804, the caps were also sent. The adjutant is ordered to request that the " tufts " should be washed with hot water and soap, and that the old plates are to be fixed in the new caps. In June 63 stocks, with 63 clasps, were sent out to each company.

From the description given the uniform was evidently a handsome one. Nothing is said about pigtails ; but it is probable that the Volunteers wore them, as did the Fencibles, since they were not abolished in the army till 1808.

The corps had two flags, one, a Union Jack, containing a device in the centre consisting of the crown, with G.R. and N.M.V. in a circle, which is surrounded by a wreath of roses and thistles, tied with a blue ribbon, is 6ft. 2in. long, and 5ft. 9in. deep, and is mounted on a pole 9ft. long, having brass fittings and a tassel at the point. The other is a lilac flag of the same dimensions, having a Union Jack in the left-hand top corner, which is 25in. long and 20in. high, and in the centre the three legs, yellow in colour, in a shield, surmounted by a crown. with the motto, " Stabit Quocunque Jeceris," and surrounded by a wreath of roses and thistles, tied with a purple ribbon. It is mounted on a similar pole to the first flag.

The next care of the colonel was to provide arms and ammunition, and to encourage drill. We find the following circular issued by him in December, 1803

The officers commanding companies will receive from his Majesty’s store-keeper 73 stand of arms (including 10 stand of spare arms), with accoutrements and ammunition. They will give their receipts for the same ; and, as the men are to be responsible for their being kept clean and fit for service, captains of companies will order their sergeants to keep a roll of each man’s name, and insert against it the letter and number of the arms. The sergeants at every parade are to take care that each man has his own arms, and that they are clean and in good repair ; the captain of each company to provide himself with an orderly book, into which all orders directed to him are to be copied. Lieut.-Colonel Crellin is particularly anxious to have the corps as soon as possible fit for duty, and as an officer from the half-pay is attached to each company (except Captain Hughes’ and Captain Clarke’s) he expects their zeal for the good of the service will be manifested in the precision with which the men of the several companies will perform the exercises and evolutions prescribed by his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief ; and it is requested that the said half-pay officers will exert them. selves in disciplining the company of Northern Volunteers, that on the inspection of a general officer, they may he found as expert as the corps in the Southern district their brethren in arms. It is also expected that the officers who are not experienced in their military exercises will use every possible diligence in fitting themselves for their respective situations, so that in the event of actual service they may be enabled to acquit themselves as becomes officers who have volunteered their services for the defence of their native land The several companies are to be exercised one day in the week until further orders. Captains of companies will take care of the ammunition until orders are given to issue it to the men.

In January, 1804, Captain Clarke gave his receipt to Lieut.Colonel Small for the following :—

63 muskets. - -
63 bayonets and scabbards.
63 cartouces and 63 cross-belts.
63 slings.
126 flints.
10 rounds of ball cartridges (630).
30 do. blank do. (1,890).

Good care, as we see by the next order, was taken that the men should not fire their ammunition away :—

Orrisdale, 13th January, 1804.

Regimental Orders.

Lieut. -Colonel Crellin orders the captains of companies not to deliver the flints to the men, but to keep them in their own possession, as well as the ammunition.

A month later the regiment was not fully equipped :—

To the officers commanding companies of the Northern Manks Volunteers.

Gentlemen,— Lieut.- Col, Crellin, understanding that some of the companies forming this corps have not yet received the whole of their arms and accoutrements, and that, owing to mistakes in the delivery, some of the companies have received more accoutrements than they are allowed or have occasion for, the several captains of companies are ordered, without loss of time, to forward to the adjutant an exact return of the arms and accoutrements in their possession, to regulate the application to be made for such accoutrements as may yet be wanted.

There are frequent orders from the War Office on various subjects. The first of these is concerned with " Regulations during the war for pay. clothing, and allowance for contingent expenses, for corps of Volunteer infantry." They are :—

1st.— Every corps claiming pay engages to live in the military district in which it is situated. .

2nd,—Every non-commissioned officer and private to take the oath of allegiance and fidelity to his Majesty the King.

3rd.— To a battalion of ten companies, or to a corps of front 250 to 500 private men and upwards, constant pay to be allowed for an adjutant and sergeant-major ; and for a corps of from 150 to 250 private men, constant pay for a sergeant-major.

4th. —A company claiming pay to consist of not less than 60 or more than Too private men, with 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, I ensign (2 lieutenants to the flank companies and such as consist of 80 private men), together with 3 sergeants (including the drill sergeant, 2 corporals, and 2 drummers per company.

5th.-—Sergeants receiving constant daily pay, and all drummers receiving pay either at a daily or weekly rate, to be subjected to military line. (?)

6th — One officer in each company, not above the degree of a captain, if taken from the half-pay, having served at least 18 months in full pay as a commissioned officer in the Regulars, Marines, Embodied Militia. Fencibles, or East India Company’s service, to have the constant pay of his Volunteer commission during his service in a Volunteer corps ; or one officer in each company, if not in full pay, but having formerly served two years in lull pay as a commissioned officer in any of the above military services, to have . pay equal to the half-pay of his former commission during his service in a Volunteer corps ; other captains, lieutenants, and ensigns to have pay for the like number of days as the men ; but no officer to receive pay for two commissions.*

7th.--—When a charge of constant full pay or constant half-pay is made for an officer, his former services must be particularly stated, and the pay list wherein the charge is first made.

8th.— When not called out on actual service, constant pay will be allowed to one sergeant and one drummer per company at the same rate as in the disembodied Militia, i.e., sergeants, 2s 6d ; corporals. 1s 2d ; drummers and private men, 1s. The pay of the drummers to be distributed at the discretion of the commandant (pay as disembodied Militia for the rest of the sergeants and drummers, and for the corporals and private men to be allowed for two days in the week from the 25th of February to the 24th of October, and for one day in the week from the 25th of October to the 24th of February, both inclusive, being 81 days per annum, but for effectives only present under aims in each respective day. Pay may, however, be charged for persons absent by sickness for a period not exceeding three months, on the commandant’s certificate to that effect.

9th —If a corps, or any part thereof, shall be called upon in case of riot or. disturbance, the charge for constant pay to be made for such services must he at the rates before specified in the margin, and he supported by a certificate by his Majesty’s Lieutenant or Sheriff of the county ; but if called out in case of active invasion, the corps is to be paid and disciplined in all respects as the Regular Infantry, the Artillery companies excepted, which are to be paid as the Royal Artillery.

10th.— The whole to be clothed in RED, with the exception of the corps of Artillery, which may have BLUE clothing, and Rifles, which may have GREEN, with black belts, t and to he repeated at the end of three years. The sergeant-major and one sergeant and drummer per company to have clothing annually. .

Allowance for Clothing.

£3 3 9 for each sergeant.
1 12 0 for each corporal.
2 3 6 for each drummer.
110 0 for each private.

11th.— An allowance to be made for each company in lieu of any contingent expense heretofore defrayed by Government, viz , £25 for companies of 50 private men, with an additional allowance of £5 for all private men beyond that number.

12th— Field officers and adjutants to be allowed the tax for one horse each.

13th— The paylist to be made out quarterly,viz., from the 25th December to the 24th of March following ; from the 25th March to the 24th -June ; from the 25th June to the 24th September, and from the 25th of September to the 24th December ; and to be transmitted - by post, under cover, addressed to the Secretary of War.

14th— A general agent will be immediately appointed by Government to act for the whole of the Volunteer corps receiving pay, and the necessary instructions on that head will he circulated from the War Office to the respective commandants.

The next document of this kind is a copy of a circular from Whitehall, dated the 25th April, 1807, which is sent to the various companies. In it his Majesty expresses his satisfaction at the " good order and discipline of the Volunteer Force of the United Kingdom," and states that he has formed "the most favourable opinion of its value and importance." He, therefore, says that it is his intention " to propose to Parliament that the pay and allowances settled for the Yeomanry Cavalry, and Volunteer Infantry and Artillery by the legislation of 1806, be extended to all Volunteers who have been enrolled subsequent to that period, or who may be enrolled hereafter, provided the respective establishment of Volunteer Corps be not thereby extended," and he expresses a hope that this proposal will have " the effect of preventing the gradual decline of this Yeomanry and Volunteer corps." Drill received much attention during the early days of the regiment. The various companies were exercised regularly on two days in the week, one of them often falling on Sunday ; but by 1805, attendance at drill, as we see from the following letter, had already become slack :— Orrisdale, 24th Dec., 1805. Lieut.-Col. Crellin feels it his duty to remind this Corps of the obligations with regard to attendance at exercise which Government expects, and which is absolutely necessary to render the corps effective. He observes, in the monthly returns from November to December instant, that thirty men of the Corps were absent, besides those returned sick, amounting nearly to the number of one company sick and absent in the whole in such months. The herring fishery being now over, there can be no excuse for non-attendance.

This state of affairs was, however, not peculiar to the Isle of Man. By 1806 it had become impossible all over the kingdom to get the Volunteers to do even one drill in the week. In June of that year Colonel Crellin sends a copy of an order from the Secretary of War to the various captains of companies, informing them that "Government has it in contemplation to make some new arrangements respecting Volunteer corps, and that, after the 24th inst., Volunteer corps are not to be exercised until the intended alterations are made known " ; and, he adds, " You will, therefore, give notice to your companies that they are not to meet after the 24th inst., until orders are received by you for re-commencing exercise, and that, in the meantime, the men keep their arms, etc., in good condition." The " intended alterations " arrived soon after this. They make one drill in a fortnight the standard, and permit such corps of Volunteers as have not completed twenty-six -days of exercise since the beginning of the year to assemble upon full pay till they have done so. In a later order it is provided that any corps which has not " exercised more than sixteen days in the present year " was to have the option of assembling upon permanent pay and duty for not less than ten, or more than fourteen, days, but that " in no case is the total number of days of exercise to amount to more than twenty-six" ; also that " the non-commissioned officers, drummers, and private men," are to " receive one shilling per diem each as marching or bounty money for the number of days they shall be assembled on permanent duty over and above the pay and allowances of their respective ranks."

The adjutant forwarded these circulars to the captain of each company by Colonel Crellin’s orders, with a request that they would let him know the number of days’ exercise performed by their respective companies since the 1st of January.

Inspections, as will be seen from the following orders, were not infrequent :—

Northern Manks Volunteers.

Headquarters, Orrisdale, 11th June, 1804.

Lieut.-Colonel Crellin returns his compliments to the captains, lieuts.’ ensigns, non-commissioned officers and privates for their soldier-like appearance at the . . . on the 9th inst., when inspected by Colonel Baillie . and he firmly relies that this corps will continue to improve the appearance of their arms by proper attention . . . The Lieut. -Colonel orders that the . . . copied into the orderly books be read to the several companies. Col. Crellin also thanks the adjutant and sergeant-major for their attention to the discipline of his corps.

Three weeks later notice is given of a further inspection :— -

Headquarters, Orrisdale, July 1st, 1804.

His Majesty’s Corps of Manx Northern Volunteers.

Lieut -Col. Crellin having received information that his Grace the Duke of Athole, Governor-in-Chief, is expected to arrive in the Island in a few days, and that in all probability his Excellency will inspect the corps directly, that the captains and officers, as well as the non-commissioned officers, will use their utmost exertions to discipline their several companies preparatory to such inspection, that it may appear evident that no less

. . . Illegible. - - .

attention is paid by the Northern than the Southern Corps in the use of arms, manceuvring, and keeping arms and accoutrements in complete order and repair. If any arms at any time be out of repair, the same is to be signified to a captain of a company, who is forthwith to send them to be repaired, and to send the cost of repairing arms to the Lieut. - Colonel quarterly, when the amount will be paid.

The above to be read at the head of each company every parade day.

Let the company be noticed to have their pantaloons clean washed, instead of being called out in that notice.

The next order relates to the date of this inspection

Regimental Orders.

This corps will he-inspected by his Grace the Duke of Athole in the field adjoining the highway, on Tuesday, the 4th, at eleven o’clock in the fore. noon Lieut.-Colonel Crellin therefore orders that the several companies will march from their respective parades so as to arrive at the sail field at ten o’clock at furthest on Tuesday, the 4th, as aforesaid, and that five rounds of blank cartridges . . ,

Our readers will note with amusement that the colonel evidently thinks that the greatest stimulus that he can give to his men is to threaten them with the risk they run of being surpassed by their comrades of the Southern Volunteers. He uses this argument several times in the book.

All further inspections of which there are any record are by Lieut-Governor Colonel Cornelius Smelt, who, on his appointment as Governor, in 1805, had also been givea the office of "inspecting field officer."

There are numerous letters from Colonel Crellin relating to drills and to the keeping of the arms in good condition, and asking officers for the returns of the effectives and non-effectives in their companies, etc. ; but these are of so similar a nature that one of them will suffice as a specimen :—

Kirk Michael, 23rd March, 1807.

Sir,—I am directed by Lieut. - Colonel Crellin to request that you will send to Captain Cannell (Kirk Michael), on Easter Monday or Tuesday, and he will deliver your propoition of arnmunition. You will please send a monthly return, and also a return agreeable to that required to be sent by the Secretary of State on the 1st of April, specifying the effectives enrolled previous to the 24th July, 1806, and the non-effectives to that period-—the effectives enrolled subsequent to the 24th of July aforesaid, and the non-effectives since that time—with the number wanting to complete (if any). I am directed to inform you that the contingent allowance is not yet received by the Lieut.-Colonel.

(Signed)WM, KEWLEY.

P.S.—The clothing is in Liverpool.

We find changes in the personnel of the officers from time to time :—-

Headquarters, Orrisdale, 13th June, 1804.

Gentlernen,—Major Farrant having resigned, I have to request your advice in the recommendation of a proper person to fill this vacancy, in doing which there should be as little delay as possible. Various reasons concur to induce me to seek your assistance in fixing upon a major : amongst these it is the first consideration with me that this situation should be filled up by a man of character, having landed property, and who has deserved your esteem. You will be pleased, therefore, to point out a suitable gentleman of this description, that I may take the earliest opportunity of forwarding the recommendation, and of returning you my best thanks for your assistance—I have the honour to be, JOHN F. CRELLIN.

To Captains Thomas Clark, Peel ;Thomas Cannell, Kirk Michael ; John Hughes, Ballaugh ; Thomas Allen, Andreas : William Christian, Bride ; Thomas Howard, Ramsey.

It is not known who was appointed major.

In 1806 " Zachariah Thatcher was appointed ensign in the place. of Mr. Thomas Radcliffe." This gentleman was afterwards an ensign in the Royal Manx Fencibles. In the same year Adjutant McIntosh resigned, and his place was taken by William Kewley, who had been an ensign in the Fencibles.

In1806, Henry Moore was appointed lieutenant, vice Lieut. Haigh resigned. He had held the same rank in the Fencibles. We find Frederick LaMothe(5) holding the office of assistant-surgeon. He was afterwards in the Fencibles in a similar capacity.

In 1808, Ensign Clucas became lieutenant, and succeeded Lieut. Moore in the command of the Peel company. Adjutant Kewley writes asking him to " send as soon as possible the tradesmen’s bills for the repairs of arms subsequent to Capt. Clark’s death, and for horse hire for the carriage of ammunition."

At the end of 1807, Colonel Crellin sent the following circular to the officers :—

Gentlemen,—His Majesty having been graciously pleased to order two additional companies to be added to the Royal Manks Fencibles, to be kept for the defence of this Island, it is my most earnest wish that every encouragement and facility should be given towards raising men for these additional companies. I have, therefore, to request that the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of his Majesty’s corps of Northern Volunteers under my command will use every effort to induce as many of the privates in the several Volunteer companies as may be necessary to complete the additional Fencible companies to enter into . .

It is evident that the corps never recovered from the resulting diminution of its numbers.

All through 1808 and 1809 complaints of short musters abound, and finally, on the 29th of December in the latter year, the corps was disbanded, Colonel Crellin writing to the officers as follows :— Gentlemen,—I have received a letter from the Ordnance Office by the last post, dated the 1st of December instant, and from his Honour Lieut.Governor Smelt, dated the 17th instant, signifying his Majesty’s pleasure for discontinuing the services of this corps after the 24th instant ; and I have it in command to assure this corps that his Majesty is very sensible of the zeal and public spirit which induced them to stand forward in defence of their country. I have his commands also to direct that the several captains shall receive from their respective companies the arms, accoutrements, and drums,to the same belonging . . .

There was evidently a good deal of trouble in connection with getting in the arms, etc., as we find a correspondence with Lieut. Hugh Clucas, who is now addressed as " High-Bailiff of Peel-town," on this subject, which did not come to an end till June, 1811. The colonel died in 1816. The colours of the regiment are in the possession of Mr. J. C. Crellin, of Ballachurry, his great-grandson .


* The spelling "Manks" was used in one case, and "Manx " in the other.

(1) High-Bailiff of Peel ; and on his death, in 1811, he was succeeded in the office by Hugh Clucas.
(2) Thomas Clark’s daughter was mother of Robert Moore, late High-Bailiff of Peel ;
(3) afterwards Speaker of the House of Keys.
(4) He lived at the house still called " Ivy Cottage, " in Michael,
(5) See
Manx Worthies," p 84.

6 Son of Dominique LaMothe (see "Manx Worthies," p. 131), and great grand. father of Mr Eric LaMothe, advocate.

* The pay. as we learn from a note in the margin, was—Captains, 9s 5d ; lieutenants, 6s 8d ; second lietitenants and ensigns, 4s; sergeants, 1s 10d ; corporals 1s 3d : drummers and private men, 1s.

‘I- The companies of the "Manx Northern Volunteers " seem to have. been all clothed in red.


The " Southern Manx Volunteers," or the " South Manx Volunteers," as they were sometimes called, were embodied at the same time as the "Manx Northern Volunteers," but they had a much longer existence.

We know nothing of their history till 1807, when Sergeant-Major Godfrey Tate, of the Royal Manx Fencibles, was appointed their adjutant. In 1808 they did garrison duty in Castletown. In 1810 their commanding officers were :— John Taubman (1), Lieut.-Colonel Commandant.

William Cunningham (2), Major.

Captains —Norris Moore (3), Thomas Corlett, Robert Watson, Edward Callow.

Lieutenants —Richard Quirk (4), John Osborne Christian, Sam. Harris (5), Edward Forbes (6), Robert Hastings.

Ensigns —John Beatson, William Maddrell, James Kewley, James Cowell.

Adjutant —Godfrey Tate,

When the Fencibles were disbanded, on the 23rd of March, 1812 the duty of guarding the Island was entrusted to this corps till the arrival of the 6th Regiment of the Line, on the 22nd May. In 1812, Colonel Taubman died, and was interred with military honours. He was succeeded by Colonel Steuart (7), an old army officer.

In 1813 the following promotions of officers were announced :— Captains :—J Gelling (8), vice Nicholson, resigned ; E. Forbes, vice R. Watson, deceased.

Lieutenants :—D. Christian, vice E. Forbes, promoted ; J. Beatson, vice Ft. Hastings, resigned.

Ensign : — W. Cubbon (8), vice D. Christian, promoted.

And, later in the year :— Captain Norris Moore to be major, vice W. Cunninglrim, resigned.

Robert Cunningham (9) to be captain, vice N. Moore, promied.

These Volunteers were present at Tynwald on the 5th July in this year, and, with the " Royal Veterans," saluted the Duke of Athole as he walked to and from the chapel to the hill. The Duke was " escorted by the Yeoman Cavalry of the North," and ‘‘the Captains of Parishes, girt with swords," followed him. The cavalry, who were 60 in number, under Captain Thomas Gawn (10), and Lieutenant Caesar Gelling, were placed round the hill. On the 1st July, 1815, the Southern Volunteers, with their band, took part in a public fete, on the summit of Snaefell, " in celebration of successes in war and the restoration of peace."

It is in this year that our older book begins. High-Bailiff Hugh Clucas had become a captain in the "Southern Manx Volunteers," and he utilized his old " Northern Manks Volunteers " order book". The first entry relates to his appointment as captain, that of J. Kewley as lieutenant, and of James Quirk (11), and Thos. Carran (12), as ensigns. He and Thomas Carran were posted to do duty at Peel, and J. Kewley and James Quirk were sent to Castletown, to be under Captain Cunninghame.

The next entry is a memorandum for the captains, each of whom is told, among other things, to " be careful in entering all orders in his order book, as well those received from headquarters as any others he may receive from the Lieut.-Governor as commanding officer of the regiment, whether verbal or written. To be particular in the roster for duty, and cautious in giving leave, particularly to any men likely to go to the fishing, and to absent themselves beyond the day." Captain Clucas was instructed to "send weekly statements for the party at Peel to the paymaster for the subsistence only." On the 28th of August, Captain Clucas wrote to the adjutant, saying that the "detachment" of his " company of Volunteers stationed here have not yet received their clothing." He, therefore, applied for ‘ instructions for obtaining the same," and he stated that he had written Lieut. Christian, at Ramsey, to know if the detachment under his command " had received theirs, and, if they had not, that he would inform him ( the adjutant) at once."

On the same day the adjutant, Godfrey Tate, who was stationed in Douglas, acknowledged his letter, and told him that, as regards clothes, the detachment at Peel " will have to remain as they are for the present," but that he would mention the application to Colonel Steuart.

The next letter is one from " Sam. Harris, paymaster," at Douglas, in which he informed Capt. Clucas that he encloses the amount of the weekly pay, i.e., £12 16s. 6½d., and that " the articles for the officers’ jackets are sent for, and will, I expect, be here in about ten days." Mr Harris, when enclosing the next week’s remittance, says, " With respect to the stoppage for the Waterloo subscription, it had better remain until the end of the month, and deduct it from the beer money." At a later date the following instructions on this point are issued by the colonel :— The corps having volunteered a day’s pay in aid of the Waterloo Fund, the paymaster will charge the same to the different officers’ accounts of the present month. The subscriptions of the non-commissioned officers, drummers, and privates will be charged to the several captains, who will stop one day’s pay from the men. £414 was collected for this fund in the Island.

An order is sent by the Colonel that " all applications relative to the duty of the corps are to come from the commander of the detachment direct " to him. He also ordered that " a roster is to be kept for duty, which is not to be classed (sic) except by leave of the commanding officers under particular circumstances, of which he will make a memorandum for the information of the commanding officer of the regiment, and if it be absolutely necessary to pass any man for duty, the next man upon roster is to be warned. No man upon any account can be allowed to take two guards successively."

On the 8th of September, the following circular was issued by Colonel Steuart :— Sir,—His Majesty’s Government having been pleased to grant a bounty of one guinea per man for each non-commissioned officer, drummer, and private, in consequence of this corps undertaking the permanent garrison of the Island, and such bounty bring disposable in the provision of such necessaries as may be required for service, and as I have little doubt but that the Captain-General is provided with the articles usually considered necessaries, I have to request you will recommend to your company and take their opinion upon the appropriation of 6s for the marching money, and two months’ stoppage of the beer money, in all 13s 6d, in providing for each individual a pair of grey cloth trousers and a pair of short gaiters, to become their own property at the expiration of their permanent duty. This appears to be essential to the health and comfort of the men during the winter months. I trust there will be no hesitation in the men of your company consenting to the above proposal . .

Eight days later he summoned a meeting of the officers at his house in Douglas " to settle the disposition of the marching money and other matters relative to the corps " ; but we do not learn what was done.

During the latter part of the year the corps was doing garrison duty instead of the " Royal Veterans," who had left the Island, and we find the following orders :—

Isle of Man, Sept. 21st, 1815.

Guards agreeably to the following detail to be daily mounted till further Orders by the corps of Manx Volunteers for the piotection of the batteries and powder magazine, viz






Douglas Hough





Peel Castle










of the above there will be mounted by day—

Douglas Hough—Battery 2 sentries.
Powder magazine . . . .1 do.
Peel Castle Battery . . 2 do.

By day—Total 4

By night—

Douglas Hough—Battery 1 sentry.
Magazine 2 do.
Peel Castle Battery 1 do.
By night —Total 4

Lieut.-Col. Steuart is desired to give such instructions to these several guards in written orders, to be posted up in the respective guard-house, and to be read to such ielieving guard by the non-commissioned officer commanding, that they may in the most effectual manner protect and preserve the ordnance and other of the valuable stores which Government have allowed for the service of this Island.

The sentries to be mounted in the batteries are to be planted that they prevent persons (except such as may be on duty) from entering the works, from approaching the magazine, and from trespassing upon the slopes. The sentries to be posted at the depot powder magazine on Douglas Hough are never to allow any person to climb over the enclosing wall. Those who may have occasion to go to the magazine on duty must be provided with the key of the gate regularly. By night. the sentries are to demand the counter-sign. The senior officer in garrison on the spot will, therefore, give one out every evening according to the custom of the service ; but it is not to be communicated to the town guards, and they are not upon any account what-ever to allow any person to approach their posts, unless provided with it, nearer than six feet. The sergeant of the guard at Douglas Hough to be ordered to visit his sentries frequently, especially those at the powder magazine, by night, to see that they are alert on their posts ; and the officer of the day to visit the guards and sentries after they are posted for the night’s duties, and to report thereon to the senior officer of the corps at Douglas.

The Commanding Royal Engineer, when not himself the senior officer, to have the countersign sent to hirn.—(signed) C. SMELT, Lt. -Governor.

Further orders for the Peel Company were given on the 28th September :— ‘rhe guard at Peel will consist in future of two non-commissioned officers and six privates—one non-commissioned officer and three privates for the Castle guard. The town guard as usual ; a sentry (If the Castle guard to be posted near the magazine. The following additional standing orders for guards will be posted in the guard-room in Peel, and be distinctly read and explained to the men at guard mounting by the officer, who will impress upon the minds of the guards the importance of the station under their charge.

The commanding officer at Peel will issue a countersign to the non-commissioned officer commanding the Castle guard, but not to the town guard.

Additional standing orders for the Castle guard at Peel —The sentry on duty will be particularly attentive to keep the posts clear, and never to quit their arms on any account. The non-commissioned officer of the guard will he attentive in preventing any person laying nets or trespassing in any way upon the ground belonging to the battery. The sentry is to prevent any person (except such as may he on duty) from entering and trespassing upon the slopes. After sunset the sentries will challenge any person passing near their posts, and, if they approach, demand the countersign. The officer will visit the guards . .

Some of the countersigns used are noted in the hook :—" Prince Regent," " England" " Wellington, "Duke of Athole,’ Lieut.-Governor Smelt," " Duke of York,’ " Peel Castle," " Waterloo," " Ramsey," " Creg Malin," ‘"Sally Port," " Castle Rushen," " Castletown."

Among other entries we find the following :—

The Lt.-Colonel desires to know why some of the men have not been regular in their attendance at muster."

Captain Clucas, in replying to the adjutant, says that the reason was that the men have been " aiding and assisting the farmers in this neighbourhood with the harvest." He also mentions that he has given the guard in the Castle coals and candles out of his own pocket till an order to draw from the barracks came, and he asks, in a postscript, that " whenever Mr. Harris gets the lacing," that he is " to hurry Creer, the tailor, with our jackets."

A week later he writes to the colonel asking if he may dismiss one of the guards in the Castle, who was absent from his duty and was found in a public-house " in a perfect state of intoxication." The colonel, in reply, orders him to dismiss the man for his " very improper, unsoldierlike conduct while on duty," and to " take a proper man in his place."

This letter, dated the 10th October, 1815, is the last entry in the book.

On the 27th December, a detachment of the corps acted with great promptitude in putting out a fire in Douglas. This seems to have been the only fire that it was ever subjected to

In March, 1816, Patrick Cannell, of this corps, who was doing sentry duty on the Red Pier at night, disappeared, and it was supposed that he had fallen from the quay, and had been swept away by the tide.

The corps was disbanded on the 19th of April in that year.

Captain Hugh Clucas died on the 15th of November, 1817.


 * A brass cap plate, oval in form, measuring three inches by 2½ inches, and having a crown and three legs engraved on it, surrounded by the words, ‘ Manx Northern Volunteers, " is preserved in the museum at Castle Rushen.

( i) He had previously been in command of the First Regiment of the Line. (See "Manx Worthies," p. 142),

(2) He had been in command of the 58th Regiment of the Line, and retired in 1802. (See "Manx Worthies," p 134).

(3) Afterwards Deemster.

(4) Afterwards Receiver-General.

(5) Father of the late High.Bailiff of Douglas.

(6) The banker, and father of Edward Forbes, F.R.S.

(7) Receiver-General. Villa Marina was built by him, the road in the front of it being called the "Colonel’s-road " after him.

(8) Advocate and M.H.K.

(9) Son of Colonel Cunninghame, and father of Captain Robert Cunninghame, of the " Black Watch," who died in 1815, on his return from the Crimea.

(10) Afterwards Deemster.

(ii) Aftewards High-Bailiff of Douglas.

(12) Afterwards an M.H.K.



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 1999