NOTES ON THE MANX MONASTERIES

P. W. CAINE

IN 1417 Sir John Stanley, second of his line to hold the sovereignty of Man, received the homage of his subjects in the assembly of Tynwald. Before holding his Court he was instructed in the appropriate ceremonies, and among other things it was laid down that 'your Barrons, that made no faith or fealty unto you, that they make now.' The reference is to an earlier ceremony, the date of which may be accepted as 1408, when Sir John was proclaimed as his father's heir apparent. The instruction goes on: 'And if any of your Barrons be out of the land, they shall have the space of forty days. After that they are called in, to come shew whereby they hold and claim lands and tenements within your land of Man; and to make faith and fealtie, if wind and weather served them, or else to cease their temporalities into your hands.' At a later Tynwald, held in 1422, the Bishop, the Abbot of Rushen, and the Prioress of Douglas, did their fealty and showed their claims to their lands; but the Prior of Whithern in Galloway, the Abbot of Furness, the Abbot of Bangor, the Abbot of Saball - these last-named two were the same person - and the Prior of St. Bede's were called and came not. 'Therefore it was deemed by the Deemsters, that they should come in their proper persons within forty days, and if they came not then to lose all their temporalities, to be seised into the Lord's hands.' This is the account given in the official versions of the Manx Statutes; in a manuscript version in the British Museum, reproduced by the Rev. William Mackenzie in 1860, it is stated that 'they came not, for the which all their temporalities were seised into the Lord's hands.' (Manx Soc., Vol III).

The implication contained in the first-named account of this transaction, and the statement definitely made in the second, are incorrect. The lands held by the various ecclesiastical barons remained in their hands until the Reformation, and some of them were lay baronies until the beginning of the nineteenth century.

It has been supposed, perhaps naturally, that Sir John Stanley, who had already deprived the monasteries of their right to grant sanctuary to Lord's tenants accused of crime, launched a definite challenge to the Church, intimating that it must either subordinate itself to the State or forfeit its privileges. But one finds in this notice of forty days the echo of a very ancient custom attendant upon the holding of all baronies in Britain. When Robert Bruce of Scotland granted the sovereignty of Man to his nephew, Thomas Randolph, in 1313 - as is shown in Vol. VII of the Manx Society, pp. 162-5 - one of the conditions he imposed was 'making a personal appearance at our parliament . . . after a reasonable summons of forty days.' And in the fourteenth article of Magna Carta, King John of England binds himself to summon to 'a common council of the kingdom the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons singly by our letters, and in general by our sheriffs and bailiffs all who hold of us in chief, to a certain day and to a certain place, that is to say, on a term of at least forty days.'

The system of the feudal barony was known, then, to the Deemsters and the 'worthiest men of the land ' in 1417.

The only barons, the only persons entitled to allocate holdings of land in turn, were the bishop and the heads of a number of monasteries, who in the Norse period and in a few cases in the period from Alexander III to Thomas Randolph had received grants from the King.

After the Court had witnessed the fealty of the barons, its duty was to 'proceed in matters that touch the governance of your land of Man.' But that the whole body of barons was entitled to take part in the trying of cases of treason or felony, or in the declaration of laws, must be considered doubtful; at all events, the right cannot have been more than theoretical. In Sir John Stanley's time the Prior of Whithern was the subject of a foreign power; the Abbot of Furness, the Abbot of Bangor and Sabhal (pronounced Saul), and the Prior of St. Bede's, must equally have been the subjects of a power foreign to Thomas Randolph. It may be doubted whether any great concern was felt as to whether the 'barons out of the land ' made their homage in person or otherwise. Only the Bishop, the Abbot of Rushen, and the Prioress of Douglas attended the proclamation of Sir John Stanley - on its face value, the repudiation of Stephen le Scrope - in 1408. It is probable that they signified their homage for their lands in Man by letter or to a representative of the King who visited them at their own abode, and had their charters confirmed as had been customary on the accession of the heirs of all previous royal grantors. Many of the Manx charters which have been preserved are confirmations made by a new king as soon as convenient after his accession.

The Proofs

It is first necessary to submit the evidence showing that the lands granted to the absentee barons were not forfeited. The Prior of Whithern possessed the parsonages of Lezayre and Marown, together with lands in Marown attached to the ancient church of St. Ninian, founder of Whithern Abbey in Galloway, that church which in its ruined state we now know as St. Trinian's. The Abbot of Bangor and Sabhal - pronounced and often spelt Saul - held lands in Patrick; the Abbot of Furness possessed the parsonages of Maughold and Michael, and the Prior of St. Bees held lands in Maughold and Lonan.

In 1504 Thomas Stanley, second Earl of Derby, Lord of Man, obtained a registry of the priory of Whithern - as is shown in a well-known pamphlet by the Rev. T. Talbot - and in 1506, according to a document quoted in the Manx Museum Journal of September, 1932, he appointed a commission to 'set the temporal lands of Lezayre and Marown to the prior and convent of Whithern.' In 1511, as is shown in the Manx Museum Journal of June, 1931, he appointed a commission 'to decide disputes between Furness and Rushen . . . and between the Bishop of Man and the Prior of Whithern.' Members will bear in mind that Earl Thomas succeeded to the title in 1504, that he visited the Island in1507 after a punitive expedition to Galloway - in which area Whithern is situated - and that the years 1511 and 1515 witnessed the compilation of the Manorial Roll.

A volume of Derby Letters, published by the Chetham Society, shows that in 1538 the third Earl of Derby, Edward Stanley, leased to Richard Mader, otherwise Barber, 'the churches of Myghell and Maughell,' and in the following year, according to a series of documents reproduced in the Proceedings of this Society - N.S. Vol. II, pp. 257-61 - the same property was leased by King Henry VIII to Richard Woodward, 'yeoman of the king's chamber.' Woodward found that the tithes and other profits of the parsonage were withheld from him, and complained to a tribunal called the Court of Augmentations. In his complaint he declared that not only the properties in the Isle of Man belonging to Furness Abbey, but those belonging to the priory of St. Bees and the monastery of 'Bangor and Salley in Ireland were now come lawfully into the King's hands by dissolution.' The defendants in this suit pleaded their rights under leases granted by the abbey in 1523 and 1534. When Furness Abbey was in 1537 compelled to surrender its possessions, the deed expressly mentions properties in the Isle of Man, which included the rectories of Maughold and Michael. In 1539. according to the compilation of legal precedents made in the 18th century by John Quayle, Clerk of the Rolls, the Lord's steward appeared in the court of St. Trinian's barony and demanded criminals from the Lord's bar, 'being baron's tenants.' The existing records of the courts of the barony of Bangor and Saul contain a reference to an 'inquisition of record ' made in the time of King Henry VIII.

Nothing more is needed, I think, to show that, despite the some what ambiguous statements in the Statute Book, the non-native monasteries retained their lands in Man until what one might appropriately describe as the bitter end.

Members may wish to trace the career of these baronies from the time of their seizure by royal power until they became absorbed into the general land system of the island. of the Bishop's barony, which was quite extensive and was distributed among many parishes, I do not propose to speak. The Bishop continued to let his hands, and to call upon his tenants for 'customs ' and services down to well within living memory, and until a not much less recent period to hold courts for the settlement of disputes and the trial of offences.

Career until the Dissolution - Rushen Abbey

The Abbot of Rushen, an ecclesiastical potentate hardly second to the Bishop himself, held a considerable part of the parish of Malew, in which the abbey itself was situate, and some of which lands were granted as early as 1134 - lands in the parishes of Malew, Rushen, Lezayre, Lonan, Braddan and German, and the livings of the churches of Malew, Arbory, Rushen, Santon, and Lonan. The abbey was dissolved, together with the English monasteries, in 1540, and the abbot and monks were turned out. An inventory was made of the abbey's movable goods, and a 'computus ' of its lands. The eviction was performed on behalf of the King by Robert Calcott, an officer of Edward, Earl of Derby, and it is noteworthy that when Furness Abbey, of which Rushen Abbey was an offshoot, surrendered its possessions, the King made the Earl of Derby his steward.

I propose to argue later on that the Earl desired to retain the Rushen Abbey lands, and the lands which other monasteries held in Man, for himself, and engaged in strenuous controversy with the King. It is sufficient to say now that the Rushen Abbey possessions became the property of the King, and the Earl of Derby - Henry Stanley, Earl Edward's son - got them into his hands only when King Henry or his successors granted him a lease. This lease descended to Earl Henry's daughter-in-law, Lady Alice, widow of the short-lived Earl Ferdinando. Sir James Gell, in Vol. XII of the Manx Society, says that the Rushen Abbey lands were leased to Earl Henry in 1582. In the meantime they had been leased to two Englishmen, Robert Huggate and Robert Ashton, and accounts of the receipts and disbursements for a considerable number of years after the granting of the lease to Huggate are preserved in the Manx Museum.

Earl Ferdinando died in 1594. His brother William succeeded to the earldom, but the estates were claimed by the widow, Lady Alice, and during a lawsuit which lasted about fifteen years the Isle of Man was taken charge of by Queen Elizabeth. This did not immediately affect the validity of the lease held by Lady Alice, and when in 1610 the Isle of Man itself was restored to Earl William, the monastery lands of Rushen, Douglas, and the Friary were not at first included. They were finally thrown in, subject to a lease granted in 1606 to Sir Thomas Leigh and Thomas Spencer for forty years. These gentlemen were obvious nominees of Lady Alice, whose maiden name was Spencer. The Liber Monasterii, the court roll of the Rushen Abbey lands, begins in 1579, in the period of Earl Henry, so that Sir James Gell's date of 1582 may not be exact. It is shown by that book that the Lady Alice held the lands in 1600, on a lease which had a further eleven years to run. This seems to account for a list of the abbey tenants on 29th May, 1611, delivered to John Halsall, Clerk of the Rolls, by Thomas Bruckfield, the Lady Alice's steward, which has been printed as an appendix to the 1924 edition of the Manorial Roll. Lady Alice's lease, as will be seen, would normally have expired exactly at that time. The abbey courts continued to be held in the name of Lady Alice, who by this time had remarried and become the Countess of Ellesmere, and later she declared that she held the lands under a lease from King Charles. They remained in her possession until her death in 1637, and then in the possession of her executors, the Earl of Manchester and Lord Chandos. Though Earl William had been promised possession of these lands subject to the 1606 lease, it is not until 1646 that his son James ('the Great Stanley ') entered into his rights and the Courts began to be held in his name. A document in the Manx Museum, in a collection numbered 488c, shows that in 1632 it was decided by arbitration that the Countess should quietly enjoy the grant made to her by King James I for the remainder of the term of forty years, and that her Courts were to be under the jurisdiction of His Majesty's Court of Exchequer at Westminster, and not the Courts of the Isle of Man.

It may be recalled that when Earl James in 1643 forced the Manx landholders to take leases for three lives, he expressly exempted the tenants of the abbey lands. This is recited in a clause of the Act of Settlement passed in 1703, and the reason becomes quite plain; at that time the abbey lands were not the Earl's to deal with.

The Abbey Rental to the King

The abbey lands were held subject to the King's receiving payment of 101. 15s. 11d., which was exactly the value at which they had been assessed when let by the King after the Dissolution, so that the lessee could get no benefit from them except by raising the rents to the tenants. There were numerous and bitter complaints against the Lady Alice's stewards, one of whom happened to be the famous Bishop Phillips. In 1627, two years after he had ascended the throne, King Charles I transferred the right to receive this rental to his queen Henrietta Maria. The lands passed to the Great Stanley's son, Earl Charles, who gave them to the Bishop and Archdeacon for the benefit of the Manx Church. They are the basis of what is called the Impropriate Fund.

The rental of 101. 15s. 11d. to the king remained, and under an Act of the reign of Charles II for 'the sale of fee-farm leases,' it was transferred to John Bence, alderman of the city of London, who devised it to his daughter, Rachel, Countess of Westmorland. Pay ment was often in arrear, and the Exchequer Book of the Isle of Man for 1680 contains an order by the Earl to pay 662. 'Is. 5d. to John Bence or his agent. The agent was John Greenwood, of Lancaster, appointed by Bence in 1679. The Kenyon Letters (Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fourteenth Report, appendix, Part IV) record a payment of £989. 17s. 5d. to Greenwood in 1690. But in 1697 the Countess brought a suit in the House of Lords, alleging that when the arrears amounted to above 1,000, her husband (dead at the time of the suit) agreed to their being discharged by the yearly delivery of two hundred head of cattle. The hearing was adjourned, the House being informed that there were some proposals of accommodation, and the suit seems not to have been brought forward again. This information is obtained from the House of Lords Manuscripts, Vol. II (N.S.), pp. 539 et seq., a copy of which is in the Manx Museum.

The Nunnery - A New Explanation of its Origin

Together with the lands of Rushen Abbey went those of the Priory or Nunnery at Douglas. These lands lay in the parish of Braddan and were fairly extensive; the Priory also owned the parsonage of Conchan. When the Priory was dissolved, the Prioress and four nuns were evicted. Their names appear in the abbey computus, and one of them, Elena Lewin, was presumably a Manxwoman.

The Nunnery is popularly supposed to have been established by or in honour of Bridget, the famous Irish female saint who lived in the fifth century and was known to St. Patrick. A writer on Roman Catholicism in the Isle of Man has conjectured that the Nunnery belonged to the famous Bridgetine Order. Unhappily for these traditions, so attractive and so romantic, the Bridgetine Order of Nuns was founded not by St. Bridget of Ireland but by St. Bridget of Sweden in the period 1350-1370. A Bridgetine convent was built in England in 1415. Now the first document identifying the Manx nunnery, in 1408, refers simply to 'Cristina Prioress of Douglas,' who with others of the 'spirituality ' and with the twenty four Keys acknowledged Sir John Stanley II as heir-apparent. In that same year the Bishop of Sodor and Man 'had a great inquiry concerning the Monastery of Douglas and adjudged it to be a monastery of the Cistercian Order and. a document of 1511 - the year of the Manorial Roll - which states this result also states that ' Antony, Bishop of Durham and Lord of Man, gave the church of St. Conchan to the monastery of the Blessed Mary of Douglas.' Antony Bek was Lord of Man between 1296 and 1310.

The monastery of Douglas - where Robert Bruce in 1313 spent a night before laying siege to Castle Rushen - was therefore dedicated to St. Mary and was an establishment of the Cistercian Order. Rushen Abbey and its mother establishment Furness Abbey were Cistercian and were dedicated to St. Mary, and the Cistercians began to enrol nuns in 1125. The Chronicle of Man shows that in 1192 the monks of Rushen removed to Douglas, and remained there for four years. It seems probable then, that when they returned to their home at Rushen, they converted the buildings which they had erected at Douglas into a house of nuns. A church in the town of Douglas, predecessor of St. Matthew's and existent from at least the time of the drawing of Durham's map in 1595, is known to have been called the chapel of St. Mary. A convocation was held in St. Mary's of Douglas in 1685. The chapel is described as capella sine ecclesia, 'a chapel without a church,' which would be exactly applicable to a chapel associated with n0 parish church but with a monastery dissolved 145 years before. If in 1257, as is commonly inferred from a statement in the Chronicle of Man, the monastery of St. Mary at Rushen built a church of St. Mary in Castletown, it would seem quite logical that the monastery of St. Mary's at Douglas should build a chapel of St. Mary in Douglas.

Port St. Mary

Attention should be called to the statement in the Chronicle that King Reginald II, murdered in 1249 near Trinity Church in Rushen, was buried in 'St. Mary's Church in that place.' The abbey held a piece of land which in 1703 was named Ballavrara, 'farm of the brethren,' and which was situate around Chapel Bay at Port St. Mary. The inference may be justified that Rushen Abbey, besides owning the lands and emoluments of Rushen Parish Church, erected a chapel and established a small body of brethren at the place which has consequently been called Port St. Mary.

The Friary

The quarterland in the treen of Bemaken, Arbory, which was held by the Friars Minor, was held quite differently from the other monastery lands of the Isle of Man. The King of Man in 1373, William Montacute second Earl of Salisbury, provided lands for the erection of a chapel and the support of twelve brethren of the Order of St. Francis, but did not grant the 'land outright. The Manorial Roll of 1511 shows, or purports to show, that the Lord received 20s. rent from the Friars Minor. A document in the Manx Museum shows that in 1705 the Lord called upon his officers for an explanation of various abatements of rent, including ' the allowance of 20s. made to Mr. Tyldesley for the half rent of certain lands called the Fryery.' The officers quoted a record of proceedings before the Lieutenant, officers, and Keys in 1610, when it was found that 'neither by any record nor in the memory of man,' had any 'customs ' been paid out of this land, either in the time of the Friars or since. (It should be explained that between 1610 and 1705 all Lord's rents had been doubled). It would appear that William Montacute and his successors, though they did not or could not convey the Friary property to the Friars outright, excused them from payment of the 'customs ' or the articles of farm produce which in those days represented rent. When the Friary was dissolved, the land would naturally revert to the Lord's actual possession, and ought not to have been included in the properties treated as abbey lands.

The Earl's Controversy with the King

I propose now to develop a theory that Edward, Earl of Derby, tried hard to acquire the lands of the dissolved monasteries as an appurtenance of the Manx dominion. The Earl of Derby was one of the most magnificent noblemen in England, and the scale of his household was like that of royalty itself. Whether he adopted the title of King or Lord, he was sovereign of Man. It was natural for him to argue that if the monasteries were to have their lands taken from them, the King to whom the lands ought to revert was the King whose ancestors had granted them. Richard Woodward's complaint in 1540 that not only the possessions of Furness Abbey but those of Bangor and Saul and of St. Bees were being withheld from the King suggests concerted action, and the person most likely to initiate such action was surely the Lord. In 1541, two years after Parliament had passed the Act dissolving the English monasteries, and one year after Henry VIII had descended upon the monasteries in Man, the Earl obtained a declaration from Tynwald that 'my Lord is chief and metropolitan of Holy Church.' It is true that the Earl's actual opponent in that controversy was the Bishop, who had attempted to appoint a vicar of Michael without the Earl's knowledge, but the Earl may have considered that since the Act of Supremacy had made the King, and not the Pope, head of Hdly Church in England, the new maxim was good enough for the King of Man.

In 1542 Parliament passed an Act transferring the bishopric of Chester from the province of Canterbury to the province of York, adding that the bishopric of Man should be deemed part of the province of York in all respects the same as the bishopric of Chester. Now there is no indication that the diocese of Sodor and Man had ever belonged to the province of Canterbury. On the contrary, after it had lost its union with the Norwegian archbishopric of Drontheim, it had acknowledged as its superior the Archbishop of York. The reference in this Act of 1542 to Canterbury seems to apply to Chester only, and the clause relating to Sodor and Man appears to be entirely distinct. I suggest that it was intended as the King's counterstroke, an intimation to the Earl that he would not be allowed to consider himself a sovereign. In 1546 the King took it upon himself to appoint the bishop, although the grant of the Isle of Man to the Stanleys expressly included the patronage of the bishopric. This act of aggression, for it was nothing less, has often been commented upon by Manx historians, and I suggest that it was a step in the controversy between the rulers of England and Man as to which of them was to receive in future the obedience hitherto given to the Pope.

The Earl was in fresh trouble with King Henry's successor, the zealous young Protestant Edward VI. In the House of Lords he opposed the laws which changed the doctrines and ceremonies of the Church - it is hardly necessary to remark here that Henry VIII was 'Defender of the Faith,' and had interfered with nothing but the Papal supremacy and the institution of monkhood - and he was under such suspicion that in 1551 he was commanded to give up his title to the Isle of Man. He refused, and declared that he was prepared to resist by force. (This is so stated in A. W. Moore's History of the Isle of Man, Vol. I, p. 21g). What followed this defiance does not appear; but this may have been the period, rather than that of the Earl's father Thomas, when the Lords of Man ceased calling themselves King, and the motive may not have been 'policy,' as the Great Stanley said in his letters to his son, but unpalatable necessity.

The Furness Abbey Livings

Furness Abbey, as already stated, owned the parsonages of Maughold and Michael, with small parcels of land which cannot be clearly identified. They are set out in a list made after the abbey's surrender in 1537, which is reproduced in Vol. IX of the Manx Society.

These parsonages originally belonged to the Bishop, as is shown in a Papal Bull of 1231 (A. W. Moore's History of the Isle of Man, Vol. I, p. 17g). In 1299 Bishop Mark conveyed them to the Abbot of Furness, asserting that he did so 'without compulsion or exaction, or even fear of the said Abbot, although at the time of the appropriation he had the custody of the Isle of Man.' Most commentators have thought that the Bishop protested too much. This transaction, together with a transfer of the parsonage of Lezayre, also held in 1231 by the Bishop, to the Priory of Whithern, must have later on been in dispute, for the charter ,granted by the Lord to the Bishop in 1423 included Lezayre, and the charter granted in 1505 included Maughold and Michael. Bishop Mark's successors were apparently endeavouring to get the concession revoked. The effort seems to have been in vain, for in 15o6, the year after his grant of these rectories to the Bishop, Earl Thomas appointed a commission to 'set ' the lands of Lezayre and Marown to the Prior of Whithern. In 1585 Queen Elizabeth granted the parsonages of Maughold and Michael to Thomas Preston. William Harrison, editor of Vol. XXIX of the Manx Society, includes Thomas Preston among the vicars of Michael, but that is a misunderstanding; Preston was not the clergy man but the 'farmer ' of the glebe and 'profits,' quite a different matter. This Preston is mentioned in the Kenyon Letters as having; in 1585 raised fifty soldiers for the Queen's service in Ireland, and the same Letters refer in 1682 to his apparent descendant Sir Thomas Preston. Sir Thomas owned an estate in Furness, 'which was before recorded in the Court of Exchequer as being settled to superstitious uses.' Doubtless this 'estate ' was the ruined abbey, and doubtless the earlier Preston was granted a lease of the general possessions of Furness Abbey, including those in the Isle of Man.

In 1603 the queen - or perhaps King James I, who succeeded her in that year - granted these parsonages to Francis Phillips and Richard Moore 'for ever.' They were then described as 'united to the Duchy of Lancaster,' to which domain the possessions of Furness Abbey had been transferred. By 1620, however, they had got into the hands of the Derbys, for it is recorded in the Exchequer Book of that year that the former lessee of the profits of Michael was obliged to leave the church chancel in as good repair as he found it, 'it being now in the Lord's hands.' The 'former lessee ' in this case was Deemster Ewan Christian, so that the lease to Phillips and Moore must have had a very short duration. Earl Charles included Maughold and Michael in the grant of abbey lands to the Bishop and Archdeacon.

Whithern Lands and Livings

The Priory of Whithern owned, as we have seen, the rectories of Lezayre and Marown, with considerable lands in Marown and German. The lands, and the churches of 'Runan ' and 'Ninian,' were granted by the Manx King Olaf II in the twelfth century, and the church of Lezayre by Alexander III of Scotland in 1285. An interesting fact disclosed in this series of grants, collected in a. pamphlet by the Rev. T. Talbot, is that one of them was made or confirmed by Prince Alexander, the King's son - the youth whose early death led to the conflict concerning the Scottish kingdom - and that he was styled Lord of Man. Thomas Randolph in 1325 purported to grant to Whithern the rectory of Bride, but this grant does not seem ever to have become effective. Apparently Whithern was in possession up to the Dissolution, for in 1545 the 'commendator " complained that the profits of these Manx churches were being held from him. Mr. Talbot comments that the Earl had followed the King's example by confiscating on his own account the possessions of a Scottish religious house.

At some date prior to 1577 the Earl leased the whole property to Sir George Stanley - this is shown by a verdict delivered by the Deemsters and Keys in 1701, and recorded in the book of the Courts of the Barony of Bangor and Sabhal; in 1577, as shown in Vol. IX of the Manx Society (p. 71), he granted a lease to Robert Salisbury on behalf of John Handmere and his wife, and their two sons; bu+ Salisbury surrendered the lease in 1587 and it was granted to Roger Bradshawe, of Aspull, in the county of Lancaster, on behalf of William Wright, parson, of Warton, for himself and wife and their two sons. (In each case the lease was for three lives). In John Quayle's Book of Precedents it is found that in 1602 the lease was surrendered again, and this time to local persons, namely John (possibly Thomas) Quayle of Kirk Conchan and John Curghey of Lezayre. In 1667 the lease was granted to Edward Curghey, William Carrett, William Standish and "Thomas Casement.

At about this time the question seems to have been raised of whether the lands of St. Trinian's were to go with the rectories of Marown and Lezayre, or to be held separately. In 1672 a petition which Ferdinand Calcott, executor of Thomas Quayle, pre sented to Bishop Bridgman was referred to the Keys, who appointed four of their number to take evidence, but no action appears to have been taken (Book of Bangor and Sabhal). The Bishop considered himself to own the rectories on behalf of the Impropriate Fund, and he committed 'John Quayle of Lezayre ' to the ecclesiastical prison for withholding the profits 'under a pretended lease,' and at the same time neglecting to maintain the chancels (Manx Museum Journal, March, 1933).

In 1701 the Deemsters and Keys gave a verdict in the question initiated thirty years earlier and decided that the barony rents ought to be received by the lessees of the rectories of Lezayre and Marown, even though the barony had not been mentioned in the Earl's grant. Nevertheless, they declared, the Courts had been held by the Lord's officers and the fines and compositions paid to the Lord, and the honour and royalty of the barony remained with the Lord.

When the lease expired, presumably, the barony and the rectories were detached. In 1763 the Barony of St. Trinian's, then belonging to the Duke of Atholl, was granted to John Quayle, Clerk of the Rolls. Mr. Quayle held his courts, appointed quests to set his lands, and even claimed, after the Revestment, the right to render ceremonial homage to the King - or alternatively the King's representative, the Governor - as the Duke's successor in the sovereignty of the island. The Quayle family sold parts of the estate from time to time, and when the Duke's manorial rights were bought out by the Crown in 1824, the remaining portion of the Barony of St. Trinian went with the rest.

Bangor and Sabhal

The barony of Bangor and Sabhal, consisting of land in Patrick, must also have remained in the hands of the King, for it was he who caused the 'inquisition ' to be taken after the Dissolution. In 1585-6, when the Book of the Court of Bangor and Sabhal begins, the seneschal of the baron court was Richard' Sherburne, then captain or governor of the Isle. In 15g5 Queen Elizabeth leased the barony to Richard Sherbburne, Henry Sherburne, and Richard Sherburne the younger for three lives. She had assumed the guardianship of the island during the Derby family's lawsuit, and may have simply been acting as a trustee; but when the barony was leased for thirty years to Richard Sherburne in 1669, the lessor was King Charles II. In 1700 King William III leased the barony to Sir Nicholas Sherburne for twenty-nine years. The Sherburnes were a gentle family settled at Stonyhurst, Lancashire. In 1739 King George II granted a lease (by patent) to Edward Chew, of Preston, who in 1747 assigned it to John Nicholson, of 'Kennington Lane, in the parish of St. Mary, Lambeth, in the county of Surrey." What happened in the end is not clear, but the British commissioners who visited the island in 1791 found that the barony was held from the Crown by the Duke of Atholl.

The Courts for Bangor and Sabhal and for St. Trinian's were usually, but not invariably, held together. Often they took place in the dwellinghouse of one of the tenants. 'Apud domurn Henry Radcliffe ' is quite a typical entry in the records.

St. Bees

The barony of St. Bees seems to have escaped the attentions of either the King or the Earl, and fell outright into the hands of the Christians of Milntown. 'Mr. Curwen ' was stated to have the right to hold the baron courts by the commissioners in 1791. How the Christians acquired it, I cannot profess to answer. They and their relatives in Maughold were influential in the island's public life in the generations following the Dissolution. Deemster John Christian was a joint lessee of the Maughold and Michael rectories in 1539

The relationships, if any, of St. Bees with the stafflands in Maughold, and the ownership of the stafflands generally, form a subject which is absolutely baffling. An entry in the Exchequer Book of 1621, quoted in Quayle's Book of Precedents, contains a reference to 'Terra sancti Bees ' but also, and apparently as an alternative name, Terra Baccul. This tenant of lands in 'Terra sancti Bees ' was held to be a barony tenant. In 1717, at an inquiry con cerning the staffland of Maugland, Robert Christian stated that 'old viccar Christian,' the first Protestant minister, treated the glebeland ('commonly called the staffland ') as his own property, and gave it as a dowry to his daughter Isabel on her marriage with Ewan Christian of Lewaigue. Vicar Christian's second son was the famous Edward Christian, governor of the island at various periods between 1628 and 1640, and Robert Christian of Baldromma, one of the farms which is still termed staffland, was Deemster in 1589.

The Rev. J. G. Cumming, in his notes to the Manx Society's edition of Chaloner's History of the Isle of Man, declares that St. Bees gave their lands in Maughold to the Christians in exchange for certain lands which the Christian family held in Cumberland, and which were convenient to the monastery. The suggestion implies that lands in Cumberland were owned by the Christians before 1540.

The Particles

A little time may remain for a discussion of 'the Particles,' the lands which the Church held in trust to educate poor men's sons for the priesthood. This subject has been dealt with in a pamphlet by the Rev. T. Talbot, who with other students holds that the Church was the lawful owner of these lands and was robbed of them by the Lord. They are shown in the Manorial Rolls of 1511 and onwards as Lord's lands, let to non-ecclesiastical tenants and paying Lord's rent in the ordinary way.

The additional information which I think I am in a position to give is that the Particles as shown on the manorial roll are situated, with one exception, in parishes where the bishop had his barony - the exception being Maughold, where the barony lands were held by St. Bees - and the treen maps drawn by Mr. William Cubbon show that in all cases they adjoined barony land.

In 1403 King Henry IV made it known that he had conceded to Luke Macquyn of the Island of Man, 'scholar,' certain alms called particles, 'vacant, as it is said, and in our gift,' which alms were appropriated to the support of certain poor scholars of the island, and 'were given, confirmed, and conceded perpetually to the scholars by our predecessors, former Kings of England.' Macquyn was to hold these particles 'so long as he shall remain a scholar for the benefit of the Church, and shall not be promoted.' So runs J. R. Oliver's translation in Vol. VII of the Manx Society. Mr. W. W. Gill has kindly suggested an alternative reading, 'so long as he shall administer the schools.' The inference is that Macquyn was not simply a pupil but a director.

On this showing, the Particles were originally granted by a King of England, and their date cannot be earlier than 1290, when Edward I assumed control of Man. But Macquyn's petition says that they were 'granted by the Lord's or Kings of the Isle, to endure for ever.' When King Henry made the grant, the lordship of Man was vacant, the Earl of Northumberland having taken part in a rebellion earlier in that year. Macquyn describes the 'alms ' as being in the King's hands through the forfeiture of William le Scrope, which took place in 1399; apparently the petition was in abeyance for four years. The King's claim that 'our predecessors ' had given the lands may have resulted from insufficient knowledge.

In the Tynwald of 1430 certain landholders - who all appear on examination to have belonged to the sheading of Glenfaba - were called upon to account for their recent conduct. The record is far from intelligible, but they had refused to pay Church dues until a grievance had been remedied in regard to the Particles. They declared that the Particles ' were ordained for the relief of the poor scholars, and now are dealt in other uses by the fault ' - another version says 'default ' - ' of the Bishop,' and demanded that the fault be corrected 'as the law will ' - the wording in the other version is 'as the law will, and the old constitutions, as by the said presentment annexed to this.' The 'presentment ' had been made by these men as an enquest sworn before the Bishop's ' commissary ' when he conducted a visitation at Peel in 1429, and the commissary and enquest were accused of ' attempting the King's right and inherit ance of his land of Man.' Some of them admitted the charge, but others denied it and were acquitted.

It would seem, then, that the Bishop, already possessing the barony, was granted adjacent lands on condition that he provided for the education of the future clergy; that in 1403 the trust was not being carried out, and a petition to the King was necessary; that in 1430 the Bishop was breaking the promise either directly or by lack of supervision, and that the Lord, who did not recognise the gift to the Bishop as other than conditional - the lands, he affirmed, were his ' right and inheritance ' - resumed them into his own hands.


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