From the Castle Rushen Papers.
Document No. 53.
Liber Cur. Scaccar 1744.
At Castle Rushen the 6th April, 1744. Gentlemen,
The Declaration of War lately made by the King of France against his Majesty of Great Brittain is the occasion of my calling you together at this time, 'Tis an affãir of so extra-ordinary a nature and of such dangerous con-sequences to this Island, that without loosing any time or opportunity- we ought unanimously to Resolve upon proper Methods of putting our selves in some posture of Defence - against the Incursions of our enemys - at least to be able to resist their privateers who we may conclude will speedily be roveing up this Channell to distress and plunder us.
When we met upon the like occasion upon the opening of the War with Spain in March 1739, I see we came to certain Regulations for our preservation - and determined to raise money by way of Assessment on the Country in a Case much less hasardous than now to pur-chase a number of Arms for that purpose. Assessors were accordingly appointed and sworn and money collected but what became of it - or how the Execution of the Ordinance then made fell short of the well intended effect - I would willingly be informed from you. As to myself I alwas was, as I now am ready to do all things on my part necessary to the safety of the people.
I need not inform you of our present inability to withstand the attempts we may naturally expect to be made upon the Island. And there-fore I desire you will come on to consider & Resolve with me and the Lords Councill and Deemsters now present to Reinforce the Execution of the sd Ordinance of 1739 that the Assessment thereby order'd may be forthwith Levyed to furnish the Militia of the Island with a competent number of Arms and such a quan-tity of Amunition as will be sufficient to protect the persons and propertys of the people from the Insults of any Lnemy that may attempt to oppress us.
To the Twenty four Keys of this Isle now Assembled.
At Castle Rushen the 6th April Anno Dni 1744.
We the Governor, Council, Deemsters & Kevs of this Isle now assembled having taken the before written Representation and our Order and Decree of the 15th of March 1739 into duc-consideratiou - Do in this time of imminent Danger, for the preservation of the persons and propertys of the people of this Isle from the Incursions and Rapine of our Enemys, hereby Resolve Order and Decree that the aforesd Order Decree and Regulations of the 15th March 1739 for raiseing money by way of Assessment on the Countrey to purchase the number of Arms and Amunition therein mencon'd for putting the Island in a posture of Defence, shall forthwith be put into execution.
That the sum of Three hundred and twenty six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence thereby- ordered shall be Levyed and paid in without delay, viz. one halfe thereof on or before the 1st of -lay next and the other halfe on or before the 29th of September next -- but the second collection not to begin till the Month of July next unless upon Emergency there shall be occasion and orders given to Levy it sooner.
That the Assessors already sworn shall immediately proceed to their first collection - and if any of them be dead others to be sworn in to supply their places according to the Direction of the sd former Order.
And it is hereby further ordered that whereas several strangers and others are come into the Island since the sd Decree of 1739 - they, are also to be assessed by the sd Sworn Assessrs as being under the common protection of the Island in proportion according to the sd former order in that behalfe - and the same to be an addition to the Three hundred and twenty- six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence - so to be raised as aforesaid and paid in like manner and proportions as before mentioned in this Decree.
And the several Captains and Assessors of the severall & respective Towns and parishes are required to do their Dutys and Act and proceed herein at their perill. That strict Watch and Ward be continued on the Coast of this Isle - and the money raised by the Assessment both from the Clergy. & Laity to be paid by the Assessors respectively into the hands of the Comptroller and by him to Capt. Thomas Heywood and Mr. Wm. Murray to be applyed to the purchaseing of the Arms and Amunition so ordered to be bought by this and the former Decree before mentioned.
And if in case any of the Assess money col-lected was in the hands of any Assessor or Assessors since decd. their Execrs. or Admrs. shall forthwith pay the same to the now Acting Assessrs. upon demand - otherwise upon refusal & Certificate thereof returned by the sd Assessors to the Govern" Execution is to be by him granted for their comittmt. till they pay the same with all occasional fees.
John Kippax J : Cosnahan Edw : Moore Dan: Mylrea Jon. Taubman
J. Murray Cha Stanley Jon Quayle Wm. Christian.
Thos. Heywood John Watleworth Wm. Murrey Jon Christian Thos Stevenson Thos Christian Thos Gawn Matth. Christian John Oates
Willm. Qualtrough John Clucas
John Moore Edward Christian Thos. Radcliffe James Moore Qua: Curphey Richd. Tyldesley Wm. Stevenson.
Exd p. me John Quayle Compr & cler Rotul.