Lib. Scacc.:

Document 102.

The Vigil of Man, A.D. 1497, 1498.

The word ‘ Vigil ‘ is likely to be an abbreviation of ‘ vigilia,’ a watch, though it may be ‘ vigiles,’ watchmen.

The ‘ Custos ‘ would be the Warden of the Watch. He is apparently differentiated from those whose duty is indicated by ‘ p(er) noctem ‘ and p(er) diem,’ the night and day watchers respectively. It is suggested that the latter perhaps were lieutenants. The word ‘ Jurs ‘ (jurati) would indicate that all the officers of the Watch were sworn. The brackets are as in the original.




Gibbon Mtynson cust°
Gilbt Neleson p noctem
John Tailor p diem

} Jurs


John Norres cust°
Thom Stephson p noctem

} Jurs


Edmund More p noctem
Henrs McQuanty cust°

} Jurs


Robt Abelson
Gilbt Nele

} Castleton

Notes—In the ‘LiberAssed.,’ 1511, the Martynsons were in Fistard. Gibbon Neleson was a juror in 1498. He evidently kept the night watch at Port Erin like his descendant Gilbt Nelson in 1627. Gibbon Neleson was a substantial landowner in the treen of Edremony. He held Ballanele.

William Taylor was in Surby in 1511, and John would have the watch on Bradda.

John Norres was in Bymacan, and Thos Stephson (in the Keys in 1504) in Balydoill. Thomas, with his hold on the Calf, was apparently the more powerful of the two Stephensons in Balladoole.

A Henry McQuanty was moar in 1511. At the same period Robert Abelson had a small croft near the Castle, and it is supposed Gilbert Nele and he were attached to the garrison.

The Rushen list is the only one for 1497.




ffynlo forsts cust° p noctem
Willm8 Rykeby p diem



Laurenss Crosse p diem
Robyn Taloz cust°
Thom McQuelyn p noctem


Notes—Laurence Cross was in Knockaloe in 1513, and his descendant John kept his weather eye open for the ‘ red shanks ‘ at the same place in 1627.

Robyn Tailor was in Raby (the Richard Quirkot 1513, appears to have been sharing Raby Moar with other Tailors into whose clan he may have married), so that one might imagine that one of the posts of the Watch was on Raby. What rather lends colour to this is that a Radcliffe (probably of Gordun) was a warden in 1627, and another Radcliffe of Gordun in 1651.



Reginald Wryght cust p noctein
Adm McAloe p diem

Patr McAIoe cust° p diem
Mold McCorleot p noctem

John McCane de Jourby.

Notes—Reginald Wryght was evidently the most powerful man in the sheading and held three-quarters of the treen of Leyre. He was Coroner in 1500, and the Sheading Court was sometimes held in his house (‘ apud Reynold Wryght.’)

In the 1627 record of Watch and Ward ‘ Borodaill’ is given as the point of the Day Watch in Kirk Michael. In 1513 the remaining quarter of Leyre was owned by Richard McFayle, who also paid rent for the mill of ‘ Bordall ‘ (Borodaill). This may be identical with a mill on Leyre by Glen Wyllin, in which case the two watches were posted on Leyre.

There are no McAloes on the 1513 Roil for Michael Sheading.

Mold McCorleot belonged to the treen of Ballaskebag and was ancestor of the McCorleot who was night warden at the Cass ny Howin or Burnfoot of Ballaugh in 1627.

John McCane de Jourby owned the East Nappin and was ancestor of the Dollin Caine (Serjeant of the Bishop’s Barony, member of the Keys, etc.), to whom that vivid little fragment of the early 17th century refers:

‘ The Bishop himself sitting by who then liking well of the man said to the Lieutenant, ‘ I wonder how your worship did so well know him to be an honest man.’ (1610).’



ftynlo McCundre p noctem
John McMartyn cust
Gilcalm McCundre p diem i
ffynlo McCurry cust°

Donel McCowle p noctem
Paton Goldesmyth p diem
Gilcrist McKe cust°

Gibbon McKerd p noctem
Joh McCorleot p diem
Mych McQuark cust~

Notes.—Ffynlo McCundre was in Ballacunner in the treen of Balladorghan in 1513. Ffynlo McCurry, from the same treen, was in the Keys in 1504. There was a John McMartyn in the treen of Regaby in 1513, but that is a good distance from the Gob Gorryrn. Paton Goldesmyth was in Glendowne in 1513, Donald McCowle in Ballacowle, Cranstall, close to that shore so often raided by the Galloway men. Gibbon McKerd owned Ballaknock (Ballachrink), Breryk, and kept his nocturne on the Hangman’s Hill above the Mooragh and the mouth of the Sulby.

There is another list of the Vigilia of Ayre for the year 1500. In this Gilcrist McKe and John Martyn have disappeared and Wm. McInay and Pat McCormot take their places. The names too are not arranged according to the parishes, but in three sections of wardens (cust), p diem, and p noctem.



Thoms Geno’ p noctem
Ricd McHelly p diem p cust°
Mold Mcfaden p noctem Jur’
Willms McGillowny p diem

Joh McCorkell p noctem
Edmund McGawne p diemJur~
Edmund McG’mott p diem p cust°

Notes—These do not appear to be arranged according to parishes.

A Thomas Geonor has a cottage, chamber and brewhouse in Douglas in 1511. The brewhouse in the ‘ Liber Assedationis ‘ is generally (like the modern brewer) a symbol of prosperity, and he may be the man of the watch.

Edmund McGawne was in Bemahague in the treen of Tremsare in Conchan in 1511. [This is now Government House.]

John McCorkell was in Lewaigue and was Coroner in 1498.

Edmund McGermott was in Alia Raby in Lonan in 1511. At that time Richard McHelly was dead but his widow held Ballakilley near Maughold Church, so that he was captain of the Watch on the Head.

The Mcfadens would be at Garwick [Ballig].



Gibbon McAghton p noctem
John McFelis p diem Jurs
ffynlo McHelly cust°

This is incomplete and the list in 1500 is:

Gibbon Aghton p noctem
... Aghton p noctem
Reynold McQuyn p noctem

Jenkin Mcpson cust°
ffynlo McHelly cust°
Donald Mcfelis p diem

Notes—The McAghtons were of course in Douglas and at Ballaughton, named after the family.

Jenkin Mcperson was in the treen of Medall, Braddan, in 1511. A ffynlo McHelly was in Camlorge.

There was a Donald McFelis in Ballatersyn, Marown. It would be interesting to find out whether Marown had to contribute her quota to the Watch.

The 1500 list is incomplete unless the two custodes took the Day Watch.

[We are indebted to Mr. David Craine, M.A., for the above particulars—Ed.]


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