Quayle Bridge House Papers.
Document No. 207.
To the Worshipfull the Gentlemen of the Commttee Appointed by the Legislature to View the Harbours, & settle the Accots of the Supervisors belonging to each Harbour within this Isle. The Memorial of David Ross & Philip Finch Merchts supervisors of the Harbour of Douglas.
Sheweth. That your Memorialists in the Discharge of the Office of Supervisors of the said Harbour for several Years past have found themselves under a Necessity from the Greatness of the Work to Employ under them an Assistant in the Nature of an Overseer or Pier Master who has always had the Charge of hiring & Overseeing the Workmen and of regulating the births of Ships & other necessary works, and that without the Assistance of such Overseer and Pier Master, it is Impossible for your Memorialists to Execute the Dutys of their Office with that Constant attendance and Diligence which it requires.
That Philip Higgins the Person usually Employed in that service has, in the Opinion of your Memorialists Executed the same faithfully & diligently & to the Satisfaction of the People, & your Worships have hitherto alowed him a reasonable Salery, tho he has not yet received any Comission or Legall Authority to Enable him to do the Dutys of a Pier Master in so Extensive a manner as to be usefull to the Publick.
Your Memorialists therefore, with submission to your worships Opinion humbly Conceive, that the appointing Higgins Pier Mastr. of sd Harbour by Legall authority & granting him such powers & such Yearly Salary as to your worships shall seem meet for the proper Executing such Office, will be of the greatest Advantage to the publick in General & to trade.
All which is humbly Submitted to your Worships Consideration & Judgment by us.
24th June, 1752.
FPC: according to Frances Wilkins Phillip Higgin was appointed piermaster with one duty to keep 'an exact account of what ships and vessels came in and went out of the port' - apparently when his records were compared with those of Paul Bridson's (deputy searcher) it was obvious that PB had omitted some 200 vessels 'not though any design or fraud'. (F.Wilkins 2000 Manx Mariners,p51)