[From JMM vol 2 pp222]

The Manx Card Money.

From the year 1805 to 1817, owing to the lack of copper and silver coins circulating in Man, many of the merchants issued their own money in the form of engraved or lithographed cards of various shapes and sizes. The lowest value was 3d. and the highest 10/-.

The earliest dated cards noted by Dr. Clay in his work on the 'Manx Currency' (Manx. Soc. Vol. xvii, 1869) is 1805. Dr. Clay made as complete a list as possible of the pieces of card money which had been in circulation. His list is as follows :-

Banks, James, Douglas.
Bell, J. Uncertain. 3d.
Caley, John, and Patrick & Daniel Gawne, Jurby, 5/-,. 2/6.
Christian, William. Ballahow, Kirk Onchan.
Christian, William, Kirk Andreas.
Copeland, George & Co., Douglas, 1/-.
Corkhill, William, Kirk Maughold, 5/-, 2/6.
Corlett, Thomas, Douglas, 6d.
Cowle, Charles, Ballaghawe, K. Andreas.
Craine (or Crane), William, Douglas.
Davies, T., & Co., Douglas, 2/6.
Dunlop, Anthony, Ballanahow.
Forbes, Edward, Douglas, 5/-.
Forbes, Edward, & Son, Douglas.
Gawne, Edward. Uncertain.
Gawne, Edward & Thomas, Mount Gawne, 5/-, 2/6.
Gawne & Moore, Peel (probably).
Gibbons & Maddrell, Douglas.
Grayson & Mc.Bride, Douglas.
Holmes, James, & Co., Douglas.
Joughin, William. Kirk Andreas, 5/-, 2/6.
Kaighan, John. Uncertain.
Kaneen (or Kanan), Daniel, Kirk Andreas.
Kennish, Peter, Kirk Maughold, 2/6, 1/-.
Killey, William, Kirk Michael, 5/-.
Kissack, William, Ballig, Ramsey, 5/-, 1/-.

While the collection of Manx copper and silver coins is considered to be very good, the collection of card money in the Manx Museum, on the other hand, is far from worthy of the subject. The chief reason for this is that cards were easily destroyed, and few people have taken any interest in their collection. Between 1805 and 1818 there were as many as four dozen varieties of card money, but the only examples in the Museum are recorded in the following list :-

BOWSTEAD, J., 1/- Obv. Brawse, Kirk Andreas, Isle of Man. No. 2034, Sept. 1 1815 One shilling, payable to the Bearer on demand. J. Bowstead. Rev. Three-legs design with the motto. Yellow, rectangular, 2 2/10th ins. x 11 ins. with corners cut off.

BOWSTEAD, J. 2/6. Ob. and Rev. as above. Yellow, rectangular, 2 4/10th ins. x 1 7/10ths ins.

BOWSTEAD, J. 2/6. There is another example of Bowstead's 2/6 Card, showing a dotted ornamentation around the oval-shaped 2/6. It has the additional line in engraved script 'January the First 1815.'

BOWSTEAD, J. 5/-. Obv. and Rev. as above. Yellow, oval, 2~1 ins. x 1 9/10ths. Signed J. Bowstead, Jan. 1 1816.

CALLISTER, EDWD. 2/6. Obv. Isle of Man No. 994. Ent. Jos. Dugdale. I promise to pay the Bearer on demand Two Shillings & Sixpence British. Signed Edwd. Callister, Ballashamroch. 25 April 1812. Rev. in an oval frame, with the wording `payable in gold or bank notes; the change to be paid in by the bearer.' White, rectangular, 21 ins. x 1 8/10ths ins.

COPELAND, G. Obv. One Shilling British, with the Three-legs. Rev. Douglas, Isle of Man, January the first, 1814. (White, octa-gonal.)

FORBES, EDWARD, 5/-. Obv. (pink) 511-British No. Entd. Five Shillings payable to the Bearer on Demand at the Office of Edwd. fforbes. Around the margin - Isle of Man, Douglas, 1 Jan. 1812. Rev. (blue) is indistinct. 2 5/8 in. x 2 ins.

KELLY (WILLIAM). 5/-. Obv. Isle of Man. Flail and Fleece-United lettered around fig. 5. No. (269). Entd (K). I promise to pay the Bearer on demand Five Shillings British. (Wm. Kelly) Union Mills (4 Sept. 1811). Rev. an illustration of the two mills, the Corn and the Cloth mills, with the words `payable in Gold or Bank Notes; the change to be paid by the Bearer.' Oval in shape, pink. 2 6/8ths in. x 2 1/8th ins.

KISSACK (WILLIAM). 5/-. Obv. Isle of Man No. (704). Ent. (J. Kissack). Payable to the Bearer on Demand. Five Shilling British, at William Kissack's office in Ramsev (signed William Kissack). Date (20 Oct. 1805). Rev. Payable in Gold, Bank Notes or Bills upon Demand; the change to be paid in by the Bearer.

TEAR (JOHN). 10/-. Obv. Isle of Man. No. (950). Entd. (T.C.) June 1809. Pay-able to the Bearer on Demand Ten Shillings

British at John Tear's in Ballaugh. 10 in white numerals on a black disc. Rev. Pay-able in gold or Bank Notes. White, rect-angular, with the corners cut off. 2,3 ins. x 2 1/8 ins.

card money issued by W Kelly at Union Mills

Through a fortunate discovery in the home of a friend of the Museum, we were enabled to secure a few examples of the very rarest pieces. One of these is shown in the illustration given opposite page 222. It may be that some of our readers own examples not possessed by the Museum: in that case a special plea is made in order that our collection may be made as com-plete as possible.

 return to Index



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2003