[From Manx Soc vol 10]
THIS Island (as before is said) being first of all inhabited by the ancient Scots; (50) that is to say, by the Irish or Highlanders of Scotland; so doubtlesse had they Governours of their own Nation, of whom I find mention to be made onely of Two.
First of one Mananan Mac Bar(51) a Pagan and Necromancer, who by raising of storms and mists, is said to secure himself in that Government from forrain invasion; or rather by the natural situation of the place, subject to storms and mists; who took of the people no other acknowledgment for their land, but the bearing of Rushes to certain places call'd Warefield, and Mame, on Midsummer even. The other was named Birle, of whom besides his name, I find nothing recorded. This Island hath also sometime belong'd to Brittain. It is not extant in any History that I have met with, that this Island was ever under the jurisdiction of the Romans; for by Mona in Caesar(52) and Tacitus, is to be understood Anglesey; but that it was under the awe (which, as their fame, was diffused every where) of their Empire, no question is to be made; especially since it lay even within the prospect of Brittain; yet by the Urns there found, the contrary would seem to be apparent; some enclosed in Coffins(53) of stone; one Coffin containing divers of them: and in such sort Dr. Batthurst, skillfull in Antiquities, and a carefull, learned, and judicious Physician of London hath observed them to be found in the Northern parts of England, about Featherstone-haugh; and near Bishops-Court: Whilest I remained in this Island, I caused one of those round hills (which in the Plains of Wiltshire are very frequent, and by the Inhabitants termed Barrowes, like as in the Midland parts of England they call them Lowes commonly and truly held to be the Sepultures of the Danes or Norwegians, and others of that Northern tract invading and possessing Brittain) to be opened; in which were found 14 rotten Urns, or earthen pots, placed with their mouths downwards; and one more neatly then the rest in a bed of fine white sand, containing nothing but a few brittle bones, (as having pass'd the fire) no ashes left discernable: hereabouts are divers of these Hills to be seen; but in other parts of the Isle, few and dispersedly; some of these being environ'd with great stones pitched endwayes in the earth: This Countrey was possessed (as presently will appear) by the Norwegians; whose rite of Buriall was in ancient time (as all the Northern people in that Tract, if eminent persons) to burn the bodies of their dead; and to preserve within the earth in vessels of glasse, earth or stone their ashes; and this was introduc'd or establish'd by a Law, by Othinus their King, and continued among them and the Swedes longer then with the rest; as Olaus Wormius, publique Professor of Physick in the University of Haffen, the same is it which by the Germans is called Copenhagen, in his Learned Danish Antiquities hath well inform'd me; by the testimony of good Authors, and Experience itself;whose discourse giveth better light (writing but of his own Countrey) to the knowledge of divers ancient Monuments among us, then cloth appear from our own Historians, evincing not onely vulgar errours of this kind; but the Judicious will be here by the better able to difference Roman Antiquities from Saxon, and the like; wherein without much consideration, it is easie to mistake; as among us by common experience we find. But pardon this somewhat of digression.
Afterwards it came under the subjection of Edwine K. of Northumberland; which being all that I read of it, I conceive that either he or his Successours soon deserted it; or were expulsed thence. (54)
In the year 1066, it came under the subjection of the Norwegians by Conquest (55) and so did shortly after the Hebrides or Western Isles of Scotland; by which means the Kings of Man were stiled the Kings of Man, and of the Isles; of this race there were 12 in number: 1. Godred, sirnamed Crovan, the son of Harald the black of Irland. 2. Lagman, the eldest son of Crovan. 3.Magnus, Ring of Norway. 4. Olauus the son of Godred Crovan. 5. Godred his son. Reginald the 6th King, base brother to Godred. 7. Reginald, base son to Godred. 8. Olauns the legitimate son of Godred. 9. Harald his son. 10. Reginald his brother. 11. Harald the son of Godred Don.12. Magnus and last King of Man of the Norwegian race, who dyed in the year 1265; so that this Government had continuance 199 years, together with a constant succession of calamities both domestique and from abroad, which for the readers information, I desire leave to refer him to Mr. Camden's Britannia.
Then the dominion of this Isle and the Western Islands was translated to Alexander K. of Scots, partly by force and partly by agreement with the K. of Norway to whom and his successours, he was to pay 3 marks in Gold upon every new accession to the Crown. This Isle the Scots(56) held but 74 years, but the Western Isles even to our times.(57)
Mary (58) the daughter of Reginald the last K. of Man of that name, next heir to the Crown, married to the Earl of Strathern in Scotland, complained to Edw: the first King of England at St. John's Town, at such time as he invaded Scotland, for her right, but without remedy; whereupon John deWaldebeofe her Grandchild in the 33. year of the same Kings reign, made his request to the Parliament; but getting no redresse neither; William Mountacute Knight, deriving an Interest in blood from the said Mary, took this Isle by force of Arms from the Scots, but by reason of the great charge he was at in subduing it, he was constrained to mortgage it to Anthony Bec Bishop of Duresme, and Patriarch of Jerusalem for the space of 7. years.
The said Bishop of Duresme had it by Grant of the K. afterwards during his life.
Pierce Gaveston that voluptuous insolent and ambitious Gascoyn, and the Bane of his Soveraign Edw. 2d. to whom he was Favourite, by grant from the said King had it conferr'd upon him what time as he created him Earl of Cornwall.
The said King gave it after he was beheaded, to Henry Lord Beaumont,(59) who was devested of the same, as by the Record appears.
Charta(60) Edwardi II. Regis Anglice, Insulam deMan conceders Henrico de Bello-Monte, pro vita.Cujus Recordatio rediviva & in lucem revocata effulsit, ab elucubratis & insopitis studiis viri vere praenobilis, Antiquitatis indagatoris indefessi, & perpetuis prceconiis in posteros ebuccinandi, &c. Domini Wingfeldi Bodenham Equitis Aurati.
Rex omnibus adquos,&c.salutem. Sciatis quod pro bono sersitio quod dilectus consanguineus, et fidelis noster Henricus de Bello-Monte nobis hactenus impendit, dedimus ei et concessimus pro nobis et haeredibus nostris, totem terram nostram de Man, habendam et tenendam eidem Henrico ad totem vitam suam de nobis et haeredibus nostris, libere, quiete, bene, integre, et in pacecum omni Dominio et Justitia Regali, una cum feodis militum, Advocationibus Ecclesiarum, et domorum Religiosarum, libertatibus, liberis consuetudinibus, escaetis, et omnibus aliis ad pradictam terram spectantibus, seu spectare volentibus, quoquo modo per servitia quae Domini terra predictue Regibus Scotiae inde facere consueverunt. In cujus rei, &c. Teste Rege apud Novum-Castrum super Tynam, primo die Maii, per ipsum Regem.
AUSSINT pur ceo q mons Henri de Beaumont ad pris de nre Seign' le Roi, au damage et deshonur du Roi puis le temps de l'ordeinement des Ordeinours a quel le Roi se agree, le Roiaume de Man et autres terres, rentes, franchises, et baillies et procure de doner as autres terres, et tenementz, fraunchises, et bailliers countre cel ordeinement, et pur ceo q'il ad malcounseillez le Roi encontre son serment, nous ordeinons q'il soit oustez du Counseille Roi pur touz jour, et q pres du Roi mesne viegne nule part s'il ne soit, a commune somounse du Parlement, ou en guerre si le Roi le voet avoir s'il ne soit p commun assent des Ercevesqes, Evesqes, Countes, et Barouns, et ceo en plain Parlement; et totes les autres terres q'il tient dedeinz le Roiaume D'engleterre soient pris en la meyn le Roi D'engleterre, et tenues taunt q le Roi, eit receuz des issues de celes terres, la value detouz lez esplez q le dit Sire Henri ad pris des terres receuez countre le dit ordeinement. Et si l'avant dit Sire Henri viegne en nul point countre ceste ordeinance, soit desheritez pur touz jours de touz lez terres q'il aden Engleterre du doun le Roil
Pur ceo q trove ost par examinement des Prelatz, Countes, et Barons, q la Dame de Vescy, ad procure le Roi, a doner a Sire Henri de Beaumount son frere, et as autres, terres, fraunchises, et baillies au damage et deshonur du Roi, et ap te de sheriteson de la Coron e, etausint procure de maunder hors lettres de sonz la targe contre led, et l'ententioun du Roi; Nous ordeinons, q ele aile a sa meson, et ceo dedeinz la quinzeine de Seint Michiel prechien a venir saunz james returner a la Court pur demore faire, et que pur toutes cestez choses avant dites. Et q pur toutes cestes choses avant dites, et pur ceo q home entent q le Chaustel de Baunburgh est de la Corone, Nous ordeinons aussint, q cel Chaustel soit repris de lui, en la mein le Roi, et q mes ne soit bailleea li ne a autre forsq a la volume le Roil
DOMINUS nøster Rex existens apud Bishopthorp juxta Eboracum tricessimo die Msii, Anno Regni sui sexto deeimo, vocari fecit coram ipso, ad Consilium suum ibidem, venerabiles patres Willielmum Archepiscopum Eboraci Angliæ primatum; J. Norwiciensem Episcopum, Cancellarium suum; W. Bxoniensem Episcopum, Thesaurarium suum : Edmundum Comitem Kanciæ, fratrem suum ; Adomarum de Valencia, Comitem Pembrokiæ ; Hugonem le Dcspenser, Comitem Winton. David de Strobolgy Comitem Athol. Hugonem le Despenser juniorem, Willielmum le Ros dc Hamelake, et plures alios Barones, et nobiles de regne, sno, ac Justiciarios suos dc utroque Banco, Barones de Scaecario et allos de consilio suo, ad tractandum super quadam Treuga inter ipsum Dominum Regem et Robertum de Brus, suosque complices, et fsutores, contra Dominum Regem de gnerra existentes, prelocuta, firmanda, vel neganda, inter quos nobiles Dominus Henricus de Bellomonte, Baro, et dc Magno et Scereto Concilio ipsius Domini Regis juratus, vocatus fuit, et ibidem venit; et cum dictus Dominus noster Rex, volens seire consilium et avisamentum omnium ibidem. coram ipso ex causa prædieta existentium, et cujuslibet eorum singulariter, super negotiis prædictis, et inter cæteros plures ore proprio injunxisset ditto Henrico, et ipsum requisivisset, ut eidem Domino Regi consuleret in hac parte, dictus Henricus quodam motu excessive,, et animo quasi irreverenti, Ditto domino Regi, sæpiüs respondit, quod sibi consulere noluit in hac pante: De qua responsione, idem dominus Rex commotus, præcepit ditto Henrico, quod Consilium swum exiret, et idem Henricus exeundo Consilium, dixit, mode, quo priüs, et quod plus sibi placeret å ditto Concilio absentari, quåm eidem interesse ; Super quibus idem Dominus Rex præfatis magnatibus et allis de Concilio sue, ibidem existentibus, præcepit, quod consulerent de Judicio faciendo, de ditto Henrico in hat pante, sicut idem Henricus homo snus ligius et Baro, ac de Concilio sup secrete, juratus fuit, et requisitus de consulendo ditto domino Regi, super tanto, et tam arduo negotio, ipsum Dominum Regem, et regnum suum its specialiter tangente, eidem sic respondit quod eidem Domino regi consulere noluit, et alia opprobria dixit, sicut prædictum eat, et quod judicium illud facerent : Et habito inde per dittos magnates et alios dc Concilio Domini Regis ibidem existentes, tractatu, et deliberatione diligenti, præfatoque Henrico toram ditto Domino Rege magnatibus et aliis supradictis, ibidem eodem die postmodum revocato, consideratum est per prædictos Magnates, et allos de Concilio supradicto, quod dictus Henricus committatur prisonæ, pro contemptu et inobedientia supradictis. Et postea Henricus dc Percy, Radulfus de Nevill, Simon Warde, Henricus filius Hugonis, Rogerus de Sommervill, et Thomas Ügthred de Comitatu Eboraci, et Willielmus Ridell, et Thomas Gray de Comitatu Northumbriæ manuceperunt prædictum Henricum de Belle,-monte videlicet quilibet eorum, corpus pro corpore habendum toram Domino rege in eodem statu quo nunc est cum inde fuerint præmoniti.
The Scots recover'd it under Robert Brus; and then that couragious Scot Robert Randulph enjoy'd it. Alexander Duke of Albanie second son to James the 2d. of Scotland bore the empty Title and Arms of Man but had not the Seigniory; for William Mountacute the younger E. of Salisbury, in the year 1340 won it from the Scots.
Then in the year 1393 by purchase it came into the hands of Sir William Scroop who being attainted of High Treason by H. the 4th the K. disposed . it to H. Piercy E. of Northumberland with this Tenure, That he should carry the Sword of Lancaster on the Coronation day; but soon after he forfeited the same by Treason also and then the I K. conferr'd it upon Sir John Stanley Treasurer of his houshold in the year 1403. whose posterities were afterwards Earls of Derby and held it by presenting a cast of Faulcons(62) to the K. on the Coronation day unto these our times when James the last Earl for bearing Arms against the Parliament was attainted of high Treason by a Councell of War and his Estate confiscated by Act of Parliament losing his head at Bolton: And lastly this Isle by Authority of Parliament was devolved to Thomas Lord Fairfax in as large and beneficial manner to all intents and purposes as the said . James had or might have enjoyed the same towards the acknowledgment of his great services performed in the Office of Captain Generail of all the Parliaments Forces which he so honourably had undergone; so that as his Lordship hath the Jurisdiction of the Isle as the said Eal1 had; so hath he also the Title namely Lord of Man and of the Isles: and that most deservedly; for that as He in vertue and Nobility of Blood is not inferiour to any of his Predecessours Kings or Lords of Man; so in high Archievements in Arms he farsurmounteth them all.(63)
And thus having given account of the Supream Governours of the Isle I shall descend to the inferiour Officers and the Judicatories thereof as they are at this day; for which I am beholden to Mr.Tynslie the Lord's Atturney General very expert in the Laws.
This Government is ordered by and under a Lievtenant or Governour Major Wade with the assistance of two Deemsters or Judges John Christian(64) and William Qualtrough; for matters of Law; And of Henry Sharplesse Controller and Clerk of the Rolls; William Christian Receiver;(65) Hugh Moor Water-Bailiffe; and Robert Tynsley Atturney-Generall. (66)
To whose Assistance in cases of doubt and considerations sometimes taken about the ordering of the affairs of the Country for the defence and safety thereof; and propositions of good and wholesome Lawes and Orders, for the Peace and Welfare of the People in matters of Right betwixt the Lord and the People and betwixt party and party; the said Governour and Officers do usually call the 24.Keyes of the Island especially once every year viz. upon Midsummer day, at St. John's Chappel, to the Tinewald Court there, where upon a Hill near unto the said Chappel, all the Inhabitants of theIsland, standing round about a fair Plain, they may hear the Laws and Ordinances agreed upon before in the Chappel aforesaid, published and declar'd unto them, and then, and there, the Lord of the Island, if he be in the Countrey, is to Sit in a Chair of State, covered with a Royal Cloth or court. Canopy over his head; his visage into the East, with his sword before him holden with the point upward: His Barons viz. the Bishops and Abbots when was time with the rest in their degrees sitting beside him; his beneficed men or fee'd Council and Deemesters sitting before him; his Gentry and Yeomanry in the third degree and the 24. Keys aforesaid in their Order; and the Commons to stand without the Circle with three Clerks in their Surplices.
Then the Deemster calls the Coroner of Glanfaba who is the chief Coroner of the Land and commands him to fence Court; which is that no man make any disturbance or tumult in the time of the Tynwald or any murmure or rising upon pain of hanging and drawing. After this the said Coroner of Glanfaba calls in the other five Coroners; and he and all of them upon their knees deliver the Rods of their Offices into the Lords hand if he be present; and then his Lordship calls six other men of the six Sheadings and delivers every of them one of the said Rods; and there upon their knees they take their Oaths for the due execution of their places; which the eldest Deemster administers to them in the Manks Tongue. After this order the Governour proceeds every year in his Lordships absence upon Midsummer day: And if any Orders be agreed upon by the Officers and 24. Keys they are to be presented to the Lord of the Island as from that Court; and if his Lordship like well of and please to confirm them, they are returned back and put upon Record; and at thenext Tynwald after proclaimed for absolute Laws.
This Country is very happy in the ready and easie Trials of their Rights upon little or no charge as followeth:
The Governour twice in the year viz. a week or fortnight after May; and again within the liketime after Michaelmas (as he shall please to assigne) calls the Courts for the several Sheadings (which are in the nature of Court-Leet and Court-Baron in England) of which the Moors which are the Lords Bayliffs of the Land give Summons at theParish-Churches after Divine Service the next Sunday before the Courts are to be kept for such and such Sheadings; and there every man that hath cause of Suits against any of that Sheading comes to the Moor, and desires him to summon such or such a man, his adverse party, to answer him at the Court. The Moor calls to him two or three of the Parishioners there present to witnesse with him the summoning of such persons as shall be named unto him by the parties who intend to be Plaintiffs at the Court.
At the day assigned by the Governour as aforesaid, the Deemsters go with him to the place assigned for the keeping of the Courts, which constantly begins at Peel-town, otherwise called Hollam town, neer unto Castle-Peel aforesaid: And at that place, by due Order, there is no Court to be kept, but for the two Parishes of Kirk Patrick, and Germane, which is called the Sheading of Glanfaba; though now, for more conveniency, the Courts for the two other Sheadings of Kirk Michael and Christ-le-Ayrare also kept in that place; and two days in the week they sit for the Courts of every Sheading which spends that week there beginning upon the Monday.
The next week after the people having understood of the Courts at Peel for the North side of the Island; the Moors for the South side give their Summons upon the Sunday after so that the Governour and Officers with the Deemsters are at Douglas upon Monday for the keeping of the Courts of the Garf-Sheading which consists of three Parishes Kirk-Maughall Lomman and Conchan; upon Wednesday or Thursday they are at Castle-Rushen and in those two days they end the Court for the Middle-Sheading which consists of the Parishes of Kirk-Bradan, St. Ann and Kirk-Marown: And upon the two latter days, Friday and Saturday for the Rushen-CourtwhichGonsists of the Parishes of Kirk-Malewl, KirkArbory and Kirk-Christ-Rushen; and this is the end of the Sheading-Courts. At these Courts as they are kept in course aforesaid the Deemster calls in the chief Moor of the Sheading to Fence Court: After that a jury of 12. is called viz. Four commonly out of every Parish who are called the great Inquest for the Sheading; and after they are sworn the Deemestor gives the Charge as in a Court-Leet in England (which Jury makes their Presentments at the Head-court or Court of Goal delivery at the Half-year). After this Jury sworn and charge givenas aforesaid the Moors and Coroners of the Sheading for which the Court is holden comes in and presents by vertue of their places what Blood-sheds hath been in the Sheading since the last Court the half year before: and then four men of every Parish are called and swornto find out and present the bloud-shed; where every man that is found guilty pays 12d. Fine to the Lord every Woman for a Man six pence: besides for a Woman to the Moor; and for a man for aWoman to the Porter of the Castle. And here is the end of that part of the Court which is called the Court for the Lords profit and his Rights of Prerogative by Fines and Forfeitures: and it is the same with that of the Court-Leet in England;and it is to be remembred that every one is bound by the Law to appear at this Court Halt Lame and Blind; and thither to come upon a Horse or Car upon pain of Fine, as by the Court shall be assessed.
Then the Common-Law Courts begin, which are in nature of a
Court-Baron. The Plaintiff calls three times to the Deemster to grant
him the Law which the Deemster grants; and then he tells thematter of
his Action and against whom. The Controller who is Clerk of the Rolls
enters it inform thus:
A.B. quer. cont. C.D. in plt: detent: eo quod detin. ab eo parcel. ter de R. &c. unde damnum habet ad valor. &c. Qui appar: &c. And if the Defendant do not appear as he may by the Law stand out till the third Court then the Record says Qui non app. &c. in misericord. Curiae 6d. For that is the certain Fine upon any Action what so ever be it for small or great value; which the Lord hath upon every non-appearance; and if the.Defendant do appear the Record says as before,
Qui ap. &c.
And when all the Actions are enter'd for every Parish in the Sheading there are four men of every Parish sworn to passe upon the small matters:And after all a Jury of six which is called a Sheading Jury viz. two of every parish if theSheading have three Parishes; or three of every Parish if the Sheading be but two Parishes as that of Glanfaba is: And this Sheading-Jury passes upon the difficult matters of that Court for that Sheading; and upon the bringing in of the Verdicts of 4 or 6 as aforesaid; if the Plaintiff recover the Defendant is in Fine 6d.; if he recover nothing he himself is in 6d. Fine for his unjust complaint:and tllis is the nature and order of the proceedings in the Court-Baron. Then if any party find himself agrieved with the Verdict of any of these Juries, he comes into the Court or to the Clerk of the Rolls, at any time after in his Office and prays that he may have another Jury to pass upon his businesse and binds himself in 31. that by theVerdict of that second Jury he will disprove the Verdict of the former which had wronged him in their Verdict as he pretends: and this second Jury is called a Jury of Traverse: If the first Jury was a Jury of four of the Parish the Jury of Traverse must be a Jury of six, that is two of every Parish in the Sheading: If the first was a Jury of six, that is a Sheading-Jury then the Jury of Traverse must be a Jury of 12 of the Sheading: And if that Jury of 12 also do not find for him as he expected he may have a Jury of 12. of the 24 Keyes of the Island to passe upon his matter; and that is a definitive end of the businesse. And as the Lord had the Forfeiture of 3l. upon the first Jury of Traverse he is likewise to have the Forfeiteure of 31. upon the second; and so of the third also if it fall so out that none of the Juries of Traverse find the first Jury in an errour; but these Fines are commonly mittigated sometimes to 5s.or 10s. sometimes to lesse at the discretion of the Debet-Court; whereof I shall speak more hereafter.
After all these Sheading-Courts are done which continue as before is said a Fortnight; then upon the Monday after is the Head-Court or Court of Goal-Delivery where the Prisoners are arraigned and tryed by a Jury of the Countrey chosen most commonly but one of a Parish: The Fellon or Delinquent having before been indicted by a Jury of six of the Sheading wherein he lived if the fact was done in the same Sheading: And if he lived in one Sheading and committed the Fact in another then the Jury of Indictment must be three of the Sheading where he lived; and three of the Sheading where the Fact or Crime was committed: This Jury of Indictment is taken by the Coronerof the Sheading (or by both Coroners if it fall out, as in the last case aforesaid) immediately after the apprehending of the Delinquent. And the Coroner brings the Jury and the Delinquent also before the Controllour most commonly; or it may be before the Governour or one of the Deemsters or both; and they take notice how the Jury finds the businesse: And if it be so that they find him in fault by the Evidence which they have received then or before, they leave him indicted, which is entred upon Record by the Controllor : And upon this Record, the Form of his Arraignment and Tryall, at the Goal-delivery is drawn up; and the Jury, of 12. of the Countrey, passes upon the De-linquent; and one Jury of 12. serves for all the Prisoners at the Bar; for the Delinquents may all, or any of them, have their just Exceptions against those that shall be brought in to pass upon their lives: But, in conclusion, the whole 17. Parishes being there, a Jury will be had, which the prisoners must abide: Then this Jury of Life and Death, when they are ready with their Verdict, they come again before the Court; and the Deemster asks if the Bald-pate may sit or no, while they deliver their Verdict: if any of the prisoners at the Bar be by them found guilty, as that by the Law they are to dye, the Jury says, the Bald-pate may not sit: Then the Bishop and all his Clergy, (when time was,) who have been all the time before in Court, must depart the Court, while the Verdict is delivered, and Judgment given by the Deemster. If the matter of Fact, by the Delinquent, be for Felony, to the value of 6d. ob. or above, it is Felony to death: if for breaking a Fire-house, either the Wall, or the Door thereof; or if there be no door but a bundle of Gorse, or Ling, reared up in the door, to keep the wind out, or but two sticks put crosse in the door, it is Burglary, and Death to the Delinquent, though it be for Fellony under the value aforesaid, if the Fellony be done by a man, his Judgment is, to hang till he be dead; if by a Woman, by the Old Law, to be put in a Sack, and drowned in the water; but, of late the Women also have Judgment to be hang'd as the men. If the matter be for Witchcraft, the Delinquent shall be burned.
The Evidence against such a Delinquent, is taken by Spirituall Officers (it was in the time of Epis-copacy so) and by them certified to the Temporal Court, by, and upon the Oaths of 12 Jurors, and of the Chapter-quests, and Side-men of the several Parishes; and after this, the Jury of Life and Death, at the Court of Goal-Delivery, passes upon the party, as upon other Fellons. If it be for the death of any one, committed by violence of hand, or poysoning, it is death to the party that did the Fact, without priviledge of Clergy, or benefit of Plea of Chance-medly ; for which in other places, the prisoner might have his book; but here, there is no such matter, nor no remedy, but the Lords grace: And for all manner of Fellony, Murder, Witchcraft, or such like, where the prisoner is adjudged to die, the Lord hath the Forfeiture of ' e Lands, Tenements, Goods, and Chattels of such Delinquent; but if such a Delinquent had a wife, and was a year and a day married, before the time of the offence committed, then such wife shall not lose her Widow-right, neither of the Goods nor Lands, but shall have her part thereof cleer, paying her proportionable share of the Debts : And all such as have any debts owing to them by the Delinquent must come in to the Controller, or the Lords Atturney, and put in their Claims betwixt the time of the Indictment & the Try all by the Jury of Life and Death, otherwise they lose their debts, as to the Lords part of the Delinquents estate : Out of these Goods and Person-All Estate of the Delinquent so forfeited, as aforesaid, the Coroner of the Sheading, who is to do the execution himself, or procure it to be done, is to have all these quick Goods, as Horses, Mares, Bullocks, or Heiffers, of two years old, or under, and all such goods also, as by the Law should have fallen to the next Heir, as , Coarbes, the Coroner is to have them:
All Swine, of what age soever, are the Lords, and all Goats of what age soever, belong to the Queen of Man.
The Coroner also usually hath the broken sacks of Corn of the Fellons, which are not absolutely due to him, as it should seem by the words of the Statute : Now out of these goods, which the Coroner is to have, as aforesaid, the Deemster is too have 4s. and the Moor 4s. and the rest is his own; a woman, as before is said, forfeits nothing for the Fact of her husband; but the husband, if his wife commit Fellony, and he knows of it, and conceals it, he stands as deep in the Law, in all cases of Forfeiture, of body, of goods, and estate, as she doth.
Furthermore, it is to be remembred, that if the Tenant of any Baron in the Island, as heretofore of the Bishop, Abbots, and now the Tenants of Ban-ehor, Sabale, &c. commit Fellony, such a Fellon coming to the Bar of the Court of Goal-delivery, with the rest of the Fellons, before the Governour and Deemsters ; the Steward of such Baron, whose Tenant such Fellon is, may demand the prisoner from the Bar, and he shall have him delivered, to be tryed at such his Lord Barons Court; where,. neverthelesse, the Lord of the Island's Deemsters are to sit also as Judges, the Forfeiture of the Lands holden of the Baron, are the Barons; the goods also of the Delinquent, paying no Rent to the Lord of the Island, at the time of the Fellony committed, nor hath not served a year and a day upon the Lords Land, nor was not born upon the Lords Land; in any of which cases, the Lord of the Island hath the Forfeiture of the goods; and how-soever the sole disposure of the body of the Delinquent, to do with him as he please.
Other businesse there is at the Court of Goal-delivery; as chiefly, the great Inquests of every Sheading, which were sworn at the Sheading-Courts, the half year before; come in then, and present their annoyances of the Countrey and State, in that half year before, which were given them in charge at the Sheading-Courts to inquire of: then the Recognizances of the Peace are called, and the bonds released, if no man can ought say against the party bound thither; If any complain, either new bonds are taken for the peace, till the next Court of Goal-delivery; or the same Recognizance stands, with a Note of Continuance, &c.
And this is a most remarkable token of the Lords, goodness and nobleness of the Lord of the Land, that the Clerk of the Court hath not a Farthing for the according of any Recognizance of the Peace, or at the releasing thereof, nor for the recording of the Indictment of any Delinquent, or the drawing up of the Order of Arraignment, nor the entering of any Action at the Common-Law, though there be an infinite number at every Court; nor for the recording of any Presentment, brought in by the great Inquests of the Sheadings, or Juries of slander; or any other businesse whatsoever, handled at the Sheading-Courts, or Courts of Goal-delivery. Bishops Court.
There are some other Courts of Judicature also, which are after the same Rules of the Common-Law, as aforesaid; and which are kept immediately after the Lords Courts are ended. As the Bishops Court for his Temporalities; where also the Lords Deemsters are Judges, and his Controller the Register or Clerk of the Rolls; for the keeping of which Courts, the Deemsters have 2-0-0 per annum from the Bishop, and the Controller 2-0-0.
The Courts for the Abbey-Lands also are kept by the same Officers of the Lords; and so are the Courts for the Baronies of Bangor, Sabal, and St. Trinions, the Fees to the Deemsters, from the Abbot, are 26s. 8d. per annum, and the like to the Controller. The Fees for Bangor, Sabal, and St. Trinions, are 13s. 4d. to the Deemsters, and 13s. 4d. to the Controller.
The proceedings of these Courts, are after the same order, as those of the Lords Courts, viz. First, the Court-Leet; before which, the Deemster gives the Charge to the 12. men sworn upon the great Inquest: then follows the blood-quest; and last of all, the Court-Baron, for matters of right betwixt party and party; and this is the end of the Common-Law-Courts.
After all these, follows the Court of Debet, which is the Court for assessing of the Fines of all the Courts for the whole year, both Lords and Barons; and this Court is kept commonly upon the Wed-nesday, after the Head-Court day after Michaelmas the Officers of this Court of Assessment, or assessing of the Fines, are the Governour, the two Deems-ters,(68) the Controller, Receiver, Water-Bailiff, and the Lords Atturney, : but the Barons, as the Bishop, the Abbot, and the rest, have no voyces nor hand in the assessment of the Fines; no, not of the Fines of their own Courts: yet shall they have the Fines and Perquisites of their own Courts, after they are assessed by the Lords Officers, as aforesaid, viz. of all such of their Tenants, as properly and solely are their own Tenants, and pay no rent to the Lord of the Island, nor were not born, nor had served a year and a day, as Apprentices, upon the Lords Lands; for in all such cases, the Lord of the Island hath the Fines and Amerciaments, be the Tenants of what Barony soever.
After the end of all these Common-Law-Courts, the Controller collects and estreats out the Fines, of every Court, both Lords and Barons, and gives them out in charge to the Moors, which they are to collect, and pay them in to the Receiver, with the Land-rent of the several Parishes, and such Fines as belong solely to the Barons, he gives them out to the Serjeants or Bayliffs of the Barons, to be collected for the use of the Baron to whom they belong.
There is another Court, which the Governour, and the Lords Officers aforesaid, do keep as often as occasion requires; sometime in one place, some-time in another Circuit of the Countrey, as businesse falls out; and that is called an Exchequer Court At these Courts, such Juries of Tryals betwixt party and party, as could not give in their Verdicts at the Sheading-Courts, bring them in then: And Juries also of slander, Juries of Presentment of Misdemeanours, and Juries of Indictment, of Felony, (if any such be) bring in their Verdicts at these Courts : so that whatsoever businesses could not be well determined at Term-times, or Sheading-courts, they are deliberately heard and determined at some of these Exchequer-courts, which is a mighty great ease and conveniency to the Subject, and not much troublesome to the Officers.
There is also a Court of Chancery (which hath not been long erected) kept by the Governour, whereof he sits sole Judge, as Chancellour, representing the Lords person; which Court he may keep every week once, as occasion shall require, (and especially in cases of strangers, who desire speedy Tryals of their businesse) the Plaintiff may come to the Controller, and enter his complaint for 3d. and thereof take a Copy, and shew it to the Governour ; he gives him a Token, (which is some mark he useth to make) upon a stone of blew Slate, which are plentiful, or to be had every where in the Island: The Plaintiff delivers this to the Coroner of the place where the Defendant lives (if he be an Islander) and if the Defendant be a stranger, and but a sojourner in some part of the Island, then he delivers the Token to the Water-Bayliff; and to which soever of them he gives this Token, he gives him also but 2d. And that Coroner, or the Water-Bayliff, or his Deputies, (some of the Customers) who the party can be shewed unto by the Complainant, shall summon this Defendant three days before the day the Governour bath assigned the Plaintiff to follow his Action or Complaint; if the Defendant appear not at that Court, the Plaintiff pays a groat to the Controller, and craveth an Attachment, to charge him for the next Court, and the Governour delivers out another Token, and appoints the day he shall appear : And if he appear not, then a second Attachment is awarded, and he pays 12d. more. And if he stand out that Processe, a Souldier goes out to bring him in at the next Court after, and he must have a shilling also for that service, where then he must of force appear (if he be an Islander) upon pain of Forfeiture of body and goods ; and if he be a stranger, the Water-Bayliff will secure himself at the first Sum-mons ; either the Defendant shall put in bayl, to answer and save him and the Court harmlesse, or else he will crave authority from the Governour, to commit his body to prison.
Then when the Defendant is brought to his ap-pearance, the matter goes to a Hearing: the Governour having called to him, if he please, one or both of the Deemsters for their advices in matter of Law, or all or any of the Lords Council, as he shall think fit, he makes his Decree, as he shall find cause in Equity; from which Decree or Order, the Defendant, if the Decree be against him, may appeal to the Lord of the Island, and have a certain time limited by the Court, for the bringing in of his Lordships Order, putting in Surety, to answer the Demands, as the Lord shall direct, or as the Court shall order: In the meantime, Execution which should have been given out by the Governour upon the Decree, shall stay till the time limited be out: And if no Order come to the contrary, it is to proceed by vertue of the Governours Token to the Coroner, for the taking of a Pawn, if it be for a debt; or for delivery of possession, if it be for Land; against which, if the Defendant stand out, the Coroner presents, and a Souldier goes out to assist the Coroner in executing of the former Execution, and to bring the party disobeying to prison, there to remain, till he shall submit to the Order.
And if there be an Action depending at the Common-Law betwixt party and party, the De-fendant may at any time before Issue joyned, that is, before he have appeared, and put his businesse to the tryall of a Jury, procure the Governours Token to stay the proceedings at the Common-Law, and then the cause may be proceeded in by the Chancery, and the party grieved have relief, as the Court shall find cause in Equity; otherwise, the Court will dismiss the Cause back to the Common-Law, with Costs, for wrongfull vexation; and all the charges the Complainant lays out in this Court of Chancery, is but 3s. 1d. if the Defendant stand out to the utmost; and 3d. for the Copy of the said Entry of his Complaint, be the cause of never so great value, the 3s. 4d. the Court will award for the Plaintiff, if he recover, and other charges be sides, as shall be thought fit. And of this 3s. 4d. the Controller accompts for 1s. 6d. thereof to the Lord: The Coroner hath 6d. for the three Sum-mons of the Defendant; and the Souldier 12d. for bringing him in at the last.
Execution in Chancery and Common-Law. The manner of this execution, by taking of the Defendants pawn, both upon the Governours Token, upon Cases in the Chancery, and of the Deemsters, in Cases at the Common-Law, is this; The Coroner goes (with a copy of the Decree in Chancery, or of the Verdict of the Jury at the Common-Law) to the Defendants house, and demands a pawn, which he may deny, if he please; and then the Officer makes his presentment of the disobedience, which is recorded by the Controller. Then the Plaintiff procures a copy of that Presentment, and shews it to the Governour ; who hereupon delivers him his Token to the Constable of the Castle, for a Souldier to go with, and assist the Officer, which was so before disobeyed: then the Coroner, by the authority and aid of the Souldier, takes the Pawn by force, viz. so much goods of the Defendant, as is double the value of the debt recovered; - which Pawn so taken is to be put in some Neighbours house or keeping; and the same is called by the Officer, the three Sundays after; and if the party that owes the goods, nor none for him, will release the goods, by the payment of the debt: then the Officer causeth the pawn to be brought to the Market-crosse, or to the Parish-church, and there to be praised by four men; and sold immediately, if any man will buy it: if no man will buy it, the four men are to take it by Praisment ; the Coroner or Officer to receive the money, and pay the debt to the Plaintiff, and restore the rest to the Defendant
If it be a businesse at the Common-Law, the Moor of the Parish upon the Deemsters token may execute the recovery as well as the Coroner in the former; and neither of them shall have above 2d. for the doing of the duty; and the Souldier (if it come to the extremity aforesaid) 1s. There is a Fee of 2d. upon every recovery at the Common-Law due to the Deemster for his Token, and these are all the fees that are due, and are to be taken out of the Defendants pawn, besides the debt to the party; But it is to be remembred, that the Defendant by the Law forfeits 6s. 8d. for denying his pawn to the Coroner, or more, at the first de-manding of it, which Fine is most- commonly mitigated to 1s: And if he withstand or disobey the Souldier, he forfeits body and goods by the Law, and is to be brought to prison by the Souldier, who may call unto him (if need be) for his Ayd, the Coroner of the Sheading to raise the Country or Sheading to assist him. Lastly, it is a very considerable good Order they have in this Island, for the easie end in determing of ordinary businesse betwixt party and party: A man that hath cause of complaint against another for a debt or other matter, may procure the Governours Token or the Deemsters, to bring his adverse party before either of them; And if the Defendant do confesse the debt or matter, or that it appear by the evidence of two Witnesses upon their Oaths, that such a debt or thing is due, either of the said Officers may give their Token for execution to the Coroner or Lock-man; and this is as good and Lawful) as if the matter had received Triall by verdict of a Jury, or Decree in the Chancery, so that either of these two Officers are in effect Courts of Record in them-selves; though they be but walking or riding in the High way, (if cases of such like condition come before them) and all their Acts and proceedings in this kind as effectual) as if they had been done in Court, which is a great ease to the Subject.
The Deemsters are in all places in the Island, where they come, Justices of the Peace; As if they see or be informed of any force or battery to be committed by any manner of person, they may take Recognisance for the Peace in the Lords name, and certifie them into the Controllers or Clerk of the Rolls Office; or if that be denyed, or that sufficient Bayl or Sureties for the Peace be not tendered unto them, they may commit the Delinquent to the Coroner of the Sheading, where they then are at that instant, and he is to bring the party to the next Gaol ; or if he be near unto any of the Garrison places of Castle-Rushen, Castle-Peel, (69) or Douglas Fort, he or they may send such Delinquent to the Constable thereof to be committed till the Governour have opportunity, or give further or other order in the businesse : The Controller, Receiver, Water-Bayliff may do the like, and the Lords Atturney for preservation of the Peace, and the Coroner who is the Sheriffe, or . the Lockman his under-Sheriffe, may take Recog-nizances of the Peace, and return them aforesaid into the Office, as well as any of the other Officers ; but he may not commit the party, but may raise the Country to assist him to bring him before the Governour or some Officer that may commit him.
The Deemster may do likewise many other law-full Acts by their places; as namely, They put out Juries ex Officio, for furnishing the Lords Tenants with servants every man according to his holding the sons or servants of the Tenants of lesser rents are to serve the Tenants of greater rents in cases of extremity, if vagrant servants cannot be had; and some Officers, as the Deemsters, the Moors and Coroners are to have their choice of servants. The Parsons also of Parishes, and Vicars of thirds of Tithes of such Parish are to have the like ; which is called their Bridge and Staffe. The Deemsters for a debt for Corn upon the Plaintiffs Oath gives his Token for Execution without hearing of the matter: Also if one Beast kill another, he puts out a Jury presently to try the matter; and as he finds by the Verdict of that Jury, he gives his Execution, for the delivery of the living beast for the dead or damages, as he shall find cause; but many times such matters he refers to the Common-Law.
The Receiver, by his place, is the chief Officer for the collecting of the Lords Rents, he may commit the Moors or Bayliffs for their neglects in not taking them up in due time from the Tenants ; And when the Moors are so committed, his Token to the Constable commands a Souldier to fetch in the Tenants; but the Moores before this ought to take the pawns of the Tenants, and cause them to be praised and sold for payment of the rent.
The Controuller is by his place to call the Receiver to Accompt once every quarter, and may sit by and take notice at all times when the Receiver takes money from the Moors, and take notice of what is paid: He is also to have knowledge, and give check or allowance of all payments and disbursements by the Receiver, and to keep his book thereof, and at the end of the year to set the Debet, and perfect the Accompts betwixt the Receiver and the Moors. He is also to give out the Water-Bayliffe his charge soon after Midsummer, having upon the Midsummer-day before received from the Governour his Book of Licences and Entries for Outgates and Ingates of Commodities: He is also by his place Clerk of the Market, and is to see to the Weights and Measures of all sorts, and the Assize of Bread and Ale, that it be duly kept: And he is also head-searcher in all the Ports, that by his Deputies or under-searchers the Lord may not be abused or wronged in his Customs.
The Water-Bayliff is by his place, by himself and his under-Officers, the Customers of the Ports of Ramsey, Duglas, Derby-haven, and Peel-town, to take up and faithfully to collect all the Customs for Ingates and Outgates of . Goods : Also it is his place as he is Admirall, to order all the businesse for the Herring-Fishery, to see that Strangers and all others have no wrong done them during that Season, and to Judge of and determine by way of Jury, which is called an Admirall-Quest, of all matters betwixt party and party in matters of Sea-faring businesse : He is also to give out Cockets of Goods that shall be exported: And to take notice and cognisance of Cockets from other parts, of such goods as shall be imported; and thereof to make certificate at the suit or request of the Mer-chant. All Wrecks of Sea he is likewise to take care of; that they be disposed of for the Lord's profit, and to make return of his proceedings there-in to the Controuler, that they may be recorded, and the venditions thereof made, put out in charge In this last particular the Lord's Atturney's care is likewise required, and the businesse may be done by either of them, as it lyes in their quarters or way where they shall come.
The Lord's Atturney is to plead and stand for the Lord's profit in all cases, and in the cases of Widowes and Infants, who have Causes in Court He ought to be in all Courts both Spirituall and temporall, to take notice of the Fines and Forfeitures to the Lord. He is to take care and enquire
of all Wayffs and Strays, Felons goods, Deodands, Wrecks of Sea, and such like, which are due to the Lord by his prerogative: And the Lords Receiver and He, are to sell and dispose of them to the Lord's best profit, and present the values from time to time to the Controuler, that he may put the moneys due for them out in the next charge.
In all these or any other matters wherein every or any of the said Officers have to deal, the Lieutenant or Governour is to call them to Accompt as he shall see cause upon complaint, or otherwise at his own discretion; and if any of them shall have done or proceeded otherwise then according to Law, or have been neglective in their places, he is to certifie their offence to his Lordship ; And for the present may commit the body of such Officer or Officers, in case he conceive danger of his or their further misdemeanour, or departure out of the Country without his consent. And this is to the end that such Officer may be forth-coming to make good and answer according to his Lordships Order or Command, which shall be returned upon the Certificate made as aforesaid by the Governour.
To conclude this Chapter; This Island, ever since the reducing of it by Sir William Mountacute, hath been reputed, and is a member of England; and held of the Crown thereof sometime by one Tenure, and sometime by another; and now at this day the Lord thereof holdeth it of the Common-Wealth of England by Fealty onely ; notwithstanding it hath Lawes and Customes peculiar to itself, which are most suitable to its Poverty and distance from England. (70)