[From Manx Soc Vol 12 ]



RIGHT Worshipfull,—I have not presumed to dedicate this ensuing Tract unto your Worship, as a succinct module of the whole Laws and Constitutions of this Isle, but as a tithe thereof, giving only an abridgment or compendium of such Laws and Acts as are of use, contained and entered in the Statute Book of the said Isle, with some suitable and additional enlargements of customary Practices and Precedents, abstracted out of the antient Records. And because that many of the said customs and usages are held, retained, and ‘exercised only traditionally, and no entrance made of them, but such as falls out upon the transaction of certain cases, I cannot therefore give any warrant for them, but only the bare record, and the frequent and occurrent practice of them. And again, where I have presumed to enlarge and explain certain antient statutes in the said book, that do not in their express letter unfold themselves, according to the use and practice that is now drawn from such old ordinances: I am, therefore, in case there be any errata that may present themselves to your Worship’s view and discovery, in respect of either those two kinds,, to crave your favourable dispensation of such, since my endeavours in this nature have not been bestowed for publick use, but altogether undertaken, and designed, to serve your Worship, and as much as in them lie, (in some measure,) to give your Worship enlightening in the State and Government of this poor Commonwealth. That doth not a little add to the happiness thereof, to have so prudent and upright a Justicier, for the exercise and maintenance of its Laws and Liberties, as your Worship is singularly looked upon to be, in the succession of your memorable ancestor. And out of the consideration of the encouragement your Worship was pleased to afford me, in the undertaking of this weak and slender enterprise, (by a willing and free Resentment of my said endeavours therein,) I cannot deny myself the hopes of your indulgency towards it, and that you would please to admit it some share of patronage. Although talk of this nature and subject, would have far better become to have represented itself, in a more exquisite and plausible style and form, than by these indigested and implicite collections, which I humbly pray your Worship to receive in no other esteem, but as an acknowledgement of the devoted service of him that will always be found,

Right Worshipfull,

Your Worship’s most obedient and faithful servant,




Governor Heywood, to whom the learned author dedicated a copy of his work, was appointed Governor by the following Commission from William, the ninth Earl of Derby. The Commission is taken from Liber Irrot. 1678:—

To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come, William George Richard, Earle of Derby, Lord of Man and ye Isles, Sendeth greeting, Know yee yt I the said Earle reposing especiall trust and confidence in ye fidolity, integrity, and prudence of Robt. Haywood, of Haywood, in the County of Lancaster, Esq", Have therefore constituted, appointed, and made, and doe by these presents constitute, appoint, and make ye sd Robt. Haywood Govrnr of my Isle of Mann, Hereby authorizing the said Robt. Haywood to take upon him ye whole Govrment thereof, (dureing my good pleasure,) and fully in every respect to execute and discharge ye said office of Govrnor, in all matters and things wtsoever, as well military as civell, in as large and ample manner as any Govrn" in my sd Island hath heretofore used, or exercised y° same; and to execute and discharge ye sd office, according to y ancyent and knowne laws of my s~ Island. And likewise to see ye sd laws put into due and just execution according to ye oath usually administered in yt behalf. And further I ye sd Earle doe hereby require, and ffirmly injoine, and command ye said Robert Haywood to observe punctually all such orders, and instructions, as hee shall from tyme to tyme roceive from me, relating unto my said Island. In witness whereof I ye sd Earle, have to these presents put my hand and seale, ye thirteenth day of April, in ye year of our Lord, according to ye English account, one thousand six hundred and seventy eight.


Governor Heywood died in 1690, being succeeded in his office by Roger Kenyon, Esq.

This Dedication is transcribed from a copy furnished to me by the late John Joseph Heywood, Esq., First Deemster, who was a descendant of the Governor.


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