[From Clay's Currency, Manx Soc vol 17, 1869]
"To a man of reflection, every coin in his Possession opens a new subject of thought."
O far the history of the island currency has been occasionally tinged with legendary romance; the remaining pages will have more reliable evidence for our guidance. Confining, then, this inquiry to the subject of the coinage, it is not desirable that we should deviate much, or ramble into mazes less satisfactory. It is, however, to be regretted that we are now compelled to take leave of the time-honoured crest of the Stanleys, and to change both crest and motto (which had professed not to change). In place of the Derby cognizance, we have now to substitute the monogram A.D. (Athol Duke), which brings us to the considerations which led to the adoption of other devices. The cry was not."They come! They come !" but "They go ! They go!" The Stanley coinage vanished rapidly; in fact, except in a few instances, it could scarcely be obtained ; and then seldom of legitimate character.
The transfer of the lordship of the island being now cornplete, stem necessity called out loudly again for further assistance: hence the following petition and answer ("Lex Scripta," pp. 359-361) :
An ACT for the Currency of Copper Pence and Halfpence.
"Whereas upon the Scarcity of Brass Money and want of Change within this Island, it was the general Request and Desire that His Grace the Lord of this Isle would be pleased to supply this Defect by procuring a Coinage of Brass or Copper Money for the Use of this Island, and to be current here; and forasmuch as His Grace hath been pleased to comply with the said Request, and hath accordingly sent over two hundred and fifty Pounds in Copper Pence, and one hundred and fifty Pounds in Copper Halfpence, be it therefore ordered, ordained, and enacted by his said Grace James Duke of Atholl, Lord Strange, Lord of Mann and the Isles, &c. the Governor, Council, Deemster, and Keys in this present Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the above-mentioned Sums of two hundred and fifty Pounds in Copper Pence and one hundred and fifty Pounds in Halfpence shall at all Times after this Day be current and passable in Change within this Island (in all Receipts and Payments) for Pence and Halfpence as afore7 said according to the Currency of this Isle, and that the same shall be received at that Value into and paid out of His Lordship's Treasury at the same Value in Receipts for Rents and other Revenues, and in the paying out of Sallarys and other necessary Disbursements. And it is further ordered, ordained, and enacted by the Authority afforesaid, That if any Person or Persons whatsoever shall be guilty of counterfeiting any of the said Pence or Halfpence, or be aiding or assisting therein, or in bringing into this Isle, or uttering or paying any such false or counterfeit Pence or Halfpence, knowing the same to be sgand be lawfully convicted thereof, such Person or Persons so offending, and convicted as afforesaid shall be adjudged, deemed, and taken to be guilty of Treason, and suffer Death as a Felon; and all and singular his Lands, Tenements, Goods, and Chattels, shall excheat and be forfeited to His Grace the Lord of this Isle, and his Heirs, as in case of Treason: And the better to find out whether there be any Counterfeits either made or carried into this Island, it is hereby further ordered, enacted, and declared, That on the second Thursday in June in every Year all and every Person or Persons who shall have any of the said Copper Pence or Halfpence, or such other as is hereby declared and continued lawfull and Current Copper Coin in their Custody, shall bring in the same unto the Captain of their respective Parishes to be counted and reckoned by him, and an Account thereof to be returned by the said Captain iinto the Governor, Deputy Governors, or Receiver for the Time being, what Quantity of the said Money is within the said several and respective Parishes; and if any Person or Persons shall fail or neglect to bring in what Pence or Halfpence he hath in his Custody to be counted and reckoned as afforesaid, such Person or Persons so neglecting shall be fined in twenty Shillings, besides other Punishment such as his Obstinacy or Neglect shall dernerit: Provided always, and be it further enacted by the Authority afforesaid, That nothing herein contained shall impeach, prejudice, or invalidate the Currency of the Coinage of Pence and Halfpence made and by Law established in the Year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-three; but the same shall be and is hereby continued current as formerly.(Signed): John Taubman, Dan. Lace, Basil Cochrane, Daniel Mylrea, John Quayle, John Frissel. The Keys: Tho. Heywood, Philip Moore, George Moore, John Taubman, William Stevenson, Wm. Cubbon, John Moore, John Clucas, Edw. Christian, Wm. Qualtrough, Thos. Radcliffe, Tho. Fargher, Matth. Christian, Tho. Gawne, Dav. Harrison."
In consequence of the above petition, 60,000 pence and 72,000 halfpence were issued, bearing the date of 1758. The same Act, as will be observed, still continuing the issues of 1733 as legal currency. This brings the subject to the coinage of-
1758. This coinage, which Train (p. 51) erroneously calls 1757, is generally known as the Athol penny and halfpenny, and was never popular; it is not a coin of either beauty of workmanship or design, and is very far inferior to the last issues of 1733. The Obv. of this 1758 penny has a monogram A.D., or Athol Duke (it might just as reasonably be taken for Anno Domini, as the date 1758 is in exergue beneath) ; over the monogram is a ducal crown; no motto; and the edge plain. In the silver pattern piece the edge is milled : why the milled edge was rejected on the coin, is not recorded, except on the score of expense, which perhaps might be a consideration. Rev. The triune very much flexed, the junction is marked with three cones or arrow heads point to point, the armour at the knees with, large caps ; the motto as usual, except that the middle word is JECERIS. The same description answers equally well for the halfpenny (vide photo. plate ii., figs. 4, 5, 6, 7), in some of which is a long crack or flaw in the die. The initials and numeral between the limbs of the triune on coins of 1732 and 1733 are omitted in these Athol pieces. The armour is also different; being in front of the limb only, and the caps at the knee large. There are forgeries of both the penny and halfpenny frequently to be found. The beautiful composition (whether brass or Bath metal) of the 1733 coins was now laid aside, and a somewhat softish copper substituted for the Athol series; and perhaps it is mainly owing to the excellent quality of the composition of the metal of which the 1733 coins were made, that, even at the present time, we find less difficulty in getting fine specimens of the 1733 coinage than those of 1758, although of so much later date.. The same remark also applies to the celebrated Rosa Americana coins, by the same Mr. Wood, who designed both.
After this issue, and before any other was called for, the sovereignty of the Isle of Man was disposed of to the English government, the particulars of which transaction have been the subject of serious disputes and variety of opinion. At all events, the islanders frequently and freely expressed their dissatisfaction ; but as this forms no part of our inquiry, we shall pass on to the next currency, merely remarking that the Athol penny, as well as halfpenny, was much larger than the penny and halfpenny of the preceding issue-to make up, we suppose, for the great inferiority of the metal and workmanship. In fact, the character of the coin seemed to indicate a dynasty on the decline, and which became defunct soon after.
The next change in the currency was a remarkable one, and showed the power, wealth, and influence of a great empire. The English Government became the purchasers of the island, in 1765, by Act of Parliament, entitled, "An Act for carrying into execution a Contract made, pursuant to the Act of Parliament of the twelfth of his late Majesty King George the Third, between the Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury and the Duke and Dutchess of Atholl, the Proprietors of the Isle of Man, and their Trustees, for the Purchase of the said Island and its Dependencies, under certain Exceptions therein particularly mentioned," &c. With the new government, a new currency was a necessity, not merely from the fact of so little even of the Athol, and still less of the 1733 coinage, being in the island, but from the desire to exhibit on the new coinage that supremacy which the government was now entitled to; hence was produced two of the most beautiful coins the --English mint had perhaps ever issued---i.e,, those of-
1786. We can hardly appreciate fully the delicacy of the government in not introducing a national coinage at once; but to wait twenty-one years was something remarkable, and even then the intrinsic worth of the issue was much greater than the island issues had been previously. This delicacy was still more remarkable, as the supremacy was modestly confined to the Obv. only; whilst on the Rev., the island triune was retained, with greater respect to the antique character of both triune and motto than was shown on the Athol pieces. Lastly, the splendid execution of the coins was a convincing proof of a wish to please the new subjects of the realm.
I might, without disparagement, place these coins of 1786 in comparison with any known coins of that period. The penny, fully the size of the English penny of the period, has on its Obv. a magnificent head of George III., laureated, looking to the right; the motto GEORGIVS III . DEI GRATIA; date 1786 ; the edge is milled; the rim toothed, leaving a clear space beyond the teeth. Rev. The triune, not much flexed, and only semi-armed, giving the appearance of running rather than kneeling; the Motto QVOCVNQVE. IECERIS . STABIT; the rim toothed, with outside space, as before; the spurs brought nearer the heels (previously appeared near the ankle). The halfpenny answers this description exactly, with one exception ; the tail of the figure 7 in the date is straight, whilst in the penny it is turned backwards at the end. In this coinage we have neither triangle, as in the early coins, or the three cones point to point, as in the Athol pieces, in the centre of the triune; but a simple line division between the armour of the different legs, or, as it is termed heraldically, fleshed to the centre. The limbs not being severely flexed (as almost kneeling), but rather standing, in my opinion makes the translation of the motto more correct, "Whichever way it is thrown, it stands." I trust this coin will long continue an ornament in the cabinets of collectors; for a fine proof of it is extremely scarce, and becoming daily more and more so. (Vide photo. plate ii., figs. 8, 9, 10, l l.) I have a variety of the penny of this coinage with a plain edge; but whether originally so or made so afterwards, I cannot determine.
Feltham (in a note, p. 123), speaking of this issue of 1786, says, "It is said that the metal for this last coinage was delivered at the mint for less than three hundred pounds, and issued from thence at the enormous value of six hundred pounds sterling ! This I speak on the authority of a public print."
Twelve years later another beautiful coin was issued; and, thouogh not equal to the last, is still much to be admired, and when in very fine condition is both scarce and valuable. This issue is dated-
1798. This penny and halfpenny are almost fac-similes, as far as the Obv. is concerned, of the English penny of the time, usually called the broad rim, or waggon rim penny and halfpenny. The general design is not so much in high relief as all previous issues, and suggests the idea of early obliteration; but the broad rim amply compensates for it, and it is equally well preserved by the protection which the rim affords. Obv. The head of the king is particularly fine, but the style is less bold than that of 1786. The legend on the rim is not raised, as in the former issues, but stink in, and is not quite so easily read as raised letters are, but wears quite as well. The motto reads, GEORGIVS. III. D.G. REX. The date, which is out of proportion and small, is 1789. The edge of the coin is plain. On the Rev. the triune is half-armed; the legs, from the knee, too slender for the thighs, which are very plump; the ankle and foot are covered by a sort of short boot, which has a ridiculous appearance. The junction of the triune is by simple lines, with a small circle in the centre, but at the outer edge, between the thighs, is a kind of claw, like a bird's foot or a trefoil. The motto retains the Vs in place of U, and the middle word begins with I instead of J. The only difference to be observed in the halfpenny is that the Obv, reads GEORGIUS. The triune on these coins of 1798 is, as on those of a previous date, but little flexed, having the appearance of running. (Vide photo. plate ii., figs. 12, 13, 14, 15.)
1809. A piece was struck in this year of a peculiar character. In size it is some trifle larger than the Manx halfpenny of George III. On the Obv. is the arms of the East India Company, and motto above; the legend, ONE PIE,, below; in exergue the date, 1809. The Rev. is rimmed much broader than the reverse of the Manx George III. halfpenny; the triune apparently the same as the Manx coin, but the spur rowels are smaller, and in the centre of the triune is stamped the numeral 6. At first sight, this piece impressed me with the idea of its being simply a mule; that is, a freak of minters, for want of something better to do of striking the obverse and reverse of two distinctly different coins together, to form one (called a mule).. I wrote to a gentleman in London, who informed me that it was a mule, struck at the Soho Works, Birmingham, and that the reverse was that of the token " Pro Bono Publico." In this, however, there is an error, as the rim is broader considerably and the triune altogether different from, the " Pro Bono Publico" token. The rim is even broader than on any of the Georgian insular halfpennies ; but the points of resemblance are much nearer to those of the George III. halfpennies, dated 1798 and 1813. These differences, with the addition of the numeral 6 in the centre of the triune, led me to think it might not be a mule, but had some special object. I therefore addressed a note of inquiry to T. Graham, Esq., Master of the Mint, who kindly informed me that the piece was not issued from the Royal Mint ; but that in all probability it emanated from the private atelier of Mr. Wyon, who had frequently been employed to design coinage for colonial circulation.
1813. Following the issue of 1798 we have a coinage of the same type, bearing the date of 1813. The penny is in every way similar to the penny of 1798, with the exception of the date ; and the piece is a shade smaller, which is observable in the rim being a trifle narrower. The mottoes are precisely similar to those on the penny of 1798. But with regard to the halfpenny, the narrowness of the rim is more remarkable; and in the motto on the Obv, the monarch's name reads GEORGIUS, not with a V, as in the 1798 halfpenny. The letters in all the legends are sunk; and the figures forming the date are as insignificant as those on the coins of 1798. In fact, the last figure (.3) is so indistinct, there is often a difficulty in deciding if it is not an 8. (Vide photo. plate ii., fles. 16, 17, 18, 19.)
There can be no hesitation in stating that the whole of the Georgian series of coins is very fine, and highly creditable to the government of the day.
1830. Although the reign of George IV. passed over without any coin issue for the Isle of Man, yet in this year a token was issued, called by different names; such as, "George the Fourth Token," "God Save the King Token" " Mc.Turks Token," "Cain's Token," &c.; but which had no more to do with George IV. than being struck in the year of his death.
It might with equal propriety be associated with the name of George III., having on its Obv. one of the worst likenesses of that monarch ever struck: or with William IV., as it appeared in the year of his accession to the throne of England. But more of this when we speak of the tokens of the island. (-Vide photo. plate iv., figs. 5, 6, 7, 8.)
1839. The last series of coins issued, on which the arms and mottoes of the island were impressed, is tbat.of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and is dated 1839. This series consists of the penny, halfpenny, and (for the first time in the island) the farthing. The penny is larger than that of former issues ; in fact, the largest coin of the island. On the Obv. is the head of Victoria looking, to the left, extremely fine, hair knotted behind, two ribbon bands passing over the head; the legend, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA; and below the head, in exergue, the date, 1839, whlch is the most faulty part of the obverse, being too small and indistinct. The letters of the legend are raised; the extreme rim is raised; and the edge plain. On the Rev. the triune is more acutely flexed, giving the idea of kneeling; the limbs more proportionate than on the Georgian series. The legend raised, and retaining the V in place of U, and the I in IECERIS. The junction of the triune is by simple lines, without the trefoil end, or small circle in centre. The halfpenny and farthing are exactly of the type of the penny ; but, if anything, the letters are larger in proportion to the size of the coin. If these coins of Victoria bad been dated with larger figures, and the ancient flexure of the limbs restored more fully, by being a little more acute, the coinage would have been deserving of great praise; indeed, as it stands, the series is very fine. (Vide photo. iii., figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.)
Before the issue of the Victoria coins the currency of the island was utterly exhausted; and almost every kind of token was circulated, even to buttons with the shanks rubbed off. A specimen of these will be found, numbered 20, in photo. p. iv.
This issue of Victoria, in 1839, consisted of £332 in pence, £446 in halfpence, and £222 in farthings. Thus the pence comprised 79,680 pieces, the halfpence 214,080 pieces, the farthings 213,120 pieces; being a total of 506,880 pieces. The population of the island in 1810 being in round numbers 48,000, the above computation will allow about ten and a half pieces to every man, woman, and child of its then increased number of inhabitants.
In 1840, the following royal proclamation was issued:-
" From and after Monday, the 21st of September next, all copper coin of the currency of this island, passing after the rate of fourteen pence, or twenty-eight halfpence, for the shilling, British, shall cease to be current.-Given at the Government House, the 4th day of May, 1840. God save the Queen.-J. READY."
Such was the excitement consequent on this alteration of the currency, viz., that the new copper coinage should pass at the rate of twelve pence to the shilling, that great rioting took place in Douglas, and property was destroyed, causing great disorder, which had to be put down by the strong arm of the law. The Act of Tynwald of this date also enforced the adoption of the imperial measure, and the selling of bread by weight.
The coinage of Victoria Manx copper was rapidly absorbed; and when the equalisation of value took place, and the new national coinage appeared in 1862, Good Manx Victorias had become very scarce indeed. With the Victoria coins terminated the history of the Manx special insular coiriage, i.e., of coins bearing upon them the triune or arms of the island.
In the foregoing remarks, I wish the reader to bear in mind that I have confined myself to distinct types only. There are many little variations arising, from different dies, into which I have not entered, nor did I conceive it to be necessary. differences of date, legend, &c., in the obverse or reverse, are only recognised.
Before I close the subject of these insular issues, I wish to add a copy of a Treasury memorandum with respect to the calling in of all coinage issued before the equalisation of value
" Treasury, 13th July, 1812 (1076).
The old copper coin withdrawn from circulation in the Isle of Man to be received into the Mint, through the Board of Custom, at its nominal value.-The amount stated to be "£59. 19s.
(Entered in Record Book 38, p. 195.)"
(12,17487) Treasury Chambers, 13th July, 1842.
" Sir,-I am commanded by the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury to refer you to the correspondence which passed, in 1840, between your department and this board , on the subject of the copper currency coined for thq Isle of Man, and I am to inform you that my lords propose that the old copper coin of the island, which has been called in, should be paid into the Mint through the Board of Customs, at its nominal value; and I am to request you will inform my lords whether you see any objection to that course.
"The amount of such copper coin is stated to be £59. 19s., and it is supposed that no more remains in circulation.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
"C. TREVELYAN. The Master of the Mint."
I cannot bring this account of the currency to a close without making a few general remarks on some of the writers of the past history of the Island, particularly those who have made any allusion to its coinage. There is scarcely a locality under the British crown where so much attention has been paid (chiefly by its own inhabitants) to the history of its laws, customs, antiquities, legends, &c. It is therefore the more remarkable that so little has been written respecting its peculiar currency; and those who have touched upon the subject have done it so imperfectly and slightly, that it would have been quite as well, or perhaps better, if they had not mentioned it at all. An old writer, dating his volume 1767 (printed in 4to, by Harrop, of Manchester) ignores the currency altogether. D. Robertson, in his "Tour through the Island" (royal 8vo, 1794), gives many interesting and truthful records but is silent as to its currency. In Feltham's work (8vo, published in 1798), a book replete with useful and valuable information, and to this day perhaps one of the most elaborate, truthful, and exhaustive books that can be procured, the author contents himself with a few short observations, accompanied by extracts from some of the Acts of the Tynwald, as they were passed from time to time; and concludes with a table of comparative money value, which is worth preserving, and is as follows (vice Feltham, p. 123)
At this period, the prices at the retail shops in the towns, were guided by the English money value; and in the markets, by the country people, the Manx money value was most generally adopted. The difference of value in barter was done away with by the equalisation of the island coinage with that of Great Britain in 1840; and it is necessary, simply to record the fact of the above difference in money value, as a matter of history.
In another history of the island, by Gleave, published at Manchester in 1821, the author begins and ends his history of the currency with the coin of 1733, adding a few facetious remarks on the triune.
Oswald, so late as 1860, is equally brief and unsatisfactory. He speaks of the " issue of Governor Murray's Coin, legalised " in 1679," whereas there was no Governor Murray at, or near that period. Then he takes a leap over the leather money (which he does not seem to credit more than many other subsequent historians) to the coins issued by the Duke of Athol in 1758, upon the Obv. of which, be states, was " the letter A and a crown," whereas it is a monogram of A.D. On the Rev. he says, " is the eagle and child, with the motto 'Sans Changer,' or some "other insignia of the Stanleys," but he fails to prove what " other" reverse was ever used,
Oswald's dates are carelessly written: for instance, in 1860 he states that card money was issued forty years before that time, or about the year 1820. Now the fact is, that their issue (as will be seen in subsequent pages of this volume) was as early as 1805. And, again the act for suppression of paper money, except under certain restrictions, was passed in 1817; so that the time which Mr. Oswald states as their beginning, was in reality two or three years after their conditional suppression. About this period of the card money (as will be shown in the following chapter), penny and halfpenny tokens were freely issued. These latter began in 1811, and ended in 1830 by the Mc.Turk or George IV. token: all of these assisted in destroying public credit, as well as failed in being locally useful.
The remark in Camden's "Britannia" (1695), that "in this " island they had no use of money till the late troubles in England, during which, many loyalists flying thither, so plentifully " supplied them with it," must be accepted for 'to more than it is worth. That, during a large portion of its history, there was a great deficiency of coin is generally allowed; for we find that so early as in the fourteenth century, the island had to pay forfeitures to the crown of Scotland often in kind. But this fact does not make it clear that they had no money. For in 1098 Magnus Barefoot imposed a rate upon ah cattle, also maintenance for his men, when he overran the island, as well as a fine of ten gold, marks from the king, in token of vassallage. It is also stated that when the Mandevilles pillaged the island, in 1315, they carried away large quantities of silver. Also, when the Lord of Galloway invaded the island, he left persons behind to collect tribute for him. In consequence of frequent exposure to invading neighbours, they were (like most other people similarly situated) often induced to bury their money and other treasures, which they must have possessed, or there would have been no need 'to adopt such a precaution'. That this was frequently done, we may infer from the fact that, from the time of the three first Stanleys occupying the island, the laws respecting treasure trove, were always considered matters of great importance. The number of "finds" recorded in this volume also fully confirms the views taken of this question.
Further evidence of money being in use in early times is scarcely necessary; but it may be stated that history records that the Duke of Albany (that is, of Scotland) issued a golden coin for the island) but the proof is wanting that it was intended specially for the Isle of Man, although it was supposed to be impressed with the Manx arms, or at least a rude triune was on one side. Still, this coin might have more of the ecclesiastical emblem about it, perhaps it was an abbey piece, rather than an insular coin, the date of it being stated 1324. Another confirmation of this view arises from a copper coin issued by a Scotch governor in 1329, having the effigy of the King of Scotland on one side' and a cross on the reverse, as though it would appear that the cross were preferable to the triune, as an emblem of Christianity. Unfortunately for this statement, copper coins, English or Scotch, were not known of so early a date. On several occasions coins of gold, silver, and copper have been dug up in different places, most of them Anglo-Saxon, very few, scarcely any Roman.
But perhaps a greater mistake could scarcely have been made than that of Oswald in his " Vestigia," where he states:
" I have met with several old Derby coins in silver, value 1s., and also 6d., with the three legs, and eagle and child. They appear to have been minted from the same die that the half pence and farthings of copper of the same age were, and it is questionable whether they ever were in circulation as a currency."
Now, in the first place, the Derby silver pieces to which be alludes were not coins at all, but pattern pieces from the dies of the penny and halfpenny, not from the halfpenny and farthings. There never were any farthings in the island issues until the last insular coinage of Victoria; and to show the utter absurdity of considering them as shillings and sixpences, whether circulated or not, I have only to state the comparative weights of these pieces with the shillings and sixpences of the English coinage of that period, as well as subsequently .
Victoria Shilling 87 grains.
Charles II. Shilling 73 ,,
Derby Penny Pattern Piece in Silver 125 ,,
Victoria Sixpence 40 ,,
Charles II. Sixpence 30 ,,
Derby Halfpenny Pattern Piece in Silver 87 ,,
It will be seen at once that these pieces could never be intended to circulate; the penny being, within a trifle, one third heavier than the English shilling of Victoria, and a still greater difference in weight existing between the smaller pieces, and the British sixpences. If such an idea as circulation had ever been entertained, there would have been no difficulty in accounting for the reason why these pieces so rapidly disappeared owing to their intrinsic value, and this only in comparison with modern Victoria coinage. But if we compare them with the coinage of Charles II, which would be of the same period, we find the contrast still greater, each piece being within a trifle of double the weight of the shilling and sixpence of Charles II. The proper construction was put upon these silver pattern pieces at the time they were struck, as will be seen by the following letter from the celebrated Bishop Wilson to the Hon. Thos. Horton, Governor. This valuable document has been forwarded to me by Paul Bridson, Esq., of Douglas, who has spared neither time nor trouble in search of material for this work, and to whom I cannot but feel myself greatly indebted:
" Liverpool, June 23, 1733.
" Dear Sir,After a pretty rough passage we came hither the next day after I left Douglas. Thursday being a publick day, I waited on my Ld D. who recd me very kindly. I made yor complements to him, and very kindly he asked after you, and concerning the coynage; & made me and Mr Leigh & his brother, &c., who were all there, a present of ye silver medals, wh pleased him wonderfully. It is said ye D. Athol will be down this next week, but not a word of this did I hear at Knowsly. I hope the receiver is perfectly recover'd. I present my best respects to him, & am, worthy Sr
" For Affet Friend & Humble Ser
" Tho. SODOR & Mu-.
" To the Honble Thos. Horton, Esq.,
" The Governr of the Isle of Man."
This valuable document was sent to the late Rev. J. Keble, who wrote the Memoirs, &c, of Bishop Wilson, but it was received too late to be inserted. Mr. Keble, in reply (Dec. 8th, 1863), states:
" The date of which you see agrees very well with what notes I have of his whereabouts at that time, and is very interesting, showing as it does how far advanced towards reconciliation the, belligernts were at that time. It will be a real comfort if the "letters found at Knowsley confirm this idea. I shall try and "find out how that is.
" I remain, dear Sir,
"Your obliged and faithful Servant,
The letter of Bishop Wilson alludes to his eleventh voyage to England. He left Douglas, with Oliver Gardiner, June 18th, 1733; and, after a rough passage of twenty-four hours, landed at Liverpool. In the Bishop's Diary, under date of September 14th, 1733, we find the following:
"Having this day before " parted with my son and dear friends at Lirpool [sic], I landed this day after 22 hours with Captain Richmond at Douglas." (See also Keble, p. 761.) Of the Bishop's twelfth and last voyage to England, his Diary has the following record: " April 28th, 1735. The 21st I took ship with Captain Richmond, (cousin Murray, &c.) We met with a very great storm that " night, and were driven to Peel o' Foudry, where we stayed till yesterday, when setting sail we met with another storm (in which a small bark and two men were lost); but, blessed be ' God, we came up to Lpool. May I never forget God's repeated favours to me ! "
It may by some be deemed out of place to insert at length these particulars here; but they were thought too valuable and interesting to be passed over slightly. The principal object, however, in connection with this work is to show that the Earl of Derby of that period, and Bishop Wilson considered these silver pieces, not as coves, but trial pieces for coinage, struck in silver as medalets for presentation to friends and authorities of the island; and thus could not, by any stretch of imagination, be considered as shillings and sixpences, particularly when the larger was stamped with the figure 1 (for a penny), and the smaller one with ½ (for a halfpenny).
The very curious piece dated 1705, one of which is to be seen in the British Museum, weighs 220 grains; it is in silver, and in diameter measures one inch and five-eighths, and is considerably larger than the penny of Victoria, 1866, which is but one inch and three-eighths in diameter. In fact it is not a coin, but simply a medal, perhaps a design for coinage; it is curious also from the circumstance of the triune progressing from left to right, whilst that on the coinage of 1709 is from right to left. The eagle is remarkably large, and the tail very broad and fanlike. Everything about this piece shows it is not, nor was it ever intended for a coin. We feel justified in classing it as a medal. (Vide photo. plate i., figs. 11 and 12.)