THESE are the Synodal Statutes and Institutes of the Diocese of Sodor, in the Island of Mann, by the Reverend Father Simon, Bishop of Sodor, there drawn up and confirmed in the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and twenty-nine:-
For the proving of Wills let no fees be exacted beyond thirtytwo pence in all; but from the same sum, something for the poor there should be subtracted a certain portion of the goods
The effects of the Intestate should be administered subject to the will of the Bishop of the diocese, or, in his absence, of his Vicar-General
In (respect of) funeral dues, the best animal must be paid to the Church, if there shall be a cow, or an ox, or a horse, of the value of six shillings or less. And as regardeth wearing apparel, if a man shall pay the funeral expenses, it shall stand at the election of the Church whether it prefer to have clothes or three shillings and six pence.# And if he be poor, and have paid no funeral fees, his garments, what sort soever they are, let be taken, and every fifth penny from his free goods, and the mortuarium must be paid to the Church by gilbogus* possessed of effects reaching to the amount of the (said) mortuarium. Put if his goods fall short of this amount, then every fifth penny should be paid to the Church from the free goods. And if it be asked what is gilbogus, it is answered, that gilbogus is one who, if he have lived only for one single night, and has been appointed to hold property, or been seized of effects, -if, as has been said, he should die, then the Church shall have its dues. Also, the aforesaid gilbogus, although he shall have discharged the mortuarium, nevertheless, over and above this, all claims owing by him, as well to the Priest and to the Clerk as to the Church, must be satisfied. And if he shall have paid no mortuarium, yet must he settle with them notwithstanding. * Solidus, a gold coin of the value of our old noble, here taken to represent a shilling. * Gilbogus, i.e Gil, son of-bogus, shade or dead man- so that his son or heir is a Gil-bogus. * In Chaucer the Sumptor is an officer employed to summon delinquents to appear in ecclesiastical courts. In the Isle of Man, where this officer is still retained with his old name, it is written " Sumner. "
The fees to be paid to the Clerk are these:-If a man have discharged the mortuarium, the Clerk should have the hose of the man, shoes of the value of six pence, and a cap with a hood, or a capouch (hood) of more or less value, such as the man himself had walked (in) on the day of the nativity of our Lord; also a shirt (and) a girdle of the value of one penny, a scrip of the value of one penny, and a knife of the value of one penny.
Geese should be taken at the feast of St. Michael (Michaelmas day) or after, and swine, bullocks, calves, and chickens at the fest*al of St. Martin (Martinmas day), should be received among the free goods, and be gathered in at Easter, the rector of the church being at the risk of the aforesaid swine, chickens, and bullocks. Except only, if the steward desire to have the bull calves (or bulls) to cause their cows to give milk, the rector himself charging the bailiff to have a care of them, as if they were their own.
If a man or woman have deceased, and left no effects to satisfy the Church for their obsequies, then those (persons) who would have sought possession of their goods if they had died rich-that is to say, the nearer of their blood relations, shall satisfy the priest and the clerk for their interment.
If dairy produce be not brought meetly, according to usage, to the Church, two pence must be paid for one cow, two pence for four goats, and eight pence for eight sheep (ewes).
When the proctors shall come for the collection of tithe lambs, oxen, swine, or poultry, let the bailiff select two, and the proctors the third.
If a man or woman perchance should have removed his (or her) domicile from one parish to another, and have taken his effects with him; or if a man have brought with him nothing besides his wife, children, bed, cock, hen, gridiron (or cradle, cratic~blam), and kneading trough, and there shall have staid for not more than three nights before his removal from this life, in that parish into which he had but just come, the Church dues should be paid, although the greater portion of his effects should have been left in the other parish.
According to the ancient statute, the bailiffs had to collect the tenths of grain as if they were their own, and were to take them to their own granaries, and to keep them carefully until the rector or his proctor was able to come more conveniently to look after them, perhaps till the feast of All Saints; but in these latter times the rectors receive in their garners the tithes of grain, for the greater convenience of the bailiffs.
If a man or woman shall have opened a public house for the sale of beer, whether he or she) shall be a common publican or not, if he (or she) should receive two pence halfpenny by any sale of liquor, let him (or her) pay to the Church (every) tenth Hagon.
If any male or female weaver should cut off, or cut out from their looms three webs, and should receive payment for the same web, let him (or her) pay out of such moneys to the Church two pence yearly; and if he (or she) should cut off or cut out one hundred, let him (or her) pay no more.
The Sumptor, by old laws and ancient statutes, ought to receive annually from all the bailiffs, a sheaf of three bands in size, to wit, of corn, ear, and stalk, and ought to have one picked lamb at every tithing and collection of dairy produce, and ought to receive one picked fleece at every tithing of the wool.