[From Manx Soc vol XXI]
THE Isle of Man was at one time the refuge for debtors from Great Britain and Ireland, as no debt contracted off the island could be sued for in it In consequence of this it became the resort of a great number of persons who came over to elude the payment of their debts, particularly after the breaking out of the French Revolution, when the Continent ceased to be their refuge. Many of this class were of extravagant habits and of doubtful character ; this led to great excess and frequent quarrels towards the end of last century and the commencement of the present. A law was consequently promulgated on the 24th March 1814, being " An Act for the more easy recovery of debts contracted out of the limits of the Isle of Man." This was looked upon by many as ruinous to the best interests of the island, but the result proved the contrary.
Mrs. Bullock, who resided in the island at the time, gives a graphic account of the doings of these gentry in her History of the Island. The writer of the following lines, Miss Gulindo, was no doubt one who availed herself of this privilege :
Welcome ! welcome ! brother debtor,
To this poor but happy place,
Where no bailiff dun, or gaoler,
Dares to show his dreadful face.