THE whole globe of the earth seemeth to me to resemble an island, being encompassed by the air and environed by the sea, for by ye Word of God it is of and in the waters, consistent and pendent in the waters. This island is scarce a little molehill of the great mass of the earth, yet is planted in the deep by the council of the Almighty, and containeth no more ground than the island of Anglisey,’ the least shire of Wales, or the county of Rutland, the least of England ; for one whose name was Rutt, being a light-horseman, is said to have circuited all the marches and bounds belonging to this shire ( whence some would have the name of Rutland to be deriv’d, and not of its red earth, which Rutt might easily bound over with his horse, it containing but forty miles in its circumference).2 Now, though the Isle of Man doth exceed either of them in its breadth, I say length, yet both of ‘em in their almost arcular form, which the mathematicians demonstrate to be the most capacious, do far exceed Man in goodness and fertility of soil, buildings, and numerousness of inhabitants. Wherefore these Reguli (demi-kings) of Man, especially since they lost the dominion of the Western Isles, the Hebrides being now in reality but topacks, and therefore far from being absolute kings, as the Lord Cook conceiveth them to be, have with great reason wisely weighed ye title of king and assumed yt of lord ; ‘ with great reason I say have they so done, for, as I noted before out of the Lord Cook, it was always conveyed in all letters-patents by the name of an island and not of a kingdom ; but although Walsingham alone saith in King Richard the 2d’s reign it was a kingdom, yet you may observe both in him and all our historiographers after they were outed of these isles, y~ they had the repute to be kings only of the Lordship of Man, for by yt name or title (still as you please) was it conveyed to Pierce Gaveston, and in the grant it hath but the 2d place, after the earldom of Chester.

Moreover, when King Henry the 4th gave the island to the Earl of Northumberland, the words are these,2 the Isle, Castle Pile, and Seigniory of Man, which is no more than the Lordship of Man.

Neither did the Stanleys ever (though they stile them-selves Kings of Man and of ye Isles) account themselves but as kings of ye Lordship of Man ; for sr Jn. Stanley ye younger (and 2 Kink of Man of yt family) in ye year 1422 (which was ye 1st year of our King Henry ye Gth) did cite ye Bishop of Man, and all ye abbots, priors, etc., to appear and show by what claim he or they held any lands, tenements, etc., within ye Lordship of Man.3 Neither did ye late Lord James (Earl of Derby), although he stiled himself Lord of Man and of the Isles, yet in all his indentures, leases, grants, etc., wherein he was to cataloguise his titles, he there cx-press’d how poorly he prized any honour he received from Man, in yt he ever preferred the meanness of his baronages in England before it. For all his deeds were after this form James, by the grace of God, Earl of Darby, Ld Strange, Knocking, and of Man, do give, grant, etc. Yea, the Manksmen themselves, in the pedigree which is put down before, you may observe Thos, Earl of Darby, is only entitled Ld Strange and Man ; so as Man is ye last of his Lordshlps, ann so in others. And note also y~ not any of ye house of Darby or of ye Stanleys in all yt pedigree yt is styled King, only Ld of Man.

The Scots also ever held it as a lordship, as I shall shew in the sequel ; and I remember Hector Boetius,’ stiled Brennius (who then governed Man and was kill’d in Scotland assisting King Aydan against King Bruedus and his Picts), thanes, prefect of Man, aitho’ Bucanan more civilly stiled him Regulum Eubonie. Neither did K. Alexander ye 3d, after he had conquered ye Isle of Man, permit any he placed there to bear the title of king, but of a lieutenant, and thought it no indignity to ye Island to place a chaplain of his to be sole governor there and all ye Western Isles, I say (tho’ the Isle of Man be reckoned as one and ye prin cipal of them) and are reckoned amongst the titles of ye King of Scotland’s eldest son (as I touch’d before) ; yet this do not give any place of honour unto them, nor not to reckon it amongst but after the baronies. Now, tho’ these lords have waved the regal title, yet have they not waved the regal power ; they are therefore but Lords of Man in title, but Kings of Man in effect and reality. And why not? seeing it is the prerogative. belonging unto the Island yt who-soever is but Lord of the Island of Man is King of Man, as I have often shewed you before,—yea, the Lord of Man is as potentially powerful, exercising jura regalia as fully, freely, and absolutely, and in as ample a latitude, as any of ye pre cedent kings ever did or might do—for the difference of stile makes not the difference of sovereigntY, and therefore one said truly yt K. Henry ye 8th had as absolute power when his stile was but Lord of Ireland as when be was King of Ireland. I know and acknowledge yt ye counties palatines in England, especially of Chester and Durham (which were so by prescription), and of Lancaster, made one in ye 28k" year of King Edward the 3~, did execute jura regalia in their counties as fully as the king did in his palace. But these counts in England are not to be parallelled with a King or Lord of Man, these exceeding them in a more eminent degree; for, first, ye counts-palentifle’s power was but derivative, and originally cx dono regis ; but the jura regalia exercised by the kings or lords of Man are cx jure ipsius insule, as I have before shewed you out of Walsingham, and ye Lord Cook assenting thereunto ; moreover, the jura regalia of the Island of Man were ab origine, and to this day neither interrupted nor discontinued, whereas these of the counts-palatines have been long since antiquated, abolished, and repealed, as the sd Lord Cook confesseth. But I cannot here omit to speak of a passage wch I observed in ye chapter precedent, of ye inauguration of a King of Man, for it serveth as well for a Lord as for a King of Man, with this only difference, y~ a king is inaugurated with ye ceremony of his corporation, but a 1d only installed by proclamation. But ye homages and fealties there made by bishops, barons, officers, etc., unto either of them (king or lord) seemeth, at least in outward shew and appearance, to be terminated in him, whether he be king or lord, yt he receiveth them if chief as ye civillians speak, yt is, y~ their acknowledgment of homage and fealty is to him-self alone, without any relation, reference, once mentioning, or naming of the King of England, except you will say it is done inclusive, with a mental reservation, yt is, yt their homage to ye Lord of Man may be sd to be done to the King of England also, because ye Lord of Man himself doth acknowledge his subjection and subordination to ye King of England. Now, to proceed and shew you something more of ye power and prerogatives belonging and practised by a King or Lord of Man in Man, both being y° same in reality : The Kings of Man in old time did claim the whole Isle, and all the revenues thereof~ as belonging to him only, and yt so absolutely and entirely yt not any one in all ye Island had right to any inheritance or fee-simple in any part of ye Island ; for he held himself 1d of all yt any there did possess, and they were only tenants at will, for this tradition was shewed me amongst ye rest of ye Manks papers : ~ All the inhabitants of ye Isle held their lands of the king to be ready to fight against any yt shou’d invade ye Island, or against any enemy yt shou’d rise against or oppose ye king within ye Island, also to perform certain other duties and services, as to bring a quantity of rushes on midsumer’s eve, some to one place and some to another (as I told you before), more-over to carry the lord’s turf when and whither he pleases.

Now, in old time and at this day this tenure still retaineth its old name, and is by the Manksmen called the holding of the straw. Notwithstanding, I find yt jii after times divers had lands of inheritance which descended unto their heirs until ye time yt Godred Crovan,2 ye ~ of Harold ye Black, conquered the Isle of Man, about yC same year yt Wm ye first’ conquered England. After this conquest

Godred assumed the whole Isle into his own hand. As for the relation of the Monks of Russin, Godred, having gotten the victory over the Manksmen, seated himself in the south part of ye Isle, and permitted the remains of the Manksmen which were not killed in the battle, to inhabit in ye north, upon condition yt none of them shou’d dare to challenge any part of ye Island by right of inheritance. So as at this day, say the same monks, the whole Isle is in the king’s domain alone, and all the revenues thereof are belonging ~ to the crown. Thus all ye Island by this conquest came a 2d time into the king’s sole dominion. But it continued so not any long time ; for in his great-grandchild’s reign many had in-heritances in the Island, as the same Cronocle relateth in these words : Godred, ye son of Olive, returning victorious out of Ireland, began to use tyranny, turning noblemen out of their inheritance, which caused some of them to rebel ; and altho’, for the space of 500 years following, I find no claim made by any of those which they needs will call Orry’s kings, yt succeeded the sd Godred, or of any yt reigned after them, yet it seemeth ye late Lord James, Earl of Darby, had neither foregotten nor forgone his right, but claimed and obtamed ye same, as I shall have occasion to set down more at large in the following chapter. Leaving to dilate farther upon this, I now return to speak particularly of ye lords of this Island—I mean the supream lord ; but, seeking and observing to the utmost of my power, I cannot find any difference at all, as I have 5d before, betwixt a King and a Lord of Man, but only in certain formalities and not in any realities.

The kings were crowned, the lords now are only publickly installed and proclaimed ; the kings lived more splendidly; they created barons, dubb’d knights, and made esq~’S yt attended on them, but since they were settled lords they never, yt we read of~ did put those punctillios in practice, yt is, they never gave any titles of honour to any of the Island, insomuch as there is not any at this day of the race of ye barons left yt can claim yt title, and for ye clergy they were exterminated not long after ours in England.


Some of ye Islanders wou’d have persuaded me yt there never were more than 2 barons in the Island, which they said were the Abbots of Banchor and Sabbal.

M’~ Chaloner in his Abridgt nameth ye 3 baronies, namely, Banchor, Sabbal, and St. Trinion’s, but I am not yet so satisfied, for the 1st of these had his residence in Ireland, and therefore very likely to be a baron in Man. Besides, I presume, if any

of the clergy shou’d have any such title given unto them, the Abbots of Russin had been most capable thereof~, as being the prime abbot (altho’ it may be not ye most antient) of the Island, and having precedency (as I conceive) above ye rest, next to ye bishop. I will not oppose any yt shall think any or all of those abbots (before named) to have been barons, for in a Parliament in England there were 26 abbots, y~ did sit in the upper house, and had voices there as barons, because they held baronies next to their abby’s ; you may observe in ye record which I set down in ye 3d book of this history, wherein all ye clergy, bishops, and abbots, etc., were cited before ye king and named, yet not one of them was stiled a baron. There is no question to be made but yt there were many temporal barons, and not any one of ye spirituality so entitled in all the Western out isles (ye Hebrides), but I am confident that there have been also temporal barons in ye Isle of Man, which I shall demonstrate out of ye Manks Cronicle. ~ Cambden in ye Latin copy of his British Isles stileth the nobility of Man optimates principes and nobiles ; in the Cronicle of Man (before set down) you find yt Godred, the son of Olive (after his being crowned at Dublin), returned into the Isle of Man, and began to tyrannize, and to turn the noblemen of Man out of the inheritance, whereof ye names of them was named Thurfin, mightier than the rest, the son of Otter, and therefore he cannot be conceived to be any of the abbots or spiritual men, who also might well be ye son of the Otter’~or Other who is there entitled an earl, who with Mac-mar-as was general, and slain in yC battle between the north and south Manksmen, at a place called Stantway ; another battle was fought at Ramsay’ between Reynold, brother of Godred, and them of Man, where by the deceitful practice of an earl those of Man were put to flight ; anno 1228, Olive having recovered his right against Reynold his brother, sail’d unto ye Islands accompanied with all the nobles of Man; anno 1228, 1K. Reynold burnt all ye ships which belonged to his brother and to ye Lords of Man ; anno 1249, Harrold, the son of Godred Don, usurped the islands and banished all the nobles of Man yt belonged to Harrold, King Olive’s son, and received those yt fled from him. When John, King of England’ sent Earl Fulk to Man, Godred and his nobles were not in Man, therefore here were nobles in Man, altho’ they were with King Reynold, then not in Man. Moreover, it is most apparent yt there were temporal barons in ye isle besides those of ye spirituality by a customary constitution, which I shall have occasion to set down in the 3d book of this history, which distinguisheth ye abbots from ye barons, saying yt neither bishop, abbot, nor baron shall entertain any stranger into their houses without the knowledge of the lieutenant, what they are, etc. As for knights, I find but one, and yt a wicked one ; his name was Ivarus, who with his company murthered Reynold, King of Man2 (father of Mary) ; howsoever many had been before, for they were ever to be present and assisting at ye coronation of a King or instalment of a Lord of Man. Moreover, the supreme Lord of Man at this day hath the same power and prerogative yt ye Kings of Man had in former times, even in the same latitude and extent, whether it be of life or death.

To banish, or to condemn to perpetual punishment, to raise men or monies, to place or displace any whosoever in ye island at his own pleasure, which particular was put in practice during my residence there, and by a Manksman wittily exprest upon an occasion yt then presented itself; some asked a friend of his in Castle Town why the 1d had put out Mr. Smith and had put in Mr. Christian to be receiver-general, ye other answered he knew no other reason but yt ye Ld giveth and ye Lord taketh, and yt with reason, for cujus est dare ejus est disponere. I further observe in pursuing of their customary laws yt all whales, grappers, porpoises, and sturgeons yt are either cast or taken upon any part of ye island, do belong unto yC lord of ye isle.

Also all hawks, hernes, harts, hinds, do belong unto ye la, and none can hunt, hawk, or take any of these without his licence ; if otherwise they do they are to pay a fine of £3, and to suffer imprisonment during ye lord’s pleasure. All wracks in the sea or in ye havens are the lord’s ; all fines and forfeitures in case of treason, felony, and flodese (except corbes), etc., with many such like, do belong to him, also treasure-trove. But for yC Manks custom therein, what it is, you shall find expressed in ye last chapter of this 2d Book.

If any ship arrive in the island the lord is to have ye first refusal of whatsoever merchandise is by any ship imported. Concerning ye queens and ladies of ye isle I find nothing to memorise the Manksmen’s honouring of either of them only in their customary laws (hereafter set down), yt all ye goats of felons’ goods in ? island do belong to the queen, and all the swine in ye like case do belong unto the lord.


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Besides, I never have read yet or heard of any queen of Man yt was crowned, no not Mary, Queen of Man, ye sole heir of Reynold, King of Man. In ye Manks tradition she is called queen, but of her coronation I have not seen nor read any yt mentioned it.


1 Although Wm. Harrison’s Description of Britain, part i. c. 8, p. 16, pleaseth to make it a 3d part bigger.

2 Speed, Abt. of Rutland, Camb. Rut., p. 525.

1 Inst., part 4, c. 69.

2 Oamb. Brit. Isles, p. 215.

3 See this Record at large, 1. 3, c. 9.

1 Hist. of Scotland, 1. 9, p. 169.

1 The Manks Tradition.

2 Anno 1066.

1 Anno 1164.

1 Anno 1210. 2 Anno 1244.



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