Mary Maria Rodwell - 1834

Mary Maria Rodwell - 1834

Extracted From

Mary Martha Rodwell The Geography of The British Isles London: printed for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown Green and Longman Paternoster Row 1834 8vo

Contains small outline maps of uniform size of Counties of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland on 59 plates 3.5" x 6" with 2 maps/plate
No inscription beyond names of Counties - towns indicated by numbers and rivers etc by letters.

Intended as a teaching aid [tho the information about the Island is usually incorrect !]


Boundaries.-Surrounded by the Irish Sea.
Towns.-1, Castletown; 2, Douglas; 3, Laxey; 4, Ramsey; 5, Peel; 6, St. Patrick.
Island.-A, Calf of Man. Cape.-B, Point of Ayre.

Mrs. ROWE-WHAT is the situation of the Isle of Man?

ANNA.-It lies nearly opposite to the western coast of Cumberland, in a position nearly central between Great Britain and Ireland. It is about thirty miles long and ten wide. The chief towns are Rutbin, Douglas, and Peel.

Mrs. ROWE.-Ruthin or Rushin, called also Castle-town, is, though inferior to Douglas, the residence of the gover- nor. The Castle is a most magnificent pile, which was raised by Gutbred, a prince of the Danish line, who lies buried in the edifice he founded. For several ages it has braved the injuries of time, and still retains a sullen majesty. At a remote period, and before the island was annexed to the British Crown, the native kings resided here, in all their warlike pomp, supporting a petty splendour at the expense of their wretched subjects. About a mile from this town is a quarry of marble, much esteemed for various uses : the flight of steps leading to St. Paul's was taken from it, and presented to the Dean and Chapter of that cathedral by the venerable Bishop Wilson.

Douglas, which about a century ago consisted of only a few clay cottages, is now the principal town in the island, where is carried on its chief trade and commerce ; and the inhabitants having most intercourse with strangers, their manners are the most polished. Not far from this town stood a nunnery, in a most delightful solitude. Of this convent, which once conferred power and distinction, there are no relics that can recall the idea of magnificence or grandeur.

Peel was anciently called Holm Town, from a small island close by it. Its bay is spacious, and abounds with a variety of fish, particularly the red cod, which is con- sidered an exquisite delicacy : this beautiful fish is of a bright vermilion colour, which is supposed to be occasioned by its living among rocks covered with weeds and mosses of the same hue. This island is a bishop's See, and gives title to the Bishop of Sodor and Man, who enjoys all the spiritual rights and pre-eminences of the other bishops, but does not sit in the British House of Peers, his See never having been erected into an English barony. The esta- blished religion in Man is that of the Church of England ; and the episcopal residence is about a mile from Kirk- Michael, an extensive village situated near the sea. The ancient palace was very large and venerable ; but the mo- dern building erected on its ruins, though more adapted to the refinements of the present day, is far inferior in mag- nificence.

Man was the last place that submitted to Cromwell: and after the Earl of Derby, in whom the lordship was then vested, fell a martyr to his loyalty, his lady sought, with his children, an asylum in Castle Rushin ; and presuming on the skill of a few officers, and the attachment of the islanders, indulged the hope of defending herself against the republican army : but her commander having less zeal or less courage, obeyed the first summons, and surrendered the fortress. The Countess thus becoming a prisoner in her own castle, felt severely mortified by such a reverse of for- tune.

GEORGE.-Was not the sovereignty of this island purchased by the Parliament of Great Britain?

MRS. ROWE.-It was, in consequence of the revenue of Great Britain being materially affected by the contraband trade carried on with this island. In 1726 an Act was passed to sanction the purchase of it; but from various causes this desirable event did not take place till 1765, when the Duke of Athol agreed, for the sum of 70,000 and some annuities, to the investment of all the royalties in the Crown of Great Britain. This island afforded a shelter to the Druids who escaped from the merciless hands of the Ro- mans, and who governed the Manks till about the close of the fourth century, when the light of Christianity dawned here, and gave them an opportunity of embracing a re- ligion of much greater purity and sublimity than their own. The principal article of trade is fish, particularly herrings, which shoal round the island in great abundance. Here are several quarries of stone and thin blue slate, with a few mines of lead, copper, and iron. An incredible num- ber of all kinds of sea-fowl breed on the rocks; and it :s stated, that in this little island five thousand young puffins are taken annually.

GEORGE.-Is not the Tynwald Mount in this island ? MRs. RoWE.-It is situated about three miles from Peel, and is an artificial mound of earth, covered with turf, having a flight of steps cut on the south side for ascending to the summit. Here, when laws were promulgated, the governor was seated under a canopy of state, while the inferior people occupied the lower circles. Neither history nor tradition records the era of the erection of the Tynwald ; but judging from its name and appropriation, it must have been con- structed by the aboriginal inhabitants.

ANNA.-Below the southern promontory I perceive an- other small island ; what is it called ?

Mrs. ROWE.-The Calf of Man: it is separated from the main island by a very narrow rocky channel, through which the tide rushes with great impetuosity. This isle is about five miles in circumference, and is environed by gloomy caverns and stupendous precipices.


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2012