[Taken from German Presentments 1759]

The following sequence of entries outline one case - the interesting fact is that he apparently offered Mass on a regular basis both in Peel and Douglas (and possibly Castletown) to both natives and strangers. Governor Cochrane's action was probably illegal as there was no Manx law against saying Mass, previous cases against a Catholic Priest had been for officiating at a marriage.


We the curate, church wardens & questmen of the parish of Kirk German according to the authority in us by the Laws of this Land & the Constitution and Canons ecclesiastical, do present Mr James Hay commonly called Father Hay as a facctor ? of un[]ed & foreign power, & a promoter of popish & erronious Doctrine , not only by holding a conventicle or meeting of sundry popish recusants both strangers & natives every other Sunday in Peeltown, where a Mass is then & there celebrated but more especially for openly & repeatedly exercising the functions of a popish priest in the house of John Christian blacksmith near the sd town of Peel, & for performing contrary to the sd laws & canons, to attempt by false pretences & sundry superstitious ceremonies of the Church of Rome or charms to cast out of sd Christian any Devil or Devils, either prossessing or obsessing him and for imposing upon, and cozening the Hearers of his Offices & others into a Belief that he wd recover the unhappy delirious sufferrer to his previous health & senses

Chas Brew; Saml Wattleworth Curates

Pat Karran my mark; Henry Mylchreest my mark; Wm Mylcreest my mk

At a consistory Court holden at Kirk Michl before the Rt Revd Father in God, Mark Lord Bishop of Sodor & Mann, the Revd Ro. Radcliffe & Matths Caughey vicars genrl & the Revd J Wilks Bps Regr the 17 Nov 1757

John Christian junr, son of John Christian Blacksmith mentioned in the forgoing Presentment being sworn & examined & deposeth & saith that he was told by Dan Clark, Thos Cowin & Wm Ervin all of Peeltown that a popish Priest would be of use to recover his father [] a professed member of the Church of England & that sd Cowin & Erwin apply to Mr Thos Savage of sd town for a letter to sd priest & that sd Ervin told depont sd Mr Savage would write to sd Priest to that end which he accordingly did & delivered sd letter to Depont desiring that he wd give the same to sd Priest that the depont accordingly went wth sd letter to Douglas but Mr Hay the sd Priest being then at Castletown Depont was informed, he left sd letter at a house opposite to Ewan Kerruish's in Douglas where Depont was informed sd Priest generally lodged. That sd Hay the Priest came abt the next day after to his sd father's house, & heard by one Wm White that sd Hay read something by his sd father and that sd Hay came to visit Deponts father twice afterwards

John Christian mrk x

William White of Peeltown also sworn & examined deponth & saith he is a near neighbour to John Christian mentd in the the Presentmt who is a professed member of the Church of England, sath that Jane wife of sd John Christian applyd to this depont to go down to Mr Thos Savage's for the popish priest that depont did not go as desired but sd Jane requesting a second time that he wd go for the priest, he accordingly went to sd Mr Savages but not finding the priest there he went to Mr Mylrae's where he met sd Priest & delivered his message that sd Priest namely Ja Hay now in court went wth depont to sd Christian's house, that sd priest went to the bedside where sd Christian lay, being for some time disordered in his senses, that sd priest after repeatedly often speaking to sd Christian, sd Christian made no answer but speak to him repeatedly sd Christian at length made some answer, that sd priest talking for a considerable time to sd Christian he the sd priest then desired him to say the Lord's prayer which sd Christian accordingly did, & sd priest desiring him to say sd prayer a second time sd Christian did so - that sd priest then taking a small book out of his pocket, began to read something in a language depont did not well understand but apprehended to be latin, that during the course of his reading the sd priest took a ribbon & putting one end of it over his own neck extended the other end of sd ribbon, on which was fixed a cross or crucifix & put same on sd John Christian's face while he was reading - that after sd priest had done reading depont left the room whereas sd Christianwas,leaving sd priest with him, saith he heard sd priest advise sd Christian to cheer up his spirits & that sd priest say'd that under god the man would de well enough depont saith that sd priest also sayd he would bring up some holy water the next day & at sevl times after sd priest called upon the depont to go with him to sd Christian's house but depont being busy could not go.

Wm White

Hen Christian son of John Christian above mentiond sworn & examined deponth & saith that Ja Hay the popish priest came to his father's house in company with Wm White the former depont that he heard the sd priest read something in the room where his father lay, in a language he did not understand - saith also hears sd priest say he was to carry a bottle of holy water next day to his father but does not know whether sd bottle was carryd up or not

Hen Christian's mrk x

William Crellin also sworn & examined deponeth & saith he saw Ja Hay the popish priest in the house of John Christian, blacksmith, that depont being in a room near to that where sd Christian lay & listning attentively he heard him read by [] [] sd Christian in a language depont did not understand saith that looking thro a hole in the partition between both rooms he saw a book in sd priest's hand as also saw a ribbon about sd priest's neck and that sd priest often laid his hand on sd Christian's face but whether he laid sd ribbon thereon depont cant say - saith he heard sd priest say he wd come & see sd Christian next day & carry some holy water with him

William Crellin

The foregoing depositions taken at the instance of Curates & wardens & before us.

At this court James Hey acknowledged that he exercis[] the function of a popish priest by saying Mass on some sundays in the house of Mr Thos Savage of Peeltown. He also acknowledges that he professes to teach & does te[] the french language to sundry persons, as well of his o[] profession, as others - he further acknowledged the several facts sworn to by Mr White & that he knew [] John Christian the delirious person he went to, was not of his profession; and that it was a custom in their church to lay a crucifix & what he called a stoale on the face of su[] persons as they went to visit ; but alledged he went t[] visit sd Christian as Physician & to give some recipts for his disorder xxx tho it does not appear that any were prescribed or administered. [in a different hand]

Presentmt being made by the Curate wardens & questmen of kirk gernman that James Hay a popish priest [] in sundry respects transgressed the laws of this land & the Constitutions & canons several which upon tryal appear to be well founded - he the sd Ja Hay is therefore hereby ordered to be forthwith comitted in St Germans prison until he gives sufft bonds of 50 ad usm dni that he will make his appearance when called upon by this court & be subject to thge future orders & determinances thereof with regard to sd Presentmts.

to the sumonr of Kirk Michl

To the Revd Robt Radcliffe and Mathias Curphy Vicars General of this Isle.

The humble Petition of James Hay -

Humbly Sheweth

That about the Twenty Sixth of October last year your Supplicant received a letter from a certain gentle man in Peel advising that a certain poor man of that town was disordered very much in his mind, and that your supplicant shud do a Christian Act of Charity in visiting the poor man and praying by him, which by the blessing of the great God might do the Patient much Good. That your Supplicant beleiveing [sic] this man to be a Catholick, did go for Know the contrary [] he came to the houses when it was too late to return, and was then persuaded to pray by the patient, and read a part of the first chapter of St John's Gospell, but to no purpose, the poor man still continuing extra fe [outside of himself] & non compos Mentis. In all which your humble supplicant well hoped he was doeing the Christian Part, but is now very sorrowfull to find to his great grief that he has thereby given offence, for which he hereby humbly begs Pardon, hoping you will receive his ignorance in this business and indulge him for this time - Promising in [] sacrum, that he will not offend in the Premises for the future, but demean himself in all things as he has always studied so inoffensively and dedicatedally.

And your humble supplicant as in all duty bound shall for your reverences ever Pray.

Castle Rushen 6aor ? 26 1759

Whereas it is presented unto us that one James Hay popish priest doth hold a conventicle or meeting of papist recusants and there celebrate Mass and exercise the functions of a papist priest in the town of Peel & Douglas to the great offence of the good people of this Isle - you are therefore hereby ordered to take diligent care to inhibit and prevent the said James Hay from holding any such conventicle or in any sort exercising the function of popish priest, take care if he offend again as to apprehend & send him under custody to Castle Rushen,. herein fail not as you shall answer the contrary

To the Constable of Peel or his deputy

Basil Cocherane, Dan Mylrea, John Quayle, Jon Taubman

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