Created under 1777 Act -
it hath been judged expedient to erect a new Jurisdiction in each of the four several Market Towns of this Isle for the Hearing and Determination of Matters of Debt where the Demand doth not Answer to the Sum of forty Shillings ;
That all and every civil Duty and Power heretofore vested in the Captains of the several Market Towns, shall and are hereby committed to the Jurisdiction, Orders, and Directions of the High Bailiffs severally and respectively, and that the said several High Bailiffs in their respective Towns shall have full Power and Authority to-make and give such Rules, Orders, and Directions, with respect to the repairing, amending, and compleating of the several Streets, and the Removal of Encroachments, Nuisances, Filth, and Rubbish in the said Towns, or the Districts thereunto respectively belonging, in such Manner as in his and their Judgment shall be most conducive to the Publick Convenience
And it is hereby further declared and enacted by the Permission and Authority aforesaid, That the High Bailiff in the Execution of their Offices shall be considered and reputed as Civil Magistrates of this Isle to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever ;
The 1792 Commissioners' Report notes their salaries:
These Officers, formerly Captains, altered, by Act of Tinwald of 22d of July, 1777 which was formerly 15l. each, was increased to 25 l. each, from 8th of Sept. 1777; when four constables, whose salarires were 5 l. each were discontinued and ten pounds added to the two High Bailiffs by the Governor
In 1866 responsibility for calling inquests passed to High Bailiffs.(since 1852 it had been the responsibility of the Water bailiff). The High Bailiff was also president of the Licensing court for his jurisdiction. Outside of Douglas the High Bailiff was also Deputy-Registrar for civil registration of Births etc.
With the appointment of Town Commissioners for Douglas in 1860, Ramsey 1865 and then for the remaining towns in 1877, many of the Town Captain functions moved to the Commissioners. The Macdonnell commission of 1911 recommended that the four four posts be reduced to two.
[A few dates to be determined]
From 1933 merged into a single post held then by William Lay