[Works of John Stowell + note by R.J.Moore]

To the Most Noble
Lord Lieutenant
and Governor of the
ISLE of MANN &c. &c. &c.

RANG'D on the wide-extended shore
See Mona's sons exulting stand,
The ark with rapture they explore
That brings the GUARDIAN OF THE LAND !

Each zealous bosom pants with quiet delight :-
How young Impatience turns
And fill'd with ardor turns
half his pleasure into pain.
Now the proud vessel swells upon the sight,
Approaching joyful she appears,
As conscious of the prize she bears,
And gains the willing port, - where all around,
Glad echoes faithful accents loud resound,
Thrice welcome ATHOLL to thy MANN again !"

Mona serene assumes a placid smile,
While silent transports fill her conscious breast;
See future blessings dawning on her isle,
And ATHOLL long in blessing, others blest;
Whose virtues shall confirm his noble blood,
Blending the will and power of doing good.
These are thy honors ATHOLL ! not the crest,
With splendid plume, nor Titles sounding name,
Nor the rich star that sparkles on thy breast,
And glitters on the towr'ing hill of Fame:
But that thou wearest a title on thy heart,
More noble far than Grandeur can impart.

To make a nation happy shall be thine,
And with unborrowed lustre shine;
For thee unfading laurels grow,
Which GRADITUDE shall twine around thy brow:
While Age and Youth thy worth shall scanb,
And hail thee, ATHOLL as the FRIEND of MANN!

Peel, March 1st 1793


This piece appeared in the "Manks Mercury" of the 5th March 1793. The grandiloquent title given to the Duke of Athol of "Lord Lieutenant and Governor of the Isle of Man" was erroneous. The poet was not however blameable for using it - in as much as a public announcement had been made in the number of the Mercury for the 19th of the preceding month to the effect that His Majesty had conferred that title upon his Grace.

The real title conferred was "Governor in Chief and Captain General" - and as the circumstances under which this was bestowed may not be generally known, I apprehend it will not be out of place here to relate them.

After the sale of the Sovereignty of the Island by his father in 1765 - although the Duke of Athol retained the title of Lord of Man and the Isles", and although he affected to exercise certain powers - in reality he was placed in an exceedingly anomalous and most unpleasant position - inasmuch as he held no crown appointment and was not therefore recognized as an official - in fact he no locus standi in the country or in its legislative proceedings.

To remedy this , and to place him in a position of authority, the British Government proposed to confer upon him the appointment before named, attaching to it a salary of £400,

Upon the first arrival in the Island of the Duke after receiving this appointment, a public demonstration partaking of a quasi official one took place. The "Mercury" of the 5 March 1793 thus describes the proceedings

Douglas March 5.

Extract from a letter from Ramsey, 2 March.

"On Thursday evening about 6 o'clock His Grace the Duke of Athol, Lord Lieutenant and Governor in chief of this Island, arrived here, attended by Mr. Small. His Grace came from Scotland, in the "Royal George" Captain Crawford, accompanied with the "Prince Edward", Captain Cook, and "Prince of Wales", Captain Murray. His arrival was announced by firing from the cutters; and welcomed by a salute from the Guns on shore. From the Quay to Collector Gamble's house, where he was accommodated during his short stay, crowds of people attended with acclamations. Bone fires, illuminations and fires from towns (?) on the adjacent hills, which appeared in a blaze, testified the general joy. His Grace was waited upon by a number of Gentlemen; and departed late in the evening for Douglas, on horseback, attended by his friends."

The account then proceeds -

"On Thursday night about 12 o'clock, his Grace the Duke of Athol and his suite, arrived here from Ramsey. On Friday morning the Lord Bishop, the Hon. Alexander Shaw, Captain Taubman, Deemster Moore, John Lace Esq., the Vicars General and several other Gentlemen came to town to pay their respects to his grace. About 8 o'clock all the vessels in the harbour displayed their colors - several guns were fired - and all around gave indications of the arrival of the welcome visitor. Colors were displayed in different parts of the town; and every individual seemed to participate in the general gladness. About 11 his Grace made his appearance at the door - he was dressed in the Uniform of his own Corps of Royal Manks Fencibles. This was a sight pleasing as ot was unexpected. His Grace's tender regard for the happiness and prosperity of the inhabitants of this island, has been displayed on many occasions; - but a circumstance like the present, must render the illustrious name of Atholl still dearer to every friend of Mona :- for at a period when the island was left helpless as an [missing] - when the [.] of military was withdrawn from it - and when the property of individuals was exposed to the ravages of our common enemy. His Grace, seeing our defenceless situation, has anticipated the wishes of his people, and obtained permission to raise three companies of Royal Manks Fencibles, for the safeguard and protection of the Island; - and he himself has condescended to head the Loyal Corps.

In the course of the Morning, his Grace accompanied by his friends, took several turns down the Quay and around the market, amidst the acclamations of the people ; and in the afternoon, at the usual hour, several Gentlemen of the town and country, were invited to partake of the cheer at his hospitable board."

The account then goes on to describe a General Illumination at night and proceeds -

"On Saturday morning his Grace accompanied by a numerous suite went to Castle Rushen. On approaching Castletown, he was meet by a large body of people, with the loud and repeated acclamations; and on his arrival at the Castle Gates was received by the Castletown Volunteers under arms. After partaking of a repast prepared by the Lieutenant Governor, His Grace proceeded to the Court room, where his Commission was read, and the oath of office administered, and after the proper signal, a Royal Salute immediately given.

The Lieutenant Governor and Council then presented a congratulatory address upon his Grace's appointment to which he was pleased to make a most gracious reply. The Court room was crowded with a genteel assemblage of both sexes, whom his Grace addressed in a handsome and animated speech. expressive of his attachment to the Island, and assurances of unremitting attention to its interest and prosperity.

A dinner was given at the Castle to a numerous party of Gentlemen; after which a number of loyal and patriotic [rest missing]

 John Stowell


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB Editor
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