[From Ramsey Church Magazine 1898]

Bishop Philips' Case

[by J Quine - extracted from Lib Scacc?]

A.D., 1610.

(A Book containing the answere of the officers, Deemsters, Viccars Generall, and 24 Keyes, to certain articles objected by John, Lord Bishop of this Isle, against John Ireland, Esq., Lievtenante and Captain of the Isle of Man,"

To the Rt Honorable Robt. Earle of Salisbury, Lord High Treasurer of England.

The humble Petition of the Bishop of the Isle of Man. Shewing to your Honr. That, whereas I, with my Clergy, did this year purpose to have perused the Mannish Book of Common Prayer by me translated, so with one uniform consent to have it made ready for printing for the comfort of that poor Church, if your Honr. would think meet to give allowance thereof. I was let and hindered from that, and other religious labours, and in some extremity occasioned to come out of that Isle,

For that, Mr John Ireland, Esq., Leivtenante of that Isle, did use divers vexations and innovations, beside several indiguitys offered me to the prejudice of my self and others, which I am bound in conscience to make your Honour acquainted with as well in discharge of mine oath, to be true to that Governmt, as also for the preservation of the rights and libertys of that poor Church and Bishoprick. all their grievances are particularly sett down within this petition.


Mr Lievtennante debarred me of this year's provision of Turfes, and did set the Turfberry that ever be. longed to the Bishop under an arreast debarring me thereby of the future use thereof so overthrowing hospittality (yea in time of non residence, church, house, and all)

2. He charged me in your Honour's name (having been this yeare at 200 charges in repairations) within ten days' space to make four fishing boates, and to attend the herring fishing about the Isle to mine exceeding trouble and unnecessary charge to no purpose. (Only for to give example of obedience I did undergo the charges.)

3. From me, and other housekeepers, he taketh away the usuall liberty of provision for victualls, by his new markett ordinances, in that by restraining us, he taketh to himself and his followers, liberty to buy where he will and to transport, for which purpose he hath provided himself two barks which will be a publick discomodity.

4. He hath by another ordinance appointed a vast or dead rent to be sett upon my tennants, whereby I am and shall be hindered of their services and carriages besides other dutys and benefit to due to me, and my suc- cessors by their tenures.


5. The which never Captain did of his own authority placed a Layman in the Chaplains place to read divine service to the garrison in scandalous manner vizt in his doblett and hose, and some, time in his livery coat.

6. The Bishop being in that Isle the cheef competent spirituall judge as the Lievtennante the secular (always reserving to the Lord of the Isle a power upon complaints and motion made to his Honour to take a course for redress or a finall end in a case erroneous or doubtfull from before either of them) Mr Lievtennante will take all appeales to himself; and sendeth forth his prohibition. Yea upon the Kings refferrence as in Thompsons case, wherein he carryed himself very partially against the usual proceeding

7. all poor parish Clearks he injoins to fine for their clearkshirs (whereof some not worth a noble a year) and so, to hold them by Lease, whereas the lawes of that Isle ; appoint they should be elected by the parishioners and admitted by the Bishop.

8. He prisoned in the dungeon and sett 5s fine upon a poor cleark lawfully admitted, and having thus vexed him from his place, he did put in a cleark of another parish countennancing him to keep two clearkships, which discharged neither, as he ought to do.

9. He published by his precept throughout the Isle that they should come to him for Lycenee (for eating flesh in lent) according to his directions. whereas this was ever upon just cause in the Bishops power to give, and so did alwayes take order, that order should be kept. This was but to intrap me as touching my diett.

10. Mr Lievtennante never signifyeth his pleasure to me (that am ordinary) for church affaires, but at his own pleasure appointeth those he please of the clergy, officers to keeps Courts extaordinarily, and sometimes to sett down rules to dirrect me (that am to dirrect hem) and as some have confessed unto me against their conscience.

11.. If a parishioner, that is a soldr, be injoined by the Church to pennance for satisfying the congregacon, Mr Lievtennante contrary to the old order, will privillege him from it. Year I having adjudged a vyle incesteous offender to do pennance at the markett cross, he disallowed it.

12. Our clergy seal which should make our doings authenticall, and our bookes of spirituall statutes, which should be for our dirrection he hath called in, and taken from us, so as it seemth we are debarred from all judiciall proceedings in the Ecclesiasticall Court,

13. One of our best laws (ths nature of that people considered) vizt the oath for swearing on the grave, in case where there is not specialty he hath abrogated, and prescribes us some others not so convenient, nor with so good a conscience to be used of us, seeing they want their due allowance and forme, vizt generall consent upon good advice, and the Lords approbation which is most requisite.

14. I for easing the poor subjects, charge (time out of remembrance) a token upon a little slate store was the usall process to cyte to appear. Now, Mr Lieutennant disallowing this, commandeth us to use and send our process in writeing which will be more chargeable.


15. Out of a prejudicate mind (in purpose to work my disgrace or trust) he sett many devises on foot from time to time, and to give the better way to his will, without the Lords consent, which ought not, (and dangerous it were in that remote place to be done) he placed and displaced the 24 Keys at his pleasure ; swore them to keep councell, whereupon I was advised to take heed to myself, for I was the man to be shott at, and he would have his will.

16. He frowned upon, and wrought displeasure to any that conversed with me ; or took my tythes at my hand, insomuch that many told me they forbore my house and company for fear of him : and thus he made me of no esteeme : insomuch as a Clergyman having his conntennance and lycense without taking care of his cure departed the Land without making me acquainted.

17, Ex-officio He examined diverse upon oath touching matters before his time, thereby to find me guilty in a capital offence, and if any thing were spoken to my justification it was suppressed albeit the Dapart. wished all might be recorded,

18 Mr Lieutennaate having uncharitably and unadvisedly done against mine oath which I had taken before his time in that Isle, he commanded me in your Honrs name by a precept unsubscribed to answeare the same before him and the temporall officers in most disgracefult manner at the Barr as in case of perjury.

19. Missing that advantage he would need in a like disgraceful manner urge me to take a second oath unfitting me to take and him to offer : and to be sure to intrapp me (if he could) by some contradiction contrary to law and conscience, he denyed me a coppy cf my former oath, s: abuseing me, an i that sacred as his manner is to make an oath so trivrall among the ignorant people.

20. He threateneth to fine any that will call me Lord: Bishop, albeit he hath found by examination upon oath it was the antient manner there, and the Ho'ble good pleasure of the Lords there in speech and writhing to give that title to their Bishop whom they held privie Baron of their Isle. and of this there is antient record and testimony.

21, His other base titles and unseemly termes, hard usage and odious comparisons of myself and some other of my poor clergy, I will with silence suppress, and with modesty forbear to particularize, for that he is the ruler of people, but sure it is they were unchristianlike. '

22. A Society of Government, time out of mind, being thus wisely provided, whose consent the Captain (for the time) was sworn to take least he should prove too exorbitant in his government Mr Lieuteunante refuseth to take his oath on t he other syde, where I was placed there to be one of this Society by my Lord and Master, Henry Earle of Derby, and am likewise now being Bishop to be one of them in the right of my place, and one whom their lawes do appoint that should take account of their officers upon oath for the Lord's use, again it being so that none of these without the Lord's consent are to be put in or out ; Mr Lieutennante, notwithstanding, giveth me no such respect but measureth me ungentleman like with great disdains

23. That which is worse than all this, he hath laid greevous imputations upon me (to my greatest greef) of enmity and no good wishes mind bearing to the Honble House of Derby, and that I would never do them good (the reason) : for that I am a Welchman, so endeavouring to make me scandalous to their Honrs and odious to their followers, and thus both in private and publick he doth traduce me, so makeing me no better than of some viperous broode.

24. Lastly, having endured all their grievances; I appealed to your Honr, and therefore desired liberty to come for England, whereup is he flatly answered that neither I nor any of my followers should pass, and so restrained me till your Honrs enlargement came, to my great hinderance.

The premises considered, and how this gentleman in that remote place carryeth an heavy hand over us, and as seemth to me, allowing no appeals from himself upon any aggrievarce for that we poor men confined in this Isle shalt not (unless himself please) have liberty to pass : .. myself for example, and if I, quid non vulgus I most humble beseech your Honr of your religiousness forasmuch as I cannot be profittable in my place, much lees acceptable to your Hour and the rest of those Honble personages interressed in that Isle, while their courses and calumnations of his stand afoote; it may please yo'r Honr that Mr Lieutenants he commanded (as his promise was) to object and lay to my charge what he can against me especially concerning those imputations laid upon me touching that Noble House of Derby and Honorable persons thereof, that so upon mine answer, I may have my desert, be it good or evil, your Honorable self being judge or my Lo, of Darby or whom your Honour please, and so consequently such redress if you find him to have overshott himself, as to your Ho : own wisdome shall seem meet concerning the rest of these grievances for (God I take to witness) my desire is no longer to hold the place than whilf a your Ho. shall hold me to be for the glory of God, and the good of the church, and with the good likeing and contentment of all your Ho. interressted in that Government. And thus in humble and longing expectation of your Honour's good pleasure to be signified, I praise and pray God heartely for the long and happy preservation of all and every of your Hons. most noble estate,


(Continued from Last Week - pp 235/6).


At Castle Rushen, the first day of Feb, the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundredth and ten, John Ireland, Esq., Lievetenant and Capt. of the Isle of Man, William Lucas, Receiver of the Castle Rushen ; William Radcliff, Receiver of Castle peel ; Thomas Samsbury and Ewan Christian, Deemsters, together with the two Vicars Genl, Sir Wm Norris and Sir Wm Crowe, and all the 24 Keys, whose names are underwritten were assembled together.

The names of the 21 Keys then assembled

Hon. Radcliffe John Moore Edw. Christian
Dollin Cayne . Wm. Cayne, Tho.Woods
John Stevenson Wm Tyldesly Tho. Whetslom
Philip Corrett Wm. Kissags Tho. Corleod
Charles Moore John Cross Robt. Christian
Wm Bridson Nick, Moore Wm. Lapell
Philip Cross Silvister Radcliff Wm. Qualtrough
Will. Hutchen Philip Moore Richd. Cowle In the presence of all whom,

The two Viccars Genl aforesd., now asked by the Lievtenant whether they saw or knew of the Book of Common Prayer to have been translated into the Manx spech:they answyred that they have seen the book translated by the now Bpp of Sodor and Manish, and Sir Wm Norris for his part further answereth that he could not read the same book perfectly, but here and there a word, and Sir Wm Crowe for his part answereth that having the same book a day or two before, he could upon deliberate perusal thereof read some part upon it ; and doth verily think that few else of the clergy can read the same book, for that it is spell'd with vowels wherewith none of them are acquainted, And the said Viccars being further asked whether they purposed with the Bishop to peruse the said book to the entent the same might be made ready for the printing; they replyed saying they were not therewith acquainted by the Bishop at any time since he was Bishop, and therefore did not, nor could purpose any such thing.

2, In presence of all whom aforesaid, Phillip A Prichard, brother-in-law of the now Bishop, sworn and examined, deposed and with that he heard there was two warrants sent to the said Bishop from the said Lieutent, commanding him to provide two fishing scoutes, vizt one in respect he was Bishop, and other in respect he was Archdeacon, besides their two fishing boates, and confesseth that the sd Bishop did not make nor provide any such scoutes, yet clad endeavour with his best dilligence to have gotten timber to make them withall, but could not get any. And further the said Exam, saith that the foresaid Bishop having one fishing boate of his own, did send the same with two other fishing boates, hired by him at that time to drive for the herring fishing according to the precepts, but utterly denyd that he made any boate new, as formerly he hath deposed.

2. Edmund Gawn, master of the fishing boate of the foresaid Bishop, and Donold Croaghan, a fisherman, which used to follow the same boat, sworn and examined, depose and say that the said Bishop did not build any scoute or fishing boate in the last yeare, but when charge way given to him for scoutes to be provided to the herring fishing, the said Bisbop hired two other fishing boates with his own boat aforesaid, to drive for herring,

3 We the Officers, Deemsters, Viccar-geaeralls and 24 Keyes whose names are subscribed, being requited by the Lievtennante to yeild our true censures for answer to the third Article inferred by the Bishop against the foresaid Lievtennante ; Do affirm that the keeping of the marketts are no new ordinances for it was ever rued for a publik benefitt,and the good of the Comon wealth in the times of all the Captainswhich formerly have governed in this Isle to all our memory-, and we all of us do verify that to our knowledge no housekeeper in the Isle, nor yet the Bishop hath been debarred liberty to buy their provision of vittualles, but the markett to be common for every inhabithant whatsoever ; neither that the Lievtennante did take to himself nor his followers for him any manner of goods, nor transported any thence, but what he bought, paying for the same the full prices, and Sr Wm Crowe doth farther avouch that he brought two oxen to the markett at Ramsey, where no man offerred him by four shillings so much as Ralfe Walkden the Lieutennantes man paid him for them to his masters account and further where it is alledged thait for a pubdck discomodity the Lievtennante hath provided himself of two barques ; we all of us can justify to our knowledges of certainty that the Lievtenuante hath not benefitted at all by them, but hath been at very great charge with them, neither have they been any discomodity at all to the Islanders ; But the Lievtennante very desirous to employ them for the benefitte of the whole countrey in generall, moved the four merchants of the countrey to publish to the inhabitants that whosoever or so many of them as would trafficke with them or freight them wholly or part of them should have free liberty, and to that purpose chose their own merchant and this was likewise punished by the Lievtanente himself to all the officers and 24,

G. We the two Receivers Deemsters and Viccars general afforesaid required by the Lieutennante to witness the truth in the last part of the sixth article where the said Lievtennante is charged to have carryed himself very partially and against the usuall proceeding is the matter betwixt St. Christopher Young and St Nicke Thompson, We for answer thereunto do say that the Rt. Wor. Lievtennante is highly wronged in the said article, ffor we whose names are subscribed were present in the Lords Chamber in Douglas before the Lievtennante, the Bishop beling there also, where the leivtennante did without all partiality behave himself towards both the partys, Thompson and Young,

7. We the officers, Deemsters, Viccars Generall and twenty-four Keyes for answer to the seventh article do say that (altho there hath been a statute that the pirishioners should choose the parish clerk) yet . that power doth properly belong to the Lord of this Isle to grant by his prerogatives, for that all the lands and gleebes which the clerks enjoy are the Lords inheritance, and the Lord hath granted them heretofore by lease as by diverge warrants and leases to us do appear: ; amongst which we trivo seen a warrant of the clerkship of Kk Malew pariish under the hand and seal of Henry, late Earl of Derby, granted to one Thomas Norris dureing the pleasure of the said Earle, unto which warrant the Bishop that know is hath added these words under: his ' own hand as follovveth,

20th February, 1605. Nre. Cen, 20,
Wtd: That I allow of and do admitt William Brue to be deputy clerk for Thomas Norris in regard of this Honourable Warrant,
Jo., Sodor de Man.

8. In presence of all whom for answer to the eight article ; Philip Creniel,sworn and examined,deposeth and saith that he was not imprisoned in the dungeon,but was punished within the Castle and fined in 5s; all which the Lievetenannt confesseth he did impose upon him for that he presumed to serve the clerkship of Kk. Andreas parish by the Bishop's admittance, and had no warrant thereunto, from the Lord of the Isle, or the Lieutenant, under the Lord's here ; and Sr Wm. Crowe, parson, who now hath the charge of both the cares of Kk Christ of the Ayre and Kk. Andreas parishes, doth avouch that the clerkship of both the said parishs are sufficientty discharged and served by deputyes to Wm. Standish.

9. In presence of us all the ninth article objected by the Bishop was read, and we for answer thereof do say, we find that the Lieuteanant dealt no more in that case than befitted him to do for he dirrected forth his precepts for the good of the comonwealth to forbid the people to eat flesh in Lent, and his precept in that behalf was contrary to the Bishops allegacon for he doth order all sick and weak persons to procure the Bishops certificate therein, and that thereupon the Lievteennts would lvems3 them to eat flesh.

10. To the tenth article we the two Viccars General) do answer that the Lievtennante made no spiritual) officer since his coming to his place, but desired us charitablie to rectify two poor widows being Strangers and not of abillity to stay for the quarter chapter Court,which request hath been used by former governers and we being then spirtuall officers by warrant from the Hon. Earle of Derby did travail to effect the governour's request therein. The Lievtennante did at no time command us to set down any law but willed us before, and in presence of the temporail officers to declare our knowledge of certain points of the Law, that his Worship might be inssured of the true course thereof. And which it is said that some hath said that rules were set down against, their conscience we both deny the same.

11. To the eleventh article, we the two Viccars Generall do answer that the punishing of soldrs or any other that receive pay of the Locd, or of any of the Lieveteanant's ffamily, for criminal causes, doth not by law: belong to the Bishop or spirituall jurisdiction, for speciall reasons and good consideratins formerly sett by the late Bishop Merrick in a letter sent by him to Captain Robt, Molliaeaux, then Deputy in this Isle which letter hath been shewed and publickly to us read and remaineth of record, and this we say doth agree to the antient laws of this Land. And we further say that to our remembrances there was a woman punished in the markett place by Hugh Holland, then Archdeacon, but it was done by lyeense of Mr Sherburn then Capten, but this incestuous person set down by the Bishop was no soldr, neither could he be punished in the markett place without lycense of the Lievtennante.

12 To the twelve article we the two Viccars Generall do answer that the clergy's seal is not necessary (butt. rather, dangerous to be used) for that it cannot make the Bishop's proceedings or the Clergys authanticall as by writeings of record under the hand of John Mericke late Bishop, may at large appears, and likewise by the answer to a case prapounded by him under the hands of certain Doctors Judges in England. And this the Bishop himself that now is doth well know for that the Bishop of Chester's leases granted in this Isle were not lawfall nor authenticall, notwithstanding that the said seal was annexed- thereunto) insomuch that the said Bishop of Chester's leases ware made void, by the general consent of the officers Deemsters, us the viccars general and the 24 Keyes, and this was before the Lievtennants coming into this Isle, Fonding the book of spiritual) lawes we do acknowledge it ought to ba kept of record in the Lord's office for which purpose we delivered it up, and received a copy of the same ; -so that we were not debarred cf any judiciall proceedings but alwayes assisted by the Lievtennante therein, as oft as we required assistance at his hands.

13. In the time of all the Bishops that we have by offico served heretofore in number five, we have declared that the swearing of and upon the grave of the dead was unfitting and caused much wrong to be done to poor orphanes and simplest of friends (and for example one John Ratcliff of Kk. Andreas parish did somen Will Crowe parson twice every years to the Court for a debt, and yet in the end would not seek execucon, but deferred for 9 years at least, only that the said Crow dying before him the said Ratcliff, might, go to the grave to recover the clayme by his oath and compurguors that never knew of the debt, we say that th e course taken now with sufcient present wittnesses.before the spirituall officers which doth in no point abridge the spiritsill jurisdiction by our opinions and knowledges is good, and to avoid an evil customs, we take the course allowed by the Lievetennaut officers and 24 Keyes to be good and lawfull and fitting to stand. I, Wm. Norris have served but four of the above named five Bishops, and I am of the same opinion for all the rest of the above said written

15. We the two Receivers Deemsters, Viccars Generall, and 24 Keyes do averr, and justify that the Lievetennante hath used no other course and manner in chweing of the twenty-four Kyes than as ever in former times to our rememberiances hath been accastomed Which is with the consent of all the officers and the rest of the 24 there present: and for an instance,one Dollin Cayne was chosen upon a head court day to be one of them, the Bishop himself sitting by who then likeing well of the man said to the Lievetennante, I wonder ;how your Worship did so well know him to be an honest man,

19. We the two Receivers,Deemsters,Viccars Generall and 24 Keys do likewise justify and averr that the Lievetennante offered an oath to the Bishop in the presence of all us, which oath-was no otherwise than by good reason he ought to take being. Bishop of their Isle, and therefore should maiataine the laws thereof as other the former Bishops were sworn to do (without reserving to themselves to observe any former oaths as the now Bishop would have added to his oath tendered), and we likewise averr that the Lievetennante required the Bishop himself to read and peruse this oath which was tendered unto him, and where he did find any word therein which he could lawfully or justly shew good reason for, not fitting to be contained in the oath, that he would raise the same out, and then take ye oath, but he could not take any exception to any one word in the same m enconed, yet utterly denyed to take the oath unless he might be suffered to put an addition thereunto for reservation of his former oathes. And in wittness that the oath was tendered unto him and his denyall thereof. We the Officers Viccars Generall and one, Sir Jeremy Turner, Knight, subscribed our names thereunto.

22. We the Receiver, Deemsters, Viccars Generall and 24 Keyes do truly certify and averr that none of tie ever knew nor heard that in the time of Henry Earle of Derby, the now Bishop, then Archdeacon, was pleased by the said Earle to be of the Counsell or Society of Government with the Captain in this Isle, and where he doth alledge he ought in the right of his place, being, Bishop, to be of that Society, and that the laves do appoint him to take accompt of the officers upon oath, we to this allegation do answer that there hath been a statute law (but never in the memory of any of us, or that we have heard put in practice or used) where in is menconed that the Bishop and the Abbot and audittors for the time being should take accompts, and we see by that Statute the Bishop cannot claims that power to himself only, without the Abbot and audittors, by reason whereof it seemeth unto us, since the dissolucon of the Abbey, and that there was noe Abbot joyned with the Bishop in these accons that statute hath not been of force : for by good reason the Lord's of the Isle for takeing of their accompts have appointed -both the accomptants and the auditors for the same at their pleasures; yet nevertheless we further answeare that the Bishops of this Isle have been accustomed to have place and sitt upon the. head court days of gaols delivery, but to. rise up and leave the court an soon as the sentences of death was to be pronounced against any malefactor. And the like place in the said courts had the Archdeacon and Viccars-Generall, and none of them are thereof debarred now, nor at any time have been.

Whereas. we are further given to understand that it to objected against the Lieveteunante that he hath transported nine score head of cattle for his own private gain, and hath forbidden the Islanders convenient transportation and traffique for comoditys with the Scotts to the end he might press them to that necessity that they should sell their cattle and com to him at what rate he l sted makeing a private gain-by that ingrosment to his own purse wherby the Islanders will be impoverished, the profits of the Lords thereby diminished, and the said Lievtennante inriched.

We for answer to these objections do say that we never saw any Scotts debarred from any traffique with the Islanders for comoditys which might be conveniently transported : neither that ever we saw or heard of any cattle or corns bought for his Worship's use, but at such a value as the markets did yield, and according to the common price, as every private man might doe. And therefore the countrey cannot be any way impoverished thereby, according to the insertion made ; for that I the Receive of the Peele and four of us the 24 Keye.s who were put in trust by the Lievetennante to buy some cattle for his use are able to prove we paid the full price, and his worship repaid the same unto us for every beast we 'bought according to the worth and value thereof, and where it is said that the Lievetennaute hath inriched himself, we tharefora do answer that we have seen the Book of the diabarsments of money laid out by the Lievtennante, since his coming into this Isle, which being cast up by the Clark of the Rolls and auditorr here it appeareth unto as thereby that his Worahip has spent and disbursed four hundred pounds or thereabouts in money forth of his purse together with certain provisions of beere, beefe, and other victuals bought forth of England over and besides the said Lievtennant's pay received since his coming, which is likewise disbursed.

Whereas it is certifyed by letter against the Lievetennants that he violently forbidden persons summoned to appear to the Ecclesiatical Court since his coming to the countree at his last return, and did forbid them to obey the justice of the Ecclesiasticall government, we the viccars Generall do protest and averr that the Lieuteunant did: no such matter, but since his return and before in all the time of his government he hath wiiled and commanded rs to punish all offenders, and if any were dlsobedient to our censures to certify, and his Wor, would give us aid.

WM. NORRIS, WM. CROWE, Vicar-Generalls

Signed by Council and Keyes.



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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