[Appendix B(63) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]

APPENDIX (B.) N° 63.


The EXAMINATION of Mr JOHN MOORE, Controller at Darbyhaven, in the Isle of Man, taken at Douglas the 14th and 19th of October 1791

THIS Examinant saith, that he is Controller at Darbyhaven, in virtue of a Constitution of the Treasury, dated 31st December 1790. That he took the oaths of office as such at the Custom-house of Douglas the 13th of January 1791, but has not given any security as Controller, nor has any been required. That he never received any written or printed instructions for his conduct. That he never was instructed in the duty of a Controller, either before or since his appointment That his constitution does not mention any salary , and that he does not know what salary he is to have, having received no salary since his appointment.

That he has the fees as formerly established by the Custom of the Port of Darbyhaven ; and from what he has seen, he thinks his fees may be about seven or eight pounds a year. He receives no gratuities.

He considers his duty to be, to receive the reports of the Shipmasters, inwards and outwards, along with the Collector; the Collector making out the report in the report book, and he, the Examinant, the Duplicate thereof, which is kept on a file, to receive the merchants’ entries inwards and outwards, which is done jointly by the Collector and the Examinant, one file of such entries being kept between them, but not separate files ; to grant warrants along with the Collector to the Searcher to discharge and ship goods ; to enter in his books of entries all the goods entered, and to bring to account therein all duties received, and at the end of the quarter to compare his books with the Collector’s, and to attest the Collector’s copy of his quarter books, which he delivers to the Deputy Receiver General. The Examinant does not deliver a copy of his books to the Deputy Receiver General, or to any other person.

No officer, or person whatever, has compared his books with the reports, merchants’ entries,and warrants, to see that all the duties on goods reported and discharged have been brought to account. That he gives orders to the landing officer to be strict in attending to the discharge of goods, so as to see whether there are more than what has been reported or entered ; and that since he came into office, there was a post entry for a ton of oak bark more than what was reported or contained in the prime entry, the duty on which post entry was brought to account That it sometimes happens that masters report a package or two less than on board , and in that case the package not reported or entered, is secured in the storehouse, but not seized ; and when the merchant applies, a new entry is made, and the duty received, or it is added with duty to the former entry.

Certificates of return for drawbacks, and bondable goods from Great Britain, are:never. granted till the landing warrants are indorsed by the Searcher, specifying the quantities landed, agreeable to which indorsement the certificates are granted ; nor are ever vessels cleared out by cocket, till the Searcher certifies on the back of the warrants the quantities of goods shipped.

No blue books are directed to the officers for landing or shipping goods, except for the discharge of salt. The Tidesman on board salt vessels takes an account of the salt landed by a tally stick ; and when the discharge is finished, he enters the quantity in his blue book from the tally stick, and gives it to the Searcher, who indorses that quantity on the back of the warrant, and returns it to the Custornhouse. The Searcher does not himself take any account of the salt landed, The decrease between the quantity in the cocket from the shipping port, and the quantity of salt landed at Darbyhaven, or within that district, is not more than what is allowed for waste since his time. The Tidesman does not attend salt vessels at any time, except during the period of landing the salt.

That the Customhouse-boat is at prefent useless, and has been so for five or six months past, being much damaged, and in total disrepair, and, when at the best, not fit for going to the bay in any swell or rough sea, being very small, and rowing with two oars only : This being the fact, vessels cannot be boarded till they come into harbour, or till they are dry, that officers can walk on board. Vessels, even with merchant goods, inwards, have not an officer stationed on board night and day, unless there be suspicion of fraud ; but the officers keep watch by turns on shore, at Castletown, in the Tidesman’s house upon the quay there, and in the watch- house at Darbuhaven, when the vessels are at that place

Coals is a chief article of trade at Castletown and Darbyhaven. The duty, if the whole cargo is to be landed, is taken according to the quantity in the crockek.from the shipping port ; and if part only is landed, according to the quantity reported. by the master, but that none of the officers take any account of the quantities of coals landed.. No herrings have been exported since his appointment.

No wool or sheep have been either exported or carried coastwise since his appointment

He thinks that the smuggling in this island consists mottly in brandy and geneva, and some tea inwards, and salt outwards, which, he is of opinion, cannot be prevented, unless the smuggling places, such as Dauby, Port Iron, and Port Le Murry, ctc. are guarded hy officers supported by the military

He has no other office than that of Controller.

It has never come to his knowledge, that vessels outward-bound from Great Britain to forein parts, have re-landed any part of their cargoes in the Isle of Man ; or that merchant vessels homeward-bound to Great Britain, have run any of their cargo upon this island. He has no deputation for seizing. .


Jno Spranger.
Wm Osgoode.
Willm Roe.
David Reid.


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