Appendix C(38) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]



I. The KING.



Consisting of

1. The Bishop.
2 and 3. Vicars-General.
4. Receiver-General.
5. Attorney-General.
6. Water-Bailiff.
7. Clerk of the Rolls.

The consent of two or more of these is necessary to the passing of all laws, &c., but no determinate number of them is required, nor is a majority necessary, nor have they any controul over the Governor.

IV. The Two DEEMSTERS, or Judges of the Common Law.

They are not of the Standing Council, except when called upon by the Governor, which they always are, and sit with him in the Chancery Court, where the Governor presides, as well in the Court of Common Law and General Delivery, where they preside themselves. Their consent is necessary to the passing of Acts of Tynwald, being a distinct branch of the Legislature.

V. The Twenty-four KEYS.-

The consent of a majority of them is necessary also to the passing of laws. The Chairman (who has lately called himself Speaker) has a casting vote; they are also Jurors, and try and determine all matters of title upon ejectment coming before them from inferior Juries.

Note.-The form of passing Acts of Tynwald prior to the year 1765 was as follows: An Act, whether it originated among the Keys, from the recommendation of any of the inhabitants, or from one of the members of that body, was (if approved of by them) recommended by the Chairman to the Governor, and by him communicated to the rest of the Council at one of the courts where he: presides ; and upon the first court day (where the members attended ex officio), such Act underwent their discussion ; and if the same appeared to relate to, or anywise affect spiritual matters, the Governor generally desired the Bishop and his Vicars-General to attend. If the Act was approved of in general, the Clerk of the Rolls was directed to draw it up in form; after which it was signed by the Governor, and as many of the Council as thought proper: it was then sent to the Keys, and having been there put to the vote, if carried by a majority, it was signed by such majority, and afterwards presented by the Chairman to the Governor; or, if not, it was so reported by the Chairman. The Act so approved of, and signed by the Governor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys, was then transmitted to the Lord of the Isle, who signified his assent to the same, under his sign manual, as follows :-

" Dunkeld, June 5th, 1738. I do allow of and confirm this Act, according to my prerogative within my Isle of Man, and do order that the said Act be published and proclaimed, on the Tynwald Hill, according to "


And being returned to the Governor, was, at the Tynwald Court which was held annually the 24th June, published and proclaimed on the Tynwald Hill ; an attestation of which ceremony was made by the Governor, and such of the Council and Keys as thought proper to attend, as follows:-At a Tynwald Court, holden at St. John's Chapel, the 24th day of June, 1738

The before-going Act was publicly proclaimed " upon the Tynwald Hill, according to the ancient form and custom of this Isle: As witness our subscriptions."

Signed by the Governor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys.

The only Act of Tynwald passed since the revesting the sovereignty of the Isle of Man in the Crown was passed in 1777 ; and the King's approbation thereof was signified to the Lieutenant-Governor of the Island (Mr. Dawson), by a letter from Lord Suffolk, his Majesty's then Secretary of State, as follows :-

St. James's, August 21, 1777.


Having received and laid before the King Governor Smith's letter of the 24th July, transmitting several Acts of Tynwald passed in the last Court which met at Castle Rusher, I am now to inform you, in the Governor's absence, that the said Acts have been taken into consideration, and are thought well calculated to pro-mote the good order and prosperity of the Isle, as well from their contents, as from the manner in which they are recommended by the Governor, and from the sanction the *Attorney-General has given them by his signature.

I am, therefore, to return the said Acts, and am to signify his Majesty's approbation thereof, according to the list inclosed herein.

I am, &c.,

(Signed) SUFFOLK.

Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man.

*Of the Isle of Man.


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