Appendix C(46) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]



[In Lieutenant-Governor SHAW's Letter of 30th January, 1792.]

Liber Scaccar. 1722.

The CASE and COMPLAINT of Madam HORNE, humbly offered to the consideration of the Court.

THAT the Complainant being summoned by the Sumner of the parish, to appeare as an evidence before the Spiritual Court at Kirk Michell, in a case depending betwixt the Reverend Archdeacon Horrobin, as Chaplain to the Right Honourable Lord of this Isle, and one Mrs. Puller; although she apprehends that, by the laws of this Isle, she is exempt from their jurisdiction; yet, to avoid an example of disobedience to the authority of any court, she appeared there, and was ready to declare upon oath what she had said to the said Chaplain, relating to Sir James Poole and the said Mrs. Puller : the latter having frequently before communicated with her from the hands of the said Chaplain; which behaviour of hers at that time, aggravated with some other unbecoming circumstances, did at last give this complainant such offence as induced her to give intimation thereof to the said Chaplain, and as she understands was one of the reasons offered by him for advertising the said Mrs. Puller from coming to the sacrament in my Lord's Chappell.

That although the said Chaplain was required to make good that his reason offered for not admitting her as aforesaid, and that this Complainant was ready to declare what she had seen as an evidence, yet her oath was refused to be taken ; and the said Sir James Poole and Mrs. Puller, without much admonition or time of consideration permitted to purgation for adultery or fornication, neither of which crimes was particularly urged against them; and thereupon the said Court, without any other summons or citation to answer a charge, and the Complainant, who only appeared an an evidence, without regard to her reputation and character, was ordered as a criminal to perform such orders as they thought fit to impose, or to be imprisoned till she gave bonds to perform publick pennance : a practice which she presumes to be not only against their own proceedings in such cases, and to the discouragement of evidences from declaring their knowledge in any matters ; but also seems to be a means to stop the months of all people from acquainting their pastors of the crimes they observe in any person under their care, be it never so obvious and enormous.

That besides the order of the said Court, which highly reflects upon her, and layes crimes to her charge which they never thought fit to examine into, whether they were true or not; the said Sir James Poole and Mrs. Puller seems to be countenanced to callumniate and asperse this Complainant, by their receiving from them, and fixing upon their records, scurrilous and scandalous petitions, without either requireing them to prove or make good the scandall inserted therein, or ever acquainting her thereof for her vindication ; which she cannot help thinking was with a design to render her odious to posterity, and to countenance the irregular proceedings against her above related, and is a practice that may leave the most just and innocent person exposed to infamy and contempt, contrary to the rules of humanity and Christian charity: for if it be so grievous a sin as to be ranked in the list of murder in a person privately to backbite and secretly asperse another verbally, it seems to be much more so to fix such private defamation on record, to asperse them not only to the present but future ages.

This Complainant having had the happiness of an established good reputation in all places she has lived in hitherto, and among people of character and distinction, and, perhaps, much better than those whose reputation is so studiously endeavoured to be preserved; she presumes that there is no Christian country so void of good laws as not to secure her from such injurys : and therefore hopes, that the circumstances of her complaint may be taken into consideration, and that such methods will be taken as will redress her from the malicious aspersions and detractions before mentioned.

At Castle Rushen, this 10th day of February, 1721

The proceedings against this Complainant being found to be irregular, erroneous, and contrary to the laws of this Island, therefore the same are declared invalid as appeares upon record.



Examined by


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