[Appendix C(60) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]



THIS Examinant saith,-That he has been Water-Bailiff of the Isle of Man since February, 1789, under a commission from the Lords of the Treasury of that date, at a salary of eighty pounds sterling per annum, payable by Government, and a farther annual salary of twenty pounds sterling, payable out of the Herring Custom, by virtue of an Act of Parliament, intituled, "An Act for encouraging and regulating the Trade and Manufactures of the Isle of Man." By virtue of this office this Examinant presides in all Admiralty Courts and Maritime Jurisdictions within the Island: That he is one of the Governor's Council when called upon : That he takes an oath of office, and is entitled to a fee of six pence upon signing every petition for a hearing of any cause in the Admiralty Court, and a fee of three pence upon every summons to compel an attendance before him; and likewise a fee of six pence for every decree pronounced by him: That the whole of these fees has not, in any one year since he has held this office, amounted to more than four pounds Manks. He resides at Peel, and holds an Admiralty Court every Saturday in his own house there, throughout the year; but may hold his court in any other place that he appoints.

That his court holds cognizance of all pleas of the Crown respecting offences committed on the seas, within the distance of three leagues from the shores of the Isle of Man, and has a superintendence over all matters relative to the herring fishery, according to the ancient statutes of the Isle of Man.

An appeal lies from his determination in civil suits to the Governor; in criminal cases his determination is final.

He appoints Deputy Water-Bailiffs at the ports of Ramsay and Darby Haven, to superintend those harbours, and to put in execution an Act, intituled "An Act for repairing, mending, and supporting the Harbours and Sea-ports in the Isle of Man;" and this Examinant himself superintends the harbour of Peel.

These Deputy Water-Bailiffs are paid a salary of five pounds sterling per annum each, out of this Examinant's pocket.

The Court in which he presides is not a Court of Record, and has no officer in it but himself.

Respecting the process of his Court in civil suits, when any person intends to commence a suit therein, he applies to this Examinant either verbally for a summons against the defendant, or by petition, in which the cause of complaint is stated; a summons is thereupon granted to appear at the next court after the date of the summons, when the witnesses are examined viva voce, and the cause is heard and determined by this Examinant, either with or without the intervention of a jury, at his discretion. In cases where this Examinant chooses to refer to a jury, he issues a warrant to the Coroner to summon four persons out of his Sheading, who attend at the time appointed to hear the evidence and give their verdict, which must be unanimous, and upon which his decree is pronounced.

In all criminal cases a jury of six persons must be summoned, whose verdict must be unanimous: but since he has been Water-Bailiff no criminal case has come before him.


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


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