[Appendix D(29) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]

N° 29.


REMARKS on the present ESTABLISHMENT of REVENUE OFFICERS in the ISLE OF MAN, and pointing out where there appears to me Deficiencies, beginning at the Port of Douglas.

[In the Duke of Atholl’s Letter of the 10th of October 1791]


 [sorry to be corrected]

ONE Collector and Warehouse-keeper ‘ — 135 0 0 . ~

I Clerk to the Collector — ~- — 40 0 0 ~ ~

1 Comptroller and Comptroller of Warehouse — — — 105 0 0 1

1 Searcher — p o o.

I Riding Officer — 40 0 0

2 Tidesmen and Boatmen, at 251. each — — — — 50 0 0

Extra ditto, at 1s. 6 d. per diem when employed, suppose — 40 0 0 :

1Port Gauger — — — — — — — — 20 0 0 :-~

1 Sorter for Custom house — ~.- 1~ 5 a ‘~,

. £.4985 o~

As Douglas is the principal port of the island, and where licensed articles can only be landed, and where nearly all the trade of the isle of Man centers, the present establishment is in several instances certainly very insufficient, there being neither a sufficiency of searchers, or Tidesmen and boatmen, to do the duty of the port. But for particulars on this head, I beg leave to refer to the Deputy Receiver General, and the Collector and Comptroller of Douglas.

Proceeding south-west along the coast, the next port is DERBY HAVEN, and which, as the bay of Castletown is extremely dangerous, is in fact the port for that town.

The establishment here is a Collector without a warrant, collecting upon fees only, at the same time Riding Officer, at — 4

A Comptroller, whose salary is not yet fixed, but say

A Searcher — 20 0 0

Three Tidesmen and Boatmen, at 25l.. each, without a boat — 75 0 0

The observations I would with to make here are : That there should be a regular Warrant Collector, besides the Comptroller ; that a small Boat should be kept. And probably two Tidesmen and Boatmen, together with the Searcher, would be sufficient, as the trade here is but trifling.

The next harbours are, PORT-LE-MARY and PORT-IRON, where no establishment at present exists ; nor can any goods be legally landed there. At these two places much smuggling is carried on : an establishment for the sole purpose of preventing such practices would he very beneficial both to the insular revenues and those of Great Britain at the same time it may be proper to add, that it has been alledged Port-Iron might be made, at a very small expence, one of the best harbours in the Isle of Man.

Proceeding towards Peele, there are one or two small creeks, which might probably be tolerably guarded from Port-Iron and Peele,

The establishment at PEELE is a Collector without a warrant, who collects for the fees ; no Comptroller or Searcher ; an extra Riding Officer, without a warrant, at 10 0 0

One Chief Boatsman — 30l.

Three Tidesmen and Boatsmen, at 251. each 75 0 0

115 0 0

As this port, when the harbour comes to be repaired, will be of considerable consequence ; a regular Collector, Comptroller, and Searcher, ought to be appointed ; and the same number of Tidesmen and Boatmen contiriue.

Proceeding round to Ramsay, a circuit of twenty-five miles of coast, there is no establishment of officers whatever. I would propose that an establishment should be formed, both at Kirk Michael and Jurby Point, for the sole purpose of preventing smuggling; at both which places illicit practices are carried on to a considerable degree.


The establishment at RAMSAY consists of a Collector ~ 5~ ~

An acting Comptroller without a warrant, and without any salary, acting upon the fees

A Searcher — 50 0 0

A Riding Officer

A Chief Boatman — 30 0 0

Three Tidesmen and Boatmen, at 25 1. each 75 0 0

245 0 0

From Ramsay to Douglas there are several small inlets, the chief of which is at LAXEY, where some establishment, solely for the prevention of illicit practices, seems necessary to be formed, there being at present no Revenue Officers round this stretch of Coast.

The expence of the whole revenue department amounts at Douglas to —498 ~ o

At Derby Haven to —. 16~ ~

At Peele to —~. I 15 0 0

At Ramsay to — 1,023 5 0

To which the office of Receiver General being added — 300 0 0

makes the whole amount to —. 1,323 5 0


And of this, salaries to the extent of 5401. have been hitherto paid from the Customhouse at Whitehaven.

Should the revenue establishment of the Isle of Man be augmented somewhat in the manner I have pointed out, and were the troops within the island to be so placed as to afford every due assistance to the officers of that department, in my humble opinion the rise in the Manx duties though considerable, would be trifling in comparison to the benefit which would flow to that of Great Britain ; for I am confident illicit practices from the Isle of Man, which tend greatly to injure her revenue, would be greatly checked, perhaps exterminated.

October 10th, 1791. ATHOLL.


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