[Appendix D(30) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]

N° 30.


LETTER from the Duke of ATHOLL. .

GENTLEMEN, Douglas, Isle of Man, October 20, 1791.

I Have the honour to inclose some remarks on the harbours and ports of this isle. I have taken. no notice of Castletown Bay, or of Laxey ; the first being so full of sharp rocks as will always render it impracticable to do any thing to effect there, the latter not being calculated for vessels of any burthen.

Were I to offer my opinion with respect to the harbours here, it would be, essentially to repair those of Douglas and Peele, which, lying on different sides of the island, would be the means of affording certain shelter to the whole trade of this channel. The reparation of these harbours I look upon as a national object.

Ramsay pier and harbour ought to be put into repair for the benefit of all the northern parts of this island ; and a pier might be built, at perhaps about one thousand pounds to make a secure harbour for the fishing boats during the herring season at that end of the island, : which is much wanted.

These repairs being made, a light-house erected on the calf, and a buoy placed on the sand-bank on Ramsay, the British trade and this island would be extremely benefited. The present ruinous situation of Castle Rushen, Sr. John’s Chapel, and the Castle of Peele, you have been ocular witnesses of. That all these buildings were in a very different state when my father and mother gave up this island to the public, I am ready to prove by witnesses. Indeed, when I was first in this island in 1779, all these buildings, although neglected, were in a very different state than at present: the Castle of Rushen was then covered with a most expensive lead roof; the Chapel. of St. John’s was seated ; and the houses near the Cathedral in Peele Castle, as well as the chancel of that building, were roofed in. From what I then saw of the situation of those buildings, (although they had been neglected then near fourteen years,) and what I now see, I am confident that ten thousand pounds would not make good the dilapidations. ,

There is only one other small matter which I shall at present trouble you with, and that is the Court-house at Peele, where before, and indeed after, the revestment, Manerial Courts were held, but which has since my dismission of Mr. Quayle as my Steward here, been taken possession of the High Bailiff of Peele ; and I have ceased to be possessed of any place on that side of the isle to hold my Manerial Courts in.

I do not propose taking up any more of your time at present. Such general observations on the object of your mission as may present themselves to my mind, I mean to have the honour of lay before you some little time hence.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient humble servant,.


John Spranger, William Osgoode, William Grant
William Roe, and David Reid, Esquires,

Commissioners for the Isle of Man. .


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