[From Manx Soc vol 3 - part 1 Letter of James 7th Earl]


1.—The Earl's carriage to the people at his first going over. 2.— his carriage, at the meeting, to modest petitioners; 3—to impudent; 4—to the most confident; 5—and to the most dangerous —viz., them who stood behind and prompted others. 6.—~All things being agreed, Capt. Christian cunningly begins a disturbance. 7.—The Earl's reply to him, 8—and speech to the people. 9.—Christian is struck blank. 10.—Several committed to prison, 11—and fined; 12—which quiets them.

WHEN first I came among the people, I seemed affable and kind to all; so I offended none. For taking of your hat, a good word, a smile, or the like, will cost you nothing; but may gain you much. However, I did much beware they might not think I courted them; for so I might have made them become coy. And I was content that those I brought with me, in their sight, on several occasions, might show me good respect, to give the people good example; knowing that respect is the soul of government, and a person once fallen to neglect is, as one saith, no better than a dead carcass.

2. I was so sufficiently troubled with wrangling at that time, that I will not trouble myself again in repeating too much of it. When any man made known his grievance and desire, while he kept him in the bounds of modesty, I seemed much to hearten him, and wished him to proceed, giving him still occasion by some interruptions (not to disturb him) to let him know that I understood well what he spake; and, if it were matter which did like me, I fortified his words with reasons. Also (sometimes to please), if it were not reason which he spake, and that I knew there were sufficient answer against it, I gave also reason for that. But then I told him it was not fitting in such and such respect. Sometimes I gave leave that others should reply; and with them I did agree or not, as I thought most proper for the present.

3. There were who saucily behaved themselves, and of those I put some out of countenance with austere looking on them; troubling their discourse in seeming not to hear well what they said, and asking them to repeat the same; which astonished them so, that oft they did forget the matter they were about, and sometimes feared to speak more of it.

4. But those who were most confident, and as like to astonish us, I gave leave to be answered by my officers who sat by; considering it became me not to contend in words, lest incensing others, or myself becoming passionate, I might bring mine own discretion in some question. And I have read some examples that justice is not believed to be where violence is.

5. Another sort there were more dangerous, who said nothing openly, but instructed others, and whispered behind the company. Some of these I espied myself; others were pointed to me by such as I had set, in several places about the bench, to observe them, and give me some private beck; which I took notice of as I saw occasion. These I called nearer to the bar, who it may be would speak so as not to offend, or hold their peace; at least, there they could not incite others so conveniently.

6. In conclusion, when I had settled a good course (such as among the ancient records you may see, for there I caused the same [to be] filed up), at the very rising of the court, Captain Christian (one whom heretofore I had much obliged by my favours, but having denied him something he did take offence— a humour of all others the most dangerous), he, seeming desirous to make a right understanding between me and the people, at the rising of the court, asked if we did not agree thus and thus — mentioning some things he had instructed the people to ask,

7. Presently some catched hereat; but as soon I catched at the words, saying "he was much to blame so unseasonably to move new matter, being that we so happily had ended the day, and set all business in a blessed way, for the good of me and the country. And, if we raked any more into them, it might breed an inconvenience more than he was worth."

8. And so, rising from my seat, I assured the people " they needed no other advocate than myself to plead for them; because I had a resolution to do all that in reason they at any time might desire of me; that I would study to do them all good. And, if any base fellow told them otherwise of me, I wished they would hold him an enemy to themselves. And whoever durst say to me I had not their loves, I would give such the lie, and deliver him to them to tear in pieces, as I thought he might well deserve." So I bad the court to rise, and no man to speak a word more.

9. Thus is it sometimes necessary to make use of our several passions; and happy is he whose passions make not use of him ! Christian hereat grew very blank, and the same by many was observed; which, as I believe, hath since wrought good in all.

10. A few days after, some, who had formerly given great brags and vaunting speeches of getting laws and customs of this country to be broken and changed to their own minds, in despite of any that said nay, &c., these men were, some of them, committed to prison; and there abided, until, Upon submission and assurance of being very good and quiet, they were released; and some others, who had offended in the same kind, were put in their rooms. They were the principal disturbers of the peace, and such as we could prove to have incited others, and given them that dangerous oath and covenant, after the manner of some other countries, which hath got us a dear experience.

11. I thought fit to make them [be] deeply fined. So as having picked them thus one by one (which was the more easy and ready way), it terrified all that had any hand in these matters. Whereat as many of the first sort as were set at liberty grew very mild. Those who were fined, by their good behaviour hope to be forgiven the said fines, and are thereby in good awed Others make way to their peace beforehand, to prevent imprisonment or fine. And so, God be thanked, we are very quiet.

12. Since this they have all come, in most submissive and loving manner, presenting their grievances, with so much civility; as since I have given them, I hope, good satisfaction—redressing what was amiss in Church or State.


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