[From Manx Soc vol 3]
AT A CONVOCATION OF THE CLERGY AT BISHOP'S COURT, THE THIRD OF FEBRUARY, 1703.
In the Name of our Great Lord and Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Glory and Increase of his Kingdome amongst Men.
the Bishop, Archdeacon, Vicars Generall, and Clergy of this Isle, who do subscribe these articles, that we may not stand charged with the scandals which wicked men bring upon religion while they are admitted to and reputed members of Christ's church, and that we may by all laudable means promote the conversion of sinners, and oblige men to submit to the descipline of the Gospel; and lastly, that we may provide for the instruction of the growing age in Christian learning and good manners, we have formed these following Constitutions, which we oblige ourselves (by God's help) to observe, and to endeavour that all others within our severall cures shall comply with the same
First, That when a Rector, Vicar, or Curate, shall have any number of persons under twenty of his parish desirous and fit to be confirmed, he shall give the Lord Bishop notice thereof, and a list of their names, and shall suffer none to offer themselves to be confirmed but such he has before instructed to answer in the necessary parts of christian knowledge, and who, besides their church catechism, have learned such short prayers for morning and evening as shall be immediately provided for that purpose.
2. That no person be admitted to the holy sacrament till he has first been confirmed by the Bishop, (or in case of his Lordship's absence or indisposition,) to bring a certificate from the Archdeacon or Vicars Generall that he is duly qualified for confirmation.
3. That no person [be] admitted to stand as Godfather or Godmother, nor to enter into the holy estate of matrimony, till they have received the holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper, unless being an orphan there be a necessity for his speedy marriage; and this to be approved of and dispensed with by the Ordinary for a Emitted time to fit himself for the sacrament; and where any of them are of another parish, they are to bring a certificate from their proper pastor.
4. That all children and servants unconfirmed of such a division of the parish as the Minister shall appoint (which shall be at least one-fourth part thereof) shall constantly come to evening prayers to be instructed in the principles of the christian religion; at which time every rector, vicar, or curate, shall employ at least half an hour in their examination, and explaining some part of the church catechism; and that all parents and masters which shall be observed by their children's and servant's ignorance to be grossly wanting in their duty in not teaching them this catechism, shall be presented for every such neglect and severely punished: And to the end that this so necessary an institution may be religiously observed, every minister shall always (by the assistance of the churchwardens) keep a catalogue of such persons as are not confirmed, and is hereby required to present those
that are absent without urgent cause, who shall be fined ijd. the first Sunday they omit to come, iiijd. the second, vjd. the third; in which case the parents are to be answerable for their children, and masters for their servants, unless where it appears that the servants themselves are in fault.
5. For the more effectuall discouragement o£ vice, if any person shall incurr the censures of the church, and having done pennance shall afterwards incurr the same censures, he shall not be admitted to do pennance again (as has been formerly accustomed) untill the church be fully satisfied of his sincere repentance; during which time he shall not presume to come within the church, but be obliged to stand in a decent manner at the church door every Sunday and holy day the whole time of morning and evening service, untill by his penitent behaviour, and other instances of sober living, he deserves and procures a certificate from the minister, churchwardens, and some of the soberest men of the parish, to the satisfaction of the Ordinary, which if he does not so deserve and procure within three months, the church shall proceed to excommunication; and that during these proceedings the Governor shall be applied to not to permit him to leave the island; and this being a matter of very great importance, the ministers and churchwardens shall see it duly performed, under penalty of the severest ecclesiasticall censures; and whenever any daring offender shall be and continue so obstinate as to incurr excommunication, the pastor shall affectionately exhort his parishioners not to converse with him upon peril of being partaker with him in his sin and punishment.
6. That the rubrisk before the communion concerning unworthy receivers thereof may be religiously observed, every Rector, Vicar, or Curate, shall first privately, and then publickly, admonish such persons as he shall observe to be disorderly livers ; that such as will not by this means be reclaimed may be hindred from coming to the Lord's tablo, and being presented may be excommunicated; and if any minister knowingly admit such persons to the holy sacrament, whose lives are blemished with the
vices of drunkenness, tipling, swearing, prophaneing the Lord's day, quarrelling, fornication, or any other crime, by which the Christian religion is dishonoured, before such persons have publickly acknowledged their faults, and solemnly promised amendment, the minister so offending shall be lyable to severe ecclesiastical censure.
7. If any Moar, Sergeant, Proctor, or any other person, shall presume on the Lord's day to receive any rent or sums of money, both he and the person paying such rent or sum of money shall be lyable to ecclesiastical censure, and shall alwaies be presented for the same.
8. That the practice of commutation, as has been formerly accustomed, viz., of exempting persons obnoxious to the censures of the church from pennance and other punishment appointed by law, on account of paying a sum of money, or doing some charitable work, shall for the future cease.
9. For the promoting of religion, learning, and good manners, all persons shall be obliged to send their children as soon as they are capable of receiving instruction to some petty school, and to continue them there untill the said children can read English distinctly, unless the parents give a just cause to excuse themselves, approved of by the Ordinary in open court; and that such persons who shall neglect sending their children to be so taught shall (upon a presentment made thereof by the minister, church-wardens, or chapter quest) be fined in one shilling a quarter to the use of the schoolmaster, who may refuse to teach those children who do not come constantly to school (unless for such causes as shall be approved of by the minister of the parish), and their parents shall be fined as if they did altogether refuse to send them to schoole.
And for the further encouragement of the schoolmasters, they shall respectively receive, over and above the sallarys already allowed them, sixpence quarterly from the parents of every child that shall be taught by them to read English, and ninepence quarterly from such as shall be taught to write; which sums
being refused, the Sumner shall be ordered to require punctual) payment within fourteen days, and upon default hereof they are to be comitted till they submitt to law.
Notwithstanding where the parents or relations are poor, and not able to pay as afforesaid, and this be certifyed by the minister and churchwardens of the parish or the Ordinary, such children are to be taught gratis.
And whereas some of the poorer sort may have just cause, and their necessitys require it, to keep their children at home for severall weeks in the summer and harvest, such persons shall not be lyable to the penaltys afforesaid ; provided they do (and are hereby strictly required to) send such children during such absence from schoole every third Sunday to the parish church at least one hour before evening service, there to be taught by the school-master to prevent losing their learning; and if any schoolmaster shall neglect his duty, and complaint be made and proved, he shall be discharged, and another placed in his stead, at the discretion of the Ordinary: and every rector, vicar, and curate, shall the first week of every quarter visit the petty schoole, and take an account in a book of the improvement of every child, to be produced as often as the Ordinary shall call for it.
10. For the more effectuall suppression of vice, &c., the minister and churchwardens and chapter quest shall, the last Sunday of every month after evening prayers, set down in writing the names of all such persons as, without just cause, absent themselves from church; of parents, masters, and mistresses, who neglect to send their children and servants to be catechized; of parents and guardians who send not their children to schools; and all other matters they are bound by their oathes to present; and that they may conscientiously discharge their duty, the articles of visitation are to be read to them at every such meeting, and this to be done under pain of the severest ecclesiastical) censures.
Now forasmuch as some of the orders and constitutions in this synod agreed unto are such as do require the authority of the civil power to make them effectual to the ends they are designed,
the Bishop and Archdeacon are earnessly desired to procure confirmation from the Lord, his Councell, and the 24 Keyes, to the glory of God, and welfare of this church, and for the better government of the church of Christ, for the making of such orders and constitutions as shall from time to time be found wanting ; and that better enquirey may be made into the execution of those that are in force, there shall be (God willing) a convocation of the whole clergy of the diocese on Thursday in Whitsun week every year after this, at the Bishop's chappell, if his Lordship be within this Isle, or as soon as conveniently after his return ; and that by these constitutions we may more effectually oblige ourselves and others, we do each of us subscribe our names this 3d of February 1703.
THo. Sodor and Man. (And 17 Clergymen.)
AT A TYNWALD COURT HOLDEN AT ST. JOHN'S CHAPPELL THE 4TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1703-4.
The before constitutions being this day offered by the Lord Bishop and Archdeacon of this Isle unto us the Governor, Officers, and 24 Keyes for our approbation, and having perused the same, do find them very reasonable, just, and necessary, and do therefore approve of and consent to them as far as concerns the civil power. ROBERT MAWDESLEY, (&c.)
I am well pleased with the before constitutions, and do confirme the same, and require that they be published at the next Tynwald Court in usuall manner. DERBY.
AT A TYNWALD COURT HOLDEN AT ST. JOHN'S CHAPPELL, THE 6TH DAY OF JUNE, ANNO DOMINI 1704.
The beforegoing constitutions were this day publicly proclaimed upon the Tynwald Hill according to antient forme and custome. As witness our hands the day and year above written.
THOS. Sodor and Man. ROBERT MAWDESLEY, (&c.)
ACT OF SETTLEMENT. ANNO 1703.
"An Act for the perfect Settleing and Confirmation of the Estates, Tenures, Fines, Rents, Suites, and Services of the Tennants of the Right Honourable James Earl of Derby, within this Isle of Man, passed at a Tynwald Court holden at St. John's Chappel within the said Isle the 4th day of February, in the year of our Lord 1703, by the said James Earl of Derby, Lord of the said Isle, Robert Mawdesley, Esquire, Governor, and the rest of his said Lordship's Officers, and 24 Keyes, the representatives of the said Isle."
THE following brief summary of this great statute has been furnished by a legal authority :
`Divers disputes having arisen between the Lords of Man and their tenants touching their tenures, estates, fines, rents, suits, and services to the great prejudice of the Lords, and impoverishment of the tenants and people, proposals were made to James, Earl of Derby, by certain delegates of the 24 Keys, on behalf of themselves and all the tenants, for arranging and settling such disputes and establishing fixity of tenure and fines certain. These proposals, with some slight modifications, were embodied in an Act of Tynwald of the 4th February, 1703, and proclaimed on the Tynwald Hill, according to ancient form and custom on the 6th June, 1704, O. S. This Act is distinguished as "The Act of Settlement," and is considered the Magna Charta of the Isle as regards the relations between the Lords and their tenants. The operative part of the Act provides "That all estates made or to be made of any messuages, lands, tenements, and hereditaments within the Isle to any person or persons, and his or their heirs, shall be good and perfect customary estates of inheritance, descendable from ancestor to heir, according to the law and customs of the Isle;" the tenants respectively from time to time "yielding, paying, performing, and doing unto the said James, Earl of Derby, his heirs and assigns, such general and other fines certain as in the said proposals are particularly mentioned and expressed, (saving only to the said James, Earl of Derby, his heirs and assigns, and unto all and every other person or persons that shall at any time hereafter become Lords of the said Isle, all such royalties, regalia, prerogatives, homages, fealties, escheats, forfeitures, seizures, mines and minerals of what kind or nature soever, quarries and delfs of flag, slate, or stone, franchises, liberties, privileges, and jurisdictions whatsoever as now are, or at any time heretofore have been, vested in the said James, Earl of Derby, or in any of his ancestors, Lords of the said Isle;)" and also "yielding, paying, and performing unto the said James, Earl of Derby, &c., the several yearly rents, boons, suits, and services that have been accustomary, and usually paid for the estates to which the tenants or any of them shall or may make any claim or title, and so paying unto the Lord or Lords of the said Isle for the time being all such fines certain for the same, and in such manner and form as in the said proposals are particularly mentioned, and not otherwise." The fines certain alluded to are defined in the first, second, and third proposals, and consist of fines certain upon descent and upon alienation.'
After the British Crown had purchased, in 1765, the sovereignity of the Island, one of the earliest statutes which received the sanction of the legislature was "An Act for the more effectual Confirmation and Establishment of the Act of Settlement, and the Act of Tynwald explanatory thereof." The statute being brief and comprehensive may be given here. .
"The ancient feudatory Tenures of this Isle between the Lord and his tenants having, in the year 1643, by undue means, being changed into leasehold estates, the regular course of descent, which before had flowed in an easy uninterrupted stream, was thereby clogged with difficulties not to be born, the tenants grew dissatisfied, and much litigation ensued, which tended to dissolve all harmony and subordination between them and their chief, so essential to their mutual interest and happiness ; for remedy whereof, the Act of Tynwald, commonly called the Act of Settlement, intituled, `An Act, &c.,' and an Act explanatory thereof. Which said several Acts of Tynwald being now the basis of the tenure of the lands and hereditaments, and the true security of the real estates and premises within the said Isle, be it hereby declared and enacted by the permission and authority aforesaid, That the said Act of Settlement, and the said Act of Tynwald explanatory thereof hereinbefore set forth, and every clause, article, matter and thing therein and hereinbefore contained, shall be, and the same are hereby ratified and confirmed, and binding and effectual for and against all and all manner of person and persons, lands and hereditaments therein and thereby meant, mentioned, and intended, to all intents and purposes."
At the end of these and some other contemporary Statutes is appended the following signification of the Royal Sanction : St. James's, August 21st, 1777. SIR, Having received and laid before. the King, Governor Smith's letter of the 24th of July, transmitting several Acts of Tynwald, passed in the last Tynwald-Court which met at Castle Rushen, I am now to inform you in the Governor's absence, that the said Acts have been taken into consideration, and are thought well calculated to promote the good order and prosperity of the Isle of Man, as well from their contents as from the manner in which they are recommended by the Governor, and from the sanction which the Attorney-General has given to them by his signature.
I am now, therefore, to return the said Acts, and am to signify X
his Majesty's approbation thereof according to the list inclosed herein.
I am, with great truth and regard, Sir, Your most obedient humble servant, SUFFOLK.
Lieut.-Governor of the Isle of Man.