[From Manx Soc Vol 12]
Previous to the Revestment in 1765, the Crown of England was entitled to the revenues arising from the small baronies of Bangor and Saball, and St. Trinion, which had belonged to suppressed religious houses in Ireland and Scotland, to the rent charge reserved in the grant of the possessions of Rushen Abbey and other suppressed religious houses in the Isle of Man, of the 2nd May, 1610,(1) and to gold and silver mines (if any) in the Island. These baronies, rent-charge, and mines, formed part of the hereditary possessions of the Crown.
The Lords of the Island were entitled to demesne and other lands in the Island, (including therein the small adjacent islands,) chief rents, fines, and services in respect of lands, fisheries, mills, &c. within the manor of Man, commonly called the Lords lands, (which manor comprehends the greater part of the Island) ; manorial privileges in respect of mills, water, and otherwise ; escheats, rights of forest, game and warren, mines, quarries of stone, wrecks of the sea, and other rights arising out of, or connected with, or partaking of the nature of real estate. The possessions of the Lord included the land revenues, tithes, &c. comprised in the grant of the 2nd May, 1610. The revenue derived from these various sources was brought into the Lords treasury along with the other revenues of the Lord.
A.D. 1704.It is not intended here to enter into the matter of the disputes which for a very long period up to 1703 existed between the Lords and the tenants of the Lords lands, as to their respective rights in the land ; the Lords claiming to be entitled absolutely, and not acknowledging the tenants to be more than tenants at will ; and the tenants claiming to have in their lands customary estates descendible from ancestor and heir. These disputes were finally settled in 1703, between James, the tenth Earl of Derby and a committee of the House of Keys, the terms of settlement being embodied in an Act of Tynwald, (commonly called The Act of Settlement,) promulgated on the 6th June, 1704. The Abbey lands were included in the settlement made. By the Act the customary estates of inheritance claimed by the tenants were confirmed, and certain increased rents and fines payable to the Lord were legalized. (Mills Statutes, p. 163.)
A.D. 1777.The Act of Settlement was, after the Revestment, confirmed by another Act of Tynwald promulgated on the 9th September, 1777. (Mills Statutes, p. 361.)
A.D. 1692.By the Book of Rates made by the Governor and Council and confirmed by the Lord in 1692, certain royalties were made payable in respect of slates, flags, tombstones, and stones for tables. (Report of Commissioners of 1791, Appendix A, No. 3.)
AD. 1737.By the Act of 1737 which confirmed, with certain exceptions, the Book of Rates, it appears that the royalties therein mentioned were payable on exportation, and it is provided that the payment of royalties on flags and slates to be exported should cease, but that the duty on limestone should continue. (Mlills Statutes, p. 247.) The royalties would be payable in respect of stone raised in the Lords or Abbey lands, and would form, therefore, part of the Land revenue of the Lords.
The sale of his sovereign rights in the Island by the Duke of Atholl included, though not in express words, the castles, with customary services to which the inhabitants were liable in relation to the castles, forts, and court-houses, and also the harbours or sea ports, and bay or salmon fisheries. The remaining possessions of the Duke of Atholl were afterwards, in 1827 and 1828, sold to the Crown of England, as mentioned in Appendix No. 1 to the Notes on the Chronicle, p. 151.
A.D. 1771.By Act of Parliament, 11 Geo. III, c. 52, the produce of the bay fisheries is directed to be applied for the repair of the harbours.
A.D. 1829.By Act of Parliament, 10 Geo. IV, c. 50, (19th June, 1829,)" An Act to consolidate and amend the Laws relating to the management and improvement of His Majestys woods, forests, parks, and chases ; of the Land revenue of the Crown within the survey of the Exchequer in England ; and of the Land revenue of the Crown in Ireland ; and for extending certain provisions relating to the same to the Isles of Man and Alderney,"provision was made as to the management and application of the Insular Land revenue
Sec. 8. That from and after the passing of this Act all honoars, hundreds, castles, lordships, manors, forests, chases, woods, parks, messuages, lands, tithes, fisheries, franchises, services, rents, and other land revenues, possessions, tenements, and hereditameats whatsoever, (advowsons of churches and vicarages only excepted,) which now do belong to his Majesty, or hereafter shall belong to his Majesty, his heirs or successors, within the ordering and survey of the Court of Exchequer in England or Wales, in Ireland, in the Isle ofMcsn and its dependencies, and the Isle of Alderney, whether in possession, remainder, or reversion, (which said honours, hundreds, castles, lordships, manors, forests, chases, woods, parks, messuages, lands, tithes, fisheries, franchises, services, rents, and other land revenues, possessions, tenements, and hereditaments, are hereinafter, for the sake of distinction, called " the possessions and land revenues of the Crown to which this Act relates,") shall be under the management of the present Commissioners of His Majestys Woods, Forests, and Land revenues, and of their successors, to be from time to time appointed by His Majesty, his heirs and successors, by his or their letters patent ; and the said Commissioners and their successors shall continue to ho called " The Commissioners of His Majestys Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues," &c.
The Act contains various provisions as to the letting, exchanging, and selling the possessions to which the Act relates, and as to the investment of purchase moneys, &c. The following section relates to the application of the income : Sec. 113. That the annual income of all the said possessions and land revenues of the Crown, to which this Act relates, including fines or leases, and all other sums received in respect of such leases or otherwise, for or in respect of the said possessions and land revenues (except from sales or exchanges) shall be applied in manner following : (that is to say,) in the first place, in payment of the costs, charges, and expenses attending the management of the said possessions and land revenues ; in the next place, in the payment and discharge of any annual sum or sums of money, or any pensions already charged or to be charged thereon respectively, and in the payment of any other principal sum and the interest of any principal sum or sums of money which is already or may be hereafter charged upon the said possessions and land revenues ; in the next place, so much of the monies to arise from the said annual income as the Lord High Treasurer or the Commis. sioners of His Majestys Treasury for the time being shall from time to time think proper, shall be applied towards the payment and discharge of the cots, charges, and expenses of the repairs, alterations, and improvements of BuclcinglIcsna House, and the buildings, offices, and grounds appertaining and belonging thereto ; provided that the sum to be so applied under this Act to such repairs, alterations, and improvements shall not exceed the sum of £150,000, over and above the sum of £346,000, which has been already applied thereto previous to the passing of this Act ; and, subject to the applications aforesaid, the said annual income shall, during the life of His present Majesty, be carried to and made part of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of G?eat Britain and Ireland, and from and after the demise of His present Majesty, (whom GOD long preserve,) shall be payable and paid to the Kings Majesty, his heirs and . successors.
By this section the surplus Land Revenue of the Island is treated as part of the hereditary revenues of the Crown, which the King (after the example of George III,) on his accession placed at the disposal of the House of Commons during his life,the House making other provision by Act 1 Geo. IV. c. 1, " for the support of His Majestys house. hòld and of the honour and dignity of the Crown." By such Act the hereditary revenues of the Crown were, during the Kings reign, to be added to the Consolidated Fund. Considering that the purchases of the possessions of the Dukes of Atholl were made,that in 1765 under Act 12 George I, c. 28, by moneys derived from the Customs duties of Great Britain,(2) and those in 1827 and 1828 under Act 6 Geo. IV, c. 34, by moneys payable out of the Consolidated Fund,(3) it is not very clear why the revenues from such possessions are treated as hereditary revenues of the Crown, unless it may have been thought that the Manx Land revenues were too insignificant to be separately dealt with. Probably it might be said that the conveyances from the Dukes of Atholl were but releases or surrenders to the Crown of rights acquired under grants from the Crown ; rights, which, had not the grants been made, would have been hereditary. In one sense, this may be a correct view ; but as the purchase or consideration moneys were paid out of the national funds, and not out of the hereditary revenues or out of moneys arising from the hereditary possessions, the rights surrendered must be considered as purchased on behalf of the nation.
It is questionable whether the surplus revenue is now by Act of Parliament appropriated. On the respective accessions of William IV. and Her present Majesty arrangements were made as to the hereditary possessions of a like nature to those made on the accession of George IV.
AD. 1831.By Act 1 William IV. c. 25, sec. 2, (22nd April, 1831,) the income of the hereditary possessions is thus appropriated : That the produce of all the said hereditary rates, duties, payments, and revenues in England and Ireland respectively, (other than the hereditary duties of Excise on beer, ale, and cider, payable in England,) which at the time of the decease of His said late Majesty, King George the Fourth, made part of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireksnd, and also the produce of the several and respective hereditary duties and revenues (other than and except the hereditary duties of Excise on beer, ale, and cider,) which were payable to His said late Majesty, King Georye the Fourth, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, and also the said yearly sums of £348,000, and £6,500, payable to His present Majesty out of the revenue of Excise arising in England and Scotland respectively, under and by virtue of the said recited Act of the last session of Parliament, and also the same branches of the hereditary revenue, and the produce of the hereditary casual revenues arising from any droits of Admiralty, or droits of the Crown, or from the duties called the Four and a half per centum duties or West Indian duties, and from all surplus revenues of Gibraltar, or any other possession of His Majesty out of the United Kingdom, and from all other casual revenues arising either in the foreign possessions of His Majesty or in the United Kingdom, which have accrued since the decease of His said late Majesty, and which shall not have been applied and distributed in the payment of any charge thereupon respeclively, or which shall accrue during the life of His present Majesty, (whom Goi long preserve,) shall be carried to and make part of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland ; and from and after the decease of His present Majesty, (whom GOD long preserve,) all the said hereditary revenues, including the duties on beer, ale, and cider, shall be payable and paid to his heirs and successors.
A.D. 1837.The appropriation of the hereditary revenues of the Crown made on the accession of Her present Majesty is contained in sec. 2 of the Act 1 Victoria, c. 2, (23rd December, 1837,) in these words:
That the produce of all the hereditary rates, duties, payments, and revenues in England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively, and also the small branches of the hereditary revenue, and the produce of the hereditary casual revenues arising from any droits of Admiralty, or droits of the Crown, or from the duties called the Four and a half per centum duties or West Indian duties, and from the surplus revenues of Gibraltar, or any other possession of Her Majesty out of the United Kingdom, and from all other casual revenues arising either in the foreign possessions of Her Majesty, or in the United Kingdom, which were surrendered by His said late Majesty, King William the Fourth, for his life, and which, upon the demise of His said late Majesty, became payable to Her present Majesty, which have accrued since the decease of His said late Majesty, or which shall accrue during the life of Her present Majesty, (whom GOD long preserve,) and which shall not have been applied and distributed in the payment of any charge there. upon respectively, (save and except the hereditary duties of Excise on beer, ale, and cider, in Great Britain,) shall be carried to and made part of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland ; and from and after the decease of Her present Majesty, (whom GOD long preserve,) all the said hereditary revenues shall be payable and paid to Her Majestys heirs and successors.
Lands which have been purchased in the Island by the Commissioners of Woods, &c. on behalf of the Crown out of moneys the produce of the hereditary revenues will of course be considered as hereditary posses-sions of the Crown.
A.D. 1832.By Act 2 William IV, c. 1, (13th February, 1832,) the management of the Crown possessions and Land revenue was vested in new Commissioners, to be called " The Commissioners of His Majestys Woods, Forests, Land revenues, Works, and Buildings."
A.D. 1851.:By Act 14 and 15 Vict., c. 42, (1st August, 1851,) the management of the Crown works and buildings was separated from that of the woods, forests, and land revenues, and the management of the latter was vested in two Commissioners to be styled " The Commissioners of Her Majestys Woods, Forests, and Land revenues,"- the Treasury having power to assign to one Commissioner the management of a distinct portion of the Crown possessions.
A.D.1866.By " The Crown Lands Act, 1866," (6th August, 1866,) sec. 2, one moiety of the net annual income of the Land revenue of the Crown in respect of " coal, ironstone, or mineral, stone, slate, clay, gravel, sand, or chalk, or of any substance obtained by mining, quarrying, or excavating," shall be carried to the account of the capital of the Land revenue, and the other moiety to the account of the income of the Land revenue.
(Reference to various other Acts relating to the management merely of the Land revenue, and not to the application of the revenue, has been omitted.)
A.D. 1860.By Act of Tynwald," The Wreck Act, 1860,"(10th August, 1860,) sec. 39, it is directed as to the application of the net proceeds of unclaimed wrecks :(1) If the wreck was found on the shore of the Isle or its dependencies, or within the sea to the Isle belonging, the net proceeds to be paid to the agent or receiver of Her Majestys Woods, Forests, and Land revenues ; and (2) If the wreck was found elsewhere, then the net proceeds to be paid during Her Majestys life into the receipt of Her Majestys Exchequer, in such manner as the Treasury may direct ; and from and after Her Majestys decease to be paid to Her Majestys heirs and successors.(La Mothes Statutes, 274.)
As the revenue is derived, not from taxes levied by authority of the . Legislature, but in respect of property or rights from very ancient times vested in the Sovereigns of the Island, from property wrested or acquired from suppressed convents, and chiefly from rights strictly manorial, the Island cannot be considered as having a claim to the surplus revenue. Previous to 1765, the Lords Land and other revenues together made a kind of Manx Consolidated Fund, out of which all Insular Government expenses were paid,the surplus of the whole going to the Lords. But this arrangement was one for the convenience of the Lords merely, it being less expensive to have all branches of revenue, as nearly as might be, brought under one management. The manorial revenues of the Lords were not liable to the expenses of government, any more than were the manorial revenues of the Bishops arising from the Bishops Barony, or were the manorial revenues of the Crown of England derived from the baronies of Bangor and Sabal and St. Trinion.
Since 1829 some of the expenses of the Government have been at various times paid out of the Land revenue by the direction of the Treasury, but as the Customs revenue, which is directly chargeable with such expenses, and the Land revenue, were both added to the Consolidated Fund, it was quite immaterial out of which branch of revenue the expenses were paid.
Out of the Land revenue are paid, from time to time, charges mourn-bent thereon in respect of the tithes, and possessions of suppressed religious houses, now part of the Land revenue ; and also grants and donations for churches, schools, &c. Such grants and donations do not form part of the expenses of Government ; they are gratuitous contributions, such as are considered morally obligatory on proprietors of property, to be made for the benefit of the localities from whence their income is derived.
l See p58.
2 See page 94.
3 See page 149.