[From Manx Soc Vol 17, Clay's Currency]




"Provided we have a pledge of exchange for the necessary things of life, commerce will continually go on. It signifies not, whether this pledge be of shells or paper."

THE subject of the Island currency would be far from complete if the notes, cards, &c., which have been issued from time to time as currency, were not added. I shall therefore now proceed to speak of promissory notes of the value of one pound or upwards; cards promissory for fractional parts of a. pound or guinea; bills, &c. Nearly all of these are comparatively of modern date, but are not, on that account, of less importance.

I have endeavoured to collect as much information as possible, and have succeeded, with the help of my Island friends, but particularly by the help of J. F. Crellin, Esq., M.H.K., of Orrysdale, far more successfully than I could have expected; nevertheless I am aware that very many were issued of which I have not (and perhaps never shall be) able. to get any account, as at one time they were extremely numerous, so much so as fully to justify the motto on one of the cards issued by John Llewellyn, of Peel, that is, " Every Man his own Banker;" and necessarily so in consequence of their great convenience in representing small sums, and the almost entire absence of pence and halfpence from the Island.

Train remarks, at page 75, that

" copper being the only circulating medium peculiar to the Island, and the balance of trade not being in favour of the Manx, gold or silver was only brought into circulation by persons from other countries, who had settled there under protection of the Act of 1737, which provided that no person should be prosecuted for a foreign debt, within the Royalties of Man"

This Act of Tynwald, alluded to by Train, is so intimately connected with the subject of the Island currency, that I will here quote it at length:-

Insula Monae :

At a Tynwald Court holden at St. John's Chappel the sixteenth Day of May Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight, before the Honourable James Murray, Esquire, Governor, the Councel, Deemsters, and Keyes now assembled.

An ACT, for the Limitation of certain Actions, and Claimes for Debt, Trespass, and other Things, for avoiding of Suits in Law.

Whereas by a Statute enacted in the Year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and thirty-seven, the Time of comencing and suing Actions of Trespass, Actions of Debts without Specialty, of Assaults, Imprisonment, and other personal Actions, was limitted to certain Terms, as by the said Statute may fully appear; and the said Statute having, by an Ordinance of a Tynwald Court holden the twenty-fourth Day of June Anno Domini one thousand six hundred and sixty-one been put under Suspension with respect to Debts grounded upon lending, dealing betwixt Neighbours for Comodities, or Contracts of any Nature without Specialtys, and Publication then made that none should have the Benefit thereof until the Lord of the Isle should be acquainted therewith, to give his consent for the repealing of the same: And whereas this matter hath so rested, and not any Time since fallen under Consideration; and it being observed that great Detriments and Inconvenieneys have in Process of Time ensued by Reason of the Inconsistency between the said Statute and Ordinance, and by the Want of a Statute Law in force to regulate and limitt all Suits, Plaints, Claims, and Actions, transitory or personal, in the several Courts of this Isle, Spiritual and Temporal, especially with respect to Debts grounded upon Lending, Dealings betwixt Party and Party for Goods and Comoditys, and other Contracts and Demands without Specialtys, which are commonly sued for at most unreasonable Lengths of Time from the pretended Cause of Suit; and evil-disposed Persons, out of self-interested Designs, taking the Advantage of Survivorship, do often purposely delay such Suites till their adverse Partys be dead, and then claim and sue the Executors or Administrators in the Spiritual Court, with a View to become Evidences in their own Causes, and recover their pretended demands by their own Oaths, knowing they cannot then be confronted or detected; which Method of Recoverys being insisted on by Suitors as the accustomed Practice of that Court, some under pretext thereof oftentimes urge their Oathes even against Specialtys in Writing, and others who have eluded the Payment of their Debts, do then in like Manner take the Advantage of acquitting themselves by their own Oaths: All which being strong Temptations to Perjury, destructive to the rights of Orphans, just Creditors, and others, and tending to the Disquiet and Perplexity of the Courts, Magistrates and Ministers of Justice, holding Pleas of such Clairnes and Actions; for Remedy of such Prejudices for the Future, be it ordered, ordained, and enacted by the Most Noble and Puissant Prince James Duke of Atholl, Lord Strange, Lord of Mann and the Isles, &c. by and with the Advice and Consent of the said Governor, Council, Deemster, and Keyes of the said Isle, in this present Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the said Ordinance of the Tynwald Court, held the twenty-fourth Day of June Anno Domini one thousand six hundred and sixty-one, shall stand absolutely repealed; and that for the Time to come all Actions of Trespass, or Plaints in Nature of Actions of Trespass, between Neighbours, comitted in or upon each other's Lands, Houses, Grounds, or other Propertys ; all Actions, or Plaints in Nature of Actions for wrongfull Detension of Goods, Cattle, or Effects ; all Actions, or Plaints in Nature of Actions for Goods delivered or lost; all Actions, or Plaints in Nature of Actions, of Accompts, and upon the Case, other than for Accompts current, which concerne the Trade of Merchandize, between the Merchants and Traders of this Isle, and Merchants and Traders beyond Sea, their Factors or Servants; all Actions, or Plaints in Nature of Actions, of Debt, grounded upon any Lending, Contract, or Demand, without Specialty; all Actions of Deceipt and Cossenage; all Actions, or Plaints in Nature of Actions, of Assault, Battery, Wounding, or false Imprisonment, or any of them; and all other Actions, transitory or personal, whatsoever, which shall be sued or brought in any of the Temporal Courts of this Isle, or before any Judge or Magistrate of the same, after the making of this Law, shall be comenced and effectually prosecuted within the Time and Limitation hereafter expressed, and not after; that is to say, the said Actions or Plaints of Trespass, the said Actions or Plaints of Detention, of Debt, Deceipt, or Cossenage, and of Goods delivered or lost, the said Actions or Plaints of Accompts, and upon the Case, (except for slanderous Words,) and other such like personal Accons, within two Years next after the making of this Law, or within three Years next after the Cause of such Action, Plaint, or Suit, and at no Time after; and the said Actions of Assault, Battery, Wounding, Imprisonment, and for slanderous Words, or any of them, within one Year after the making of this Law, or within two Years next after the Cause of such Actions, or Plaints in Nature of any the Accons aforementioned, and at no Time afterwards, any Law, Order, Custorne, or Practice to the contrary notwithstanding. Provided nevertheless, and be it further enacted, That if any Person or Persons that is or shall be intitled to any such Actions of Trespass, Detention of Goods delivered or lost, of Accompts, and upon the Case, of Debt, Deceipt, Assault, Battery, Wounding, Imprisonment, or Actions upon the Case for slanderous Words, or any other personal Action, be or shall be at the Time of any such Cause of Accon given, acerewed, come, or fallen, within the Age of twenty-one Years, under Coverture, Yon compos Mentis, Imprisoned, or beyond the Seas, that then such Person or Persons shall be at Liberty to bring the same Actions, (as others not under such Incapacitys might before have done), so as they take the Benefit thereof within such Times, after such their Imperfections are removed, as are liereinbefore limitted, and not otherwise; and if any Person against whom lyes any such Cause of Action or Actions, shall at any Time of such Cause of Suit acerewed be beyond Sea, then the Person intitled to such Suit may bring an Action after the Return of such Person, so as he brings the same within such Time after the Return as is respectively before limitted by this Act. And be it further ordained and enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Claimes and Probates of Claimes hereafter to be entered and made in the Spiritual Court of this Isle, against Executors or Administrators of Decedents, for or on Account of any the Causes of Suit before-mentioned, and more especially for Debts and other Demands of what Nature soever without Specialty, shall be entered, prosecuted, and made by Claimers within the Island in one Year, and by Persons beyond Sea within three Years from the Probat of the Will or granting Administration, and at no Time after; and then the Cognizance of such Claimes so entered to belong to the Temporal Court according to the Statute of Anno one thousand six hundred and sixty-five; but that no Decree, Judgment, Order, or Recovery shall at any Time be given, had, or made, by or upon any such Claim or Claimes in the Spiritual Court, nor afterwards in the Temporal Court, but within the Time and Limitation of four Yeares next after the Cause of such Suit or Claime by or for Island Claimers, and within five Years from the Cause of Suit or Claime by or for Claimers beyond Sea, and not otherwise; and that all other Suites, Controversies, and Matters of Contention, of what Nature soever, for or aeainst Executors, Administrators, or others, which hereafter shall be sued or brought in the Spiritual Court, shall be comenced and effectually prosecuted within one Year after the making of this Law, or within two Years next after the Cause of Suit, and at no Time afterwards, any Law, Custome, or Practice to the contrary in any wise Dot,Yithstanding: Provided nevertheless, that this shall not prejudice Orphans in seeking Restitution of their Goods secured under Pledges in the Hands of Parents, Guardians, or Supervisors, in Manner already directed by Law; nor Executors, or Administrators making real Discoverys of the Effects or Creditts of Deceadants, to fulfill their Inventorys, such Right being still reserved for them to be recovered as formerly accustomed, they making Oath before they shall obtain Process that such Effects or Creditts did not before consist with or come to their Knowledge, and that the Delay of timely Prosecution hath not been occasioned by Neglect. And to prevent litigious Suits and other InconvenieDeys, be it further enacted and declared, That it shall not hereafter be lawful for the said Courts or Magistrates, or any of them, to admitt of any Obligor or Party Defendant's Oath as Evidence against any Bill, Bond, Note, or otheic Specialty in Writing, to acquitt himself from the Payment thereof, otherwise than by a proper Receipt or Discharge for the same, any Custome or Practice to the contrary notwithstanding; provided always that this Act shall not be construed or understood to intrench upon the Rights or Prorogatives of the Lord of the Isle in any Suit, Plaint, Accon, or Claim, to which he is or may be intitled, the same being reserved and excepted, any Thing hereinbefore contained to the contrary notwithstanding. And be it enacted, That in all Complaints of slanderous Words the Party defamed, or any Informer of a Slander, shall be obliged to make a Declaration of the slanderous Words before a proper Judge or Magistrate within fifteen Days after the speaking or uttering of the same, in order to a Prosecution, otherwise such Complaints of Slander not to proceed at any Time afterwards.-(Signed) Dan. Mylrea, J. Murray, Tho. Sodor and.Man, Cha. Stanley, John Quayle, Will. Christian, and the twenty-four Keys.

Dunkeld, June 5th, 1738.

I do allow of and confirm this Act according to my Prerogative within my Isle of Man, and do order that the said Act be published on the Tynwald Hill according to ancient Forme and Custome of the said Isle.


At a Tynwald Court holden at St. John's Chappel the 24th Day of June Anno Domini 1738: The beforegoing Act was publickly proclaimed upon the Tynwald Hill according to the antient Forme and Costome of this Isle; as witness our Subscriptions.-(Signed as before.)

The practical working of the Act I have just quoted, led to to the following severe notice in an English literary journal: " When the Isle of Man was a place of security for unprincipled " debtors, a wit, who happened to be there but was leaving it, "left the following lines in his bedroom. They are severe, but perhaps will not be thought too much so by those who suffered by such characters

When Satan tried his arts in vain,
The worship of our Lord to gain;
The earth (quoth he) and all is thine,
Except one spot, which must be mine;
'Tis barren, bare, and scarce a span,
By mortals called the Isle of Man;
That is a place I cannot spare,
For all my choicest friends live there."

Then Train goes on to observe that

"in 1814, when this Act was repealed at the request of the British Government, and the decrees of the courts of Great Britain and Ireland were consequently made recognisable in the Island, the currency became thereby so much affected, that to obviate the great want of specie, the shopkeepers and merchants found it necessary to issue promissory cards of the respective value of one shilling, two shillings and sixpence, five shillings, and seven ,(shillings, each payable in British coin, on demand; but these were found to be attended with so many inconveniences, and with such risk to the public, that in 1817 it was found necessary to restrain, by an Act of Tynwald, all persons from issuing promissory notes, with the exception of such as should be licensed annually by the Governor and Council for that purpose. It was also provided that no note should in future be issued under the value of twenty shillings. The reason assigned for the passing of this Act, was that promissory notes had been issued by divers persons for the fractional part of a pound sterling, whereby the public credit of the island had been materially injured, the crime of forgery greatly facilitated and increased, and the legitimate currency nearly banished. On the 5th of July, 1836, a bill was read in Council, and agreed to making it imperative on bankers to take up their cash notes by bills at a date not longer than twenty-one days.

The Act of Tynwald, passed in 1814, designed to remedy the injurious effects of the Act of 1737, is as follows (Vide Lex Scripta, pp. 484-5-6) :-

"An Act for the more easy Recovery of Debts, contracted out of the Limits of the Isle of Man.

Whereas, by an Act of Tynwald, promulgated in the said Isle, in the Year of our Lord one Thousand seven Hundred and Thirty-seven, it is amongst other things enacted and provided, 'That any Person prosecuted in this Island for a Foreign Debt, by any Action of Arrest in the Court of Chancery, shall, for the future, be held to Bail only for his Personal Appearance to such Action, and for the forthcoming of what Effects he hath within this Island, to answer the 'Judgment upon the same.' And whereas it is expedient that Foreign Debts shall be recoverable in the said Isle in such and the like manner as Debts contracted within the same ; We, therefore, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lieutenant-Govemor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys of the said Isle, do humbly beseech your Majesty, that it may be enacted, and be it enacted, by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys of the said Isle, in Tynwald assembled, and by the Authority of the same, that from and after the Promulgation of this Act, all Debts contracted out of the Limits of the Isle of Man, shall be recoverable in the said Isle, in such and the like manner, to all Intents and Purposes, as if such Debts had been contracted between the same Parties, within the limits of the said Isle. Provided always, that nothing hereinbefore contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to affect any Person, who at the time of the Promulgation of this Act, shall have been usually resident within the said Isle, for and during the Space of six Months immediately preceding the Day of the Promulgation thereof, or who hath been usually resident within the said Isle for one Year before the commencement of the said six Months, and who hath departed the said Isle in the Service of Government, Civil or Military, with an Intention to return to the said Isle, as the Place of his Abode; save and except as to all Cases of Debts or Penalties due to the Crown, and as to all Cases of Persons who have fled from their Bail, in any part of Great Britain or Ireland, leaving such Bail charged or chargeable there; and also, save and except as to all Cases of Persons who have committed Offences aaainst the Bankrupt Laws of Great Britain or Ireland. And whereas it would tend still further to facilitate the recovery of Foreign Debts, if the Orders, Judgments, and Decrees of the Courts of Great Britain and Ireland were to be recognized in the Courts of the Isle of Man. Be it therefore further enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that in all Cases where any Order, Judgment, or Decree, shall have been pronounced against any Person or Persons, in any Action or Suit, in any of the Courts of Great Britain or Ireland, for the Payment of any Debt, Damage, Costs, Sum or Sums of Money, it shall and may be lawful for the Court of Chancery of the Isle of Man, upon the production of an Office Copy of such Order, Judgment, or Decree, and upon such Affidavit or Aflidavits being made as required by the Law of the said Isle, in order to obtain an Action or Process of Arrest, to issue and grant the usual Action or Process of Arrest against such Person or Persons, as aforesaid ; and that such Office Copy of such Order, Judgment, or Decree, as aforesaid, shall be deemed prima facie Evidence of the Debt or Damage therein mentioned, upon the Trial and final Hearing of such Action.-Signed by the Lieutenant-Governor, Officials, and twenty-four Keys.

This species of paper money (notes or cards representing fractional parts of a pound) entailed many abuses: in consequence of which an Act was passed at a Tynwald Court, held on the 23rd May, 1817, intituled, " An Act to prevent the Negociation of Promissory Notes and Inland Bills of Exchange within the said Isle, under a limited Sum." This Act is as follows (Lex Scripta, pp. 529-3l):

" Whereas divers Persons have of late years issued Promissory Notes, payable to Bearer, for fractional Sums of Money under twenty Shillings, whereby the public Credit, of the Island hath been most materially injured, and the crime of Forgery greatly facilitated and increased, and the legitimate Currency of the Realm nearly banished from the said Isle. And whereas it is expedient to abolish the issuing and eireulation of Notes or Cards for the payment of any sum or sums of Money under twenty Shillings British. We therefore, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lieutenant Governor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys of the said Isle, do humbly beseech your Majesty, that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lieutenant-Governor, Council Deemsters, and Keys of the said Isle, in Tynwald assembled and by the Authority of the same, that from and immediately after the promulgation of this Act, all the Estate, real and personal, of every description and quality whatsoever, whether Quarterland, or Lands of Inheritance, deseendlble from Ancestor to Heir, or. acquired in any other manner whatever, belonging to or in trust for, the issuer of any Promissory or other Note, Bill of Exchange, Draft, or undertaking in Writing, being negotiable or transferable, now in circulation, or hereafter to be issued, by any Person or Persons as Bankers, under the provisions of this Act, shall be subject and liable to the payment of all and every such negotiable instrument whatsoever. And be it further enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that every such Person or Persons as aforesaid, whgafter the promulgation of this Act, shall make and issue within the said Isle any such Promissory or other Note, Bill of Exchange, Draft, or undertaking in Writing, being negotiable or transferable, for the payment of any sum or sums of Money, less than twenty Shillinos British, shall severally forfeit and pay the Penalty of fifty Pounds for each and every offence, one half to and for the use of his Majesty, and the other half to the informer; such penalty to be recovered by Suit in the Court of Exchequer of this Isle in the name of the Attorney-General of the said Isle for the time being. And be it further enacted, that all Promissory or other Notes, Bills of Exchange, Drafts, or Undertakings in Writing, being negotiable or transferable, for payment of any sum or sums of Money less than twenty Shillings British, which are now in circulation within the said Isle, shall, from and after the expiration of three calendar Months from the promulgation of this Act, be, and are hereby declared to be null and void to all intents and purposes whatever; and that the holder or holders of any such unlawful Note, Bill, Draft, or undertaking aforesaid, shall not have or be entitled to any relief or recourse, for the amount of the same or any part thereof, upon or against the Maker or Makers, Indorsor or Indorsors, of any such unlawful Note, Bill, Draft, or undertaking aforesaid, or any other Party, Person or Persons whatever; save and except in cases of Fraud practised upon the innocent. And be it further enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that, from and after the promulgation of this Act, no Person or Persons shall make and issue any Bills, Notes, or other negotiable Paper or Instrument whatever, for the payment of twenty Shillings British or upwards, by way of a circulating Medium, without the Licence of the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor and Council of the said Isle for the time being, to be granted or refused at their discretion, under penalty of fifty Pounds for every such Bill, Note, or other Instrument issued contrary to this Act; which Licence shall remain in force for one year only, and be renewable from year to year, at the discretion of the said Governor or LieutenantGovernor, and Council, and that the sum of twenty Pounds British shall be paid for each and every such Licence into the hands of the Clerk of the Rolls, to be added to the Highway Fund. Provided alsgthat nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to hinder, prevent, or restrain the making or passing of Notes or Bills of any amount without a Licence, so as the same be done in the common and ordinary course of trade or business, and not in the way of Cash Notes, or Bills, or Banker's Notes or Bills. And be it further enacted, that every such Banker or Bankers as aforesaid be bound to take up and pay all such Notes or other negotiable Paper or Instruments whatever, made and issued by them, or any of them, within the said Isle, by paying the full value in Gold, Silver Coin, of the legal currency of Great Britain, Promissory Notes of the Bank of England, or by direct Bills of Exchange on London, at a date not exceeding two months.-Signed by the Lieutenant-Governor, Officials, and twenty-four Keys.

This Act, having received the royal assent on the Ist July, 1817, was, on the 31st of the same month, promulgated and published at a Tynwald Court held at St John's Chapel, as certified by the signatures of the Lieutenant-Governor, Officials, and Keys.

It appears from the above extracts, that Train attributes the circulation of card money for fractional parts of a pound to the repealing of the Act of 1737, which took place in 1811. If this is true, how does it happen (as will be seen in plates and copies of cards in this work) that Edward Gawne's card was issued in October, 1805; also a Ramsey card for 2s. 6d., payable &c., G. K. & Co., so early as 1806; Oates's, 1806; Kissack's, 1806; Brew Lazayre, 1810; William Kelly's card, September 4th, 1811; and Quayle's, 1811 ?

Then in Train's History, vol. ii., p. 76, is the following note.

"Wood thus describes the notes in circulation when he visited the Island in 1808. 'The merchants and manufacturers are very desirous of preventing any inconvenience that might arise from the scarcity of silver, by issuing as many as they can of their small tickets or cards. The form of engagement 'on the card generally runs thus: I promise to pay the bearer, 'on demand (so many shillings as the case may be), on his 'bringing the change of a one-pound note."'

Thus it appears card notes were issued earlier than the repeal of the Act of 1737.

Then, as to the value of the cards: They have been found to be as low as threepenee and sixpence (vide list, Sayle's card, Lezaire, and Dan. Cowen's), which Train does not seem to have been aware of those of ls., 2s. 6d., 5s., and 5s. are more common. Again, Train speaks of cards of 7s. in value. Mr. Callister, who is an authority in such matters, states (in a letter to J. F. Crellin, Esq., of Orrysdale) that the 5s. notes on cards were the highest in value ever issued; but since the above information was obtained, I have had forwarded to me the fact of cards for 7s. and 3s. 6d. having been issued by Messrs. Quayle, Taubman, and Moore, from either Ballaugh or Castletown, or perhaps both, and which are distinctly remembered by a Mr. Crellin, of Ramsey, now living, and eighty-five years of age. (Vide. list of cards for further particulars.) The value of notes now verified are, 3d., 6d., 1s., 2s. 6d., 3s., 3s. 6d., 5s., and 7s. It would appear that those of 3s., 3s. 6d., and 7s. were made to suit the division of the guinea note specially, as the others subdivided the pound note. The note for threepence was discovered on a sheet of notes in the possession of W. Harrison, Esq., of Rock Mount.

The following lists, though presenting many varieties, are far from complete, but they will, I trust, be sufficient to give the reader a tolerable idea of their various characteristics. In arranging them, I shall place first those that have been known to be circulated, according (as near as may be) to their date. Cards are generally of oblong square shape; some have the points of the oblong square taken off, forming an oblong octagon; some are oval; and a few purely octagonal. The prevailing colour of the cards is pink; a few are white, and still fewer in number yellow. The reverse sides are mostly of a different colour: for instance, the pink obverses are mostly blue on the reverse, occasionally green; white obverses are white on the reverses; yellow obverses have both yellow and blue reverses; and so on.


The earliest dated cards that have come under my notice are those of 1805-6. It is just possible there may be some of an earlier date, but up to the time of this work going to the printer, I have not seen any. This species of paper money originated from necessity, and at first was issued by almost every person of any position, without restriction ; but it is evident, from the steps which the government took after the fact was apparent, that card-money speculators had become numerous, and a source of great injury to the public, and that this absence of control loudly called for legislative interference.

Our first object will be to show some of the varieties of card money before any restrictions were imposed The following are those known to have been circulated, as proved by the cards themselves.

As it would be too expensive to engrave or cut in wood all the cards known, it is hoped that one woodcut, with the copperplate illustrations accompanying this chapter, will be sufficient. The remainder will be set up in type. The woodcut here given of Bowstead's 2s. 6d. card will give the reader a very good idea of their general form and character; which, with the foregoing remarks as to colour, shape, &c., will be all that is necessary.


Cards for 7s. and 3s. 6d. were issued by John Quayle, John Taubman, and Norris Moore, who were partners in a brewery at Ballaugh, and also at Castletown. It was thought there were no cards for these sums, but the fact is now beyond doubt. A Mr. Crellin, of Ramsey, now living, at the age of eighty-five, distinctly recollects the notes of these issuers; and was impressed particularly with the fact that three or six of them amounted to a guinea. He also distinctly remembers the signatures of Norris Moore, and one of the Taubmans. The third party, he could only recollect as being a Castletown person. It appears curious if these cards were issued at Castletown, and made payable at Ballaugh. The cards here referred to for 7s., 3s. 6d., and 1s., issued by Quayle, Taubman, & Moore, will be found in the copperplate illustrations.

The above-named aged informant also stated as a fact, that the people in the north of the island would not have the notes or cards of the south of the island, and vice versa. Another aged person unhesitatingly declared that (there being no regal coin worth speaking of in the island at that period), the cards, notes, &c., formed the chief part of the circulating medium, and could not have been dispensed with. He added, that it was not unusual in large business transactions, such as fairs, &c., to carry large bundles of these notes (representing considerable sums) tied up and carried in their pocket handkerchiefs. As many of these notes were (chiefly perhaps) for Is. or 2s. 6d., the bundles for £40 or £50 would not be small ones.

In addition to the preceding list, I have to direct the reader's attention to the lithographic plate of cards, notes, &c., in this work ; the original being, a most elaborate and well-executed sketch, found amongst the papers of W. Duff, Esq., and kindly forwarded by Mrs. Duff (through Paul Bridson, Esq., of Douglas) for publication in this work, of which it forms an important feature,-presenting cards of great scarcity and of considerable interest; and the information conveyed by it, has greatly enhanced the pleasure and usefulness of my labours.


In order to save the time and expense of colouring this plate, as in the original sketch, I have thought it best to describe its peculiarities.

In the Centre is represented a guinea note of Beatson and Copeland, No. 48, dated September 14th, 1813: Entered by John Dalton. The group of flowers is, in the original sketch, coloured to nature, making the note quite a picture; but whether the note in circulation was so coloured I am not -prepared to say. On the roseleaf to the right is the signature, " John Dalton, Liverpool, Septr. 1813, Pinxt." I am not sure if this is the signature of the same person who entered the note, but both appear to be in the same handwriting. The note is signed by J. Beatson and Geo. Copeland.

Beginning at the Top . No. 1. Two medallions, one circular and one oval; in the circular one, a horse's head and neck ; and in the oval, G. C. and Co. (the Rev. of George Copeland & Co.'s card for 2s. 6d.); colour, yellow. No.2 to the right Peter Moore's card for two shillings and sixpence; Entd. M. Moore; dated Jany. 27, 1809; colour, pale pink. No. 3. Octagonal card, with triune crowned and wreathed; dated, August 12,1815; colour, white. No. 4. Card of James Moore, No. 467, for two shillings and sixpence, payable at Douglas; signed, James Moore; dated, Jany. 14 (year illegible) ; colour, pale pink. No. 5. Long octagonal card of Jno. Moore, of Peel Town, reading within oval lines; colour, blue. No. 6. Large oval card for five shillings, of Richd. Forbes ; dated, July 4, 1813 ; Entd. R. D. Clague (rest illegible); colour, yellow. No. 7. Large oblong card for two shillings and sixpence; Entrd., G. R. (rest illegible) ; colour, blue. No. 8. Rev. of an octagonal card, without colour, neither name nor date. No. 9. The Rev. of an oblong colourless card, the " Payable, &c." enclosed in an oval wreath. No. 10 (at the base). Rev. of square pink card, with the figure of Atlas, &c., on the world; "The bearer, on Demand," &c., and below, " Atlas Fire Office."

From the Top, towards the Left: No. 1. A Ramsey card for two shillings and sixpence, No. 561 (signature and date imperfect) ; colour, pink. No. 2. An octagonal card, the Rev. of J. Beatson, Douglas, for one shilling and sixpence; No. 473 (rest imperfect). No. 3. An oblong card, for two shillings and sixpence British, No. 368, of John Beatson (the rest imperfect); colour, yellow. No. 4. A long octagon card, for five shillings Britisb, No. 474, July 4, 1815, J. Beatson, Wine and Liquor (rest imperfect) ; colour, pink. No. 5. Large oval card, No. 476, for five shillings British, Kirk Michael; signed, Wm. Killy ; colour, blue. No. 6. Large card, Rev. within an oval, in German text, "Payable, &c."; colour, blue. No. 7. An octagonal card, Douglas, No. 46, for sixpence Br., "Payable, &c."; signed, 0. 0. B. (rest illegible.) No. 8. Large card, almost white, for two and sixpence (for the benefit of the public) ; signature appears to be W. Ga[wne.]


This sheet (in the possession of J. C. Fargher, Esq.) differs from that sent by Mrs. Duff, in many particulars. It has been kindly forwarded to J. F. Crellin, Esq., of Orrysdale, who has favoured the author with the following description; it is difficult to make out satisfactorily the readings on the cards, from its almost illegible state froin accumulated dirt and long exposure. " The centre is made up of small notes, with a couple of large flowers over parts of them; at least they appear to be flowers, and the colour still remains in part on one of them, which seems to be a red rose or a dalilia. The whole drawing is not so long as the one lithographed (Mrs. Duffs), being 121 inches, whilst that of Mrs. Duff is about 13 inches in depth; Fargher's is 71 inches, and Mrs. Duff's nearly 9 inches in width, as the cards overlap each other, some only showing the Obv., whilst others show the Rev. only. The following are fully made out: Jno. Beatson's cards for 5s. and 2s. 6d. L. McWhannell, Jany. 26, 1810, for 2s. 6d. Peter Moore, jun., for 2s. 6d. Another for 2s. Gd., Linen Manu ... Douglas (rest illegible). A 1s. Copeland. There is also a Rev., greenish colour, upon which is a cutter in full sail, with a fish beneath the vessel; the rest is illegible, but in all probability it is the card of Edward Callister. Another Rev. palish pink colour, probably William Kelly's 5s. card, with the Union Mills upon it. Also, a small portion of a guinea note, on which are the words I Entd. John Dalton,' and beneath that signature, ONE GUINEA. A very indistinct card, headed 'Kirk Michael, Isle o,' for 2s. 6d. Another, on which the only words are 'Shilling Brit,' with a very indistinct signature of, it is supposed, W. Ray. The guinea note is most likely one of Beatson's, or perhaps Beatson and Copeland ; the only letters visible are 'Be'; Jno. Dalton's name appears on this, as well as on Mrs, Duff's; and also on Mr. Harrison's (of which hereafter.) From the admirable manner in which so many of these card notes were sketched, it is hoped the artist did not descend to the culpable occupation of forging."


This is in the possession of William Harrison, Esq., of Rock Mount, near PeeL The author was desirous of lithographing both the sheet of J. C. Fargher, Esq., and the one about to be described. The former, however, is so very indistinct that it was concluded the particulars already given would be sufficient. The sheet about to be described belonging to Mr. Harrison, it was hoped would have been added to our illustrations; but it appears he prefers not to have more than the following particulars made public concerning it. The reader must therefore be satisfied with the information which has been forwarded by Mr. Harrison. It is smaller than the other sheets, or twelve inches long by six inches broad. Like the others, it is composed of a number of card notes, many overlapping each other, the obverse of some and the reverse of others; in all, twenty-six cards, and sic,ned, John Stuart Dalton, pinxt.
No. 1. Card of Jno. Beatson, Douglas, Wine and Liquor Stores; square yellow card for 2s. 6d., 1814.
No. 2. Isle of Man Bank "For convenience of the public," for 5s., 1813; oval, pink.
No. 3., A Rev. " Payable in bank notes or bills, &c." ; oval, blue.
No. 4. Peter Moore, jun., Douglas, for 2s. 6d,, 1815; square, pink.
No. 5. A Rev. "Payable in gold, bank notes, &c."; oval, blue.
No. 6. Wm. M . . . . "Payable to the bearer, &c.," for 2s. 6d.; square, pink.
No. 7. Atlas Fire, " Payable in notes or bills on London, &c." pink.
No. 8. J. Beatson, for Is. ; Jany., 1813, Douglas round, white.
No. 9. Rev. triune and garter, with motto; round, yellow.
No. 10. . . unlop Bala, "Payable in bank notes, &c."; oval, blue.
No. 11. Douglas, Isle of Man, 1815; triune enwreathed; octagon, white.
No. 12. On a round and oval, black and green.
No. 13.Kirk.... I promise to pay, &c.," 5s., W. Ray; oval, blue.
No. 14. Rev. "Payable in gold, &c.," Peel Town; oval, green.
No. 15. Three-storied house (probably Union Mills); oblong,buff.
No. 16. Edwd. Forbes, 4 Augt., 1812, 5s.; oval, pink.
No. 17. T. Davis & Co., Douglas, May 3, 1815, for 2s. 6d.;square, yellow.
No. 18. Rev. " Payable in gold, &c."; oval, blue.
No. 19. "Payable at the Office of John Roney, Port Iron"; squarq, green.
No. 20. Beatson's Stores, Douglas, for 5s.; oval, pink.
No. 21. W. Ray, Isle of Man, for 2s. 6d.; square, blue.
No. 22. George Q I of M Bank; ". . demand pay the bearer" Sept. 4, 1811 ; "For convenience of the public"; for 2s. 6d. ; square, pink.
No. 23.... m. Moore, Isle of Man; " To pay the"; oval, pink.
No. 24, Mount Gawne, Isle of Man; oval, yellow.
No. 25. G. C. & Co.; horse head in medallion; oval, white.
No. 26. Douglas, May 1816, for 3d.; " Payable to the bearer on demand Threepence Brit. J. Bell"; round, white.

Mr. J. S. Dalton, whose name appears on all these sheets, is supposed to have been employed in the bank of Messrs. Beatson and Copeland; he was afterwards an official (librarian) at the Liverpool Free Public Library and Museum, William Brown Street, up to 1868, when he died in the month of August.

The illustrations on the opposite page are the reverses of cards of which the obverses have not yet been discovered; and in their absence, it is very difficult to decide who were the issuers. No names associated with card circulation, up to a recent period, seem to apply to the initials G. & M.; but just as these pages were going to the printer, the names of two card issuers were discovered- Gibbons & Maddrell; and it is possible the initials represented on the plate may be theirs, though this is rendered doubtful from the obverse not being found. The crest here given affords no clue toward the solution, as coats of arms and crests were not recognised by the laws of the Island, except those of the Island itself (the triune) and of the Bishop; although some few families resident, but not natives (chiefly of England or Scotland), occasionally used them. With regard to the two names of Gibbons and Maddrell: the former (probably an Englishman) might have had such a crest as is here given; but the latter being a Manx name, it is scarcely possible the crest could apply to him. Perhaps some of my readers may help in future to a better solution of this card. Another suggestion has been put forward, that the initials might be those of Gawne & Moore; and a third is, that they might represent Grayson & Mc.Bride. I think, however, the last suggestion out of the question. Of the other reverse I have no account.


The Act of 1817 (previously quoted) proved an effectual stoppage to this species of paper circulation, the requirements being of too onerous a character to contend with; consequently many similar cards that were ready, or nearly so, never circulated. Of this class, I am enabled to give the following examples -


Not having been able to obtain the cards of many parties, I will next proceed to give an alphabetical list of persons known to have issued card notes, and (when possible) their value; together with a few notices of some of the issuers. The list is far from perfect: very many may have been omitted. The difficulty of getting correct information has been so great, that had it not been for the industry and perseverence of J. F. Crellin-, Esq., of Orrysdale, it would have fallen very far short of its present length. -

[The numbers before the names refer to the notes at the end of the list.]


Place of Issue.


Banks, James



Bell, J.



Caley, John, and Patrick & Daniel Gawne


5/-, 2/6.

Christian, William

Ballahow,Kirk Onchan


Christian, William

Kirk Andreas


Copeland, Ceorge, & Co,

Douglas ,


Corkhill, William

Kirk Maughold

5/-, 2/6.

Corlett, Thomas



Cowle, Charles

Ballaghawe, K. Andreas


Craine (or Crane), William



Davies, T., & Co.






Forbes, Edward



Forbes, Edward, & Son



Gawne Edward (1)



Gawne, Edward & Thomas

Mount Gawne

5/-, 2/6.

Gawne & Moore

Peel (probably)


Gibbons & Maddrell(2)



Grayson & McBride



Holmes, James, & Co.



Joughin, William

Kirk Andreas

5/-, 2/6.

Kaigham, John



Kaneen (or Kanan), Daniel

Kirk Andreas


Kennish, Peter

Kirk Maughold

2/6, 1/-

Killey, William

Kirk Michael


Kissaak, William

Ballig, Ramsey

5/-, I/-

Kewley, Thomas(3)

Kirk Marown


Lace, Daniel



Littler, Dove, & Co.



Llewellyn, John (4)



McWhannell, Llewellyn(5)


5/-, 2/6, 1/-

Moore, Edward, & Co.



Moore, Edward & James


5/-, 2/6, 1/-

Moore, Charles

Ballacamish, K. Andreas


Moore, James



Moore, John

Peel Town


Moore, Peter


5/-, 2/6.

Moore, William, & John Cowley





Morrison, William ... Kirk German ...

Oates, William ... Patrick ...

0. 0. B. ... ... Douglas ... 6d.

Quayle, George. ... Uncertain ... 2/6.

Quayle, Taubman, & Moore Ballau,-h and Castletown 7/-, 316.

Quillaim, John ... Maughold ... 6d.

Quiggin, Philip and John ... Kirk Michael ... 5/-, 2/6.

Ray, James ... ... Kirk Michael ... .5/-, 2/6.

Ray. William ... ... Uncertain ... 5/-, 2/6.

Roney, John ... ... Port Iron, Kirk Rushen

Spittal, Andrew, & Co. ... Douglas ...

Sayle, William ... Kirk Andreas ...

Taubman & Stephen (doubtful) Ballaugh ... ...

Teare, John ... ... ... Ballawhaine, K. Andreas 2/6.

Vondy, Thomas ... ... Jurby ... ... 2/6.

Vondy, Thomas ... ... Lazayre ... ...

w- ... ... ... Douglas ... ... 3d.

[May, 1816; round, white card] ,

(1) Thomas Garrett, Esq., of Bootle, near Liverpool, informs the author (through J. F. Crellin, Esq.) as follows : " I recollect in my eaxly days that Irishmen were in the habit of trading with the Manx, exchanging Irish linen for tobacco, pepper, &c. In these transactions, one person of the name of Tom Daly was particularly active, and was generally known by the name of "The Slips of the Shilling" [our informant does not state the reason]. One night a party of these Irish came to a house, with empty sacks, which were soon filled with tobacco, &c.: and paid for with Manx notes, apparently signed by Edward Gawne. On these being presented to the banker, Mr. Holmes, he sent them immediately to Mount Gawne, where they were pronounced to be forgeries. The Irishmen escaped; but sometime after one or two of the same party were tried and transported for a similar offence. Our informant also recollects that a Mrs. Scott forged one of Mr. Holmes' notes, and succeeded in getting it cashed by Mr. Holmes himself.

(2) Vide plate with lion's head, and initials " G & M,"'as probably theirs.

(3) This Thomas Kewley, usually called "Tom o' Nab" (Nab being the name of his farm), was a great oddity. When his cards were presented to be cashed, he would not hesitate to say, " Och ! bless me, man ; I did not put them out to cash them. What's the good of puttin them out to change them?" And when asked if he had any of Quayle's notes (which were considered as good as Bank of England notes), he replied, " Och! no, indeed; but I'll give you a few shillings.' I've got no more in the house, and I'll give you the remainder in Mr. --'s cards" (perhaps a similar security to his own). Other ludicrous, if not knavish anecdotes are told of this person, who kept a small shop. When his own notes were presented to him for cash, he often replied, " Take them to the big shops;" and when told that it was of no use, as they would not take them, he only replied, " Well, I don't think that I'll take them, either !" The difficulties of any tradesman realising his money under such circumstances, may be easily conceived, where coin was so scarce.

(4) On the cards of this issuer is the motto " EVERY MAN HIS OWN BANKER," and also, "SUCCESS TO THE LAW. " Llewellyn was a lawyer, and High Bailiff of Peel. The former of these mottos spoke the truth; for almost every man of any position in the island became a banker by issuing cards. Another card of Llewellyn's is without the mottos.

(5) The cards copied into this work, of Llewellyn McWhannell, were not signed, but the party had issued cards, and consequently they are placed in the issued list. I have to acknowledge the great kindness of Mr. McWhannell, of Ramsey, for the copperplates of both notes and cards, which have enabled me to add some valuable illustrations to this work.


To illustrate the inconvenience and annoyance to which the public were subjected during the time card notes were in circulation, the following anecdotes may be quoted. They were related to the gentleman (who has communicated them to the editor) upwards of thirty years ago, by persons upon whose veracity every reliance could be placed.

(1) A person in business had in his possession about £25 worth of card notes, of one of the numerous issuers, or bankers, as they liked to be styled. Being unable to obtain cash for them, he brought a suit before one of the Deemsters (either Norris Moore, or Crellin), against the banker, for the value of the cards. The defendant appeared in person, and with the most apparent fairness declared his readiness to admit, and take up, every genuine note of his that would be produced. The attorney of the plaintiff thereupon handed over to the defendant, in court, each individual note, which the banker carefully scrutinised. In every instance where his name was legible, and where the card was not defaced or torn, he admitted his liability; but whenever a card was mutilated or torn, or where the signature was difficult to decipher, he repudiated it. After each card had thus been examined, and either admitted or rejected, it was handed to the Deemster (at his request), who arranged the notes in parcels before him on the bench. When the examination had been entirely gone through, the Deemster counted up the cards admitted by the defendant, and found that the value of them amounted to £15, for which sum only, he declared he could grant judgment. This announcement gave evident satisfaction to the defendant, who could not resist giving vent to his feelings of pleasure in having succeeded (as he fancied) in his case. His joy, however, was of short duration; for the Deemster, who had been occupied in making a minute examination of the repudiated cards, proceeded to say, that although he did not feel justified in awarding execution against the defendant for a larger amount than £15 (the value of the notes admitted), yet, as he had satisfied himself that the repudiated notes were equally genuine, and as he had full discretionary power in the matter of costs, he would grant that execution with the costs of the suit, to which he would add £10 (the value of the repudiated cards) as exemplary costs, and thus teach the defendant that he should not profit by the unrighteous defence he had set up. This judgment, it was said, gave great satisfaction to the public, and had a most salutary effect, as it prevented similar defences being set up in future. With respect to the term "exemplary costs," it may be explained that it was not unusual, at the time of the occurrence referred to (between fifty and sixty years ago) for the courts in the Isle of Man, in vexatious suits, to award a fixed sum -much greater than the ordinary costs would amount to - as exemplary costs.

(2) A young member of the bar, who resided at Castletown, had occasion to call upon the coroner of Glenfaba, who lived in Peel, for a considerable sum of money (between £300 and £400), being, the amount of a judgment that had been placed in his hands to recover. Upon arriving at Peel, the coroner most politely asked the young lawyer to sit down for a few moments, whilst he fetched the cash. Presently he returned, carrying with him a huge bundle, tied up in a table-cloth or sheet, and emptied the contents in a heap upon the table. The lawyer looked aghast, for there lay as heterogeneous a collection of card notes as could well be imagined. They not only consisted of the notes of a great number of bankers, but represented an infinite variety of amounts; some were for 7s., others for 5s., 3s. 6d., Ss., 2s. 6d., 2s., 1s. 6d., 1s., 6d., and some were as low as 3d. ! The coroner coolly requested the young man to count over the money, and see that it was correct. This was, however, easier said than done; and after much grumbling, the man of law commenced his irksome task. It occupied him several weary hours, as he had to examine each card, and satisfy himself that it bore the outward evidence, at all events, of being genuine. His task being completed, the question then arose, how he was to carry home his treasure, for be was travelling on horseback. After various plans had been suggested, it was decided that a sack should be borrowed, in which the card notes should be placed. This was accordingly done, and the mouth of the sack firmly tied with a cord. Then, as nearly as possible, one-half of the contents was shaken from the bottom of the sack up to the top end, thus dividing the bulk into two parcels; and the sack slung, saddle-bag fashion, across the horse's back and resting on his flanks. Our hero, thus equipped, set off on his journey homewards, a distance of twelve miles; and, never dreaming of any untoward consequence, he travelled at a very fast pace. Upon his arrival at home, he deposited the sack, unopened, in a cupboard or other secure but confined place, and there left it. In the course of the following day he opened the sack, and emptied out the contents, when, to his infinite disgust, he found the cards in a most pitiable plight. They had the appearance of being soaked with a kind of glutinotis damp, and were sticking together in masses, as if a quantity of paste had been thrown in amongst them; and when he attempted to separate them, some of the cards split open, whilst the printed surface of others actually peeled off. He then discovered that his hard riding on the previous evening had caused the mischief; the sweat and lather of the horse had soaked through the sack and its contents. If the gentleman had a toilsome task on the preceding day, he had a doubly disagreeable one on this. He was obliged to have a fire lighted, and the cards cleaned and dried with much care, to prevent their being rendered illegible and valueless. Doubtlessly, during his task, he launched many a hearty anathema against card notes, and probably, too, against the unfortunate animal which had been the innocent cause of the mischief !

Supposing that the sum paid by the coroner to the lawyer was £350, and the cards representing the payment to be calculated according to the probability of their circulation, viz., giving the cards of five shillings, two shillings and sixpence, and those of one shilling as the highest numbers, and somewhat less in proportion to the rest, it would follow that there could not be much less than three thousand notes in the lawyers' bag. For example, take


cards, at


each, equal to















































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