From Manx Soc vol. 19
Mr Lord Duke of Atholl, accompanied by Lord John Murray, his Grace's brother; Sir Patrick Murray of Balmanno, bart.; John Murray, Esq., Principal Clerk of Sessions; Patrick Lindsey, Esq., M.P. for Edinburgh; Major Stevenson of the 4th troop of Guards, son to John Stevenson, Esq., Speaker of the 24 Keys of Man; John Murray, of the Inner Temple, London, Esq., son of John Murray, Esq. of the Isle of Man; Alexander Ross, his Grace's solicitor at London, and others, went on board the ship "Prince William" (Captain Richmond commander), at Liverpool, on Wednesday the 9th of June 1736, in the evening, for the Isle of Man, but the wind not serving, did not sail till next morning about seven o'clock, when the wind offering pretty fair, his Grace, with a gentle breeze and a smooth sea, had a sight of the Isle of Man about five o'clock in the evening. The wind springing up cross soon after from the north and north-west, the ship continued at sea all night, and beating to and fro for the Island, with hard and contrary gales, till next morning about nine the Captain declared that he thought it impracticable to fetch the Island with that wind; and therefore, that, in his opinion, it was more proper to make for Holyhead, or some other port on the Welch coast, from which it was very probable he might fetch the Isle of Man in eight or nine hours' sailing, if the wind should come more westerly or southerly, which it was very probable it would soon do at this season of the year, and the captain's opinion being agreed to, he made the best of his way for Holyhead with a smart wind and very rough sea, and arrived safe there on Friday (11th June) in the afternoon. But another ship which sailed from Liverpool with my lord duke's baggage, horses, and some servants, at the same time with the " Prince William," made the Island on Friday morning, having steered her course more to the windward at her first setting out.
The wind continuing still cross, his Grace remained at Holyhead till Monday the 14th in the morning, and then being informed that one Captain Littleair, commander of a little custom-house cruiser then at Holyhead, would undertake to land his Grace in the Isle of Man that night notwithstanding the wind as it then stood, his cruiser being supposed to be a better sailor on a wind than the "Prince William," and the collector of the port having, upon a message sent him by his Grace for that purpose, ordered the cruiser to attend his Grace, my lord duke, accompanied only by the two Messrs. John Murrays, went on board the cruiser about eight o'clock that morning, leaving Lord John and the rest of his company to come by Captain Richmond, who also put to sea about an hour after.
At first the wind seemed moderate, though cross, but very soon increased to a storm. Both ships continued in sight of each other till eight in the evening, when the cruiser got a great way to the wind ward and out of sight of the other, and both were severely tossed all night ; however, his Grace had the good fortune, God be thanked, to land at Derby Haven, in the Isle of Mann, before four o'clock in the morning of Tuesday 15th June. But the " Prince William," continuing her course till about 7 o'clock of the same morning, was then by the violence of the storm and contrary wind obliged to turn back again, and make the best of her way for the south . shore, and arrived at Beaumaris, in the Isle of Anglesea, on Tuesday evening; and the captain gave it as his opinion that the cruiser which sailed with his Grace must probably have also been drove back to some port on the same coast.
The Governor* of the Isle of Mann being acquainted of his Grace's being at Liverpool, and of the time of his intended voyage, and observing the winds to be cross, did, upon Monday the fourteenth, send Captain Stanley, of Douglas Fort, in a wherry or small boat from the island to the English coast, to get intelligence of and to attend and carry over his Grace to the Isle, such a wherry being a better and closer sailor on a wind than most ships of burden.
* That would be James Murray, Esq., whom the duke had lately appointed.
The wherry having accordingly put in at Beaumaris in the evening of Monday, Lord John was informed thereof upon his arrival there, and upon further inquiry his lordship was also informed that Captain Stanley was gone in the wherry to Carnarvon to find out some tidings of his Grace, conformable to the directions he had from the Governor for that purpose.
Thereupon Lord John dispatched a man on horseback to Holyhead, at the distance of 25 miles, to inquire if my Lord Duke was returned thither, and this messenger was directed to call at Carnarvon in his way, with a letter to Captain Stanley. The messenger returned next day, found Captain Stanley at Carnarvon, but brought no account of his Grace, and Captain Stanley returned the same evening in the wherry to Beaumaris, where Lord John and his company continued under great concern and impatience till Thursday the 17th, in the evening, and then put to sea in the " Prince William," attended by the Mancks wherry, but with a cross though moderate wind ; but having made little progress in their voyage that night, Lord John and his company went on board the wherry by 4 o'clock next morning, after they were a few leagues at sea. And continuing their course all that day and next night, landed at Derby Haven between one and two o'clock in the morning of Saturday the nineteenth, and the " Prince William," Captain Richmond, commander, arrived the same day by noon.
When his Grace arrived in Derby Haven, on Tuesday the 15th June, at half-an-hour after three in the morning, the cruiser in which he came, having hoisted a flag on her maintop-mast and fired her guns as a signal of his Grace being on board, the flag was presently displayed on Derby Fort, which lies at the mouth of the haven, the fort also fired three rounds of its cannon, which gave notice to Castle Rushen, the chief residence of the lord of the isle, and of his governor and officers, and lies at the distance of a short mile from the haven. And thereupon the governor (having his white rod in his hand), together with all the officers of the isle, the garrison of the castle under arms commanded by their officers, and the militia of the town of Castletown also under arms, immediately repaired to Derby Haven, and met his Grace on his way to Castle Rushen, it being so early in the morning, and the wind so cross, that his Grace's landing was unexpected. At this time a fine new flag, with the arms of the isle, was displayed from the Castle, and a round of the cannon was fired from its battrys.
His Grace, thus attended, proceeded to the Castle, where the soldiery and militia under arms made two lines, between which his Grace entered, with the like discharge of the cannon of the castle as before. In the gateway the governor surrendered his white rod to his Grace, which he was pleased to deliver back to the governor again, and a third discharge of the cannon was made upon his Grace entering into his apartments in the castle.*
At 11 o'clock his Grace was attended by the whole officers of. the isle, and by the two deemsters with a dutiful address congratulating his accession and safe arrival. In the evening punch and beer was given in plenty to the populace, and the officers and deemsters met in the market-place of Castletown, where a bonfire was erected, and his Grace's health drank as lord of the isle under a discharge of the cannon of the castle, the health of the King and Queen's Majesty were severally drank under a volley of the soldiery then under arms, then all the other healths of the royal family; the health of her Grace the Duchess of Atholl, etc., were drunk. The same solemnities were observed at the town of Douglas and Peel, in every one of which places all the windows were illuminated.
On Wednesday (June 16th), after his Grace landed, the chief merchants and inhabitants of the town of Douglas waited on his Grace to congratulate his accession and arrival, and the merchants and inhabitants of Peel attended his Grace with the like compliments of congratulation on Thursday.+
On Friday (June 18th) his Grace was attended by my lord bishop, archdeacon, and by all the other clergy of the island, with an address, congratulating his Grace's accession and safe arrival. On Saturday (June 19th) the 24 Keys, as representatives of the people, waited on his Grace with the like address.
* In the Rev. Mr. Keble's Life of Bishop Wilson, 1863, he quotes this entry from the Bishop's Diary:-" June 15th, 1736. The Duke of Atholl landed in Castletown this morning, and sent his compts. to me in a letter of the governor's, and desired to see me on Thursday."
+ Ramsay does not appear to have taken any part in these demonstrations.
Lord John Murray and his company having arrived on Saturday morning, my lord duke, attended by them and by many others, went after dinner to the top of the castle, when the flag being displayed, his Grace began the healths of the King and Queen's Majesty's and other royal healths, with a discharge of the cannon at each health. Then the governor began the health of his Grace, Lord of the Isle, her Grace the Duchess, prosperity to the isle, and other healths, with the like discharge of cannon as before ; at each health all drank out of a family horn of a yard long, which lies in the castle.*
On Sunday (June 20th) his Grace went to chapel.+ The garrison soldiers, with halberts, commanded by their officers, proceeded, the governor followed with his white rod in his hand, and Lord John Murray carried the sword of state ,+ before his Grace, who was followed by a numerous company, and by all the officers of the isle. And the archdeacon (the Rev. John Kippax) his Grace's chaplain in Castletown, performed divine service and preached the sermon, and most of the company having had the honour of dining with his Grace, he went afterwards to evening prayers, attended by the same company, and with the like formalities as before, excepting that the sword of state was not then carried before him.
When the present governor was first sent over, he was instructed by his Grace to continue in their several offices all the officers and deemsters then in being, in consequence of which instructions§ they were continued ; and his Grace was pleased on the 23d to issue and execute under his hand and seal new commissions to such of the former officers and deemsters as were alive, and to appoint others in the place of such as were dead ; and being all sworn into their respective offices, they had the honour to dine with his Grace that day.
* This horn is no longer in Castle Rushen ; it was no doubt the duke's private property, as such drinking-horns were a usual appendage to northern baronial halls.
+ St. Mary's, in the market-place, erected by Bishop Wilson in 1698, taken down in 1826, and the present structure built on its site.
$ This must have been the ancient sword of state, described at page 20, as that afterwards supplied by the Duke of Atholl would not, probably, at so early a period, have been brought over.
These instructions to James Murray, Esq., governor, are dated " London, 9th March 1735" (1735-6), and are given in Gell's Parr's Abstract of the Laws, etc., vol. i. p. 97, Manx Society, 1867.
On Midsummer-day, in every year, a Court of Tynwald is held, in which the Lord of the Isle (or in his absence the Governor), Council, Deemsters, and 24 Keys, are to advise and join in making and passing any new laws which may be found advantageous or necessary to or for the island, and to consult and advise in any other matter which may be put to them relating to the state or government of the country; and when such are made, consented to, and approved of by the Lord of the Isle, and afterwards published and proclaimed at this Tynwald Court, they then become laws of as great force as are Acts of Parliament in Great Britain, after the same have passed both Houses of Parliament, and have had the royal assent, and it is by the authority and observance of these statute laws that the Governor and officers act in their respective stations.
The Danish word "Tynwald " signifies in Latin forum individuum affirmatum, in English a Judicial Fenced Court; and the Court is held on a mount, curiously and artificially raised, in a fine plain, in the centre of the country, near St. John's Chapel, eight miles distant from Castle Rushen.*
His Grace went thither on Thursday, the 24th June+ from Castle Rushen by nine o'clock in the morning, attended by three squadrons of horse militia, one bay, the second black, and the third grey, well mounted and armed, commanded by their officers, and with drums and standards, in the latter of which were embroidered the arms of the isle. These three squadrons marched from the market-place of Castletown, and began the cavalcade so soon as his Grace took horse; they were followed by his Grace's gentlemen and livery-servants, and two French horns, on horseback. Then the Governor, attended by the Major-General to receive his commands, and after them came his Grace, followed by a vast number of gentlemen, who made a fine appearance.
The plain in which the Tynwald Court is held lies in the middle of a large valley, which is of an oval form, in length from east to west about a mile and a half, and in breadth from south to north about a mile, surrounded with great hills of almost an equal height, with a fine open plain to the east.
* A more particular account of this place and its usages is given in the first section of the present volume.
+ Midsummer-day, o. s.
This plain is about 20 feet higher than the valley which surrounds it, and is flat, and smooth as a bowling-green. Between the foot of its banks on the south side and the rising of the hills which form the valley on the right side, there runs a small rivulet from east to west, through the valley. At the east end of this rising plain stands the Chapel of St. John's, enclosed within a green bank, of an exact circle. The bank is four feet high, with a ditch on the outside, and sloped on the inside like the sloped bank of a terrace, all covered with a fine bowling-green turf. The circle is 43 yards in diameter, and has a gate built of stone and lime on the south side, and another on the north side, exactly in the middle of the circle, each 12 feet wide. This circle opens at the west end, 16 yards wide, and from the opening a sloped bank on each side is continued westward, and one parallel to the other, to the Tynwald Mount, and of the same height with the bank which forms the circle round the chapel, and these two parallel banks inclose an area between them of the length of 136 yards, directly west from the west entry of the chapel to the Tynwald Mount. This mount is inclosed with the like sloped bank, and in the exact like circle, and of the same dimensions with that which incloses the chapel, and has in the same manner two gates, one on the north side and another on the south side, and the area between these sloped banks from the chapel to the Tynwald Mount is covered with fine green turf, and as level as any bowling-green.
The Tynwald is a regular mount, of 99 feet diameter at the bottom, rising by three regular terraces all around to the top, which lessens to 14 feet diameter on the top of the mount; and on a square pedestal of six feet, covered over with a carpet, was placed a throne or chair of state, under a canopy of eight feet high, both covered with crimson damask, fronting to the chapel, which stands exactly east from it, and lies in the middle of the view through the opening of the hills; and on the south side of this area, towards the rivulet, stood the booths of St. John's Fair, annually held here on this day.
* The dimensions here given of the Tynwald ground may be compared with those at page 30, which were made from recent measurement.
When the militia horse came on the rising ground, they formed themselves into two lines to the south gate of the Tynwald Mount, where the Deemsters in their gowns, the Bishop, Archdeacon, and Clergy in their formalities, and the 24 Keys, stood and waited to receive his Grace. When his Grace entered into the fair, the horse being drawn up into two lines as before, he proceeded on horseback to the gate leading to the Tynwald Hill, where his Grace alighted at the head of the horse, and was received by the Bishop, Deemsters, Archdeacon, Clergy, and 24 Keys.
From thence his Grace walked in procession to St. John's Chapel, in the said area of 136 yards long and 16 yards wide, from the Tynwald Mount to the chapel, in the view of an innumerable crowd of people standing on the banks of each side.
From the Mount towards the chapel, and within the sloping banks, stood in two lines a regiment of foot militia, well armed, and with drums, colours, and music, the officers of which saluted his Grace with their pikes and colours very regularly as his Grace passed along. Nearer the chapel stood in two lines the soldiery of the garrison of Castle Rushen, who marched thither before his Grace when this procession began, well armed and under the command of their officers.
In this procession his Grace was attended by music of different kinds. The governor walked before his Grace with his white rod in his hand, and the Honourable Sir Patrick Murray of Balmanno, Baronet, carried the sword of state, and his Grace was followed by a great company of gentlemen. So soon as his Grace entered the chapel there was a general volley of musketry.
At the east end of the chapel, and on the south side of the altar, was placed a chair of state, covered with crimson damask, for his Grace to sit in, with a footstool before it. On the other side of the altar stood the pulpit, between which and the altar stood the senior Vicar-General,* who performed divine service, after which my Lord Bishop preached a sermon+.
* The Vicars-General 'at this time were the Rev. John Wood, Vicar of German, and the Rev. John Cosnahan, Vicar of Braddan, the former being the senior Vicar-General.
+ This has been published in Bishop Wilson's Works, Sermon No. xlix., and forms Appendix No. II. of present volume.
Service being ended, his Grace, the Governor, Council, Deemsters, and 24 Keys (the names of the latter being called over), took into consideration the public business of the Isle, and the draft of an Act to prevent frivolous and vexatious lawsuits was proposed and read ; but a further consideration of this law being necessary, it was postponed, other matters which concerned the state and government of the country being despatched.
His Grace proceeded from the chapel to the Tynwald Mount, along the same area, ushered, attended, and saluted as before; and his Grace ascending to the top of the Mount by easy steps made for that purpose, two of the ensigns placed themselves one on each side of the throne, a little behind, holding their colours displayed. His Grace placed himself in his chair of state, surrounded by and in sight of many thousands of the inhabitants of the Isle, who kept an awful and respectful silence; and many persons were present who came from England, Scotland, and Ireland, to see this solemnity.*
The Bishop sat in a chair placed on the pedestal on the right side of the throne, two steps lower than the chair of state, and the Governor stood a little lower than the Bishop, and Sir Patrick Murray stood at his Grace's left hand, holding the sword of state with the point upward; the Deemsters, Knights, and Esquires stood on the mount near the throne. Below them stood the Keys on the second and third degression, and near them the civil and military officers; at the foot of the pedestal stood the Archdeacon (who is the Lord's chaplain) and the two Vicars-General in their white surplices, and behind them the clergy in their gowns.
* In Gell's Parr's Abstract of the Laws, vol. i. 97, Manx Society, 1867, is given an extract from the Liber Scaccar. 1736 :-"In the same year, 1736, Duke James visited the island, and on the 24th June 1736 he attended a Tynwald Court at St John's, in 'royal array,' according to the ancient custom, at which Court the Bishop of Sodor and Man, then the only Baron of the Isle, did homage for his barony."
+ Or, as the old Acts term it, "the Court was fenced," for the form of which see page 41.
Proclamation being made in the language of the Isle,+ the 24 Keys were again called over by the Clerk of the Rolls, when the names of the six Coroners or Sheriffs for the six sheadings or divisions of the Isle, who had served for the preceding year, were also called one by one, and each of them, ascending in their order, was called to the top of the Mount at his Grace's feet, sworn, and delivered to the Governor a white rod with a red rose on the top thereof, which till then he held as the badge of his office, and then retired. After which the names of other six Coroners or Sheriffs were called over one by one, and each of them ascending as he was called, and kneeling within two steps of the pedestal upon which the throne was placed, had a white rod delivered to him by the Governor as a badge of the office he was to hold for the succeeding year, and was thereupon sworn in the Manks language by the senior Deemster upon the Holy Evangelist.
Thereafter my Lord Bishop, as a Baron of the Isle, did homage* to his Grace, and he and Mr. Archdeacon, and the Vicars-General, were severally sworn, and took the oath of fidelity to his Grace as Lord of the Isle.
Then proclamation was made that all owners of boats be ready to go to the herring fishing as soon as they shall have notice from the Admiral and Water Bailiff for that purpose.+
And then, all business being concluded, three great shouts or huzzas were made by the whole spectators, waving their hats in the air, and a general volley from the militia and soldiery followed. Then his Grace descended from the Mount, ushered and attended as before, and walked to a house + at some small distance, where a sumptuous entertainment was provided and served at different tables, at which a great number of people had the honour to dine. §
Upon his Grace approaching the door of the house, there was a general volley of the musketry, which was repeated on his Grace's entry into the house ; and in the evening his Grace returned to Castle Rushen with a very numerous attendance.
* Vide note supra, p. 108.
+ The Water Bailiff is the Admiralty Judge of the Island, and has the appointment of " The Admiral and Vice-Admiral," to whom he issues his instructions for the regulation of the herring fleet and the fishing. The office of Admiral is of great antiquity.
Various provisions were made relative to the herring fishery in an Act of Tynwald 1610, wherein it is stated, " It hath been the incessant care and regard of the government of this Isle always, when the season of such fishing falls out, and rather before, upon the Tynwald holden in June every year, to make open and public proclamation to the whole assembly of the island, to remind them to be careful in providing their boats and nets to be in readiness whensoever it pleaseth God to send them that blessing," and " that no person or persons whatsoever should attempt to shoot for the fish till after the sixteenth of July."
$ This house was probably that at Mullin-e-Clie, situated at a short distance south of the Tynwald Hill, that being the place of meeting for many years (subsequently at all events) of the authorities at Tynwald, and for holding Courts.
§ It appears this was not the only occasion when the good, things necessary for refreshment were provided for those assembled at St. John's on Tynwald days; for John, Duke of Atholl, on the 5th July 1822, entertained 180 persons in a large booth erected on the Fair field, at which, according to the published report, " a most excellent repast was provided, to which was added wines of the best quality and in hospitable abundance." The Duke came to the Tynwald in a carriage drawn by four horses, accompanied by Lieutenant-General Sir John Oswald, I.C.B., and other distinguished persons, and was escorted to the ground by the Manx Yeoman Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Corlett, where the Second Royal Veteran Company of Infantry, and a strong muster of the ancient Parochial Horse, commanded by Captain Cunninghame, were already drawn up.
To the Most Noble and Puissant Prince, JAMES, Duke of Atholl, Lord of Mann and the Isles, etc.
May it please your Grace,-
We, your Grace's most dutiful and obedient servants, the Officers and Deemsters of this your isle, do, with all humility and cheerfulness, beg leave to congratulate your Grace upon your accession to the Lordship of Man and the Isles, with their regality, devolved upon your Grace as your undoubted and rightful inheritance, and likewise to express our great joy upon your Grace's safe and happy arrival amongst us.
The confidence reposed in us before we were known to your Grace, by continuing us in our several employments, under your Grace's general instructions, justly claims our most humble thanks, and (if possible) a more faithful discharge of our duty both in our public and private stations. Begging leave to assure your Grace that, so long as we have the honour to serve your Grace, we shall to the utmost of our power execute our trust with integrity, both with regard to your Grace's prerogative and the good of your people. The care taken by us to preserve this your Isle in peace, at a time the authority of our offices had ceased, the ready and cheerful submission to your Grace's first commands, will better express the sense we had of our duty than the strongest words can do.
We must further acknowledge your Grace's great care in sending us so wise and prudent a gentleman as the Honourable James Murray to be our Governor, whose just and mild administration gives general satisfaction to your people, preserving the future happiness we hope to have in the enjoyment of our civil rights and liberties under your Grace's protection and government. May the same be long and prosperous, may it continue in your Grace's noble family to the end of time, and may peace, happiness, and tranquillity ever attend your Isle.
CHARLES MOORE, Deemsters.
WM. CHRISTIAN, Atty.-General.
ALLEN STANLEY, Water Bailiff.
CHAS. STANLEY, Recr.-General.
JOHN QUAYLE, Clerk of the Rolls.
* This Address was presented on Tuesday, June 15th, 1736, at Castletown
To the Most Noble His Grace JAMES, Duke of Atholl, Lord of Man and the Isles.
May it please your Grace,-
The Bishop and Clergy of this Diocese beg leave to congratulate your Grace's happy arrival in this your island, and we heartily pray that your Grace's presence may be attended with all the blessings of peace and dutiful obedience of its inhabitants.
And this we have reason to hope will be most effectually secured by your Grace's defending the honour of God in opposition to a spirit of infidelity and profaneness which hath of late got too much footing amongst us, and by maintaining the primitive discipline of the Church here established, which, when duly executed and encouraged, will be found the best means to avert the judgments of God by suppressing the growing vices of the age and defeating the attempts of such as wound the principles and deprave the morals of your people.
For our part we shall endeavour to recommend ourselves to your Grace's favour by discharging the duties of our proper calling. And we beseech the Father Almighty that after your Grace has long served the interests of God and of this nation, you may take possession of a better and an heavenly inheritance.
Tho., Sodor and Mann. John Kippax, Archdeacon.
John Wood, John Cosnahan, Vi.-Genls. Edward Moore, Official.
Matt'. Curghey, Rectr. of Kk. Bride. Wm. Bridson, Rectr. of Ballaugh. Will. Ross, A.M., Acad. Professor. J. Woods, Vi. of Kk. Malew. Wm. Gell, Vi. of Kk. Conchan. Joh. Christian, Vi. of Jarby. Hen. Allen, Vi. of Kk. Maughold. John Quayle, Vi. of Kk,. Arbory. Matthias Curghey, V. of Lezayer. Robert Radcliffe, V. of Kk. Patrick. Paul Crebbin, V. of Kk. St. Ann. Philip Moore, Chaplain of Douglas. Thos. Christian, Vicar of Kk. Marown. Nich. Christian, Curate of Rushen. Nath. Curghey, Curate of Kk. Lonan.
* This Address was presented on Friday, June 18th 1736, at Castletown.
The most humble Address of the Twenty-four Keys of Man.
* May it please your Grace,-
We, your Grace's most dutiful and most obedient servants, the representatives of the people of this your island, do, with all humility, beg leave to congratulate your safe arrival from the toil and danger of the seas. As also your Grace's accession to the regality and honours of your great and noble ancestors, to the universal joy and satisfaction of your people.
The exalted character your Grace has obtained of being a lover of justice and zealous assertor of the liberties and properties of mankind, leaves us no room to doubt but we shall abundantly enjoy that happiness under your auspicious protection and government, the benign influence whereof was early conspicuous in sending us so wise and prudent a gentleman as the Honourable James Murray to be our Governor, whose general administration gives satisfaction to your people; from all which we have great cause to hope that your Grace will, out of your great goodness, be pleased to put a finishing hand to the amendment of our laws which our late Right Honourable Lord was fully resolved on, + which will be a lasting obligation upon us and our posterity to support your Grace's just rights and prerogative, and to pray that your Grace's government may long continue over us, and that this Isle may, to the last period of time, be and remain in you and the heirs of your illustrious Family.
JON. STEVENSON, Speaker.
* This Address was presented on Saturday, June 19th, 1736, at Castletown.
+This alludes to a very important bill then pending, and which tended to the securing the liberty of the subject and the better government of the Isle, and received the Duke's assent before he left the Island, on the 12th August 1736. This act has been styled the Magna Charta of the Isle of Man.-Vide Mill's Statutes, p. 234.