From Manx Soc vol. 19


THE following account is taken from an old MS., formerly in the possession of Stevenson of Balladoole, in the Isle of Man, and was probably written by one of that family, mentioned in the manuscript, giving a detailed narrative of James, Duke of Atholl, and his suite's embarking at Liverpool on board the ship " Prince William," commanded by Captain Richmond, on the 9th June 1736, to take possession of His Grace's newly acquired territories of the Isle of Man, and his reception by the inhabitants.

It may be as well here to state in what way the Atholl family came to be Lords of Man in place of that of Stanley, who had for so long a time been Kings and Lords thereof. This is best done in the words of James Gell, Esq., Her Majesty's Attorney-General of the Isle of Man, as given in Pair's Abstract of the Laws, vol. i. 95-96. Manx Society, 1867.

"Earl James II., the tenth Earl of Derby, died on the 1st February 1736, in the 34th year of his reign as Lord of Man, leaving no issue surviving him. He was the last Lord of the House of Stanley. James, the second Duke of Atholl, and first Lord of Man of the House of Murray, succeeded his first cousin once removed (the relationship styled in the Isle of Man 'first and second cousin'), James II., the tenth Earl of Derby, and thirteenth Lord of Man of the House of Stanley, on the 1st February 1736. He was the third son of John, first Duke of Atholl (the two elder sons had died without issue), which John was the eldest son of Amelia Anna Sophia, wife of John, first Marquis of Atholl, and third daughter of James I, the seventh Earl of Derby, and tenth Lord of the House of Stanley (her two elder sisters had left no issue). Duke James was therefore the great-grandson of Earl James I., being 'James, Earl of Derby, who was beheaded at Bolton' (15th October 1651). There being a failure of male issue of William I, the sixth Earl of Derby and ninth Lord, and of his son James I, the seventh Earl of Derby and tenth Lord, and all issue of the sons of James I. being extinct, Duke James succeeded to the Lordship of Man as heir-general or 'right heir' of Earl James I, by virtue of the limitation contained in the Act of Parliament of James I.

" Duke James, soon after his accession, appointed James Murray, Esq., Governor, and, on the 9th March 1735-6, issued instructions for continuing in their respective places the officers, civil and military, etc. The idea, that by the death of the preceding Lord, all places, civil and military, in the said Isle, do become void,' is started, I believe, for the first time in these instructions, and the correctness of the allegation may well be doubted. An examination of the records leads me to the conclusion that by the common law of the Island, on all changes in the sovereignty or supreme government, the officers continued in their respective places until superseded by the new Lord or Government, or until the will of the new Lord or Government was known."

The account enters very minutely into every incident connected with the Duke's first visit to the Island, and gives a particular account of his holding a Tynwald Court at St. John's on midsummer day, which is the more curious, as it is the first detailed report we have of the proceedings of the legislature in Tynwald assembled, with a description of the locality, as newspapers were not published in the Island at that date; the account is here published for the first time. The various Addresses, which were presented on the occasion, are given at the end of the account, and are from the same MS.

W. H.


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