THE water bayliffs is elected out of ye sufficientests of ye comonalty. Ye office of a water bayliff requireth a man yt is of an active spirit, for he hath divers offices included in this one. Generally, he is, as it were, admirall of ye Island. Hee is to keep a booke wherein he is to write downe all ye shipps and barques (yt is all, both great and small vessells) yt doe at any time come into ye Island, in any of ye havens, and to set downe wth wch loading they are freighted in, wt year, month, and daye.
His office is to seize upon all wrecks at sea, and upon all forfeited goods (to ye lords use) of any kinde.
He is to keep an inventory of all goods imported, and this inventory he is to shew to ye governor, who is to give him a coppy to carry to ye customer yt he may enter it into his booke.
He may take recognizances of ye peace (and returns them into ye clearke of ye Rolles office) in ye absence of ye higher officers ; but he cannot cothitt ye pty, yet he may raise ye county, etc.
If any man doe give ye water bayliff a penny to arrest any man for debt, if ye water bayliff neglect to pforme his duty, and ye pty doe escape out of ye Island, he is to pay the debt.
The water bayliff is to send to all ye ports to stay ye debtor, or any man else y~ shall offer to steal away out of ye Island
Mr. Chaloner saith yt the water bayliff, by his place, is by himselfe or his under officers, ye custothers of ye ports of Ramsay, Douglass, Darby Haven, and Peeltowne, to take up, and faithfully collect all ye customes for ingates and out-gates of goods. Alsoe It is his place, as he is admirall, to order all ye business for ye herring fishing, to see yt strangers and all other have no wrong done them during yt season, and to judge of and determine, by way of jury (w~ is called an admirail quest), of all matters between party and party in matters of sea-fairing businesses. He is to give out cocketts of goods yt shall be exported, and to take notice and cognizance of cocketts from other parts of any goods as shall be imported, and thereof to make a certificate at ye suit or request of ye merchant.
Of all wrecks at sea he is likewise to take care of, yt they bee disposed of for ye lords proffitt, and to make returnes of his proceedings therein to ye controwler yt they may bee recorded, and ye conditions thereof made put out in charge.
In this last pticuler ye lords atturneys care is likewise required, and ye business may be done by either of them, as it lyes in their quarters, or way where they shall come.