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The Coroner is the chief keeper of the peace, and is authorised and obliged to arrest any one who breaks it. He is also to take care that the Governor's arrests be put into execution. He has the impanelling of all juries, the care of executing the sentences of the courts of law; and some other civil duties to perform: but he does not in any instance act as judge. The bailiffs are his officers'; and the constables are peace officers.*
* This and the succeeding Chapters of the Second Part are chiefly founded upon “ The Statute Laws of the Isle of Man,” a literal copy, with a very few exceptions, of the original Statute book, published at Douglas in 1797, now scarce; and upon information which I derived from Captain Quilliam of His Majesty's Navy, and Mr. Cosnahan, Mepibers of the House of Keys.
On the Revenue.
As the purpose of a government is, or ought to be, to maintain order in society, to protect the inhabitants from domestic disturbance, or the invasion of a foreign foe; so ought the people to contribute, according to their means, to the support of such a government.
The revenue of a country is public property, and should be devoted exclusively to purposes of public benefit.
The laws of society, being founded upon general utility, have little to do with those of nature; and justice enters little into war. The modern laws of civilized nations are so much ameliorated, that the inhabitants of a conquered country retain their private property: Formerly their land and themselves were both seized by the invaders. We find Godred Crovan taking possession of the lands of Man and granting them to his soldiers on certain conditions. From this period, perhaps before, the possessors of the soil
were the Lord's tenants, paying him a rental; and are frequently so termed in the statutes. The rental bad for so long a time remained unaltered that people thought, while they continued to pay them, that they had a right to the soil; and one of the lords, endeavouring in the seventeenth century to eject some of them, caused discontents which terminated in an act of settlement or compact between the Lord and his people in the year 1703, wherein the tenures are, on certain fines or rentals, confirmed to the possessors. Thus, though the seizing of lands by the conqueror was no better than a robbery, yet have long usage, and especially the above-mentioned agreement, secured to the Lord-proprietor, and his heirs, for ever, the right of a certain revenue, amounting to fourteen hundred pounds, Manks currency, for his and their individual use.
All money, either for public services not specified, or for the benefit of the Lord, his mane, rial rights, a few fees, fines, and prerogatives excepted, arose from a duty on imports and exports, the most just of taxes, whenever the pubļic good requires them, and less felt by the people than any other. By whose authority it was levied we cannot tell, most probably by that of
the lord alone. The statute wherein it is first mentioned is dated 1577, and though it does not appear that the Deemsters and Keys were consulted upon the occasion, yet the note at the end would imply that they were, did we not learn by a subsequent act of 1736, that they were not consulted on a similar occasion in 1692. I suppose this order or first book of rates to be rather intended to ascertain or settle what were doubtful than to enact new ones. To shew the reader the duties of those days, when money was a scarce commodity, the record is here annexed.
“The rates of the Customs at every port within the Isle of Man, allowed and confirmed by the Right Honourable Henry, Earl of Derby, Lord of the said Isle. Given the 28th of June, Anno Domini 1577.
s. d. The merchant stranger shall pay for every pognd in silver he shall take forth of the Isle............. 0 hocholt to be forth of the
24 Ale, the barrel......
.... 0 14 Ash timber, the 100. ...
................. 0 6 Alum the 100 ........
. 02 Anchorage, a ship, bark or prickard, with a cock-boat o 8
....... without a cock-boat o 4 Barley, the bowle, in the bulk of the stranger. ...... 0 ! In cask the barley.....
.................. 02 Barley in bulk, the bowle of the Isle .............. O
Barley in cask, the barrel. .......
........... broad, the dozen ....