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have been tarred previously to the passing of this act was, nevertheless, very properly permitted.
The herring fishermen from various parts of the island having petitioned for some general regulations respecting the casting of nets, it was enacted, in the year 1794, that they should in future be shot from the starboard side of the boat. Offenders are to be fined in a sum not exceeding five pounds, and are to enter into a surety of fifty pounds for their future good behaviour.
In 1711, a severe law passed against the smuggling trade with England, the Legislature expecting that " in consideration thereof, and the poverty of the island, the English Government would grant some encouragement to their trade, agriculture, and manufactories." The act was passed, in compliance with a request of the Commissioners of her Majesty's customs : but the British Parliament, not paying any attention to a petition of the inhabitants of Man for a free trade with Britain, it was repealed two years afterwards, the Manks government apprehending that “ by a continuance thereof would soon ensue the misery and decay of this land, and the inhabitants thereof, under which , they could no longer support themselves.” The act was therefore suspended till their petition should be granted ; and, consequently, has not been since in force. In 1726, the exportation of salt to Great Britain was prohibited, under, I know not why, the penalty of thirty pounds for every offence. I have already said that trade is now carried on under the regulations of the British Legislature, and have nothing to add upon the subject. One thing I may repeat, that distilleries are forbidden, under the penalty of two hundred pounds for every offence, and of all the implements used in the process.
The first limitation of interest was made in 1649, when 10 per cent per annum was the greatest rate allowed. A contract for a higher rate was only so far invalid as respected the excess. But, fifty years afterwards, at which time interest was reduced to 6 per cent, any contract for a higher sum was not only declared to be usurious and utterly void, but subjected the lender to a forfeiture of treble the amount to the Lord of the Isle ; and thus stands the law at
Under the head of cheating, I have only one
offence to mention, that of selling goods by fraudulent weight or measure. The offender is to be fined 10s. for the first offence; 20s. for the second; 31. for the third ; and 51. for every subsequent one ; or suffer one month's imprisonment. The High-bailiff is required to examine the weights used within his district four times in the year. The parties do not undergo any form of trial : but an execution is levied by the Governor, on a proper representation of the case being made, in writing, by the High-bailiff* to the regulator of weights and measures, at Castletown. The fines are to be divided in certain portions among the Officers, required to carry the act into execution.*
To forestall, is to buy provisions coming to market, either by land or water; or to make such agreement as to prevent their coming. To regrate, is to buy corn in one fair or market, and to re-sell it either in the same fair or market, or within four miles of it. To ingross is to buy, not being at market, corn, reaped or standing, or any other victuals not having life, for the purpose of re-selling them within the island. The punishment for any of these offences is the
+ Statute-book, 1777.
forfeiture of the goods, or their value, to the Lord.* Against monopoly no provision appears ever to have been made. · Against public health there is only one legal offence, that of selling unwholesome meat. On being exposed for sale it is to be seized by the proper officer, and either distributed among the poor or burned.
The number of alehouses being very great, and supposed to be injurious to the community, was, 1734, limited to two hundred ; but soon afterwards increased to three hundred, its present number.
A person marrying a couple in any manner contrary to law, if a native, is to be transported for fourteen years to soine of his Majesty's plantations in America; if an alien, is to be put into the pillory for an hour, have his ears cutoff, be imprisoned, fined in a sum not exceeding fifty pounds, and banished. Prosecutions for the offence, the offender continuing in the island, must be commenced within three years. This act, passed in 1757, is the first that inflicts the punishment of transportation. Making a false
* Statute.book, 1637.
entry, or altering an entry in the parish register with evil intent, is a crime punishable by death.
For bigamy or polygamy there was not in England, until the reign of James the First, any other punishment than ecclesiastical censure, and this is still the case in Man. The second marriage is null, and the children consequently illegitimate.
The punishment for witchcraft was burning to death, as in England, but not by any statute law. I do not know whether it was ever inflicted.*
I come now to speak of those offences, which in a more peculiar way affect or injure individuals.
For suicide the only punishment is the for. feiture of property.
Of the various species of homicide, none short of murder is rendered criminal. The punishment for this offence is capital, death and the forfeiture of property.
For a rape, the punishment is capital, unless the woman be unmarried. In this case she has
* Chaloner, page 20.