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early constitution and laws, unaffected by the various revolutions which have taken place in the adjacent kingdoms. This very circumstance, it might fairly have been expected, would have roused the spirit of curiosity ; but if it ever has produced this effect, the public have not reaped the fruits. The means of information are in consequence very limited, for (with the exception of a valuable alphabetical arrangement of the Statutes and Ordinances of the Island, by the present Clerk of the Rolls), they are confined to the legislative body in the Island, the legal practitioners, and to such persons as by actual residence have the power of attending the Courts, and of examining the various records that are to be met with. It is therefore evident that a compilation of the insular Laws, and some history of the Constitution, is much required ; and that, if executed with tolerable accuracy, it would form a valuable accession to the stores of legal lore accumulated in our own country. During a residence of some length in the Isle of Man, the Author of the following “ VIEW OF MANKS JURISPRUDENCE” attended the Courts, and collected a great variety of facts on these points, which he has been since induced to arrange and condense into the form in which he now ventures to lay it before the pu
blic. With all the anxious solicitude inséparable from such an undertaking, the Author
fondly hopes, that he may meet the wishes of I those who have fostered this Work, and, thať
whatever may be its defects, inaccuracy, will not be found in their number,
To the public at large, whose interests are not immediately affected by its object, he offers it as a curious relict of antiquity ;-by the professors of the law in the united empire, he presumes to hope it will be considered not only curious but useful.
Should this “ View of Manks Jurisprudence" produce the ends which the Author of it has proposed to himself, the first wish of his heart will be fulfilled, and he will delight in having sacrificed his feelings for the advancement of general and useful knowledge.
The Author cannot conclude these prefatory remarks, without expressing his deep obligations to those professional Gentlemen whose encouragement cheered, and whose assistance softened his labours. It were the height of ingratitude to omit the name of the Honourable Thomas Stowell, the Clerk of the Rolls in the Isle of Man, whose talents, erudition, consummate knowledge of the language, customs, and laws of his native soil, and, above all, his unbounded benevolence, eminently qualified him
to aid and direct those efforts by which the present volume was produced.
To John Cæsar Gelling, and John Llewellyn, Esquires, the Author begs leave to make this public acknowledgement for the readiness with which they afforded much valuable information.
Of the ancient Laws and Constitution of the Isle
of Man, with reference to the authority of the Druids; and the prerogatives of its Kings and Lords.
The laws and institutions of Cæsar's Mona * derive their origin from the aristocratical learning of the Druids, in the remote periods of Celtic antiquity,
It is asserted by historians, that, in the year 277, Mona, being then under the dominion of Scotland, Cratilinth, a thane of that kingdom, was sent from thence to take upon hímself the crown t.
* Called Monabia by Pliny, Menow by the ancient Britons, Manning by the natives... Camden. And Eubonia by Buchang BN. + Hector Boethius, A. B. Spottiswood, lib. 1. fo. 3,
memory a great number. of verses, insomych
On his arrival in the island, he found the country entirely under the control of the Druids; who, since the time of their having been driven from Anglesey by the Romans, about the year 60*
*, had acquired, by their superstitious rites and ceremonies, their philosophical learning t, and moral conversation, the greatest influence and authority over the people, by whom they were held in high respect and veneration.
Although the Druids celebrated human sacrifices, and performed their religious rites in groves, sacred to the oak, from whence, according to Pliny; they were called Druids yet they taught that there was only one God, and that it was not lawful to represent him in any image; that the souls of men did not perish with their bodies, but that, after death, they were rewarded according to their works.
The Druidical institution first took rise in Britain, and passed from thence into Gaul ; so that they who aspired to be thorough masters of that learning, were wont to resort to Britain. Such as were to be initiated among the Druids, were obliged to commit to their
* Bishop Wilson
+ Mona, or Eybonia, was the fountain of learning and eru. dition, and was the royal academy for educating the heirs.apparent of the crown of Scotland.-Boethius and Hollingshed.
# The etymology of the word is doubted by the learned.. Go. ropius Becanus says, that Druid is derived from the British or Celtic words tru and wis, siguifying a wise man: The Druids are believed to be the same order as the Eastern Magi. Brown, in his Dissertation about the Mona of Cæsar and Tacitus, demonstrates that the Druids came from the East, and that the Isle of Man is Cæsar's Mona