Page images
PDF
EPUB

Man; but was answered, that.she must claim it of the King of Scotland, who then held it." John, her grandson, sued again for his right in parliament; but Edward the First said (as by the record), He might prosecute his title before the Justices of the King's Bench; let it be heard there, and let justice be done*.”. Afterwards, her grand-daughter, Mary, went to England with her deeds and charters, and threw herself at the feet of Edward the Third. The king not only afforded the Manks princess his generous protection, but gave her in marriage to her kinsmant, Sir William Montacute, whom Speed styles, the chief star in the firmament of England; for that he was magnanimous, offable, active, and generous; and that his merits had acquired him the esteem of the greatest of our Eng= lish monarchs.

The king gave Sir William soldiers and shipping to prosecute his lady's right; which he did so successfully, that in a short time he * reduced the island; and, in the year 1344, was crowned King of Man I.

In the year 1393, William Montacuțe, Earl of Salisbury, sold the Isle of Man to Sir William Scroop, chamberlain to the King of England, as appears by the record: “ Wilhelmus Le Scroop enit de Domino Wilhelmo Montacuto insulam Zubonia, id est, Manniæ: Est nempe jus ipsius insula, ut quisquis illius sit Dominus Rex vocetur, cui etiam fas est Corona Aurea coronari.

.. . 1. , * Gibson's Camden, p. 1059.

+ Sir William was of the royal family of Man.--Gib. Cam 1059. 14. Daniel, Stow, Gib. Cam., Antiq. Sarisburiensis. .!

Sir William, afterwards Earl of Wiltshire, having been attainted and beheaded for treason, the Isle of Man was granted by King Henry IV. to Henry Percy, Earl of Northum berland, by the following record : “ We, of our special grace, have given and granted to Henry, Earl of Northumberland, the isle, castle, peel, and lordship of Man, with all such islands and seignories thereunto belonging, as were Sir William le Scrope's, knight, deceased; whom in his life we conquered, and do declare to be conquered; and which by and reason of this our conquest fell to us. Which very conquest and decree, as touching the person of the said William, and all his lands, tenements, goods, and chattels, as well within as without the kingdom, are, at the petition of the Commons, and by consent of the Lords of Parliament, ratified and confirmed, &c. to have and to hold to the said Earl and his heirs, by service of carrying at every coronation day of us, and our heirs, either by himself in person, or by somesufficient or honourable deputy, that sword naked (which we wore when we arrived at Holderness), called Lancaster Sword”

Four years after the Earl of Northumber. land had obtained this grant, he was banished and attainted; and although the attainder was afterwards taken off, the earl was deprived of the island by act of parliament, and it was ordered to be seized for the king's use; but in the sixth of Henry the Fourth, the king made a grant of the island to the noble chevalier Sir John de Stanley (who had so eminently signai od himself throughout Europe) for life. Soon

17

afterwards, Sir John delivered up the grant to be cancelled, and the king, in consideration of the surrender, regranted the island to him, his heirs and successors, together with the castle and peel of Man, and all royalties, regalities, franchises, &c. with the patronage of the bishoprick, in as full and ample a manner, as it had been granted to any former king or lord, to be held of the crown of England, « per homagium legium,” paying to the king, his heirs and successors, a cast of falcons at their respective coronations, after such homage made, in lieu of all demands and customs whatsoever. -By the revesting act of the island under the British crown, the honorary service by the Duke of Atholl, of rendering to his Majesty and his successors two falcons at every coronation, is perpetuated, in consideration of the unique honours and privileges reserved by that august and noble family.)

Sir John de Stanley, King and Lord of Man, was succeeded by his son Sir John, who, on being crowned King of Man, in the year 1417, took possession of the island, and commenced his government conformably to the ancient laws and ordinances, as appears by the following constitution recorded in the Rolls-Office, in Castle Rushen*, in the year 1421. This record is dated in the ancient style of the court rolls, “ Anno quarto regalitatis nostræ ;" and is in the following words: “ Our doughtful and yracious Lord, this is the constitution of old time, the which we have given in our days,

* Castle Rushen was built by King Guttred, in the year 960. how ye should be governed on their Tynwald day. First, you shall come thither in your royal array, as a king ought to do by the prerogatives and royalties of the land of Man, and upon the Hill of Tynwald sit in a chair, covered with a royal cloth and cushions, and your visage unto the east, and your sword before you, holden with the point upward ; your barons, in the third degree, sitting beside you ; and your beneficed men, and your deemsters before you sitting; and your clerk, your knights, esquires, and yeomen about you in the third degree; and the worthiest men in your land to be called in before your deemsters, if you will ask any thing of them, and to hear the government of your land, and your will; and the commons to stand without the circle of the hill, with three clerks in their surplices; and your deemsters shall make call in your coroner of Glanfaba, and he shall call in all the coroners of Man, and their wands in their hands, with their weapons upon them, either sword or axe; and the moars, that is, to wit, of every sheading: Then the chief coroner, that is, the coroner of Glanfaba, shall make a fence upon pain of life or limb, that no man make any disturbance or stir in the time of Tynwald, or any murmer or rising in the king's presence, upon pain of hanging and drawing: And then shall let your barons and all other know you to be king and lord; and what time you were here you received the land as heir-apparent in your father's days, and all your barons of Man, with your worthies-men and commons, did you faith and fealty; and inasmuch as you are, by the grace of God, now king and lord of Man, ye will now that your commons come unto you, and shew their charters how they hold of you, and your barons that made, no faith or fealty unto you, that they make now;--and if any of your barons be out of the land, they shall have space of forty days after that they are called in, to come and shew whereby they hold and claim lands and tenements within your land of Man, and to make faith and fealty, if wind and weather serve them, or else to seize their temporalities in your hands : And then proceed in your matters, whatsoever you have there to do, in felony or treason, or other matters that touch your government of your land of Man." .

The ceremonies of this grand Tynwald Assembly being so solemnly and minutely arranged and settled, the record proceeds to explain the ancient laws and the duty of the people: The power and authority of the king's lieutenant. Restrictions from leaving the island without the king's or governor's license, which it is still requisite to obtain. The victualling and regulations of the garrisons. The powers of, and the laws relative to, the annos or coroners. The rules and orders for letting the king's lands. And, finally, the laws and punishment for treason against the king or his lieutenant ;-all of which being proclaimed, the multitude expressed their assent, by an universal acclamation, and retired.

With respect to the particular prerogatives of the ancient kings, or feudatory princes of Man, they undoubtedly possessed for many

« PreviousContinue »