- Overview of Land Records
- Overview of Land Types
- Land Ownership & Transfer
- Overview of Rents and Fines
- Manx officials before 1700
- Land records and genealogy
Major land divisions
The only types of land which are consistently given unique names in the records are sheadings, baronies, parishes and treens. The Isle was divided up into sheadings each of which comprised two or three parishes. Sheadings were ancient administration districts and each held its own Court for the Lord's tenants. Whilst most land was rented from the Lord, some was held instead from one of the several Baronies on the Island. These Baronies (which also each held its own Court) might contain land from multiple parishes. Treens were ancient groupings of farmland and a typical parish contained around a dozen treens.
The Sheadings of the Isle of Man are named:
- Ayre (traditionally consisting of the parishes of Andreas, Bride and Lezayre)
- Glenfaba (traditionally consisting of the parishes of German and Patrick)
- Michael (traditionally consisting of the parishes of Michael, Jurby and Ballaugh)
- Rushen (traditionally consisting of the parishes of Rushen, Arbory and Malew)
- Middle (traditionally consisting of the parishes of Braddan, Marown and Santan)
- Garff (traditionally consisting of the parishes of Lonan, Maughold and Conchan)
The former three sheadings were referred to as the North Side and the latter three the South Side. Each half had its own Deemster (effectively a judge) and Vicar General and (presumably as a consequence) there were several minor differences between the law and record keeping of the North and South. Each half also had its own castle, Castle Peel for the North and Castle Rushen for the South. (One of the traditional duties of the Lords tenants was provisioning his castles and I speculate that it is their association with these castles which sustained the North/South distinction.) An adminstrative change in 1796 caused certain parishes to change designation between North and South.
The major property records (specifically the Libri Assedationis and Libri Vastarum as well as the corresponding Baronial Court records) are organised by parish and within that identify property only by its type and rent. Although the Libri Assedationis list all property in a consistent order, the Libri Vastarum are unordered. The different land types are:
A quarterland is a unit of farm land of around 40 to 150 acres in size. The vast proportion of the best arable land falls into this category and the Isle of Man contains about 770 quarterlands in total. The boundaries of the quarterlands are ancient and predate the earliest records considered here. The name presumably reflects the fact that a typical treen compromised of four quarterlands (and a quarter originally being a measure of land size). In the Libri Assedationis and Libri Vastarum quarterlands appear under the heading of the treen of which they are part.
Cottages relates to specific plots (almost entirely) in towns and villages which was designated as Cottage Land in ancient times (pre 1500)
A number of tenant corn mills appear in the oldest records and are designated as Firma Molend (Farm Mills in Latin). Over time new mills were built. If licenced as mills these were added to records under this heading. Otherwise they would be labelled as Intacks.
All licenced lands not falling into one of the above categories was labelled intack. New intacks were created by applying to the Lord or Man or his representative for a licence to enclose a parcel of waste land. After receiving this, it would need to be viewed by the Great Enquest of the Sheading (which would verify the quantity of the land and ensure that roads, water-courses and the like were not restricted) and then considered at a Sheading Court (which would set an annual rent upon it). Once all of this was done it would be added to the Rents Roll for the parish. The occupant was now a tenant of the Lord and had tenure.
Certain intacks adjoined to quarterlands were easements (eg access routes to those quarterlands) and were known as Intacks of Ease. These were at times treated as quarterlands rather than Intacks for the purposes of inheritance.
Wasteland was generally designated Firm Vast and is mentioned frequently in early Libri Vastarum. It could be utilised, however the occupant was expected to pay a fee to the Lord for the use of his land. The occupant was not considered a tenant of the Lord and such land does not appear in the Setting Book (Liber Assedationis) after 1644. Over time such land was gradually enclosed and converted to Intacks.
The feudal lord was the Lord of Man, and most of the land was rented directly from him. A proportion (around 15%) was however held by the Lord's Barons, each of which had their own tenants and administrations. These Barons were originally the heads of certain Church institutions (such as the Abbot of Rushen Abbey), but following the Dissolution of the religious houses in the mid 16th century the Baronies passed into other hands. According to Manx Society Pub XXXI the number of quarterlands of the different types are as follows:
Lord's Land 639 1/2 Abbey Lands (Barony of Rushen Abbey and the Nunnery) 99 1/2 Bishop's Barony 19 1/4 Barony of Bangor and Saball 7 Barony of St Trinians 5
A breakdown of rents of the Barony and Lord's land is given below. With the exception of the doubling of quarterland rents in 1704, the stated rents paid by Lord's tenants were unchanged from (at least as far back as) the early sixteenth century onwards. This does not necessarily apply to Baronies however and the figures below should only be taken as correct for the stated period. There were also differences between customary obligations (rents in kind) Lord's and Barony tenants. These customary obligations are not included below.
The Lord and Barons also had demenses (their own untenanted land). This included uncultivated Wast land, some of which was later enclosed and rented out by the Lord.
This is the land originally held by the Abbot of Rushen Abbey and the Prioress of the Nunnery. It is by far the largest Barony. The rents below are taken from from Abbey Rents bundles which shows them to be consistent between 1644 and 1674.
Kirk Malew Total land rent 53l 18s 11d Kirk German Total land rent 13l 6s Sulby in Kirk Lezayre Total land rent 11l 8s Skinsco in Kirk Lonan Total land rent 2l 19s 2d Kirk Braddan Total land rent 8l 9s 2d Trinity Rushen Total land rent 1l 10s
Bishop's Barony: Farms
This is the land held by the Bishop. The quarterland rents below are taken from a published source (Talbot) and were extracted by him from from circa 1580 records which I have yet to examine. I have omitted the cottage rents.
KK Jurby Bretney 17s 4.5d Loughan y Voadey 5s Ballagarraghyn 10s Ballagaye 8s Kerroo Creii 7s Cooil Doo 4s Rendoo 10s Ballalig 11s Ballachristy 7s KK Braddan Ballaoates 7s Ballacregga 4s Ballaquirk 10s Ballaughton 11s Ballafletcher 21s 8d KK Marown Ballakilley 24s Cooilingel 10s KK Patrick Ballabrooii 10s Ballaspict 11s 4d KK German Ballakilmoiry 10s
Barony of Bangor and Saball
This contains the land originally held by the Abbeys of Bangor and Saball. The associated Baronial Court of 8th May 1603 (Liber Bangor and Sabal) helpfully gives a full list of the tenants, their rents and customs and this is set down below. The columns are rent followed by the customary obligations counted in number of hens, boon days and carriages of turf respectively. It would appear that on average each unit of quarterland was required to deliver 3 hens and 9 boon days (in addition to 1 carriage of turf per shilling of rent).
KK Patrick 7s 6d 1 3 7.5 11s 6d 1 3 11.5 12d 1 3 1 10s 1 3 10 9s 1.5 4.5 9 10s 2 6 10 10s 2 6 10 5s 3d 1 3 5 5s 3d 1 3 5 10s 3d 2 6 5 3s 2 6  20s 2 6 20 5s 3d 1 3 5 10s 1 3 10 9s 1.5 4.5 9
Barony of St Trinians
The above mentioned Baronial Court (1603 Liber Bangor and Sabal) gives a full list of the tenants of this Barony also. Here the customary rent would appear to be 2 hens, 3 boon days and 20 carriages of turf per unit quarterland. The names and parishes of the lands are not given in this record. The rents remained unchanged however and I have used the later records of the Baronial Court (Barony of St Trinians 1785-1916) to assign names and subsequently parishes to the rents. The quarterlands are contiguous.
KK German Ballachurry 9s 1 1.5 10 Ballachurry 7s 1 1.5 10 KK Marown Botchen 13s 4d 2 3 20 Rock 13s 2 3 20 Ballavitchel 10s 2 3 20 Ballaglanney 9s 6d 2 3 20
Lord's Land: North Side Farms
The treens of the North Side Parishes together with the rents of their constituent quarterlands are given below. This list uses the spellings and order given in the 1606 Liber Assedationis and is based on my transcription (which may contain errors). Many different spellings for the treen names appear in the records. The order in which treens and quarterlands and their associated rents occasionally changed also. Many of the treen names have simple derivations in Manx and some occur multiple times.
Kirk Patrick Dalby 21s 19s 4d 19s 7d 17s 7.5d Alia Julby 20s 16s 2d 19s 6d 19s 6d 3s 9d Raby 24s 19s 18s 6d 21s 4d 14d 8d Gurdon 27s 5d 17s 27s 8d 24s 8d Knockaloe 23s 28s 6d Ballymore 24s 24s 26s 8d 21s 4d Foxedaill 14s 14s 8d 8s 9d 8s 2d 8s 6d 12s 7s 6d 12s 4d Ballahorke 12s 11s 2d 2s 8d Glenrushen 9s 3s 4d Kirk German Ballykebaye 15s 4d 9s 6d 8s 6d 15s Ballytersin 25s 4d 2d 16d 11s Sandall 15s 4d 19s 4d 16s 20s 4d Sandall 14s 8s 14s 8d 15s 6d 13s Knabe 10s 13s 6d 17s 8d 9s 8d 4s Lambsall 22s 25s 8d 8s 2d 5s 6d Alia knooke 16s 13s 6d 10s 8d 13s Acrody 5s 16s 4d Ballydonnaghan 11s 11s 4d 14s 18s Ballydoyne 13s 4d 34s 10d 2s 4d 17s Kirk Michael Ballycrnane 26s 8d 26s 8d 14s Balyster 20s 16s 7s 6d 21s 8d 3s 4d Shalghagh 17s 6d 14s 10d 31s 6d Balycane 24s 8d 17s 4d 15s 7s Camall 27s 19s 8d 24s 6d Barrickmore 33s 2d 22s 4d 18s Dromrewaiye 18s 4d 16s 17s 8s 10s Ballyfaden 18s 6d 18s 6d 18s 6d 14s 4s Nerlogher 27s 8d 16s 4d 24s 8d 12d Oristell 14s 9d 15s 8s 9d 15s 8d Leyrey 37s 17s 6d Rencullen 18s Ariarkell 7s 8d Kirk Ballaugh Brogard 25s 14s 6d 27s 4d Ballyskebaye 28s 8d 21s 14s 4d 12d Ballymore 17s 21s Ardurke 6s 8d Ballymony 20s 10d 21s 22s 7s 6d 12s 2s 6d 15s 4d (continued next line) 4s 4d 2s 8d 2s 8d 18d 2s Ballycane 20s 8d 18s 18s 6d 21s 2s 8d Ballytensin 17s 13s 6d 20s 4d 13s 8d Ballykally 21s 8d 20s 6d 17s 20s 12d 16d Carnedall 17s 17s 20s 10d 16s 4d Cannedall 15s 11d 21s 3d 21s 22s Kirk Jurby Sertfell 17s 42s 8d Knordevaill 10s 4d 10s 4d 15s 4d 20s 17s Loz Solby 17s 18s 8d Sclarkby 8d 12s 6d 15s 4d 12s 8d 17s 2d 27s Dalyott 9s 2d 9s 4s 4d 10s 9s 3d Kirk Andreas Kaby 18s 2d 20s 18s 18s Oraby 27s 8d 24s 2d Mullentowne 16s 8d 11s 11s 10d 13s 6d Ballyhostine 41s 18s 18s Gilcanght 25s 26s 1d 17s 1d Leodest 17s 6d 17s 20s 17s Alia Leodest 15s 4d 13s 6d 17s 6d 17s Ballymarre 16s 8d 19s 12s 8d 14s 8d Ballydaughy 8s 3d 11s 6d 24s 7d 16s Smeall 21s 19s 21s 15s 6d Ballytann 13s 4d 13s 4d Sueolekegge 24s 6d 24s 6d 19s 5s 6d Branstall 26s 6d Ballilingge 32s 9d 11s 4d 22d Ballaquarres 17s 7d 37s 3d 9s 9d 9s 14d Ballyneage 23s 21s 6d 23s 4d 22s 4d 2s Kirk Bride Sandall 26s 2d 18s 6d 9s 2d 18s Ballymon 21s 4d 21s 7d 21s 8d 20s Broricke 23s 8d 34s 37s 4d Cranstall 33s 3d 17s 6d 16s 10d Cranstall 16s 4d 16s 4d 16s 4d 17s 4d Cranstall 16s 4d 16s 4d 10s 7d 8s Ballykennaige 9s 10d 9s 10d 26s 8d 25s 10s 2d Rausey 14s 4d 8s 6d Crostymore 13s 4d 10s 6d 22s 14s 14s 2s 4d 9s 6d 9s 6d Crostikegg 15s 6d 8s 8d 8s 8d 20s 19s 6d Gueate 14s 6d 11s 2d 25s 6d 13d Kirk Lezayre Solby 14s 13s 2d 16s 10d 26s 4d 14s 4d 19s 14s Brericke 24s 8d 24s 8d 27s Alia Solby 28s 8d 26s 22s 24s Alia Solby 31s 6d 28s 21s 6d Alkost 23s 4d 22s 4d 17s 8d 17s 8d 5s 8d 16s 3s 4d Orrest 19s 4d 17s 8d 23s 10s 6d 28s 4d Corrackes 22s 27s 6d 5s 2d 7d 14d Awste 20s 18s 4d 22s 17s 6d
Lord's Land: South Side Farms
The treens of the South Side Parishes together with the rents of their constituent quarterlands are given below. This list uses the spellings and order given in the 1686 and 1687 Libri Assedationis and is based on my transcription (which may contain errors). As before many different spellings for the treen names appear in the records, and the order in which treens and quarterlands and their associated rents occasionally changed also. Many of the treen names have simple derivations in Manx and some occur multiple times.
Trinity Rushen Fishgarth 31s 24s 23s 4d 2s 13s 4d Glendowne 11s 4d 10s 10d 17s 5s 8d Lignes 12s 3d 22s 8d 6s Dromney 17s 51s 4d Shendoile 7s 14s 8d 24s 8d 21s 8d 20s 10d (?) Bradda 16s 16s 16s 16s Saurebii 13s 10d 12s 11s 4d 25s 8d 12s 4d 13s 13s Kentragh 3l 5s Kk Sansan 11s 9s 22s 6d 34s 10d Scaldaby 22s 22s 12s 4d 12s 2d 13s 4d 9s 6d Ballakilpatr 22s 6d 19s 4d 21s 10d 22s 6d 12d Renwill 2s 4d Scard 29s 2d Legan 5s 8d Le Calf 26s 8d Kirk Arbory Balladoole 56s 8d 16s 8d 3l Bemaccan 20s 34s Garymore 2s 12d Ardarry 12s 8d 14s 10d 16s 4d 14s 8d 10d Ballafaddan 11s 8d 14s 2d 19s 10d 5s 4d 5s 4d 11s 14s 4d 10s 8d Sestraw 21s 7s Arissinock 6s 6s 1d 12s 6d 9s 8d 18d 9s 9d 6d Aristine 19s 17s 13s 8d 16s 6d 3s 4d Colby 24s 21s 4d 9s 4d 7s 6d 11s 11s 4d Ballacarmich 18s 8d 31s 2d 18s 8d Kirk Malew Arrennaccii 18s Greneby 8s 6d 13s 4d 19s 10d 22s 2d Totnamby 26s 8d 8s 8d Comissarry 13s 23s 3l Lough 13s 4d KK Michell 15s 29s 6d 18s 18d 15s Warfoild 7s 4d 14s 2d 9s 4d 19s 6d 12s Scarlett 24s 6d 7s 7s 6d 3l 6s 8d 2s --- 28s 18s 2s 6d 46s 8d 22s 8s 2d --- 4s 8d Kirk Santon Haw 3s 4d 3s 10d 16s 21s 8d Mearii 13s 26s Grenickle 7s 8d 16s 2d 7s 8d 12s 10d 11s 2d Knockshemigg 16s 4d 13s 8d 13s 2d 6s 6s 16d 2s 3d Bendoile 9s 2d 25s 11s Saudrabrick 13s 8d 8s 2d 6s 8d Corbrick 10s 10d 11s 8d 7s 9s 6d Arsrogaine 23s 21s 13s 7d 14s 6d 11s 6d Knockaloughan 18s 4d 9s 8d 10s Kirk Marown Ballaknickle 13s 13s 7s Sandbrick 11s 4d 20s 4s 8d 10s 2d 11s Candall 13s 10d 10s Glenlough 6s 4d 19s 8d 12s 8d 5s 8d Glenigils 9s Trolby 15s 10d 13s 4d 10s 10d 6s 2d Ballatenson 10s 4d 10s 6d 3s 4d 13s 1d 9s 6d Ballaydaman 13s 10d 11s 4d 6s 8d 12s 10d Kirk Braddan Baldallbrene 13s 13s 13s 10s 6d 9s 6d 12s 4d 2s 6d Ballakristrie 12s 6d 9s 16s 9s 8d 15s 2d Baldalregnilt 9s 8s 8d 19s 15s 4d 13s Castleward 42s 14s 8d 9s 8d Camlorge 13s 4d 27s 7s 8d 5s 4d 17s Testraw 12s Vlist 9s 10s 6d 13s 12s 8d 15d 12s 8d Middle 30s 6s 9d 16s 6d 7s 4d Gresby 13s 6d 8s 8d 12s 11s 6d 10s 6d 11s 6d All Gresby 20s 6d Kirk Conchan Douglas 7s 8d 29s 28s Tromode 15s 4d 16s 4d 13s 4d 13s 4d Tremessary 12s 6d 12s 5s 6d 14s Begoade 5s 8d 12s 11s 4d 16s All Begoade 15s 17s Byballoe 14s 10d 8d 2d 13s Slekiby 13s 9s 17s 22s 19s Horalell 20s 8d 8s Hawstraike 53s 4d Kirk Lonan Grettest 15s 14s 4d 2s 13s 17s Hegnes 25s 6d 8s 11s 6d Colby 5s 10d 10s 8s 8d 17s 6d 20d All Colby 11s 16s 6d 13s 4d 9s 15s 4d Amogary 22s 13s 18d Swanthave 12s 14s 10s 8d 9s Grauffe 11s 6d 13s 8d 10s 2s 9s 6d Rauffe 17s 14s 6d 13s 12s 4d Morrest 13s 15s 11s 15s Shonest 8s Brandall 17s 4d 8s 8s Rabii 14s 4s 17s 6d 13s All Rabii 19s 4d 19s 4d 6s 6s Rigge 36s 10d Kirk Maughold Ballure 26s 7d 26s 27s 27s 4d Lewaige 22s 15s 13s Ballagill 14s 6d 17s 6d 16s 16s Ballfayle 22s 7d 25s 8d Ballashebagg 15s 16s 16s 4d 14s Ramsey 8s 8d 6d 12d 12d 12d 12d (continued next line) 8d 8d 8d 12d 12d Connamore 19s 8d 15s 10s 6d Connabegg 25s 14s 6d 19s 6d 7s 5d 3s 13s 6d Cardall 23s 20s 19s 2d 14s 6d Rencullen 8s Balltenson 24s 16s 6d 16s 6d 18s