- Lease Book Overview
- Composition Book Overview
- Leases before 1643
- Leases 1643-1704
- Stray Compositions
- Knowsley Hall
- Derby Papers
- Atholl Papers
- Castle Rushen Papers
- Ellesmere Papers
- Bridge House Papers
- Pennant Papers
This sequence of document are referred to covering page as the Books of the Exchequer. They begin in 1580 and appear to primarily record the business of the Exchequer Court. Details of the Tynwald Court (the 24 keys) are also included within them. I have also seen occasional records of other Courts such as the Martial Court and the Court of Gaol Delivery, which could have erroneously entered here by the scribe.
I have not explored this record series in detail and the observations below may not relate to the wider series. The bulk of the records which I examined related to presentments. Many would appear to cases referred by lower courts for sentences (usually fines) to be imposed.
The records are divided up into books by year. (Having only examined these on microfilm, I am unclear whether these booklets exist loose or bound together.) I have looked most closely at the records for 1600-1611 and the following comments are based on these. A typical booklet might consist of 50 (single-sided) pages. The pages are commonly numbered.
Each yearly bundle has a coverpage with a short latin summary. This explains that the document is the book of the exchequer for the period between the feast of St Michael the Archangel (29 September) for the previous year and the same date for the current year. On the first inside page is given a list of the 24 keys. There are sometimes notes associated with the names recording such things as changes, fines for non-attendance or reasons for absence.
The bulk of the each Liber Scaccarii is made of the records of the sittings of the Courts. Each such sitting of the Exchequer Court is preceded by an introduction in latin. This introduction is highly structured and gives just the name of the court, its location and date and concludes with the names of the officers attending. A typical introduction of this type is the follows extract from the 1600 Liber Scaccarii: Cur Exchequer [tent?] apd Cast Rushen xiii die Novembirs Ao prd Coram Edward Ellis deputat Edwardo Moore Comptr Willm Lucas et Will Raydclif [unptor?] Thoma Samsbury et John Curghie Judis [henric?] halsall atturn et allis officor [tunc?] et ibm [prsentibiz?]. This passages indicates that the Exchequer court was held at Castle Rushen on November 13th (in the year 1599 given the period of the 1600 record). The officers present were Edward Ellis (deputy governor), Edward Moore (Comptroller), William Lucas and William Raydclif (Receivers), Thomas Samsbury and John Curghie (Deemsters) and Henry Halsall (attorney). In the records which I have examined, the court was always held at Rushen (although Dickinson cites some occasional other locations) and on irregular dates (Dickinson comments that it was held only when necessary).
The 1600 Liber Scaccarii gives an example of a Martial Court. In this instance the introduction is in the same format, but now written in English: A Martiall Court holden wth the Cast[le] Rushen the xxiiiith day of July [Anno?] 1600 before Robt Molyneux Squir deputy Sr Edward Winckfield knight Edward Moore Comptroller & master mr Willm Lucas and Willm Raydclif Receivrs Thomas Samsbury and John Curghie demsters, John halsall Atturney and other offics then and there present.
The records of each sitting of the Exchequer Court comprise an introduction (as described above) together with a succession of entries (each of a paragraphs) summarising individual items of business. These entries may be either written in english or in latin or a mixture (apparently according to the nature of the business). A regular format is used which is to begin with the names of the officials presenting the case, the names of the individual(s) involved, a short description of the offence of those individuals and the verdict imposed. In the margin is recorded the amount of any size imposed and one word apparently relating to the source of the case. (In some instances it is the name of the parish involved.) A typical example (from 1600) reads Presented by Patr Cloage lockeman of kk:Lonan that Thoms Carrin and Willm Brew disobeyed his rodde being Jurors to appe at this Court is in fine the [price?] vi d. This indicates that both Thomas Carrin and William Brew of Lonan failed to perform their jury service and were accordingly fined 6 pence each. (The rod was a of legitimate authority which was carried by certain appointed officials.) In the margin is written Lona xii d reflecting that a total fine of 12 pence was paid. The presentments are generally made either by six men (apparently) of the Great Enquest of the Sheading, or (in cases of disobedience such as this) by the Coronor or Lockman.
There are short inquests of people who were found dead in unusual circumstances. An example from 1600 reads Inquisco Capt p Sacrament Patr brew, Jo: freere, Jo: Corkell, Jo Christy, Wm Quireige et Phillip Sayle parh Jurby in presenc Finlo nem kissaig Coronor die Michaell Sheading, Qui dec qd Thoms Quay who was found dead neere the [?] dyed through sickness being of long time sicke and feeble before and by noe other meanes.
The 1600 Liber Scaccarii gives an example of a martial court record which describes the aftermath of a military emergency during which many people had not responded to an alarm. Following the introduction this begins Whereas uppo monday last being the xxi th day of this instant shippes passed alongst the coaste neere the land which seemed unto the govrnor and others who were espied of them, rather to be [?] then otherwise by reason of their bould coming soe neer the sayd Castle, And being shott at of the sayd Castle wth three piece of ordanance vayld nor made shewe nor any signe of good [?] but the more and more approched neere the shore. In regard whereof the govrnor sent present comand and strick charge to all men wthin the pishes neere adjoyning to make their speedy repayre unto him and attend the syd govrnor wth their weapons ....
Court of Gaol Delivery
The 1605 Liber Scaccarii gives an example of a such a record and also includes several pages relating to the case. A William Prescott had alleged that the Comptroller Edward Moore has uttered "certain scandalous words ... against the Stanleys". In addition the court (the names of the jury and their verdict as returned to the court) an account of the witnesses examined and their testimony is also given. Interestingly they show some evidence of imprudent words spoken in anger by the Comptroller. A political solution seems to have been reached with William Prescott recanting his accusation, the Comptroller forgiving him and not seeking any further action and the jury clearing the Comptroller.
The Libri Scaccarii also includes various other entries relating to statutes or the resolution (by the Tynwald Court) of disputes. These are typically given in English and lack any consistent format. Some examples are given below:
In 1600 we have the appointment of a jury of 12 men (6 men chosen from the keys and 6 of the clergy) to resolve a dispute between George Lloyd the Lord Bishop and John Quaill (a tenant farmer under John Mericke the previous Bishop) relating to the profits of church lands. What appears to be the resolution of the dispute (although same of the names differ) is given on the following page (page 22). The problem was that the current Bishop and his predecessor had granted 21 year leases of thirds of tythes to different people.
An example of a genealogically interesting type of record appear on page 9 of the 1605 Liber Scaccarii. Edward Lucas as next of kin had committed himself (with a bond of three hundred pounds) to supervising two brothers John and Raynald Lucas and being answerable for their lands and goods until they were of age to inherit from their deceased father Raynald Lucas and grandfather Thomas Lucas. Edward Lucas was now sick and his wife deceased and therefore wished to pass the tenancy farm to another (Charles Moore). Charles had agreed to respect the children's rights. The full agreement is documented and signed by Edward Lucas and Charles Moore. (According to the customary laws it appears that the Governor and Lord's Officers had a role in protecting under-age heirs.) A comment is made that the original covenant was recorded in the 1601 Liber Scaccarii
An Index dated 1724
There is detailed manuscript index to certain aspects of the Libri Cancellarii for the entire period 1578-1711. It is held at reference MS509C in the Manx National Heritage library. The first inside page is annotated John Quayle Anno 1724, John Quayle presumably being the author. The index is over 150 pages long and typically summarises a dozen or so entries per page in an easily readable manner. The stated intention is to extract from the Court records "Precedents .. of the most remarkable cases extant, with an acc[oun]t of Bills of Sailes, Contracts and other conveyances of Lands as also the proceedings of Great Enquests & Setting Quests incerted & recorded in the said Books". By a comparison with the original Libri Scaccarii we can observe that ordinary presentments, inqurests and the like are not included in the index.
Index to the 1600 Liber Scaccarii
By way of example we give the following summary of one year's record.
[cover page] gives the name and date of the record in Latin [inside cover page] gives the names of the 24 keys and explains that Nicholas moon replaced dollin gowne p1 Heading for Exchequer Court of 16 Oct 1599. Names officers present p1 John Norris and others made allegations against the deputy governor. The 24 keys found these untrue and avouched that Norris etc. should spend three months in jail and then to beg forgiveness on their knees at the next Court of Gaol Delivery. p2 [Conhan] Presentment by 6 named men involving Margaret Edgar and Jony Kermod. Fine 6d p2 [Lonan] Presentment by 12 named men of John and Finlo Cloage for killing the Lord's game. Fine 30s. p2 [Columb] Presentment by 6 named men of Willm Lewney for slandering Nicholas Brew. Fine 6d. p2 [Conchan] 4 named men declare on their oaths that donnold Otis doesn't have the means to pay his rents p3 Paragraph in latin apparently relating to the case of John Norris above p3 Paragraph in latin apparently relating to the case of John and Finlo Cloage above p4 Heading for Exchequer Court of 13 Nov. Names officers present p4 [Lupi] Presentment by 6 named men involving Margaret Corin and James Skinner. All in latin. Fine 2d. p4 [Lupi] John Harrison (a witness?) fined 2s for treating poorly with the Court. p4 [Relaix?] Paragraph in latin p4 [Relaix?] Paragraph in latin p5 [Rushen Sheading] Presentment by the named Coronor of Wm Gowen and Henry Cawste for disobedience. Fine 2s each. p5 [Conchan] Presentment by the named lockeman of John donnell for withholding a named servant from Tho Moore. Fine 6d p5 [Relarx?] Paragraph in latin p5 Paragraph in latin p6 Heading for Exchequer Court of 19 Feb. Names officers present p6 [Patr] Presentment by 6 named men regarding stray livestock in the keeping of the named Lockman. p6 [Lezayre] Presentment by the named Coronor of a named man for not appearing at the Court. Fine 2s reduced to 6d. p6 [Lupi] Named Coronor had neglected to call a jury for Arbory. Fine 6d p6 [Lupi] Presentment by 6 named men involving John Durkan and Hugh Quiggin. All in latin. Fine 6d. p6 [Lupi] Another presentment involving the same individuals. All in latin. Fine 12d. p7 Details of an agreement between John Crow and Margaret knell widow of Robt Crow as to land division. p7 [Lupi] Presentment by 6 named men involving John Morre and John Shimmin over beeves. Fine 6d p8 Heading for Exchequer Court of 10 [?]. Names officers present p8 [Patr] Presentment by 6 named men involving mc Teare and Gilbt Caloe. Fine 6d & punished in stocks etc. p8 [German] Presentment by 6 named men involving a dispute over the possession of a goose. Fine 6d p8 [Conchan] Presentment by named lockeman or John gawnell for disobeying the deemster's token. Fine 60s reduced to 12d p8 [Lonan] Presentment by named lockman of Thomas Carrin and William Brew for refusing to appear as jurors. Fine 6d each p9 Resolution of a point of law concerning when fines of tenants of Baronies should be paid to the Baron (not the Lord). p10 [Santon] Presentment by 6 named men of Robt Quay and Donnold kermode for taking 2 mayres. Fine 6s 8d each reduced to 6d p10 Presentment by 6 named men [incomplete] p10 4 named men return that a young fawn found dead was not killed, but died of natural causes. p10 Note that Charles Moore was sworn in as one of the 24 keys p11 [missing from the images which I examined] p12 Heading for Exchequer Court of 16 June. Names officers present p12 Presentment by named lockman of 7 lords tenants and 3 Bangor & Sabal tenants for not appearing for as jurors. Fine 6d p12 [Rilox] paragraph in latin p13 [Conchan] Presentment by 6 men of Marown and 6 men of Conchan of Thomas Moore for an accusation he cannot prove. Fine 12d p13 Thomas Kelly of Marown for not responding to a named Coronor's order to appear at the Court fined 20s. Mitigated to 12d p13 [Lonan] Presentment by 6 named men involving Gilbt Carrin snf Finlo Stoell p13 It is shown that Thomas Kelly misused the [?] token. A fine of 60s is fully remitted because of special reasons. p14 Ruling by the governor and deemsters in a land dispute between Phillip Crosse and Hugh Crayne of German. p15 Several paragaphs in latin which may be listing pledges. p15 heading for Exchequer Court of 15 August. Names officers present p15 Presentment by 6 named men involving several named individuals. All in latin. Fine 12d p16 paragraph in latin (possibly pledges) p16 A copy of a letter from Thomas Gerrard (Governor) to the officers of Man in response to a petition, assuring them that the Lord intends to visit the Isle and will remove any need for compaint. p17 Heading for Martial Court of 24 July. Names officers present p17-18 Considers a recent military emergency during which certain persons failed to respond to an alarm. A bill signed by the keys deeming a death sentence appropriate. p19 Blank p20 Blank p21 Heading for Exchequer Court of 28 August. Names officers present p21 Names 8 individuals who had confessed to taking puffins without from the land of Jo Stevenson. Fines of 6d or 2s each. p21a Names a jury of 6 of the keys and 6 clergy to rule on a dispute between the Bishop and a farmer. They don't return a judgement since both parties did not ask to refer it to them. p22 Ruling over a lease over the Bishops third of Lezayre. John Norris and Mr Jones both had leases for this (of respectively 31 years and 21 years from the previous and current bishops). The 24 keys say they have never heard of a lease signed by the Bishop and approved by the Lord being disannulled. p23 Signatures of the 24 keyes (appended to the above ruling) p24 Several paragraphs all in latin p25 John Steveson undertook "on penalty of his body and goods" on behalf of his wife and George Stanley they will attend the court in a dispute with Sr Edward Wakefield knight. Dated 26th Sept. p25 Court dated 12 Oct with names of officers present. Presentment by 6 named men re John Conchy of German p26 "Inqisuo Capt in plena Cur" 13 Oct. Return of 6 named men of Garff Sheading involving Robt Griffith p26 "Inqisuo Capt in plea Cur". Inquest by 12 named men of Lezayre/Lonan of John Gouldsmith p26 Inquest by 6 named men of Jurby of Thomas Querry, ruled to have died through sickness. p27 Blank