A manuscript copy of the ancient statutes is held at reference MS09864 GR1/21 in the Manx National Heritage Library. This is believed to have been written in 1667 by Richard Tyldesley the then Clerk of the Rolls. It is preceded with a brief history of the lordship Man which begins in the 13th century. Two short additions to this history have been made in different hands marking the ascent of new Lords of Man in 1672 and 1702.


In the early 19th century the statutes were published for the first time. The best source for them appears to be "The Ancient Ordinanaces and Statute Laws of the Isle of Man" 1821 by M.A.Mills. To a superficial examination this looks to be an accurate transcription of the 1667 statutes with the following exceptions: the preceding history and similar notes are excluded, the brief summary of each paragraph given in the former is also missing and the pagination etc. is not preserved.


The statutes were (after 1580) originally recorded in the Libri Scaccarrii. A quick comparison of the published version of one statute (from October 1609 and concerning the wages of servants) with the original record in the 1610 Liber Scaccarii showed (unsurprisingly) an almost perfect match. Some peripheral details were not preserved from the source however. For example it was originally noted that one of the keys Sylvester Radcliffe was absent in England and that in his place was put Edward Christian. Also that another of the keys (Nichoas Moore) was of Douglas. The 1667 transcript copy merely gives Edward Christian's name and doesn't even mention Sylvester Radcliffe. It does however include the reference to Douglas. Mills' published Statutes omit both details and merely lists the names of the 24 man jury.


Customary Laws


The Manx Customary Law appears to be case law given by the Deemsters and which in many cases preceded the Stanley's lordship of Man. The above statutes contain some, but not all of the customary laws. An additional set are given at reference MS09864 GR1/20. These additions tend to be related to niche areas of limited importance to the Lord of Man. To the best of my knowledge they have never been published.