[154]

Chapter 6: From the Restoration to Bishop Wilson (1660-1698)

THE most important questions during this period are those connected with the efforts of Bishop Barrow to provide better stipends for the clergy, and education for both clergy and laity, and also to regulate the Church and to promote the administration of ecclesiastical discipline. The stringent and successful administration of discipline in Man at this time is all the more remarkable, when we consider that the Restoration was the signal, in England, for an outburst of laxity and irreligiousness. But in Man, as the changes had been small before the Restoration, so the rebound after it was small also. One of the first acts of the restored earl was to reconstruct the Church, and, to this end he appointed six layrnen to act with the archdeacon, Rutter, for the full settlement of all matters ecclesiastical and civil." The archdeacon does not seem to have been able to come over to the island at that time, so he appointed Dr. Richard Sherlocke, domestic [155] chaplain to Charles, Earl of Derby, and the Rev. Samuel Hinde,[note 1] Rector of Kirk Bride, to act in concert with the above layrnen as "his lawfull deputies . . . . especially in hope to restore the collapsed and most deplorable estate and condition of religion, and the church as well, in that Island." Their first step was to order all the ministers to appear before them "in St. Patrick's Church in Peel," when they issued orders and instructions to be observed by them. This was in August 1660, and, in the following month, they ordered that the ministers of the chapels in Douglas and Castletown should "marry, baptize, and church, keeping a fair register," but that the vicars of parishes were to receive "all just dues and ffees" for the same. In October, they appointed the four following clergy as "deputed substitutes for the church affairs in this Isle," viz. Sir Hugh Cannel, Vicar of Michael, Sir Robert Parr, Rector of Ballaugh, Sir James Moore, Vicar of Lonan, and Sir John Harrison, Rector of Bride. At the end of the following March these "substitutes" heard a complaint by Patrick Thompson, Vicar of Braddan, to the effect that "though it was against the law for people to take the communion out of their own parish, yet there hath been a general communion held in the Chappell of Douglas . . . where the last Easter were admitted several offenders, presented persons, adulterers, beside some ignorant servants . . . (who do) not understand any word of [156] English tongue, or any of Catechism." The Commissioners consequently ordered "yt no manner of psn shall presume to receive the Comunion in any Church or Chapel, but in their own psh Church." The result of their labours was, according to Bishop Wilson, to settle affairs "to the entire satisfaction of the Lord and People."[note 2] But, if we are to believe the following account, written in 1663, by Isaac Barrow,[note 3] who was both bishop and governor, there was scant reason for such satisfaction, as the state of the Manx clergy and people would seem to have been truly deplorable, though it is probable, considering the prejudice against the Commonwealth and all its rulers, that some of the statements therein are considerably exaggerated:[note 4] "At my coming into the island, I found the people for the most part loose and vicious in their lives, rude and barbarous in their behaviour; and - which I suppose the cause of this disorder - without any true sense of religion, and, indeed, in a condition almost incapable of being bettered; for they had no means of instruction, or of being acquainted with the very principles of Christianity. Their ministers, it is true, took upon them to preach; but were themselves much fitter to be taught, being very ignorant and wholly illiterate; having had no other education than [157] what that rude place afforded them: not many books among them, nor they intelligent of any but English books, which came very rarely thither. The poverty of the clergy gave no encouragement to such merchandise, their livings not amounting to above five or six pounds per annum, which forced them to engage in all mechanical courses, even in keeping of ale-houses,[note 5] to procure a livelihood: and this also, together with their ignorance, rendered them despicable to the people, who yet had no way of instruction but from their mouths (for there is nothing either written or printed in their language, which is peculiar to themselves; neither can they who speak it best write one to another in it, having no character or letter of it among them);[note 6] Whose manner of officiating in their churches was by an extemporary translation of the English Liturgy into the Manks language; and so likewise of the Holy Scriptures: which, how inconvenient for the people and injurious to the Scriptures it must needs be, we [158] may easily judge, when done by such as do not perfectly understand the English, and much less the meaning of many Texts of Scripture. This being their condition, I suppose the best way of Cure would be to acquaint the people with the English tongue,[note 7] that so they might be in a capacity of reading Catechisms, and books of devotion: and for this purpose to set up an English school in every parish; and withal, to fit the children for higher learning, in a Grammar School, which was also wanting. And, to vindicate the clergy from contemptible poverty, and free them from the necessity of base employments, an increase of their maintenance was necessary."[note 8] To do away with this deplorable state of things was his earnest desire, and one of his first undertakings to this end, when he came to the island in 1663, was to recover for the Manx Church the abbey share of those tithes of which she had been robbed at the Reformation. With reference to this, it will be remembered, that since the foundation of Rushen Abbey in 1134, the tithe is said to have been divided into three portions, one of which went to the bishop, another to the abbey for the education and relief of the poor, and the third to the parochial clergy.[note 9] This abbey tithe [159] had been granted by Henry VIII and his successors to various persons ; but James I, in the seventh year of his reign, transferred it, "along with the said Isle and Dominion of Man, unto and upon William, then earl of Derby, and Elizabeth during their lives and the life of the survivor of them ; " and it had since then remained in the hands of the Lord of the Isle. It was now, at Barrow's suggestion, granted by him on a lease of 10,000 years to the use of the poor clergy and Church schools of the diocese, in consideration of the sum of £1,000 and a fine of £130 every thirtieth year. This money was raised by subscription in England through the bishop's exertions; the yearly value of the tithes thus obtained, hereinafter called the Impropriate Fund, of which we will now continue the history, seems at that time to have been about £100, and for its "quiet enjoyment" the bishop was provident enough to get a collateral security, which, as we shall see, was very fortunate for the clergy.[note 10] In 1703, James, the tenth Earl of Derby, in consenting to the "Act of Settlement," particularly reserved and excepted these tithes, and declared that the same had been granted by Charles, late Earl of Derby, to the bishop and archdeacon. But upon James's death in 1735, there was a total failure of issue male, and the Duke of Athol, as great-grandson and heir-at-law of James, the seventh earl, claimed the whole of the impropriate tithes,[note 11] and his claim was incontestable, as the very same title which made the duke Lord of the Isle, made him also [160] owner of these tithes. In default of male heirs, the whole was entailed upon the Lady Amelia Stanley, first Marchioness of Athol, and her representatives, and nothing had been done to cut off the entail. As a deed of alienation, therefore, the act of Earl Charles was null and void; there was, however, the collateral security above mentioned of "lands and hereditaments within the county of Lancaster, of the value of £2000",[note 12] which had now come into possession of Edward, Earl of Derby. The clergy consequently applied for this, after they had recovered the titles of conveyance, which had been mislaid. But they met with evasion and delay, till, in 1741, the earl offered them £1000, which was an absurdly inadequate sum; and so, in 1742, they commenced legal proceedings against him. In the meantime, the duke helped them by allowing them to enjoy the benefit of these tithes, upon their undertaking to repay the same, when they received the value out of the estates settled for their security. At last, in 1757, after a wearisome lawsuit, the sum of £219 per annum was paid by the Earl of Derby. As time went on, however, it was seen that this sum was much below the real. value, and so, in 1809, Bishop Crigan demanded a revision of the valuation. The result of this was that the net annual amount of the tithes was found to be £663; Lord Derby therefore agreed to pay somewhat under twenty-five years' purchase upon this sum, viz. £16,000, in order that his estate might be released from the annual payment. This arrangement was confirmed by Act of Parliament (51 Geo. III.), in [161] accordance with which the £16,000 was directed to be laid out in the purchase of real estate in the Isle of Man. Thus the clergy gained a substantial increase, but lost their chance of a further increase in the future. Moreover, the price of land was unduly inflated at the time their purchases were made, so that they only obtained an income of £400 a year from them. This income is administered by the bishop and the archdeacon, with two other persons nominated by the Duke of Athol, and is applied by them towards augmenting the stipends of those clergymen who are not incumbents.

For the further support of the poor clergy, Bishop Barrow also obtained, by the exercise of his personal influence with the king, the "Royal Bounty," as the grant of £100 a year, payable out of the excise, for the "better maintenance of the poor vicars and schoolmasters," was called.[note 13] By the various means mentioned, "the allowance of the clergy," said the bishop, "is now raised from five or six, to almost twenty pounds per annum, and will increase, as the leases of the purchased impropriations do expire, to about thirty pounds annually." But the incomes of the clergy, even considering what the value of money was at that time, still remained very small, though, according to a document in the Records in 1685, £17 a year was "thought competence in this Place." In that year, it [162] was arranged that such ministers "as had already £17 arising to them out of the rents and perquisites of their livings should rest therewith contented, but such as had not soe, should be made up to £17".[note 14]

From the list appended to this document, we gather that the incomes of the vicars of the following parishes were : Rushen £8, Arbory £14, Santon £9, Braddan £5, Conchan £8, Lonan £12, Maughold £16, Lezayre £6, the remaining nine parishes having £17 or more.[note 15] Besides making up these amounts to £17 each, the money in hand was expended in sundry payments to the vicars-general, the bishop's registrar, and school teachers.[note 16] These teachers were almost invariably the rectors or vicars of the parishes. But this "bounty" was often in arrear, and so we find Governor Sacheverell writing, in 1696, to the Archbishop of Canterbury about "the real and pressing necessities of the clergy, who," he stated, "so absolutely depend on his Majesty's benefaction of £100 a year, which has for more than two years been unpaid, so that the greatest part are fallen into poverty and debt, and three churches are already vacant, the pensions (which are but £3 per annum[note 17]) [163] being so small." "I know," he continued, "I need no other argument to so great a patron of the Church than to open the misery of our condition, and that your Grace would at least be pleased to retrieve his Majesty's benefaction; and if, by the charity of the Church of England, a means could be found to raise £1000, it would add some tolerable endowments to these poor livings, furnish Bishop Barrow's designed library, and build some convenient academic lodgings, and put us out of condition of making our miseries further troublesome."

After providing for the maintenance of his clergy, Bishop Barrow's next care was for education, for promoting which he collected in England £600, "the interest of which maintains an academic master ; and, by his own private charity, he purchased two estates[note 19] in land worth £20 a year, for the support of such young persons as should be designed for the ministry."[note 20] By his will, dated 1679, he provided that the produce of these estates should be confined to the maintenance of three boys[note 21] at an academic school, "when it shall be settled."[note 22] The bishop, in fact, designed this school to be a Manx university, as, in his own words, "there being none here able to [164] give their children an education in foreign universities, . . . there may grow up a clergy of such knowledge and learning among them, as may deserve esteem, and carry an authority amongst the people; as the people may more cheerfully and confidently accept for their spiritual guides, and more readily listen to their doctrine, and submit to their directions." But this school was not built in Barrow's time, though he set apart for it "of the monies collected for these good works, remaining in hand, not laid out, £241";[note 23] and from the following letter of Lord Derby's, it appears that one year's revenue of the bishopric was also reserved for this purpose:

"Whereas there is a full accord between the bishops of St. Asaph (Barrow) and the Isle of Man (Bridgman) concerning the profits belonging to the bishoprick of the island from the time of its vacancy, and all disputes and differences between them about any concerns in the island being concluded. And whereas it is agreed between them with my consent and approbation that the whole profits for the year 1671 shall be placed in the hands of William Banks of Winstanley in the Co: of Lancaster, Esq. till we can meet with convenient purchase for the erection of a public school for academical learning. These are to require you to collect the profits aforesaid, and all charges necessary for the collection being deducted, to return the money by the first opportunity, that it may be fixed and employed according to the agreement [165] between us. Given under my hand at Knowly, the 8 June, 1672.

Signed, "Derby-Man.
" In presence of ( Isaac Asaph.
( Henric Sodorens.
"To the Deputy-Governor of my Isle of Man."

Nor did the bishop neglect elementary education. For he established a school in every parish, at which the ministers taught "for perfecting their children, and fitting them for the grammar school, which is also there (in Castletown) already settled, with a stipend of thirty pounds a year."[note 24] It would appear, therefore, that he contemplated the more intelligent children passing from the parochial schools to the grammar school, and, in the case of those who were intended for the Church, from the grammar school to the academic school. In 1689, a school house was erected in Peel through the exertions of Bishop Levinz,[note 25] who obtained a settlement of the benefaction of Philip Christian, a member of [166] the Clothworkers' Company and a native of Peel, which had been left, in 1652, towards the maintenance of a free school there, about the payment of which there had been some difficulty.[note 26] It would seem that Bishop Barrow had also intended to found a library and to provide "convenient lodgings for the academic youths, who are forced to diet in the public-houses in the town,"[note 27] but he died before he could carry out these designs.

Another care of Bishop Barrow, who seems to have been a thoroughly practical man, was to clearly define his own jurisdiction as well as that of his subordinates. To that end he caused to be placed in the Records a list of the "Episcopall Causes,"[note 28] and added to them the following instructions: "(1) We order and decree, yt ye Archdeacon, officials, or Regrs shall have nothing to doe wth our 15 Episcopall Causes above written, but onely to act in such things as are p'per and belonging to yr jurisdiction for ye halfe yeare, and keepe Reccords for them by themselves.
"(2) That our Viccars Genrrl shall have no power to make substitutes under them, but to act, and execute all things belonging to their place and office in their own persones, and to keep Reccords of all their proceedings on our Registry.
"(3) That our Viccars Genrll shall not Order, Censure, or Decree any matter or cause Fcclesiastical, severally, [167] but jointly and unanimously to keep Sheading Courts as formrly and a monthly Court for hearing and determing matters of difference and controversie in the convenients (sic) place that they shall thinke meete.
"(4) That our Viccars Genrll shall not order or censure causes contrary to our statutes, and spirituall written Lawes ; though there bee some presidents otherwise, notwithstanding the statute in such cases are to be observed, untill ye Ordinary's pleasure bee further known touching ye sd Statutes.
"(5) That all ye Ministers wthin this Isle liable to our spirituall jurisdiction shall be carefull, and dilligent in their places and callings, and bee sober, and give good example in their lives and conversacons. be obedient to observe all or direcons formrly given touching ye worsp and service of God, obedience to ye canons and Lawes of our Church, and if any offend herein hee is imeadiatly to be censured and punished according to ye haynousnes of ye ffacts.
"(6) That no Wills or decrees be proved or made but in a Sheading Court wth Inventorys, and pledges written on whole sheets of paper, except itt bee in some cases of necessitie and not otherwise.
"(7) That our Register shall keep ye Court Bookes in good order and give in all offendrs names presented to ye Court to be censured, to call in for certyficate under every Ministers hand touching ye performance of their severll censures into our Records, that all ffines may be given into us to mittigate, and then return to ye comptrollers to be recorded for ye Lord's prrogative.
"(8) And Lastly, yt or Regr shall take sufficient [168] Bonds for all children's Goods under years for all ffornicatrs Adulterrs, and all other crimes and offences as hath been usuall and accustomed, and to give in Bonds as formerly used not to relapse under penalty of forfeiting a ffine to ye Lord of ye Soyle. And further we order that all ye Lycenses, money for marriage and ffees shall be equally divided betwixt our Viccars Genll and that Sr Hugh Caņell shall have power to grant Lycenses in ye Archdeacons halfe yeare onely, not debarring the Viccr Genll notwithstanding of giving Lycenses also, and receiving the ffees, and also yt all wills that are yet unproved that they be brought in and proved at ye next Sheading Court, in penalty of 3ll ad usu domini, and in pticular such wills and Decrees to be made hath been lately complained of by Creditors and Legatoryes. Isaac. Sod and Man." He next, as we, have seen (p. 101), caused such customary spiritual laws and ordinances as had not previously been embodied in writing to be recorded. As they were customary laws, it was not probable that much new matter was introduced at this time; but the mere fact of their being thus defined would lead to their more systematic and close application.

The next reference to any regulation of Church matters in the Records is in 1683, when Bishop Lake issued the following instructions at Convocation:
"Imprimis, that one of the Vicars-General attend on the two head court days.
"It. That the Spiritual Sheading Courts shall not precede ye Temporal, but immediately follow after theirs is ended.
"It. That no decrees made or wills proved but in [169] a Sheading Court wherein the juries are first to be sworn, Presentments called in and after, Wills and Decrees in order with their Inventories.
"It, no matters of controversy, scandal, or differences to be heard and determined but in a consistory court, where all acts and proceedings of any court are to be kept on record."

On the same occasion registrars' fees, and a fee of fourpence for marriage and fourpence for churching were also fixed; and it was ordered that parents should cause their children to attend church on Sunday afternoon to be instructed in "ye Lord's Prayer, the Beleefe, Tenn Commandments, and the Catechisme in such tongue as they are capable to learn the same. Those neglecting this to be proceeded against by imprisont or other punisht as the law provides."

We may note that it was at this time that we first hear of the Church encouraging the ancient custom of perambulating the parish boundaries, which was performed on the Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday before Ascension Day. The occasion of an account of this custom appearing in the Records was that of a dispute between the parishes of Michael and Ballaugli as to their boundaries. This was settled by Bishop Bridgman, who, in 1677, took the oaths of the oldest men in each parish who had been wont to perambulate the bounds.[note 29]

Further regulations were passed at Convocation in 1685, under the presidency of Bishop Levinz:
[170] "(1) Every minister to catechise the children and youth of his parish. Those not sending their children to be punished.
"(2) All Parsons and Vicars to preach to their congregations at least once every month and on other Sundays in the morning . . . to read to the people distinctly one of the homilies lycenced by authority.
"(3) Register of Christenings, Burialls, and Marriages to be kept. Neither Baptisms or Churchings to be in houses except in case of necessity.
"(4) Ministers to repair the chancells and Mansion Houses, and to admonish the churchwardens to keep up the body of the church . . . and to provide deacent seates or formes.
"(5) Clergy to observe rubrics.
"(6) To be carefull and diligent in visiting sick.
"(7) Ministers to call in their Churchwardens and Chapter-quest once every month to make their presentments of all crimes and misdemeanours.
"(8) Ministers and Churchwardens to take notice of them that doe not frequent the divine service, and that such person or persons as shall be absent from church more than one Sunday without lawfull cause shall forfeit sixpence.
"(9) Every minister that receives augmentacon from his Maties Benefaction, or the Impropriacon money, be obliged to teach an English schoole constantly in his respective parish. Parents who do not send their children to be presented.
"Lastly, lett all these orders be forthwith putt in execution under paine of suspencon or sequestracon, except the Ordinary see just cause to dispense."

[171] The discipline of the Church, as would naturally be supposed from the foregoing regulations, was administered very strictly at this period. An important step in this direction was the abolition of a money commutation for penance, and the imposition of a fine for the non-production of a certificate from the minister showing that the penance had been performed.[note 30]

The special offences which seem to have been most frequently punished were those against the proper observance of Sundays and Saints' days. Thus, in 1683, it is recorded that: "The clergy complain that pshioners are very remiss and backward in attending Divine Service upon Sundays in ye afternoon, and alsoe upon Holy-dayes . . . Which thing may redound to the great decay of Christian piety amongst us." Proclamation, therefore, was to be made that "the inhabitants (or one person out of each family at least) shall for the future repair to the parish churches . . . in ye afternoon, as well as the forenoon, and upon all Holy-dayes and other dayes of prayer . . . under the penalty of forfeiting fourpence."

And, in 1690, Bishop Levinz issued the following proclamation on the same subject: "Whereas . . . the Lord's day is very much prophaned and neglected to the great scandall and dishonr of our holy profession and decay of Christian piety . . . Wee do order and require that no person within this our Dioceis doe presume to doe any servil work on that day, especially that no fisherman do offer to goe to [172] sea from Saturday at night till Monday morning, and that noe milner do suffer his milne to grind from twelve of the clock on Saturday at night till nightfall on Sunday on a penalty of fourteen days' imprisonm't in St. German's prison, and penance in every church of the Island for the first offence, and for every relaps double punishment and £4 fine to the Lo: use without mittigacon."

Punishments for adultery, slander, bad language, assault, drunkenness, etc., were also numerous. Of the cases of drunkenness at this time, one, miserabile dictu, is against a clergyman who was presented by his churchwardens for coming to church one Sunday "much concerned in drink."

The power of the Church in Man at this period was clearly very great. A striking proof of this is the fact that two officers of the Castle Rushen garrison, who were presented for what seems the trivial offence of "Laughing at ye pcession on the Castle Walls as minister and people went by," and "were censured to make publique confession of their offence, and pmise reformation," meekly submitted to the sentence. The Church was, in fact, omnipotent, and we must bear in mind that none of the Acts of Charles II directed against Nonconformists, viz. the Act of Uniformity, the Five Mile Act, and the Conventicle Act, applied to the island, nor was there any necessity for them, as, with the exception of a few poor Quakers, there were no Nonconformists there. These Quakers were rigorously treated in Man; the first in- [173] stance of this being in the time of Lord Fairfax, in 1658, when Chaloner, the governor, prohibited any one from receiving the Quakers into their houses, and prohibited the Quakers themselves from meeting "in the fields, or any out-house or other place on the Lord's day."

Several who persisted in these meetings were imprisoned and then banished from the island. For refusing to attend church and to pay tithes, and other Church dues, they were also heavily fined and imprisoned. Their children were baptized against their parents' will, and their dead were refused Christian burial. After the Restoration, they were treated even more severely by Bishop Barrow. In 1672, when Charles II issued his Declaration of Indulgence, "the Quakers who had been banished were permitted to return to the island; but, till 1685, they were still persecuted, though to a less extent". After this date, until the arrival of Bishop Wilson, in 1698, no cases are left on record against the Quakers; but whether this is owing to greater toleration or to the very imperfect state of the Records is not known. Bishop Wilson treated the small colony of Quakers with considerable favour, and allowed them to worship in their own way without bringing the law concerning attending churches to bear upon them. One of his biographers, Cruttwell, states that the "few Quakers who resided on the island visited, loved, and respected him." After this time but little is heard of them. Some of them emigrated to America early in the nineteenth century, and most of the rest abandoned their peculiar tenets. There are still a few [174] descendants of these Quakers in the island at the present time.[note 31]

And what do we learn about the people, other than the Quakers, who were subjected to this severe discipline? We have the evidence of two of their rulers, spiritual and temporal. The former, Bishop Levinz, writing in 1688 to Archbishop Sancroft, said- "God be thanked, I find the people in appearance nothing inclined to popery, tho' we retayne several popish customs heer in this remote place, amongst wch this is one, that as soon as any person is inter'd all the persons present fall down upon their knees and say their prayers att the grave; of which ask them the reason, they can tell you no other, but that their fathers did so before them: and many other such fopperys wee have, reliques of popish superstition;"[note 32] and the latter, Governor Sacheverell, writing in 1696, stated that "the Church of the Isle of Man is strictly conformable to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England; and though it is as far short of its learning as it is of its revenue, yet, without vanity, it may be said that in its uniformity it outdoes any branch of the Reformed Churches."[note 33] This evidence of the governor's would indicate a great improvement since 1663.[note 34]

But though the Church was thus at one as regards its doctrines, a trouble arose concerning the payment [175] of tithes, which, at a later period, was to attain considerable dimensions. The first mention of anything of the kind was in 1633 and 1634, when certain landowners claimed prescriptions against paying tithes. Their claims seem to have been disallowed, but, owing, perhaps, to some of the Records having been lost, nothing appears about this question, till just after the accession of Bishop Levinz, when it was decided at a Consistory Court that certain prescriptions against paying tithe in kind were null and void, and the prescribers were ordered to pay.

Some of them, however, continued recusant, and, in 1685, Parson Thomas Parr of Malew took the opportunity of his Ordinary's presence on the island to complain that "he hath the Rectorie of his psh (Kk. Mallew) upon a ract (sic) rent, and is a looser (sic) thereby," and that "many of the pshoners refuse to pay their tythes pretending prescriptns." The recusants were ordered to appear at a Consistory Court, but, as there is no record of this, the result is not known.[note 35] At a previous Consistory Court, in the same year, the tenants of "Halsall's Land" in the parish of Malew were ordered to pay eleven shillings and threepence "att the Church Alter on paine of forfeitinge their sd prescription on the sd Land as the Statute provides."

The most serious case of refusing to pay tithe was reported in the Records as follows: A vicar-general having demanded corn tithe, the. defendant "laid rude and violent hands upon him by pulling him of (sic) [176] his horse and beating and punching him under him with his ffeet . . . Therefore this being a crime of a very high nature; not only to be transported with passion, but do alsoe violence to a minister of the gospel and (wch aggravates his sd crime) to one of the Viccars Genll of this Isle, he is therefore excommunicated ipso facto, and the Register is to draw up the same in fform of Law and put it in execution, and in the interim is ordered to St. German's close prison." Four days later we find that "the above J* B** (at a Consistory in St. Peter's of Peel) was denounced excomunicate with the great excomunication, and ordered to do penance at the crosses of the 4 Market Towns and at the church-stile of Kk. Malew, and to repeat a schedule." There are also some cases of refusal to pay the Church assessment.

It is not easy to gather from the Records what was the result of the various proceedings concerning the payment of tithe; but it would appear from what occurred in Bishop Wilson's time, that the revolt against its payment was only temporarily suppressed.

Let us now briefly inquire into the condition of the cathedral and churches of the diocese during this period. With regard to the former, there is no information during the long period between 1291 and 1662, but, in the latter year, we learn that Bishop Rutter was buried "under the uncovered steeple of St German's, then in ruins." Bishop Barrow made several unsuccessful efforts to have it repaired, both by compelling the parishioners of German to work at it, and [177] by endeavouring to raise subscriptions; but it was not till the vacancy of the see, after the death of Bishop Levinz, a vacancy which, according to Sacheverell,[note 36] was continued to provide funds for this purpose, that "the whole cathedral church of St German's was repaired at a great expense, and new roofed and covered with blue slate all but the tower, which still lies open."[note 37] Various other churches were also repaired and a new chapel at Castletown built out of this fund, which was augmented by the vicarage of Rushen being kept vacant.[note 38]

But was it not a miserable state of affairs, when the only way in which the cathedral could be repaired was by refraining from appointing a bishop, and, in like manner, when a parish church required its dilapidations making good, by depriving the parishioners of their pastor? We may at this point briefly continue the history of the cathedral to the present time. In 1722 Bishop Wilson took "a parcel of sheet-lead" from the cathedral for the new parish church of Patrick, but whether it was actually in use for covering the roof of the cathedral or not does not appear. If it was, the comment of the Rev. John Keble – "This is in effect the bishop and the whole diocese passing sentence on their cathedral, and agreeing to despair of its restoration,"[note 39] – is a just one. But, on the other hand, it is clear that, in 1728, the bishop was anxious to repair the roof of the chancel [178] of the cathedral, and that he was prevented from so doing by the governor.[note 40] In consequence of this, "the new seats in the chancel, erected by the present worthy bishop (Wilson), as well as the whole fabrick are like to go to decay."[note 41] Hildesley was the last bishop installed in the cathedral, and its history from thence till 1858 has been one of gradual decay. Since that time, the roofless walls have been kept from falling by occasional repairs.

We have seen then that, during the epoch of which we are more especially treating, the cathedral was neglected and decaying; and it would appear from some significant entries in the Records, that the churches were also neglected. Thus, in 1683, there was "a great indecency and disorder in all or most of the parish churches," for want of "sufficient and comendable seats." The holders were therefore ordered to "take speedy course for the repairinge and making up of their respective seates and pewes in some handsome and orderly manner according to their severall abilityes." There are also notices with reference to the neglect of keeping of registers, which is ordered to be done, while "all decayed or lacerated" old books are to be re-copied ; and it is also ordered that "Coppees of all Regrs be brought in onct euery year to be entered in the Bopps Regry."

One reason, no doubt, of this neglect, in addition to the poverty of the Church, was the non-residence of the bishop and archdeacon, who were seldom in the [179] island. To check this evil, the insular Legislature passed an Act, in 1697, to the effect that "every bishop, archdeacon, parson, viccar, curate, or others," who "hold and enjoy" any "ecclesiasticall promotion within this Isle, to the value of tenn pounds p Ann or upwards . . . shall personally reside within this Isle, . . . and if any of them shall at any time . . . be non-resident . . . above the space of four months," they shall "forfeitt and loose the full value of one half year's profitt"[note 42] of their "livings, &c." For the second offence, they were to lose a whole year's income. The forfeitures thus obtained were to be applied to charitable uses.

Of most of the bishops of this period, more is known than of their predecessors. The first of them, Samuel Rutter, is said to have been the grandson of John Rutter, miller on the Derby estate at Burscough, in Lancashire. He "was probably sent by the family his forefathers served to Westminster school," and "elected thence in 1623 to Christ Church, Oxford."[note 43] He was appointed Archdeacon and Rector of Andreas in 1646, but he does not appear to have ever resided in that parish. He was James the seventh Earl of Derby's domestic chaplain and confidential friend, and, being tutor to his eldest son, he was constantly with the family. It is evident that the earl was greatly attached to him, as he wrote in one of his letters to his eldest son, Lord Strange, – "He is a man for [180] whom both you and I may thank God;"[note 44] and, in his last letter to his children, – "Love the archdeacon, he will give you good precepts."[note 45] He was at Lathom House during the second siege, and was one of the commissioners appointed to treat concerning the surrender of Castle Rushen to the Parliament. On this latter occasion, according to a contemporary newspaper, he proved to be "a man of very timorous spirit."

He left the island, in November 1651, with the countess. In November 1660, he was appointed a Prebendary of Lichfield, and, on the 21st of September, 1661, he arrived in the Isle of Man, being installed bishop on the 8th of October.[note 47] He only survived his installation six months, being interred in the centre of St. German's cathedral on the 30th of May, 1662. He was probably a worn-out man when he became bishop. Sacheverell, writing between thirty and forty years after his death, calls him "a man of exemplary goodness and moderation."[note 48]

His successor, Dr. Isaac Barrow, who was consecrated in Ely Chapel, London, July 5th, 1663, his nephew and namesake, the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, preaching [181] on the occasion, was one of the most distinguished men who have held the office of bishop in this diocese. Keble, who considers him "as thorough a disciple in the school of Laud as any that could well be named,"' remarks that "He had been a fellow-sufferer with Sherlock, as with Hammond, and Sanderson, and Taylor, and many other of the brightest lights in the English Church, during the siege of Oxford, and afterwards."[note 49] He was appointed governor as well as bishop, being what is called "a sword bishop," and his authority in the island was consequently very considerable. Of his efforts in promoting the welfare of the clergy, both as regards their material comforts and their education, we have already spoken; also of his zealous upholding of Church discipline, and his consequent persecution of the Quakers. What his contemporaries thought of him is expressed by Sacheverell, who spoke of him as "a man of public spirit and great designs for the good of the Church, to whose industry is owing all that little learning amongst us, and to whose prudence and charity the poor clergy owe the bread they eat."[note 50] And Bishop Wilson, writing in the following century, said - "The name and the good deeds of this excellent prelate will be remembered as long as any sense of piety remains among them"[note 51] (i.e. the inhabitants of Man). He was translated to St. Asaph in 1669, but held Sodor and Man in commendam till 1671.[note 52] He died [182] in 1680, and was buried in the cathedral churchyard at St. Asaph.

His successor, Henry Bridgman (1671-1682) who was likewise Dean of Chester and Rector of Bangor (Flintshire),[note 53] seems to have paid singularly little attention to his diocese. Indeed there is no record of his having visited the island before 1675, when he purchased Rushen Abbey for an academical school.[note 54] His next and only other visit was in 1680, when he held a Convocation and presided in a Consistory Court. He was the donor of a chalice to German parish church. He died in 1632, and was buried in Chester Cathedral.

He was followed by John Lake (1682-4), who had served in Charles I's army at Basing House, Wallingford, and had refused to take the Covenant or the Engagement when he returned to his college (St. John's, Cambridge). He was 'gated' as a suspected person for many months, and ran the risk of taking orders in 1647 from one of the deprived bishops. As archdeacon of Cleveland and prebendary of York, he had taken a prominent part in suppressing disorders in the Cathedral in 1680.[note 55] He resigned his prebend for the See of Sodor and Man, which had a smaller income. He does not, however, seem to have visited it more than once. This was in May 1683, when he presided at a Convocation at which various useful regulations were passed.[note 56] He was translated to Bristol in [183] 1684, when he took an active part in the suppression of Monmouth's rebellion. In 1685, he was again translated, Chichester being the scene of his labours. He became famous as one of the seven bishops confined in the Tower by King James II. This excellent man was a high Anglican in his Church views.

His successor, Baptist Levinz (1684-93), who was a Prebendary of Wells[note 57] under Bishop Ken, also belonged to the high Anglican school. He was consecrated in March 1684, and was installed in St. German's in the following August. Shortly after this, he presided at a Consistory Court where an important decision was come to about tithe.[note 58] We then find him appointing John Parr, the Vicar of Arbory, to be episcopal registrar, ordering the clergy to "take out lycences for preaching and teaching of schooles," and dealing with a serious case of drunkenness in one of the clergy.[note 59] The next glimpse of him is in 1688, when he arranged about the payment of the "Royal Bounty," expressed a needless, as it turned out, fear of "a seminary of Romish Priests and Jesuits" being established in the island, spoke of his diocese as "a poor desolate place," and of his "title" as being too big for his "scant fortunes to maintain,"[note 60] and solicited a prebendal stall at Winchester. At the end of the same year, he issued a proclamation [184] in which he designated William of Orange's landing as a horrid invasion, and consequently appointed days of humiliation for the people.

In the following year he obtained the arrears of Philip Christian's benefaction, as already related.[note 61] For this he received an address from the governor and officers expressing their "due and hearty thanks for his Lopps great zeal in affecting that and severall other the like good works for the benefit of the Island." Soon after this he entered upon his long-desired prebendal stall at Winchester, and only visited the island once more, ie. in the summer of 1691, when he was present at the Tinwald. He died at Winchester in January 1693, and was buried in the cathedral there.

According to a contemporary observer,[note 62] the value of the Bishop's Court demesne at this time was £200 a year, and the bishop had also "a yearly sallary from the Earl of Derby worth £250 a year," but there is no confirmation of this statement from any other source.

We may note that the question of appeals to York again arose during this period, the following decision of the Tinwald Court having been come to, in 1677, concerning them: "In a conference at a Councell this day . . . ye Ld Bopp. Temporall officers and 24 keys psent; It appears yt there was a mistake about an appeale to Yorke touchinge bona notabilia, from ye sd Lord Bopp unto his Grace, wch ye sd Counsell & 24 keys saith by ye lawes of this Isle, ought not to goe immediately unto [185] his Grace's prerogative Court in York wthout ffirst acquaintinge ye Lord of this Isle or his Govr. Ye Lord Bopp . . . promiseth for his pte to take notice of ye Staffe of Govt in ye like case . . . & to pserve inviolably all ye Lord's just progatives accordinge to ye oathes hee hath formerly taken."[note 63] This looks as if a compromise had been arrived at.

Notes

1. Samuel Hinde seems to have died shortly after his appointment, as we find Sir John Harrison Rector of Bride in the same year.

2. quoted by Keble, p. 52.

3. Rutter, who had been made bishop in 1661, being dead.

4. We may note at this time, 1661, an order of Lord Derby's that "eating of any manner of flesh in Lent or on fasting days should be utterly forborne by all manner of persons of what degree or quality soever."

5. The following injunction was issued by Bishop Isaac Barrow in 1667: "Haveing had informacon that sevrall Clergie men in this Island doe, contrarie to ancient Canons of ye Church, and the present Constitucon and cornands of our owne Church, disgrace theire Callinge and pstitute yer houses (wch should be as schooles of Discipline to the rest of theire pishes) to Irreguler and disorderly meetinges by vendinge ayle and beere and keepinge victuallinge Houses. These are to require all Ministers within the Isle aforesaid to forbeare this unhansome undecent Course soe inconsistante with the Dignity of yer pfession and soe contrary to that studious retirement they are oblidged to by it. And yf any shall herafter be found guilty of this sordid indecencie he shall for the first tyme be suspended from his office and benefice. And for the second made incapable of any spirituall preferment in this Island" (Manx Note-Book, vol. ii., p. 138, from Malew Register).

6. See p. 136.

7. It is remarkable that Bishop Hildesley, more than 100 years later, thought that the "cure" was to give the Scripture in the Manx tongue. If he was right, as seems probable, it is clear that Bishop Barrow would have done more good by providing the people, a larger proportion of whom must have spoken Manx only in 1660 than in 1760, with sacred literature in their own tongue.

8. Hildesley's Memoirs, pp.304-5.

9. See p. 35.

10. For full particulars about this fund see Isle of Man Charities, pp. 1-23. [And see also the Act 51 Geo.3 c.ccvii.]

11. Subject to a rent-charge, see p.133.

12. Isle of Man Charities, p. 11.

13. Henceforth one of the most frequent entries in the Records is with reference to the difficulty in obtaining this £100.

14. See Isle of Man Charities, pp. 1-8. Also pp. 134, 146 ante, for comparison with incomes previously.

15. By order of Privy Council in 1842, the part of this fund which had been paid to the parochial clergy was transferred to the non-parochial clergy.

16. See p. 165.

17. This seems inconsistent with the statement above.

18. Manx Soc., vol. i, Introduction, p. xiii.

19. Ballagilley and Hango Hill.

20. Wilson, Manx Soc., vol. xviii, pp. 111-12.

21. It was provided that if any of these boys did not serve the insular Church he should "pay back such monies as he hath received".

22. They attended the old grammar school in Castletown till this was done in 1706 (see p.216).

23. For full particulars about this academic fund see Isle of Man Charities, pp.24-39.

24. MS. letter of Bishop Levinz's in Records. This would seem to imply that the ministers only taught the more advanced children, but they really taught the whole school.

25. There was then expended £20 on the purchase of the school-house and fitting it up, £10 to school-master for first year's teaching. For use of schoolmaster £12; charges for prosecuting suit, £38; Bishop's expenses, £20.

26. For full details see Isle of Man Charities, pp. 63-4 and 69. This school is still in existence, and does excellent educational work.

27. Sacheverell, Manx Soc., vol. i pp.13, 14.

28. See p. 102.

29. For full particulars, see Folk-lore of the Isle of Man, pp.113-5.

30. Lib. Scacc. 1691. Promulgated at Tinwald in 1691, but not published in statute book.

31. For full particulars about the Quakers in Man, see Yn Lioar Maninnagh, pp.281-7.

32. MS. letter in Records.

33. Manx Soc., vol. i., Editor's Preface, p.xiii.

34. See pp.156-8.

35. We shall hear more of these "pretending prescriptns" at a later date. See p.222.

36. Manx Soc., vol.i., Editor's Preface, p.xiii.

37. Browne Willis, Manx Soc., vol.xviii p.148.

38. For full particulars about the cathedral see Manx Soc., vol.xxix., pp.9-21.

39. Keble, p.271.

40. Ibid., p.677-8.

41. Browne Willis, Manx Soc., vol.xviii, p.148.

42. Statutes, pp.152-4.

43. Stanley Papers, Part II, p.201, Chetham Society.

44. Manx Soc. vol.iii., pp.41-2.

45. Ibid., pp.41-2.

46. Mercurius Politicus.

47. "Samuell Rutter by Divine providence Lo. Bope of ye Isle landed in Ronoldsway 7ber 21th, and upon Tusday after being St Samuells day 7ber 24th came to Castle Rushen ; and was installed October 8th." " Whoever," comments Mr. Gill, "heard of the 24th September being 'St Samuel's Day'? It is hard to acquit the worthy vicar of a desire to flatter the new bishop by canonizing him!" (Manx Note-Book, vol.ii., p.181, from Malew Register).

48. Manx Soc., vol.i p.91.

49. Keble, p.133.

50. Manx Soc., vol.i p.91.

51. Ibid., vol.xviii p.143.

52. Browne Willis, Manx Soc., vol.xviii., p.143.

53. Ibid., p.143.

54. The school, however, was never placed there. See p.216.

55. Strickland, Lives of Seven Bishops.

56. See pp.168-9.

57. Browne Willis, Manx Soc., vol.xviii., p.143.

58. See p.175.

59. See p.172.

60. Letters to Mr. Cholmondeley and Archbishop Sancroft, copies of which are in the ecclesiastical records.

61. See p.171.

62. Denton MS., lent by Mr G W Wood.

63. Lib. Scacc. 1677.