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Part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland, the isle came under the British crown in 1765.

June 8, 1805, The Times, London, United Kingdom

Head banner from The Times in London 1805.


Colonel Stanley moved the Order of the Day for the consideration of the Report of the Committee on the claim of the Duke of Athol. -- The Order being read:

Mr. Corwen, in a speech of two hours continuance, went into an historical detail on the financial and legislative transactions of the Isle of Man, from the time of Henry IV in the fifteenth century to the present day, for the purpose of showing, that at no time were the revenues of that island rightfully or constitutionally vested in any individual for his own private emolument, but for the public good. That the grant of the sovereignty of that island to the predecessors of the Duke of Athol, by James I, with the liberty of imposing taxes arbitrarily on the people, without any other control than the discretion of the Sovereign, and the means of the inhabitants to pay, was not a lawful right, nor one which it was the power of any King of this country, of his own mere will, to grant; that the grant of an unlimited power to any subject by a limited Monarch was unprecedented in the history of nations; that the legislation of the Isle of Man was, like that of Great Britain, tripartite, and depended on the consent of the House of Keys, who were the representatives of the Commons, the Council, and the Lords of the Island; and that never, but in one single instance, was the absolute sovereignty of taxing the people, granted by James the IId, exercised by the Lord of the Island. The predecessor of the Duke of Athol, in selling that Island to the English Government, had no right whatever to sell the revenues, as they were not his but those of the people, and were inalienable, and consequently be had no right whatever to claim any compensation, on the ground that those revenues had since increased; and even if the right to the revenues had originally vested in him, the bargain was finally closed when once he sold them. He had for fifteen years acknowledged his compensation to be liberal, and be had no right now to come forward with a new claim, because the revenues had since increased by the industry and commerce of the people, and the fostering protection of the British Parliament, any more than the country would have a right lo call upon him to refund part of the purchase-money in case the revenues had decreased. But, in fact, the purchase-money given to the Duke of Athol, was for the surrender of territory and not revenue. He had nothing to sell, but his estate in the island, accompanied by a barren sceptre; and therefore any claim now for further compensation, which would subject the people of that island to additional taxes, was unjust, and such as he trusted that House would never sanction. He concluded by moving, "That the Report, instead of now, be taken into consideration this, day three months."

Lighthouse Douglas, Isle of Man.

Lighthouse Douglas.

Isle of Man

Sir WM. BURROUGHS declined entering into the discussion of topics that were not now before the House. However, from a general view of the history of the Sovereignty of the Isle of Man, and from the opinion of Lord Coke, and several other writers on the subject, he maintained that there was no tribunal in this country competent to decide upon the merits of the case. When it was first discussed hi Great Britain, Lord Coke had expressly stated that the Isle of Man was an independent kingdom of itself, that it was no part of England; and consequently the Parliament or the Government of England had no more authority over it than it would have over any other independent state, except in a case where there was a rational ground of war, such as might be deeded fit with respect to any other power. The Noble Duke had given up his right under an impression of completions which had never been erased from his mind; and in justice we were bound to make him ample compensation for his loss of the honor of sovereignty, as well as for his pecuniary loss in revenue. He therefore supported the original motion.

Mr. BOND said, when he opposed the present reception of this Report, he did it on the principles laid down by Lord Coke. Sir Wm. Blackstone and by the Attorney and Solicitor General, who had all concurred in the opinion, that the authority of Parliament was paramount, and that it had an unquestionable right to legislate for the Isle of Man. Whatever ingenious a reasoning might have been employed by the Hon. and Learned Baronet, there were no facts to show that the Duke of Athol was independent of this control. The Commissioners appointed to enquire into this business said, that if the Custom duties were increased, it must have been with the consent of the Insule, who would require a return for such a concession. How, then, could the Duke obtain an increase of revenue from this source to the extent that had been pretended? The only question of importance was, if the compensation already made to the House of Athol was grossly inadequate: if it were not, there could be no sufficient reason for owning what had so long been closed. The increase in profit, from the advance of population, and the improvements of the state of society, could not be any fit ground for such a proceeding. He was in the Privy Council when this subject was before it, it was not, therefore, wholly new to him. The matter was at that time referred in the Law Officers of the Crown, and their Report was received with the respect it deserved. To this Report the Noble Duke was permitted to reply, by the exercise of unusual indulgence, in the form of a memorial; and before the decision of the Council was laid before his Majesty, his Grace applied to submit some new facts, to which also the Privy Council condescended, with the express injunction, that these new facts should not only be new but important. When he (Mr. Bond) was no longer a Member, the Privy Council came to a resolution, that the remuneration was inadequate, but he knew nothing of what led lo this change of sentiment, and had in no respect altered his opinion on the subject. If it were not competent, the onus probendi was with the Duke, and that burthen he had not thought proper to sustain. The memorial stated, that the revenues of 1808 were much greater than those of 1765; but should the compensation be governed by the present state of the income, and not by the produce at the time the contract was made? This was an application, it should be remembered, not to the liberality, but to to justice of the House; and on no principle of justice could it be supported.

Lord Glenbervie asked if the opinions of the Attorney and Solicitor General were to be considered as law; or that they were supposed to be binding on any Member of that House. Lord Coke's opinion was erroneous with respect to the right of England to legislate for Ireland at that time, as had been declared afterwards in effect by the Act of 1782. His opinion relative to the Isle of Man was equally unfounded. Yet the Attorney and Solicitor General had only pronounced a negative opinion on the case, they had never come to any positive decision. For his point, he thought that from consideration of all the circumstances of the case, if he was on a Jury upon the merits of the case, he should be bound to say, that at least it was entitled to reconsideration.

Lord Temple observed that the business had the appearance of a job; and, of all times that could possibly be thought, the present was the most unpropitious to a measure of that sort. which the very heavy burthens to which the people of England cheerfully submitted for the necessary expenses of the State, he would not think of voting away their money to any individual, however highly respectable, merely because the revenues of the Isle of Man had increased since the bargain was made. If the first contract was a close bargain, as had been urged, he conceived that a much greater compliment could not be paid to his revered relative (Mr. George Grenville), who was then the Minister, and had been so provident of the public money. For these reasons, he felt himself bound to support the amendment.

Mr. Pitt supported the original motion. He considered the compensation in a two-fold aspect, as a compensation for dignity, and as a compensation for revenue. The original sum of 70,000 pounds might be considered as nearly exhausted by the compensation for dignity, leaving but a small surplus for revenue. He urged the claims of the Duke also on account of the increase of revenue since that period.

Mr. Windham spoke at great length against any farther claims . . .

The Committee in which these claims have been considered, has been treated as indecorous, irregular and even clamorous. It had the general detects of all Committees, and this was all that could be slated justly against it. The whole of the present debate was out of time; the Gentlemen who had discussed the subject ought to have attended in the Committee of which they complain, and to have assigned their reasons for the conduct they would now pursue. The question now before the House was, whether the Report of the Committee should be taken into consideration; and it was absurd on such an enquiry, to examine into the general merits. The whole affair bad been charged as administerial job. He should not easily be suspected of conducing to any project of this kind, and the doubt was not what the Duke of Athal should receive in remuneration, but whether the House of Commons should preserve that dignity and justice in its proceedings, by which it should be ever characterised. Much of the argument has been applied to the sovereign rights of the House of Athol. He should have been extremely glad to have seen the Right Hon. the Attorney-General in his place, to have denied the existence of such rights, and as he did not appear in his place to support his former opinion, he might at least be permitted to conjecture, the Right Hon. and Learned Gentleman had abandoned his former sentiments. He reluctantly opposed the friends with whom he was accustomed to concur, but he felt it his duty to vote for receiving the Report...

Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man

Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man

After Mr. Windham had explained, the House divided on the question, that the word "now" do stand part of this:

Ayes: 114
Noes: 46
Majority 66

Before strangers were admitted, the House had agreed to go into the Committee on the Report.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer then proposed that the Committee be appointed for Wednesday next, as the first open day, which was opposed by Mr. Curwen and Mr. Peter Moore, who moved an amendment, to insert the words on Monday night The House then divided,

Against the Amendment: 40
For it: 14
Majority for the Committee on Wednesday: 26

The other orders of the day were then disposed of, and the House adjourned, at half past three o'clock this Morning, to Monday.

Paddle Steamer Leaving Fleetwood.

Paddle Steamer Leaving Fleetwood, on the Lancashire Coast for the Isle of Man

Friday, March 13, 1896, Edwardsville Intelligencer



He Converted the Manxmen to the Christian Faith and Built a Church There.

Many Relics of the Saint Are Still Found There -- Some Interesting Legends.

Ireland is not the only island of which St. Patrick is the patron saint, nor the only one from which he banished snakes and frogs. The ancient isle of Man has a stronger if not a prior claim on the memory of the saint.

As the story runs, St. Patrick, while but a bishop, was sent in A. D. 444 by the pope on a special mission to Ireland, which had already been the scene of his early labors, and to which he had first of all been taken as a slave from his Scottish home near the Solway firth. The saint was accompanied by 13 other missionaries, one of whom was St. Germanicus of Anxerre, in France, who had come to Britain at the request of the holy father as one of the harbingers of the Christian faith to the Celtic tribes, then under Roman rule.

While crossing the Irish sea, which is noted for its strong tides and sudden tempests, a fierce storm overtook the party, and the vessel was cast away, a total wreck, on a little islet then called "The Peel," a short distance from the mainland, near the present town of Peel. But not a soul on board perished. So remarkable was the escape that it was regarded as miraculous, the islet consisting of jagged rooks and precipitous cliffs where it faces the sea, and presenting such a scene of awful grandeur during a nor'wester as could neither be described nor imagined. So overcome were the rude inhabitants by the manifestation of divine power in the deliverance of the missionaries that they gladly welcomed the latter as messengers from heaven, and forthwith accepted the Christian faith. It is averred that the entire population of the island cast aside their ancient druidical religion on the selfsame day. Thereupon St. Patrick and his band were kept busy for a few months baptizing the converts and organizing the church of the new faith on a firm, basis. And from that honor to this the history of the Christian church in the little "kingdom of Man" has been the most unique in Christendom.

Isle of Man. Peel Harbour.

Isle of Man: Peel Harbour,
with the Castle in the background.

William Edward Webb.

The place upon which the saint was shipwrecked has ever since been called St. Patrick's isle, and is now occupied with the ruins of Peel castle. There St. Patrick erected a Christian church, the walls of which are still standing, showing the peculiar "herringbone" arrangement of the old time masonry. Near by the saint and his co-laborers also built the famous round tower, which still continues to defy the elements and is in a good state of preservation.

Having divided the island into parishes for the better instruction of the peoples, St. Patrick went on his way to Ireland, leaving St. Germanicas behind him as the first bishop of Man. This great prelate marked the commencement of his episcopacy in A. D. 445 by laying the foundation on St. Patrick's isle of the cathedral which bears his name and which was rebuilt in 1345, exactly 800 years afterward, by Bishop Simon. This noble fane is now in rains, but steps have been taken to effectually preserve it from further decay, many portions having been restored to keep its walls and its Gothic arches entire. Its eastern gable, the chancel end, overlooks Peel harbor, near the gates of the castle whose battlements were so enlarged in the middle ages as to inclose the whole of the fortifications and ecclesiastical buildings. The castle itself covers five out of the seven acres comprising St. Patrick's isle. This island is now connected with the opposite hill by a substantial causeway, forming a bridge between the castle and the hill on the one hand aud on the other sheltering the harbor from the westerly storms.

The parishes of the island are respectively named after the church, or ''kirk," in each and the ancient saint to whom it was dedicated. Thus there are Kirk Patrick, Kirk German, Kirk Michael, Kirk Andreas, Kirk Bride, Kirk Brandan, Kirk Malew, Kirk Louan, Kirk Marown and others 17 in all. Peel is situated in Kirk German. Adjoining this, on the south, is Kick Patrick, where, until quite recently, stood a venerable cruciform church, which was supposed to occupy the site of one still, more ancient, built by St. Patrick himself. But a new church has been erected a short distance from the place of the old one, whose dilapidated and insanitary condition necessitated its destruction.

St Patrick's name is associated with a spring of crystal water situated about a mile from, the castle, on the western or seaward side of Peel hill. The hill here rises to the height of 600 feet, and from its summit is spread out a panorama of natural scenery unrivaled for its beauty, the view on a clear day extending to the mountains of Scotland and Ireland, 50 or 60 miles away. This is a locality to which artists swarm in summer to catch inspiration from the book of nature. The spring, known as the Silver Well, is said to have been brought forth from the rook by the saint, who blessed it, thereby imparting to it healing properties. In former days many stories were current of miraculous cures having resulted from drinking the water, and the well was guarded with religious care. But a few years ago strangers contaminated and injured it in cutting a road to the slate quarries in the immediate neighborhood, and the fountain has since fallen into neglect, the common belief being that its virtue has gone out of it.

Peel Harbour, Isle of Man. 1875. Samuel Bough.

Peel Harbour, Isle of Man, 1875

Samuel Bough (1822-1878)

Atlas London Middlesex, September 14, 1861
The Royal Scottish Academy has suffered a loss of one of its members by the death of Mr. John Syrae. The vacancy is likely to be filled either by Mr. Samuel Bough or Mr. Alexander Fraser.

Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, February 14, 1875
Mr. Samuel Bough has been elected an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy, in the room of the late Mr. Smellis Wallace.

The island also possesses a souvenir of the saint, called "St. Patrick's Chair." This consists of five upright stones on a stone platform forming a seat, and is preserved in a collection of ancient and sacred insular relics. The traditions of the island comprise many fabulous stories of giants and wizards which have been handed down from the earliest Celtic times. Of these wondrous myths there is one in which St. Patrick figures prominently, and which may be token as a sample of Celtic mythology in its most awe inspiring form.

Absent-Minded Imperialists.

Contemporary with the saint there lived in Man a giant of monstrous size, strength and ferocity, who was the terror of the islanders, and who, like all his kind, was addicted to human flesh. This monster was blessed with three legs, and so agile was he that he could leap at one bound from St Patrick's isle to Peel hill, a distance of more than 800 yards. Such was his fearful strength that five large bowlders of white quartz, weighing altogether many tons, were severally burled by him from the same isle to the side of another hill nearly three miles away, above a place called Shergydboo, and then they are to this day, bearing the finger marks of the giant where he grasped them. Visitors to Peel castle are always told the legend, the white stones being visible on the side of the hill in the distance.

For attempting to kill St Patrick, the monster was cursed by the holy man in the Virgin's name, and fled the island. So overcome was he by fear and in such a hurry was he to get away from the presence of the angered saint that, with one awful leap, he cleared the space between St. Patrick's isle and Contrary head, about a mile southward from the castle, and forever disappeared. Tradition fails to tell the fate that subsequently befell him, but it is assumed that he perished in the waters of the Irish sea and that, his body was cast up by the waves. At any rate, outside the castle walls, on the northwestern side, is "The Giant's Grave," wheve the three legged monster is said to have been buried, the mound that marks his resting place being more than 60 feet in length.

This story is interesting in another way, because it is commonly believed among the Manx that the idea of "The Three Legs of Man" was originally suggested by it. This strange device was first adopted as the Manx coat of arms by Alexander III, king of Scotland, about A. D. 1270, after he had purchased the sovereignty of "the kingdom of Man and of the isles" from its last Scandinavian sovereign, Magnus VI of Norway.


Isle of Man is a British crown dependency but is not part of the United Kingdom or of the European Union. However, the UK Government remains constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language.

Manx New Year Custom.

Manx New Year Custom

In the Isle of Man, as elsewhere, many customs and superstitions, as well as much weather-lore, have attached themselves to the different seasons of the year. Both the Celts and Norsemen, before the introduction of Christianity, held high festival at the beginning of summer and winter, the mid-winter and mid-summer feasts being more especially of Scandinavian origin.

When Christianity was introduced, its ministers, unable to do away with these feasts, wisely adopted their periods as Christian festivals, and so they have continued semi-pagan in form till the present day. Such ancient observances as perambulating the parish bounds, were also christianised by being associated with Divine worship ; and the wells, which the people were wont to visit, were dedicated to the Saints and Martyrs of the Church. After the Reformation, the practice of visiting these holy wells, and of frequenting the tops of the mountains at Lammas, was denounced as superstitious and wicked, but in vain, as, even at the present day, it can scarcely be said to have altogether ceased.

The following custom, which survived until recently, has now died out. Mummers went from house to house shouting the following curious refrain, the meaning of which can only be conjectured. The portion now in English was, of course, formerly in Manx

Hog-aanaa - This is old Hollantide night:
Trolla-laa - The moon shines fair and bright.
Hog-annaa - I went to the well,
Trolle-laa - And drank my fill;
Hog-annaa - On my way back
Trolla-laa - I met a witch-cat;
Hog-annaa - The cat began to grin,
Trolla-laa - And I began to run.
Hog-annaa - Where did you run to?
Trolla-laa - I ran to Scotland.
Hog-aanaa - What were they doing there?
Trolla-laa - Baking bannocks and roasting collops.
Hog-annace Trolla-laa!
If you are going to give us anything, give us it soon,
Or we'll be away by the light of the moon

The Seven Celtic Nations

The Celtic Tree Oracle. Liz and Colin Murray.The seven original Celtic Nations:

  • Eire (Ireland): Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. A Norman invasion in the Middle Ages gave way to a Gaelic Resurgence in the 13th century.
  • Galicia (Spain): Galacia is in northwest Spain, and descends from one of the first tribes of Celtic heritage in Europe. The name Galicia comes from the Latin name Gallaecia, associated with the name of the ancient Celtic tribe that resided above the Douro river.
  • Kernow (Cornwall): Cornwall forms the tip of the south-western peninsula of Great Britain. It was occupied in the Iron Age by Celts. Cornwall was a division of the Dumnonii tribe—whose tribal centre was in the modern county of Devon.
  • Mannin (Isle of Man): The Isle of Man is located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. It began to be influenced by Gaelic culture in the AD 5th century and the Manx language, a branch of the Gaelic languages.
  • Breizh (Brittany): Brittany occupies a large peninsula in the north west of France. Its land area is 34,023 km² (13,136 sq mi). After the Neolithic period, Brittany became home to several different Celtic tribes.
  • Alba (Scotland): Alba is the Scottish-Gaelic name for Scotland. It occupies the northern third of Great Britain and it includes over 790 islands. Groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago.
  • Cymru (Wales): During the Iron Age and early medieval period, Wales was inhabited by the Celtic Britons. A distinct Welsh national identity emerged in the centuries after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations today.
Celtic Cross.

The history of the Celtic cross goes back to a time before the Christian conversion of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. It’s believed by some that the four arms of the cross represents the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. They also represent the four directions of the compass, North, South, East and West. And finally the four parts of man, mind, soul, heart and body. The horizontal line of the cross symbolizes earth and the vertical portion symbolizes heaven.

Sources: The Celtic Crier, Gaelic Forge

1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe

Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.

Great Britain10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714
United States 3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887
Norway 2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230
Germany 1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.
Sweden 1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527
Italy1,150 vessels
France 1,182 vessels

For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)

  Country # of Vessels







1 Greece 4,453 206.47 $88.0
2 Japan 4,317 150.26 $79.8
3 China 4,938 159.71 $71.7
4 USA 2,399 55.92 $46.5
5 Singapore 2,662 64.03 $41.7
6 Norway 1,668 39.68 $41.1
7 Germany 2,923 81.17 $30.3
8 UK 883 28.78 $24.3
9 Denmark 1,040 36.17 $23.4
10 South Korea 1,484 49.88 $20.1
Total 26,767 87.21 $466.9

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping.Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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