Mr. Pitt's Speech

Mr. Pitt’s Speech



[002595] [Pitt, William]. Mr. Pitt’s Speech on Tuesday, the 4th May, 1790. Douglas, Isle of Man: Christopher Briscoe, 1790. First Edition. Folio. Unbound. Broadside. Good+. Single sided broadside, approximately 155mm x 385mm in size.

Rust spot towards head, with a much lighter one towards foot, very slightly rubbed, but otherwise quite bright and clean.

Pitt’s speech concerns a deferring of a Parliamentary Bill put forward by the Duke of Atholl (John Murray, the 4th Duke), who was claiming that the Isle of Man Purchase Act, 1765, (which purchased the feudal rights over the Isle), did not cover other rights in theory retained by the family, such as their manorial rights. The Duke therefore wanted, via the Bill he had put forward, additional compensation. Pitt notes that while sympathetic, further time was required before the Bill could be brought before Parliament, to consider how the Duke’s claims might affect the prosperity of the Isle, and whether the claims were at odds with the ‘Protection and Encouragement’ of the Isle by the English legislature. The Island authorities opposed these attempts and the Island was visited by five commissioners in 1792, whose report backed the Duke’s claim but pointed out that most of the current revenue was from smuggling.

The claim was eventually settled in 1828, when the Duke’s rights were sold for over £400,000, (somewhere in the region of twenty million pounds today), by two Private Acts: “An Act empowering the Lords of the Treasury to Purchase all the Manorial Rights of the Duke of Atholl in the Isle of Man”, 10 June 1824 and “An Act to empower the Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury to purchase a certain Annuity in respect of Duties and Customs levied in the Isle of Man, and any reserved sovereign rights in the said Island belonging to John Duke of Atholl”, 10 June 1825.

Rare, unrecorded in ESTC, with all eighteenth century examples of Manx printing being uncommon. Christopher Briscoe also printed Stowell’s Statutes and Ordinances of the Isle of Man in 1792 ;a collection of Wesley’s hymns, translated in Manx, in 1795 and a translation into Manx of Milton’s Paradise Lost in 1796