Thursday 1 November 2012

Isle of Man August 1651

On 12 August 1651, James Stanley, the seventh Earl of Derby wrote two letters to Sir Thomas Tyldesley which show that both men were on the Isle of Man—Stanley at Castle Rushen, and Tyldesley at Douglas. The letters concern their plans to join Charles II on the mainland:
Thom. — I have received several letters from you this day; to them all I have had the best intent that could be to give satisfaction to those desires, which were so reasonable and fitting for the present service.
I knew but at seven of the clock this evening that there was need of a boat hence for our horses. I sent you word, nevertheless, that you might expect one to-morrow morning, but I reckoned too fast; nevertheless it shall come, God willing, at the noon-tide, and the new galliot with it.
All this evening we have been casting forth coal, and still they are at work; and because of the great haste of her coming, so much shall be left thereof as may serve for ballast; the rigging of the sails, and many other lets, make, that she cannot possibly be ready this night. In my opinion Cottrells vessel might have some of my horses, and some other invention for the transport of the men; but of that you will consider.
Baggerley did desire our Dutchman, or one Dopson, to set a plank into the John; but the first must go in the galliot, else it must stay; and I assure you it will be, God willing, of better use than our Manx boats for landing men. The other is sick in bed; so of him I need not say more. George Joyner is, I hope, as capable as either of them, and him I send; and will want of no care or pains that may advance the present service.
I have looked into my store, and find a mistake of your opinion concerning the arms, for we have not so many fired as you think, and divers of them we have must go into St Bryde and St Andrew's parish, in the stead of others which were lately taken from them. And I would not have any excuse among this people, as that they could not defend their country by reason I had disarmed them to fit myself elsewhere. Nevertheless, I will send twenty musquets, twenty-four pikes, and two barrels of powder, which, when I have told you all, may be thought as much as could well be spared.
I shall expect to hear from you to-morrow morning. If please God that all be ready, we may make use of this wind.
My hearty service to yourself and the gentlemen.
Believe me very faithfully your assured servant,
Aug. 12, 1651.
Thom. — So I call you, lest I offend you. Since my wife and I commanded our dear daughter to be our secretary I have observed the wind to turn fair, at least as I think; however, I desire that all things may be in readiness, that in case so great a blessing come to us, we make good use thereof.
If my horses be come up to Douglas, and the vessel, it will be necessary to ship all again immediately. If you do this, let me hear from you presently; and nothing shall hinder me, God willing, to haste unto you, and ever be,
Your faithful friend and servant,
Castle Rushin, Aug. 12, 1651.

My little vessel will be ready this tide. The great prize vessel, which I was in hope to have taken for my horses, is not in case.

1. Private Devotions and Miscellanies of James Seventh Earl of Derby, The Revd. F R Raines, Chetham Society FS Vol 66, 1867.