William Clague the Fiddler of Castletown.

Draft notes August 1998 by Jim Roscow.

During my research into the land plots of Castletown I came across a deed, Malew Old Deeds bundle 2, Deed number 39 dated 1712 from William Clague, selling a house called The Fiddler's House, garden and outhouses, rent 5d, belonging to plot ID 138a [my data base reference] to Robert Radcliffe.

William Clague, was presumably the fiddler. He was married to Issabel and the property appears to be on Malew Street east to the north of the Castle. It had Henry Wood to the north, [my data base reference 137] and Robert Quayle to the south, [my data base reference 138b]. In the 1643 leasing the property was held by Edward Brew at 10d rent [part of 19d rent in total], and by 1702 it was shown as divided between William Clague at 4.5d, and William Brew at 5.5d. (The differences in rent are usually accounted for by them exchanging pieces of garden). Robert Quayle took over 5d rent from William Brew in 1703, together with another 1d rent not compounded for being a late enclosure, total 6d rent [138b]. The 1703 Act of

Settlement documents show against the entry 'lives expired' meaning that when the property had been previously leased by the Lord there had been three named persons to continue the holding. This may have referred to the Brew family who had held it in 1666, and by 1703 the named parties were all dead, therefore William Clague and his wife Issabel had to pay the full fine of 3s/4d [4 x 10d] to the Lord for both his house at 5d rent, (138a) and also for Robert Quale's 5d rent, (138b).

William Clague may have moved to an Intack holding in Queen street since there is a deed no.105 in 1741 showing William Clague, junior, cooper, buying a house near Queen Hive from his father William Clague senior for the sum of twelve shillings. By 1870 the house at reference 138a, still at 5d rent, was noted as being " near the stone bridge". It is not clear whether this refers to 'fiddlers bridge' over the Mill Race, or to the main bridge into the town. In any case it helps to establish William Clague's original house in the general area of Malew Street east and probably to the north of Bank Street. The rent payers of the property can be printed out back to 1557 if required but there is no documentary mention of a 'fiddler' prior to William Clague.