Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to spotlight this most tempestuous period in Manx history with a set of six stamps to be issued on July 1st 2019.
The 17th century was a troubled time for the Isle of Man. The Island was ruled and owned by the Stanley family of Knowsley in Lancashire, and between 1627 and 1651 it was James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby, who was in control. There was unrest from the very start of his rule: the Manx people objected to paying the taxes imposed on them by the Church. Furthermore, the Earl had decided to change the ancient system which allowed a tenant farmer to pass his tenancy on to his son. The Earl put an end to that and brought great uncertainty to Manx farmers.
The stamps focus on two members of a prominent Manx family, the Christians, who played a crucial part in the risings against the Earl and his wife: Edward Christian, son of the vicar of Maughold, who had reached an important position in the Earl's administration as head of the militia, but set up a military camp at which he made the men take an oath of loyalty to him rather than the Earl. Among the many things he proposed was that the Members of the House of Keys should be elected by the people and not appointed by the Earl. For this and other treasonable ideas he was imprisoned in Peel Castle and died there in 1661.
Meanwhile another family member, William Christian, also a high officer in the Earl's employment, started another rebellion. He was considered a traitor by the Stanleys but a patriot by many of the Manx for his actions in surrendering the Island to the Parliamentary troops during the Civil War. A trial was held in Castle Rushen at which Christian refused to plead, and so he was sentenced to death and executed at Hango Hill in January 1663. He became a hero to the Manx people and was nicknamed Illiam Dhone, or Brown William, on account of the colour of his hair.
Mark Kermode, Chairman of MecVennin said: "The Isle of Man Post Office is to be commended for helping to re-establish the good name of William Christian / Illiam Dhone with this stamp issue and supporting literature. Without him, the Isle of Man would now be very a different place. It's a timely reminder that his bravery and ultimate sacrifice is now recognised in the history of our Island."
Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Isle of Man Stamps and Coins said: "With Manx National Week and Tynwald Day fast approaching we are honoured to reflect on this important part of our history. The detailed design of these miniature pieces of art is intended to replicate centuries-old engraving to chime with the historical nature of the subject."
The 'Age of Rebellion' collection is available as Set and Sheet Set, Presentation Pack, First Day Cover and as a 20 page Prestige Booklet. For further information, please see www.iompost.com/rebellion.
Illustrations: Peter Davies
Text: Charles Guard
Design: EJC Design
Printer: Lowe Martin
Process: Offset Lithography
Paper: 110 gms PVA gummed
Perforations: 13 per 2cm
Stamp Size: 52 x 40mm
Format: Sheets of 9
Date of Issue: 1st July 2019