Edward Christian (1660-1661)
Governor of the Isle of Man and imprisoned in Peel Castle for trying to make the House of Keys a popularly elected body.
Edward Christian, the
younger son of a vicar of Maughold, amassed a fortune trading as a captain with
the East India Company. By 1628, he had
returned to the Isle of Man, where he was appointed Governor by the then Lord
Strange—James Stanley, the son of the 6th Earl of Derby and later
known as Yn Stanlagh Mooar, the Great
Following a few years of
exemplary service, Edward Christian was accused of ‘trucking with a pirate’; as
a result, he lost the Great Stanley’s favour and was dismissed from office in
1639. On the outbreak of Civil War in
England, however, the Great Stanley, a Royalist, called Christian back into his
service, and gave him command of the Manx forces. But in 1643, Christian was accused of
stirring the Manx conscripts to insurrection.
He was arrested on a charge of treason, accused of attempting to overthrow
the government, wanting to make the House of Keys a popularly elected body, and
wanting to repeal any law that was not in the interest of the Manx people.
He was imprisoned in Peel Castle
for eight years, until the Great Stanley was executed in 1651, and Christian
was released by the Parliamentarians. However, in 1659 he was accused of plotting
against Governor Chalenor, and was thrown again into prison at Peel Castle,
where he died in 1661.
His liberty for his people