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Edward Christian (1660-1661)

Electoral Reformer 

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 Stanley.  
 
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