The 17th century was a troubled time for the Isle of Man with unrest due to high taxes and uncertainty in the farming community.
The risings against the nobles were mostly led by members of a prominent Manx family, the Christians, whose ancestral home was at Milntown near Ramsey. By the 1640s England was in turmoil as Civil War had broken out and the Isle of Man was a Royalist stronghold. The Earl went to England to fight for the cause where he fared badly being captured, court-martialled and executed.
The Island, now in a vulnerable position, had over 40 parliamentary warships anchored in Ramsey bay. William Christian (Illiam Dhone to the Manx) decided to surrender the Island to avoid bloodshed. Colonel Duckenfield of the parliamentary army came ashore and sent Christian in to Castle Rushen to demand the surrender of the Countess Charlotte. She and all the Royalists were forced to leave the Island.
Christian was appointed Governor of the Island but his fortunes changed dramatically when the monarchy was restored and the next Earl of Derby accused him of treason. A trial was held, at which Christian refused to plead, 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.
This six stamp collection illustrates the Isle of Man in the seventeenth century with Illiam Dhone as the focus. The graphic style developed by Peter Davies and EJC Design perfectly portrays the historical nature of the subject. Manx historian Charles Guard provides fascinating commentary on this tempestuous period in Manx history.
57p: Edward Christian imprisoned in Peel Castle. Inset: 7th Earl of Derby.
90p: A Royalist ball, Castle Rushen. Inset: Countess Charlotte.
£1.10: Meeting at Illiam Dhone's Ronaldsway farm. Inset: Illiam Dhone - Our contribution to the SEPAC 2019 project.
£1.52: Colonel Duckenfield's troops land at Ramsey. Inset: Illiam Dhone.
£1.60: Illiam Dhone delivers letter to Countess Charlotte. Inset: Oliver Cromwell.
£1.85: Trial of Illiam Dhone, Derby House, Castle Rushen. Inset: 8th Earl of Derby.
This wonderful first day cover features the full set six of stamps cancelled with a first day of issue special postmark. The story of the issue is inside, told by Manx historian Charles guard and an illustrated information card with paintings by Peter Davies make this an essential item for any philatelic collection.