History of The Isle of Man - Early Modern Period - English Civil War and Interregnum

English Civil War and Interregnum

In 1643 Charles I ordered James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby to go to Mann, where the people, who were no doubt influenced by what was taking place in England, threatened to revolt.

Stanley's arrival, with English soldiers, soon put a stop to anything of this kind. He conciliated the people by his affability, brought in Englishmen to teach various handicrafts and tried to help the farmers by improving the breed of Manx horses, and, at the same time, he restricted the exactions of the Church. But the Manx also lost much of their liberty under his rule: they were heavily taxed; troops were quartered upon them; and they also had the more lasting grievance of being compelled to accept leases for three lives instead of holding their land by the straw tenure which they considered to be equivalent to a customary inheritance.

Six months after the death of Charles I (30 January 1649), Stanley received a summons from General Ireton to surrender the island, which he declined. In August 1651 Stanley went to England with some of his troops, among whom were 300 Manxmen, to join King Charles II. Charles was decisively defeated at the Battle of Worcester and Stanley was captured, imprisoned in Chester Castle and then tried by court-martial and executed at Bolton.

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