A portrait of Lieutenant Governor
Cornelius Smelt by Thomas Barber, 1826. The Keys held Smelt in high
esteem and as a result commissioned this painting to be hung in
the House of Keys.
The first bids for Home Rule
Following Revestment, a series of
Crown-appointed Governors were sent to the Island to rule on behalf
of the British Crown. In 1793, the 4th Duke of Atholl returned as
the new Governor-in-Chief and the ancient feud restarted between
the Keys and the old Lords of Mann.
Also, attempts were made by Westminster to bring the Island under
direct English rule, and to make it part of Cumberland.
Throughout, the Keys maintained their
belief in the ancient right of the Island to self-determination
and the liberty of the Manx people.
...in respect to government and laws, the Manks
appear, in all ages to have been a distinct people, and in some
degree an independent, or not annexed to any other kingdom
The people, however, beyond all written record, have clearly within
claimed and enjoyed the right and privilege of being governed and
regulated by laws of their own making, or consented to by themselves,
or by their constitutional representative...'
'To maintain this independence of the Legislature,
is held to be the first duty of every Manxman
they dread therefore
and must ever dread, the interference in their internal concerns,
or even a precedent being made for such interference from any other
legislature on earth; even the British...'
Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry for the Isle of Man - 1792
(Ref: IOMMM: F64/42X)
A stalemate was reached between
the Keys and the Duke of Atholl and as a result no laws were promulgated
between 1801 and 1813, although the midsummer fair was still held
on Tynwald Day at St Johns.