A Gallery of some important Members
of the House of Keys
Six prominent and important
Members from the 1800s are portrayed below, accompanied by a short
||Colonel Mark Wilkes,
Following a distinguished career in the British Army in India
and Governorship of St Helen (where he was responsible for the
captive Napoleon), Wilkes became a Member of the Keys in 1816
and Speaker in 1823, following the death of his father-in-law,
Major John Taubman. He played a major part in the ongoing disputes
between the Keys and the Island's Governor, the 4th Duke of
||Edward Moore Gawne (1802-1871)
served as a Member of the Keys from 1829, at the relatively
young age of 27, and became Speaker in 1854 following the death
of his uncle. Having fought strenuously against the introduction
of popular elections, Gawne oversaw what was, for him, the lowest
point in the long and illustrious history of the Keys when the
self-elected House was finally dissolved in 1867.
Major John Taubman (1746-1822) entered
the House of Keys in 1799, following the death of his father,
John Taubman senior. He remained Speaker until his death in
1822. In 1799, he raised the Douglas Volunteers, of which
he was Major Commandant. He also served as Major of the Isle
of Man Volunteers. Both were military groups created to defend
the Island in the event of an invasion by Napoleon's forces.
Sir John Stenhouse Goldie-Taubman JP (1838-1898)
followed his father, John Taubman Goldie-Taubman, both into
the Keys and the position of Speaker. He was first elected
as a Member by the Keys in 1859 and then elected by the voters
of Douglas in 1867, when he was chosen as the new Speaker.
He oversaw first the new elected Keys and then its move to
the new House of Keys in Douglas in 1874.
||Edward Curphey Farrant
(1830-1890) was selected as a member of the House of Keys
at the age of 21, on the death of his father William Farrant.
Though he voted against the Bill to dissolve the self-elected
House, he did stand for the Ayre Sheading in the first general
election in 1867.
||John Christian Curwen
(1756-1828) entered politics in 1786 as the MP for Carlisle.
In 1791 he took the name Curwen. At Westminster he was considered
one of the most able Whig politicians, promoting Parliamentary
Reform. He was also a member of the House of Keys during the
1820s and took a leading role in opposing the claims of the
Duke of Atholl.
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Manx National Heritage. Images marked '© MNH' are copyright Manx
National Heritage. Text and images are reproduced here by kind permission
of Manx National Heritage.