Manx Independent: November 30, 2007


FROM: DAVID HOWE, The King of Mann, Washington DC, United States of America.

(Full address supplied)

I AM responding to a letter to the editor (November 2), written by Mr Derek Winterbottom, regarding my claim to the title King of the Isle of Man.

To begin, Mr Winterbottom mentioned Queen Elizabeth I's Privy Council decision concerning the Isle of Man in 1598. Mr Winterbottom contends that the privy council declared the original grant to the Stanley family to be null and void and, as a result, my claim also null and void.

However, I feel he left out some important details, specifically the fact that Ferdinando Stanley's daughters were involved in a legal dispute with William Stanley, sixth Earl of Derby, over the inheritance of Mann.

Also absent was the fact that Her Majesty did not agree with the decision of her privy council and referred the contending claimants to the decision of the courts.

We know that by 1607 the courts decided in favour of Ferdinando's daughters, who, soon after, sold their rights to William Stanley.

One might speculate that James I's 1610 re-grant was merely to affirm the transfer of ownership of the Island and the title, Lord of Mann. These events do not change the fact that my ancestors were once the Kings of the Isle of Man. History wasn't changed by James I's re-grant.

Even if Elizabeth I had agreed with her privy council to make the original grant null and void (which is debatable), that specific issue was a dispute over rights to the title Lord of Mann and the physical property of the Island.

I've never been concerned with either of these issues — instead, my concern is only the issue of the title King and the incorporeal herediment rights that belonged to the kingdom and my ancestors as the Kings.

To wit, I've never had some grandiose and delusional notions of moving into Castle Rushen and challenging the Lord of Mann over governing rights.

I have never implied this directly or indirectly and that notion is a media creation.

Secondly, if, as Mr Winterbottom agrees, the correct title for the sovereign, de facto or de jure, is that of King and not that of Lord, then, to whom does that incorporeal herediment belong?

The current Lord of Mann apparently has no interest, nor do any other heirs general. In fact, I'm the only heir in the last 500 years to assert this claim.

And, as far as UK law is concerned, I've satisfactorily met the requirements for ownership of the title and I have a barrister's opinion affirming my legal rights to the use thereof.

Addressing some concerns of others, the London Gazette was the proper venue for me to have asserted my claim based on the fact that the English Crown granted and made Sir John Stanley and his heirs general, for life, the Kings of the Isle of Man in 1405-06.

These rights and regalities given to my family were not a creation of Tynwald or any other parliamentary body of the Island.

Do not misunderstand me. I have the utmost respect for the Manx people and their chosen form of government. Publishing my claim in the London Gazette, the British Crown's paper of record, and not in an Island publication, was done for practical, legal reasons. It was not meant to slight anyone on the Isle of Man.

Finally, I respect Mr Winterbottom's credentials, but it is impossible for someone to say I have broken with the intention of Henry IV's grant to Sir John Stanley, or to say that my claim is null and void based on the opinion of Elizabeth I's Privy Council nearly 200 years after.

The only people with direct knowledge and genuine insight into this have been dead a very long time. Mr Winterbottom's opinions are, at best, speculative. No more or less than my own.



I WISH to support the contributor to the letters page of the Manx Independent (November 9) headed 'bikes render route unwalkable'.

I am Manx and have lived with motorcycles all my life but I think we have reached a point where enough is enough.

Not only are our upland greenways being eroded by overuse by motorcyclists but for four weeks, year after year, we lose our freedom in order to accommodate the TT and MGP.

Little thought is given to those living on the course trapped in or out of their homes. Our treasury minister announced that the 2007 TT brought in 50m to the Island.

There was no mention of how much goes off Island in prize money, imported doctors and police, marketing firm 70,000 plus 30 per cent tourist board budget etc.

A balance sheet covering all government departments connected with road racing would make interesting reading.

Perhaps if those affected by road closures were financially compensated, calculated on an hourly basis for every hour the course is closed, racing times and practices would be greatly reduced.

Douglas residents do not have the inconvenience or the intrusion into their lives, nor the disruption to their mail (deliveries can be held back until the end of race week).

Also there must be concern regarding CO2 emissions. How can we promote organic farming when motorcycles invade every nook and cranny of the Manx countryside?

We have celebrated 100 years of road racing, it's time to move on and introduce more environmentally friendly pursuits. Think of global warming.


FROM: PAUL D. CHAMBERS, Address supplied.

I RECENTLY had no means of communicating with my wife who had gone to book a sail/rail ticket at the Steam Packet.

So, with little hope of success following my own previously bad experiences with the Steam Packet and the poor press that they have so rightly received, I telephoned them and requested that a message be given to my wife to telephone home before proceeding with the booking.

Shortly afterwards my wife was in contact and the correct booking made. The young lady who took the message was due to go off duty and was clearly pressed for time, but the message was professionally dealt with. Perhaps a lesson could be learnt further up in the Steam Packet management system to look after their customers to a similar standard.


FROM: DAN CARTER, Address supplied.

I HAVE driven all over Europe but find some of the Islands roads some of the most difficult to drive when it's dark, during rush hours.

This is due to inadequate street lighting. After driving from Douglas to Port Erin recently I felt lucky that I had not had a bump.

Please, Isle of Man Government, start showing some care for road safety, put up some street or road lighting and switch them on during rush hours. Also, how about some speed cameras? I agree with another reader's letter about the danger posed by lunatic drivers on this Island.

Safe drivers are getting sick of this government keeping its head in the sand regarding this issue. Maybe I should put the words 'money' and 'speed cameras' in the same sentence to get them to take notice.


FROM: CHRIS JAGUS, Address supplied.

IT'S a shame some of your readers are saddened by the absence of imported sausages in Manx supermarkets (Independent, November 16). I have three words of advice which may be helpful — buy Manx sausages. If the lady in question really wants processed English sausages I have three more words of advice — live in England.


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