The Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society has a change of speaker this Saturday (April 12).
Professor John Walton, who was due to give a paper on the history of tourism in the Irish Sea area, is unable to come. His place will be taken by Dr Robert Fyson, former senior lecturer in history at Staffordshire University.
Dr Fyson is currently working on a book, The Struggle for Manx Democracy, and he will speak on ‘Robert Fargher and the Manx reform movement’.
Fargher, radical editor and proprietor of the Mona’s Herald newspaper, was imprisoned in Castle Rushen three times during the 1840s-50s for criminal libel against G. W. Dumbell, secretary and most powerful man in the unelected House of Keys.
With James Brown, editor of the Isle of Man Times, who was imprisoned in the castle in 1864 for contempt of the House of Keys, he is generally counted the prime mover towards the establishment of a popularly-elected House, which was finally achieved in 1867.
Dr Fyson wrote 15 of the entries in New Manx Worthies (2006), and is also the author of The Anglo-Manxman, a life of A. W. Moore. He gave a highly-acclaimed paper on ‘Gladstone in the Isle of Man’ to the Antiquarians in 2012.
His lecture on Fargher begins at 2.30pm in the Manx Museum lecture theatre in Douglas on Saturday.