[taken from Chapter 7 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]


of Knockrushen, near Castletown, was a younger brother of Captain Edward Christian (see P. 60). We know that this was so from some interesting evidence given in the records, in 1716, in reference to the property of Ballakilley, in Maughold, a part of which was then in the hands of the descendants of one of Edward's and William's sisters. This evidence is to the effect that "Vicar Christian" (of Maughold) " had three sons. His eldest was a clergyman called young vicar, his second son Edward, who for some time was Governor of this Island, and after Receiver and Major General, his third son was William marryed to the heiress of Knockrushen."ii Like his namesake, William held for a time the office of receiver. The first reference to his name in the records is in 1642, when the inhabitants of Castletown petitioned the governor to prevent him from making any more use of his "kill," as it " hath been twise fired in one yeare to the hazard of the utter overthrowe of the whole towne."* In July, 1644, he was confined in Castle Rushen on suspicion of having incited the people to revolt against the earl, and having given them the " dangerous oath and covenant."+ When there, he was accused of treason because he was supposed to have said, " A petition [for his release] will do noe more good than a straw . but if the Captain and Comptroller weare taken and kept at Bishopp's Court, he might then gett released."* This was referred to the Tynwald Court, which stated that "if it can be lawfully proved that there was an intention to put in practice the taking of the Captaine and detaining him by force against his will, in such a case we are all of opinion that it is Treason by the Lawe of the Island."* He was acquitted of this charge, but was detained in prison some months longer. In 1651, he was one of the chief of those who were consulted about the rising. He seems to have been a member of the House of Keys, since at a meeting of that body in 1652, it is recorded that he had recently died.

, we assume that they were the chief leaders, since, except William Christian of Knockrushen, who died either at the end of 1651, or early in 1652, they were the only Manxmen who had their estates seized and confiscated in 1662 on account of the rising in 1651.

For full details about the Manx Militia and Fencibles see " The military organisation of the Isle of Man,,, in Yn LioarManninagh. VOI.II.,PP.141-~3.

 j) Lib. Scaccar.


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