[From Manx Soc vols 25+28 - Blundell's History]




IT is now above a full century of years since the Kings of Man have descended in title to become Lords of Man, only waving with the title of king most of the accustomed ceremonies antiently belonging thereto ; so there are not now any that are living who do know any, or at least but few, particulars concerning the same. Mr. Greenhaigh, the worthy governor of the Isle when I was there, cou’d not or wou’d not inform me. Neither of him nor any other cou’d I receive so much satisfaction as to be inform’d of what fashion or of what metal the crown of the King of Man was made of. Out of the Isle I conferred with some who wou’d seem an-tiquaries, yt confidently averred yt yt crown was of iron, which is not altogether improbable in their first and original installation ; for it hath not been in use, in England itself, from ye beginning, to crown their kings with diadems of gold, as John Harding informeth us

Dunwallo—so-called Moluntius (Mulmutius)—
At Troinovant, with royall diadem
Of gold crowned, most rich and precious,
Upon his head, as did him well beseem.
The first he was, as Cronocles expreem,
That in this Isle of Brittain had a crown of gold;
For all afore copper and guilt was to behold.

Anno Domini 1334 Charles, ye fourth Emperor of Jermany, was crowned at Millain with a crown of iron (saith Cooper), but crowns of gold were worne by kings above 600 years before Dunwallo’s reigrie, for King David took the Crown of ye King of Ammon from his head, ye weight whereof was a talent of gold, with ye precious stones, and was set upon David’s head, and I believe ye richest crown that had been worne by any king before that time. There was a sardonix enchased therein, of great value, saith Josephus.

God hath presented the King of Man with the blessing of His goodness, for he set a crown of gold upon his head ; the crown wherewith the King of Man was crowned was of pure gold, for both Walsingham, and out of him the Lord Cook,’ not only seem to confirm ye same, but to affirm as much, for, say they : Est nempe jus ipsius insule et quis quis illius sit Dominus Rex vocetur cui fas est, aurea Corona cononari, as I showed you before.

But concerning the form of the crown of these Kings of Man, altho’ I am not confident enough to aver, yet I suppose you may receive ye general rule which James, Earl of York delivereth, yt all ye kings to the time of King Edward ye 3d their crowns were of this manner.

And therefore, probably, it was of this forme, for neither King Edwin nor Edgar (who stiled themselves emperors and monarchs), yet they ware not their crownes closed as ye imperialls did, though now all kings, absolute and independent of any other, take up ye custom to close them at ye top; Cooper, in ye life of Constantine ye Great, saith that of Constantine, ye son of Helena, ye kings of Brittaine had first the priveledge to wear close crowns or diadems.

As for ye anciant manner of their king’s coronation, or rather inauguration, for this note here following maketh no mention of his coronation, by favour and familiarity I had with one of ye keys of ye Island I obtayned ye sight of a Coppy (but imperfect, of an ancient Cronocle), so was it stiled in its frontispiece ; I present you with it verbatim, as I did then transcribe it thus


But before I set down the rest I hold it requisite yt I shou’d inform you what this word Tinwald 2 importeth with them of the Island, for I shall have occasion to name it often hereafter. Tinwald is the name of a little hill lying hard by a chapel, called St John’s Chappel, almost in the midst of the Island, but inclining much to the west side thereof, within 2 miles of Peeltown. In antient time their kings were crown’d in this place, yt is, on this hill, and every year there was used to be a meeting of the King or Lord of the Island, and all his officers, with the comons, in this place, on St John’s Day, (ye 24th of June), to establish and make laws, to reform abuses, and to treat of anything yt conduced to the publick good of the Island, but now at this day they may and must meet where and when the Lord of the Island, or his governor shall appoint ; notwithstanding, the name of Tinwald is still retained, and doth signify a meeting or a court, kept in what place soever it be comanded by the governor to be kept in.


He was to come in his royal apparell as a king, and upon ye hill of Tinwald to sit in a chaire covered with a royal cloth and cushions, his face towards ye east ; ye sword held before him with ye point upwards ; the barons in ye third degree, ye beneficed men and ye deemsters before, sitting; ye clerk, knights, esquires above him in third degree, ye worthiest men4 for ye Island to be called in by ye deemsters to satisfye any questions ye king shall aske of them concerning ye government of the Island, and to signifye unto them wt his pleasure is ; ye commons to stand without the circle, in thefield, with 3 clerks in their surplices ; then ye deemsters shall call in ye coroner of Glanfaba,5 and he to call the rest of ye coroners of Man, with their yards in their hands, and with their weapons upon them, either sword or ax, and the moors, yt is to wit of every sheeding ; 6 then ye coroner of Glan-faba shall make a fence, and proclaim upon pain of life and limb yt no man shall make any disturbance or stir in ye time of Tinwald,7 or any murmur or rising in the king’s presence, upon pain of hanging and drawing, and shall let all your barons and others know yt he is their king and lord, an heir-apparent unto his father ; 8 then all the barons of Man, with the worthiest men and comons, come and shall do fealty and faith ; the comons come and show their charters, how they hold of the king, and ye barons yt made no homage before are now to do it ; if any be out of the Island they are to have 40 days’ space after they are called to come, and show whereby they held the claim, or land, or tenements within the Isle, and to do homage and fealty if wind and weather serve them, or to forfeit their tempporalities into the king’s hands ; then to proceed to whatsoever they have then to do in felony or treason, or other matter yt toucheth the government of the Isle of Man. Mr James Chaloner addeth yt the coroner of Glanfaba calleth in the other 5 coroners, and he, and all of ‘em, upon their knees deliver up the rods of their offices into the lord’s hands, if he be present, and then his lordship calleth 6 other of the 6 sheedings, and delivereth to every one of them one of the sd rods, and there upon their knees they take their oaths for the due execution of their places, which the eldest deemster administreth unto them in the Manks tongue.


1 Instit. part 4, c. 69, p. 283.

2 A Tinwald, what it importeth, see after, Chapter XXIV.

3 These are his fee’d counsellors. Mr Challoner conceiv’d ‘em to be beneficed parsons of ye 17 parishes.

4 ye 24 keys of ye Island.

5 Who is ye principal coroner.

6 What a sheeding is, see before, 1. 1, c. 4.

7 Tinwald is a Norwegian word, from Tina, Court, and Wald, guarded or fenced.

8 The King is here proclaimed, but now crowned ; yet this note bears date above 200 years, in J. Stanley the youngest time, who confirmed some laws here enacted.


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