Monday, January 11, 2010

Interesting follow up to the Milntown story

This fascinating piece of family history is from Charles Christian, a Past President of the Washington Manx Society:
It was good to see you and the other Manx folks yesterday.  Your attachment of the Manx scrapbook reminded me of the trip we (about 8 of us led by Russ Woodgates) took to the IOM in July of 1999.  One day we broke off from the group and hiked up Lezayre Road to Milntown Manor, an estate that passed from Christian father to son for twenty generations, say 1400s to 1900s.  We received a tour of the beautiful gardens and grounds, along with the restored mill, by the current tenants, trustees for life.  They said the estate would then become a Manx National Trust Property.  One of the Christian sons, William the ancestor in my line, was given the estate called Ronaldsway in 1637, which was razed and transformed into an aerodrome during World War II.  As I recall this property was down near Castletown on the peninsula running into the Bay called Derby Haven.   During the Cromwell period, this William (Illiam Dhone) Christian was  given control of IOM while the Earl of Derby went to England to help King Charles I.  To preclude the fate that befell Ireland at the hands of Cromwell forces, William handed over IOM to the Cromwell forces, thus saving IOM  from burn and destroy tactics.  However, when the Earl returned he did not take too kindly to William's action and aided a rigged jury into giving him death by firing squad,  King Charles' pardon arrived a few days late, having been delayed in route.  If computers/e-mail had come along sooner, I might be living on the IOM today.  There was, maybe still, a much bigger than life size painting of William in the front entrance of the library in Douglas.  There was also a 29 verse ballad written about him as the martyr.   My ancestor, William's 10th child Patricius, enrolled on May 5, 1665 at the age of 16 in Trinity College at the University of Dublin, later becoming the Prebendary (clergyman) of Lismore, Ireland.  His youngest son, Gillbert with his family immigrated to America in 1726.  More than you ever wanted to know about the Christians.  Charles  

Everyone who has been to the Island will know that Ronaldsway is now our 'International' airport!    

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