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Keys marks 150 years of democracy

Special sitting held in Castletown

A special sitting of the House of Keys took place at its original home in Castletown on Tuesday afternoon.

The Old House of Keys hosted the session, marking the 150th anniversary of the introduction of a popularly-elected Manx government.

The chain of events which led to the introduction of direct elections was outlined by historian Dr Kit Gawne to the attending MHKs

He spoke of the people who had campaigned for political reform in the Isle of Man from the 1830s onwards.

One of the most notable was newspaper owner and journalist James Brown, whose comments about MHKs in an 1864 article led to his imprisonment: (play audio)

This whole episode helped to further convince the Lieutenant Governor of the day, Henry Loch, that reform was necessary, and helped set in motion the wheels of change.

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