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Illiam Dhone: Patriot or Traitor? 28 March 2013

The most controversial legal case and the most public violent death in recorded Manx history was that of Illiam Dhone. On Saturday 6th April Manx National Heritage and the Centre for Manx Studies invite you to discover more about this controversial story to mark the 350th year since his execution in a public lecture with Dr Jennifer Kewley Draskau at the Manx Museum. Doors will open at 10.30am for 11am start.

Dr Kewley Draskau is author of the recent publication ‘Illiam Dhone: Patriot or Traitor?: Life, Death and Legacy of William Christian’. She is also a researcher at the Centre for Manx Studies as well as an award-winning fiction writer, playwright and poet. Her research interests include the Goidelic languages, linguistics, translation, stylistics, literature and terminology.

Since his execution at Hango Hill on January 2 1663, Illiam Dhone has become a legendary political figure, his name often equated with rebellion, Manx independence and revolution. But he remains an elusive and controversial character, remembered also for his ambition, nepotism and his ruthlessness, even toward former allies. Variously interpreted as a self-serving turncoat who betrayed his English feudal masters, and, conversely, as a devoted Manx nationalist, he is celebrated in song, legend and tradition as a Manxman who sought to throw off the English yoke and strike a blow for Manx independence.

His death is commemorated annually by large numbers of people near the site of his execution. Was his death judicial murder? Was it an act of vengeance by Charles, 8th Earl of Derby? Was Illiam universally regarded as hero and patriot by the Manx clans of the day? How much can we know of this most remarkable of Manxmen?

Tickets for the lecture are £10, available now from the Manx Museum Shop and online at Members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage receive a 10% discount.

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