Isle of Man Post Office celebrates 600 years since first recorded Tynwald Ceremony

 Isle of Man Post Office celebrates 600 years since first recorded Tynwald Ceremony

Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present a colourful Tynwald 600 Limited Edition collection, depicting Tynwald Day celebrations through the years on the momentous occasion of its 600 year anniversary. The collection is due for issue on July 5th, Tynwald Day.

Six hundred years ago, Sir John Stanley II, Lord of Man, ordered that the laws of the Isle of Man be written down for the first time. First among them was the procedure for Tynwald Day, much of which is followed to this day. Known as the ‘Constitution of Old Time’, this customary law describes a practice originally established by the Vikings. The name of Tynwald comes from the Old Norse Thingvöllr meaning ‘meeting place’ or ‘assembly field’, the place where the Vikings met to uphold the law, settle disputes, and make decisions affecting the community. Over the centuries Tynwald has met at various locations around the Island – today it continues to meet in the open air once a year, on old midsummer’s day, at Tynwald Hill in St John’s.

Tynwald Day is marked with pomp and ceremony, but it is also an important aspect of Manx parliamentary democracy. The laws are promulgated so that they can be heard by the people of the Isle of Man; if they are not promulgated within eighteen months of having been passed by Tynwald, they cease to have effect. The people are able to air their grievances directly at the foot of the Hill, and matters can indeed be redressed as a result of this simple procedure. Tynwald Day vividly encapsulates the purpose of the Manx parliament: to serve the people of the Isle of Man.

Tynwald is known as the oldest continuous parliament in the world, and its continued existence is fundamental to the unique identity of the Isle of Man, and Tynwald Day is an occasion on which to celebrate that uniqueness.

This colourful celebration collection includes a commemorative sheet and folder limited to 2017 copies featuring a range of Tynwald Day images, including Tynwald Hill both ancient and modern, the celebration of Tynwald’s Millennium year and examples of the Island’s cultural heritage, along with two £1 stamps originally from the Happy Birthday Lord of Mann miniature sheet issued in 2006 showcasing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s royal visits to the Island in 1972 and 2003. There is also a special cover limited edition of 500 signed by President of Tynwald Steve Rodan MLC, containing a selection of images and the two £1 stamps of the Queen.

Steve Rodan MLC, President of Tynwald, said: “The antiquity of Tynwald is wonderfully represented with this fine commemorative souvenir sheetlet, depicting images of the Ceremony through the ages. The Tynwald Ceremony in St Johns was first described in the Customary Law of 1417, the Island’s earliest written statute, ordered to be set out by Sir John Stanley King of Man. Even then it was described as “the constitution of old time” – referring to its Norse origins. A truly remarkable piece of our long history, which we commemorate 600 years later.”

Maxine Cannon, Isle of Man Stamps & Coins General Manager, said: “We were delighted to produce the Tynwald 600 Limited Edition stamp collection which celebrates our Manx National Day and marks its 600 year long history and traditions.”

The limited edition sheet and folder, and special covers are now available for pre-order at Both products along with the Post Office’s recently issued 150th Anniversary of the First Open House of Keys Elections and Manx Festivals stamps will also be available from Culture Vannin’s new shop in St Johns on Tynwald Day and outside of the building there will be a special post box where any letters posted will have a unique Tynwald Day 600 postmark created by Isle of Man Post Office. Our latest stamp collections, once issued, will also available at our Post Offices in Douglas and Ramsey.