It can scarce admit of a doubt, that the Isle of Man was originally peopled from the same great Celtic stock by which, with by much the greater part of Europe, the Islands of Great Britain and Ireland were first peopled; of this the language, still in great measure Celtic, is a proof demonstrative. Yet, in respect to government and laws, the Manks, appear in all ages, to have been a distinct people, and in some degree an independent, or not annexed to any other kingdom; and though the Island or Kingdom of Man appears to have undergone several revolutions in its government, and at different periods to have been dependent on one or other of the British crowns, and that of Norway or Denmark, yet it appears also that, beyond all record among themselves, their Constitution has been free, or as much so as compatible with the tempers of the times, or latterly within record, consistent with the feodal tenures and feodal ideas under which the people held: And these, probably first derived from England, seem, or the effects of such system only, to have retained longer footing in the Isle of Man than, in some respects, they have done in England. The people, however, beyond all written record, have clearly within, claimed and enjoyed the right and privilege of being governed and regulated by laws of their own making, or consented to by themselves, or by their constitutional representatives. Regulations indeed, under the name of ordinances, have sometimes been issued in name of the Lord by the Governor and Council, which have been admitted as laws into the statute books, and some of them without any further confirmation of the Legislature: And the Keys also, in some cases, seem to have assumed and been allowed a similar privilege.
Letter of Colonel Alexander Shaw, Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man, 15th Chief of Clan Shaw and 10th Chief of Clan Shaw of Tordarroch.