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Isle of Man

Before 1850

FIRST STAMPS British Stamps from 6 May 1840.


sterling to 1971.

1971, decimal currency.

Island in the Irish Sea about 60 miles from Liverpool; changed hands on several occasions up to 1610, when it was granted to the Earl of Derby. Through inheritance passed to the Duke of Athol in 1735, who received £70,000 for all his rights in 1765. The parliament of the island, the Tynwald, is an independent legislative body, probably the oldest continuous parliament in the world.

There is little knowledge of the postal arrangements while the island was in the hands of the Earl of Derby. In 1765 the Act of Revestment which returned the island to the British Crown led to an official packet service from Whitehaven to Douglas. Until 1822 Douglas was a sub-office of Whitehaven, but in that year the packet service was moved to Liverpool and Douglas became a post town.

The first handstamp is known to have been issued before 1767 and markings continued in the normal British provincial style, though worded 'Isle of Man'. Between 1832 and 1840 there was a Penny Post in operation in the Isle of Man with receiving offices at Castletown, Peel and Ramsey, as well as Douglas itself.

Issued with a Maltese Cross postmark to begin with, the numeral 407 was used in Douglas from 1844 and later (1851) 036 and 037 were allocated to Ramsey and Castletown.


During World War I a number of prisoner-of-war camps were established on the island. The only one which had its own PG was Knockaloe, though others had their own cachets. Douglas Holiday Camp was also used as an aliens' detention camp.


Island served a similar purpose in World War II when camps at Knock-aloe and Douglas Holiday Camp were re-opened. Because of the influx of internees, the number of camps and cachets were increased in this period.

1945 to date


Continued to use British and regional stamps under control of the North West Postal Region until postal independence was achieved on 5 July 1973. A new special issue of stamps was released on that day.

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