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Cover and pages from 'A Key to Tynwald
  “The Tynwald Hansard team also produces transcripts for the parliaments of Guernsey,
Gibraltar, Alderney, Sark and the Turks & Caicos Islands. ”
A Key to Tynwald , page 21
blank top
   pic of the wedding cake, tynwald  
A Key to Tynwald
  When we were putting A Key to
together we realised that
we’d been bandying the word
‘Tynwald’ about, without
acknowledging that it had several
  For example ‘Tynwald’ can refer
specifically to the Manx parliament;
Manx Radio frequently announces
that ‘such and such was discussed
in Tynwald today’. ‘Tynwald’ can
also mean the annual ceremony on
Tynwald Hill, as in ‘are you going
to Tynwald this year?’ Legally ‘the
Court of Tynwald’ is the Isle of
Man’s supreme court, while using
‘Tynwald’ in casual speech can be
anything to do with politics.
  Originally ‘Tynwald’ meant ‘assembly field’, where Scandinavian communities got together to lay down some basic rules for trading: don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t run off with someone else’s girl/wife/mother and don’t kill each other. Politicians today could learn a thing or two.
  The ancient tradition is echoed today in the names of the parliaments of Iceland (Althingi), Norway (Storting), Finland (Lagting), Denmark (Folketing), the Faroe Isles (Løgting), Greenland (Landsting) and the Åland Islands (Lagting). Even Shetland and Orkney had their parliaments, both at places called Tingwall. The final chapter of A Key to Tynwald discusses its similarities to other parliaments with Scandinavian roots.
  A Key to Tynwald - An Introduction to the Isle of Man’s parliament
Did you know that the Isle of Man was the first
country in the world to grant votes to women?
New Zealand is usually stated to be the first
country to enfranchise women, but Manx women
were voting twelve years before their
Antipodean sisters.

Tynwald is also the oldest continuous parliament
in the world. Once a year, as its Viking founders
intended, Tynwald still meets outside on a small
hill to announce new laws to the waiting crowds.
If it’s raining then the dignitaries get wet!
In keeping with the Viking idea of hospitality
and truce visiting their homestead must be
treated with respect) Tynwald Hill is said to
contain earth drawn from all seventeen parishes
on the island.

page 8 from A Key to Tynwald
But Tynwald is more than merely pageantry and
processions. The lower house is the House of
Keys, the upper house is the Legislative Council
and the two houses sitting together make up the
Court of Tynwald. Together they are responsible
for running a small but fiercely independent
nation. The Isle of Man government is a highly
successful fusion of old traditions and modern

page 13 from A Key to Tynwald

The eighth in our Hoofprint series of brief guides,
A Key to Tynwald joins our other popular titles
providing a brief and colourful introduction to
Manx culture and heritage.

page 17 from A Key to Tynwald

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