The curious case of the king of Mann


Given my fascination with nobility, monarchies, and the recognized noble houses of current republics, I often stumble across web sites for such entities, and those who claim (sometimes dubiously) to be noble. Recently, I found a website for David Drew Howe, pretender to the throne of the Isle of Mann. The site overflows with information set forth to establish his claim. The supposition appears to be hinged on the lack of a response from HRH Queen Elizabeth II to a claim to the throne advertised in the London Gazette in 2007:

DAVID DREW HOWE

Notice is hereby given that David Drew Howe claims incorporeal hereditament rights to the independent Kingdom of Mann or Man, together with fons honorum through ancestral descendant of Sir John Stanley; through the passing by letters patent of 1405 to his heirs, according to the course of the common law, for the grant itself by letters patent was warranted by the common law in this case: and therefore, if no other impediment existed, the incorporeal hereditament rights in this case have descend to the heirs general, and not to the heir male. All enquiries through Leonard Warner (Solicitor), of Green Wright Chalton Annis, 60 High Street, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3RD.

(999)

This article published in 2007 by Fox News could be interpreted as legitimizing the claim. An official of the Isle of Man, however, saw the matter differently:

“As far as the Isle of Man Government is concerned the Isle of Man’s sovereign is Her Majesty the Queen, as Lord of Mann,” Tony Brown, the island’s chief minister, has said. “I am not aware of any valid alternative claim to sovereignty over the Island.”

A nobleman of unquestionable lineage, the Earl of Bradford, maintains a website focused on exposing the purveyance of fake titles. I found no reference to this particular claimant there. I do not postulate however, that a lack of mention be construed as acceptance. I was able to confirm my assumption in an email conversation with Lord Bradford, who said “the King of Man is the Queen”.
There are other men who have taken somewhat creative circumnavigations around the  legal systems of Britain and Commonwealth to establish claims of nobility:
One major difference, however, is that these individuals did not stake their claims based on an ancient lineage, but in what appears to be actual legal loopholes.

A defunct website (unrealroyal.com) published by Michael Andrews-Reading took the Mr. Howes’s claim to task several years ago. It can be resurrected via the WayBack Machine. The latest working instance can be viewed here. I have not validated Mr. Andrews-Reading’s claims, but based on his analysis of pedigree put forth by Mr. Howe, it would appear his claim does not follow the rules of agnatic succession. He also calls into question whether the advertisement in the London Gazette and lack of response from HRH Queen Elizabeth II to contest the claim, serves as legitimization. Moreover, the fact that the site is defunct can be viewed in one of two ways: either Mr. Andrews-Reading conceded to the legitimacy of the Mr. Howe’s claim, or he decided that the claim was so ludicrous that it wasn’t worth the cost of maintaing a site to refute it.

Regardless of Mr. Howe’s claim, it would appear that he plans to remain a modern “king over the water“: 

Not much has changed day to day for King David of Mann, who lives in an unassuming home with his queen, a pistol-packing monarch named Pamela, and their princess, 5-year-old Grace.

“We’re nobody special,” he said.

His friends jokingly call him King Ralph, from the John Goodman movie of the same name, and he occasionally entertains their requests for an informal title, free of charge.

“They’ll rib me enough,” Howe said. “And then I’ll say, ‘OK, get down on your knees,’ but nothing really formal like that.” (2007, Fox News)

So what is my opinion on the matter? Personally, I find it pure whimsy, especially without direct, agnatic succession. It would be a bit like me pretending to the throne of Morgannwg based on a sketchy pedigree tracing back to Iestyn ap Gwrgant (Any highfalutin barrister interested taking up my cause pro bono: email me). Or like Judge John Hanson Briscoe claiming he should be President of the United States because his ancestor, John Hanson, was the President of the United States [in Congress assembled] under the Articles of Confederation. Mr. Howe’s lack of relocation to the Isle speaks volumes, but given the unpopularity of the notion, I can understand why he remains in America. Even if the claim were to be found legitimate, I cannot fathom how Mr. Howe would be able to assume the throne of a kingdom that was absorbed by the British Monarchy hundreds of years ago.

Further reading from this site:

8 thoughts on “The curious case of the king of Mann

  1. The matter has now been reported to HM Government anyway. The man seems to be a complete fantasist but perhaps something rather shady.Rumours abound of him beguiling fellow fantasists. People are investigating him for other matters too. A laughing srokck but if allowed to continue could be a real problem.

  2. I know Drew Howe because I used to work with him years ago at NTW in Chantilly Va. He has a habit of making things up. Drew is about 5′ 2 and weighed probably 200 lbs. At that time he made claims that he was a black belt and trained Navy Seals. He then started telling people that he was a Navy seal. He even got a Navy Seal tattoo. He would always have some outrageous story that he couldn’t support. We would always laugh at him and make fun of his claims. It isn’t shocking to see him making a claim like this.

    N.B. Opinions expressed by commenters on this blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Jeremy B. Blevins. Jeremy B. Blevins is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the commenters.
    – Jeremy

  3. My dna test back.It was always told the stuarts were my cousins.Dna seems to say this:
    My dna cousins:
    William David Stewart Esq.
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA67 FF
    R-S781 1–Paternal:—–Stewart [Appin]
    Charles Stewart, Pursebearer to Prince Charlie

    I am [William] David Stewart of Achara, of the family of Fasnacloich in Appin, Argyll. My branch of the Fasnacloich Stewarts started with Charles Stewart, Pursebearer to Bonnie Prince Charlie, who was a younger son of the current laird of Fasnacloich at that time [mid 18th C.]
    Spencer Stuart (S781-) Jr.
    email FTDNA Tip note GEDCOM Viewer Y-DNA111 FF
    R-L745 1——1) http://www.s781.org/SNPs.jpg
    Scot Walter Stewart, S781,S310,L746
    email FTDNA Tip note GEDCOM Viewer Y-DNA67 FF
    R-M269 1—–Dr Jim Wilson discovered the SNP S781 which arose in Sir John Stewart of Bonkyll. It was first included in Chromo2 test provided by ScotlandDNA.
    Stewart

    R-S781 U x—Dr Jim Wilson discovered the SNP S781 which arose in Sir John Stewart of Bonkyll. It was first included in Chromo2 test provided by ScotlandDNA.
    Orville Roy Stewart (S781+)
    email FTDNA Tip note GEDCOM Viewer Y-DNA111 FF
    R-S781 1—Dr Jim Wilson discovered the SNP S781 which arose in Sir John Stewart of Bonkyll. It was first included in Chromo2 test provided by ScotlandDNA.

    James I (1566-1625) => R1b-L21 (Y-DNA):————240 + MATCHES.***
    Charles I (1600-1649) => T2 (mtDNA) ; R1b-L21 (Y-DNA)—-10 + MATCHES.***
    Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA) ; R1b-L21 (Y-DNA)—50 + MATCHES.***
    James II (1633-1701) => H (mtDNA) ; R1b-L21 (Y-DNA)–60 + matches

  4. In reference to former post:
    Some of 100’s of dna cousins in my tree:
    Lorne McBeth
    email FTDNA Tip note GEDCOM Viewer Y-DNA111 FMS FF
    R-M269 HV-T16311C! 1————–MACBETH KING OF SCOTS.**William McBeath, b. 1792 and d. 1830
    Ferguson [Ayrshire, Scotland], Frame [Ayrshire, Scotland], Hermansen [Sandvika, Norway], McBeth [Sutherlandshire, Scotland]
    Mr. MacBeath

    R-M269 x
    Mr. John Arthur Cantwell
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA111 FMS FF
    R-BY3636 T2c2 1—Charles I (1600-1649) => T2 (mtDNA)
    Mr. Rikard Bark
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA67 HVR2
    R-M269 H 0–Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Dr. Lowell Wendell Smith
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA37 FMS
    R-M269 H1c 1–Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Mr. Robert Alexander Mathieson
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA37
    R-L21 1—James I (1566-1625) => R1b-L21 (Y-DNA):————240 + MATCHES.***
    Chris R Ford
    email FTDNA Tip note GEDCOM Viewer Y-DNA12 HVR1 FF
    R-M269 H 1—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Mr. Gould

    R-L21 H x—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**I believe this L21 group is of Davidic lineage.** This is also the group of much of Europe’s Royalty who until recent times usually married among themselves.-**James I (1566-1625) => R1b-L21 (Y-DNA)–Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Paul Bernhard Thorn
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA12 FMS
    R-M269 H31 0—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Can Nakkas
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA12 HVR1
    R-M269 H 0—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Mr. Hood

    R-M269 H x—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Herrera

    R-M269 H x—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)
    Scott Allan Hamsher
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA12 HVR1
    R-M269 T2 0——Charles I (1600-1649) => T2 (mtDNA) ; R1b-L21 (Y-DNA)- Haplogroup of Tsar Nicholas Romanov:T**
    Mr. Eric Paul Noble
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA12 HVR1
    R-P312 T 0——Charles I (1600-1649) => T2 (mtDNA) ; R1b-L21 (Y-DNA)- Haplogroup of Tsar Nicholas Romanov:T**
    Gary Jay Shenton
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA12 HVR1
    R-M269 H 0—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA)

  5. The most entertaing match,if true:
    Mr. Thomas Colomb
    email FTDNA Tip note Y-DNA67 HVR1
    R-L2 H 1—mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H**Charles II (1630-1685) => H (mtDNA) —Born in 1977. French town of Reims. I ordered my kit in order to better understand the origin of the french people “Colomb”. The second goal is to reinforce my belief on our link with Colombus the sailor. Even the study organized by the spanish Scientific “José Antonio Lorente Acosta” can’t provide this answer. Well there’s a rumour that the Colombus haplogroup is the Atlantic modal R1b. Our result confirmed is R1b1a2a1a1b3c L2+ This genetic marker is found in the northern part of Italy (Liguria, Emilia Romagna). Our ancestor named Antoni Colomboni used to live in the early 14th century.

  6. Ironically,look at this in my dna tree:
    Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, KG (1435 – 29 July 1504) was titular King of Mann, an English nobleman and stepfather to King Henry VII of England. He was the eldest son of Thomas Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley and Joan Goushill, and through his mother a lineal descendant of King Edward I of England by Elizabeth Plantaganet, Countess of Hereford and the FitzAlan family of Arundel.

    A landed magnate of immense power, particularly across the northwest of England where his authority went almost unchallenged, even by the Crown, Stanley managed to remain in favour with successive kings throughout the Wars of the Roses until his death in 1504. His estates included what is now Tatton Park in Cheshire, Lathom House in Lancashire, and Derby House in the City of London, now the site of the College of Arms.

    Although the king for the early part of his career, Henry VI, was head of the House of Lancaster, Stanley’s marriage to Eleanor, daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury (a descendant of Edward III) and sister of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (‘Warwick the Kingmaker’) in the late 1450s constituted a powerful alliance with the House of York. This did him no harm, however, even after Warwick was toppled from power, and in 1482, with the House of York now occupying the English throne, he married his second wife Lady Margaret Beaufort, whose son, Henry Tudor, was the leading Lancastrian claimant. He was the last to use the style ‘King of Mann’, his successors opting for the safer ‘Lord of Mann’. Stanley was “a man of considerable acumen, and probably the most successful power-broker of his age”.[1]

    Mr. Hopkins Davis Stanley
    emailFTDNA Tip note GEDCOM Viewer Y-DNA67 HVR1
    R-L21 H 1 ——-mtDNA Haplogroup of Prince Philip:H—James I (1566-1625) => R1b-L21 (Y-DNA)–The Royal House of Stewart (L21>DF13>DF41>L745)
    WWP8J Show Stanley Unknown R1b1a2a1a1b4 (tested) Family Tree DNA 12 1

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