Isle of Man Sword of State

Contributed by Manx National Heritage

The Isle of Man Sword of State © Manx National Heritage

The Isle of Man has the oldest continuous parliament in the world - the Tynwald.This is a symbol of the oldest continuous parliament in the world, the Manx sword of state is not tucked away in a vault, but is used at every sitting of the parliament - the Tynwald.

Tynwald originated with the Vikings. Small, local meetings were held, but the annual parliament in the geographical centre of the Island was where laws were enacted. Even today, new legislation cannot be enforced if it has not been declared at the annual Tynwald ceremony.

It depicts the Manx national symbol, the three legs of Man and despite various upgrades over the centuries, probably has its origins in the 1400s.

One of the earliest objects to associate the three legs with the Island, there have been three swords of states through the ages.

One is still used in the parliamentary process today, the second is in the Manx Museum on the Island and the third is lost - since the 1760s when the Lord of Mann sold his rights to the British Crown.

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