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Old December 13th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #1

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How many times was England invaded

How many times was England invaded in post Roman Britania. Including unsuccsessful invasions. Often we hear the battle of Hastings as the last succsesfull invasion of England. Not true if you count the Tudors, but as they were English most people don't count them. Of course both the French and Scots invaded several times. Not to mention the "Vikings". Norsemen is a better term in my opinion, but regardless, how many times has England been invaded?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 12:51 AM   #2

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Originally Posted by Yekkelle View Post
How many times was England invaded in post Roman Britania. Including unsuccsessful invasions. Often we hear the battle of Hastings as the last succsesfull invasion of England. Not true if you count the Tudors, but as they were English most people don't count them. Of course both the French and Scots invaded several times. Not to mention the "Vikings". Norsemen is a better term in my opinion, but regardless, how many times has England been invaded?
Actually, the Tudors were originally Welsh but as Wales was essentially under England's rule, it was still an internal usurpation, not a foreign invasion. You could say Henry VII invaded the throne - but I would not say he invaded the nation. And certainly, I would not say the Welsh invaded.

I thought Viking invasions were pre-Norman conquest? The Scots may have raided the borders but were they with the intent of invading the entire nation? And I can't think of any French invasions - England was often at war with the French but I thought they were mostly fought on French land. Mind you, I don't have a huge knowledge of military history, I'm just thinking aloud.

But there was, of course, the Spanish Armada invasion when Elizabeth I reigned.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #3

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There has been no real invasion of England,actually on English soil so to speak since before the Romans IIRC,the closest being the Armada and Germany in WW2 of course.

We have handled ourselves pretty well in fact *pushes out chest with pride*
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:09 AM   #4

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William III invaded in 1688, his 'invitation' was highly questionable.

Prince Louis of France invaded in 1216, and actually took London and was proclaimed King by some.

Last edited by astafjevs; December 14th, 2012 at 02:15 AM.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:17 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by astafjevs View Post
William III invaded in 1688, his 'invitation' was highly questionable.
He was invited by some but not by all. Same thing with bonny Prince Charlie.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:21 AM   #6

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Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite friends paid a visit in 1745 and got as far south as Derby.
The Duke of Monmouth was on the visiting team against the army of James II for the last battle on English soil at Sedgemoor in 1685.
I believe the French popped over to the Isle of Wight during the rein of HenryVIII
(i am struggling to find any evidence to back up this last claim)
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Old December 14th, 2012, 03:39 AM   #7

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In my opinion, William III invasion was really an invasion, in spite of internal support for him. Officially, the country was in war with William, and both the Army and the Navy were movilized to avoid it. The Navy tried to block the invasion, and the Army sustained skirmishes with the invading force.

If all of these English actors understood that William was better king than James, and finally stopped opposition, that's another issue.

Another two invasions to conquer the throne took place in the Middle Ages: one in charge of an Englishwoman, Empress Matilda, in 1139, coming from France.

The other, a very similar one to William III action: Prince Louis of France was invited by English Barons to seize the crown. He invaded with a French army in 1215, and was close to achieve the victory. But in this case, the barons finally rejected their support.

Other invasions without intenttion of taking power took place:

*The most important was the Castillian-French attack on England during the Hundred Years War, in the 1370-80 years. The southern coast English cities were burnt down, including the major ones

Click the image to open in full size.

*The Spanish landed in Cornwall and burnt down the villages in the area. The militia fled in panick http://www.englandspastforeveryone.o...unts%20Bay.pdf

I'm pretty sure other French attacks took place more recently, but I don't remember the dettails. The German Navy also, made some landins in England during the WWI.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 03:48 AM   #8

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Does Guernsey count? Louis XIV tried to invade there in 1704, unsuccessfully.

And Medway 1667 of course though that wasn't an invasion really so much as a raid.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 03:57 AM   #9
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Old English legends tell a few good stories and one or two occurred in Thanet. England's been an accommodating lot, in history. Post Roman occupation (I think the Romans left around 407 CE), settlers were also invited, saving them the trouble of invasion.

At the beginning of the 5th century, Roman-British "Vortigern" is said to have been coping with Irish and Pict invaders on northern and western frontiers and Germanic raiders on his eastern coasts.There was also a challenge from Ambrosius, and his Gallic allies. So Vortigern invited Saxons in to London. However, their commanders Hengist and Horsa exploited Vortigern's position and took the opportunity to bring in more Saxons. To pay those warriors, it was agreed they should they be given lands in Kent. Oops. A legend but nonetheless amusing.

Much later, during John's 13th century reign and at a time when we were more disposed to the French, rebel Barons invited the French to England in around 1215. Louis at first sent a few Knights in a token support which quickly escalated to an invasion during 1216. Once French ships were sighted off Kent, John scurried off to Winchester for a short while and later left. Once he was out of the way, Louis had himself proclaimed King (not crowned) and occupied London while enjoying rebel barons' and citizens' support.

When the French later got greedy and decided to take a lot more ground, they met their match at places like Dover Castle, and Windsor. Thanks to loyalists and people like William Marshal, and the Treaty of Lambeth, the French weren't here for very long because by autumn 1217 they'd given up their claims ( at a price) and gone home. Bit of a potted history and there's more to it all, and more battles, sieges and castles than you can shake a stick at. But you get the idea.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:30 AM   #10
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I'm not sure when the last invasion of England happend, but the last invasion of Britain occurred in February 1797 in Wales by the French. But, being French, they were quickly defeated by the local women and, of course, eventually surrendered (to this day, the French insist on using the pathetic excuse that, because the women were dressed in red, they thought the women were British soldiers). The French thought it wise to get drunk whilst trying to invade a country, but they were so blathered that not only the women, but most of the other locals, fought and defeated them.

It probably ranks as the most pathetic invasion attempt of all eternity.

It was engineered by French troops (reportedly partly made up of 600 convicts) who planned it as a diversion to draw the British army away from Ireland, where the French planned a major attack.

Click the image to open in full size.

1400 French soldiers, led by an American, Colonel William Tate, landed at Carreg Wastad (Welsh for "Flat Rock"), near Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, in south west Wales. A retired sailor raised the alarm. The French then began their destruction by pillaging farms for chickens and skirmishing with local people. They were soon drunk enough to became easy prey for the local people who attacked them with homemade weapons.

Hearing the ticking of a grandfather clock, a French soldier fired at it—the clock with the bullet hole still exists. The Pembroke Yeomanry, hearing of the attack, marched from Stackpole Court to engage the enemy. The French, demoralized when their ships, for some reason, not-very-bravely sailed away without them, surrendered on Goodwick Sands on the third day.

Local legend says it was the Welsh women, with their red cloaks and black hats that saved the day. The French thought they were surrendering to British grenadiers (or so they say). The prisoners were held in Haverfordwest, then in Portsmouth, then returned to France. A stone monument now marks the spot where the French landed. You can take a walk there—follow directions to the Carreg Wastad Point.

Click the image to open in full size.

The story of this invasion is told in the Fishguard tapestry (above), worked by more than 70 stitchers as a community project. The work of art was initiated by the Fishguard Arts Society as their contribution to the 1997 Bicentenary of the Last Invasion of Britain.

The Tapestry - similar to the Bayeux Tapestry - measures 100 ft long. 178 different colours of wool were used in the embroidery and more than 40,000 hours went into the stitching. The tapestry incorporates actual events and local legends of the historical facts. The colours of the tapestry flow from day to night to day. The main events are described briefly in Welsh and English lettering in the borders. The first character in the tapestry is Nelly Phillips, a nine year old, who was the first to sight the approaching ships.

Click the image to open in full size.

One legend says a maidservant was so scared she ran to a nearby farm without spilling a drop of the beer she was carrying. Another is that a local cobbler, Jemima Nicholas, captured 12 of the soldiers single-handedly with a pitchfork.

Click the image to open in full size.

Memorabilia of this “invasion” can be found at the Royal Oak Inn in Fishguard, where the French surrendered.

Click the image to open in full size.

This sword was taken from the surrendered French forces during the invasion of Fishguard in 1797.

It carries on each side of the blade engravings of sun, moon and stars above the inscription "Cassaguard Fourbissier du Roy a Nantes", thus recording that the royal swordsmith had made the weapon at Nantes. The word "Roy" has been almost obliterated by punched dots made by a revolutionary who objected to this reference to the king.

Last Invasion at Fishguard, Pembrokeshire


Last edited by Brunel; December 14th, 2012 at 04:45 AM.
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