When was Britain last invaded?
Most people think the answer is 1066, but it’s not. e French invaded England in 1216 at the request of the barons ﬁghting King John, though since the barons were themselves French, this invasion wasn’t quite as foreign as it looked. During the Irish rebellion against Queen Elizabeth (1594-1603), small Spanish force landed brieﬂy at Kinsale to help the rebels. Some historians claim that William of Orange’s landing in 1688 at the head of a Dutch army was the last successful foreign invasion of England, though since he’d been invited by Parliament not everyone agrees. In 1796, a large French invasion force was only beaten back from Bantry Bay in Ireland by bad weather, and two years later the French landed and won the Battle of Castlebar before being forced to surrender to the British. A small French force led by a not very competent Irish-American landed at Fishguard in Wales in 1797, got drunk and were promptly rounded up – 12 of them by a feisty local lady called Jemima Nicholas. In their befuddled state the French had mistaken the women’s traditional red shawls and black hats for advancing British infantry.