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Iow History

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Iow History

History of the Isle of Wight-
The Isle of Wight is full of historical and archaeological memories dating from prehistoric periods of fossil discoveries through to remains from the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman periods onwards. 

The island’s roots can be traced to the end of the last Ice age when post-glacial rebound caused the land level in southern Britain to drop. This along with some other factors, caused the sea to flood the valley of the former River Solent creating a channel between the land mass and mainland Britain.

The date at which the West of the Solent became flooded is debateable, as once sea water broke through and created an island, the Solent channel would have been swept out by strong tides. However in all information the area has been referred to as an Island. 

Celtic, Roman and Saxon
The Isle of Wight was known to the romans as vectis.
The Romans, under Vespasian (who was Emperor) took possession about A.D. 44 in the reign of the Emperor Claudius, and the Romanization of the district is attested by numerous finds, including six Roman villas these are open to the public at Brading, Newport and Carisbrooke. It is thought that the Island was occupied by the Jutes after Roman dominion ended. 

Following the demise of the Roman Empire it is also thought that The Isle of Wight, along with parts of Hampshire and some other areas close by was settled in the fifth century onwards by the Jutes, who were a Germanic tribe from Northern Europe. 

After the Norman Conquest the waters of the Island became even busier, with the growth of Southampton as a port, as well as smaller, local ports such as Newport, Newtown, Brading, Wootton and Yarmouth. The Island, too, was in the front line in the wars with France that were to last for the next 800 years. 

The Lordship thereafter became a Royal appointment with a brief interruption when Henry de Beauchamp, 1st Duke of Warwick, was crowned King of the Isle of Wight, King Henry VI assisting in person at the ceremony, placing the crown on his head. He died in 1445, aged 22. With no male heir, his regal title expired with him. The title of Lord of the Isle of Wight expired in the reign of Henry VII with the title of Governor or Captain being used for sometime thereafter. 
During the English Civil War King Charles fled to the Isle of Wight believing he would receive sympathy from the governor Robert Hammond. Hammond was appalled, and incarcerated the king in Carisbrooke Castle. Charles was later tried and executed in London. 
The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma until his murder in 1979. Lord Mottistone was the last Lord Lieutenant to also hold the title Governor (from 1992 to 1995). Since 1995 there has been no Governor appointed and Mr Christopher Bland has been the Lord Lieutenant. 

Henry VIII who developed the Royal Navy and its permanent base at Portsmouth, fortifications at Yarmouth, East & West Cowes and Sandown, sometimes re-using stone from dissolved monasteries as building material. Sir Richard Worsley, Captain of the Island at this time, successfully commanded the resistance to the last of the French attacks in 1545. Much later on after the Spanish Armada in 1588 the threat of Spanish attacks remained, and the outer fortifications of Carisbrooke Castle were built between 1597 and 1602. see timeline for further dates. 

Early Modern and Modern
From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, the French made frequent descents upon the Island, but though on one occasion in 1377 they succeeded in burning Yarmouth, Newport and Newtown, they were more often repulsed with heavy loss by the doughty islanders. The most interesting event of later history is, the incarceration of Charles I in Carisbrooke Castle. 

A far different connection with royalty arose from the purchase in 1845 of the Osborne estate by Queen Victoria. Here for many years she spent a portion of each summer, and here on January 22, 1901 she passed away. 

During the 14th Century and the Hundred Years War, the island and the castle were frequently attacked by the French. In 1377 the French landed in strength on the north coast and destroyed the towns of Yarmouth and Francheville and lay seige to Carisbrooke. 

Queen Victoria made the Isle of Wight her home for many years, and as a result it become a major holiday resort for members of European royalty, whose many houses could later claim descent from her through the widely flung marriages of her offspring. During her reign in 1897 the World's first radio station was set up by Marconi at the Needles battery at the western tip of the Island. 

The famous boatbuilding firm of J. Samuel White was established on the Island in 1802. Other noteworthy marine manufacturers followed over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including Saunders-Roe a key manufacturer of the Flying-boats and the world's first hovercraft. The tradition of maritime industry continues on the Island today.

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