"we should give the Isle of Wight back to the French"

The Isle of Wight is England’s largest island. It first came under full control of England in 1293.

It was invaded by the French during the Italian Wars in 1545. The French forces were led by Claude d’Annebault, and greatly outnumbered the English.  While the French were eventually repelled, England suffered heavy losses. 

The event is commemorated by a plaque in Seaview which reads: "During the last invasion of this country hundreds of French troops landed on the foreshore nearby. This armed invasion was bloodily defeated and repulsed by local militia 21st July 1545."  Historians have however pointed out that there were few if any local inhabitants and the militia more likely came from the mainland. 

Isle of Wight
Public DomainIsle of Wight - Credit: NASA