new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged Beekeeping+supplies

Golden-Bee Beekeeping Supplies.We offer everything the beekeeper needs such as hives, starter kits, assembled kits, woodenware, tops, bottoms, tools and much more For More Information, Visit : www.golden-bee.com

 

Visible in this section of the brood chamber are the components needed to sustain a strong and healthy colony. Lower center is the queen, she's looking for an empty cell in which to lay an egg. To the left is capped brood, soon fully grown bees can be seen chewing their way out of these cells. On the right are open cells containing larvae and eggs, they are surrounded by nurse bees some with their heads down in the cells supplying food to the larvae. Shortly the feeding will cease and these cells will be capped while the larvae pupate. Last but not least the larger bees in this photo are drones (male bees) whose only purpose in life is to mate with virgin queens that emerge from the hive when a colony swarms or re-queens itself.

This is the third dead Bee we have found in our garden this week. Rather worrying as this beautiful creature is in trouble all around the world. Our house backs onto fields and this week the farmer has been spraying his crops - is this why we have found these dead bees? My Daughter is giving this little one a royal burial today - a box made from pink cardboard, lots of beautiful flowers and is being burried in her fairy garden.

 

Thousands of scientific sleuths have been on this case for the last 15 years trying to determine why our honey bees are disappearing in such alarming numbers. “This is the biggest general threat to our food supply,” according to Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s bee and pollination program.

 

Until recently, the evidence was inconclusive on the cause of the mysterious “colony collapse disorder” (CCD) that threatens the future of beekeeping worldwide. But three new studies point an accusing finger at a culprit that many have suspected all along, a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids.

AIR VIEW OF THE WALTER T. KELLEY CO., BEE HIVE FACTORY EAR CLARKSON, KENTUCKY, U. S. A.

 

Production Date: 1954

Source Type: Postcard

Printer, Publisher, Photographer: Curt Teich (#4C-H513)

Postmark: April 30, 1959, Clarkson, Kentucky

Collection: Steven R. Shook

Remark: Text on reverse states "The WALTER T. KELLEY CO. bee hive factory is the largest of its kind and a world wide business is transacted in this specialized line. Bee hives, bee comb foundation, honey tanks, extractors, hive loaders and other items are manufactured there. Bee books and a bee magazine are also published by this firm and from their Louisiana bee farm thousands of swarms and tens of thousands of queen bees are shipped annually."

 

Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. This image and associated text may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Steven R. Shook.

Three men and a boy standing outside a tent with a sign reading "Apiary." Beekeeping supplies, including hives and frames are displayed inside and outside of the tent. In the background is a large striped tent, a fence, and long wooden pavilions.

 

For more information about this image, click here:

 

www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=103993

 

To browse a featured gallery of Bees and Beekeepers Since 1872, click here:

 

www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/feature/beekeepers/

 

Did You Know?

 

The Wisconsin Historical Society produces giclée print reproductions made from high-resolution scans of original source material from its holdings. Custom orders are printed on matte or semigloss papers using large format printers and archival pigmented inks. All print sale proceeds directly benefit the acquisition, preservation and maintenance of the physical and online collections.

 

E-mail business manager Lisa Marine for details. For more information, see our FAQ.

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

 

The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

 

The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

 

Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cycle paths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

 

Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onward, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

 

Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

 

The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event, with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island, which expanded to two days in 2003, then three days by 2004.

Commonly called a banana spider it is one of the largest in North America. It has been suggested that one of the uses of its yellow web is to attract bees, which makes sense because this spider has built its web at a beekeeping supply house that has honeybee colonies.

Title: American bee journal

Identifier: americanbeejourn23hami

Year: 1861 (1860s)

Authors:

Subjects: Bee culture; Bees

Publisher: [Hamilton, Ill. , etc. , Dadant & Sons]

Contributing Library: UMass Amherst Libraries

Digitizing Sponsor: UMass Amherst Libraries

  

View Book Page: Book Viewer

About This Book: Catalog Entry

View All Images: All Images From Book

 

Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.

  

Text Appearing Before Image:

THOUAS a. ITEWUAN, Editor.

 

Text Appearing After Image:

yoinill. Ang. 17,1887. No. 33. Mr. and Sirs. T. W. Cowan are spend- ing a few days in the White Mountains, on account of the extreme heat. Leaving- there they will visit Montreal, and thence Journey westward. They return to England in Octo- ber, from New York, by the Umbrla. Mr. Cowan writes us that he has been much pleased with his visit so far, and adds : " I was glad to see the apiaries of Capt. Hether- ington and Mr. Elwood." Mr. B. F. IS^oodcock, of Pleasantvllle, Iowa, died on Aug. 4,1887. He was an ex- tensive apiarist, and had a large circle of beekeeping friends. He died quite sud- denly of a bowel trouble, brought on by the extremely " hot" weather of the past few weeks. We have heard of quite a number of others who were overcome by the heat, but so far this is the only fatality reported from it. Tbe ininneapoUs Industrial Expo- sition will open at Minneapolis, Minn., on Aug. 31, and close Oct. 15, 1887. We have received a nice chromatic poster, making this announcement. Qnite I7nnece88ar7 Now.—Mr. C. H. Dibbern, in the Plowman, asks the following very pertinent questions: How about the honey trade this fall ? Will it be necessary to form a combination to control prices ? Will not rather the cry be, " Where can we get some of that beautiful white clover honey that has become such a necessity In the family ?" The supply will be short Indeed, and I hope that those bee- keepers so fortunate as to produce any crop, will ask a reasonable price for it, for they can surely get it. Yes, by all means, get good prices for the very little honey which can be sold from this year's crop. It will be well to talk the matter over at the Chicago Convention this fall, and, per- haps, arrange for the future ; but no " com- bination" will be needed to obtain full value for every pound of honey produced during the present season. The " future " demands our attention and resources in making plans, just as much as the present. The Head of tlie Bee-FauiHj'.—In an address on bees before a Now York horti- cultural society, by Mr. A. B. Williams, the following passaseB occur: The queen, or mother-bee, is the most re- markable amotitr all the bees of a colony. The early bee-lathers held her to be a male. Virgil always calls her "rex" (king). The German name also, "weiser" (guide or leader) proves that she was thought to be a male, and was erroneously believed to lead off the swarm, showing the way. Though this error was long ago abandoned, there are those still who assert that there is a king. Yet any one in observing a colony can see at once that she is superior to all others. The queeo is of greater length by about one-half of the body, provided with longer and yellow feet, the only one of its kind in a colony. If each of the workers, furnished as it is, with a sting, cheerfully risks its life for its queen, this is from love only, as the queen neither governs, com- mands, gives orders, nor advises. All she does is to lay an astonishing number of eggs, from 1.000 to 3,000 in a day, and fix each of them accurately by one end of its oval figure to the upper back wall of the cell. It is a remarkable fact, too, that the queen, though able to eat without the aid of others, does not usually do so, but is fed all her life by the workers. It is probable that this food, being excellent in quality and easy of digestion, is prepared by the work- ers for the queen herself. Rain has come at last, but not until nearly everything In the Northwest was burned up by the extreme heat of the past two months. Never before within the memory of the oldest inhabitant has there been so much hot weather, and extending for so long a time. The rains of last week were general, and came just in time to save a great calamity. The wells and other water sources were nearly all dried up, the prairies were on Are in nearly all directions, thousands of families were deprived of homes by this devouring element, many of the crops not already burned up by the rays of Old Sol. were consumed by the flames extending from the prairie ilres. Just then black clouds appeared, and Mother Earth was drenched with water from the heavens. Let us hope that we may never experience another such a summer as the present—calamitous alike to all crops, as well as to the bees and bee-keepers. Au^ast, anciently considered a " lucky" month, has not brought prosperity to the bees this year. June, July and August of this year will long- be remembered as the hottest and driest forages. August, before the time of Julius Caesar, was called Sextilis —the Sixth—and it had but 29 days. In re- forming the calendar, Julius added one day to Sextilis, making it 30 days in length. His successor, Augustus, finding Sextilis a remarkably " lucky " month in his career, added another day to it, shortening Feb- ruary correspondingly, and changed the name Sextilis to August. Let us hope that the next time August comes around, the weather will be more propitious for honey as well as all other crops. Recently a man down in Kennebunk- port, Maine, says an exchange, captured 800 bees while they were swarming in the woods. He daubed himself with honey, the bees alighted thereupon, and in this way he transported them home without receiving a sting. Seasonable Hints.—Mr. C. H. Dibbern, in the Plnwman, gives the following hints for this month : Robbing may now be expected, and should be guarded against. If you have weak or queenless colonies, break them up and remove the hives to a safe place. Do not expose honey where the bees can get at it or it will demoralize your whole apiary. It is wonderful how soon bees discover that honey can be had, and how persistent they are. From all quarters comes the same story, few swarms and no honey. From all I can learn about the honey crop, there is a gen- eral failure all over the Western States. Even California reports indicate about one- fourth of a crop. Canada and the Eastern States show up better, and will likely pro- duce a fair crop of nice white honey. I had anticipated some surplus from the linden, but although it bloomed profusely, and the bees worked on it from daylight to dark, they entirely failed to put any honey in the sections. Indeed, so small was the quantity gathered from the linden, that I had a strong colony actually starve during Its bloom. Now the only resource for the next few weeks, is the sweet clover I have planted for the bees. It is now in full bloom, and any time of the day it is covered by myriads of bees. Poor, Poorer, Poorest!-The general verdict is that the present season has been the poorest, for honey-production, of any for many years. The wholesale and commission men are already looking out for supplies of honey, and we advise all having any to sell to put a good round price on it, and "stick to it." There will be no trouble in selling all the honey on hand at good figures. Do Tiot gacHfice it! ■Who Can Tell tlie Value of a Smile 1 asks an exchange.—It costs the giver noth- ing, but is beyond price to the erring and relenting, the sad and cheerless, the lost and forsaken. It disarms malice, subdues temper, turns hatred to love, revenge to kindness, and paves the darkest paths with gems of sunlight. Tbese Shows will he held at Chicago from Nov. 8 to 18, 1887, viz: American Horse Show, American Dairy Show, Ameri- can Pat Stock Show, and American Poultry Show. During these shows the Union Con- vention has been appointed to be held. See notice In another column. The September number of Prank Leslie's Sunday Magazine brings together a large number of pleasant articles combining instruction and entertainment, and all breathing forth a high moral spirit, though carefully avoiding the teaching of any special religious doctrines. Among the im- portant articles may be found one by Walter Edgar McCann, on "The Rise and Growth of our National Capital," which is fully illustrated with portraits and views of the City of Washington, and those who have made it famous. The two serial stories both keep up and Indeed increase their interest, and the short articles and poems are very good and entertaining. Our New Book Ust on the second page is the place from which to select the book you want. We have a large stock of every book there named, and can fill all orders on the day they are received.

  

Note About Images

Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

A week’s food supply for Wubalem Shiferaw, her husband Tsega, and 4-year-old daughter Rekebki includes flour, vegetable oil, and a paste of spices called berbere. Tsega works as a tailor, while Wubalem follows a long local tradition and supplements her income with honey production. An Oxfam-supported cooperative helped Wubalem make the transition to modern beekeeping methods, which produce greater yields.

 

Photo: Tom Pietrasik/Oxfam

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Make sure you press the "L" key for full screen in lightbox mode!

My passion is outdoor art photography with a main concentration dealing with landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, and Mother Nature activity. In each artwork I try to relate a certain feeling or beauty at that precise moment. I also pay attention to many details as I am taking and processing the photo.

Visit the images at the link and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking and processing them. You can see my most popular photos at Canon Shooter on Facebook If you have any questions please contact me on FlickrMail. Remember all photography is copyrighted so please respect the Copyright.

 

Bees play an important role in pollinating flowering plants, and are the major type of pollinator in ecosystems that contain flowering plants. Bees either focus on gathering nectar or on gathering pollen depending on demand, especially in social species. Bees gathering nectar may accomplish pollination, but bees that are deliberately gathering pollen are more efficient pollinators. It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee[citation needed]. Contract pollination has overtaken the role of honey production for beekeepers in many countries. Monoculture and the massive decline of many bee species (both wild and domesticated) have increasingly caused honey bee keepers to become migratory so that bees can be concentrated in seasonally varying high-demand areas of pollination.

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

A special thanks to Lyndon Fenlon for inviting me along to the CERES bee group and taking the time to share his knowledge and his inspiring passion for urban and city beekeeping with me. And also a special thanks to Joe Riordan for coming along to CERES to assist Lyndon and also share his bountiful supply of facts on bees and nature.

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconstitutional. However, this movement now has little serious support. Since the 1990s the debate has largely taken the form of a campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognized as a distinct region by organizations such as the EU, due to its relative poverty within the south-east of England. One argument in favour of special treatment is that this poverty is not acknowledged by such organizations as it is distorted statistically by retired and wealthy (but less economically active) immigrants from the mainland.

 

In more recent times, the regionalist movement has been represented by the Isle of Wight Party.

[edit] Isle of Wight Disease

 

In 1904 a mysterious illness began to kill honeybee colonies on the island, and had nearly wiped out all hives by 1907 when the disease jumped to the mainland, and decimated beekeeping in the British Isles. Called the Isle of Wight Disease, the cause of the mystery ailment was not identified until 1921 when a tiny parasitic mite, Acarapis woodi was first described by J. Rennie. The mite inhabited the tracheae of individual bees, and greatly shortened their lifespan, causing eventual death of the colony. The disease (now called Acarine Disease) frightened many other nations because of the importance of bees in pollination. Laws against importation of honeybees were passed, but this merely delayed the eventual spread of the parasite to the rest of the world.

[edit] The Isle of Wight Festival

Main article: Isle of Wight Festival

 

A large rock festival took place near Tennyson Down, West Wight in 1970, following two smaller concerts in 1968 and 1969. The 1970 show was notable for being the last public performance by Jimi Hendrix before his death. The festival was revived in 2002 and is now an annual event,[8] with other, smaller musical events of many different genres across the Island becoming associated with it.

 

The first of the modern festivals was a one day affair termed Rock Island,[9] which expanded to two days in 2003,[9] then three days by 2004.[10]

Caedwalla of Wessex

 

In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla of Wessex. The Jutish king of the Isle of Wight, Arwald, died in action and his nephews were betrayed to Caedwalla, who subsequently died of wounds received in the battle. The two boys were converted to Christianity and immediately executed. Their names are unknown, but are called collectively "St.Arwald"- after their pagan uncle (who died fighting Christianity).

 

The West Saxon invasion was by all accounts prolonged and bloody.

 

St.Bede states that "...After Caedwalla had obtained possession of the kingdom of the Gewissae, he took also the Isle of Wight, which till then was entirely given over to idolatry, and by merciless slaughter, endeavoured to destroy all the inhabitants thereof, and to place their stead people from his own province; binding himself by a vow, though it is said that he was not yet regenerated in Christ, to give the fourth part of the land and of the spoil to the Lord, if he took the Island. He fulfilled this vow by giving the same for the service of the Lord to Bishop Wilfrid..."

 

It is reported in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle that during Caedwalla's attempts to subdue the population he was gravely wounded - wounds from which he would die within a couple of years. Before final subjugation most of the Jutish population of the island were killed and the remnant forced to accept Christianity as their religion and the West Saxon dialect as their language. Bede states that Caedwalla endeavoured to "mercilessly" destroy the population, but that 300 "hides" were given to the Church in the person of St Wilfrid. A "hide" was the amount of land required to support a family, and the Island was rated at 1200 hides. Caedwalla was a Christian sympathiser under the tutelage of St Wilfrid and St Aldhelm and had promised Wilfrid a quarter of the land in return for his assistance in claiming the Wessex throne. Unfortunately for them, the Jutish Islanders were not only heathens, but apostates, and the mass conversion of the Island probably did not occur as smoothly as had been planned.

 

From 685 therefore the island can be considered to have become part of Wessex and following the accession of West Saxon kings as kings of all England then part of England. The island became part of the shire of Hampshire and was divided into hundreds as was the norm.

[edit] The Saxons

 

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle tells how Wiht-land suffered particularly from Viking predations. Alfred the Great's navy defeated the Danes in 871 after they had "ravaged Devon and the Isle of Wight". During the second wave of Viking attacks in the reign of Ethelred the Unready (975-1014) the Isle of Wight was taken over by the Danes as a base to harry Southern England, referred to as their "frith-stool". The inlet on the west of the River Medina at Werrar Copse seems to have been their main base. In 1002 Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England in the St. Brice's Day Massacre but the Danish Army remained intact, based on the Isle of Wight. In 1012 Sweyn Forkbeard revenged the Danish defeat. Ethelred was forced to flee England: he spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight en route to refuge in Normandy.

 

The Island again played a critical role in English history as the base for Harold Godwinson and his brothers in their revolt against Edward the Confessor and yet again in 1066, when Tostig Godwinson arrived to collect supplies - but very little other support - en route to his defeat by Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Both men had manors on the Isle of Wight - Harold at Kern and Tostig at Nunwell.

[edit] The Norman Conquest

 

In the Domesday book (1086) the Island's name is Wit. The Norman Conquest of 1066 transferred the overall manorial rights of the Island to William FitzOsbern as Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. The Island did not come under full control of the Crown until it was sold by the dying last Norman Lord, Lady Isabella de Fortibus, to Edward I in 1293.

 

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.

[edit] Medieval

 

After the Norman Conquest, the title of Lord of the Isle of Wight was created and William Fitz-Osborne who subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory and the fortifications on what was to become Carisbrooke Castle became the first to hold the title. (It is possible that the site of Carisbrooke Castle had previously been fortified originally by Romans and subsequently by Jutes or Saxons; there still remains a late Saxon burgh, or defensive wall, built to defend the site from Viking raiders.) The Island did not come under the full control of the crown until the Countess Isabella De Fortibus sold it to Edward I in 1293 for six thousand marks.

 

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.

 

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. In July 1545; French troops had landed on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Their aim was to seize important areas of the island; allowing the French to gain overall control of the Isle of Wight; giving the French a valuable jumping-off point for further operations against the mainland. However, the French advance was decisively defeated, when the local Isle of Wight militia defeated the French troops in the Battle of Bonchurch. 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.

 

In 1587 two Roman Catholic missionaries Anderton and Marsden, originally from Lancashire, but trained in France, were returned to England in disguise on the ferry to Dover, but due to a severe gale landed in Cowes in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately for them, such was the danger they were in that they loudly prayed to God to "save the first of your seminarians to returm=n to England" which was overheard by fellow passengers who reported them to Governor Carey. They were taken to London for trial, but executed by hanging, drawing and quartering in Cowes, although the exact site is unknown. They were declared "Venerable" by Pope Pius XI.

[edit] Early Modern and Modern

 

Charles I evaded custody under the Army at Hampton Court by riding to Southampton in order to escape to Jersey. However,he and his companion became lost in the New Forest and missed their intended ship, and fled to the Isle of Wight instead. The Governor Colonel Robert Hammond had declared for Parliament and Charles was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle. Since an extensive bowling green was built for his use this was initially in some comfort, but this was made closer after an abortive escape attempt, when he failed to get through the window to where Royalist sympathisers under John Oglander were waiting with a horse.

 

Charles was approached by the Presbyterian faction of Parliament and concluded the Treaty of Newport, offering him a constitutional monarchy. However Charles had no intention of accepting its restrictions upon Royal power and also concluded the Engagement with the Scots to invade on his behalf. As a result of his perceived faithlessness, the moderate faction at Parliament were discredited and Charles was moved to more prison-like conditions at Hurst Castle and thence to execution on 30 January 1649.

 

Later Cromwell was to use Carisbrooke Castle as a place of imprisonment for Fifth Monarchists opposed to his Protectorate including Thomas Harrison and Christopher Feake.

 

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 boat-building 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.

 

In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a sizeable network of railways was built on the island, notable for its punishing gradients and numerous tunnels, particularly to reach the town of Ventnor. Since the early twentieth century, these lines were often linked to plans for a tunnel under the Solent, an idea still talked of today. Most of the rail network closed between 1956 and 1966, and is now a series of cyclepaths.

 

The first Governor to hold the crown representative title used now of Lord-Lieutenant was Lord 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.

[edit] Caulkheads and other Island terms

 

Historically, inhabitants of the Isle of Wight have been known as Vectensians or Vectians (pronounced Vec-tee-ans). These terms derive from the Latin name for the Island, Vectis. Vectian is a word used more formally to describe certain geological features which are typical of the Island. As with many other small island communities the term Islander has long been used, and is commonly heard today. The term Overner is used for people originating from mainland Great Britain. This is an abbreviated form of Overlander; which is an archaic English term for an outsider still found in a few other places such as parts of Australia.[5]

 

People born on the island are colloquially known as Caulkheads (sometimes erroneously written as it is spoken, Corkheads), a word comparable with the name Cockney for those born in the East End of London. Some argue that the term should only apply those who can also claim they are of established Isle of Wight stock either by proven historical roots or, for example, being third generation inhabitants from both parents' lineage.[6]

 

One theory about the term 'caulkhead' is that it comes from the once prevalent local industry of caulking boats; a process of sealing the seams of wooden boats with oakum. It is said that the shipyard at Bucklers Hard in the New Forest employed labourers from the Isle of Wight , mainly as caulkers, in the building of early warships. Islanders may have been called "Caulkheads" during this time either because they were indeed so employed, or merely as a derisory term for perceived unintelligent labourers from another place. Another more fanciful story is that a group of armoured Island horsemen were chased into the sea by the marauding French, and took refuge on a sandbank when the tide came in, thus appearing to float in the sea despite their heavy armour, hence the name Cork- i.e. Caulk-, -heads When this supposed event happened is not clear, since the Island was frequently attacked in the Middle Ages, however in the last instance in 1546 Sandown Castle was under construction some way offshore and a battle was fought on site, resulting in the French being driven off and this could fit this particular tale.[7] In local folklore it is said that a test can be conducted on a baby by throwing it into the sea from the end of Ryde Pier whereupon a true caulkhead baby will float unharmed. Thankfully there is no record of the test ever being carried out.

[edit] Political History

 

The island's most ancient borough was Newtown on the large natural harbour on the island's north-western coast. A French raid in 1377, that destroyed much of the town as well as other Island settlements, sealed its permanent decline. By the middle of the sixteenth century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding two parliamentary seats but this ultimately made it one of the most notorious of the Rotten Boroughs. By the time of the Great Reform Act that abolished the seats, it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters. The Act also disenfranchised the borough of Yarmouth and replaced the four lost seats with the first MP for the whole Isle of Wight; Newport also retained its two MPs, though these were reduced to one in 1868 and eventually abolished completely in 1885.

 

Often thought of as part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was briefly included in that county when the first county councils were created in 1888. However, a "Home Rule" campaign led to a separate county council being established for the Isle of Wight in 1890, and it has remained separate ever since. Like inhabitants of many islands, Islanders are fiercely jealous of their real (or perceived) independence, and confusion over the Island's separate status is a perennial source of friction.

 

It was planned to merge the county back into Hampshire as a district in the 1974 local government reform, but a last minute change led to it retaining its county council. However, since there was no provision made in the Local Government Act 1972 for unitary authorities, the Island had to retain a two-tier structure, with a county council and two boroughs, Medina and South Wight.

 

The borough councils were merged with the county council on April 1, 1995, to form a single unitary authority, the Isle of Wight Council. The only significant present-day administrative link with Hampshire is the police service, the Hampshire Constabulary, which is joint between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

 

From the closing decades of the 20th century onwards, there has been considerable debate on the Island over whether or not a bridge or tunnel should connect the island with mainland England. The Isle of Wight Party campaigned from a positive position, although extensive public debate on the subject revealed a strong body of opinion amongst islanders against such a proposal. In 2002 the Isle of Wight Council debated the issue and made a policy statement against the proposal.

[edit] Autonomy and Political Recognition

 

A number of discussions about the status of the island have taken place over many years, with standpoints from the extreme of wanting full sovereignty for the Isle of Wight, to perhaps the opposite extreme of merging with Hampshire. The pro-independence lobby had a formal voice in the early 1970s with the Vectis National Party. Their main claim was that the sale of the island to the Crown in 1293 was unconsti