When was England last successfully invaded by a foreign power?

No, it wasn't 1066 – England was still to suffer invading armies and occupation after William's infamous Conquerings.

When was England last successfully invaded by a foreign power? © National Trust

Contrary to popular belief, William the Conqueror was not the last person to successfully invade England – William of Orange was, in 1688.

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We like to portray the overthrow of James II in that year as a ‘Glorious Revolution’, but when the Dutch ruler William of Orange landed at Torbay on 5 November to replace him, it was at the head of a large and well-trained foreign army. He initially received little assistance from James’s English opponents and when he marched into London in December, he did so after ordering all the English troops that remained there to leave the capital. Dutch guards replaced English ones and for 18 months, London was effectively under Dutch military occupation.

Originally published in the October 2017 issue of History Revealed magazine. Subscribe to save 33% on the newsstand price.