A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.


Volume 1

east anglia

Roman  Period - 43 - 410 AD

Halesworth was part of the Iceni Tribe in the 1st century BC when the Roman Empire began to cast its eyes on this island. In the winter of 55 BC Julius Caesar, with two legions of 5,000 men, set sail for the south coast of Britain and landed somewhere between Deal and Walmer in Kent. It was not a success, so the next year in 54 BC he tried again with five legions and some 2,000 cavalry. This time his troops penetrated as far as St. Albans, Hertfordshire (Verulamium) and made its way to Colchester, Essex,(Camulodonum). Treaties were made with the British chieftains and Caesar took hostages back to Gaul. He enforced annual payments of tribute money in return for his guarantee of protection against other invaders.

For almost a century the British chieftains kept their part of the bargain and kept in touch with Rome. All went well until some tributes were not paid, and the new conquest of Britain began in 43 AD. Four legions and other troops under the command of the Emperor Claudius landed in Kent and fought their way to Colchester, where they established a military post and in time signed a treaty of friendship with the Iceni tribe which was in control of north Suffolk and Norfolk.


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