There has recently been a renewed interest in the history of a small island in the Bristol Channel. Lundy, which is just 5km long by 1km wide, features prominently in David Cressy’s England’s Islands in a Sea of Troubles as an instance of insular difference which he says played a role in the struggles of the mid-seventeenth century, while Tim Thornton has examined the circumstances of the island’s mentions in the Anglo-Scottish treaties of 1464 and 1484.1 For Cressy, Lundy stands as an exemplar of his argument about the distinctive identity of the islands around England and Wales, and their judicial, fiscal, and administrative autonomy, which, though it was under challenge, led to them playing a prominent role in the wider archipelago’s civil wars. Meanwhile, Thornton has suggested that Lundy’s exemption from the truces, along with the territory of Lorn in Scotland, was a manifestation of the powerful lordship represented by the island in conditions when its strategic location interacted with competing claims for control across south west England, south Wales, and the south east of Ireland.
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|Published - 1 Apr 2023