Invasion of Britain, A.D. 43

Aulus Plautius invades Britain (southern England):

In 43 A.D. the Roman General Aulus Plautius (serving under the Emperor Claudius) invaded Britain with a force of 4 legions (around 20,000 soldiers, plus as many support personnel). The force is thought to have departed from Boulogne (near Calais) and landed around at Rutupiae (modern day Richborough, near Dover, in Kent). Plautius thus became the first Roman Governor of Roman Britain.

Between Julius Caesar’s invasion (raid) of Britain in 55 B.C. and A.D. 40 the status quo of Roman relations with Britain prior had been generally cordial, trade relations of tribute, hostages and client states without direct military occupation. During this time period the Britains entered the British iron age. In the early 40s the political climate of Britain was one of ferment. The Catuvellauni Tribe had displaced the previously ruling Trinovantes and they had taken over the Triovante capital of Camulodunum (modern day Colchester, which is over the coast north of the mouth of the Thames River). British resistance to the roman invasion was led by the two Catuvellauni leaders Togodumnus and Caratacus who led a substantial British force against Aulus Plautius’ army in a two day battle at a crossing of the Medway River (just south of the mouth of the Thames River). Togodumnus was killed in this battle. Plautius led his forces across the Thames and after being joined by the Emperor Claudius (who brought war elephants and heavy armaments) he captured Camulodunum. Eleven tribes of South East Britain surrendered to the Emperor Claudius, and Kent and Essex came under the Roman rule.

Roman Britain A.D. 43 to A.D. 66