Isle of Wight

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Wight Information

The Isle of Wight is the largest island in England, part of the Federated Kingdoms, situated off the South Coast, near Portsmouth. The Isle of Wight is a diamond-shaped island off the south coast of England. The history of Wight is tied closely with that of its language, Wessish. Linked to the mainland by a roadbridge and several ferries, Wight is the perfect place for holidays or commerce, with investment in the area increasing since the opening of the second road bridge to the mainland in April 2001.

The capital of the Island is Newhythe, a small university town, and the Island has approximately 130,000 inhabitants.

Today on Wight there is still a quiet feeling of independence felt by the people of the Island. Despite the uprising in 1497, where 20,000 Wessishmen rose up and marched to London, generally with the decline of the Wessish language has come a sense of political apathy on Wight. There are several local political groups, including the Wight Independence Party, and Free Wight. They have only gained seats at local council level however. Any such recognition of the Isle as any autonomous independent body and the hope of devolution is very much laughed about by serious politicians in London. The Wessish people are today a part of England.

The main focal point of the Wightian economy is tourism. Wessish language courses are popular among these types due to the myths that Wessish has linking her with the mythical land of Lyonesse.

Wight History

Wight was inhabited by Celtic peoples until the Roman invasion in the first century C.E. Although the Romans had very little impact on the population of the Island, they were influenced culturally. Due to its remote location, the indigenous Celtic language was little affected by the coming of the Romans, unlike the languages of the Mainland. The coming of the Jutes and Angles and Saxons to England in the Middle Ages began to influence heavily the culture and language of the people of Wight, as well as the Mainland. Hampshire, which was inhabited by the West Saxons, and Wight, which was inhabited by the Jutes, soon developed its own unique cultural identity and language.

It has been said that the people of Wight, or the Wessish people as they prefer to be known, are a very proud people, and enjoy their unique position in England, being the only indigenous group in England this side of the Hedge to have its own linguistic identity. Remote and hardy Wight, which gradually succumbed to English influence during the centuries, are a fiercly independent people. They last rose up in 1497, led by Myghæl Iosef Smaþwyr, as the Wessish army to march unsuccessfully to London to call for independence, and was the last invasion of London by a foreign power. The rebellion was crushed.

The Romano-Celts went on to found the country of Kemr in the British Isles, the Anglo-Saxons founded England. The Isle of Wight, the last stronghold of Wessish, is in England, near the border with Kemr.

History on Wight following the uprising has been relatively uneventful, except that Wight was the capital of smuggling into England during the past few centuries. Before that, it must be ironically stated that two Lords or Barons from Wight, both native Wessish speakers, fought in the English parliament for the use of the English language in the law courts and in the Royal Court. Their case was won, but at the neglect of the Wessish language.