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Jemima Fawr and the Last Invasion of Britain : French revolutionaries in a fleet of four ships attempted to spark a revolution in Britain.
Jemima Fawr and the Last Invasion of Britain

In 1789, the French toppled their monarchy with a bloodthirsty revolution. Its leaders could not stand idly by, however, while their near-neighbours groaned under the heartless oppression of King George III.

ON 22nd February 1797, French warships landed on British soil. Flushed with recent triumphs, the French revolutionaries had dispatched a ragbag of ex-convicts and poorly trained soldiers in just four ships to liberate the British from George III’s tyranny.

The somewhat ambitious plan was to capture the city of Bristol, but unfavourable weather forced the invaders into the Welsh port of Fishguard.

There, they discovered a trading ship laden with food and drink, which may explain their their excited reports of thousands of well-armed British redcoats surrounding the harbour, when there was nothing but a handful of Welsh villagers in traditional scarlet dress.

Not that the Welsh were content to be spectators. Jemima Nicholas grabbed a pitchfork and rounded up twelve of the French before locking them in a church, deservedly entering Welsh folklore with the title "Jemima Fawr", "Jemima the Great".

Two days later the hapless revolutionaries surrendered, to a small local force.

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Picture: © ceridwen, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
The memorial to Jemima Nicholas in the centre of Fishguard (Abergwaun), Wales.

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