Isle of Wight

Latin, Insula de Wit, With.

The Isle of Wight and the New Forest were accorded separate sections at the end of the Domesday account of Hampshire. In the case of the New Forest, this was presumably because of the creation, or considerable enlargement, of the royal forest there.

There is no apparent reason for the similar treatment of the Isle of Wight, which may reflect older administrative practices. The Isle of Wight had once been an independent territory with its own royal dynasty, distinguished according to the Venerable Bede as the last outpost of paganism among the Anglo-Saxons. It was conquered, and christianised, by the West Saxons in the seventh century.

For more detail, see Stephen R. Bassett, The origins of the English kingdoms (1990); and Barbara Yorke, Wessex in the early middle ages (1996).