The Invasion of Essex
I suspect that the last armed invasion of Essex from the sea was in 1724
Surprisingly, this incursion was not from France, Germany or Holland; but from Kent. Dutiful readers of this blog (bless them) will remember the story of the cricket match between Kent and Essex which ended in bloodshed. At the time, there was more animosity between Kent and Essex than with any 'Frenchy'. A fleet of a hundred fishing smacks from Kent invaded the oyster beds of Leigh on Sea in September 1724 with flags waving and guns firing. An attempt by local fishermen to drive them off was met with gunfire, and the invaders made off with 1,000 bushels of oysters.
They didn't get away with it. At the Spring Assizes, Brentwood, in 1725, the case was tried before Lord Chief Baron Gilbert, who fined the invasion force a total of £2,000.