At last the emperors in Rome have fought back and regained control of Britannia. Allectus is dead and Constantius Chlorus, Caesar of the western empire, has saved Londinium from being sacked by a leaderless band of mercenaries.
Since Carausius and Allectus first declared Home Rule almost 10 years ago, the emperors have made several attempts to oust them.
Emperor Maximian first failed some eight years ago at the time when usurper Carausius commanded the Channel and was able to fend him off.
Murder amongst thieves
The united front of Carausius backed by Allectus, his finance minister, collapsed when Allectus murdered Carausius and took over command.
Re-organisation of the Empire was desperately needed. Newly-appointed Caesar Constantius Chlorus attacked Boulogne and re-took northern Gaul. Now only Britannia remained outside the Empire.
With the Gaulish coast lost, Allectus could not patrol the southern coastline of Britain – our Roman fleet could attack from any direction.
Lost in the fog
Constantius has been busy building up our fleet, planning his invasion as a two-pronged attack. One division, under the command of Asclepiodotus, was to land on the south coast, while the other, commanded by Constantius himself, was to make for the Thames estuary and Londinium.
Advantage was taken of fog in the Channel to evade the fleet that Carausius had previously used so successfully. Asclepiodotus landed near the Isle of Wight but the transport ships of Constantius got lost in the fog and headed for the Thames.
Even so, Allectus was taken by surprise and was unable to marshall full strength. He met our troops in battle and was defeated and killed.
The survivors of the defeated army fled here to Londinium, knowing it to be a wealthy settlement, and began to loot the area.
This was a fearful time for all who live here and we were thankful for our city walls. We sent messages for help but we really thought that our time had come.
Imagine the relief when we saw Constantius’ warships sailing up the Thames, successful second time around – their delay by the weather had now saved us.