The other significance of 1453 was the de facto end of the Hundred Years’ War. Territory in Europe won by Britain thereafter, other than brief occupations, amounted only to
the Ionian Islands and
Is that complete? Essentially, islands.
For an entertaining late-Victorian account of lost possessions around the world, see Walter Frewen Lord, The Lost Possessions of England, Richard Bentley and Son, 1896.
The book purports to show:
“1. The advantage to a sea Power like Great Britain of an extended Empire – an advantage very bluntly pointed out to Sir William Draper in the secret instructions furnished to that officer prior to his departure for Manila.
2. The value in Imperial policy of the sound business principle of not throwing away rubbish – as illustrated by Tangier and the present situation in Morocco.
3. The necessity of listening to the advice of the man on the spot – by not doing which we lost Java.
4. The paramount importance of studying local climatic conditions – a neglect of which precaution cost us five thousand men in Cuba.
5. The folly of entrusting important expeditions (even against incompetent enemies) to untried leaders – a folly which cost us five thousand men and the province of Buenos Ayres.
6. The disastrous effects of a weak course of action in equivocal situations – as in the Ionian Islands.”
The essays, which were revised by Sir John Seeley, are:
Transition Period – Dunkirk
Buenos Ayres and Montevideo
The Ionian Isands