I have a vaguely decent knowledge of Irish history, but I know relatively little of the history of England.
I've often heard Ireland spoken of as England's first colony, but surely that 'title' would have gone to Scotland and/or Wales?
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According to the British Broadcasting Company Pope Adrian IV's Papal Bull in 1155 led the way to England's first colony.
The first proper colonisation took place not in the West or East Indies, nor in America, but in Ireland. Ireland was the first English colony. In 1155, Pope Adrian IV published a Papal Bull Laudabiliter giving Henry II authority over Ireland. The document's value was that it authorized invasion.
Though it took until 1177 before it could be considered a colony.
1177 John Lackland, Henry II's youngest son was given the title lord of Ireland. The burdensome history of the British and their first colony was under way.