Urbanna is one of oldest English-settled towns in America. In 1680, the Virginia Assembly created the town by approving the Act of Cohabitation, which was designed to create 19 towns in Virginia. Urbanna was officially established in 1706 by the assembly, which named the town Burgh of Urbanna, Latin for "City of Anne," after Queen Anne of England. Throughout the colonial period, the town was a tobacco inspection port. It was invaded by the British during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 and then by Union troops during the Civil War. After the Civil War, oysters from the Rappahannock River became the primary source of income for residents until the 1960s. As a tribute to the oyster, the town annually holds the Urbanna Oyster Festival, which draws over 60,000 people to the shores of the little town.