Battle Hastings October 14, 1066

In 911, the Carolingian ruler Charles the Simple allowed a bunch of Vikings to settle in Normandy underneath their chief Rollo. Their settlement proved profitable, and so they quickly tailored to the indigenous tradition, renouncing paganism, converting to Christianity, and intermarrying with the local population. In 1002, King Æthelred II married Emma, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Their son Edward the Confessor spent a few years in exile in Normandy, and succeeded to the English throne in 1042. Edward was childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and his sons, and he may also have inspired Duke William of Normandy’s ambitions for the English throne.

But once they needed to fight in France, English monarchs by no means managed to ferry more than 10,000 troops across the Channel. If these have been the maximums obtained by mighty kings like Edward I and Edward III, a mere duke of Normandy is unlikely to have been able to assemble a force that was reckoned in five figures. In the early afternoon William’s left flank of Bretons gave method, to be pursued down the hill by the fyrd they’d been attacking. This break within the line, that Harold had so adamantly warned in opposition to, gave the Normans the chance to break into the Saxon position on the high of the slope.

And at any second, overseas forces may have done to William what Tostig and Hardrada had earlier done to Harold – invade from abroad. But on that afternoon practically a millennium in the past, the sphere would have been a maelstrom of chaos. And inside that chaos, things gave the impression to be going terribly for the Normans. For hours, their attacks were pushed again, and finally a hearsay spread that William had been killed. At the highest of the ridge, King Harold and the Anglo-Saxon army entrenched themselves, standing many ranks deep, shoulder-to-shoulder, and behind a wall of shields that made them seem impregnable.

William started to pillage and burn the surrounding space, in the hope of forcing Harold to advance south to satisfy him. Harold, on receipt of the news, hurried south to confront the Norman invaders. At his foundation of Waltham Abbey, he paused to hope for victory. Gathering what forces he might, he marched to meet William at Hastings. As a result of Harold’s formation, the first wave of arrow fireplace from the Norman archers had little effect.

Much in the stamp of his father, he came through many vicissitudes at his fathers side. He was banished with the the rest of the household in 1051, when King Edward’s Norman advisors received right into a bloody little fight in Dover. But he was again the following year along with his father and confronted the King throughout the Thames. The Witan negotiated a peaceable settlement which returned to the Godwin’s their lands and energy, thus avoiding a civil struggle. Please go to for opening times and the most up-to-date info.

William the Conqueror is crowned William I, king of England, in Westminster Abbey. William the Conqueror’s invading army lands at Pevensey in Sussex, southern England. A view of the historic Waltham Abbey Church in Waltham Abbey, Essex. King Harold II, who died on the battle of Hastings in 1066, is believed by some to have been buried in the churchyard.

William was true to his word and Battle Abbey stands right now on the web site of the battle. Construction of the Norman invasion fleet had been accomplished in July and all was prepared for the Channel crossing. Unfortunately, William’s ships could not penetrate an uncooperative north wind and for six weeks he languished on the Norman shore. Finally, on September 27, after parading the relics of St. Valery at the water’s edge, the winds shifted to the south and the fleet set sail. The Normans made landfall on the English coast close to Pevensey and marched to Hastings.

Harold’s death, most likely near the tip of the battle, led to the retreat and defeat of most of his army. After further marching and some skirmishes, William was topped as king on Christmas Day 1066. Outraged, William started to prepare an army and invasion fleet to take by pressure the dominion he maintained was his by right.

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