Edward the Confessor - Wikipedia
which purports to contain the laws and customs of Edward the Confessor as theywere granted to the English people by William the Conqueror. It is preserved .. It specifies in detail the relationship between Englishmen and Frenchmen in cases and probably did notembody the administrative goals of the Norman kings. fifty years before William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings. When William, Duke of Normandy defeated Harold Godwinson on the On his return to England in , as Edward the Confessor, Edith, daughter of Godwine, in a marriage of dynastic expediency. This expansion had a purpose. In , William is believed to have visited England and met with his cousin Edward the Confessor, the childless English king. According to Norman historians.
To this end, he promoted his two half-brothers into key positions. Inhe married Matilda, daughter of the Count of Flanders in what seems to have been a genuine love-match. He doted on his wife and trusted her judgement enough in later life to leave her as his regent in Normandy. Edward, by contrast, was already an old man. He had spent his entire adult life waiting for the chance to be King of England, and having achieved it had found his power circumscribed by the over-powerful subjects of his predecessors, so much so that he was forced to marry Edith, daughter of Godwine, in a marriage of dynastic expediency.
The chroniclers say that he despised his wife so much that he never consummated the marriage. Instead, he 'found God' throwing himself into pious works, the most enduring of which was the foundation of Westminster Abbey.
So byit is entirely possible that he was aware he might never have children, so long as he remained married to Edith. Inhe acted against the Godwines. The lever he used was a dispute between Eustace of Boulogne and Earl Godwine sparked by an incident at Dover. Eustace, on the orders of the King, tried to take over the town. Godwine resisted, and when he was called to account, chose to flee into exile with his sons rather than face a prejudiced tribunal. Edward immediately put aside Edith, and at the same time, William of Normandy came to visit England.
It is difficult to see why. Edward was in the most powerful position he had achieved since his accession in He had got rid of the Godwines and his appointees were in all the positions of power. Yet it can also be argued that knowing whilst he remained married to Edith that he would remain childless, Edward chose to vest the future of the kingdom into the hands of his old friend and protector's family, which had just proven its fecundity with the birth of William's son Robert.
Background to the Conquest
We will never know. What is certain is that if Edward did offer William the kingdom at this point, it would not be the last time he gave it away. The promise was essentially worthless though of course we know that William did not wish to view it that way.
William himself had rather more pressing things on his mind by He had become so powerful that his former allies had teamed up against him, forcing him to defend his position. However, byboth Henry I of France and Geoffrey of Anjou had died leaving weak successors, and William was poised to expand again.
This expansion had a purpose. William was well aware of the vulnerable position of Normandy, surrounded on three sides by enemies, and his actions from onwards were designed to ensure that Normandy - and the personal patrimony of its dukes - would remain secure.
Inhe invaded the neighbouring county of Maine. His justification for this is worth noting, for William claimed that Count Hubert of Maine had agreed to marry one of William's daughters and leave his domain to William if he died without heirs. Hubert is supposed to have named William his heir on his deathbed, and William claimed that he was invading merely to secure his inheritance.
This is the first of three times this excuse was used to justify conquest in William's life: The increasing personal power of William is demonstrated by the change in terminology on Norman charters at this time. Norman nobles cease being fidelis faithful men, and the duke becomes their dominus lord. The change is significant. William was now exercising control in Normandy through his own personal patronage, favouring his most powerful friends and supporters.
Edward the Confessor
Among these were his childhood friends William fitzOsbern and Roger de Montgomery, who had become his closest and most trusted advisors and confidants, alongside his half-brothers Robert de Mortain and Odo of Bayeux. Top Harold Back in England, the Godwines had returned. They were back byeven more powerful than before, and Edward's Frenchmen were forced to flee the kingdom.
When Godwine died inhis mantle was taken up by his son Harold Godwinson. InEarl Siward of Northumbria died whilst his son, Waltheof, was too young to succeed him, and Harold manoeuvred his brother Tostig into the earldom. This further strengthened the hold of the Godwine clan on the kingdom.
William of Normandy’s Claim to the English throne: Examining the Evidence - socialgamenews.info
Byit was obvious to all that Edward was going to die without an heir, and Harold must have been weighing up his chances of becoming king. Harold's character has been blackened beyond all recognition by the events of No chronicler could write of him without referring to the role he played in the drama that would lead up to the Norman Conquest.
Therefore, he has been portrayed as devious and secretive, an oathbreaker and a chancer. A chancer he undoubtedly was, but then everyone was gambling in Harold was clearly courageous, an able warrior and an astute politician. He was able to judge the way the wind was blowing and bend with it, breaking through ancient enmities to form the alliances that were necessary to the realpolitik of his world.
He was also handsome and charming, and had an undoubtedly loving relationship with his concubine, Edith Swan-neck. Yet the events during the last two years of his life show that he was also willing to lie and even sacrifice his family on the altar of his ambition. Why he did this, no-one can be certain. All pro-Norman sources claim that he was sent by Edward to confirm the offer of the crown to William. On the Bayeux Tapestry, he is depicted receiving either orders or a warning from Edward, but since he is undoubtedly being admonished for his 'failure' on his return, this can hardly have been instructions to confirm William as king.
English sources hint that he was going to France and was shipwrecked on his way, which was why he ended up in Normandy. Sadly, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is completely silent on the subject. William also benefited from his campaign in Brittany by securing the support of some Breton nobles who went on to support the invasion of England in Harold succeeded to his father's earldom, and another son, Tostigbecame Earl of Northumbria.
Other sons were granted earldoms later: It may have been Norman propaganda designed to discredit Harold, who had emerged as the main contender to succeed King Edward. Harold, perhaps to secure the support of Edwin and Morcar in his bid for the throne, supported the rebels and persuaded King Edward to replace Tostig with Morcar. Edward was ailing, and he died on 5 January It is unclear what exactly happened at Edward's deathbed.
One story, deriving from the Vita Edwardia biography of Edward, claims that Edward was attended by his wife Edith, Harold, Archbishop Stigand, and Robert FitzWimarcand that the king named Harold as his successor. The Norman sources do not dispute the fact that Harold was named as the next king, but they declare that Harold's oath and Edward's earlier promise of the throne could not be changed on Edward's deathbed.
Later English sources stated that Harold had been elected as king by the clergy and magnates of England.
English sources claim that Ealdredthe Archbishop of Yorkperformed the ceremony, while Norman sources state that the coronation was performed by Stigand, who was considered a non-canonical archbishop by the papacy. Tostig appears to have received little local support, and further raids into Lincolnshire and near the River Humber met with no more success, so he retreated to Scotland, where he remained for a time.
Harold assembled an army and a fleet to repel William's anticipated invasion force, deploying troops and ships along the English Channel for most of the summer. Although some sort of formal assembly probably was held, it is unlikely that any debate took place, as the duke had by then established control over his nobles, and most of those assembled would have been anxious to secure their share of the rewards from the conquest of England.
Henry was still a minor, however, and Sweyn was more likely to support Harold, who could then help Sweyn against the Norwegian king, so these claims should be treated with caution. Although Alexander did give papal approval to the conquest after it succeeded, no other source claims papal support prior to the invasion. To deal with Norman affairs, William put the government of Normandy into the hands of his wife for the duration of the invasion.
The fleet carried an invasion force that included, in addition to troops from William's own territories of Normandy and Maine, large numbers of mercenaries, allies, and volunteers from Brittanynortheastern France, and Flanders, together with smaller numbers from other parts of Europe. Although the army and fleet were ready by early August, adverse winds kept the ships in Normandy until late September. There were probably other reasons for William's delay, including intelligence reports from England revealing that Harold's forces were deployed along the coast.
William would have preferred to delay the invasion until he could make an unopposed landing. King Harold received word of their invasion and marched north, defeating the invaders and killing Tostig and Hardrada on 25 September at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. William then moved to Hastingsa few miles to the east, where he built a castle as a base of operations. From there, he ravaged the interior and waited for Harold's return from the north, refusing to venture far from the sea, his line of communication with Normandy.
William the Conqueror invades England - HISTORY
Battle of Hastings After defeating Harald Hardrada and Tostig, Harold left much of his army in the north, including Morcar and Edwin, and marched the rest south to deal with the threatened Norman invasion. Harold stopped in London, and was there for about a week before marching to Hastings, so it is likely that he spent about a week on his march south, averaging about 27 miles 43 kilometres per day,  for the distance of approximately miles kilometres.
The exact events preceding the battle are obscure, with contradictory accounts in the sources, but all agree that William led his army from his castle and advanced towards the enemy. Some of William's Breton troops panicked and fled, and some of the English troops appear to have pursued the fleeing Bretons until they themselves were attacked and destroyed by Norman cavalry.
During the Bretons' flight, rumours swept through the Norman forces that the duke had been killed, but William succeeded in rallying his troops. Two further Norman retreats were feigned, to once again draw the English into pursuit and expose them to repeated attacks by the Norman cavalry. The Bayeux Tapestry has been claimed to show Harold's death by an arrow to the eye, but that may be a later reworking of the tapestry to conform to 12th-century stories in which Harold was slain by an arrow wound to the head.
The English dead, who included some of Harold's brothers and his housecarlswere left on the battlefield. Gytha, Harold's mother, offered the victorious duke the weight of her son's body in gold for its custody, but her offer was refused. Waltham Abbeywhich had been founded by Harold, later claimed that his body had been secretly buried there.
After waiting a short while, William secured Doverparts of Kent, and Canterburywhile also sending a force to capture Winchesterwhere the royal treasury was.
Next he led his forces around the south and west of London, burning along the way. He finally crossed the Thames at Wallingford in early December. William then sent forces into London to construct a castle; he was crowned at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day Ecclesiastical offices continued to be held by the same bishops as before the invasion, including the uncanonical Stigand.
He left his half-brother Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux, in charge of England along with another influential supporter, William fitzOsbernthe son of his former guardian. English resistance had also begun, with Eadric the Wild attacking Hereford and revolts at Exeterwhere Harold's mother Gytha was a focus of resistance.
The town held out for 18 days, and after it fell to William he built a castle to secure his control. Harold's sons were meanwhile raiding the southwest of England from a base in Ireland. Their forces landed near Bristol but were defeated by Eadnoth. By Easter, William was at Winchester, where he was soon joined by his wife Matilda, who was crowned in May The chronicler Orderic Vitalis states that Edwin's reason for revolting was that the proposed marriage between himself and one of William's daughters had not taken place, but another reason probably included the increasing power of William fitzOsbern in Herefordshire, which affected Edwin's power within his own earldom.
The king marched through Edwin's lands and built a castle at Warwick. Edwin and Morcar submitted, but William continued on to York, building castles at York and Nottingham before returning south.
On his southbound journey, the king began constructing castles at LincolnHuntingdonand Cambridge. Then the king returned to Normandy late in Although William returned to York and built another castle, Edgar remained free, and in the autumn he joined up with King Sweyn of Denmark. York was captured by the combined forces of Edgar and Sweyn. Edgar was proclaimed king by his supporters, but William responded swiftly, ignoring a continental revolt in Maine.
William symbolically wore his crown in the ruins of York on Christmas Dayand then proceeded to buy off the Danes. He marched to the River Teesravaging the countryside as he went. But William was not finished; he marched over the Pennines during the winter and defeated the remaining rebels at Shrewsbury before building castles at Chester and Stafford.
This campaign, which included the burning and destruction of part of the countryside that the royal forces marched through, is usually known as the " Harrying of the North "; it was over by Aprilwhen William wore his crown ceremonially for Easter at Winchester. The legates ceremonially crowned William during the Easter court.
Some of the native abbots were also deposed, both at the council held near Easter and at a further one near Whitsun.