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Norman Conquest of England Begins (1066) Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Norman Conquest of England Begins (1066)

In 1066, King Edward the Confessor of England died childless. His cousin William of Normandy claimed that he had been promised the throne years earlier, yet Harold, duke of Wessex, was crowned instead. William then assembled a force of 5,000 knights and invaded. He was crowned less than three months later, following a swift and brutal conquest that had a profound and lasting effect on English life. When William landed at Pevensey on September 28, Harold's forces were busy elsewhere—doing what? More...
KSPavan
Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 4:11:45 AM

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This Day in History
Norman Conquest of England Begins (1066)
In 1066, King Edward the Confessor of England died childless. His cousin William of Normandy claimed that he had been promised the throne years earlier, yet Harold, duke of Wessex, was crowned instead. William then assembled a force of 5,000 knights and invaded. He was crowned less than three months later, following a swift and brutal conquest that had a profound and lasting effect on English life.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 6:15:59 AM

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Norman conquest of England
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"Norman conquest" redirects here. For other uses, see Norman conquest (disambiguation).
Location of major events during the Norman conquest of England in 1066

The Norman conquest of England was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, and French soldiers led by Duke William II of Normandy, later styled as William the Conqueror.

William's claim to the English throne derived from his familial relationship with the childless Anglo-Saxon King Edward the Confessor, who may have encouraged William's hopes for the throne. Edward died in January 1066 and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson. The Norwegian king Harald Hardrada invaded northern England in September 1066 and was victorious at the Battle of Fulford, but Harold defeated and killed him at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Within days, William landed in southern England. Harold marched south to confront him, leaving a significant portion of his army in the north. Harold's army confronted William's invaders on 14 October at the Battle of Hastings; William's force defeated Harold, who was killed in the engagement.

Although William's main rivals were gone, he still faced rebellions over the following years and was not secure on his throne until after 1072. The lands of the resisting English elite were confiscated; some of the elite fled into exile. To control his new kingdom, William granted lands to his followers and built castles commanding military strongpoints throughout the land. Other effects of the conquest included the court and government, the introduction of the Norman language as the language of the elites, and changes in the composition of the upper classes, as William enfeoffed lands to be held directly from the king. More gradual changes affected the agricultural classes and village life: the main change appears to have been the formal elimination of slavery, which may or may not have been linked to the invasion. There was little alteration in the structure of government, as the new Norman administrators took over many of the forms of Anglo-Saxon government.

Origins
13th-century depiction of Rollo (top) and his descendants William I Longsword and Richard I of Normandy

In 911 the Carolingian French ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings under their leader Rollo to settle in Normandy as part of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for the land, the Norsemen under Rollo were expected to provide protection along the coast against further Viking invaders.[1] Their settlement proved successful, and the Vikings in the region became known as the "Northmen" from which "Normandy" and "Normans" are derived.[2] The Normans quickly adopted the indigenous culture, renouncing paganism and converting to Christianity.[3] They adopted the langue d'oïl of their new home and added features from their own Norse language, transforming it into the Norman language. They intermarried with the local population[4] and used the territory granted them as a base to extend the frontiers of the duchy westward, annexing territory including the Bessin, the Cotentin Peninsula and Avranches.[5]

In 1002 King Æthelred the Unready married Emma of Normandy, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy.[6] Their son Edward the Confessor, who spent many years in exile in Normandy, succeeded to the English throne in 1042.[7] This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew heavily on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers, soldiers, and clerics and appointing them to positions of power, particularly in the Church. Childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex and his sons, Edward may also have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne.[8]

When King Edward died at the beginning of 1066, the lack of a clear heir led to a disputed succession in which several contenders laid claim to the throne of England.[9] Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by the Archbishop of York, Ealdred, although Norman propaganda claimed the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury.[9][10] Harold was immediately challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this;[11] King Harald III of Norway, commonly known as Harald Hardrada, also contested the succession. His claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor, Magnus the Good, and the earlier English king, Harthacnut, whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway.[12][a] William and Harald at once set about assembling troops and ships to invade England.[16][b]
Tostig's raids and the Norwegian invasion
Main article: Battle of Stamford Bridge

In early 1066, Harold's exiled brother, Tostig Godwinson, raided southeastern England with a fleet he had recruited in Flanders, later joined by other ships from Orkney.[c] Threatened by Harold's fleet, Tostig moved north and raided in East Anglia and Lincolnshire, but he was driven back to his ships by the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia, and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria. Deserted by most of his followers, Tostig withdrew to Scotland, where he spent the summer recruiting fresh forces.[23][d] King Harold spent the summer on the south coast with a large army and fleet waiting for William to invade, but the bulk of his forces were militia who needed to harvest their crops, so on 8 September Harold dismissed them.[24]

King Harald Hardrada invaded northern England in early September, leading a fleet of more than 300 ships carrying perhaps 15,000 men. Harald's army was further augmented by the forces of Tostig, who threw his support behind the Norwegian king's bid for the throne. Advancing on York, the Norwegians defeated a northern English army under Edwin and Morcar on 20 September at the Battle of Fulford.[25] The two earls had rushed to engage the Norwegian forces before King Harold could arrive from the south. Although Harold Godwinson had married Edwin and Morcar's sister Ealdgyth, the two earls may have distrusted Harold and feared that the king would replace Morcar with Tostig. The end result was that their forces were devastated and unable to participate in the rest of the campaigns of 1066, although the two earls survived the battle.[26]

Hardrada moved on to York, which surrendered to him. After taking hostages from the leading men of the city, on 24 September the Norwegians moved east to the tiny village of Stamford Bridge.[27] King Harold probably learned of the Norwegian invasion in mid-September and rushed north, gathering forces as he went.[28] The royal forces probably took nine days to cover the distance from London to York, averaging almost 25 miles (40 kilometres) per day. At dawn on 25 September Harold's forces reached York, where he learned the location of the Norwegians.[29] The English then marched on the invaders and took them by surprise, defeating them in the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Harald of Norway and Tostig were killed, and the Norwegians suffered such horrific losses that only 24 of the original 300 ships were required to carry away the survivors. The English victory was costly, however, as Harold's army was left in a battered and weakened state, and far from the English Channel.[28]
Norman invasion
Norman preparations and forces

William assembled a large invasion fleet and an army gathered from Normandy and all over France, including large contingents from Brittany and Flanders.[30] He mustered his forces at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and was ready to cross the Channel by about 12 August.[31] The exact numbers and composition of William's force are unknown.[32] A contemporary document claims that William had 726 ships, but this may be an inflated figure.[33] Figures given by contemporary writers are highly exaggerated, varying from 14,000 to 150,000 men.[34] Modern historians have offered a range of estimates for the size of William's forces: 7000–8000 men, 1000–2000 of them cavalry;[35] 10,000–12,000 men;[34] 10,000 men, 3000 of them cavalry;[36] or 7500 men.[32] The army would have consisted of a mix of cavalry, infantry,

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monamagda
Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 7:46:56 AM

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The main rivals for the throne were Harold Godwinson, Harald Hardrada and William of Normandy.

When Edward the Confessor died, Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, was immediately crowned king and became Harold II. The royal council, known as the Witan, supported him. He gathered an army to defend the kingdom.

Harald Hardrada was king of Norway. He invaded Yorkshire with a fleet of ships, but was defeated and killed by Harold's army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

While Harold II was in the north of England fighting Hardrada, William, Duke of Normandy invaded Sussex. Harold rushed back south to fight him.
ChristopherJohnson
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The fatal fight where our shield was broken and our sword shivered.
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