England at this time saw relative stability the Godwin brothers and their sister dominated the political life in England. Harold was head of the family and called sub-regulus which meant deputy king. The greatest family triumph came from the decisive defeat of the welsh. Edgar Atheling
There was an underlying issue of who would be Edwards’s heir upon his death. Edward was not producing a son anytime soon. Prince Edward was actually the heir to the throne has he was the closely living relative , as Edwards half nephew , however upon his visit to England in 1057he died not Long after arriving leaving his son Edgar on his own . Edward they took in the son and his three sisters and raised them until his death in 1066. 1064- Harold was on a state mission to the continent and he ended up shipwrecked, and arrested. William however had cleared him and taken him in, and it is said that he provided an oath of fealty to William at this time. . 1065- While Tostig was at the king’s court there was a rebellion in Northumbria. They wanted mortar as their new earl and the king and Harold had no choice but to give in and appoint him. Tostig went into exile and plotted against the king the king. It is said that all this distressed Edward and this was when his health deteriorated. # Jan 1066- as King Edward did not have any children the question was who would be heir to the throne, it was to be Edgar however he was deemed too young and Harold was chosen instead. March- Harold married Ealdgyth the sister of Edwin of mercies and Morcar of Northumbria May- Harold moved to Tostig to retaliate once he had attached with many ships. He was defeated and moved to Scotland under Malcolm’s protection. Sept 1066- Harold packed up most of his army
5th sept –Harold hardrada threatened to invade the north of England. 10th sept – Harold hardrada invaded in the north of England] Harold
Harold was apparently sent to Normandy to give an oath of fealty to William. However this is only referenced in Norman sources. There were many reason hay Harold may have thought that he was a good successor. The earls of Northumbria and mercies , mortar and Edwin were very young Harold had put the peace of the realm before his own brother. He allowed morcar to remain the earl of Northumbria; he then married the sister of Edwin and morcar. The brothers were in Harold’s debt, did they dare oppose his bid to the throne. It was said that Edward had given the kingship and made Harold the heir on his deathbed. In our times it would be seen as delirious however at this time a man speaking on his deathbed was someone who was talking straight from god, and it was said that Edward had said Harold was the king on his deathbed. Whatever was actually said Harold was crowned king on 6th of January .Normans Edward offered the throne to william in 1052 .Harold had gone to normandy to confirm this offer and give an oath of fealty , and then took the throne illegaly. This is the normans version of the story .The nobility were well aware of william might and power and the scandenavian threats from across the sea . and they may have believed that England would have been invaded regardless of who was made king . William
William was the illegitimate son of Robert I , or William the bastard as he was known . From 1046 until 1055 , william had dealt with a series of baronial rebellions . By all accounts Harold and William had become friends , this was obviously because it was in Harold’s interests . Harold was actually involved in a campaign in Brittany during this time and was noted for saving a norman knight from quicksand . It could almost be said that these two noble men actually liked each other. Both however wanted to be king of England.
Tostig went to Norway to seek Harold hardrada and they both agreed to invade England On 25th September Harold’s army landed in Yorkshire he took Tostig and hardrada by surprise in a place called Stamford bridge. Tostig...
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