On this day, Saturday, October 14,1066 the Battle of Hastings took place and changed history in one fell swoop. It did not take a whole campaign, but one gruesome battle for the Normans to conquer England and begin a new dynasty.
It began at around 9 am that morning with the English positioned on the higher ground. They were battle ready, but the quick march from the north and their previous victory at Stamford Bridge had taken its toll. The English stood shoulder to shoulder and created the traditional shield wall, as this was how fighting had taken place in England up to this point. The Normans brought something new to the table by creating three lines of soldiers; archers followed by the infantry and then followed by the mounted knights. The English did not have separate forces like this.
William carried a banner granted to him by the Pope, Continue reading “On this Day in History: Battle of Hastings” →
Not everyone in Normandy was thrilled about Williams great idea to invade England. The Duke wanted a great number of ships to carry thousands of men across the channel, all in just a few months. Not to mention, transporting men and ships and horses on a sea journey was extremely risky, they could lose everything in one great storm. But, nothing was going to stop William and his stubborn personality was ingrained in him since he was a child.
William of Normandy had actually been born a bastard (his father the Duke and his mother a commoner in the ducal household) and Continue reading “Meanwhile in Normandy…” →
Since the military action of 1066 was so dominant and due to the time period we are discussing, sometimes the women involved went unnoticed throughout history. Even though they were not directly involved in the physical fighting, they were present and contributed to the historic record in their own ways. With this post I want to dedicate it to three women who lived through this era and how the events influenced their lives. Continue reading “The Ladies of 1066” →
What was William of Normandy’s reasoning to invade England? And did he really need one?
Technically, William’s claim was the strongest being a cousin of Edward the Confessor (at least stronger than both Hardrada and Harold). In William’s youth, he apparently met Edward the Confessor while Edward was in exile (due to the Viking takeover of England), they became friends, and Edward allegedly told William that he would name him his successor when the time came. It seems young William took that to heart, which is understandable. Once he became such a successful Duke and proved to everyone he was not just a bastard; he would want to expand his territory. Continue reading “The Mysterious Oath of 1064” →
One of the most important sources of the events of 1066 is actually a piece of artwork. A beautiful embroidered tapestry, 70 meters long and 50 cm tall, depicts over fifty scenes of history. It is most commonly known as the Bayeux Tapestry and begins with the alleged oath of Harold to William and ends with the death of Harold in battle. Continue reading “The Significance of the Bayeux Tapestry” →
Since the Battle of Hastings falls on October 14th this week I was interested in doing a week study of 1066; one of the most important years in English History. In this year the Anglo-Saxon era ends and the England we recognize begins. Often times many studies of English history do not even start until the rule of the Normans. The Norman Conquest in 1066 was the last time (even to the present day!) that England was conquered by a foreign power. To me, that is incredible. William the Conqueror certainly earned his name due to the others who followed in history failed to achieve this even with modern weaponry and advancements.
Due to the Norman conquest, the development of England went into a completely different direction. Continue reading “The Epic Week of 1066!” →