Harold Godwinsson, King of England

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Harold Godwinsson

Nicknames: "King Harold II"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Hastings, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Waltham Abbey, Waltham Holy Cross, Essex, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Gōdwine Wulfnothsson, Earl of Wessex; Gōdwine Wulfnothsson; Gyða þórgilsdóttir and Gyða "Gytha " "Gyda" þórgilsdóttir "Thorkelsdóttir", "Torkildsdatter"
Husband of Edith the Fair, "Ealdgȳð "Swann hnesce" "Svanehals" and Ealdgyth of Mercia
Partner of Edith the Fair
Father of Gytha (Gyda, Gyða) Haraldsdóttir; Godwin Haroldsson; Edmund Haroldsson; Magnus Haroldsson; Gunhild Haraldsdatter and 2 others
Brother of Sweyn Godwinson, Earl of Herefordshire; Druella Gōdwinesdatter; Eadgyth Gōdwinesdatter, Queen of England; Tostig Godwinson, Earl of Northumbria; Gyrth Godwinsson, Earl of East Anglia and 3 others

Occupation: King of England, KING OF ENGLAND, EARL OF THE EAST ANGLES AND THE WEST SAXONS, Comte, d'East-Anglie, d'Essex, de Cambridgeshire, d'Huntingdonshire, Roi, d'Angleterre, Konge av England i 1066, King of England (1066), Earl of East Anglia, Earl of Wessex
Managed by: Harald Sævold
Last Updated:

About Harold Godwinsson

Harold Godwinson (c. 1022 – 14 October 1066) also known as Harold II, was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the Norman Conquest.

Married: Ealdgyth, Gryffydd's widow, they had one son Harold

Mistress: Eadgyth Swanneshals (Edith Swan-neck), seven children by her or another mistress (see below)

LINKS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Godwinson

http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Godwinson

http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_II_av_England

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLAND,%20AngloSaxon%20nobility.htm#HaroldIIdied1066A

http://www.walthamabbeychurch.co.uk/history.htm

MEDIEVAL LANDS

HAROLD Godwinson, son of GODWIN Earl of Wessex & his wife Gytha of Denmark ([1022/25]-killed in battle Hastings 14 Oct 1066, bur [Waltham Abbey]). His parentage is confirmed in several places in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[2030]. He was created Earl of the East Angles, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire in 1044 by King Edward "the Confessor". King Edward granted him part of the earldom of his brother Svein, after the latter was outlawed following his seduction of the Abbess of Leominster. After joining his father's threatened armed rebellion against the king in 1051, he fled to Ireland with his brother Leofwine[2031]. He returned from Ireland the following year and joined forces with his father[2032]. Harold was appointed to succeed his father as Earl of Wessex in 1053, his own earldom of the East Angles passing to Ælfgar son of Leofric Earl of Mercia[2033]. He led the counter-offensive against Gruffydd ap Llywellyn Prince of Wales in 1063, in reprisal for Welsh raids[2034]. On a mission to France in [1064], he was captured by Guy [de Ponthieu] Comte d'Abbeville and imprisoned at Beaurain. Guillaume II Duke of Normandy, Guy's suzerain, secured Harold's release, possibly in return for the latter's acknowledgement of Duke Guillaume as successor to the English throne, the event being recorded in the Bayeux tapestry. Harold Godwinsson's visit to Normandy, and swearing allegiance to Duke William, is recorded by William of Jumièges[2035]. According to Eadmer[2036], the reason for Harold's visit to Normandy was to negotiate the release of his brother Wulfnoth and nephew Haakon, both of whom had been held hostage there since 1051. In spite of earlier promises to Duke Guillaume, on his deathbed King Edward "the Confessor" bequeathed the kingdom to Harold. The choice was unopposed at court and Harold succeeded as HAROLD II King of England, crowned 6 Jan 1066. It is unclear whether there was a meeting, formal or informal, of a council to consider the matter, or whether members of such council took part in some form of election as it might be recognised today. There would probably have been little need for formality as the succession was presumably a foregone conclusion. Duke Guillaume branded Harold a perjurer and appealed to Pope Alexander II for support. After receiving a papal banner in response to this request, the duke gathered a sizable army during Summer 1066 ready for invasion. In response to the invasion by his brother Tostig and Harald III "Hardråde" King of Norway (who also claimed the throne of England), King Harold marched northwards and defeated the invaders at Stamford Bridge 25 Sep 1066. Harold returned south, but meanwhile Duke William's army had set sail from Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme 28 Sep. King Harold hastily reassembled his army to meet this second invasion at Hastings 14 Oct 1066, where he was killed. According to the Waltham Chronicle written some time after 1177, King Harold's body was identified on the battlefield by his mistress Eadgyth Swanneshals and taken to Waltham for burial[2037]. William of Malmesbury also says that King Harold was buried at Waltham, though by his mother[2038].

Betrothed ([1064]) to ADELISA de Normandie, daughter of GUILLAUME II Duke of Normandy & his wife Mathilde de Flandre ([1055]-7 Dec, 1066 or after). Orderic Vitalis records the betrothal of Adelaide and Harold Godwinson, listing her after Agatha and before Constance in his description of the careers of the daughters of King William[2039]. The sources are contradictory concerning the name of the daughter betrothed to Harold Godwinson, as well as the timing of her death. The only near certainty is that it would presumably have been the oldest available daughter who was betrothed to Harold. Matthew of Paris does not name her but lists her fourth among the daughters of King William, while distinguishing her from the fifth daughter betrothed to "Aldefonso Galiciæ regi"[2040]. Guillaume de Jumièges records that Duke Guillaume betrothed his daughter Adelise to Harold, in a later passage (in which he does not repeat her name) stating that she was the third daughter and that she died a virgin although she was of an age to marry[2041]. Chibnall specifies[2042] that this reference is contained in the interpolations written by Orderic Vitalis, the latter chronicler therefore contradicting his statement in his own work that Agatha was the name of the daughter who was betrothed to King Harold. Orderic Vitalis says that Adelaide "a most fair maiden vowed herself to God when she reached marriageable age and made a pious end under the protection of Roger of Beaumont"[2043]. The daughter betrothed to Harold was alive in early 1066, according to Eadmer of Canterbury[2044] who says that Duke Guillaume requested King Harold, soon after his accession, to keep his promise to marry his daughter. This is contradicted by William of Malmesbury[2045], who says that her death before that of Edward "the Confessor" was taken by King Harold II as marking absolution from his oath to Duke Guillaume. She died as a nun at Préaux[2046]. The necrology of Chartres cathedral records the death "VII Id Dec" of "Adeliza filia regis Anglorum", stating that her father made a donation for her soul[2047]. The necrology of Saint-Nicaise de Meulan records the death of "Adelina filia regis Anglorum", undated but listed among deaths at the end of the calendar year[2048].

m ([1064/early 1066]) as her second husband, EALDGYTH of Mercia, widow of GRUFFYDD ap Llywellyn Prince of Gwynedd and Powys, daughter of ÆLFGAR Earl of Mercia & his first wife Ælfgifu. Florence of Worcester´s genealogies name "regina Aldgitha, comitis Ælfgari filia" as mother of King Harold´s son "Haroldum"[2049]. Orderic Vitalis records that "Edwinus…et Morcarus comites, filii Algari…Edgivam sororem eorum" married firstly "Gritfridi…regis Guallorum" and secondly "Heraldo"[2050]. Her parentage and marriage with King Harold is confirmed by Florence of Worcester who records that "earls Edwin and Morcar…sent off their sister Queen Elgitha to Chester" after the battle of Hastings[2051].

Mistress (1): EADGYTH "Swanneshals [Swan-neck]", [daughter of --- & his wife Wulfgyth] (-after 1066). A mid-12th century manuscript concerning the foundation of Waltham abbey names "Editham cognomento Swanneshals" as "cubicularia" of King Harold when recording that she recovered the king´s body for burial after the battle of Hastings[2052]. The later Vita Haroldi records that "a certain woman of a shrewd intelligence, Edith by name" recovered the king´s body from the battlefield, chosen to do so "because she loved him exceedingly…[and] had been frequently present in the secret places of his chamber"[2053]. The only source so far identified which refers to an earlier document which names Eadgyth is the history of the abbey of St Benet, Holme, written by John of Oxnead in 1292, which records donations to the abbey, confirmed by King Edward in 1046, including the donation by "Edgyue Swanneshals" of "Thurgertone" (Thurgarton, Norfolk)[2054]. The fact of this donation is confirmed by the corresponding charter of King Edward, reproduced in Dugdale´s Monasticon[2055], which refers to the donation of "ecclesiam de Thurgartun cum tota villa" but omits the name of the donor. Barlow suggests that Eadgyth may have been "Ealdgyth" named in the will of her mother "Wulfgyth", dated to [1042/53], who bequeathed land "at Stisted, Essex to her sons Ælfketel and Ketel…at Saxlingham, Norfolk and Somerton, Suffolk to her daughters Gode and Bote, at Chadacre, Suffolk and Ashford to her daughter Ealdgyth, and at Fritton to Earl Godwin and Earl Harold"[2056]. The connection between Wulfgyth´s family and St Benet´s, Hulme is confirmed by the testament of "Ketel" (named in his mother´s will quoted above), dated to [1052/66], which includes bequests of land to the abbey[2057]. However, Ketel´s testament names his two sisters Gode and Bote, who are also named in their mother´s will, but does not name "Ealdgyth", suggesting that the latter may have predeceased her brother. None of the sources so far identified suggests, even indirectly, that Eadgyth "Swanneshals" was the mother of the seven illegitimate children of King Harold who are shown below, but this has been assumed to be the case in secondary sources.

[Mistress (2): --- (-after 1086). Domesday Book records "quædam concubina Heraldi" as holding three houses in Canterbury[2058]. It is not known whether this unnamed person was the same as Eadgyth "Swanneshals".]

King Harold II & his wife had one son:

1. HAROLD (posthumously Chester Dec 1066-after 1098). Florence of Worcester´s genealogies name "regina Aldgitha, comitis Ælfgari filia" as mother of King Harold´s son "Haroldum"[2059]. He settled at the court of Magnus II Haraldsen King of Norway. William of Malmesbury records that "Harold the son of Harold" accompanied Magnus III King of Norway when the latter invaded Orkney in 1098, captured the Isle of Man and Anglesey, forced the flight of Hugh Earl of Chester and killed Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury[2060].

King Harold & [Mistress (1)] had [seven] illegitimate children:

2. GODWIN ([1045/55]-after 1069). Florence of Worcester records that "Haroldi regis filii Godwinus, Eadmundus, Magnus" returned from Ireland and landed in Somerset where they were defeated, in a passage which deals with events in mid-1068[2061]. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "the sons of King Harold" (unnamed, and without specifying how many sons there were) came from Ireland and landed in "the mouth of the Taw", where they were defeated by "Earl Brian", before returning to Ireland[2062]. Florence of Worcester records that "duo Haroldi filiis" sailed from Ireland 24 Jun [1069] and landed "in Ostio flumis Tavi"[2063]. He and his brothers may later have taken refuge with Svend II Estrithsen King of Denmark.

3. EDMUND ([1047/55]-after 1069). Florence of Worcester records that "Haroldi regis filii Godwinus, Eadmundus, Magnus" returned from Ireland and landed in Somerset where they were defeated, in a passage which deals with events in mid-1068[2064]. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that "the sons of King Harold" (unnamed, and without specifying how many sons there were) came from Ireland and landed in "the mouth of the Taw", where they were defeated by "Earl Brian", before returning to Ireland[2065]. Florence of Worcester records that "duo Haroldi filiis" sailed from Ireland 24 Jun [1069] and landed "in Ostio flumis Tavi"[2066].

4. MAGNUS ([1050/55]-after [1069]). Florence of Worcester records that "Haroldi regis filii Godwinus, Eadmundus, Magnus" returned from Ireland and landed in Somerset where they were defeated, in a passage which deals with events in mid-1068[2067]. He may also have taken part in their raids in south-west England.

5. GYTHA ([1050/55]-). Gytha is named as King Harold's daughter in Fagrskinna, which also states that she married "Valldimar Konongr sun Iarozlæifs konongs I Holmgarde". Morkinskinna records that the mother of “Haraldr Valdimarsson”, father of Malmfrid who married Sigurd King of Norway, was “Edith the daughter of Harold Godwinson” and that her husband was “the son of King Yaroslav and Ingigerdr, the daughter of Óláfr the Swede” (although this skips a generation in the generally accepted genealogy of the Rurikids)[2068]. According to Saxo Grammaticus, after her father's death she and her two brothers "immediately emigrated to Denmark" where Svend II Estrithsen King of Denmark "received them in a spirit of family duty" and arranged her marriage to "Waldemarus King of the Russians"[2069]. Her estimated birth date range is based on the birth dates of her supposed children and the estimated date of her husband's second marriage. The husband of Gytha has generally been identified as Grand Prince Vladimir "Monomach"[2070], but Morkinskinna appears to be the only source which suggests that this is correct. Baumgarten cites no Russian source which corroborates the marriage[2071], although his work is particularly thorough in its source citations. In addition, it is surprising that no single name from Gytha's family was used among the known descendants of Grand Prince Vladimir. While it is true that the Rurikid dynasty rarely imported foreign names for the male descendants, it was not unusual for females to bear names which are recognisable from the families of foreign princesses who married into the family, the obvious example being the Scandinavian name Ingeborg used by Vladimir's son Mstislav for his daughter by Christina of Sweden. It is probable that Gytha herself would not have been considered a good marriage prospect at the time: her mother was obscure, she herself was illegitimate, her father had been killed ignominiously, her family lived in exile without influential connections, and her brothers had fallen into complete obscurity. If a Russian marriage was arranged for her, it is more likely that her husband was one of the lesser princes of the dynasty. The fact that the Scandinavian sources consistently propose a name similar to Vladimir should not be viewed as conclusive, as the difficult Russian first names were frequently transcribed into contemporary western sources with more creativity than accuracy. The inevitable, if disappointing, conclusion is that this Russian marriage of Gytha's should be viewed with caution. [m ([1070]) as his first wife, VLADIMIR Vsevolodich of Pereiaslavl and Suzdal, son of VSEVOLOD Iaroslavich Prince of Pereiaslavl and Suzdal [later VSEVOLOD I Grand Prince of Kiev] & his first wife Maria [Irina] of Byzantium (1053-19 May 1125). He succeeded 1077 as Prince of Smolensk, 1078 as Prince of Chernigov, and 1113 as VLADIMIR "Monomach" Grand Prince of Kiev.]

6. [ULF (-after 1087). His parentage is confirmed by Florence of Worcester who records that Robert III "Curthose" Duke of Normandy released "Ulfam Haroldi quondam regis Anglorum filium, Dunechaldumque regis Scottorum Malcolmi filium" from custody after his father's death in Sep 1087, knighted them and allowed them to leave Normandy[2072]. Freeman ascribes Ulf to Harold's legitimate marriage[2073]. If this is correct, the chronology dictates that he must have been twin with his brother Harold. Freeman appears to base his hypothesis firstly on the assumption that Ulf was younger than his brothers, and secondly on the unlikelihood of his having been held hostage in Normandy if he had been illegitimate. However, the first point indicates nothing about the identity of his mother, and the second point does not appear to be a valid supposition considering the general acceptance of illegitimate birth at the time especially if the children were born from a semi-formal "marriage" of the type practised among the Norman ducal family. Barlow is dubious about Freeman´s hypothesis[2074].]

7. child (stillborn or died young, bur Christ Church, Canterbury[2075]). The Memorials of St Dunstan record that "filium comitis Haraldi" had been buried in Christ Church, Canterbury, next to the tomb of St Dunstan, recording that this had caused offence[2076].

8. GUNHILD (-after 1093). The primary source which confirms her parentage has not yet been identified. Nun at Wilton Abbey. She was abducted from the abbey in 1093 by Alain "Rufus/the Red" Lord of Richmond. She lived with him until he died soon afterwards, subsequently living with his brother and successor Alain "Niger/the Black"[2077].

Mistress (1) of: ALAN "Rufus/the Red" Lord of Richmond, son of EUDES de Bretagne Comte de Penthièvre & his wife Orguen [Agnes] de Cornouaïlle (-4 Aug 1089[2078], bur Bury St Edmunds).

Mistress (2) of: ALAN "Niger/the Black" Lord of Richmond, son of EUDES de Bretagne Comte de Penthièvre & his wife Orguen [Agnes] de Cornouaïlle (-1098[2079]).

---------------------

Harold reigned from 5 January 1066, until his death at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October of that same year, fighting the Norman invaders, led by William the Conqueror. Harold and Richard III are the only English monarchs to have died in battle.

---------------

Info from walthamabbeychurch.co.uk:

There are possibly six accounts of what happened to Harold's body after the battle of Hastings. Assuming he was buried at his church at Waltham, and there is strong anecdotal evidence for this, his coffin would have been moved at least three times during the re-building of the church and abbey during the late 11thC through 13thC. After the dissolution of the abbey in 1540 a house was built in the abbey grounds by Lord Edward Denny. There is a report that at some time Harold's coffin was found in, or put in, the cellar of this house. The house suffered from a fire and was pulled down in 1770. It is assumed that, if it was in the house, the coffin was destroyed at that time. There is, however, a marker outside the east end of the church where his remains would have been buried at one time.


King Harold is commemorated in Waltham Abbey with a ‘King Harold Day’ usually on the nearest Saturday before the 14th October, when the marker stone is decorated with flowers and a short ceremony takes place.


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Fra Wikipedia, den frie encyklopedi

Harald II av England

Harald II Godwinson (engelsk: Harold Godwinson) (født 1022, død 14. oktober 1066) var den siste saksiske kongen av England. Han regjerte bare fra 5. januar 1066 til oktober samme året, da han ble drept i slaget ved Hastings.

Harald var sønn av Godwin, den mektige jarlen av Wessex, og Gyða Þorkelsdóttir, som var barnebarn til den legendariske svenske vikingen Styrbjørn Sterke og tippoldebarn til Harald Blåtann.

Da faren døde i 1053 ble Harald Godwinson jarl av Wessex, et område som på den tiden dekket en tredjedel av England, helt sør i landet. Dette gjorde han til den mektigste mannen i landet, bortsett fra kongen.

Samling av makt

Harald fortsette farens rolle som samlingspunkt for motstandskampen mot økende normannisk innflytelse i England. Han gikk også i strid mot Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, som hadde erobret hele Wales. Han seiret over Gruffydd, som deretter ble drept av sine egne menn, i 1063. Noe senere giftet Harald seg med enken hans, Edith, som var datter av jarlen av Mercia. De fikk to sønner, Harald og Ulf. Harald fikk og flere barn med sin elskerinne, Ealdgyth (Edith) Svanehals.

I 1065 gav Harald støtte til opprørere fra Northumbria mot sin bror, Tostig eller Toste, som på grunn av dette allierte seg med Harald Hardråde.

Da Edvard bekjenneren døde den 5. januar 1066, hevdet Harald at han var blitt lovet tronen på dødsleiet til den engelske kongen. Han fikk witenagemotet, rådet til kongen, til å godkjenne han, og ble kronet alt neste dag.

Ytre trusler

Det tok ikke lang tid før landet ble invadert. Harald Hardråde gikk i land i det som nå er Yorkshire i september. De vant slaget ved Fulford nær York, men fem dager etter ble de slått av den engelske hæren til Harald Godwinsson i slaget ved Stamford Bridge.

Men i sør truet en ny fare. Hertugen Guillaume (senere kjent som Wilhelm Erobreren) av Normandie mente han var blitt lovet tronen, både av den forrige kongen og den nåværende. Harald Godwinson skulle ha sverget at den engelske kronen skulle gå til Guillaume da skipet hans grunnstøtte i Normandie i 1064 eller 1065.

Etter å ha seiret over den norske invasjonen måtte Harald nå avverge den normanniske. Han tvang hæren sin til å marsjere til Sussex, der Guillaume og en hær på rundt sju hundre var gått i land. De to hærene møttes ved Hastings den 14. oktober. Etter en hard kamp ble Harald drept. Tradisjonen, og Bayeuxteppet, sier han fikk en pil i øyet, noe som var en vanlig straff for de som begikk mened. Ansiktet hans var så skadet at Edit Svanehals måtte identifisere kroppen hans.

Etter døden

En normannisk kilde hevder at Harald ble gravlagt med utsyn over sakserkysten, men det er mer sannsynlig at han ble stedt til hvile i kirken sin i i Waltham i Essex.

En av Haralds døtre, Gytha av Wessex, ble stammor til flere østeuropeiske dynasti, og på grunn av dette blir Harald regnet som martyr av den russiske ortodokse kirken med minnedag den 14. oktober.

Den drepte kongen ble også heltedyrket i hjemlandet. En legende fra ellevehundretallet sier at han ikke ble drept, men bodde i Winchester i to år, til han var blitt frisk fra skadene sine, og deretter vandret rundt i Tyskland som en pilgrim ved navn Kristian. Da han ble gammel kom han tilbake til England, og ble en eneboer i en hule ved Dover. På dødsleiet forklarte han at navnet hans ikke var Kristian, men Harald Godwinsson.

På attenhundretallet blomstret interessen for sakserkongen opp igjen. Han ble emnet for et skuespill, Harold, av Alfred Tennyson, og romanen Last of the Saxon Kings av Edward Bulwer-Lytton. I The tree of justice skriver Rudyard Kipling om en gammel mann som kommer til Henry I og viser seg å være Harald Godwinson. Og i sitt historieverk History of the Norman Conquest of England gjorde E. A. Freeman kongen til den store engelske helten.

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From 1902 Encyclopedia Brittanica (http://www.1902encyclopedia.com/H/HAR/harold-ii-of-england.html):

Harold II of England

King of England and the last of the Saxon rulers

(c. 1022 - 1066)

HAROLD II., king of the English, was the second son of Earl Godwine and his Danish wife Gytha, the sister of Earl Ulf. The year of his birth is not accurately fixed, but it must have been about 1022. The choice of his name, like that of some others of his brothers and sisters (see GODWINE), witnesses to the influence of his Danish mother. Both he and his elder brother Swegen were appointed to earldoms while still very young, seemingly about 1045. Harold's earldom was that of the East-Angles. In 1046 Swegen, having carried off Eadgifu, abbess of Leominster, and not being allowed to marry her, threw up his earldom in disgust, and his possessions were divided between his brother Harold and his cousin Earl Beorn, the nephew of Gytha. In 1049 Swegen came back and sought the recovery of his lands, which was refused by Harold and Beorn. Harold now appears for the first time in command, holding a ship in the fleet commanded by his father. For some unknown cause his ship was transferred to Beorn, which most likely saved Harold's life ; for Swegen presently came and entrapped and slew Beorn, who was buried by Harold. We next hear of Harold in 1051 as accompanying Godwine when he appeared in arms in Gloucestershire. He shared his father's outlawry and banishment in that year, but he chose a different place of shelter, going with his brother Leofwine to Ireland, while Godwine went to Flanders. In 1052 Harold and Leofwine came back. They were opposed by the men of Somerset and Devonshire, whom they defeated at Porlock, and plundered the country. Then they joined their father, and were with him at the assembly which decreed the restoration of the whole family. Harold was now restored to his earldom of the East-Angles, and, on his father's death in 1053, he succeeded him in the greater earldom of the West-Saxons.

Harold was now the chief man in the kingdom, and when the older earls Leofric and Siward died, his power increased yet more, and the latter part of Ead ward's reign was virtually the reign of Harold. But he was the minister of the king rather than his personal favourite. This last place rather belonged to his younger brother Tostig, who on the death of Siward in 1055 received the earldom of the Northumbrians. Two other of Godwine's younger sons, Gyrth and Leofwine, also received earldoms in 1057. This last date would seem to have been about the time when the prospect of the crown began to open to Harold. The iEtheling Eadward, the son of Eadmund Ironside, who had been brought home from Hungary as the intended successor, died that year. So did Eadward's nephew Balph, who, though not really of the kingly house, might possibly have been looked to for lack of a nearer candidate. There was now no one of the old stock but Eadgar son of Eadward and his sisters. If then the king should die while Eadgar was still a child, there would be no qualified candidate in the royal house. It would seem as if, from this time, men began to look to Earl Harold as a possible successor to the crown. He is spoken of in a way, and his name is joined with that of the king in a way, which is unusual in the case of an ordinary earl.

The chief events in which Harold appears personally during this time are the wars with the Welsh under their king Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. In 1055, in alliance with the banished Earl iElfgar of Mercia, Gruffydd defeated Earl Ralph and burned Hereford. Harold now drove back the Welsh and restored Hereford, but allowed the restoration of ^Elfgar to his earldom. In 1058 he made the pilgrimage to Rome : in 1060 he completed the building of his church at Waltham, and completed the foundation of the college in 1062. In 1063 came the great Welsh war, in which Harold, with the help of his brother Tostig, crushed the power of Gruffydd, who was killed by his own people. Harold now gave Wales to two vassal kings, Bleddyn and Rhiwallon. Both of his wars were accompanied by an extension of the English frontier toward Wales. In 1065 the Northumbrians revolted against their earl Tostig, and chose in his place Morkere, the son of iElfgar. Harold now acted as mediator between the king and the insurgents, and at last, as the Northumbrians were fully prepared not to receive Tostig agaiu, he agreed to their choice of Morkere and to the banishment of his brother.

Besides these there is one very important event in Harold's life the date of which can only be guessed at. At some time or other between William's visit to England in 1051 and Eadward's death at the beginning of 1066, Harold was the guest of Duke William in Normandy, and took some kind of oath to him. This oath the Normans represented as an act of homage, with a further oath to procure William's succession to the English crown. The tale is told only by the Norman writers, and it is told by them with such contradictions of every kind that no reliance can be placed on any detail. But that there is some truth in the story is proved by the strongest negative evidence. While the contemporary English writers take care, directly or indirectly, to deny all those Norman charges against Harold which were sheer invention, they say not a word as to his alleged oath to William. It seems on the whole most likely that Harold was wrecked on the shore of Ponthieu, imprisoned by its Count Guy, and released by the interference of William. He then helped William in a war with the Bretons, and promised to marry one of his daughters. This was most likely accompanied by an act of homage, such as was often made to any superior or benefactor. Such an oath might, in the ideas of the times, be made to mean a great deal or very little, according to circumstances. The most likely date is 1064. But there is a remarkable statement that Harold took a journey in Gaul with a political object, seemingly that of making alliances with some of the princes of the country, most likely William's enemies in France, Anjou, and Aquitaine. This was in the year of his Roman pilgrimage. And, as there is no direct evidence for the date of the oath, it is open to any one to put the two things together.

At the beginning of 1066 Eadward died. His last act was to recommend Harold for election to the crown. He was accordingly chosen on the day of Eadward's death, January 5th, and crowned the next day by Ealdred, archbishop of York. But, though he was crowned by the Northumbrian primate, the men of Northumberland at first refused to acknowledge him. They were won over by the new king, who went to York, accompanied by Saint Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester. To secure Eadwine and Morkere, he married their sister Ealdgyth, the widow of the Welsh king Gruffydd. He thus put it out of his power to comply with that part of his engagement to William which is best attested, namely, to marry one of William's daughters. The rest of Harold's reign was taken up with preparations against the attacks of twro enemies at once. William challenged the crown, alleging both a bequest of Eadward in his favour and the personal engagement which Harold had contracted towards him. This was of course a mere matter of form, and William began to make ready for the invasion of England. Meanwhile the banished Tostig was trying all means to bring about his own restoration. He first, seemingly in concert with William, came in May, and attacked first the Isle of Wight and then Lindesey, but was driven to take shelter in Scotland. From May to September the king kept the coasts with a great force by sea and land; but at last provisions failed, and the land army wras dispersed. Harold then went to London, ready to meet whichever enemy came first. By this time Tostig had engaged Harold Hardrada of Norway to invade England. He accordingly sailed up the Humber, defeated Eadwine and Morkere (September 20th), and received the submission of York (September 24th). Harold of England was now on his march northward; on September 25th he came on the Northmen at Stamfordbridge beyond York, and won a complete victory, in which Tostig and Harold Hardrada were slain. But twro days later (September 27th) William of Normandy landed at Pevensey and (September 29 th) occupied Hastings, and laid waste the land. Harold had then to march southward as fast as possible. He gathered his army in London from all southern and eastern England, but Eadwine and Morkere kept back the forces of the north. The king then marched into Sussex, occupied the hill of Senlac, now Battle, and awaited the Norman attack. After a vain exchange of messages, the decisive battle was fought on October j 14th. As the English were wholly infantry, while the I Normans were strongest in cavalry and archers, Harold's object was simply to hold the hill against all attack. As long as he was obeyed, his tactics were completely successful. But a part of his troops, disobeying his orders, left the hill to pursue, and the English array was broken. The Normans could now get up the hill, and, after a fight which lasted from morning till evening, they had the victory. The king and his brothers Gyrthand Leofwinewere killed. As Harold was condemned by the pope, William at first refused him Christian burial, and caused him to be buried on the rocks at Hastings. But it seems most likely that he afterwards allowed the body to be removed to Harold's own church at Waltham. The tale which represents Harold as escaping from the battle, living a life of penitence, and at last dying at Chester, is a mere romance.

Harold left several children, but there is a good deal of uncertainty as to his marriage or marriages. He had two sons by Ealdgyth, Harold and Wulf; but they must have j been twins born after their father's death. He had also three sons, Godwine, Eadmund, and Magnus, and two daughters, Gytha and Gunhild. It will be seen how strong the Scandinavian element is in these names. These five were not children of Ealdgyth, and the sons were grown up, or nearly so, when their father died. They may have been the children of an unrecorded first wife. But the local history of Waltham represented Harold's body as being found after the battle by a former mistress of his, Eadgyth Swanneshals (Swansneck). Some have thought that this Eadgyth is the " Eddeva pulcra" of Domesday, who appears as the former holder of great estates in the east of England. This, though not unlikely, is quite uncertain ; but there seems evidence enough to show that Eadgyth Swanneshals is a real person, and to connect her with j Harold's East-Anglian earldom. It seems most likely that she was the mother of Harold's earlier children, and that the connexion between them was that intermediate state between marriage and concubinage called the Danish marriage, of which we not uncommonly hear in those days.

The character of Harold is blackened with many, but mostly very vague, charges by the Norman writers. The English, on the other hand, paint him as the perfect model of a ruler. With regard to his accession to the crown, the common charge of usurpation springs from ignorance of the English law of the time. Harold was beyond all doubt regularly nominated by Eadwai'd, regularly chosen by the witan, and regularly crowned by Ealdred. This last point is of importance in those days, when the rite of coronation was deemed of such moment. The Normans try to represent the ceremony as invalid, by saying that Harold was crowned by Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, whose canonical position was doubtful. That Harold crowned himself, instead of receiving the ecclesiastical consecration, is a mere fable, arising from a misunderstanding of some of the rhetorical invectives of the Norman writers, ft should be noticed that those contemporary writers who speak of Harold as an usurper do so wholly on the ground of the alleged right of William, and of Harold's oath to William. That Harold's accession was. a wrong done to young Eadgar is an idea which we first hear of in the next century, when the doctrine of hereditary right had taken firmer root. In Domesday the reign of Harold is passed by ; he is regularly spoken of as earl; the doctrine of the Norman lawyers was that William, though of course not full king till his coronation, had the sole right to the crown from the moment of Eadward's death.

The military skill of Harold is plain, both from the Welsh war, when he overcame the mountaineers by making his English soldiers adopt the Welsh tactics, and from his conduct both at Stamfordbridge and at Senlac. He clearly understood the difference between his two enemies, when it was wise to attack and when it was wise to await the attack. At Stamfordbridge his strategy was perfectly successful; it failed at Senlac only because of the disobedience of part of his army. The best witness to his civil government is the general peace and good order of England during that part of the reign of Eadward which was virtually his reign. When the peace is broken, it is always by the act of others, and Harold is always called on to make the settlement. He appears throughout as singularly mild and conciliating, never pressing hard upon any enemy. The later Norman writers indeed have an elaborate tale which represents Harold and Tostig as enemies from their childhood. But this is mere romance, with no ground in any contemporary writer.

The relations of Harold to the church, always an important feature in the character of a prince of that age, suggest several questions. He is charged in Domesday with several encroachments on ecclesiastical property, chiefly in Herefordshire, and the like charge is brought against him in a deed of Leofric, bishop of Exeter. But it must be remembered that this kind of charge is brought against every leading man of the time, and that we very seldom hear more than one side. The most distinct and detailed charge, that which represents Harold as a wholesale spoiler of the church of Wells, can be refuted, not by hearing the other side, but by going back to the charge as brought by the original complainant, Bishop Gisa. We here find that Harold took nothing from the church, but simply hindered the bishopric from receiving a bequest to which there is some reason for thinking that he may have had a right as earl. On the other hand, Harold appears as the friend and protector of several ecclesiastical bodies, and above all as the founder of Waltham. Here we may remark that, when monks were all the fashion, he preferred the secular clergy. He was the firm friend of the best prelate of his time, Bishop Wulfstan, and he appeared on good terms with most of the leading churchmen.

The contemporary authorities are the English Chronicles, the Latin biographer of Eadward in Dr Luard's collection (he gives a splendid panegyric on Harold), and Florence of Worcester, on the English side. On the Norman side are the Bayeux Tapestry, William of Poitiers, William of Jumieges, Guy of Amiens (Carmen de Bella Hastingcnsi). In the next century the book Be Inventions Sanctce Crucis Walthamensis gives Harold's picture as drawn in his own foundation. The book called Vita Haroldi is a mere romance, but contains one or two scraps of authentic tradition; Orderic, Eadmer, William of Malmesbury, and the writers of the 12th century generally, often prove particular facts, and especially show how the estimate of the events of the 11th century gradually changed. The French life of Eadward in the 13th is very bitter against Harold. Of the Scandinavian writers, Saxo Grammaticus is violent against him, while the biographer of Olaf Tryggvesson counts him for a saint. All the statements are brought together and examined in Freeman's History of the Norman Conquest, vols, ii. and iii. The opposite pictures of the earlier writers, Thierry and Palgrave, are also worth comparing. (E. A. F.)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Godwinson

http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_II_av_England

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Stupad vid Hastings 14.10.1066.

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Killed with an arrow through the eye, Battle of Hastings

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Harold Godwinson or Harold II (Old English: Harold Gōdwines sunu; c. 1022 – 14 October 1066) was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the Norman Conquest.[1]

Harold reigned from 5 January 1066, until his death at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October of that same year, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror. Harold is one of only three Kings of England to have died as a result of battle, alongside Richard the Lionheart and Richard III.

Harold was a son of Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex, and his wife Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose supposed brother Ulf Jarl was the son-in-law of Sweyn I and the father of Sweyn II of Denmark.

Godwin and Gytha had several children, notably sons Sweyn, Harold, Tostig, Gyrth and Leofwine and a daughter, Edith of Wessex (1029–75), who became Queen consort of Edward the Confessor.

As a result of his sister's marriage to the king, Godwin's second son, Harold, became Earl of East Anglia in 1045. Harold accompanied his father into exile in 1051, but helped him to regain his position a year later. When Godwin died in 1053, Harold succeeded him as Earl of Wessex (a province at that time covering the southernmost third of England). This arguably made him the most powerful figure in England after the king.

In 1058, Harold also became Earl of Hereford, and replaced his late father as the focus of opposition to growing Norman influence in England under the restored monarchy (1042–66) of Edward the Confessor, who had spent over twenty-five years in exile in Normandy.

He gained glory in a series of campaigns (1062–63) against Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of Gwynedd, the ruler of Wales. This conflict ended with Gruffydd's defeat, and death at the hands of his own troops, in 1063.

In 1064, Harold was apparently shipwrecked in Ponthieu. There is much speculation about this voyage. The earliest post-conquest Norman chroniclers report that at some prior time, Robert, Archbishop of Canterbury had been sent by the childless king to appoint as his heir Edward's maternal kinsman, William of Normandy, and that at this later date Harold was sent to swear fealty.[2] Scholars disagree as to the reliability of this story. William, at least, seems to have believed he had been offered the succession, but there must have been some confusion either on William's part or perhaps by both men, since the English succession was neither inherited nor determined by the sitting monarch. Instead the Witenagemot, the assembly of the kingdom's leading notables, would convene after a king's death to select a successor. Other acts of Edward are inconsistent with his having made such a promise, such as his efforts to return his nephew Edward the Exile, son of king Edmund Ironside, from Hungary in 1057.[3] Later Norman chroniclers suggest alternative explanations for Harold's journey, that he was seeking the release of members of his family who had been held hostage since Godwin's exile in 1051, or even that he had simply been travelling along the English coast on a hunting and fishing expedition and had been driven across the channel by an unexpected storm. There is general agreement that he left from Bosham, and was blown off course, landing on the coast of Ponthieu, where he was held hostage by Count Guy. Duke William arrived soon after and ordered Guy to turn Harold over to him.[4] Harold then apparently accompanied William to battle against William's enemy, Conan II, Duke of Brittany. While crossing into Brittany past the fortified abbey of Mont St Michel, Harold is recorded as rescuing two of William's soldiers from the quicksand. They pursued Conan from Dol de Bretagne to Rennes, and finally to Dinan, where he surrendered the fortress's keys on the point of a lance. William presented Harold with weapons and arms, knighting him. The Bayeux Tapestry, and other Norman sources, then record that Harold swore an oath on sacred relics to William to support his claim to the English throne. After Harold's death, the Normans were quick to point out that in accepting the crown of England, Harold had perjured himself of this alleged oath.

The chronicler Orderic Vitalis wrote: "This Englishman was very tall and handsome, remarkable for his physical strength, his courage and eloquence, his ready jests and acts of valour. But what were these gifts to him without honour, which is the root of all good?".

Due to an unjust doubling of taxation instituted by Tostig in 1065 that threatened to plunge England into civil war, Harold supported Northumbrian rebels against his brother, Tostig, and replaced him with Morcar. This strengthened his acceptability as Edward's successor, but fatally divided his own family, driving Tostig into alliance with King Harald Hardrada ("Hard Reign") of Norway.

For some twenty years Harold was married More danico (Latin: "in the Danish manner") to Edith Swannesha and had at least six children by her. The marriage was widely accepted by the laity, although Edith was considered Harold's mistress by the clergy. Their children were not treated as illegitimate. Among them was a daughter Gytha, later wife of the Kievan Rus prince Vladimir Monomakh. Through descendants of this Anglo-Rus marriage, she was a progenitor of English Queen Isabella of France, and hence Harold is the ancestor of subsequent English monarchs.

According to Orderic Vitalis, Harold was at some time betrothed to Adeliza, a daughter of William, Duke of Normandy, later William the Conqueror; if so, the betrothal never led to marriage.[5]

About January 1066, Harold married Edith (or Ealdgyth), daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, and widow of the Welsh prince Gruffydd ap Llywelyn an enemy of the English. Edith had two sons — possibly twins — named Harold and Ulf (born c. November 1066), both of whom survived into adulthood and probably lived out their lives in exile.

After her husband's death, the queen is said[by whom?] to have fled for refuge to her brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria but both men made their peace with the Conqueror initially before rebelling and losing their lands and lives. Aldith may have fled abroad (possibly with Harold's mother, Gytha, or with Harold's daughter, Gytha).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Godwinson

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Harald II av England eller Harald Godwinson, född ca 1022, död 14 oktober 1066, var Englands siste saxiske kung från 5 januari till 14 oktober 1066, då han dödades i slaget vid Hastings.

Haralds far var Godwin, den mäktige earlen av Wessex. Godwin var son till Wulfnoth Cild, thegn i Sussex och hade varit gift två gånger. Först med Thyra Sveinsdóttir (994 — 1018), en dotter till Sven Tveskägg kung av Danmark, Norge och England. Hans andra hustru var Gytha Thorkelsdóttir som var barnbarn till den legendariske svenske vikingen Styrbjörn Starke och genom mödernet barnbarn till Harald Blåtand, kung av Danmark och Norge och Svens far. Detta andra äktenskap resulterade i de två sönernas Harald och Tostig Godwinsons födelse samt deras systers Edith av Wessex (1020 - 1075) som blev Edvard Bekännarens drottning.

Harald blev earl av East Anglia 1045 och följde sin far i landsflykt 1051, men hjälpte honom att återfå sin position följande år. Då Godwin dog 1053 efterträdde Harald honom som earl av Wessex (en landsdel som vid denna tid täckte den södra delen av England). Detta gjorde honom den näst mäktigaste personen i England, näst efter kungen.

1058 blev Harald även earl av Hereford, och han efterträdde fadern som företrädare för oppositionen mot det växande normandiska inflytandet i England under Edvard Bekännaren som tillbringat mer än ett kvarts sekel i landsflykt i Normandie.

Han vann ära genom en rad fälttåg (1062 - 1063) mot härskaren av Gwynedd, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, som hade erövrat hela Wales; denna konflikt slutade med Gruffydds nederlag (och död i händerna på sina egna trupper) 1063. Omkring 1064 gifte sig Harald med Edith, dotter till earlen av Mercia, Gruffydd ap Llywelyns änka. Med Harald fick hon två söner - möjligen tvillingar - Harald och Ulf, vilka båda överlevde till vuxen ålder och troligen slutade sina liv i landsflykt. Harald hade även flera illegitima barn med sin berömda älskarinna (eller hustru enligt dansk lag) "Ealdgyth Swan-neck" eller "Edit Svannacke".

1065 stödde Harald northumbriska rebeller mot brodern Tostig som ersatte honom med Morcar. Detta stärkte hans position som Edvards efterträdare, men splittrade familjen, då Tostig allierade sig med kung Harald Hårdråde.

Vid Edvard Bekännarens död 6 januari 1066 hävdade Harald att Edvard på sin dödsbädd lovat honom kronan och fick Witenagemot (rådet av rikets betydande män) att godkänna honom för kröning, något som ägde rum följande dag.

Landet invaderades av både Harald Hårdråde och Vilhelm av Normandie som hävdade att han lovats kronan av både Edvard (troligtvis 1052) och Harald Godwinson som hade lidit skeppsbrott i Ponthieu, Normandie 1064 eller 1065. Det sades att, under det senare tillfället, att Vilhelm hade tvingat Harald att svära en ed att stödja hans krav på tronen på en låda med heliga reliker. Vid Haralds död var normanderna noga med att påpeka att genom att acceptera Englands krona hade Harald begått mened.

Genom att invadera vad som nu är Yorkshire i september 1066 besegrade Harald Hårdråde och Tostig de engelska earlerna Edwin av Mercia och Morcar av Northumbria vid slaget vid Fulford nära York (20 september), men besegrades i sin tur av Haralds armé fem dagar senare vid slaget vid Stamford Bridge (25 september).

Harald tvingade nu sin armé att marschera 386 km för att genskjuta Vilhelm som hade landstigit med kanske 7000 man i Sussex, i södra England tre dagar senare, 28 september. Haralds armé etablerade sig i en hastigt byggd befästning i närheten av Hastings. De båda arméerna drabbade samman 14 oktober, i slaget vid Hastings. Efter en hård strid dödades Harald, enligt traditionen och så som det avbildas på Bayeuxtapeten, genom en pil genom ögat. Om han dödades på detta vis (en dödsstraff som under medeltiden förknippades med personer som hade begått mened) eller om han dödades med svärd, kommer aldrig att bli känt. Haralds hustru Edith Swanneck, skulle identifiera liket, vilket hon gjorde genom märken på kroppen som bara hon kände till, ansiktet var helt förstört. Trots att en normandisk redogörelse menar att Haralds lik begravdes i en grav med utsikt över den saxiska kusten, är det mer troligt att han begravdes i kyrkan Waltham Holy Cross i Essex. Haralds illegitima dotter Gytha av Wessex gifte sig med en storhertig av Kievriket, därför erkände nyligen den rysk-ortodoxa kyrkan Harald som martyr med 14 oktober som festdag.

En hjältedyrkan uppstod kring Harald och genom en legend från 1300-talet skulle Harald ha överlevt striden och läkt sina sår i Wincester under två år och reste sedan till Tyskland där han vandrade omkring som pilgrim. Som gammal skulle han ha återvänt till England och blivit eremit i en grotta nära Dover. På sin dödsbädd ska mannen ha erkänt att trots att han gick under namnet Christian hette han egentligen Harald Godwinson. Olika varianter på denna historia levde kvar genom medeltiden, men saknar faktagrund.

Litteraturintresset kring Harald fick nytt liv under 1800-talet genom pjäsen Harold av Alfred Tennyson (1876) och genom romanen Last of the Saxon Kings av Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1848). Rudyard Kipling skrev historien The tree of justice (1910), som beskrev hur en gammal man som visar sig vara Harald ställs inför Henrik I. E. A. Freeman skrev en allvarlig historia i History of the Norman Conquest of England (1870-79) i vilken Harald ses som en stor engelsk hjälte. Under 2000-talet förknippas Haralds rykte, så som det alltid gjort, med subjektiva åsikter om huruvida den normandiska erövringen var rätt eller fel.

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Died in the Battle of Hastings

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Harold Godwinson

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Harold II Godwinson

King of England (more...)


Reign 5 January — 20 October 1066

Coronation 6 January 1066

Predecessor Edward the Confessor

Successor Edgar Ætheling

Spouse Ealdgyth Swan-neck

Issue

Godwin

Edmund

Magnus

Gunhild

Gytha

Harold

Ulf

Full name

Harold Godwinson

Royal house House of Godwin

Father Godwin, Earl of Wessex

Mother Gytha Thorkelsdóttir

Born Circa 1022

Wessex, England

Died 14 October 1066

Battle, East Sussex

Burial Waltham Abbey, Waltham Abbey, England

Harold Godwinson, or Harold II (c. 1022 – October 14, 1066) was the last of the Anglo-Saxons to be crowned King of England - Edgar Ætheling (c. 1051 – c. 1126) was to be his successor after the Battle of Hastings, by the proclaimation of the Witan, but was not crowned. His reign was from January 5 to October 14, 1066. His death was at the Battle of Hastings, by the lances of Norman knights under William the Conqueror.

Contents [hide]

1 Lineage

2 Powerful nobleman

3 Marriages and children

4 Reign as King

5 Legacy and Legend

6 See also

7 References

8 Bibliography

9 External links

10 Literature


[edit] Lineage

Harold's father was Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex believed to be a son to Wulfnoth Cild, Thegn of west Sussex.

Godwin married twice, both times to Danish women of high rank. His first wife was the Danish princess Thyra Sveinsdóttir, a daughter of Sweyn I, who was King of Denmark, Norway and England. His second wife was Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose brother or cousin Ulf Jarl was the son-in-law of Sweyn I and the father of Sweyn II. Gytha and Ulf were allegedly grandchildren to the legendary Swedish Viking Styrbjörn the Strong (a disinherited prince of Sweden) and great-grandchildren to Harold Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway. This second marriage resulted in the birth of several children, notably two sons, Harold and Tostig Godwinson (who played a prominent role in 1066) and a daughter Edith of Wessex (1020–75), who was Queen consort of Edward the Confessor.

[edit] Powerful nobleman

When Godwin died in 1053, his son Harold took over. It was he, rather than Edward, who subjugated Wales in 1063 and negotiated with the rebellious Northumbrians in 1065. Consequently, shortly before his death, Edward named Harold as his successor even though he may already have promised the crown to a distant cousin, William, Duke of Normandy. He died on 4 January 1066 and was buried in the Abbey he had constructed at Westminster.

As a result of his sister's marriage to the king, Godwin's second son Harold was made Earl of East Anglia in 1045. Harold accompanied Godwin into exile in 1051, but helped him to regain his position a year later. When Godwin died in 1053, Harold succeeded him as Earl of Wessex (a province at that time covering the southernmost third of England). This made him the second most powerful figure in England after the king.

In 1058 Harold also became Earl of Hereford, and replaced his late father as the focus of opposition to growing Norman influence in England under the restored English monarchy (1042–66) of Edward the Confessor, who had spent more than a quarter of a century in exile in Normandy.

He gained glory in a series of campaigns (1062–63) against the ruler of Gwynedd, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, who had conquered all of Wales; this conflict ended with Gruffydd's defeat (and death at the hands of his own troops) in 1063.

In 1064, Harold was apparently shipwrecked in Ponthieu. There is much speculation about the reason for this, with Norman sources saying that his journey was to give William King Edward's offer of the throne. One explanation was that Harold was seeking the release of members of his family who had been held hostage since Godwin's exile in 1051. Another is that he was on his way for a meeting with allies. According to the Norman version, his vessel was blown off course, and he was held hostage by Count Guy of Ponthieu. Duke William arrived soon after and ordered Guy to turn Harold over to him. The source of much of this information can be found in the writings of William of Poitiers, whose veracity has been called into question.

Harold then accompanied William to battle against William's enemy, Conan II, Duke of Brittany. While crossing into Brittany past the fortified abbey of Mont St Michel, Harold rescued two of William's soldiers, Baron Ian De La Goldfinch and Friar Paul Le Keen from the quicksand. They pursued Conan from Dol de Bretagne, then to Rennes, and finally to Dinan, where he surrendered the fortress' keys on the point of a lance. William presented Harold with weapons and arms, knighting him. The Bayeux Tapestry, and other Norman sources, then record that Harold swore an oath to William to support his claim to the English throne.

By this time, William considered himself to be the successor of the childless Edward the Confessor, but the only sources we have for this are Norman ones from after the conquest, as the contemporary English sources such as the Anglo Saxon Chronicle are silent on the matter, referring to Edward's grand-nephew, Edgar Ætheling, son of Edward the Exile, as Ætheling, or princely heir. It is unlikely that King Edward had ever made such as an offer[citation needed], especially after the efforts of Harold to get the return of Edward the Exile, son of Edmund Ironside from Hungary, in 1057. During his supposed captivity, William of Poitiers claims that William obtained from Harold an oath to support William as the future king of England. After Harold's death, the Normans were quick to point out that in accepting the crown of England, Harold had perjured himself of this oath.

The chronicler Orderic Vitalis wrote: "This Englishman was very tall and handsome, remarkable for his physical strength, his courage and eloquence, his ready jests and acts of valour. But what were these gifts to him without honour, which is the root of all good?".

In 1065 Harold supported Northumbrian rebels against his brother Tostig, due to unjust taxation instituted by Tostig, and replaced him with Morcar. This strengthened his acceptability as Edward's successor, but fatally divided his own family, driving Tostig into alliance with King Harald Hardrada ("Hard Reign") of Norway.

[edit] Marriages and children

For some twenty years Harold was married mōre Danicō (in the Danish manner) to Ealdgyth Swan-neck (also known as Edith Swanneschals or Edith Swanneck) and had at least six children by her. The marriage was widely accepted by the laity, although Edith was considered Harold's mistress by the clergy. Their children were not treated as illegitimate. Among them was a daughter Gytha, later wife of the Russian prince Vladimir Monomachus, or Vladimir Monomakh. Through descendants of this Anglo-Russian marriage, Harold is thus the ancestor of later English kings.

About January 1064, Harold married Aldith (or Aldgyth), daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, and widow of the Welsh prince Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. Aldith had two sons — possibly twins — named Harold and Ulf (born circa November 1066), both of whom survived into adulthood and probably ended their lives in exile.

After her husband's death, the queen is said to have fled for refuge to her brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria but both men made their peace with the Conqueror initially before rebelling and losing their lands and lives. Aldith may have fled abroad (possibly with Harold's mother, Gytha, or with Harold's daughter, Gytha).

[edit] Reign as King

Edward the Confessor was on his deathbed and pointed to Harold. This sign was taken, by the other present noblemen, to mean that Edward chose Harold as his successor, though some say it was merely a curse. On January 5, 1066, the Witenagemot (the assembly of the kingdom's leading notables) approved him for coronation, which took place the following day. It was the first coronation in Westminster Abbey. Although later Norman sources point to the suddenness of this coronation, it is possible that it took place whilst all the nobles of the land were present at Westminster for the feast of Epiphany and not because of any usurpation of the throne on Harold's part.

England was then invaded by both Harald Hardrada of Norway and William, Duke of Normandy, both of whom claimed the English crown. William claimed that he had been promised the English crown by Edward, and that Harold had sworn to support his claim after having been shipwrecked in Ponthieu. Harald Hardrada formed an alliance with Harold's rebellious brother Tostig. Harold offered his brother a third of the kingdom if he joined him, and Tostig asked what Harold would offer the king of Norway. "Six feet of ground or as much more as he needs, as he is taller than most men," was Harold's response according to Henry of Huntingdon. It is, however, unknown whether this conversation ever took place.

Invading what is now Yorkshire in September 1066, Harald Hardrada and Tostig defeated the English earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria at the Battle of Fulford near York on (September 20). They were in turn defeated and slain by Harold's army five days later at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 25), Harold having led his army north on a forced march from London in four days and caught them by surprise.


The spot where Harold died, Battle AbbeyHarold now again forced his army to march 241 miles (386 kilometres) to intercept William, who had landed perhaps 7000 men in Sussex, southern England three days later on September 28. Harold established his army in hastily built earthworks near Hastings. The two armies clashed at the Battle of Hastings, near the present town of Battle close by Hastings on October 14, where after a hard fight Harold was killed and his forces routed. His brothers Gyrth and Leofwine were also killed in the battle. According to tradition, Harold was killed by an arrow in the eye, but it is unclear if the victim depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry is intended to be Harold, or whether indeed the tapestry's scene depicts that particular type of wound. Whether he did, indeed, die in this manner (a death associated in the Middle Ages with perjurers[citation needed]), or was killed by the sword, will never be known. Harold's first wife, Edith Swanneck, was called to identify the body (the face being destroyed), which she did by the tattoos pricked into his chest which read "Edith" and "England".[citation needed]


Tomb of King Harold II at Waltham Abbey, EssexHarold's body was buried in a grave of stones overlooking the shore, and was only given a proper funeral years later in his church of Waltham Holy Cross in Essex, which he had refounded in 1060.[1]

Harold's strong association with Bosham and the discovery of an Anglo-Saxon coffin in the church in the 1950s has led some to speculate that King Harold was buried there. A recent bid to exhume a grave in Bosham church was refused by the Diocese of Chichester in December 2004, the Chancellor ruling that the chances of establishing the identity of the body as Harold II were too slim to justify disturbing a burial place.[2] A prior exhumation had revealed the remains of a middle-aged man lacking one leg, a description which fits the fate of the king according to certain chroniclers.

[edit] Legacy and Legend

Harold's daughter Gytha of Wessex married Vladimir Monomakh Grand Duke (Velikii Kniaz) of Kievan Rus' and is ancestor to dynasties of Galicia, Smolensk and Yaroslavl, whose scions include Modest Mussorgsky and Peter Kropotkin. Isabella of France (consort of Edward II) was also a direct descendant of Harold via Gytha, and thus the bloodline of Harold was re-introduced to the Royal Line. Subsequently, undocumented allegations that the Russian Orthodox Church has recently recognised Harold as a martyr have been made. Ulf, along with Morcar and two others, were released from prison by King William as he lay dying in 1087. He threw his lot in with Robert Curthose, who knighted him, and disappeared from history. Two of his elder half-brothers, Godwine and Magnus, made a number of attempts at invading England in 1068 and 1069 with the aid of Diarmait mac Mail na mBo. They raided Cornwall as late as 1082, but died in obscurity in Ireland.

A cult of hero-worship rose around Harold, and by the 12th century, legend says that Harold had indeed survived the battle, had spent two years in Winchester after the battle recovering from his wounds, and then traveled to Germany, where he spent years wandering as a pilgrim. As an old man, he supposedly returned to England, and lived as a hermit in a cave near Dover. As he lay dying, he confessed that although he went by the name of Christian, he had been born Harold Godwinson. Various versions of this story persisted throughout the Middle Ages, but have little basis in fact.Harold's wife was pregnant with a son when he died, whom she named "Harold" and he became a monk at Waltham Abbey and is said to have met Henry I, leading to the idea that Harold Godwinsson had survived, instead of Harold Haroldsson.

Literary interest in Harold revived in the 19th century, with the play Harold, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in 1876; and the novel Last of the Saxon Kings, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in 1848. Rudyard Kipling wrote a story, The Tree of Justice (1910), describing how an old man who turns out to be Harold is brought before Henry I. E. A. Freeman wrote a serious history in History of the Norman Conquest of England (1870–79), in which Harold is seen as a great English hero. Fictional accounts based on the events surrounding Harold's struggle for and brief reign as king of England have been published, notably "The Interim King" by James McMilla and "The Last English King" by Julian Rathbone.

[edit] See also

House of Wessex family tree

[edit] References

^ Hilliam, Paul (2005). William the Conqueror: First Norman King of England. New York City, New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 57. ISBN 1-4042-0166-1.

^ In re Holy Trinity, Bosham [2004] Fam 124 — decision of the Chichester Consistory Court regarding opening King Harold's proposed grave.

[edit] Bibliography

Biography by P. Compton (1961); F. M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (3d ed. 1971).

Biography by Ian W. Walker: Harold: The Last Anglo-Saxon King. Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 1997. ISBN 0-7509-1388-6

[edit] External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Harold GodwinsonGenealogy page — Reliability unknown

Profile of Harold Godwinson

Descendants of King Cerdic of Wessex chart

In the footsteps of King Harold A timeline of Harold Godwinson's life, includes information about places significant to Harold II's story.

King Harold II ca.1021-1066 Extensive and useful site, graphics-heavy, can be a little slow loading.

Geoff Boxell Harold Godwinson — the last king of the English The rise and fall of King Harold II.

Regia Anglorum Kingmakers — The Story of the House of Godwin

Steven Lowe The Godwins — A family of power

"Harold: this insane Englishman" Contemporary accounts of Harold's accession and the Norman invasion.

The Death of Harold Godwinson A commentary using the Bayeaux Tapestry as a primary source of information.

[edit] Literature

A list of both fiction and non-fiction books relating to Harold Godwinson

Preceded by

Edward the Confessor King of England

1066 Succeeded by

Edgar Ætheling (Proclaimed king by witan, never crowned)

Preceded by

Godwin Earl of Wessex

1053–1066 Succeeded by

Merged in Crown

Preceded by

Ælfgar Leofricson Earl of East Anglia

1052–1053 Succeeded by


--------------------

Harold II Godwinson, King of England was born between 1020 and 1022.3 He was the son of Godwine, Earl of Wessex and Gytha (?).2 He and Adeliza de Normandie were engaged.4 He married Ealdgyth (?), daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia and Elfleda (?), circa 1064 at York, Yorkshire, England.3 He died on 14 October 1066 at Hastings, Sussex, England, a blow from a sword wielded by a mounted Norman knight.5 He was buried at Waltham Abbey, Essex, England.5

    Harold II Godwinson, King of England and Eadgyth Swanneshals (?) were associated.2 He gained the title of Earl of East Anglia circa 1045.3 He succeeded to the title of Earl of Wessex on 15 April 1053.3 He gained the title of Earl of Hereford in 1058.3 He succeeded to the title of King Harold II of England on 6 January 1066.3 He fought in the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066.3
    Harold was the son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and the brother-in-law of Edward the Confessor. Before coming to the throne Harold had been captured in France and, under duress, is alleged to have sworn that he would not accept the English crown but would support William of Normandy's claim. When Edward the Confessor died the Wittan (Council) elected Harold to succeed him and he was crowned at Westminster Abbey. In Sept 1066 King Harold Hardrada of Norway and Tostig, Harold of England's half brother, sailed up the Humber and landed at Ricall near York. King Harold marched his army from the South up Ermine Street and decisively defeated the invaders at Stamford Bridge on 25th Sept. Meanwhile, William of Normandy was assembling his forces at the mouth of the Somme and as soon as the wind was favourable he crossed the Channel and landed at Pevensey on the 28th September. Harold force marched south and reached Battle near Hastings on the 13th Oct. The following day, Saturday 14th October 1066, is probably the most memorable in English History. Each army consisted of about 7,000 men but the Normans had the advantage of bow-men and cavalry while the English relied on axe and spear-men. The battle raged fiercely all day and in the evening, William ordered his archers to shoot high so that the arrows would drop vertically. Harold was struck in the right eye and mortally wounded.

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Haralds angelsaksiske navn var Godwinson, han var konge av England i 1066.

Det var mange liebhabere til den engelske kronen. I sør satt hertug Vilhelm av Normandie og hevdet at han hadde Edvards tilsagn om å få overta hans rike, og paven støttet hans krav. Den som i første omgang gikk av med seieren, var likevel en innfødt jarl, Harald Godwinson . Kong Edvard Confessoren overlot ham riket 05.01.1066, da han var døende. Harald ble umiddelbart kronet i Westminster. Paven bannlyste nå Harald for brudd på ed.

Harald hadde en misunnelig bror, Tostig eller Toste, som syntes at han hadde like stor rett til kronen. Han søkte nå hjelp hos den norske kongen, og tilbød å støtte ham. Harald Hardråde hadde aldri glemt de arvekrav som også han kunne gjøre gjeldende på Englands trone. Og det var fristende å gripe sjansen. Danmark hadde han - iallfall tilsynelatende - oppgitt; han hadde fred med kong Svein, og inten farer truet derfra. Men ble han herre over både England og Norge, ville ikke Svein Estridson ha store mulighetene for å stå seg. Da ville kong Knuts gamle nordsjørike kunne gjenoppstå under norskekongens scepter. Og utsiktene til at en ekspedisjon til England skulle kunne føre fram, var slett ikke dårlige. Arvekravet ga toget et anstrøk av legitimitet, som nok kunne vinne endel tvilere for hans sak. Han kunne regne med en viss tilslutning i England, særlig i de nordøstlige områdene, der det nordiske islettet var sterkt. Riktignok viste Toste seg her som en upålitelig informatør, oppslutningen om Harald ble langt dårligere enn det han forespeilet. Men Harald Godwinson kunne ikke mobilisere fullt ut mot Harald, han måtte holde et våkent øye med hertugen av Normandie, som gjorde åpenlyse forberedelser til en landgang.

Harald på sin side gjorde også omfattende forberedelser som viser at han regnet med et stort felttog. Han satte seg først fast på Orknøyene, noe som ble desto lettere fordi den mektige Torfinn jarl nylig var død. Her trakk han sammen folk, og her plasserte han sin dronning, den russiske Ellisiv, og hennes to døtre. Så gikk han i land på kysten av Northumbria og vant flere seire i mindre slag, byen York var i ferd med å åpne sine porter for ham, da han selv nådde fram. Harald Hardråde lot seg overraske med en mindre avdeling og falt på jordene et stykke utenfor byen, ved Stanford bro den 25.09.1066. Harald Godwinson selv fulgte ham i døden et par uker senere. Straks etter Harald Hardrådes fall måtte han dra i ilmarsj med sine menn sørover for å ta imot normannerne på kanalkysten. Det kom til slag ved Hastings den 14. oktober. Harald ble rammet av en pil i øyet og nedhugget. Liket kjentes igjen av hans elskede Edgyth Svanehals. Han ble jordet der, men senere flyttet til Waltham kloster.

Edgyth var Haralds konkubine. Han ble ca. 1064 gift med Ealdgyth, datter til Elfgar og enke etter Griffits. Dette var et politisk ekteskap. Harald var den siste anglosaksiske konge av England. Normannerhertugen ble hans arvtager. 1)

1). Snorre Sturlason: Olav den helliges saga, avsnitt 152. Snorre Sturlason: Harald Hardrådes saga, avsnitt 75-78, 86, 90-92, 95-96. Cappelen's Norges Historie, Bind 2, side 283-287. Politiken's Danmarks Historie, Bind 2 (1963), side 245, 471-473. Mogens Bugge: Våre forfedre, nr. 557. Bent og Vidar Billing Hansen: Rosensverdslektens forfedre, side 89.


Navn: Harald Godwinson på det kjente Bayeuxteppet

Regjeringstid: 1066

Født: ca. 1022, Wessex

Død: 14. oktober 1066, Hastings

Foreldre: Godwin, jarl av Wessex

og Gyða Þorkelsdóttir

Ektefelle‍(r): Edith

Barn: to

Harald II Godwinson (engelsk: Harold Godwinson) (født 1022, død 14. oktober 1066) var den siste saksiske kongen av England. Han regjerte bare fra 5. januar 1066 til oktober samme året, da han ble drept i slaget ved Hastings.

Harald var sønn av Godwin, den mektige jarlen av Wessex, og Gyða Þorkelsdóttir, som var barnebarn til den legendariske svenske vikingen Styrbjørn Sterke og tippoldebarn til Harald Blåtann.

Da faren døde i 1053 ble Harald Godwinson jarl av Wessex, et område som på den tiden dekket en tredjedel av England, helt sør i landet. Dette gjorde han til den mektigste mannen i landet, bortsett fra kongen.

[rediger] Samling av makt

Harald fortsette farens rolle som samlingspunkt for motstandskampen mot økende normannisk innflytelse i England. Han gikk også i strid mot Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, som hadde erobret hele Wales. Han seiret over Gruffydd, som deretter ble drept av sine egne menn, i 1063. Noe senere giftet Harald seg med enken hans, Edith, som var datter av jarlen av Mercia. De fikk to sønner, Harald og Ulf. Harald fikk og flere barn med sin elskerinne, Ealdgyth (Edith) Svanehals.

I 1065 gav Harald støtte til opprørere fra Northumbria mot sin bror, Tostig eller Toste, som på grunn av dette allierte seg med Harald Hardråde.

Da Edvard bekjenneren døde den 5. januar 1066, hevdet Harald at han var blitt lovet tronen på dødsleiet til den engelske kongen. Han fikk witenagemotet, rådet til kongen, til å godkjenne han, og ble kronet alt neste dag.

[rediger] Ytre trusler

Det tok ikke lang tid før landet ble invadert. Harald Hardråde gikk i land i det som nå er Yorkshire i september. De vant slaget ved Fulford nær York, men fem dager etter ble de slått av den engelske hæren til Harald Godwinsson i slaget ved Stamford Bridge.

Men i sør truet en ny fare. Hertugen Guillaume (senere kjent som Wilhelm Erobreren) av Normandie mente han var blitt lovet tronen, både av den forrige kongen og den nåværende. Harald Godwinson skulle ha sverget at den engelske kronen skulle gå til Guillaume da skipet hans grunnstøtte i Normandie i 1064 eller 1065.

Etter å ha seiret over den norske invasjonen måtte Harald nå avverge den normanniske. Han tvang hæren sin til å marsjere til Sussex, der Guillaume og en hær på rundt sju hundre var gått i land. De to hærene møttes ved Hastings den 14. oktober. Etter en hard kamp ble Harald drept. Tradisjonen, og Bayeuxteppet, sier han fikk en pil i øyet, noe som var en vanlig straff for de som begikk mened. Ansiktet hans var så skadet at Edit Svanehals måtte identifisere kroppen hans.

[rediger] Etter døden

En normannisk kilde hevder at Harald ble gravlagt med utsyn over sakserkysten, men det er mer sannsynlig at han ble stedt til hvile i kirken sin i i Waltham i Essex.

En av Haralds døtre, Gytha av Wessex, ble stammor til flere østeuropeiske dynasti, og på grunn av dette blir Harald regnet som martyr av den russiske ortodokse kirken med minnedag den 14. oktober.

Den drepte kongen ble også heltedyrket i hjemlandet. En legende fra ellevehundretallet sier at han ikke ble drept, men bodde i Winchester i to år, til han var blitt frisk fra skadene sine, og deretter vandret rundt i Tyskland som en pilgrim ved navn Kristian. Da han ble gammel kom han tilbake til England, og ble en eneboer i en hule ved Dover. På dødsleiet forklarte han at navnet hans ikke var Kristian, men Harald Godwinsson.

På attenhundretallet blomstret interessen for sakserkongen opp igjen. Han ble emnet for et skuespill, Harold, av Alfred Tennyson, og romanen Last of the Saxon Kings av Edward Bulwer-Lytton. I The tree of justice skriver Rudyard Kipling om en gammel mann som kommer til Henry I og viser seg å være Harald Godwinson. Og i sitt historieverk History of the Norman Conquest of England gjorde E. A. Freeman kongen til den store engelske helten.

Forgjenger:

Edvard Bekjenneren  Konge av England

(1066) Etterfølger:

Edgar II av England  

--------------------

Harold Godwinson, (c. 1022 – October 14, 1066) also known as Harold II, is widely regarded as the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the Norman Conquest.[1] Harold reigned from January 5 1066 until his death at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October of that same year, fighting the Norman invaders, led by William the Conqueror.

Harold's father was Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex believed to be a son of Wulfnoth Cild.

Godwin married twice, both times to Danish women of high rank. His first wife was the Danish princess Thyra Sveinsdóttir, one of the daughters of Sweyn I of Denmark and Norway. His second wife was Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose brother or cousin[clarify] Ulf Jarl was the son-in-law of Sweyn I and the father of Sweyn II of Denmark. Gytha and Ulf were allegedly grandchildren to the legendary Swedish Viking Styrbjörn the Strong (a disinherited prince of Sweden) and great-grandchildren to Harold Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway. This second marriage resulted in the birth of several children, notably two sons, Harold and Tostig Godwinson, and a daughter, Edith of Wessex (1020–75), who became the Queen consort of Edward the Confessor.

--------------------

Killed at Battle of Hastings in October 1066. Battle was lost to William "The Conquerer" of Normandy.

--------------------

http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Godwinson

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Haralds angelsaksiske navn var Godwinson, han var konge av England i 1066.

Det var mange liebhabere til den engelske kronen. I sør satt hertug Vilhelm av Normandie og hevdet at han hadde Edvards tilsagn om å få overta hans rike, og paven støttet hans krav. Den som i første omgang gikk av med seieren, var likevel en innfødt jarl, Harald Gudinesson. Kong Edvard Confessoren overlot ham riket 05.01.1066, da han var døende. Harald ble umiddelbart kronet i Westminster. Paven bannlyste nå Harald for brudd på ed.

Harald hadde en misunnelig bror, Tostig eller Toste, som syntes at han hadde like stor rett til kronen. Han søkte nå hjelp hos den norske kongen, og tilbød å støtte ham. Harald Hardråde hadde aldri glemt de arvekrav som også han kunne gjøre gjeldende på Englands trone. Og det var fristende å gripe sjansen. Danmark hadde han - iallfall tilsynelatende - oppgitt; han hadde fred med kong Svein, og inten farer truet derfra. Men ble han herre over både England og Norge, ville ikke Svein Estridsson ha store mulighetene for å stå seg. Da ville kong Knuts gamle nordsjørike kunne gjenoppstå under norskekongens scepter. Og utsiktene til at en ekspedisjon til England skulle kunne føre fram, var slett ikke dårlige. Arvekravet ga toget et anstrøk av legitimitet, som nok kunne vinne endel tvilere for hans sak. Han kunne regne med en viss tilslutning i England, særlig i de nordøstlige områdene, der det nordiske islettet var sterkt. Riktignok viste Toste seg her som en upålitelig informatør, oppslutningen om Harald ble langt dårligere enn det han forespeilet. Men Harald Gudinnesson kunne ikke mobilisere fullt ut mot Harald, han måtte holde et våkent øye med hertugen av Normandie, som gjorde åpenlyse forberedelser til en landgang.

Harald på sin side gjorde også omfattende forberedelser som viser at han regnet med et stort felttog. Han satte seg først fast på Orknøyene, noe som ble desto lettere fordi den mektige Torfinn jarl nylig var død. Her trakk han sammen folk, og her plasserte han sin dronning, den russiske Ellisiv, og hennes to døtre. Så gikk han i land på kysten av Northumbria og vant flere seire i mindre slag, byen York var i ferd med å åpne sine porter for ham, da han selv nådde fram. Harald Hardråde lot seg overraske med en mindre avdeling og falt på jordene et stykke utenfor byen, ved Stamford bro den 25.09.1066. Harald Gudinesson selv fulgte ham i døden et par uker senere. Straks etter Harald Hardrådes fall måtte han dra i ilmarsj med sine menn sørover for å ta imot normannerne på kanalkysten. Det kom til slag ved Hastings den 14. oktober. Harald ble rammet av en pil i øyet og nedhugget. Liket kjentes igjen av hans elskede Edgyth Svanehals. Han ble jordet der, men senere flyttet til Waltham kloster.

Edgyth var Haralds konkubine. Han ble ca. 1064 gift med Ealdgyth, datter til Elfgar og enke etter Griffits. Dette var et politisk ekteskap.

Harald var den siste anglosaksiske konge av England. Normannerhertugen ble hans arvtager.

Tekst: Tore Nygaard

Kilder:

Snorre Sturlasson: Olav den helliges saga, avsnitt 152. Snorre Sturlasson: Harald Hardrådes saga, avsnitt 75-78, 86, 90-92, 95-96. Cappelen's Norges Historie, Bind 2, side 283-287. Politiken's Danmarks Historie, Bind 2 (1963), side 245, 471-473. Mogens Bugge: Våre forfedre, nr. 557. Bent og Vidar Billing Hansen: Rosensverdslektens forfedre, side 89.

--------------------

Died in the Battle of Hastings

--------------------

Harold Godwinson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harold Godwinson (c. 1022 – October 14, 1066) also known as Harold II is widely regarded as the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the Norman Conquest.[1] Harold reigned from January 5 until his death at the Battle of Hastings fighting the Norman invaders, led by William the Conqueror.

Lineage

Harold's father was Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex believed to be a son to Wulfnoth Cild, Thegn of west Sussex.

Godwin married twice, both times to Danish women of high rank. His first wife was the Danish princess Thyra Sveinsdóttir, one of the daughters of Sweyn I of Denmark and Norway. His second wife was Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose brother or cousin Ulf Jarl was the son-in-law of Sweyn I and the father of Sweyn II of Denmark. Gytha and Ulf were allegedly grandchildren to the legendary Swedish Viking Styrbjörn the Strong (a disinherited prince of Sweden) and great-grandchildren to Harold Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway. This second marriage resulted in the birth of several children, notably two sons, Harold and Tostig Godwinson (who played a prominent role in 1066) and a daughter Edith of Wessex (1020–75), who was Queen consort of Edward the Confessor.

[edit]Powerful nobleman

When Godwin died in 1053, his son Harold took over. It was he, rather than Edward, who subjugated Wales in 1063 and negotiated with the rebellious Northumbrians in 1065. Consequently, shortly before his death, Edward named Harold as his successor even though he may already have promised the crown to a distant cousin, William, Duke of Normandy. He died on 4 January 1066 and was buried in the Abbey he had constructed at Westminster.

As a result of his sister's marriage to the king, Godwin's second son Harold was made Earl of East Anglia in 1045. Harold accompanied Godwin into exile in 1051, but helped him to regain his position a year later. When Godwin died in 1053, Harold succeeded him as Earl of Wessex (a province at that time covering the southernmost third of England). This made him the most powerful figure in England after the king.

In 1058 Harold also became Earl of Hereford, and replaced his late father as the focus of opposition to growing Norman influence in England under the restored English monarchy (1042–66) of Edward the Confessor, who had spent more than a quarter of a century in exile in Normandy.

He gained glory in a series of campaigns (1062–63) against the ruler of Gwynedd, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, who had conquered all of Wales; this conflict ended with Gruffydd's defeat (and death at the hands of his own troops) in 1063.

In 1064, Harold was apparently shipwrecked in Ponthieu. There is much speculation about the reason for this, with Norman sources saying that his journey was to give William King Edward's offer of the throne. One explanation was that Harold was seeking the release of members of his family who had been held hostage since Godwin's exile in 1051. Another is that he was on his way for a meeting with allies. According to the Norman version, his vessel was blown off course, and he was held hostage by Count Guy of Ponthieu. Duke William arrived soon after and ordered Guy to turn Harold over to him. The source of much of this information can be found in the writings of William of Poitiers, whose veracity has been called into question.

Harold then accompanied William to battle against William's enemy, Conan II, Duke of Brittany. While crossing into Brittany past the fortified abbey of Mont St Michel, Harold rescued two of William's soldiers from the quicksand. They pursued Conan from Dol de Bretagne, then to Rennes, and finally to Dinan, where he surrendered the fortress' keys on the point of a lance. William presented Harold with weapons and arms, knighting him. The Bayeux Tapestry, and other Norman sources, then record that Harold swore an oath to William to support his claim to the English throne.

By this time, William considered himself to be the successor of the childless Edward the Confessor, but the only sources we have for this are Norman ones from after the conquest, as the contemporary English sources such as the Anglo Saxon Chronicle are silent on the matter, referring to Edward's grand-nephew, Edgar, son of Edward the Exile, as Ætheling, or princely heir. It is unlikely that King Edward had ever made such as an offer[citation needed], especially after the efforts of Harold to get the return of Edward the Exile, son of Edmund Ironside from Hungary, in 1057. During his supposed captivity, William of Poitiers claims that William obtained from Harold an oath to support William as the future king of England. After Harold's death, the Normans were quick to point out that in accepting the crown of England, Harold had perjured himself of this oath.

The chronicler Orderic Vitalis wrote: "This Englishman was very tall and handsome, remarkable for his physical strength, his courage and eloquence, his ready jests and acts of valour. But what were these gifts to him without honour, which is the root of all good?".

In 1065 Harold supported Northumbrian rebels against his brother Tostig, due to unjust taxation instituted by Tostig, and replaced him with Morcar. This strengthened his acceptability as Edward's successor, but fatally divided his own family, driving Tostig into alliance with King Harald Hardrada ("Hard Reign") of Norway.

[edit]Marriages and children

For some twenty years Harold was married More danico (in the Danish manner) to Ealdgyth Swan-neck (also known as Edith Swanneschals or Edith Swanneck) and had at least six children by her. The marriage was widely accepted by the laity, although Edith was considered Harold's mistress by the clergy. Their children were not treated as illegitimate. Among them was a daughter Gytha, later wife of the Russian prince Vladimir Monomachus, or Vladimir Monomakh. Through descendants of this Anglo-Russian marriage, Harold is thus the ancestor of later English kings.

About January 1066, Harold married Edith (or Ealdgȳð), daughter of Ælfgār, Earl of Mercia, and widow of the Welsh prince Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. Edith had two sons — possibly twins — named Harold and Ulf (born circa November 1066), both of whom survived into adulthood and probably ended their lives in exile.

After her husband's death, the queen is said to have fled for refuge to her brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria but both men made their peace with the Conqueror initially before rebelling and losing their lands and lives. Aldith may have fled abroad (possibly with Harold's mother, Gytha, or with Harold's daughter, Gytha). ;D

[edit]Reign as king

When Edward the Confessor died in 1066, his great nephew and heir Edgar Ætheling was widely regarded as too young to become King. Edward the Confessor pointed towards Harold Godwinson, as he lay at his deathbed. This sign was taken, by the other present noblemen, to mean that Edward chose Harold as his successor, though some say it was merely a curse. On January 5, 1066, the Witenagemot (the assembly of the kingdom's leading notables) approved him for coronation, which took place the following day. It was the first coronation in Westminster Abbey. Although later Norman sources point to the suddenness of this coronation, it is possible that it took place whilst all the nobles of the land were present at Westminster for the feast of Epiphany and not because of any usurpation of the throne on Harold's part.

England was then invaded by both Harald Hardrada of Norway and William, Duke of Normandy, both of whom claimed the English crown. William claimed that he had been promised the English crown by Edward, and that Harold had sworn to support his claim after having been shipwrecked in Ponthieu. Harald Hardrada formed an alliance with Harold's rebellious brother Tostig. Harold offered his brother a third of the kingdom if he joined him, and Tostig asked what Harold would offer the king of Norway. "Six feet of ground or as much more as he needs, as he is taller than most men," was Harold's response according to Henry of Huntingdon. It is, however, unknown whether this conversation ever took place.

Invading what is now Yorkshire in September 1066, Harald Hardrada and Tostig defeated the English earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria at the Battle of Fulford near York on (September 20). They were in turn defeated and slain by Harold's army five days later at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 25), Harold having led his army north on a forced march from London in four days and caught them by surprise. Before the battle a man bravely rode up to Harald Hardrada and Tostig and offered Tostig his earldom if he would but turn on Harald Hardrada. When Tostig asked what his brother Harold would be willing to give Harald Hardrada for his trouble, the rider replied that he would be given seven feet of ground as he was taller than other men. Harald Hardrada was impressed with the rider and asked Tostig his name, Tostig replied that the rider was none other than Harold Godwinson.[2]

Harold now again forced his army to march 241 miles (386 kilometres) to intercept William, who had landed perhaps 7000 men in Sussex, southern England three days later on September 28. Harold established his army in hastily built earthworks near Hastings. The two armies clashed at the Battle of Hastings, near the present town of Battle close by Hastings on 14th October, where after a hard fight Harold was killed and his forces routed. His brothers Gyrth and Leofwine were also killed in the battle. According to tradition, Harold was killed by an arrow in the eye, but it is unclear if the victim depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry is intended to be Harold, or whether indeed the tapestry's scene depicts that particular type of wound. Whether he did, indeed, die in this manner (a death associated in the Middle Ages with perjurers[citation needed]), or was killed by the sword, will never be known. Harold's first wife, Edith Swanneck, was called to identify the body (the face being destroyed) which she did by the tattoos pricked into his chest which read "Edith" and "England".

Harold's body was buried in a grave of stones overlooking the shore, and was only given a proper funeral years later in his church of Waltham Holy Cross in Essex, which he had refounded in 1060.[3]

Harold's strong association with Bosham and the discovery of an Anglo-Saxon coffin in the church in the 1950s has led some to speculate that King Harold was buried there. A request to exhume a grave in Bosham church was refused by the Diocese of Chichester in December 2004, the Chancellor ruling that the chances of establishing the identity of the body as Harold's were too slim to justify disturbing a burial place.[4] A prior exhumation had revealed the remains of a middle-aged man lacking one leg, a description which fits the fate of the king according to certain chroniclers.[citation needed]

[edit]Legacy and legend

Harold's daughter Gytha of Wessex married Vladimir Monomakh Grand Duke (Velikii Kniaz) of Kievan Rus' and is ancestor to dynasties of Galicia, Smolensk and Yaroslavl, whose scions include Modest Mussorgsky and Peter Kropotkin. Isabella of France (consort of Edward II) was also a direct descendant of Harold via Gytha, and thus the bloodline of Harold was re-introduced to the Royal Line. Subsequently, undocumented claims that the Russian Orthodox Church has recently recognised Harold as a martyr have been made.[citation needed] Ulf, along with Morcar and two others, were released from prison by King William as he lay dying in 1087. He threw his lot in with Robert Curthose, who knighted him, and disappeared from history. Two of his elder half-brothers, Godwine and Magnus, made a number of attempts at invading England in 1068 and 1069 with the aid of Diarmait mac Mail na mBo. They raided Cornwall as late as 1082, but died in obscurity in Ireland.

A cult of hero-worship rose around Harold, and by the 12th century, legend says that Harold had indeed survived the battle, had spent two years in Winchester after the battle recovering from his wounds, and then traveled to Germany, where he spent years wandering as a pilgrim. As an old man, he supposedly returned to England, and lived as a hermit in a cave near Dover. As he lay dying, he confessed that although he went by the name of Christian, he had been born Harold Godwinson. Various versions of this story persisted throughout the Middle Ages, but have little basis in fact. Harold's wife was pregnant with a son when he died, whom she named "Harold" and he became a monk at Waltham Abbey and is said to have met Henry I, leading to the idea that Harold Godwinsson had survived, instead of Harold Haroldsson.

Literary interest in Harold revived in the 19th century, with the play Harold, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in 1876; and the novel Last of the Saxon Kings, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in 1848. Rudyard Kipling wrote a story, The Tree of Justice (1910), describing how an old man who turns out to be Harold is brought before Henry I. E. A. Freeman wrote a serious history in History of the Norman Conquest of England (1870–79), in which Harold is seen as a great English hero. Fictional accounts based on the events surrounding Harold's struggle for and brief reign as king of England have been published, notably "The Interim King" by James McMilla and The Last English King by Julian Rathbone.

The Times runs the obituary of "Harold of England" on the anniversary of his death.

The one-act play A Choice of Kings by John Mortimer deals with his deception by William after his shipwreck.

On screen, Harold has been portrayed by Rex Reason in the film Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955), Patrick Newell in the comedy film Father Came Too! (1962), Michael Craig in a TV adaptation of A Choice of Kings in the ITV Play of the Week series (1966), Norman Chappell in an episode of the TV comedy series Carry On Laughing entitled "One in the Eye for Harold" (1975), and Jâms Thomas in an episode of the British educational TV series Historyonics entitled "1066" (2004).

[edit]See also

House of Wessex family tree

[edit]References

^ It could be argued that Edgar the Atheling, who was proclaimed as king by the witan but never crowned, was really the last Anglo-Saxon king.

^ Sturluson, Snorri (1966). King Harald's Saga. Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books, 149.

^ Hilliam, Paul (2005). William the Conqueror: First Norman King of England. New York City, New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 57. ISBN 1-4042-0166-1.

^ In re Holy Trinity, Bosham [2004] Fam 124 — decision of the Chichester Consistory Court regarding opening King Harold's supposed grave.

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Harold Godwinson or Harold II (Old English: Harold Gōdwines sunu; c. 1022 – 14 October 1066) was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the Norman Conquest.[1] Harold reigned from 5 January 1066, until his death at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October of that same year, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror. Harold is one of only three Kings of England to have died as a result of battle, alongside Richard the Lionheart and Richard III.

Harold was a son of Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex, and his wife Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose supposed brother Ulf Jarl was the son-in-law of Sweyn I and the father of Sweyn II of Denmark.

Godwin and Gytha had several children, notably sons Sweyn, Harold, Tostig, Gyrth and Leofwine and a daughter, Edith of Wessex (1029–75), who became Queen consort of Edward the Confessor.

Powerful nobleman

As a result of his sister's marriage to the king, Godwin's second son, Harold, became Earl of East Anglia in 1045. Harold accompanied his father into exile in 1051, but helped him to regain his position a year later. When Godwin died in 1053, Harold succeeded him as Earl of Wessex (a province at that time covering the southernmost third of England). This arguably made him the most powerful figure in England after the king.

In 1058, Harold also became Earl of Hereford, and replaced his late father as the focus of opposition to growing Norman influence in England under the restored monarchy (1042–66) of Edward the Confessor, who had spent over twenty-five years in exile in Normandy.

He gained glory in a series of campaigns (1062–63) against Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of Gwynedd, the ruler of Wales. This conflict ended with Gruffydd's defeat, and death at the hands of his own troops, in 1063.

In 1064, Harold was apparently shipwrecked in Ponthieu. There is much speculation about this voyage. The earliest post-conquest Norman chroniclers report that at some prior time, Robert, Archbishop of Canterbury had been sent by the childless king to appoint as his heir Edward's maternal kinsman, William of Normandy, and that at this later date Harold was sent to swear fealty.[2] Scholars disagree as to the reliability of this story. William, at least, seems to have believed he had been offered the succession, but there must have been some confusion either on William's part or perhaps by both men, since the English succession was neither inherited nor determined by the sitting monarch. Instead the Witenagemot, the assembly of the kingdom's leading notables, would convene after a king's death to select a successor. Other acts of Edward are inconsistent with his having made such a promise, such as his efforts to return his nephew Edward the Exile, son of king Edmund Ironside, from Hungary in 1057.[3] Later Norman chroniclers suggest alternative explanations for Harold's journey, that he was seeking the release of members of his family who had been held hostage since Godwin's exile in 1051, or even that he had simply been travelling along the English coast on a hunting and fishing expedition and had been driven across the channel by an unexpected storm. There is general agreement that he left from Bosham, and was blown off course, landing on the coast of Ponthieu, where he was held hostage by Count Guy. Duke William arrived soon after and ordered Guy to turn Harold over to him.[4] Harold then apparently accompanied William to battle against William's enemy, Conan II, Duke of Brittany. While crossing into Brittany past the fortified abbey of Mont St Michel, Harold is recorded as rescuing two of William's soldiers from the quicksand. They pursued Conan from Dol de Bretagne to Rennes, and finally to Dinan, where he surrendered the fortress's keys on the point of a lance. William presented Harold with weapons and arms, knighting him. The Bayeux Tapestry, and other Norman sources, then record that Harold swore an oath on sacred relics to William to support his claim to the English throne. After Harold's death, the Normans were quick to point out that in accepting the crown of England, Harold had perjured himself of this alleged oath.

The chronicler Orderic Vitalis wrote: "This Englishman was very tall and handsome, remarkable for his physical strength, his courage and eloquence, his ready jests and acts of valour. But what were these gifts to him without honour, which is the root of all good?".

Due to an unjust doubling of taxation instituted by Tostig in 1065 that threatened to plunge England into civil war, Harold supported Northumbrian rebels against his brother, Tostig, and replaced him with Morcar. This strengthened his acceptability as Edward's successor, but fatally divided his own family, driving Tostig into alliance with King Harald Hardrada ("Hard Reign") of Norway.

Marriages and children

Coin of Harold II. British Museum.

For some twenty years Harold was married More danico (Latin: "in the Danish manner") to Edith Swannesha and had at least six children by her. The marriage was widely accepted by the laity, although Edith was considered Harold's mistress by the clergy. Their children were not treated as illegitimate. Among them was a daughter Gytha, later wife of the Kievan Rus prince Vladimir Monomakh. Through descendants of this Anglo-Rus marriage, she was a progenitor of English Queen Isabella of France, and hence Harold is the ancestor of subsequent English monarchs.

According to Orderic Vitalis, Harold was at some time betrothed to Adeliza, a daughter of William, Duke of Normandy, later William the Conqueror; if so, the betrothal never led to marriage.[5]

About January 1066, Harold married Edith (or Ealdgyth), daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia, and widow of the Welsh prince Gruffydd ap Llywelyn an enemy of the English. Edith had two sons — possibly twins — named Harold and Ulf (born c. November 1066), both of whom survive

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Harold Godwinsson, King of England's Timeline

1019
1019
England
1022
1022
Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
1022
Isle of Thanet Kent England
1045
1045
Age 23
in "handfast" wife - non christian marriage
1047
1047
Age 25
Wessex, England
1049
1049
Age 27
Wessex, England
1051
1051
Age 29
Wessex, England
1053
1053
Age 31
London, Middlesex, England
1055
1055
Age 33
London, Middlesex, England
1064
1064
Age 42
Of Wessex, England