On September 28th 1066, claiming his right to the English throne, William, duke of Normandy, invaded England at Pevensey on Britain’s southeast coast. His subsequent defeat of King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings marked the beginning of a new era in British history.
William was the illegitimate son of Robert I, duke of Normandy, by his concubine Arlette, a tanner’s daughter from the town of Falaise. The duke, who had no other sons, designated William his heir, and with his death in 1035 William became duke of Normandy at age seven.
Rebellions were epidemic during the early years of his reign, and on several occasions the young duke narrowly escaped death. Many of his advisers did not.
By the time he was 20, William had become an able ruler and was backed by King Henry I of France. Henry later turned against him, but William survived…
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I suppose this qualifies as one of my occasional ‘non-Scottish’ blogposts as it doesn’t deal with places or events in Scotland. There is, however, a slight Scottish connection, because the main event referred to here marked a significant milestone in the career of Oswiu, king of Bernicia, whose realm included parts of what are now Lothian and the Borders.
We begin with the words of an Englishman, the Venerable Bede, writing c.730 at the Northumbrian monastery of Jarrow. In Book 3, Chapter 14 of his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Bede tells us that two northern English kings prepared to do battle with one another in the summer of 651. One was Oswine, ruler of Deira, a kingdom roughly coterminous with the pre-1974 county of Yorkshire. The other was Oswiu of Bernicia, whose territory lay north of the River Tees and whose chief citadel lay on the imposing…
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Today we came across a new-to-us website, which looks of great interest to those interested in King Harold II, the last Anglo Saxon King of England. It is called Secrets of the Norman Invasion, and is all about a suggested alternative Sussex site of the Norman invasion and battlesite. It says:-
“This blog is to keep people up to date with what is happening at the investigations that are taking place in Crowhurst and at Upper Wilting Farm, where the Normans landed and fought the most famous battle in history. This unique heritage site is World Heritage Site potential, now under threat again from the development of the A259 link road.
Archaeological investigation is taking place at the site, and a large number of artefacts have been found. The site is threatened by a proposed road development. There is also a book called The Secrets Of The Norman…
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