english nobility

Today, October 14th, 950 years ago the battle of Hastings took place

The Battle of Hastings would permanently changed the course of history, in England and beyond. It is said to have taken place at the ‘grey apple tree’, nowadays the place is known simply as Battle.

Here Professor Robert Bartlett narrates the drama of the bloody contest: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLy1LskT6Y8

Along with King Harold Godwinson, Anglo-Saxon England died on the battle field, the flower of English youth, the flower of English nobility, covered the ground far and wide filthy with their own blood. A week after his victory, the bastard descended from Viking pirates, set off on the march to London. He was now William the Conqueror, soon to be William King of England, the future belonged to the Normans.

Read a more in depth account of the battle here:www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/normans/1066_01.shtml

Painting: The Battle of Hastings by Tom Lovell, 1999. “Stand Fast! Stand Fast!” shouts Bishop Odo. “Fear nothing, for if God please, we shall conquer yet. So they took courage.” Or, so wrote the 12th century chronicler Master Wace: “He…sat on a white horse, so that all might recognise him. In his hand he held a mace, and wherever he saw most need he…Stationed the knights, and often urged them on to assault…the enemy.” Bishop Odo, William’s half brother, was unlikely not actively get involved in the main cavalry charges as depicted here, but it is a wonderful image just the same. If the bishop did any fighting with his baculum, it would most likely have been toward the end of the battle; when every able-bodied man was desperately needed to break the defensive shield-wall before night overtook the Normans. The wooden mace was evidently an insignia of command status, and Odo (as well as duke William) would have used it most often to “rally” (persuade) their own troops to valour.