King Harold II of England is defeated by the Norman forces of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, fought on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings, England. At the end of the bloody, all-day battle, Harold was killed–shot in the eye with an arrow, according to legend–and his forces were destroyed. He was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
Just over two weeks before, William, the duke of Normandy, had invaded England, claiming his right to the English throne. In 1051, William is believed to have visited England and met with his cousin Edward the Confessor, the childless English king. According to Norman historians, Edward promised to make William his heir. On his deathbed, however, Edward granted the kingdom to Harold Godwine, head of the leading noble family in England and more powerful than the king himself. In January 1066, King Edward died, and Harold Godwine was proclaimed King Harold II. William immediately disputed his claim.
On September 28, 1066, William landed in England at Pevensey, on Britain’s southeast coast, with approximately 7,000 troops and cavalry. Seizing Pevensey, he then marched to Hastings, where he paused to organize his forces. On October 13, Harold arrived near Hastings with his army, and the next day William led his forces out to give battle.
After his victory at the Battle of Hastings, William marched on London and received the city’s submission. On Christmas Day, 1066, he was crowned the first Norman king of England, in Westminster Abbey, and the Anglo-Saxon phase of English history came to an end. French became the language of the king’s court and gradually blended with the Anglo-Saxon tongue to give birth to modern English. William I proved an effective king of England, and the “Domesday Book,” a great census of the lands and people of England, was among his notable achievements. Upon the death of William I in 1087, his son, William Rufus, became William II, the second Norman king of England.
On this day in 1066, the Normans, led by William the Conqueror,
defeated the English forces at the Battle of Hastings. In January 1066, the childless King Edward the Confessor died, with Harold Godwinson named as his heir. However, across the seas in Normandy, Duke William was planning to invade England and claim the throne for himself. Despite having a relatively weak claim to the crown - his great-grandfather was the late Edward’s grandfather - William was determined to launch an assault on Harold’s forces to fulfil a promise Edward had supposedly made to make William his heir. Before this could be done, William needed the support of his nobles, who desired legal and spiritual justification for the potentially costly venture, and promised powerful barons land in his new kingdom. William was not the only contender for the throne, and Godwinson’s brother Tostig pledged his support to Norwegian king Harald Hardrada, and together they planned to invade Northumbria. William waited, hoping to use the Norwegian invasion as an opportunity to make landfall in the south of England while Harold was distracted in the north. On September 25th, the English forces defeated the Norwegians at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Willam siezed the moment, and landed on the southern coast of England, causing havoc in order to force Harold to face the invading Normans. On October 14th, the English and Norman forces met on the battlefield at Hastings, with Harold’s 5,000 weary Englishmen vastly outnumbered by the 15,000 Normans. The English defense was initially successful in holding off the Normans, but they soon crumbled. King Harold II, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, died in the fray, according to the Bayeux Tapestry from an arrow in the eye. William continued to face resistance from English forces, but by December his victory seemed assured, and William the Conquerer was crowned king of England on Christmas Day.
Two Sherman tanks move into position as the U.S. Marines advance on Naha, the capital city of Okinawa, during the closing months of World War II. Pfc. Harold Tayler, Company C, 1st Battalion, 29th Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Division who now lives in Lake Suzy, Fla. received the Silver Star for his exploits during the Battle for Half Moon Hill on Okinawa
Battle of Hastings by Zaneta Razaite - Andrzejevska Via Flickr:
Re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings, 1066
‘The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II, during the Norman conquest of England’. - wiki
On October 14, 1066 William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II of England at the Battle of Hastings. The battle lasted all day and when the fighting was through the course of England’s history would be permanently altered. Anglo-Saxon rule was over and the Normans would usher in many cultural trnsformations. While there is some controversy surrounding the origins of The Bayeux Tapestry, French legend maintains that Queen Matilda, William the Conqueror’s wife, commissioned the work and created it herself with help from her ladies-in-waiting. While it is not certain who commissioned the tapestry it is not a tapestry at all but embroidery on linen with colored woolen yarns.