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William The Conqueror And The Battle Of Hastings

959 words - 4 pages

When King Edward of England died in 1066, the man who replaced him was Harold Godwinson, who was one of Edward's advisors and the second most powerful man in England. Harold was the obvious choice, because he was Edward's brother-in-law and because of his powerful position in England.The problem was, William, the Duke of Normandy, who was Harold's distant cousin, also laid claim to the English throne; and another person, Harold Hardrada, the King of Norway, also wanted to be king. Both of these people were prepared to fight for it.Hardrada struck first. He landed on the Northern English Coast and made for the city of York. He got help from Vikings along the way, who eliminated the English forces blocking the York road. When Harold heard of this attack, he immediately went north, picking willing troops up on the way. Harold surprised Hardrada by arriving so early, because his troops were going so fast. What came next was fierce hand-to-hand combat, in which Harold started to dominate. The first to go was Hardrada, then Tostig, who was the leader of the Vikings to help him, and also Harold's brother. If Harold had hoped to take a long, deserved rest after this, he was wrong. Just after this, he heard of William's landings near Hastings.When William's invasion fleet was finally completed and ready to go, the winds disagreed with them. They waited for six whole weeks, before setting sail, going to Pevensey and marching to Hastings.But Harold was prepared. His army made for the south, and stop five miles from Hastings. In the morning of October 14th, Harold watched, as the Norman army marched to the bottom of the hill where Harold was, and get in a battle formation.Unlike the Normans, who just kept attacking with their cavalry and infantry, the English battled defensively. As the battle went on throughout the day, no one knew who was going to win, but finally, the English line broke as the sun went down that day. King Harold and the Saxons fell, and William the Conqueror's victory was complete. In Westminster Abbey, on the Christmas Day of 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England.William the Conqueror became a leader in government. He made a strong administration, with the staff made up of his Norman supporters. Rudeness from the newly conquered English was not tolerated.The ferocious "Harrying of the North", in which he burned and completely destructed the area from York to Durham, was William's response to the rebellion of the people in Northern England, but he subdued the South and the East easily. This attack made the area uninhabited for centuries.After this revolt by the people in the North, one of the most famous English rebels of all time, Hereward the Wake, stirred up conflict with the Norman conquerors. He too, was...

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