The story of Hastings, the most famous battle in British history.
The Battle of Hastings
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
Battle, East Sussex
Saxons under Harold, King of England vs. Norman French under Duke William of Normandy
When Edward the Confessor died he left no direct heir, and the throne of England passed to Harold. However, William of Normandy claimed that Edward had promised the crown to him, and indeed that Harold himself had sworn a sacred oath to relinquish his claim in William's favour.
William prepared an invasion fleet and, armed with a papal bull declaring his right to the throne, he crossed the English Channel to land near Pevensey.
Harold, in the meantime, had another threat to concern him; his brother Tostig allied with Harald Hardrada of Norway and landed in the north of England. They took York, but Harold defeated them soundly at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
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This scholar and Freemason donated a collection of curiosities that became the basis for one of Britain's - and the world's - great museums.
The museum opened in the heart of Oxford in 1683
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This Day in British History
08 December, 1542
Birth of Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary (d. 1582) was born to James V and Mary of Guise. Her father died only 6 days later and she was crowned at the age of nine months.