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 Saxon leader resisted the Norman invasion from a base in the fens near present-day Ely
His nickname means 'wary'
He was known as 'The Exile' and 'The Outlaw' during his lifetime
This Day in British History
20 October, 1714
George I crowned king
George, who spoke no English, had only entered the country for the first time a month earlier