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 conflict between King John and his most powerful nobles resulted in the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215
King John's failure to live up to the terms of the Magna Carta prompted the nobles to offer the crown to Louis of France
A second conflict with the same name errupted between Simon de Montfort and Henry VI in the late 13th century
This Day in British History
23 November, 1887
Protesters in Trafalgar Square demanding free speech, unemployment action, and Irish rights clash with police