King Edward lll, King of England died in 1066. King Edward didn’t have sons so there were no heirs. Nobody knew who should succeed him on the throne. As the throne was empty, there were 4 men that wanted to rule England:
- Edgar, A 14-year-old boy that was King Edward´s nephew. He was sick.
- Harold, a powerful noble in England and a good soldier. He said that it was Edward’s dying wish that he should have the crown but there were no witnesses to Edward saying this. The day after Edward died, Harold became King Harold ll of England.
- William, a distant cousin of Edward. He was the Duke of Normandy and as he had been a very successful ruler he thought he could do an equally good job for England.
- Harald, Viking king of Norway. He wanted to be King of England because he wanted more power and better land.
The battle of Stamford Bridge
Harald, the Viking of Norway, was the first to invade England. When King Harold heard of the Viking invasion, he went with the army towards the North of England to face him. The two armies met at Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066. It was a bloody battle but finally King Harold’s army won the battle. Harald was killed.
William the conqueror
William, that was a distant cousin of Edward, invaded England to become King and claim the throne from Harold. He was the Duke of Normandy (France). The Norman Invasion started when William´s 7,000 soldiers landed at Pevensey on the morning of the 28th September 1066.
The Battle of Hastings
Harold and William’s armies met on Senlac Hill, seven miles (10 km) from Hastings the 14th October 1066. It began at about nine o’clock on and lasted most of the day. The English had a bigger army with Harold´s body guard, professional soldiers and a mass of peasants armed with pitchforks but the in the Norman army they all were professional soldiers, many of them armoured knights on horseback. At the beginning, the English army was doing better but in the end the Normans won because William’s army was stronger. He had better trained soldiers,knights on horseback and archers whereas Harold did not. When William won the Battle of Hastings, he earned himself the title ‘Conqueror’. He marched to London and was crowned King in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.The Normans were great builders and they built lots of strong castles to defend lands in England.