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At this time King Harold was in Southern England, anticipating an invasion from France by William, Duke of Normandy, another contender for the English throne. Learning of the Norwegian invasion he headed north at great speed with his huscarls and as many thegns as he could gather, travelling day and night.
Why did the battle of Hastings take place? The battle of Hastings took place in 1066 because of a disputed succession. For the previous 24 years England had been ruled by Edward the Confessor, who, despite being married, had failed to produce any children to succeed him.
William claimed that Edward had promised that he should succeed him as King of England. In 1064 Harold Godwinson made a trip to Normandy, and William claimed that he also promised that William could succeed to the English throne.
Harold had positioned his 7000 strong Anglo-Saxon army on the high ground at the top of a ridge. His army fought on foot and formed a defensive shield wall many men deep to counter the charge of the Norman cavalry.
William I proved an effective king of England, and the “Domesday Book,” a great census of the lands and people of England, was among his notable achievements. Upon the death of William I in 1087, his son, William Rufus, became William II, the second Norman king of England.
The Normans used a variety of tactics in order to win battles. Knights on horseback, called cavalry, were trained from the age of 3, and the horses were trained to kick and bite. Archers were also used frequently.
Home Essays Why did William defeat… Why did William defeat Harold in the Battle of Hastings? The astonishing battle of Hastings was fought on the 14th of October at 9:30am 1066 shortly after King Edward the Confessor sorrowfully died in a coma on the night of the 5th of January 1066.
The power and influence of the Godwinsons was evident in 1046 when Godwin’s eldest son, Sweyn, abducted the abbess of Leominster: Eadgifu and later killed his own cousin, Beorn. Edward pardoned him for both sins, the power and influence of the Godwin family but also the weakness of Edwards’s authority. .
William, Duke of Normandy, later insisted that Harold had sworn an oath on holy relics that he would support William’s claim to the throne upon the death of Edward the Confessor, who was at the end of his life and childless. However, some historians believe this story was fabricated by the Normans to legitimise their invasion of England.
Harold is killed by an arrow through the eye. On the Bayeux Tapestry. A figure is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry as being killed at the Battle of Hastings by an arrow in the eye. Although some scholars dispute whether this is Harold, the writing above the figure states Harold Rex interfectus est, “Harold the King has been killed.”