The Battle of Hastings was fought on Oct. 14, 1066, between the Anglo-Saxon army of King Harold II of England and the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy. The battle, which is depicted on the famous Bayeaux Tapestry, was one of the bloodiest battles in English history.Continue Reading
Duke William forced the battle after landing his army in southwestern England in what is known as the Norman Invasion of England. The reason for his invasion was that William believed he was the rightful heir to the English throne and that Harold had earlier agreed to support his claim. However, after the death of King Edward the Confessor, Harold was quickly named king, which angered Duke William.
The result of the battle saw King Harold killed, leading Duke William to eventually be named the new king. Due to the defeat of the English by the Norman French, King William became known as William the Conqueror.
Duke William was not the only nobleman to protest against Harold being named king. In fact, just a few weeks before, King Harold had defeated the army of King Harald Hardrada of Norway, who also believed that he should be the rightful king of England.Learn more about Middle Ages
William of Normandy believed he should be king of England because his friend and first cousin once removed, Edward the Confessor, who was the childless king of England from 1042 until his death in 1066, promised William that he would be his successor. When Edward died, however, the deceased king's brother-in-law, Harold, assumed the throne instead. In response to what he felt was an act of betrayal, William decided to take the throne by force and launched a military campaign against the new monarch.Full Answer >
The Battle of Hastings took place on Senlac Hill, just seven miles from Hastings, England. During this historical campaign, the army led by William of Normandy, famously known as William the Conqueror, vanquished the forces under King Harold II of England.Full Answer >
The Normans were Viking raiders and pirates who took over a portion of France later named Normandy after them. Normans were talented and aggressive warriors and left their mark on much of Europe, even conquering and ruling over England.Full Answer >
William the Conqueror began life as William the Bastard, the illegitimate son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy. Robert died during his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, leaving the 8-year-old William as his heir. William successfully gained the support of the French king, Henry I, and ascended to his father's office.Full Answer >