• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What were the reasons behind Harold's visit to Normandy and How was the Visit Significant?

Extracts from this document...


What were the reasons behind Harold's visit to Normandy and How was the Visit Significant? Approaching the year 1064 Harold Godwinson had established himself with great power, authority and had great potential to excel as earl of Wessex and possibly achieve what no Godwin had done in history, the Crown and title of King of England. As Walker quotes "Harold was at the height of his power and influence. A successful military commander and the leading noble in England, and with the demise of Earl Aelfgan he had no real rivals... However an episode occurred about this time which was ultimately to land to his downfall." To great controversy between historians Harold went on a voyage and found himself ending up in Normandy. How and why is even today a huge debate and is explained in many forms by Poitier's and Walker etc. The debate is ultimately down to the reason of there not being any Anglo-Saxon recording of this event and therefore we as historians are left to retrieve as much realistic evidence from the Norman sources, as biased as they may seem. Was Harold merely entertaining himself with a little recreational Fishing off the coast of England and just happened to end up in William's quarters... ...read more.


Douglas quotes William demanded the person of Harold from Count Guy and he perhaps agreed to pay a ransom. All sources quote that Harold was treated as a guest of the highest honour in William's quarters. Another reason, which could possibly counter the reason of Harold visiting Normandy on an order to deliver a message to William, is the suspicion that he was just doing some hunting on Norman grounds. A keen athletic strong man like himself would often participate in some hunting during his recreational time. Possibly this could have been a reason for going to Normandy, as well as delivering the promise or going on a European tour, however for him to travel all that way in treacherous seas, where the probability of shipwrecking was at an incredibly higher percentage than nowadays, then just to entertain himself with some wild boar hunting seems somewhat unlikely. The fact of the matter is he could have hunted absolutely anywhere and any time in England. Why he would want to go to Normandy to do it at the "Height of his power" (Douglas) is unknown to many. Like the fishing trip story the lack of evidence does not make it a huge contender for the real reason why Harold did depart to Normandy. ...read more.


I feel the greatest importance however which had the greatest effect on the history of Britain was the first considerations from Harold that his country needed a true leader, both on the battle front and in the running of the country. It was after this catastrophic journey that he first realised that the Aethling Edgar was still too young and inexperienced to defend his country against the now obvious might of the Norman's'. This may have been the initial step to the eventual succession to the throne in 1066. The reasons as to why the visit to Normandy took place are still unknown however what we do know is that the effects had played a major role in British History. The biased Norman sources lay strong suggestion to the assumption that Harold was carrying out an order from Edward however this does not seem to justify the reality behind the story. I think Harold's oath and closeness to his family brought him to Normandy and his foolishness led him to believe he could learn more off William to help his on claim for greatness. However he underestimated William's determination and you could say he ended up paying for it. What is known is that Harold soon realised there was only one man who could fill the boots of Edward and so he took it upon himself to do so. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Richard III section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Richard III essays

  1. Is it right to describe Edward the Confessor as a failure?

    He was also able to earn support from Leofric and Siward. According to ASC (D)1, it says, 'it was such a king, that he was able to put Godwin into exile.' However, this could be an exaggeration as the author of ASC (D)

  2. On What Basis were the various claims to the throne made in 1066?

    For starters William was very young when the two last met. This meant Edward had no clue as to whether William could fight in battle or control a group of twenty men, let alone a country. Secondly when Edward was living and growing up in Normandy he was supposed to

  1. What is significant about the way David Hare ends "Skylight"?

    Kyra doesn't actually say 'no' though, but that is because she knows, from then on that it is all just a fantasy, she is the one in control because she realises how desperate he is for her. Neither of them can cope with Tom's depression, which comes and goes with

  2. 'In his depiction of Richard III Shakespeare has created much more than a simple ...

    The fact that he finds his villainy funny in the monologue in this scene is in no way ingenious anymore; it is disturbing and monstrous. We don't feel anything for Richard from here on in. His feelings have gone from confidence in his own ability to paranoia, all because he has gained power.

  1. Why were the crises of 1051 and 1052 significant?

    In response Godwin did what he probably did best and passed the blame onto HarthaCnut. Godwin, like Edward, was very much a family man. He tried desperately to get his family in major roles in the running of the country.

  2. How effectively did the Scots respond to Edward I's historical arguments for English superiority ...

    What is mentioned of King Arthur is his installation of Angusel on the Scottish throne and the fealty and service he paid to Arthur at the feast of Caerlon and that "in succession [of King Arthur] all the kings of Scotland have been subject to all the kings of the

  1. Was Thornbury castle built as a palace or for defence?

    These pictures show the old soldiers barracks. These are the things which make Thornbury castle look like it was built for defence:- * Arrow stilts * Gun loops * Portcullis grooves * crenellations * machicolations * army barracks * moat * massive court yard Thornbury castle was no rugged castle; rather, a development of the highly decorative defensible palace.

  2. Is it right to describe Edward the Confessor as a failure?

    Also according to Snorri Sturluson he says that Edward was 'nicknamed Edward the Good, which describes him well...By the English he is regarded as a saint." According to Barlow, Edward had no ambition to widen his empire his policy towards Scotland and Wales, like his Scandinavian policy, was purely defensive.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work