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william the conqueror

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What factors contributed to the successful invasion of England by William the Conqueror? William's tenuous blood claim coupled with the promise of the previous monarch Edward the Confessor, a pledge of allegiance by Harold Godwinson and the other claim to the throne by Viking king Harald Hardrada were the most important factors in the successful invasion. Upon the death of Edward the Confessor the throne was disputed by three Claimants- William; Harold Godwinson, the powerful Earl of Wessex; and the Viking King Harald Hardrada of Norway. Williams claim came from his great Aunt who was the Mother of Edward and also from the alleged promise of the throne by Edward whilst he was in exile in Normandy. ...read more.


Harold also supposedly sworn Allegiance to William in 1064 after he had rescued Harold from the count of Ponthieu, Harold was then deceived by having him swear loyalty to William himself over the bones of the concealed bones of a saint. The validity of this promise is questionable however as having been rescued by William and in his care. This all meant that William could successfully submit his claim to throne to Pope Alexander the second who in turn sent him a consecrated banner in support. The rival claim by Harald Hardrada was based on a supposed agreement between his predecessor Magnus I of Norway, and the earlier Danish King of England Harthacanute, whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. ...read more.


diminished, exhausted and demoralised force when he did land and no opposition in the channel as Harold has consolidated his ships in London when the Norman invasion failed to occur. Then came the news that the other contender for the throne, Harald III of Norway, allied with Tostig Godwinson, had landed ten miles from York. Harold again raised his army and after a four day forced march defeated Harald and Tostig on 25 September. The English victory came at great cost, however, as Harold's army was left in a battered and weakened state, they had to immediately march to face the Normans at Hastings at which the Norman army triumphed and eliminated the possibility of Harolds resurgence by killing him at the battle. ...read more.

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