Why Did William Of Normandy Win the Battle of Hastings?

Authors Avatar

Why Did William Of Normandy Win the Battle of Hastings?               James Sweeney

In my essay I will be assessing the key factors and series of events that led William of Normandy to triumph in the Battle of Hastings. On the other hand; why did Harold Godwinson lose; was it bad luck or bad tactics? I will also be answering key points such as: Who was better prepared for the battle? What advantages and disadvantages did each have?

In 1066 Edward the Confessor; the king of England at the time- unexpectedly died on the 4th January - with no heir to the throne. Of course that sparked a huge problem and chaos erupted and all the powerful earls and lords claimed to be king. Eventually three candidates arose for the claim to the English throne they were: Harold Godwinson- the Earl of Wessex, Harald Hardraada of Norway and William Duke of Normandy.

However, Edgar the Aetheling was the rightful heir to Edward the Confessor and should have been crowned King of England. Unfortunately he was only ten years old when Edward the Confessor died and couldn’t manage to rule an entire country.

Harold Gowinson's claim to the throne of England was:

Harold was Edward the Confessor’s brother-in-law, who had married Harold's sister, Edith. He was also the Earl of Wessex; one of the most powerful Nobles in England and had been an advisor to Edward the Confessor. Harold was the richest man in England. His family had established alliances with all the major nobles of England. Harold also claimed that he had been chosen by Edward the Confessor to be the next King of England. When King Edward the Confessor lay dying his wife Edith and Harold were at his bedside. According to Harold, King Edward's dying words were:                                                                                                  "I commend my wife and my entire kingdom to your care.” Incidentally Harold crowned himself king anyway.

Join now!

Harald Hardraada’s Claim to the throne of England was:

In 1016 the Viking King Canute became King of England, Denmark and Norway. He ruled until 1035. King Canute was succeeded by Hardicanute who ruled England until 1042.King Hardicanute had no heir and promised the English throne to King Magnus of Norway. The Saxon, Edward the Confessor, seized the English throne in 1042.King Magnus of Norway was too old to battle Edward the Confessor for the English throne .Magnus's son and heir was Hardraada. Hardraada’s family was very powerful and he believed he should be king through his great family connections. ...

This is a preview of the whole essay