Harold Godwinson - Wikipedia
When the English king Edward the Confessor died on 5 January , no fixed procedures were in Harold Godwinson, powerful noble in England, a good soldier and a gifted politician Harold did not have a direct blood link to the king. Alternative Titles: Harold Godwineson, Harold Godwinson accession as king of a member of the former English royal family, Edward the Confessor (–66). Edward the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, died on 5 Bayeux Tapestry, Scene 1: King Edward the Confessor and Earl Harold. But Edward maintained good relations with the Norman court, now ruled by Duke William. . Tostig and Harold Hardrada were both killed on the battlefield.
In Harald gave up trying to secure Denmark and switched to claiming England because of the earlier Anglo-Danish kingdom. In Tostig Godwinson invited Harald to join him in rebelling against his brother Harold Godwinson to secure the English throne.
It seems possible that Edward wanted an Anglo-Saxon prince to succeed him. Political realities Harold Godwinson - Harold succeeded his powerful father as Earl of Wessex ingiving him control over all of Southern England.
William - William was an ambitious and powerful ruler in Normandy. He wanted to build up his power, so the Normans could have a great empire, like their Viking ancestors.
Harald Hardrada - Harald was a famous Viking warrior and skilled commander. He already had secure control over his own land. Edgar Atheling - Even though Edgar was the closest blood relative to Edward, he was only a teenager when Edward died. He was not considered strong enough to hold the kingdom together in Who had the strongest claim according to the different factors? See Article History Alternative Titles: A strong ruler and a skilled general, he held the crown for nine months in before he was killed at the Battle of Hastings by Norman invaders under William the Conqueror.
Inhowever, Godwine refused to obey a royal command to punish the people of a town friendly to him. Godwine and his sons were banished for defying royal authority, and Edward sent his wife to a convent and designated William of Normandy as his heir.
Exiled from toEdward had found sanctuary in Normandy. In addition, his mother was a Norman, and he had close connections to Norman churchmen. In Harold invaded England and forced the king to restore his father and his family to their previous positions.
His hand was further strengthened in the s by the deaths of Leofric, the earl of Mercia, and other rivals, and by Harold had obtained earldoms for his three brothers, TostigGyrth, and Leofwine. Harold cultivated good relations with the leading clerics of the kingdom, including Stigandthe bishop of Winchester and archbishop of Canterburyand was an active patron of various religious houses, most notably the college of canons at Waltham. Harold faced opposition, however, from Aelfgar, the exiled son and heir of Leofric, who raided Mercia with help from a leading Welsh prince.
In retaliation, Harold and Tostig subjugated Wales in Godwine himself died in and was succeeded at Earl of Wessex by his eldest surviving son, Harold.
Harold Godwinson - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But Edward maintained good relations with the Norman court, now ruled by Duke William. In addition, in Edward sent Bishop Ealdred of Worcester to the continent to search for the son of his elder half-brother, Edmund Ironside. This son, Edward known latterly as Edward the Exileduly came to England with his Hungarian wife and their three children.
But he died shortly after his arrival in England — before even seeing his uncle. However, his wife, Agatha, and the three children were welcomed at the royal court and continued to live there. As we have already seen, succession principles were far from clear cut and each of these candidates had points in their favour: Earl Harold, the powerful Earl of Wessex, brother-in-law and friend of the late king.
Edgar was thus the direct inheritor of the English royal line. But he was a child with no significant following and so no immediate prospect of being able to rule independently. One crucial question is what Edward the Confessor himself intended — although even here we must bear in mind that while the wishes of a king could strongly influence who succeeded him, it was not necessarily the deciding factor.
There is little evidence to suggest that Edward the Confessor intended at his death to be succeeded by his greatnephew, Edgar Aetheling. The rival claims of Harold and William — which would of course be ultimately resolved by force at the Battle of Hastings — are harder to unpick.
To deal first with Harold, he was without any doubt a hugely powerful figure by the mids. Edward had attempted to escape from the power of Godwine and his sons in the early s, but having failed so to do, he allowed the balance of power to tip in favour of the family. It even appears that in the last few years of his reign, Edward was increasingly stepping back from active political life and allowing Harold and his brothers to play an evermore important role in government.
If Harold would be an acceptable successor, then why not Tostig? Harold himself may have been keenly aware of this. Rather than dealing with the incident himself, Edward sent Harold to do so. This might look like a defeat for Harold but in fact it bolstered it his power by removing one potential rival — his own brother — as well as making the king look weak. Certainly Tostig thought that Harold had conspired with the rebels against him. Some English sources claimed that on his deathbed, King Edward designated Harold as his heir.
Other sources are more equivocal; the famous deathbed scene in the Bayeaux Tapestry, for example, shows Edward reaching out and touching Harold, who is kneeling beside him, but the text does not explain the meaning of this gesture. As we have seen, in the early days of the kingdom was recovering from a crisis and Harold was in pole position — did Edward believe that his succession would be best for the kingdom?
Edward had much to be grateful for.