King Harold II of Wessex

King Harold II of Wessex

Male Abt 1022 - 1066  (~ 44 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Harold II of Wessex 
    Prefix King 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Born Abt 1022 
    Gender Male 
    Battle 25 Sep 1066  Stamford Bridge, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Battle 14 Oct 1066  Battleground Hastings Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 14 Oct 1066  Hastings, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Waltham Abbey, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I12056  Geneagraphie | Voorouders HW
    Last Modified 20 Oct 2017 

    Father Godwin of Wessex,   b. Abt 987,   d. 15 Apr 1053  (Age ~ 66 years) 
    Mother Gytha Thorgilsdatter,   b. Bef 1019,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Abt 1019 
    Siblings 2 siblings 
    Family ID F4354  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ældgyth of Mercia, "Swan Neck",   b. 1034,   d. 1086  (Age 52 years) 
    Married 1064  York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Harold of Wessex,   b. Abt 1066, Chester, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1098  (Age ~ 33 years)
     2. Gytha of Wessex,   b. 1054,   d. 1109  (Age 55 years)
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2010 
    Family ID F13334  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBattle - Wikipedia - 25 Sep 1066 - Stamford Bridge, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBattle - Wikipedia - 14 Oct 1066 - Battleground Hastings Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 14 Oct 1066 - Hastings, Sussex, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Wordt 1066 na de dood van de kindeloze Edward "De belijder" door de door Angelsaksische vrijheren gedomineerde "Witan" tot koning gekozen. Verslaat 25 september in de slag bij Stamford Bridge Harold Hadrada (die daarvoor graafschap Northumbria en York ingenomen had). Harold H komt daarbij om het leven. In de daarop volgende slag bij Hastings wordt Harold door "neef" Willem van Normandie verslagen en gedood. Koning van Engeland 1066.
      King of England for a short time in the memorable year,1066. He had become the Earl of East Anglia in 1044. Upon his father's death in April, 1053, he succeeded to the Earldom of Wessex and from then on, was at the right hand of the king. In 1063, supported by his brother, Tostig, Earl of Northumbria, he commanded a brilliantly conducted campaign against the Welsh. He was successful in bringing them into submission, and by doing so, solidified his reputation as an able general.
      Harold acted as an emissary from Edward the Confessor to the court of William of Normandy in 1064, during which time he allegedly swore an oath of fealty to William, relinquishing any personal claim to the throne. This oath, which may have been given lightly, or possibly under duress, would figure directly in William's own claim, two years later. He would claim that the promise Harold made to him had been broken, giving William the right to challenge Harold in the battle for the crown.
      While on his deathbed, the Confessor named Harold as his successor, overlooking his grandson, the rightful heir, Edgar the Ætheling, and ignoring a promise that he allegedly made (according to French sources) to William of Normandy. Upon Edward's death, Harold wasted no time securing ecclesiastical blessing on his claim by having himself crowned immediately.
      Harold's brother, Tostig, had been exiled since the autumn of 1065 and had joined together with Harald Hardrada of Norway. A combined force landed in Yorkshire in September of 1066. Until this time, Harold's attention had been directed toward the south and the invasion that he knew would come from Normandy. But, now, Harold had to break away and march north to meet the new threat that had come. He defeated the forces of his traitorous brother and the King of Norway decisively at the battle of Stamford Bridge on the 25th of September.
      Meanwhile, the favorable winds that the Normans had been waiting for had come and they had set sail across the channel, landing at Pevensey on the 28th. As soon as Harold heard this distressing news, he marched his force at top speed to the south. He reached London on October 5, and stopped to give his weary troops a rest and to gather reinforcements for the battle which lay ahead.
      The story of these events and the decisive Battle of Hastings has been presented exquisitely in the Bayeux Tapestry and it need not be repeated, here. Suffice it to say that William won the day, and with it, the kingdom. The English fought fiercely and well, since they understood that not only their lives were at stake, but their country, also. Perhaps, if the English had been fresh and at full strength, they might have won easily, but they were tired and depleted after Stamford Bridge and the subsequent march south.
      During his brief reign, the government continued to function as before, but there is no reliable way to judge what Harold might have been like as a king. He was certainly a capable field commander and a leader who inspired loyalty and confidence. His death has been recorded as coming in the midst of the final battle by way of a Norman arrow that penetrated his eye. Whether or not that is true, his memory lingers on as the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, and the last monarch of England to suffer defeat at the hands of a foreign invader.


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