1066 – A Year When 4 Kings Ruled England

By | Jan 5, 2008

When the month of January began Eadweard III, better known as Edward the Confessor sat on the throne of England. Edward was canonised a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church. When he died on January 5 the county was already seeing a steady disintegration of royal power.

There was not a direct heir to Edward, although the heir apparent was Edgar Ætheling, the great nephew of Edward. Edgar was only around the age of 14 when Edward died and with the developing tensions in Normandy, Edward’s brother-in-law Harold Godwinson, Harold II, was crowned King. Harold was the last Anglo-Saxon to be crowned King of England.

Harold II coronation was the day after Edward’s death and occurred at Westminster Abbey. This was the first time that a king was crowned at the abbey. Harold’s role as king was questioned by both Harald Hardrada of Norway and William, Duke of Normandy. Both of these men claimed to have been promised the crown by Edward. Harald invaded England in September near Yorkshire and was defeated by the army that Harold led at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Shortly after Harold’s defeat of Harald of Norway, William invaded southern England near Sussex. Harold was forced to march 241 miles to intercept William’s army. The two armies meet near Hastings and clashed at the Battle of Hastings. At this battle Harold was killed.

Edgar Ætheling now was officially proclaimed king of England but was never crowned. In late November or Early December, he was brought to submit to William.

William, The Duke of Normandy, became King of England becoming William I. he is also commonly known as William the Conqueror. He ruled the English Island from his home in Normandy until his death in 1087.


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