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Edward the Confessor

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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Edward the Confessor
    Posted: 27-Aug-2004 at 14:06
In the most recent book I've been reading 1066 the year of the Conquest it gives a rather poor veiw of the man. As I know little about him I was woundering why elswere he is given such high regard. any thoughts?
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  Quote Degredado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2004 at 13:04

Well, I saw this documentary (by the BBC) which said that Edward hated Godwin and his family, and he had indeed chosen William as his successor to get rid of the Godwinsons.

Pretty shrewd. If it weren't for him, we'd be speaking Englisc and not English

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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 09:54

Edward the Confessor is mentioned in Shakespeare's Macbeth... as the reigning king of England at the time.

England was very much of an isolated culture at the time. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Normans did not conquer them! Damn the Vikings!!!

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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2004 at 07:36

England was the most civilised country in Europe during the Dark Ages. THe Celts pretty much continued Roman civilisation on for three centuries and were trading with and exchanging culture with Byzantium.

The Angle-Saxons were a highly developed culture. Anglo-Danish Britain at the time of Edward the Confessor was a stable unified country, it via the wool trade had the richest economy in Europe andalso had the most advance legal system and civil service. No other body in Europe at the time outside of Byzantium was advanced enough to make the Doomsday Book.

Edward was only ruler in name, the Godwins held all the power. The Saxons were a monarchy, but not a hereditory one. When one king died the High Council of England elected a new one. This was vastly superior to the father to often useless son succession system of the continent and avoided civil wars when several sons claimed the throne.

The Norman Invasion was the true beginning of the Dark Ages for Britain. If it was a distater for Britain as it plunged us into 400 years of pointless European war it was a catastrophe for France as it stopped French unification for five centuries. The Anglo-Saxons made no claim to Scotland, Ireland or Wales, the Normans also brought those countries a lot of woe too.

It wasn't for two hundred years after the conquest that England even began to reclaim the Saxon heritage of democracy, free thinking and civil rights that was to give it such a lead over the rest of Europe in technological and social development in later years.

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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2004 at 21:52

But Domsday book was written in 1086, which is after Norman invasion... (lol, you wrote it as Doomsday book).

One thing I agree with you is that Norman invasion brought disaster to all surrounding countries including France and England. Without Norman invasion Saxons would have stayed a peaceful, politically isolated kingdom, and not a participant of those murderous Hundred Years War. It is also possible that Anglo Imperialism would not have happened without this devilish viking invasion.

I don't know much about Saxon civillization but you seem to be right to a certan degree.



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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 08:00

But Domsday book was written in 1086, which is after Norman invasion... (lol, you wrote it as Doomsday book).

The Domsday/ Doomsday book, I prefer the latter, it's phonetic. Was produced after the Norman invasion but it was the English civil service and local government that produced it, there were no Normans involved. In fact William didn't order a similar survey of his Norman realm because the admin system was so primitive, they weren't capable of it.

As to England staying isolated. England was already part of the huge Scandinavian world and was in no way isolated. England was on the verge of eclipsing Denmark and Sweden and becoming the dominant Scandinavian country and the 100 Years War may still have happened, but in a colder climate.

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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 13:38
Originally posted by Paul

 England was on the verge of eclipsing Denmark and Sweden and becoming the dominant Scandinavian country and the 100 Years War may still have happened, but in a colder climate.

intresting premise. Prehaps there would not have been so much trouble with Scotland in that senerio.

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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 14:32

English actually defeated an invading Norweigian army under Harald Hadrada, right before the Norman invasion, so you could be right.

If Harold (English King) did not advance on Hastings right after he heard of Norman landing, but instead waited in London for more rainforcements from the North, I think he could have crushed the Norman force. But he did not want to sacrifice the southern England to Norman devestation so he set out to fight without waiting for more troops.

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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 14:55
Originally posted by Evildoer

English actually defeated an invading Norweigian army under Harald Hadrada, right before the Norman invasion, so you could be right.

The battle of Stamford Bridge.The English did great damage to the Norweigian force and sent them packing. The discription I read recently made it sound like the Norwgeigians were overconfident and unprepared for Herald when he came.

 

[/QUOTE]

If Harold (English King) did not advance on Hastings right after he heard of Norman landing, but instead waited in London for more rainforcements from the North, I think he could have crushed the Norman force. But he did not want to sacrifice the southern England to Norman devestation so he set out to fight without waiting for more troops

[/Quote]

There was a theory that the reason that Herold advanced in such a hurry and against advice was that he heard about the papal judgment against him and rather than have his supporters find out he went to battle. Now this is only a therory and there is no proof of it but it made some sence to me.

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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 18:52

From what I have read, the Norweigians were using a sort of a pike formation, and the English managed to break this and massacre them.

The pope is such a damned criminal...

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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2004 at 20:49

There's been a lot of work done on why Harold attacked so prematurely at Hastings. remember he was a very good general and wouldn't have done it without a good reason.

One piece of research is based on remodeling what England would have been like in 1066. Much of the east of england is fenlands reclaimed marsh and swampland, reclained  fairly recently, this would still have been underwater in 1066. the research shows in 1066 the south east would have been fenlands too. So william landed on an area of dryground within a fen.

As you travelled inland the dry ground narrowed to a bottleneck at the exit of the fen and once though the exit the army was i open countryside. At the exit was a highly defensible piece of high ground and this was Harold motivation. He was aware if William got past the bottleneck he was free to wander around england, but whilst in the fens he was hemmed in with no escape.

The battle of Hastings was william hearing with surprise about Harold's march, think Harold was up north he thought he could exit the fen at his leisure but hearing of harold's close proxomity had to makefor the exit at speed. Harold hearing of williams move for the exit rushed to the high ground over the exit to block William's escape.  That being why Harold didn't wait a day for the Fyrd to arrive. Harold wouldn't have had to wait for the Fyrd in London, it was only a day behind him.

Hasting was Harold just having to block William in for a day and william having to attack harold in a great defensive position and beat him because the next day when the Fyrd arrived he was finished.

The battle itself lasted a phenominal 8 hours and on the brink of defeat, in the fading light, william ordered one last assault in which Harold unluckily got hit by an arrow. And an empire than spanned 2/3's of the earth and colonised two continents was born. Has 2ft of wood ever done so much?



Edited by Paul
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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2004 at 15:19

Interesting. Explains why Harold fought without rainforcements.

Perhaps he lost his capability to command and his troops lost morale, but he did not die from it. He pulled the arrow from his eye and fought on.

The greatest mistake in the battle occured when Saxon foot-soldiers (not Huscarls) charged the Normans. The Normans had retreated in disorder down the defensive position, and Saxon infantry (no huscarls, just common troops) chased them. Unfortunately, the Normans were rallied by William, turning back to slaughter their persuers on open ground. The order was not given by Harold, but either one of the generals started it or the Saxon troops charge by instinct.

This actually occured twice. On the last assualt, the one in which Harold was hit in the eye, the Saxons were overwhelmed. Bascially, the only units they had left were the elite huscarls, since others who had charged the normans were killed.

The huscarls that survived the battle went on to join the Varangian Guards of Byzentium. They were later killed by Normans in Italy, in a replay of Hastings, defending themselves on a hill.

Is/are Fyrd a general or fyrdmen (Saxon regulars)?



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