Noble Son by Steve Payne and
says: what if Harold Godwinson had marched to Hastings, dispatching the
Normans first before heading North to fight the Norwegians at Stamford
Bridge? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not
necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
October 15th 1066,
on this day the Anglo-Saxon Advisory Council known as the
Witenagemot proclaimed that the new King of England would be a fifteen year
old youth, Edgar the Ętheling, noble son of the royal house of Cerdic of
Despite his blood primacy as the late Edward the Confessor's nephew, under
normal circumstances the commitment of these powerful members of the English
elite would be highly questionable at best. Because when Edward had died
just eight months before, the Witenagemot had overlooked Edgar, instead
selecting the powerful nobleman, Harold Godwinson.
Admittedly Harold was the man best placed to defend the country against the
competing foreign claimants, an undeniable fact that was later proven during
his short reign by his glorious victory over Duke of Normandy, William the
Bastard and also King Harald III Hardrada of Norway.
After crushing the Normans at Hastings, Harold had force
marched his English Army to Stamford Bridge where they had defeated the
Norwegians led by King Harald III and also his own brother, Tostig Godwinson.
Yet at the moment of triumph, Harold was killed by an arrow in the eye.
And so by October, England had been secured from foreign
invasion, the other claimants to the thrown were all dead, and it mattered
not at all if the King was still too young to be an effective military
leader. And his coronation of the re-united Kingdom the following month
would bring to a climax the most incredible succession.
He was born in Hungary, where his father Edward the Exile, son of King
Edmund II Ironside, had spent most of his life, having fled to safety abroad
after the conquest of England by the Danish king Cnut in 1016. And in 1057
the childless King of England, Edmund Ironside's half-brother Edward the
Confessor, who had only recently become aware that his nephew was still
alive, summoned Edward back to England with his family to take up his place
at court as heir to the throne. The returning exile died in uncertain
circumstances shortly after his arrival in England. Edgar, still a small
child, was left as the only surviving male member of the royal dynasty apart
from the king. However, the latter made no recorded effort to entrench his
grand-nephew's position as heir to a throne which was being eyed by a range
of powerful potential contenders including England's leading aristocrats and
says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
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