The succession crisis of 1066 (claimants)

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 22-05-17 19:32
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  • The succession crisis of 1066 (claimants)
    • William of Normandy
      • Suggestion William visited England with large force (Edward could have offered throne then)
      • He was a distant cousin of Edward and they grew up together in Normandy
      • Military strength (seen in William conquering Maine, the land next to Normandy)
      • It's disputed whether William was ever promised the throne
      • The only evidence William was offered the throne is on the Bayeux tapestry - biased Norman artwork
      • He had no lands in England
      • It is possible Harold's oath of loyalty was forced making it null/void
      • Following being shipwrecked on a voyage to Normandy, Harold was assisted by William who claims Harold made an oath of loyalty to William he would help William gain the throne
        • Suggestion this was to discuss Edward's successor - seems unlikely Edward would not discuss this in person
      • Unpopular with Saxons
      • Judgement
        • Little evidence bar biased Norman documentation, William was formally offered throne or Edward desired William to become king as only Norman nobles suported his claim.
    • Harold Godwinson
      • Proved loyalty in Wales (also strong military leader)
      • Had support of Morcar (earl)
      • Had been sub-regulus to Edward
      • Bequeathed throne on Christmas Day, 1065
      • Edward was dying - words of a dying man considered sacred
      • Support of nobles and clergy - Stigand crowned him
      • No royal blood (had royal blood through Danish mother but not in English royal family)
      • Might have put pressure on Edward
      • He swore oath of loyalty to William promising to help him get the throne
      • Curious Edward would appoint member of Godwin family, a thorn in his side during his reign
      • Only serious weakness was he had no English royal blood (but Cnut was Danish too) but he was supported by all nobles and it appears he was genuinely offered throne by Edward
    • Harald Hardrada (Hard Ruler)
      • Harthacnut agreed with Magnus of Norway if either died, their throne was the others - Harald (Magnus's successor) honoured this
      • Offered military prowess
      • Had support of many inhabitants of north of England
      • Support of Tostig
      • Viewed as opportunist attempting to use military power to gain throne
      • Was a tyrant
      • Had support but based claim on tenuous agreement between two other men. He also relied on brute force.
    • Edgar Aetheling - out of exile from Hungary, Grandson of Edmund Ironside
      • Great nephew of Edward the Confessor
      • Would offer stability through long life
      • Probably only 15 years old (too young)
      • Lacked support and military experience
      • Would have relied on Harold to rule (so effectively Harold would have been ruling anyway)
      • Another complication of factors
      • Too easy to mould for Harold's purposes
      • Blood relation but too much of a liability
    • Ralf of Mantes
      • Would have known Edward
      • Earl
      • Edward's nephew
      • Died in 1057
      • Died before he could have been of consequence
    • Eustace of Boulogne
      • Possibility was in England to discuss succession during Dover Fracas
      • Unpopular with people due to being Norman
      • No evidence of claim
      • Too unpopular and no evidence of being bequeathed throne


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