Contenders for the Throne, Pre Hastings

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The Godwinson clan

Godwin Godwinson married the sister in law to Canute. This made him the earl of a powerful kingdom- Wessex.Godwinson was a big reason why Edward was legitamised as King, further rewards care by the promotions sons Swegn as earl and Harold.Edith, Harold's daughter wed Edward which made the Godwinsons a dynast.

  •  'immediate cause' of Robert of Jumieges appointment to Archbishop of Canterbury as oppose to Elric, Godwinson's kinsmen.
  • Jumieges was the kings favourite and Godwinson and Jumieges hated eachother.
  • Also, Godwinson's son Swegn was a nithing by killing Beorn (member at E's court).
  •  The situation @ Dover where Godwinson refysed to attack and how his army retaliated led to exile.

They returned in 1052 which ended in being a huge gain. As Edward did not want civil war he let Godwinson be Earl of Wessex again and son Harold Earl of East Anglia. When Godwin died, Harold became earl of Wessex and Tostig as Earl of Northumbria. The period of 1053-65 saw relative stability and Harold was even called deputy king. Harold's claim to the throne was based on the last words of Edward- Harold became king in January.

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Edgar Aethling

His claim to the throne was based on a hungarian connection. Canute sent Edmund Iron sides children to Sweden to be killed but they were safely recieved in Hungary.

Prince Edward was found but came with his sickly son Edgar whose claim was based on his he could survive adulthood.

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William, Duke of Normandy

Norman history sets out to potray that the claim to the throne was given to William. It was claimed William did visit England when the Godwins were in exile as it was perfect timing according but it is unsure according to the Chronicle- Edward did not offer William the throne.

However, Normans have it the other way round as they say Robert Jumieges was sent to offer William the throne. This makes him not only a petitioner but the rightful heir.

There was also an alleged promise made to William in 1064/5 from Harold once he was captured by the Count of Pontheia and saved by the duke.

At a council, Harold swore an oath infront of great barons securing the position of William as king. There are issues with the evidence however.

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