son of a very powerful thegn. Godwinsson inherited the earldom of wessex 1052 at the age of 27 from his father.
However, his family had undergone exile due to a series of events.
Easdige, bishop of canterbury died; the monks chose someone called Ethelric, kinsman of Godwin, but Edward instated his own man, Robert of Jumieges, who had been Bishop of London since 1044.
Jumieges and Godwin didn't get along, and this led Edward to build up his own factions at court.
The godwins had also been tainted by their kinsman Swegn killing the baron Beorn, nephew to both Godwin and Canute.
A minor squirmish in Devon lead Edward ordering Godwin to punish the people of Devon. Godwin refused, and has to leave the country at a traitor, in 1051.
DID THIS LEAD TO WILLIAM VISITING?
Anglo Saxon sources recall the Duke of Normandy visiting Edwards court in 1051/2. This would be great timing, as his most powerful baron, Godwin was absent, and Edward had been building up Norman factions and considering a new heir.
It is not clear whether Edwrad offered the throne to William, and norman sources say Jumieges visited him to name him heir-designate.
In 1152, the godwin family salied up the thames to the kings castle, gathering supoort along the way. Edward could not turn him away. Godwin was reinstated as Earl of Wessex, and Harold after him. Tostig was given Northumbria, Gyth - East anglia and Leofwine a earldom in the south-west. Harold was even named sub-regulus by the king. He had a lot of power and land and support, making him a worthy contender for the throne.
1065- Tostig was thrown out of his earldom by rebels, who accused him of harsh rule and murder. Harold attempted to…