Image by Gioele Fazzeri from Pixabay
I am now King of England. King William I. Doesn’t that sound great? However it wasn’t such an easy position to gain. Let me go back to the beginning.
Edward, my second cousin, was in exile in Normandy after Cnut had taken the English throne. I decided to go and see him as he was family, after all, and had no heirs.
While I was there, I played on the family connection, and reminded him that, although he might eventually get an heir with his wife, Emma of Normandy, if he should die suddenly, there would be no obvious claimant to the English throne.
Well, he hummed and hawed and didn’t make a decision then. I’m not surprised, really, because his mother had married Cnut and had a son by him. She supported her son, Harthacnut, and eventually he became king of England.
Edward was lucky. Harthacnut died, and Edward sailed unopposed into England to take the throne. Not long after, he sent his son-in-law, Harald Godwinson to tell me that he had decided to make me his heir. King William sounded good, I thought, but I didn’t trust Harald, so I had him imprisoned. Eventually, in order to regain his freedom, he swore an oath of fealty to me, the rat!
In the year of our Lord, 1066, King Edward, who had become to be know as The Confessor, due to his religious conviction, died. Harald, the rat, took the throne and was crowned the day after Edward’s death. He said that Edward had made him his heir on his deathbed. A likely story!
It was then I decided that I needed to go to England and sort this man out. He had broken a holy oath, and I was the rightful king. But it seemed I wasn’t the only one to want the crown of England. Harald’s own brother, Tostig, joined forces with the Norwegian king, Harald Hardrada, and launced an invasion.
They met initially at a place called Fulford, in the north of England, not far from the city of York. This was 0n September 20th 1066. It seems the invaders won, but Harald was not to be defeated so easily. He fought another battle five days later at a place called Stamford Bridge where both Tostig and Harald Hardrada were killed.
Well, this was too good an opportunity to miss. I had set sail, knowing that Harald would be occupied, and we landed at a place called Pevensey. There had been a Roman castle there, and we made use of that. I ordered a wooden fort to be built inside the Roman walls. It was a good defesive position.
The whole area was marshland, and the sea came up to the fort walls. I ordered the troops to begin marching over the marshes, heading towards the town of Hastings. Once we got there, I ordered a fort to be built, and we raided the land for supplies.
We waited for Harald to arrive from his battle at Stamford Bridge. We knew they would be tired after a forced march. I set a watch the night before the battle. I would not have put it past Harald to make a surprise attack, but he didn’t, and so on 14th October, at dawn, the battle began.
I won’t go into details here. Suffice it to say that it was hard fought and lasted all day. In the end, though, we won, and Harald was dead. I was now King of England.
I have begun the research for the next book in the series, A Family Through the Ages. This one will start in 1066 with the Battle of Hastings.
If you would like to catch up on the series, the first book, Vengeance of a Slave, is free as an ebook. Alternatively, you can get it from your favourite store, here.
Jealousy of a Viking, the second book, can be got from your favourite store, here.
Or click on the images in the side bar.
Both books are also available as audio books.
My publisher has released merchandise with the book covers on. These include: t-shirts, mugs, drinking glasses, jigsaw puzzles, tote bags and many more.
Why not go and take a look at what’s on offer? Click here to go to the Next Chapter store.
Please let me know what you think about the story and the books and merchandise in the comments.
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