Three Claims to the Throne of England. Grade 7. Edward the Confessor. At the beginning of 1066, England was ruled by King Edward. He was a religious man. He spent so much time praying and confessing his sins that his people called him Edward ‘the Confessor’. Harold Godwinson.
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Edward the Confessor • At the beginning of 1066, England was ruled by King Edward. • He was a religious man. • He spent so much time praying and confessing his sins that his people called him Edward ‘the Confessor’.
Harold Godwinson • Edward was old and sick. He had had no children so he chose as his successor, Harold Godwinson, the most powerful English nobleman and leader of the army. • The choice was not surprising as Edward was married to Harold’s sister. • After Edward died, the nobles met in their council and agreed that Harold should be king.
King Harald Hardrada of Norway • King Harald Hardrada of Norway thought that he should have the English throne. • One of his ancestors had ruled England and Hardrada thought this meant that he should now be king. • He knew that England was a rich country and that lot of taxes could be collected. • Hardrada was already a powerful king with a large army.
Duke William of Normandy • There was an even more serious opponent for Harold Godwinson – Duke William of Normandy. • Edward the Confessor had been brought up in Normandy and had many Norman advisors in his court. William claimed that Edward had promised the throne to him in 1051. • All three men had some kind of claim. • This dispute could not be settled in court. Instead, it had to be settled by war.