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To what extent was Edward the Confessor to blame for the disputed succession at the end of his reign?. Lack of a blood relative This might be Edward’s fault, e.g. didn’t have sexual relations with Edith, eithe r to spite Godwin or for religious reasons. More likely that he was impotent.

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To what extent was Edward the Confessor to blame for the disputed succession at the end of his reign?

  • Lack of a blood relative
  • This might be Edward’s fault, e.g. didn’t have sexual relations with Edith, either to spite Godwin or for religious reasons.
  • More likely that he was impotent.
  • Primogeniture not the only measure to take into consideration but still the most important at this time.
  • Edward’s capriciousness
  • He was unclear on who he favoured and this in itself contributed significantly to the crisis.
  • Did he select William in 1051?
  • Did he select Godwinson on his death bed?
  • Why would he send people to look for Edward the Exile and Edgar the Aetheling?
  • Did he send Godwinson to Normandy in 1064?
  • Maybe this was a deliberate tactic to prevent trouble during his reign.
  • The ambitions of William
  • William may have felt that Edward owed Normandy due to their support during his exile.
  • William claimed that he was the nominated heir but that he practically forced Godwinson to swear an oath to him and that he sought papal approval as soon as Edward died suggests he knew he wasn’t the choice of the English.
  • The events of 1064 with Harold Godwinson show that William was putting himself in a position to take the throne.
  • The ambitions of Godwinson
  • Godwinson was referred to as ‘sub-regulus’ in some contemporary sources.
  • Godwinson was at the side of Edward’s deathbed.A clever place to put himself, in London, with the Witan.
  • Godwinsonabandoning Tostig might have been because he knew he would not have the support of the country e.g. Merica and Northumbria upon becoming King. Maybe this shows him thinking ahead and therefore willing to abandon his brother.