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Alternate History

English England

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Timeline

1066 AD

Edward the Confessor dies, leaving behind an empty throne. Harold Godwinson's right to the English throne receives little support, and William the Bastard counters this claim and made ready to assail England.

William sets out with his navy, and arrives in England, for the most part, with his full fleet. He then advances inland but is met by Harold Godwinson and his army at Hastings.

The two armies fight, and it seems that William is about to win, but he is unhorsed by a stray Norman arrow; the horse rears and falls over backwards, landing on William. He is temporarily paralyzed, seeing this from afar, an English archer raises the cry: "The bastard is dead!" Some Normans see that this would appear to be so, and start running, quickly it turns into an all-out retreat. About ten minutes after the Norman army has fully retreated from Hasting, William gets up and tries to escape, but is captured by the English, who keep this very secret, lest the Normans become emboldened. It turns out that Harold Godwinson has been killed by a Norman archer, and Edgar the Æþeling is swiftly crowned in his place. He commands that William be held for ransom. The Norman army holes up on the eastern coast of England, and are driven to terms by the pursuing English troops; they are to retreat return to Normandy in France, but are to leave behind one tenth of their number as slaves, and are to deliver all their weapons and armour up as rightful spoil for the English.

After all this has been done, the Normans are offered William for a ransom, but they are unable to pay. The English promise to hold him until such a time as they are able to pay, but the French king, seeing his opportunity to seize full power over William's dukedom, declares that he will neither pay a ransom or allow a ransom to be paid within his power, and, thereafter, Edgar the Ever Young, new king of England, personally executed William. The majority of the Catholic Church disagreed with this move, and the Pope Leo IX openly called it "an act of the devil".

1073 AD

Edgar the Ever Young is convinced by Bishop Forþwulf, the fresh Abbot of Westminster Abbey, that, despite popular church usage of Latin, Latin and English should not be mixed. Edgar declares, much to the horror of the Catholic Church, that all Latin words are to be removed from usage in the English language, and that all publicly-spoken Latin was to be translated for the common people. The Pope Leo IX responds by calling Edgar "a son of Satan," and, in return, Edgar declares the Catholic Church void, and founds the Renewed Church of Christ (which upheld, chiefly, the Ten Commandments, the New Testament, selected commandments from the Old Testament, and a "healthy respect for the God-appointed king of England"), later to be know as the Renewed Church of England and later again the Church of England, or the Anglish Church. A great revolt, usually called the English-Catholic uprising, then takes place, mainly being supported by the Catholic church and a large number of nobles. The uprising is quelled, and Edgar declares that everyone who took part in it was to be executed. Rome declares war on England and exhorts his "brethren in the true faith" to do likewise. France, Germany and Spain all declare war against England. However, Edgar secures allies in Iceland and Sweden (mostly through money). The Pope formally excommunicates all people who support Edgar, but Sweden and Iceland stay firm, and war begins on the nineteenth of December when France sends two-hundred ships, each carrying an average of one-hundred men, to invade England. They land on the southern coast of England, and quickly defeat several rural villages, but are soon met by a large force (8000, about) of Swedish mercenaries. A great battle takes place known as the French-Swedish battle of Wessex. At first, the French overcome the Swedes, and the Swedes sustain almost one thousand losses, but the Swedes begin to gain ground, and eventually push the French force of almost 20,000 (reduced to 14,000) back to the shoreline, where the French retreat. Disheartened by this news, Germany pulls out of the war, but Spain, France, and Italy still make preparations against England.

1074 AD

4000 Icelandic mercenaries arrive in Cumbria, England. They are met by a herald from the king saying to meet at Oxfordshire, where they meet up with the complete Swedish force of 9000 and the English force of 9500.

On March the tenth Italian forces land on the south-western shore at Kent, and five days later French and Spanish forces arrive somewhat north of there at East Anglia. Soon, however, the the Italian force hears news of the French and Spanish, and meets them at Suffolk, moving across the land almost unchecked. The combined English, Swedish and Icelandic forces make rapid headway and attack the three armies the day after they meet, on March the eighteenth, creating general confusion among the French, Italian and Spanish Forces, but soon resistance is organized.

The Battle of St Edmunds (March 18, 1074) is remembered today as the most important battle fought in England during the 11th century. At stake was nothing less then an England and an English church ruled by Englishmen or a church run from Rome and an alien on the throne of England. The English army's surprise attack and it's initial success neutralised the superior numbers of the Allied army. Having recovered their guard, the Allies set forth to defend themselves against the onrushing Saxon and Vikings assaults. Attempts by the Allied horse to break the Saxon shield wall proved fruitless and very costly. The turning point in the battle occurred when a Swedish group of berserkers broke through the centre of the Allied line and killed the Allied commander. Having lost their commander and unable to rally an effective defence, Allied units were divided from each other as the gap in the center was exploited by the Saxon housecarls. Total disaster was averted by the Allied horse covering the retreat of the main army. Despite this brief respite, the defeat was a disaster for the Allies. 12,000 Allied troops lay down on the field and another 5000 were prisoners in English hands (the English lost 7000). The remaining 8000 Allied troops were scattered throughout the countryside in groups of fifties and hundreds, the largest group protector by cavalry amounted to just 1700 men. This second defeat ended forever the hopes of the Allies and the Catholic Church to conquer England and destroy the Church of England.

The English fleet successfully intercepted and destroyed many of the ships of the Allied fleet while they were still at anchor shortly after the battle, the result of which was that less than 1000 of the Allied troops ever actually escaping from the island of Britain unransomed.

Although peace will not formerly be declared for several years the war for all intensive purposes is over.

Normandy takes advantage of the war in England to rebel when William's son Robert leads a successful revolt and establishes himself as Duke of Normandy a title which is quickly recognised by the King of England as a way to divide the French against themselves.

Most of the Swedish and Icelandic mercenaries remain in England and are given very generous tracts of land by King Edgar.

Shortly after his victory at St Edmunds, King Edgar II marries Gytha, daughter of the late King Harold. Harold's memory is still very popular among the people and he will be canonised as a saint in 1086 by the synod of the Church of England. Edgar will have the work hard to escape Harold's shadow.

1075 AD

Edgar and Gytha's first child and first son Harold (named for his maternal grandfather) is born.

1076 AD

Edgar and Gytha's second child and first daughter Margaret (named for his aunt Queen Margaret of Scotland) is born.

1078 AD

Edgar and Gytha's third child and second son Edward (named for his paternal grandfather) is born.

1080 AD

Since the victory at St Edmunds, England has enjoyed peace and growing prosperity. The need for religious texts in English causes several monasteries develop a primitive form of movable type which, although limited in its uses, proves effective in the production of Bibles, and other religious works. By now one in ten English households has a Bible in English and every church and monastery.

By this time England, Ireland Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and some other smaller states have joined forces in leaving the Church of Rome and forming their own churches which are loosely known as the "Protesting" or "Protestant" Church.

Edgar and Gytha's fourth child and third son Edgar (named for his father) is born.

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