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Second Heptarchy

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1066 is seen as an very important date in English history. In January of that year King Edward, known as Edward the Confessor died without and three men subsequently claimed the throne,

  • Harold Godwinsson, Earl of Wessex
  • William, Duke of Normandy
  • Harald Hardrada, King of Norway


Harald and William both invaded England in the autumn of 1066. Harald with the assistance of Harold's brother Tostig landed in the north in September and on the 20th of that month defeated an English army at the Battle of Fulford. Harold, having heard of Harald's landing had rushed his army north. The two armies met at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on the 25th where the Norwegians were comprehensively beaten, Harald himself being killed.

William's army landed on the south coast on the 28th and so Harold had to rush his army southwards to attempt to beat the new invader. The two armies met at Senlac Hill near Hastings and the Saxons were decisively beaten leading to the end of Anglo-Saxon England and the beginning of a new era.

BUT what if Harald of Norway had beaten Harold of England at Stamford Bridge??


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