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Alternate History

The Eleventh Century (The Failed Conquest)

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BattleOfHastings

Timeline

1066 - 1099

1066

  • William II tries and fails to invade England. His invasion is repulsed by Harold Godwinson, who is lost in combat.
  • With Harold missing, but not yet confirmed dead, Edgar the Ætheling is coronated and ascends to the throne. However, rumors persist that Harold is alive, but injured.
  • On November 18th the rumors are confirmed, and Harold, previously lying unrecognized in a field hospital, rises from his bed. Upon learning of Edgar's kingship, he sends an ultimatum to the young king, demanding the crown back.
  • On December 23rd, Edgar rejects the ultimatum, thus almost forcing war.

1067

  • Enraged, Harold begins building an army out of the remainder of the troops who fought the Normans. Edgar keeps part of the army, but moves westward, deeper into Wessex and toward easily defensible territory.
  • After sailing around the north sea, and brief landings at various French German ports, William and his about half his army arrive in Norway. After a brief period of negotiations, Olaf III agrees to host William and his Troops, and William becomes a prominent member of Olaf’s court.
  • On April 16th, Harold and Edgar clash for the first time. Both take moderate casualties, but Edgar is ultimately forced further westward.
  • After several more clashes throughout April, May and June, Ealdred, the Archbishop of York, declares his support for Edgar. While this endorsement means little in practical terms, it energizes Edgar's army.
  • After Ealdred’s declaration, Harold manages a stunning victory, with only half his army pitted against Edgar's entire army. This victory swings Edwin, Earl of Mercia, over to his side of the conflict. However, Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, goes over to Edgar.
  • After an intense summer of conflict, during which Edgar moves northward into Mercia, both sides settle down for a significantly less intense fall and winter.

1068

  • Reinforcements arrive for Harold from Mercia - However, none come for Edgar, who lost almost 1/10 of his army to desertion over the winter.
  • A string of victories for Harold prompts Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Waltheof, Earl of Huntingdon to declare support for Harold, and both quickly send him fresh troops.
  • After more Earls and other Nobles declared their support for Harold, He fights his way to four decisive victories in a row. In light if this, Edgar flees north, toward his only two major supporters.
  • Just outside the boundaries of Northumbria, Edgar is crushed by Harold's forces. Edgar loses more than half his army, and is forced to flee to York. Instead of pursuing, Harold decides to let his army rest, Thus allowing Edgar to escape.

1069

  • After arriving in York, Edgar repeatedly tries to raise an army to compete with Harold’s but is rejected completely each time. Behind his back, Morcar tries to save himself bu making peace with Harold. As Harold's reformed army moves in, Edgar decides he has no choice but to surrender.
  • On March 7th, 1069, Harold and Edgar agree to a settlement. Edgar will relinquish his claim to the Throne of England to Harold. In exchange, he will become Earl of the newly created Earldom of York, and be allowed to form the House of Iron - named for his ancestor, Edmund Ironside. Morcar has no choice to but to accept the decrease in the size of his Earldom, and is forced to swear allegiance to Harold.
  • After negotiating with Edgar, Harold returns to Westminster, where is is promptly coronated.
  • William begins to gain more power and influence in Norway. He is more popular with the peasants than many of the the other members of Olaf’s court. He also seems the control some form of personal army, mostly made up of the remainder of the army that tried to take England.

1070

  • England stabilizes significantly, with Harold acting as a powerful and reliable king.
  • Oswulf is forced to give up his portion of Northumbria, putting Morcar in full control of the region.

1087

  • Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, dies, leaving only a daughter behind. Since she can not claim the Throne, Edgar’s son, Henry, marries her and becomes Earl of Northumbria. Harold is weary of this, but allows it to happen.

1092

  • Olaf III dies under unknown circumstances. This vacancy allows the ever popular William to ascend to the Throne of Norway, and marry one of Olaf's nieces to legitimize himself.

1095

  • The First Crusade begins in the near east, led by England, France, the Byzantines, and smaller Holy Roman states.

1099

  • The First Crusade ends, with the near east conquered. In exchange for his troops and other contributions, the now ailing Harold is granted the county of Tripoli as his personal possession.
  • Shortly after the end of the First Crusade, Harold dies, passing the Crown on to his eldest son, Edmund.

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