Essay on Edgar Atheling

1654 Words7 Pages
History is but a series of stories, opinions, and biases that give the world today a glimpse through the window of the past. As it is such, that window is often smudged and smeared because of the many contradicting, differing facets that one moment in history can possess; henceforth figures and details become obscured and lost, thereby creating the many great and fascinating gaps in history that haunt the minds of today’s historians. This paper is an attempt to provide evidence to fill such a gap—the lost story of Edgar Atheling, great half-nephew of King Edward the Confessor of England; also to provide an answer to the puzzling question of why Edgar was never killed by King William I (William the Conqueror, also Duke of Normandy). The…show more content…
However, Edward did something very odd—he promised the crown to William, Duke of Normandy—a cousin through Edward’s mother, Emma. This perplexingly odd promise was made even stranger when, according to the Bayeux Tapestry, Harold was shipwrecked off the coast of Normandy and brought to stay at the court of William. There he supposedly swore an unbreakable oath, giving William his loyalty and support in his path to the crown. He returned to England. Yet when the king died, his dying words seemed to be appointing Harold “protector” of England, which was interpreted as “king”. So Harold was named the king, breaking his supposed promise to William. Furious, William invaded England. Freshly crowned, Harold was not only dealing with this Norman threat, but also an invading Norwegian Viking army, led by Harald Hardrada, who, like William, also believed he had a claim to the throne. Harold easily defeated Harald’s forces at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (near York), but then was forced to drive his tired, bedraggled army to Hastings to confront the invading Norman troops. There, at the famed Battle of Hastings, William became William the Conqueror, decisively defeating the English, killing Harold, and winning the crown.
These clouds of intrigue block the sunlight from another, even deeper buried face in the year
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