Harold Godwinson

Harold Godwinson (c.1022 – 14 October 1066), also called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon English king. Harold reigned from 6 January 1066[1] until his death at the Battle of Hastings, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England. His death marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England.

Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson, from the Bayeux Tapestry
King of the English
Reign5 January – 14 October 1066
Coronation6 January 1066
PredecessorEdward the Confessor
SuccessorWilliam I
Bornc.1022
Wessex, England
Died14 October 1066 (aged about 44)
near Senlac Hill, Sussex, England
Burial
Waltham Abbey, Essex, or Bosham, Sussex (disputed)
Spouses
Issue
HouseGodwin
FatherGodwin, Earl of Wessex
MotherGytha Thorkelsdóttir

Harold Godwinson was a member of a prominent Anglo-Saxon family with ties to Cnut the Great. He became a powerful earl after the death of his father, Godwin, Earl of Wessex. After his brother-in-law, King Edward the Confessor, died without an heir on 5 January 1066, the Witenagemot convened and chose Harold to succeed him; he was probably the first English monarch to be crowned in Westminster Abbey. In late September, he successfully repelled an invasion by rival claimant Harald Hardrada of Norway in York before marching his army back south to meet William the Conqueror at Hastings two weeks later.


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