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Harold Godwinson

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Harold Godwinson
King of England (more...)

Reign 5 January — 14 October 1066
Coronation 6 January 1066
Predecessor Edward the Confessor
Successor Edgar the Ætheling or William the Conqueror
Spouse Edith Swanneck
Edith of Mercia
Full name
Harold Godwinson
House House of Godwin
Father Godwin, Earl of Wessex
Mother Gytha Thorkelsdóttir
Born Circa 1022
Wessex, England
Died 14 October 1066
Battle of Hastings, Sussex
Burial Waltham Abbey, Essex, or Bosham (disputed)

Harold Godwinson or King Harold II of England (c. 1022 – 14 October 1066) was an English king. He ruled England after king Edward the Confessor died. He ruled from 5 January 1066 until he was killed at the Battle of Hastings.


Harold was the son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and Gytha, a Danish noblewoman.[1] His sister, Edith, was married to the king he succeeded, Edward the Confessor.[2] About that same time Harold became Earl of East Anglia.[3] When his father died in 1053, Harold inherited his earldom of Wessex.[4] Elfgar. son of Leofric of Mercia was appointed to replace Harold in East Anglia. Berkshire and Somerset were joined to Wessex again.[4] Wessex itself was, in those days, an enormous amount of land that covered about a third of England. Harold ruled over a large portion of England, making him the most powerful man in the whole kingdom, after the King.

Harold Godwinson had three brothers: Tostig, Swegen and Gryth. He claimed to have been made King by Edward the confessor. Before Harold Godwinson became king, he swore to William, Duke of Normandy, that he would help him become king. Harold Godwinson was killed, it is generally assumed, by an arrow shot by one of William's archers, but some reports say he was cut down by many soldiers.


  1. Orderic Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, Volume II, Books III And IV, ed. Marjorie Chibnall (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1993), p. 216
  2. The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester; With the Two Continuations, trans. Thomas Forester (London: Henry G. Bohn; New York: AMS Press, 1854), pp. 150-52
  3. Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 561
  4. 4.0 4.1 Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 569

He had 250,00 men He owned the south of England