The Battle of Hastings

the-battle-of-hastingsAs mentioned on the previous pages of this site, the town of Battle took its name after the historical Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Battle of Hastings had profound implications in the map of Europe and the linguistic aspects of Old and modern English. Many of the linguistic features that today are considered to be standard in English were borrowed from the French language. The Battle of Hastings was perhaps the most important factor that weighed in to make the Norman Conquest of England possible. Normandy was a region in the north part of France, controlled and inhabited by the Normans and their kings, dukes and other members of the French nobility.

The commander of the Norman-French army was William the Conqueror (also known as William the Bastard, first Norman King of England), up till then known as the the Duke of Normandy, while an the English, or rather, the Anglo Saxon army was led by King Harold Godwinson, or Harold the Second, who was the last Anglo Saxon King to rule England and was killed in combat. The battle took place near the town of Battle, in East Sussex, and the results obviously yielded a victory to the Norman army.

Harold II was crowned king right after Edward the Confessor’s death, and his reign was full of tribulations, among them invasions by the Normans led by William the Bastard, his brother Tostig, Earl of Northumbria, and by the Norwegian King Harald Hardrada (or Harald III of Norway). Harald III of Norway and Tostig were defeated by Harold II at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, which resulted in the Anglo Saxon army being really exhausted from the battle. Three days later, while they were still recovering, William the Bastard and the Normans initiated their invasion and it was obvious that Harold and his army would not be able to deflect them.