Battle of Hastings - Reference - Florence of Worcester

Anglo Saxon History

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Map Position

This map shows the position of locations containing '1066, anderida' centered on Westfield in Sussex.

Map Logic

This map shows the area around Battle and Hastings in 1066.

Roman roads are shown as black lines, red lines show old Roman Ridge trackways and purple lines show theoretical Roman roads implied by village and road names.

The thickness of the road implies the width of the Roman metalled surface.

The sea level is shown raised by 5 metres to accomodate the high tide level changes since 1066, if you zoom into the map over Battle then you will see that the only routes out of the Hastings Peninsular are through Battle and Netherfield.


 
Icon Key:
Town
 

Florence of Worcester's text for the Battle of Hastings 1066
which was completed around 1131AD

Click HERE for the full text


The Beginning in Normandy



Crossing The Channel



Landing

While these events were passing, and when the king might have supposed that all his enemies were quelled, he received intelligence of the arrival of William, earl of Normandy, with an innumerable host of horsemen, slingers, archers, and foot soldiers, having taken into his pay auxiliary forces of great bravery from all parts of France ; and that he had moored his fleet at a place called Pevensey.

Background



Raiding Pevensey and Hastings



Warning to Harold



Stamford Bridge

After these transactions, Harold Harfaager, king of Norway, brother of St. Olave the king, suddenly arrived at the mouth of the river Tyne, with a powerful fleet of more than five hundred great ships. Earl Tosti joined him with his fleet, as they had before agreed, and they made all sail into the Humbor ; and then ascending the river Tyne against the current, landed their troops at a place called Eichale. As soon as king Harold received this news, he marched with all expedition towards Northumbria ; but, before the king's arrival, the two brothers, earls Edwin and Morcar, at the head of a large army, fought a battle with the Norwegians on the northern bank of the river Ouse, near York, on the eve of the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [20th September], being Wednesday ; and their first onset was so furious that numbers of the enemy fell before it. But, after a long struggle, the English, unable to withstand the attack of the Norwegians, fled with great loss, and many more of them were drowned in the river than slain in the fight. The Norwegians remained in possession of the field of death ; and, having taken one hundred and fifty hostages from York, and leaving there one hundred and fifty hostages of their own, returned to their ships. However, on the fifth day afterwards, viz. on Monday, the seventh of the calends of October [25th September], Harold, king of England, having reached York, with many thousand well-armed troops, encountered the Norwegians at a place called Stanford-bridge, and put to the sword king Harold and earl Tosti, with the greatest part of their army ; and, although the battle was severely contested, gained a complete victory. Notwithstanding, he allowed Harold's son Olaf, and Paul, earl of Orkney, who had been left with part of the army to guard the ships, to return to their own country, with twenty ships and the relics of the [defeated] army ; having first received from them hostages and their oaths.

Harold Marches South

Thereupon the king led his army towards London by forced marches ; and, although he was very sensible that some of the bravest men in England had fallen in the two [recent] battles, and that one half of his troops was not yet assembled, he did not hesitate to meet the enemy in Sussex, without loss of time ; and on Saturday, the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd October], before a third of his army was in fighting order, he gave them battle at a place nine miles from Hastings, where they had built a fort.

Alert to William



Exchanging Messages



Saxon Defenses



Saxons Reconnoitre



Preparations for the Battle



Before the Battle



The Battle

The English being crowded in a confined position, many of them left their ranks, and few stood by him with resolute hearts ; nevertheless he made a stout resistance from the third hour of the day until nightfall, and defended himself with such courage and obstinacy, that the enemy almost despaired of taking his life.

Harold is Killed

When, however, numbers had fallen on both sides, he, alas ! fell at twilight. There fell, also, his brothers, the earls Gurth and Leofric, and almost all the English nobles.

English are Routed



Epilogue

Earl William led his army back to Hastings.

Harold reigned nine months and as many days. The earls Edwin and Morcar, who had withdrawn with their troops from the battle on hearing that he was dead, went to London, and sent off their sister, queen Elgitha, to Chester ; but Aldred, archbishop of York, and the earls just mentioned, with the citizens of London and the seamen, were desirous to proclaim Edgar the etheling king, he being nephew of king Edmund Ironside ; and promised that they would renew the war under his banner. But while many were preparing to go forth to battle, the earls withdrew their support, and returned home with their army.

Meanwhile, earl William was laying waste Sussex, Kent. Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex, and Herefordshire, and ceased not from burning vills and slaughtering the inhabitants, until he came to a vill called Beorcham [Berkhampstead], where Aldred, the archbishop, Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, Walter. bishop of Hereford, Edgar the etheling, the earls Edwin and Morcar, and some Londoners of the better sort, with many others, met him, and, giving hostages, made their submission, and swore fealty to him ; but, although he concluded a treaty with them, he still allowed his troops to burn and pillage the vills.

The feast of our Lord's Nativity approaching, he marched the whole army to London that he might be proclaimed king there ; and as Stigand, the primate of all England, lay under the censure of the apostolical pope for not having obtained the pall canonically, he was anointed by Aldred, archbishop of York, with great ceremony, at Westminster, on Christmas day, which that year fell on a Monday ; having first, as the archbishop required, sworn before the altar of St. Peter the apostle, in the presence of the clergy and people, to protect the holy churches of God and their governors, and to rule the whole nation subject to him with justice and kingly providence, to make and maintain just laws, and straitly to forbid every sort of rapine and all unrighteous judgments.



External References in no particular order :-
Original Manuscripts of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Online Anglo Saxon dictionary
Online Etymology dictionary
Open Domesday Book - The first free online copy of the Domesday Book
The Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment and research Society
The "Kent A" cadastre - page 5 - Peterson 2002
Archaeologia Cantiana Online
Romney Marsh Research Trust
Romney Marsh the Fifth Continent
VillageNet the reference guide to villages in Kent & Sussex
Global warming Flood Maps
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Google Maps - the core of the system
GeoPlaner - Useful site for plotting map data
Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars 55BC(Books 4 & 5)
Wikipedia - Caesar's invasions of Britain
Wikipedia - Portus Istus
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy (Bill Thayers)
Roman Britain.org
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion
Chronicles of John of Worcester
Battle Historic Society
Binsted village website(Mearcredesburnan Steðe)

 

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Author: Simon M       Document Created: 2018-06-21
Data is derived from a number or sources including the Ordnance Survey Gazetter data overlayed onto Google Maps