Florence of Worcester's text for the Battle of Hastings 1066
which was completed around 1131AD
for the full text
After the Battle of Stamford Bridge
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 The earls Edwin and Morcar, who had withdrawn with their troops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 w^hile 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.