|Phase 18 - Harold is killed|
Harold is injured by an arrow and killed by the Norman knights.
|This page shows the documentary evidence from translated original documents|
Anglo Saxon Chronicles
There was slain King Harold, and
Leofwin his brother, and Earl Girth his brother, with many good men: and the Frenchmen gained the field of battle, as God granted
them for the sins of the nation.
Battle Abbey Chronicles
The miserable English, feeble and on foot, are scattered abroad. Pressed upon, they fall; they are
slaughtered, and killed ; and
their king being overthrown by a chance blow, they fly in all directions, and seek their hiding places.
And then, after an
innumerable multitude had been slain on the field, or rather in their flight, a very great calamity
presented itself before the eyes of all.
Harold's housecarls are killed and then Harold.
hic franci pugnant et ceciderunt qui erant cum haroldo
(Here the French are fighting and have killed those who were with Harold)
hic harold rex interfectus est
(Here King Harold is slain)
Carmen de Triumpho Normannico
When the duke spies the king above on the steep hill
His hard pressed men are being torn to pieces
The duke summons Eustace from the Franks then clearing the battlefield
Like a second Hector, the noble heir of Ponthieu
Hugh accompanies these ever ready for duty
Fourth is Gilfard, called by his father’s surname
Although many others join, these are the best of them
Harold is forced to go the way of all flesh
The first shatters his breast through the shield by a lance
The second by sword severs the head below the helmet
The third by spears pours out the belly’s entrails
The fourth cuts off the leg at the hip
The flying rumour ‘Harold is dead’ spreads through the battlefield
The defeated English refuse battle they demand pardon
Florence of Worcester
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.
Henry of Huntingdon
Meanwhile, a shower of arrows fell round King Harold, and he himself was pierced in the eye. A crowd of horsemen now
burst in, and the king, already wounded, was slain. With him fell Earl Gurth and Earl Leofric, his brothers.
And now the Normans had pressed on so far, that
at last they reached the standard. There Harold
had remained, defending himself to the utmost ; but
he was sorely wounded in his eye by the arrow, and
suffered grievous pain from the blow. An armed
man came in the throng of the battle, and struck
him on the ventaille of his helmet, and beat him to
the ground ; and as he sought to recover himself, a
knight beat him down again, striking him on the
thick of his thigh, down to the bone.
Gurth saw the English falling around, and that
there was no remedy. He saw his race hastening
to ruin, and despaired of any aid ; he would have
fled, but could not, for the throng continually in
creased. And the duke pushed on till he reached
him, and struck him with great force. Whether he
died of that blow I know not, but it was said that
he fell under it, and rose no more.
The standard was beaten down, the golden gon
fanon was taken, and Harold and the best of his
friends were slain ; but there was so much eager
ness, and throng of so many around, seeking to kill
him, that I know not who it was that slew him.
William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)
Although the battle was fought with the greatest fury from nine o'clock in the morning, King Harold was slain in the
first onset, and his brother Earl Leofwin fell some time afterwards, with many thousands of the royal army. Towards evening,
the English finding that their king and the chief nobles of the realm, with a great part of their army, had fallen, while
the Normans still showed a bold front, and made desperate attacks on all who made any resistance, they had recourse to
flight as expeditiously as they could. Various were the fortunes which attended their retreat ; some recovering their
horses, some on foot, attempted to escape by the highways ; more sought to save themselves by striking across the country.
William of Malmesbury
No reference to this subject in this document.