of Hastings was a battle between forces Anglo-Saxon king of England Harold II,
and the troops of William, the duke of Normandy. The battle was fought Senlac
Hill, south of Hastings, England. Harold’s troops were about 7000 men strong,
while William had about 10000 troops. The battle ended in a victory for the
Normans, under command of William. He was crowned king William I 10 weeks
later. This marked the end of Anglo-Saxon England.
was a couple of weeks after William’s invasion of England, which he started
because he claimed the English throne.
In the year
1051, William visited Edward, the king of England. Edward was William’s cousin,
he didn’t have children so he promised William the throne. However, on his
deathbed, Edward gave the throne to Harold, who belonged to England’s most
important noble family. William wasn’t happy with this decision, because he
believed he was the rightful heir to the English throne, therefore he planned
an invasion. William called upon his highest officials, and gathered soldiers
from all over France. William got support from his allies in Flanders, Brittany
and other parts of France, and was given soldiers. The pope also supported
William. William built a large fleet to cross the English Channel. On the 27th
of September 1066, the ships left France, and landed in England the next morning.
Harold moved his troops South, and met William near Hastings. The battle lasted
about a full day, and was eventually won by the Norman forces led by William.
stayed in Hastings for a couple of days before marching to London, after a
short fight, London was captured by William’s forces. On Christmas day 1066, he
was crowned the first Norman King of England. He shown on the picture on the
tapestry was most likely made because of an order to do so by Bishop Odo of
Bayeux. Odo was William’s half brother, and when his new cathedral was
consecrated 1077, he had the tapestry made to celebrate both William’s victory,
and the opening of his new cathedral. Where the tapestry is made isn’t known,
but one story says that it was made in Canterbury, a city known for making
tapestries at that time. The tapestry is now a popular tourist attraction. The
tapestry is often said to be ‘Norman Propaganda’ as it excuses William’s
invasion of England, as if he had the right to do this. Even though some panels
are less pro-norman, such as the one where woman and child have to leave their
first panels you can see Harold traveling to France, where he is taken prisoner
upon arrival. After William sends a messenger to Harold, Harold is taken to
William. William and Harold fight the duke of Brittany together in the
following panels, eventually they defeat him. In the next panel, Harold
promises William that he will respect him as heir to the English throne. This
panel shows that the tapestry is made by the Normans, because Harold breaking
this oath is seen as the reason William attacked, the attack is thereby kind of
Harold returns to England. After which you can see king Edward on his deathbed,
and after this, his funeral. Harold is crowned king of England in the next
panel, thereby breaking his promise to William, making William furious. William
decides to attack England and orders ships to be build, which are later loaded
and send towards England. The ships arrive in England, and a feast in honour of
William is held. The duke of Normandy is seen talking to some men, after which
a castle is build. The next panels show the battle; First the Norman army,
later the fighting, and eventually the death of king Harold and the end of the
battle. Harold’s death is shown on the picture on the right.
tapestry is quite biased, it was made for a Norman bishop, who was the
half-brother of William. The tapestry is made from a Norman viewpoint, but it
still depicts the Anglo-Saxons as brave warriors. Lots of historians see the
tapestry as a way of justifying the Norman attack. The tapestry also shows the
harm the Normans did in one of the panels. But it isn’t the best source when
finding neutral information about the battle.
the story of the battle might be a bit biased in the tapestry, it is still a
unique way of getting information about the battle.