Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry was all about an old English king and his possible successors to the throne. The story goes something like this.

King Edward is old and will die soon and he has no direct heir to the throne. The three candidates are;

A. Harold the titleless, his half brother

B. William the Bastard, duke of Normandy

C. Harald the Severe, king of Norway

For reasons of his past, Edward selects option B: William the Bastard. Edward sends Harold to tell ill bill that he will be the heir to the throne.(May not the wisest choice sending an heir to an heir, they really didn't get along very easily.) Harold embarks toward Normandy, a part of what we now call France. Harold crosses the English Channel, but doesn’t arrive where he wants to, Harold1 finds William2 (from now on if there's any possibility of confusion between William and Harold, a 1 means I'm referring to Harold, and a 2 means I'm talking about William). He1 meets up with him2 and tells him that he2 will be the heir to the throne.

William, who doesn’t trust Harold to allow him2 to obtain the throne, makes him swear on holy relics that he won't take the throne. With his oath, William allows Harold to return to England. Edward dies, and Harold takes the throne; breaking his holy oath. William musters up an army and rampages off to England. Harold, who expects this, assembles his own army and heads south to Hastings where they'll fight. On his1 way, Harold encounters option C. Harald meets Harold, and they fight it out. Harold wins, but is instantly attacked by William. Think about how Harald changed the course of history, if he hadn't attacked Harold and weakened his army, we may all be speaking French, or our borders would be different, our country would be named different, it was a big thing.

Billy & Harry battle violently, until Harold is miraculously hit in the eye with an arrow! (I personally think it was because he broke his oath) William the Bastard got a title change to William the Conqueror, A significant improvement, I say.

3 comments:

maryanncart said...

Way to go Rhys...I never did like history but found your explanation fun to read and I appreciate your opinions. The pictures that Mom/Dad send are WONDERFUL...Get an address, please, so I can send "the cube." Love Grandma Mac

vjlloyd said...

Hi Rhys,
Great history. We all have heard of The Battle of Hastings but I didn't know about the background. Where is the Tapestry of Bayeux? I remember seeing a tapestry in Hastings relating to the battle but don't remember all that much about it since it was so long ago.
Love Grandma Jean

Steve said...

You have a flair for historical retellings. Quite enjoyed this!

Given your eye issue earlier in the trip, I am sure you sympathize with Harold.