Anglo-Saxons & Vikings – 4e Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward was born in England between the years 1003 and 1005. His father was Ethelred, King of the English, and his mother was Queen Emma of Normandy.
In 1013 there was a Danish invasion and Edward and his family were forced to leave England. They moved to Normandy, in northern France.When Edward returned to England in 1041 his step-brother Harthacnut was on the throne. Harthacnut died the following year and Edward was named King of England in 1042.
Edward was very religious and was called ‘Edward the Confessor’ because he often confessed his sins.
In 1042 he ordered the construction of Westminster Abbey, a royal church. It took almost 50 years to build. In 1045 Edward married Edith the daughter of Godwin, the Earl of Wessex.
Edward the Confessor falls out with the powerful Earl Godwin.
In 1051 there was a disagreement between Edward and Godwin, Earl of Wessex. Godwin refused to carry out the king’s orders and Edward forced him to leave the country. Godwin was a powerful earl and later returned to England with an army. To avoid a civil war, Edward and Godwin agreed to peace.
On 4 January 1066 Edward the Confessor died without any children to inherit the throne. A group of nobles called ‘The Witan’ met to decide who should rule. They named Godwin’s son, Harold, as the King of England. The Witan’s decision to name Harold king wasn’t popular with William, Duke of Normandy and Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway. They believed they had a claim to the English throne.
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