Born in 1022
Died on 14th of October 1066
Harold II was born approximately 1022 in Wessex, his father the Earl of Wessex, and his mother was Gytha who was the great granddaughter of the King of Denmark and Norway. Harold and several of his brothers received titles, but when Harold's father died he became the most powerful man in England, except the King of course, although he had married Harold's sister Edith. In 1064 Harold was shipwrecked off the coast of Normandy, and it was during this time that he swore his allegiance in an oath to William Duke Of Normandy and his claim to the throne, which he would later deny. His brother Tostig had been bestowed titles, but this was fiercely resented by the Northumbrian Nobles, Harold eventually conceded to their wishes, and stripped his bother of the titles. Tostig would never forget this act by Harold, ensuring they became enemies, he was exiled to Normandy however, they were to later meet on the battle field, at the Battle Of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, when Tostig joined forces with William. Harold married Edith and had several children, Godwin, Edmund, Magnus, Gunhild, Gytha, Harold, and Ulf.
Edward The Confessor was King, and had named Harold as his heir, even though he had previously promised this to his cousin William of Normandy, Edward died in 1066 and was later buried in Westminster Abbey. Harold ascended to the throne on the 5th January in 1066 and was crowned the very next day, contentious from the start of his reign, riddled with challenges to the throne from William, Duke of Normandy, the King of Norway, and even his brother Tostig. Harold had fought successfully the forces of Tostig, but this had unlocked the door for William of Normandy to seize his opportunity to invade, Harold was diverted back to the south to meet William's onslaught, but his men were tired and already battle weary. But it was in the south, in Hastings, Sussex that a bloody battle ensued on the 14th October 1066. It was during this battle that Harold had been fatally wounded with an arrow through is eye, his two brothers Gyrth and Leofwine were also killed in battle. This was poignantly depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. At Harold's death just nine months after being crowned, William Of Normandy ascended to the throne and would rule as the first Norman Monarch William I, perhaps forever to be remembered as William The Conqueror. Harold was later buried at Waltham Abbey in Essex.
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