Stamford Bridge

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Stamford Bridge

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:14 pm

On this Date in 1066 Harold Godwinson, Saxon King of England defeated a Viking Army led by one of the foremost warriors of the time; Harald Hadreda at Stamford Bridge.

Sadly, in a way, Harold, a good king and great warrior had another army to defeat, that of William, Duke of Normandy over 100 miles to the South at "Senlac , in Saxon, subsequently called Hastings.

Harold's army was exhausted afyer a forced march to meet the Norman Threat in the South.

Nevertheless, they were only narrowly defeated by Duke Williams army, which army included the heaviest Cavalry of the day.

the invasion and Battle is shown on the "Bayeux Tapestry".

I do not know who actually wove the Tapestry which is an invaluable sorce regarding the events and also the dress of the Norman Army,

Harold is said to have taken an arrow in the eye, dispriting the Saxons after the House Carls Had formed a Shield wall, a tactic well practiced by the Saxons.

As far as I know, the Shield wall resisted all attacks and should have been relatively resistant to archery. One would recall that the Carls and Harold, it would be thought, were well mailed.

In the Tapestry I think i recall Harold being shown without a helmet.

Perhaps he lost it in a previous melee, of which there were many that day.

The Saxons had called up there "Militia" called the "fyrd" according to there custom and, even though defeated and replaced by an iron feudal system, Norman Kings could still call for a raising of the fyrd for decades after the Conquest.

See : "The Road from Hastings" Morgan LLewellyn, "The Shield Ring" by Rosemary Sutcliffe and "The Firedrake" by Cecilia Holland; for a feel for the Times.

An Army consisting of Saxons and Anglo/Normans defeated a Norman Army in France some years later.

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