King Harold (King of England) fought Tostig (his brother) and “Harry” Haratada and won. Both Tostig and “Harry” were killed in the battle. “Harry’s” group came with 300 ships and left with only 25 after this battle. King Harold heard that William had landed at Hastings and was ready to battle King Harold for the throne of England. King Harold was ready to fight William, but his advisers pleaded with King Harold not to go and to only send his men. King Harold refused and traveled the 250 miles to Hastings in 9 days. Approximately 27.7 miles each day with all of their armor, equipment and supplies.
Since many of King Harold’s elite men were killed in battle against Tostig and “Harry”, he had to set up a system to acquire more men to help him win this battle against William. He took 50% of the men from each town and asked them to bring their own weapons. He told the men they only had to give him 30 days and then they can go back to their homes to recuperate for two months and then the other 50% of the men who were left behind would continue this battle. This tactic worked, but unfortunately it always left the King short with men for one month.
When Harold got to Hastings, he set himself up on top of Senlac hill. This was an excellent vantage point because he could view William’s tactics and since William had calvary (men on horseback), he knew that it would be difficult for the horses to attack on the hill.
William had calvary, Infantry (foot soldiers), and archers. King Harold had Housecarls (best warriors in England at the time) and supporting troops which were the men that he got from the towns. The Housecarls were the soldiers that would move very close to one another and with their shields, they would create a wall that William’s archers weren’t able to penetrate.
Examples of some of the soldiers involved in the Battle of Hastings.
Modern day picture of Senlac Hill. Notice the fence below the hill. King Harold and his troops were set up on top of the hill and William was on the flat piece of land below it.
Area where William probably set up his troops for battle.
This battle only lasted one day (October 14, 1066). It was said that they fought a little during the morning, took a brief break in the afternoon and then continued to fight. In fact, it is believed that William knew he was being beat badly and didn’t know how to break down the wall created by the housecarls. It is speculated that William began to retreat because he had noticed that the housecarls began to run down the hill and broke the wall periodically when they went after some of William’s men. This “scene” gave William the idea to retreat and see if the housecarls would react the same way it had before in the day. William’s hunch was correct and when the Housecarls saw William’s men leaving the battle, King Harold’s men thought they had won the battle and began to run down the hill in victory which had broken down the shield wall that they had created. Unfortunately for King Harold’s army, William was only bluffing and had his army turn around and attack.
This is an artist’s rendition of the battle.
It is also speculated that William had asked the Pope if he could use crossbows in the battle against King Harold since they were the most advanced weapon at that time. The Pope allegedly agreed that William could use them.
This is a picture of the Bayeux Tapestry. It is actually a cloth and not a tapestry. It is 230 feet long which shows the events leading up to events between William and Harold as well as the story of King Edward the Confessor and his deathbed. This “tapestry” ends with the Battle of Hastings. The tapestry consists of about fifty scenes in Latin. It is believed to have been commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s half-brother, and made in England in the 1070s.
Here is a piece of the tapestry which shows Harold being shot in the eye with an arrow which is believed how King Harold died. The picture to the right with “Interfectvs:Est” is in Latin which means (has been killed). Many people believe that this is referring to King Harold, but no one knows for sure if it is about King Harold or the slain person on the horse.
Here is a cartoon that is referring to King Harold and how he was killed. It is believe that William lost approximately 2, 000 men and the Saxons (King Harold’s army) lost around 4,000 with King Harold as one of them.
Even after the Battle of Hastings, the people of England did not want to accept that William the Conqueror was their new leader. William waited for two weeks for the nobles to come and submit to him, but they did not. William decided to head up to London and begin to take over the city. As he approached and about to take over the city, the English nobles cam and submitted to William, crowning him King on Christmas Day in 1066. William’s invasion is the last time that Britain was conquered b an outside force and earned him the nickname “the Conqueror”.
Battle of hastings with presentation notes
Duke William ~ King of the Normans..promised throne by Edward the Confessor & ChurchHarold ~ King of England took throne after Edwardthe Confessor died in January & on deathbed gave toHarold. He became King on January 5, 1066.
Fyrd Local Lord to supply men 50% of the men’s population men brought own weapons...pitch forks, axes, etc. only had to servethe king for 30 days The Fyrd system worked with 2 months well recuperation but always left one month unsupported!!!
Crossbows...may have been used at the Battle of Hastings by William’s forces