t is the year 1066.The King Edwardthe Confessor hasdied. He has leftno heir. Englandfaces a crisis thereis no clearcandidate for king.Your Task.You are a memberof the Councilcalled the Witan itis your job tochose a new king.
•An experienced leader•A skilled warrior•English•A relative of the late king
Try to rank the 4 keyqualities in order ofimportance.
arold Godwinson, Earl ofWessex was the late king’sbrother-in -law. Harold Claimedthat he had been given thecrown on Edward’s death bed.He was an experienced warriorand had been earl of Wessexfor many years. But he wasbelieved to have murderedEdward’s brother.
illiam Duke of Normandy claimed thatEdward had promised him the crownof England when Edward died.He also claimed that HaroldGodwinson had sworn to support hisclaim to the throne. William saidHarold had sworn on the bones of asaint to help William become the nextking of England.
In 1016 England had aViking king called KingCnut. King Cnut was alsoKing of Norway andDenmark. King Cnuts’family ruled England until1042 when Edward theConfessor took the throne.King Cnut’s heirs said theywere the real Kings ofEngland.Harald Hardraada was Cnut’sheir.
t the Age of 51, HaraldHardraada was the mostrenowned soldier of theAge.”
dgar Atheling was the son of Edward theConfessors’ brother. But when Edwarddied Edgar was only 14 years old.
If you chose HaroldGodwinson well done! Giveyourself 10/10. Harold wasthe Witan’s choice. He wasEnglish and an experiencedsoldier. He understood howEngland should be governed.
If you chose Harald give yourself7/10. He was a great warrior andan experienced ruler. But to theEnglish he was a foreigner and theydidn’t want to be ruled by aforeigner.
If you chose William giveyourself 7/10. He was anexperienced ruler and askilled warrior but likeHarald Hardraada he was aforeigner.
If you chose Edgar giveyourself 3/10. AlthoughEdgar was a relative he wasfar too young to make agood king.