What began as a struggle between rival Earls of Northumbria quickly turned into a crisis that gave the English crown to William of Normandy, and changed the character of England forever.
IN 1065, the people of Northumbria rose up against their powerful Earl, Tostig Godwinson, the estranged brother of the King of England, Harold Godwinson.
But at the Battle of Fulford near York on the 20th of September 1066, Tostig regained his mini-kingdom in the north, raising the serious prospect that, backed by King Harald of Norway, he might now claim his brother’s crown.
The English king rushed up north with an army, and five days later put a stop to Tostig’s revolt at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire. But at that moment, with Harold fighting three hundred miles away, William of Normandy landed at Hastings on the south coast, and claimed the crown for himself.
Harold and his army raced down to meet him, but the journey south and the battles at Fulford and Stamford Bridge had taken their toll. Harold’s army was vanquished, and he himself fell fighting, pierced through the eye by an arrow.
William, Duke of Normandy, was now King of England.