Previous Talk

1066 and all that

The entry below is a synopsis of our speakers talk on 21st September 2016


The Presentation this week was by Dr John Derry (Emeritus Professor in History at Newcastle University) entitled “1066 and all that”.

John’s talk covered the period 1016 to 1066 and covered the reigning kings covering that period along with the process that changed the kings from death on the battle field to rebellion and usurping the position by fair or foul ways.

The influence of the Danish king Cnut highlighting the battles of Fulford which created a distraction to Harrold which threatened the country so he had to take his army up to York and defeat them at Stamford Bridge only to then be told that the Normand under William the Conqueror had landed in Kent and was ravishing the country so he had to march his men down to repulse them. Harrold had instructed his men to hold a ridge at Hastings but part way through the battle William feigned a retreat and when the English troops came down off the ridge to follow them they sprang the trap, the Norman cavalry mowed down the English infantry. The battle was then lost and William was injured and killed when the cavalry broke through the English lines.

The intrigue of the nobles claiming to be the rightful heir to the English throne based on promises extorted and religious bias was also mentioned. John finished by saying if Harrold had waited for his reinforcements or the infantry has acted on his orders rather giving chase to the Norman retreat the outcome would have been very different.

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