halesworth

A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.

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Volume 1



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Saxon Royal Succession

When Cnut routed Ethelred to take the English crown in 1016, he married Emma, the widow of Ethelred in order to be linked to the English royal house. On his death in 1035 he was succeeded for five years by his eldest son Harold 'Harefoot' (1035 – 1040) and then by his younger son Hardecnut who only reigned for two years (1040 - 42).

The English crown then went to Edward, a son of Ethelred who was happily accepted by the English nation as he was the great, great, great grandson of Alfred the Great and so a true English monarch. He became known as Edward the Confessor and reigned until January 5th 1066.

As King Edward had no children, the question of his successor caused problems. His nearest relative was a nephew's son Edgar who was only a child, so not suitable. In those times there were no definite rules laid down, so the crown often went to the man named by the dying king. Edward named Harold Godwin, Earl of Wessex on his deathbed. Harold was not only a powerful force in the land but also the brother of Edith, Edward's Queen. The King died on the 5th of January 1066, and Harold's succession was confirmed by the Witan, with Harold being crowned King of England on the next day, the 6th of January, the day of Edward the Confessor's burial.


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