Trouble Up North

The Saxon Times 

31st August 1066

Norse 

HARDRADA’S INVASION DIARY

Harald Hardrada calls to arms his Viking brothers and embarks from the Isle of Solund. His invasion fleet consists of 300 warships and about 12000 men. It is a formidable force and prides itself on its fierce history.

SHETLAND

16th August and Hardrada reaches the Shetland Islands. There is ‘overlord business’ to take care of as befitting a colony of Norway and the stay on Shetland is prolonged for a few days. The men use the time for a little rest and recreation in the true Viking way and there are a few battered and weary bodies when the call comes to embark ship for the next journey.

ORKNEY

By the end of the week, they reach the Orkney Islands, another Norwegian protectorate.

To cement his position as King and to seal the alliance, Hardrada betroths his daughters to the brothers Paul Thorfinnsson and Erland Thorfinnsson who jointly rule the Isles as Earls of Orkney.

It is no coincidence that the Earls ‘agree’ to provide reinforcements for the Norse army and they sail to Scotland with Hardrada at the end of August.

VIKING FEAST FIT FOR A KING

Hardrada spends the rest of August feasting, renewing and accepting new oaths of fealty.

A horse was sacrificed to the old Gods, spitted and roasted until it fell off the bone. Salt fish and pork and goat added courses to the feast with plenty of fresh heavy bred to mop up the grease and gravy.

Some would use the bred as a plate, rather than the wooden bowls laid out for Hardrada, and their fingers instead of the sharp knives and spoons – made from wood, horn or animal bone. For the King they had been carved and decorated in the form of a dragon.

For the lesser tables, there was stew from the great iron cauldron over the fire. The stew, of boiled lamb bones, beans, peas, carrots, turnips and whatever else could be found, had been simmering for the last few days. The smoke from this fire and the one for the spit, roasting the horse, left the great long hall full of smoke.

A thin layer of fat has formed over the stew that softens the bred and which the men seem to enjoy although there is little appetite for the fresh fruit and the honey on buttered bred.

There is beer and more beer but Hardrada seems to prefer his mead made from the local honey and drunk from a silvered and decorated animal horn. The men get louder, the more they drink and soon start to sing the old Norse songs before falling asleep on the floor of the Great Hall.

For the full report behind these headlines and the reports, read 1066 The Saxon Times and experience the Norman Conquest through the eyes of the Saxon Times reporters.

For more information on The Saxon Times and to LOOK INSIDE visit: www.1066thesaxontimes.com/home

 

Hostile Takeover Planned

The Saxon Times

1066: AUGUST NORWEGIAN NEWS

 TOSTIG’S TALES

europe-square-1.jpgTostig has finally found someone that will listen to him, listen to whatever tales he can tell and what tales they are.

He has convinced Harald Hardrada of Norway that England is ripe for the picking. Harold is down on the South Coast waiting for an expected invasion by Duke William of Normandy and the north lies unprotected.

“By the time that William invades England we shall control Northumbria and Mercia, re-taking the old Viking north” he whispers in Hardrada’s ear.

“Imagine, your Norse warriors striking fear into the North-East again, just like the old days. We can sail down the coast, sacking, looting and pillaging and be in York inside three weeks. Such riches, such wealth, such land and all yours for the taking.

You will become ‘the chosen one’ sweeping all before you.

There will be renewed pride in your fierce history. It will be the year to end all years, the war to end all wars.

We could crown you King by the end of the year.”

TOSTIG’S TREACHERY

It is Tostig’s treachery and promises of easy pickings that persuades King Harald III Hardrada of Norway to invade England.

One thing Tostig does well, the only thing Tostig does well, is to flatter and massage an ego.

His pitch is now to throw himself behind Hardrada’s claim to the throne just to spite his brother Harold.

If Tostig cannot have the throne he will try to stop Harold Godwinson’s reign at any cost but be warned, if things do not go well for Hardrada, Tostig and Copsig will switch sides at the drop of a hat.

For the full report behind these headlines, read 1066 The Saxon Times and experience the Norman Conquest through the eyes of the Saxon Times reporters.

For more information and to LOOK INSIDE visit: The Saxon Times

June 1066: News of Tostig and William

Title

TOSTIG’S TORTUOUS TRAVELS

Tostig’s European Tour continues.  ‘Once I get to the Orkneys, it will be easy to sail to Norway to meet Harald Hardrada. He too has a claim to the throne and has an axe to grind with Harold’ said Tostig.

IS HARALD HARDRADA TOSTIG’S LAST HOPE?

Reports suggest that on 2nd June Tostig did indeed sail to Norway. He thinks that he has a ‘good idea’ that will appeal to King Harald Hardrada.

If Hardrada believes that any campaign with Tostig will succeed he is more stupid than he looks. Believe me when I say that he is doomed, he is really doomed. All Tostig’s ideas ultimately prove disastrous.

A BLESSING IN DISGUISE

On the 17th June, a Charter for the Holy Trinity in Caen was ratified by William and confirmed the status of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity. Work had started on this Benedictine monastery in 1062 as a penance to appease the Bishop of Rouen following William’s marriage to Matilda of Flanders.

Following the dedication of the Abbey, sources close to the Duke suggested that it was a further example of William’s godliness.

COMMENT

I believe that William is profiting from the Papal Blessing and that the dedication of the Abbey, at this time, is more than coincidence. I suggest that it is all propaganda, designed to woo the people of Normandy to follow William on some kind of religious crusade.

It seems that you can pull the wool over people’s eyes all the time.

For the full report behind these headlines and the reports, read 1066 The Saxon Times and experience the Norman Conquest through the eyes of the Saxon Times reporters.

For more information on The Saxon Times and to LOOK INSIDE visit: www.1066thesaxontimes.com/home

Next Talk– 1066, Duke William’s March on London

2019 Williams Way Dover

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1066 William’s March on London

14th October 1066 seems such a terminal date in English history but life continued.

‘1066 William’s March on London’ is an engaging account of what happened next as Duke William sought to consolidate his invasion of Anglo-Saxon England.

This is the story of Duke William’s strategy that culminates in his coronation at Westminster Abbey on 25th December 1066 and ends on New Year’s Eve.

Portrayed by his chroniclers as ‘a generous and accommodating man’ the reality is a little different as his plan unfolds and he cuts a wave of destruction across southern England with little opposition.

This talk delves a little deeper into the background and intrigue that surrounded the important events of that October, November and December starting with the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings.

The talk is based on all the evidence available for William’s march to London and brings it together in a logical, understandable and entertaining format.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

OUR DARKEST HOUR

THIS COUNTRY NEEDS YOU

Royal Correspondent Eadgard of West Minster

Reading a prepared statement from the steps of West Minster Palace, King Harold II has this to say to the Nobility of England.

i Your Country Needs You HR“There is now no doubt as to Duke William’s intentions against our Island State. England is set to face its darkest hour since the Viking Invasions and we must be prepared.

We know that we have right on our side and our belief in God’s will, will not waver.

This will be a fight to preserve the very democracy that we hold dear and every Englishman should be ready to fight.

I now call you all to arms. The battle may be tomorrow, next month or the month after that and it will be fierce but be assured, we will all stand side by side in the defence of the realm.

It is God’s Will”

Harold Rex.

TOSTIG’S TROUBLES

Tostigs Travels v2

TOSTIG’S TROUBLES

Chief Reporter: Ethelred of Shaftsbury

Such stories Tostig must weave to get Baldwin Vth of Flanders and Duke William to agree to his ‘invasion’ plans. They both must be soft in the head or perhaps the simple truth is that it is the best way to get rid of the little toad. ‘Give him his ships, some men and let him do battle with King Harold. With any luck it will be the last that we see of him’.

We can now report that on May 1st, Tostig set sail for the Isle of Wight with sixty ships primarily to commandeer men, money and supplies from this unguarded outpost of Wessex.

News from Kent filtered back to this paper that Tostig had occupied the Kent port of Sandwich where he got more men and ships but he was forced to retreat when the King sent forces against him – another battle lost. Sailing round to the Isle of Thanet he joins up with that other exile from his Northumbrian days, Copsig

For the full report behind these headlines and the reports, read 1066 The Saxon Times and experience the Norman Conquest through the eyes of the Saxon Times reporters.

For more information on The Saxon Times and to LOOK INSIDE visit: www.1066thesaxontimes.com/home

HAS THE FYRD BEEN SUMMONED TO EARLY?

KING HAROLD SUMMONS THE FYRD

On April 1st, 1066, King Harold II took action in defence of the Realm and summoned the ‘Fyrd’ to watch over the coasts. There are watch posts all along the south coast from Bosham to Dover. The Fyrd is the Anglo-Saxon militia and is made up of men drawn from the farms, villages and towns of southern England.

Osgar Shield Landscape

EDITORIAL

HAS THE FYRD BEEN SUMMONED TO EARLY?

The ‘Summoning of the Fyrd’ seems to be at odds with the intelligence received recently from Normandy. Duke William’s preparations have only just begun and it is unlikely that all the ships required for the invasion will be completed for another two months at least.

Of course, there is always that loose cannon Tostig to think about but he has little support in Wessex and there is little to suggest that he has the money, power or men to mount a serious invasion attempt.

It may be a calculated show of strength by the King causing William, and his nobles, second thoughts about invading our England.

Let’s just hope that the Fyrd do prove to be an effective defence.

For the full report behind these headlines and the reports, read 1066 The Saxon Times and experience the Norman Conquest through the eyes of the Saxon Times reporters.

For more information on The Saxon Times and to LOOK INSIDE visit: www.1066thesaxontimes.com/home