By March, the ‘Treacherous Tostig’ had sailed all that way to Denmark and on to Viborg, just for King Sweyn to tell him no.
‘I don’t want to turn against Harold, he’s family too. I’d rather fight side by side with him, against that Viking William, then support any of your ill thought out proposed invasion plans. You’ll get no help here.’
AN INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF KING HAROLD’S CLOSEST ADVISORS
Last night our Royal Reporter was able to capture this insight into a political strategy that may help England’s cause. Speaking anonymously, a noble Lord said:
“If I had my way, Harold would be sending out emissaries to Denmark and building up his family ties abroad. They’d send an army to help and it might stop William if we could show a united front. Those Vikings from Norway have been trouble for the last 250 years, looting, burning and pillaging, and everything else too. William’s got Viking blood and he’s just the same. We need to stop him at source, turn his people against him. Sometimes, the King is so stubborn he won’t listen to any advice, good or bad.”
It’s an interesting viewpoint and one that makes some sense but will King Harold take heed?
FITZOSBERN THROWS DOWN THE GAUNTLET
After spring begins, William summons another war council to meet at Lillebonne and they begin to draw up the invasion plans. FitzOsbern, Lord of Breteuil, announced that “I’ll furnish forty ships, manned, equipped and provisioned, who of you will be brave enough to follow my lead”. The gauntlet was thrown down to the assembled nobles, challenging their loyalty to great effect. The first battle was won.
Following the reports from Normandy, the talk on the streets of London dismisses William as delusional and paranoid. “He’s just like a spoilt child” one said. “Stamps his feet and throws a tantrum just like my four year old but my wife gives in to him and he gets what he wants in the end, the same as William”. Another said “It’s all because he didn’t get England. He’s just evil but we can’t get his people to see that, he’s got such a good propaganda machine that they all believe him – even that Pope chap in Rome.”
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.
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