Normans Are Ready
William, Duke of Normandy and his Council of War are delighted by the intelligence received from their spies.
There is a belief that in Harold’s haste, some of the army may have been left behind to recover from the long march from York and will follow on later.
By contrast, William’s army seem well rested in their long established safe haven, at Hastings, and are ready for a fight. They had been dreading a long, drawn-out campaign and believe a swift engagement will be to their advantage.
The Norman army is getting ready to move from the security of Hastings and Hastings Castle to a new camp on Telham Hill, seven miles to the north.
My informants tell me of Duke William’s intention to meet Harold’s army close to the crossroads at Senlac Hill.
Sources close to the Duke admit that these strategic crossroads hold the key to the invasion.
Win here and William could be crowned King by Christmas.
I fear for England and our Saxon Rights and our Rule of Law. We must not submit to Norman dictatorship.
It will not be benevolent. We will be forced from our lands. Our lives will be controlled by fear and uncertainty. Taxation will destroy our way of life.
French will become our language. It is not the future that we want for our sons
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The Saxon Times were ‘privileged’ to have an audience with Duke William who said “ I am here in Hastings as a friend of the people. I come in peace. Do not be afraid for I will reward those that support me but be warned that if I do encounter opposition it will be dealt with severely, without conscience for I have God and right on my side.” His final words, before we were dismissed, commanded that a motte and bailey castle should be built on West Hill.
Hastings is an ideal stronghold, easily fortified with two commanding hills dominating the town and harbour.
To consolidate his position, Duke William has sent several troops of mounted soldiers to terrorise the country and look for signs of the English army.
The key is to gain control of the ridge at Senlac. He would then be able to march east and west along the ancient trackways or north using the old Roman road. If the ridge falls to William he can move to conquer England.
King Harold is 300 miles away in York and the Senlac ridge is undefended and is only seven miles from Hastings.
The Duke now has time to consolidate his position in Hastings. With control of the ridge Duke William can then advance to dominate the rest of the country – it is a masterful plan as befits the Duke. Nothing will be allowed to get in his way.
This issue of The Saxon Times is included in the 1066 Saxon Times Resource book: www.1066thesaxontimes.com