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

IT’S A PORTENT OF DOOM, WE’RE ALL DOOMED

FEAR TERROR OR JUST SUPERSTITION

‘Then over all England there was seen a sign in the skies such as had never been seen before. It’s a sign, a portent, the people cried and they were afraid’

Comet

Science Correspondent, Godric of Rochester

Last night, a truly spectacular event marked the occasion of the Spring Solstice. One reveller tells of a star four times as big as anything else in the night sky and nearly as bright as the moon. Another said that it travelled slowly across London and seemed to hang over us. Some were terrified, nothing like it had ever been seen before, but the general opinion at the time was that “they should stop being so melodramatic, after all, if you looked at it nothing bad happened, you didn’t go blind or mad so what could go wrong.”

THE VIEW OF THE CHURCH

No one from the English Church or The Abbey of West Minster was available for comment but I was able to interview the monk Eilmer of Malmesbury.

It should be said that Eilmer’s observations are his own opinions but he did seem knowledgeable about the heavens. It was perhaps more of an outburst then a reasoned argument and Eilmer’s ideas are somewhat questionable. He said, “I’ve divined that the ‘star’ was a true portent of evil and that disaster will soon be upon us.”

IT’S A PORTENT OF DOOM, WE’RE ALL DOOMED

I had come upon Eilmer as he was talking to himself, surely a sign of lunacy. Looking up at the heavens he said “You’ve come, you’ve come, you’ve come again have you, you source of tears to mothers, you’re evil. I hate you! It is long since I saw you; but as I see you now you are much more terrible, for I see you brandishing the downfall of my country. I hate you!”

Dismissed as mad by those around, his comments were overheard by some close to the King. They did appear concerned, even worried and after some discussion decided to let the King know of Eilmer’s doom laden speech.

What will happen now to Eilmer I’m not sure but the general advice was that he should get back to the safety of Malmesbury as quickly as he could.

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 visit: www.1066thesaxontimes.com/home

 

It Is The ‘Work Of The Devil’

Special Edition: Science Extra

Work of the Devil

They Call It ‘Printing’!

Pilgrims from overseas, who have visited Winchester to sit at the tomb of St Swithun, have revealed some extraordinary tales from mysterious eastern lands.

Discounted by clergy as the work of the devil, it appears possible to create books many times over in “a blink of the eye”’ according to one report, and “without the use of pens”.

It has been incredulously greeted by many monks who fear for their future as illuminating manuscripts is their sole mission in life. “What will happen to me” said one monk who wished not to be named, “I’ve trained years for this job and it’s all I know. If it’s true and they bring those infernal machines to England it will change the way the church works and not for the better. Mark my words, those devil machines will have to go. Progress my foot, what about the rights of the workers”

I catch up with one of the pilgrims, Brother Osmund, and whilst he confirms the rumours he admits that the story is at least third hand. He heard it from a friend of a friend of a friend, so to speak, who had ventured east by boat from Byzantium.

Brother Osmund recounts this tale.

“In a land far away to the east, beyond belief, there is a world that has invented the ability to produce many copies of the same book. This country is known as China and they have called what they do ‘Printing’.

They have carved wooden blocks of letters and words and have a machine that once the characters are inked, presses the blocks onto paper and then rubs the back of the paper. It is truly amazing.”

“They’ve printed many copies of their religious writings, 5000 scrolls each. Just think what we could do with the Bible. If people could read, they could read the Bible themselves. It would be a whole new world. We could spread the word far and wide. Everybody will share in the Holy Trinity”.

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 visit: www.1066thesaxontimes.com/home

YOU CAN PULL THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE.

1066 The Saxon Times

blog-william.jpg

COUNCIL OF ROUEN 2nd February 1066

The Duke summoned his chief magnates to a council at Rouen with the intention of outlining his plans and drumming up support for a Norman invasion of England.

The reception to his war plans was chilly to say the least, ‘an unimpressive presentation that failed to address how the money would be raised for such an enormous venture’ said one Earl. ‘It’s fine riding off across country to besiege a castle but overseas is something else and there are more like me that feel the same’.

YOU CAN PULL THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE.

‘Easily led, fickle, no spine’ were just some of the comments that were heard on the streets of Rouen that night. ‘Dragging the common man into another war just so that the rich can line their pockets even more. It’s us that has to do the real fighting’ was heard more than once. The mood was sombre after the decision of the Council was read out from the steps of the Cathedral.

A DECLARATION OF WAR

“It is the decision of The Council of Rouen that as from today, we are at war with England.”

For all the stories behind the headlines, 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 visit:          1066 Harold’s Way

Normans Rebuffed at Gates of London

The Valiant Battle of Southwark

It was a valiant effort that much cheered the volunteers atop the city walls.

Issue 51

Duke William may have hoped to seize the city by surprise, or it may have just been a diversionary tactic but in the aftermath of the so called “Battle of Southwark” the heinous Normans, true to form, sacked and burnt Southwark.

By the morning, the fires had died and the Normans had gone.

This excerpt is taken from the pages of The Saxon Times, Newspaper of the Year, 1066 and is included in The Saxon Times Resource book of downloadable resources.

www.1066thesaxontimes.com