Issue 34

King Harold spoke to his assembled men late today.

“Duke William has an army of around 10,000 but we fought against such odds and won at Stamford Bridge.

We have tasted victory and victory will be ours once again.

I call upon my loyal fyrdmen to take up arms once more. Be ready to leave in five days and reinforcements will join us on the march to ‘the old hoar apple tree’ on Caldbec Hill, near the ridge at Senlac and Hastings

The second army will follow us the next day.

We men of Wessex know it well.

It is our land, our land to defend, defend the ridge at Senlac and we will win the war.”

The speech was met with a tremendous shout and a beating of shields. The horses shied but were soon calmed as the men drifted back to camp. The day that will decide the future of England will soon be upon us all.

This paper will have reporters traveling with the army to keep all our readers up to date with the army’s progress.

This issue of The Saxon Times is included in the 1066 Saxon Times Resource book:

In the defence of the Realm

Read the stories behind the headlines, Read The Saxon Times

a Westminster Abbey Drawing HR - Shaded

Eadgar Of West Minster, The Saxon Times Court Correspondent, takes a look at back at some of the headlines at the start of what has been a tumultuous New Year.

29th December 1065

West Minster Abbey set for Consecration but what should have been a Glorious Day was tinged with sadness.

The crowds that lined the streets, around the new Abbey and the Royal Palace on what should have been a day of great rejoicing, were much subdued.

King Edward, known and loved throughout the land as ‘The Confessor’, did not attend the ceremony. We understand, from a Court bulletin, that the King’s health had been failing for some time and yesterday he was too ill to walk the short distance from the Royal Palace. Inside sources close to the King appear to be greatly concerned and some believe that the King may not have long to live.

Militarily, he has had to rely on Wessex to maintain power but we have all enjoyed the benefit of comparative peace in our time. His death will create a power vacuum unless a strong leader steps forward to become King.

Sources close to the King indicate that there are three candidates who all believe that they have the right of accession and a valid claim to the throne.

As the King grows weaker by the day, and without an heir to succeed him, the achievements of Harold Godwinson cannot be overlooked.

His successes in the defence of the Realm have raised him to a position of such eminence that only his deficiency of royal blood can stand between him and the throne.


30th December 1065

It Is A Death Wish

Court Circular, The Palace of West Minster

A Court Bulletin confirms the continued concern for the health of King Edward the Confessor. His wife Edith, who is Harold Godwinson’s sister, and Harold Godwinson have both been constant at his bedside.

According to those close to Harold, King Edward spoke to Earl Godwinson of his fears for the future and said; “I commend my wife and all my kingdom to your care”.

There has been no formal confirmation from the Palace to confirm or deny this statement but it is quite possible that it will influence the Witan in their decision as to the succession.


The Struggle for England

The Candidates

Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex. Anglo-Saxon.

William of Normandy, Duke of Normandy, Resident of Normandy.

Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, Resident of Norway


For details of stockists of The Saxon Times visit History Walks at:

The Saxon Times and The Saxon Times Classroom Resources are available from History Walks and from TES: