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Re: Scandinavians and Normans
I tend to side a bit more with Harold and whether he heard Edward the
Confessor say anything useful or not, I'm sure those around were glad to put
their weight behind Harold and faulted him not for ignoring the trick
Willful Will pulled with the Bible. Their only alternative was Edwards 1/2
nephew's tiny son who probably only spoke Hungarian. Harold did a truely
remarkable feet to beat back and kill his brother and the last remaining
Viking chief that were just happening to attack in York at the same time
that William was massing in Normandy. Then he got back with his ragged army
almost in time to defeat William. It really was a close call for history.
William was nearly defeated and he made one more desperate charge. If
Harold would have had a few more hours for his arriving people/soldiers to
swell his ranks he could have beaten William and changed history. But
battles have turned on less than that.
I will have some added idea on Rollo and Christianity in the web
suppliment following the Summer article on him. Can you give me your
reference on Edwards much earlier promise of the throne to William?
From: J. R. Carpenter Jr. <gra_jrc@SHSU.EDU>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 11:34 AM
Subject: Scandinavians and Normans
>Laurel and the list,
>Very good synopsis, thanks.
>As far as the Angles, Saxon, and Jutes go, well Angles never made much
>continental history. Their claim to fame was being part of the
>The Saxons were the bulk of the Anglo-Saxons. Before that, they were one of
>the last Germanic tribes converted over to Christianity, with great
>difficulty. They had a lot of history on the continent. As for the Jutes,
>they never made much of a mark on the continent either, but I may be wrong
>as they were the origin for the name of Jutland. I think they joined the
>Angles and Saxons just in the nick of time.
>Didn't Rollo and company agree to convert to Christianity when given their
>duchy? I thought that and the recognition of the overlordship of the King
>France were the two main conditions. There were some isolated pockets of
>Northmen in Normandy who resisted becoming romanized Normans for 2 or 3
>generations (they kept their Norse longer and were the last to convert),
>they had been romanized by the time of the Conquest. King Edward the
>Confessor had many Norman advisors etc in his court. He was maybe even more
>of a Norman than an Anglo-Saxon. He had promised the throne of England to
>William years before Harold became anything of a royal possibility. Harold
>once swore an oath to William recognizing William's right to the English
>crown in Normandy or Brittany when he was there. Harold was on a voyage and
>was shipwrecked and William kinda rescued him, but also kinda kept him
>at hand too. There was some controversy over the oath, as Harold thought
>that maybe it wouldn't "stick", but William had hidden a Bible under
>something Harold was touching, therefore he "swore upon a Bible." There was
>also controversy in Harold's coronation in London. Apparently he was the
>only one who heard Edward name him his successor on his deathbed, and
>immediately jumped up and claimed the throne. I think Harold was crowned
>quicker than ususal, reflecting his concern over William. Of course,
>was pissed: he gathered his followers and mercenaries, and the rest is
>history. The Irish PRENDERGAST family had their origin in William's Flemish
>mercenaries, whether they took part in the Conquest or came a little later.
>I am a Prendergast descendent. One of the main points in William getting
>Papal approval or acquiescence was Harold's breaking of his oath.
>The French were a mixture of Germanic Frankish etc and Celtic Gaulic blood
>with a little Roman blood mixed in, but speaking a Romance language. The
>English were Germanic Teutons, later adding in Scandinavian Danish blood
>from the Danelaw settlers mainly in the north. The Scandinavians were
>Teutons, and regarded the English as cousins. Cnute even reigned over a
>short-lived superkingdom of Denmark, England, and Norway(?) in the early
>1100s. I think he was the one who supposedly put his chair in the surf and
>commanded it to stop. The "pure" Celts of Britain were driven to Wales,
>Scotland, Cornwall, and the Islands, and there resisted Anglo-Saxon and
>Norman cultural invasion for a while. However, it was the interesting
>mixture of descendents of Normans, Welsh, and Flemish settlers in Wales
>were the main component of the "English" invasion of Ireland starting in
>1170s. The Prendergasts of Ireland were Cambro-Normans. And the Scots, who
>also had some Norse blood in them, were lucky enough to get the Norman
>that has produced us Sinclairs! And it was the Norman-Scots (is that the
>correct term?) who were responsible for reintroducing British blood back
>into the Norman monarchy in England.
>Please don't roast me too badly on errors here, this is from memory.
>Rick (descendant of Alexander SINKLER)
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