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Re: King Edward's promise of throne to Duke William


>Yes, your narrative matches all that I have read on this subject plus it
>caused me to reread the Svein Estrithson account.  I have found nothing
>about Edward promising the throne to Svein but who knows.  Svein had a
>better claim on the English throne being the nephew of England's former King
>Knut while William the Conqueror was the great nephew of Queen Emma (St.

I'll get the reference. But it said in essence that it was another one of
EC's capricious remarks.

>    Don't you think that Wm. the Conqueror (WC) must have known by 1052 when
>the first plans were discussed to find Edward the Exile(EE)in Hungary, that
>Edward the Confessor (EC) had no intention of letting him have the throne.
>I think it is very possible that from that point
>William must have begun to think that he might need to develop other ways to
>gain the throne.

WC didn't let the legitimacy of the claim stand in his way of making it. I
think we have to separate the claim from the legitimacy of the claim. Kinda
like what a lawyer does in court with "truth".

>    The author agrees that WC really believed that he had been designated as
>EC's successor or else he wouldn't have taken such an immense risk with the
>invasion.  So the blame seems to hang over the banished Archbiship Robert of
>Jumieges as you said.  There is much detail concerning all the events of
>this time that seem to point to him as the instigator.

If we could only know that, and why, and what EC's intentions were if he was
a part of it!

>    Harold's visit to Normandy was recorded only in the Norman writings
>written around 1067-70 with the specific purpose of justifying William's
>claim to the English throne.  They give no specific date of his visit
>loosely put it around 1054-5. The Norman chronicles say that Harold was sent
>by EC to confirm his earlier promise of the succession to Duke William and
>to swear fealty to him.  However little had changed from 1051 except that

I have it that Harold went to Brittany in ca 1064, when he was
captured/rescued by WC. I'll double check that.

>healthy enough to go hunting in autumn of 1065.  Also remember that since
>1052 everyone knew that  EC  had been working on his plan to find his half
>nephew Edward the Athling in Hungary to replace him so why would WC believe
>him when he supposedly was saying now that he was renewing his pledge of the
>throne to WC?

EC was a political player. He was lucky to have died with the crown still on
his head.

>    We can blame Archbishop Robert but it seems to me WC was really gullible
>or wanted the throne so badly that he cast all reason aside or else the
>writers of the Norman chronicles convinced us of WC's true belief in a
>ficticious pledge and we are the gullible ones.

I don't think WC was gullible at all. He was smart -- he seized upon a
statement that ended up giving a duke a kingdom.

>    Another interesting note is that in May 1066 Tosti had  tried to attack
>England and was provided aid by a large flemish fleet of his brother-in-law,
>Baldwin V OF Flanders, who was also a  relation of WC.  This author in many
>places put holes in the Norman account of history over and over again.
>There are so many details here.  We only hear the Norman version of history.

To the victor belongs the spoils. And one of those spoils is the pen that
writes the history.

The Flemish element is interesting. The Flemish royalty was related to
Norman royalty. The Flemish supplied many soldiers and mercenaries for WC.
In 1102, widespread flooding in Flanders ended up with the result of a large
quantity of Flemings being settled in Pembrokeshire, Wales. About that time,
the Norman King of England (Henry II, I think) began re-settling the pockets
of Flemings in England (from the Conquest) into Pembrokeshire, "Little
England Beyond Wales." Thus, he rid himself of an irritant in his kingdom,
and visited upon the Welsh the rebellious Flemish nature. Little did he know
that the mixture of the Normans, Welsh, and Flemish would start the
"adventures" of England in Ireland, the consequences of which we read in the
newspaper today.

One comment I read about the Normans was that they were the Saracens of
Christianity. An apt description if you ask me.

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