Did Edward the Confessor Give the Crown to Duke William?

In my thoughts, this is without doubt one of the most provocative questions of the Center Ages. In 1066, Duke William acted with the surety of somebody who believed in what he was doing. To take such a giant threat, he will need to have had good motive. William didn't have a drop of royal blood in him, and his relationship to King Edward was a bit convoluted; Queen Emma, Edward's mom, was his great-aunt. There have been nearer blood-ties to the English throne than his. So his declare will need to have relied on Edward's alleged promise. Apparently, this declare comes virtually completely from the Norman chroniclers; the English chroniclers are silent on the topic. That in itself is sufficient to increase some eyebrows. Or is it?

A lot of the argument is predicated on whether or not Duke William crossed the Channel and visited King Edward whereas the Godwine clan was in exile. Florence of Worcester, writing a half century later, states that he did. Fashionable historians appear to conclude that this was unlikely, as William was nonetheless most likely combating to safe his personal throne. After all, this go to or non-visit would decide whether or not William's declare was first-hand or second-hand. Did Edward personally declare William his inheritor, or did the announcement come by Archbishop Robert of Jumièges?

There's a reference {that a} grateful Edward, nonetheless in exile, promised William the crown of their youthful days. I feel we will safely discard this one, since Edward was about 25 years older than William. It has been advised that Edward was throwing round guarantees of succession (type of like Elizabeth I and guarantees of marriages). If Duke William did go to England in 1052, it's attainable that Edward, cocky after having rid himself of the troublesome Godwines, was asserting his will. Perhaps he meant it, possibly he did not. Absolutely Edward knew he did not have the suitable to present away his crown; that call was made by the Witan.

If we settle for the idea that William didn't go to Edward in England, then the large promise was most likely delivered by Archbishop Robert, presumably after his outlawry on the heels of Godwine's return in 1052. There appears to be little doubt that Robert kidnapped the hostages Wulfnoth and Hakon when he unceremoniously fled from London. Whether or not or not this was with Edward's connivance is unsure, although it will need to have mirrored unfavorably on the King since they have been Edward's hostages. If Robert did forcibly abduct the boys, this might clarify why his exit was so violently resisted; maybe there was a last-ditch effort to save lots of Godwin's son and grandson.

What did Robert do with the hostages? Finally he turned them over to Duke William. It has been advised he advised the Duke that King Edward declared William his inheritor with the approval of the Nice Earls, and was sending the 2 hostages as surety. In all probability, William was inclined to just accept this provide; why not? All of it appeared fairly convincing on the floor.

This leads us to Harold Godwineson's fateful go to in 1064, which opens up one other slew of questions. The Norman chroniclers asserted that he got here on King Edward's orders to affirm the promise of the crown to William. Or did he come to barter the discharge of the hostages? Or was he merely blown throughout the Channel by a storm? Regardless, he turned an unwilling pawn in William's grand plan. It seems that the Duke had already made up his thoughts to go for it! Harold wasn't permitted to depart till he swore to help William's declare for the English throne. Though he swore the oath beneath duress, breaking his vow in 1066 was destined to comply with Harold till the tip, and possibly inspired the Pope to throw his help behind the Norman Duke-not an insignificant issue.

May it's that Archbishop Robert made up the entire Edward story, as a private revenge on Godwine and England for having handled him so shabbily? If he did fabricate the entire thing, it was a revenge served up chilly, as a result of Robert died a few years later and by no means noticed how far Duke William was keen to go.