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Last of the Vikings – Stamford Bridge, 1066

The next day, the royal council, known as the Witan , met and declared Godwinson king. An English king was proclaimed by the Witan - this gave Harold Godwinson the only claim to the throne by right. The Norman chroniclers reported that Edward had promised his distant relative, William, the throne in William was the only blood relative of Edward, but the English throne was not hereditary anyway.

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Claims that Edward promised the throne were probably made up by the rival sides after the event. The Bayeux Tapestry, which was made after the Conquest, shows Godwinson swearing an oath of support to William in a visit to Normandy in William was supported by the Pope.

He was helped by Godwinson's half-brother, Tostig. They fought in Crete, Italy and in Asia Minor.

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  4. These professional warriors were highly valued for their courage and loyalty; they had also high fighting skills and ability to carry out commands efficiently and without unnecessary questions. Harald Hardrada joined the Varangian Guard. He was a famous and respected military leader.

    Rich in combat experience and wealth Hardrada returned to Scandinavia in He had carefully prepared his campaign of reclaiming the Norwegian throne. Harada reached an agreement to share the rule of Norway with Magnus I.

    Harada was not happy with only being the king of Norway. He wanted to rule over Denmark as well, and he and his warriors plundered the country repeatedly, but the Danish King Svein Estridsson who lost almost every battle against Harald, managed to stain in power.

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    In , Harald and Sweyn reached a peace agreement. Knowing, Denmark could not be his, the warrior King Hardrada sought new grounds that he and his men could conquer. Hardrada's eyes were now on England. King Hardrada allied himself with Tostig Godwinson, Harold's brother, who had been deprived of the earldom of Northumbria by Edward in William gathered a fleet and was ready to sail across the Channel to the south coast of England, Harald gathered an invasion force in the north.

    Wings of the Storm

    The Norman army had only 7, men. It was terrible fight, in which the armies of Mercia and Northumbria were defeated. Hardrada and Tostig were killed. With the death of King Hardrada the Viking Age ended.

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    Hardrada was harsh ruler who often solved disputes with force, but his reign was one of peace and progress for Norway. He advanced Christianity in Norway, built churches, imported bishops, developed a Norwegian currency and a viable coin economics.

    Mighty King Harald Hardrada- The Last Great Viking And Most Feared Warrior Of His Time

    His contacts with the Byzantine Empire and Kiev helped Norway to expand its international trade. King Hardrada also founded the capital Oslo. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of AncientPages. John Marsden - Harald Hardrada.

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