A Short-Lived Reign

bayeaux1066 is a date that tends to stick in my mind.  It’s a significant date in British history, because it’s the year of the Battle of Hastings, when the Anglo-Saxons were defeated, and England came under the control of the Normans.

This is also the start of the Medieval period.

Most of the Anglo-Saxons became serfs under the new feudal system introduced by the Normans, while some of the higher ranked Anglo-Saxons were incorporated into the Normal hierarchy…but the transition was slow, painful and at times bloody.

Today in 1066, however, was the day when Harold, Earl of Wessex, was crowned King of England.  Harold was England’s last king and he lasted a very short nine months, as the Battle of Hastings where he died and England was lost was in October of that year.

It’s not the shortest reign in history, but it’s getting up there.

The picture at the top right is of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the Battle of Hastings, among other events during that time.  I’m quite sure you’ve seen the tapestry before.  It’s one of the few rare resources from those times, that shows political events, clothing and more, as well as being a primary example of the art of the eleventh century, and it is very well known.

Which is why I always tend to roll my eyes when I see Marion in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves apparently sewing the tapestry itself, as well as the real tapestry being used as a backdrop for the movie opening credits…Robin Hood, Prince John and King Richard didn’t exist until a century or so after the real tapestry was created (which is thought to be in the 1070’s).

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