Harold Godwinson


Harold Godwinson (also spelt Godwineson) reigned briefly as King Harold II of England from January to October 1066 CE, the momentous year which witnessed the Norman conquest and end of 500 years of Anglo-Saxon rule. Harold had been, as the Earl of Wessex, the most powerful man in England prior to his taking the throne, and his military accomplishments included successful campaigns in Wales in 1063-4 CE and victory over an invading army led by Harold Hardrada, king of Norway in September 1066 CE. In October 1066 CE Harold was killed and his army defeated at the Battle of Hastings, the first stage in William the Conqueror's dramatic takeover of England.

More about: Harold Godwinson


  • 1042 - 1066
    Reign of Edward the Confessor, king of England.
  • 1051
    William, Duke of Normandy, visits Edward the Confessor who, according to Norman sources, promises William the crown of England.
  • Apr 1053
    Harold Godwinson becomes the Earl of Wessex.
  • 12 Apr 1053
    Earl Godwin, Earl of Wessex, dies.
  • 1057
    Edgar Ætheling and his sisters Margaret and Cristina return from exile in Hungary to England.
  • 1063 - 1064
    Harold Godwinson, with help from his brother Tostig, launches a successful military campaign by land and sea against the king of Wales, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn.
  • Mar 1064
    Possible visit to Normandy by Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex. Norman writers would claim he was captured and held by William the Conqueror until he promised to be the Norman's vassal in England.
  • 1065
    A revolt in Northumbria against Tostig, the Earl of Northumbria, is put down by Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex.
  • 5 Jan 1066
    Death of Edward the Confessor at Westminster.
  • 6 Jan 1066
    Harold Godwinson is crowned Harold II, king of England, probably in Westminster Abbey.
  • 6 Jan 1066 - 14 Oct 1066
    Reign of Harold Godwinson, Harold II, king of England.
  • Aug 1066
    William, Duke of Normandy, prepares his invasion fleet to conquer England.
  • 20 Sep 1066
    Battle of Fulford Gate in which a force led by Harald Hardrada defeats an Anglo-Saxon army led by the Earls of Northumbria and Mercia.
  • 25 Sep 1066
    Battle of Stamford Bridge in which Harold Godwinson (Harold II) defeats an invading army led by Harald Hardrada, king of Norway.
  • 28 Sep 1066
    William the Conqueror's invading army lands at Pevensey in Sussex, southern England.
  • 14 Oct 1066
    The Battle of Hastings in which William, Duke of Normandy, defeats King Harold II of England.