Harold Godwinson

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Harold Godwinson (or Harold II) (Old English: Harold Gōdwines sunu) (c. 1022 – 14 October 1066) was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England.[1] Harold reigned from 6 January 1066 [2] until his death at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October of that same year, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England. Harold is one of only three Kings of England to have died in warfare, alongside Richard the Lionheart and Richard III.


Family background

Harold was a son of Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex, and his wife Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose supposed brother Ulf Jarl was the son-in-law of Sweyn I and the father of Sweyn II of Denmark.

Godwin and Gytha had several children, notably sons Sweyn, Harold, Tostig, Gyrth and Leofwine and a daughter, Edith of Wessex (1029–75), who became Queen consort of Edward the Confessor.

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