William the Conqueror
William I known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later; the rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son. William was the son of Duke of Normandy, by Robert's mistress Herleva, his illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy that plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke and for their own ends. In 1047 William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process, not complete until about 1060.
His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders. By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointment of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church, his consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, by 1062 William secured control of the neighbouring county of Maine. In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There were other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, named the next king by Edward on the latter's deathbed in January 1066. William argued that Edward had promised the throne to him and that Harold had sworn to support William's claim. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London.
He made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, by 1075 William's hold on England was secure, allowing him to spend the majority of the rest of his reign on the continent. William's final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In 1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey listing all the landholdings in England along with their pre-Conquest and current holders. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France, was buried in Caen, his reign in England was marked by the construction of castles, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire but instead continued to administer each part separately. William's lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, his second surviving son, William Rufus, received England.
Norsemen first began raiding in. Permanent Scandinavian settlement occurred before 911, when Rollo, one of the Viking leaders, King Charles the Simple of France reached an agreement surrendering the county of Rouen to Rollo; the lands around Rouen became the core of the duchy of Normandy. Normandy may have been used as a base when Scandinavian attacks on England were renewed at the end of the 10th century, which would have worsened relations between England and Normandy. In an effort to improve matters, King Æthelred the Unready took Emma of Normandy, sister of Duke Richard II, as his second wife in 1002. Danish raids on England continued, Æthelred sought help from Richard, taking refuge in Normandy in 1013 when King Swein I of Denmark drove Æthelred and his family from England. Swein's death in 1014 allowed Æthelred to return home, but Swein's son Cnut contested Æthelred's return. Æthelred died unexpectedly in 1016, Cnut became king of England. Æthelred and Emma's two sons and Alfred, went into exile in Normandy while their mother, became Cnut's second wife.
After Cnut's death in 1035, the English throne fell to Harold Harefoot, his son by his first wife, while Harthacnut, his son by Emma, became king in Denmark. England remained unstable. Alfred returned to England in 1036 to visit his mother and to challenge Harold as king. One story implicates Earl Godwin of Wessex in Alfred's subsequent death. Emma went into exile in Flanders until Harthacnut became king following Harold's death in 1040, his half-brother Edward followed Harthacnut to England. William was born in 1027 or 1028 at Falaise, Duchy of Normandy, most towards the end of 1028, he was the only son of Duke Robert I, son of Duke Richard II. His mother, was the daughter of Fulbert of Falaise, she was a member of the ducal household, but did not marry Robert. Instead, she married Herluin de Conteville, with whom she had two sons – Odo of Bayeux and Robert, Count of Mortain – and a daughter whose name is unknown. One of Herleva's brothers, became a supporter and protector of William during his minority.
Robert had a daughter, Adelaide, by another mistress. Robert became Duke of Normandy on 6 August 1027, succeeding his elder brother Richard III, who had only succeeded to the title the previous year. Robert and his brother had been at odds over the succession, Richard's death
Henry II of England
Henry II known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou and Nantes, Lord of Ireland. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would come to be called the Angevin Empire. Henry was the son of daughter of Henry I of England, he became involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England occupied by Stephen of Blois, was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards became the Duke of Aquitaine by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his grandfather Henry I.
During the early years of his reign the younger Henry restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury; this controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's murder in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse. Henry and Eleanor had eight children -- five sons. Three of his sons would be king, though Henry the Young King was named his father's co-ruler rather than a stand-alone king; as the sons grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest.
France, Brittany and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henry's vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183; the Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. By 1189, Young Henry and Geoffrey were dead, Philip played on Richard's fears that Henry II would make John king, leading to a final rebellion. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon castle in Anjou, he was succeeded by Richard. Henry's empire collapsed during the reign of his youngest son, John. Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems.
Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign. Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133, the eldest child of the Empress Matilda and her second husband, Geoffrey the Fair, Count of Anjou; the French county of Anjou was formed in the 10th century and the Angevin rulers attempted for several centuries to extend their influence and power across France through careful marriages and political alliances. In theory, the county answered to the French king, but royal power over Anjou weakened during the 11th century and the county became autonomous.
Henry's mother was King of England and Duke of Normandy. She was born into a powerful ruling class of Normans, who traditionally owned extensive estates in both England and Normandy, her first husband had been the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. After her father's death in 1135, Matilda hoped to claim the English throne, but instead her cousin Stephen of Blois was crowned king and recognised as the Duke of Normandy, resulting in civil war between their rival supporters. Geoffrey took advantage of the confusion to attack the Duchy of Normandy but played no direct role in the English conflict, leaving this to Matilda and her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester; the war, termed the Anarchy by Victorian historians, degenerated into stalemate. Henry spent some of his earliest years in his mother's household, accompanied Matilda to Normandy in the late 1130s. Henry's childhood from the age of seven, was spent in Anjou, where he was educated by Peter of Saintes, a noted grammarian of the day. In late 1142, Geoffrey decided t
Kingdom of Powys
The Kingdom of Powys was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain. It roughly covered the top two thirds of the modern county of Powys and part of the West Midlands. More and based on the Romano-British tribal lands of the Ordovices in the west and the Cornovii in the east, its boundaries extended from the Cambrian Mountains in the west to include the modern West Midlands region of England in the east; the fertile river valleys of the Severn and Tern are found here, this region is referred to in Welsh literature as "the Paradise of Powys". The name Powys is thought to derive from Latin pagus'the countryside' and pagenses'dwellers in the countryside' the origins of French "pays" and English "peasant". During the Roman Empire, this region was organised into a Roman province, with the capital at Viroconium Cornoviorum, the fourth-largest Roman city in Britain. An entry in the Annales Cambriae concerning the death of King Cadell ap Brochfael says that the land called Powys was known as Teyrnllwg.
Throughout the Early Middle Ages, Powys was ruled by the Gwerthrynion dynasty, a family claiming descent jointly from the marriage of Vortigern and Princess Sevira, the daughter of Magnus Maximus. Archaeological evidence has shown that, unusually for the post-Roman period, Viroconium Cornoviorum survived as an urban centre well into the 6th century and thus could have been the Powys capital; the Historia Brittonum, written around AD 828, records the town as Caer Guricon, one of his "28 British Towns" of Roman Britain. In the following centuries, the Powys eastern border was encroached upon by English settlers from the emerging Anglian territory of Mercia; this was a gradual process, English control in the West Midlands was uncertain until the late 8th century. In 549 the Plague of Justinian - an outbreak of a strain of bubonic plague - arrived in Britain, Welsh communities were devastated, with villages and countryside alike depopulated. However, the English were less affected by this plague as they had far fewer trading contacts with the continent at this time.
Faced with shrinking manpower and increasing Anglian encroachment, King Brochwel Ysgithrog may have moved the court from Caer Guricon to Pengwern, the exact site of, unknown but may have been at Shrewsbury, traditionally associated with Pengwern, or the more defensible Din Gwrygon, the hill fort on The Wrekin. In 616, the armies of Æthelfrith of Northumbria clashed with Powys. Seeing an opportunity to further drive a wedge between the North Welsh and those of Rheged, Æthelfrith invaded Powys' northern lands. Æthelfrith defeated Selyf and his allies. At the commencement of the battle, Bede tells us that the pagan Æthelfrith slaughtered 1200 monks from the important monastery of Bangor-on-Dee in Maelor because, he said, "they fight against us, because they oppose us by their prayers". Selyf ap Cynan was killed in the battle and may have been the first of the kings of Powys to be buried at the church dedicated to St. Tysilio, at Meifod, thence known as the Eglwys Tysilio and subsequently the dynasty's Royal mausoleum.
If King Cynddylan of Pengwern hailed from the royal Powys dynasty forces from Powys may have been present at the Battle of Maes Cogwy in 642. According to the ninth-century cycle of englyn-poems Canu Heledd, the region around Pengwern was sacked soon after, its royal family slaughtered and most of its lands were annexed by Mercia, some by Powys. However, this account is now thought to represent ninth-century imaginings of what must have been going on in the seventh, inspired by Powys's political situation in the ninth century. Powys enjoyed a resurgence with successful campaigns against the English in 655, 705-707 and 722, wrote Davies; the court was moved to Mathrafal Castle in the valley of the river Vyrnwy by 717 by king Elisedd ap Gwylog. Elisedd's successes led King Æthelbald of Mercia to build Wat's Dyke; this endeavour may have been with Elisedd's own agreement, for this boundary, extending north from the Severn valley to the Dee estuary, gave Oswestry to Powys. King Offa of Mercia seems to have continued this consultive initiative when he created a larger earth work, now known as Offa's Dyke.
Davies wrote of Cyril Fox's study of Offa's Dyke: In the planning of it, there was a degree of consultation with the kings of Powys and Gwent. On the Long Mountain near Trelystan, the dyke veers to the east, leaving the fertile slopes in the hands of the Welsh, and for Gwent Offa had the dyke built "on the eastern crest of the gorge with the intention of recognizing that the river Wye and its traffic belonged to the kingdom of Gwent. This new border moved Oswestry back to the English side of the new frontier, Offa attacked Powys in 760 at Hereford, again on 778, 784 and 796. Offa's Dyke remained the frontier between the Welsh and English, though the Welsh would recover by the 12th century the area between the Dee and the River Conwy, known as the Perfeddwlad or "Midlands". Powys was united with Gwynedd when king Merfyn Frych of Gwynedd married princess Nest ferch Cadell, sister of king Cyngen of Powys, the last representative of the Gwertherion dynasty. With the death of Cyngen in 855 Rhodri the Great became king of Powys, having inherited Gwynedd the year before.
This formed the basis of Gwynedd's continued claims of overlordship over Powys for the next 443 years. Rhodri the Great ruled over most of modern Wales until his death in 878, his sons would in t
The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. There are two main groups: the Outer Hebrides; these islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic, the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic and English-speaking peoples. This diversity is reflected in the names given to the islands, which are derived from the languages that have been spoken there in historic and prehistoric times; the Hebrides are the source of much of Gaelic music. Today the economy of the islands is dependent on crofting, tourism, the oil industry, renewable energy; the Hebrides have lower biodiversity than mainland Scotland, but there is a significant presence of seals and seabirds. The earliest written references that have survived relating to the islands were made circa 77 AD by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, where he states that there are 30 Hebudes, makes a separate reference to Dumna, which Watson concludes is unequivocally the Outer Hebrides.
Writing about 80 years in 140-150 AD, drawing on the earlier naval expeditions of Agricola, writes that there are five Ebudes and Dumna. Texts in classical Latin, by writers such as Solinus, use the forms Hebudes and Hæbudes; the name Ebudes recorded by Ptolemy may be pre-Celtic. Islay is Ptolemy's Epidion, the use of the "p" hinting at a Brythonic or Pictish tribal name, although the root is not Gaelic. Woolf has suggested that Ebudes may be "an Irish attempt to reproduce the word Epidii phonetically rather than by translating it" and that the tribe's name may come from the root epos meaning "horse". Watson notes the possible relationship between Ebudes and the ancient Irish Ulaid tribal name Ibdaig and the personal name of a king Iubdán recorded in the Silva Gadelica; the names of other individual islands reflect their complex linguistic history. The majority are Norse or Gaelic but the roots of several other Hebrides may have a pre-Celtic origin. Adomnán, the 7th century abbot of Iona, records Colonsay as Colosus and Tiree as Ethica, both of which may be pre-Celtic names.
The etymology of Skye is complex and may include a pre-Celtic root. Lewis is Ljoðhús in Old Norse and although various suggestions have been made as to a Norse meaning the name is not of Gaelic origin and the Norse credentials are questionable; the earliest comprehensive written list of Hebridean island names was undertaken by Donald Monro in 1549, which in some cases provides the earliest written form of the island name. The derivations of all of the inhabited islands of the Hebrides and some of the larger uninhabited ones are listed below. Lewis and Harris is the largest island in Scotland and the third largest in the British Isles, after Great Britain and Ireland, it incorporates Lewis in the north and Harris in the south, both of which are referred to as individual islands, although they are joined by a land border. Remarkably, the island does not have a common name in either English or Gaelic and is referred to as "Lewis and Harris", "Lewis with Harris", "Harris with Lewis" etc. For this reason it is treated as two separate islands below.
The derivation of Lewis may be pre-Celtic and the origin of Harris is no less problematic. In the Ravenna Cosmography, Erimon may refer to Harris; this word may derive from the Ancient Greek: ἐρῆμος (erimos "desert". The origin of Uist is unclear. There are various examples of Inner Hebridean island names that were Gaelic but have become replaced. For example, Adomnán records Sainea, Elena and Oideacha in the Inner Hebrides, which names must have passed out of usage in the Norse era and whose locations are not clear. One of the complexities is that an island may have had a Celtic name, replaced by a similar-sounding Norse name, but reverted to an Gaelic name with a Norse "øy" or "ey" ending. See for example Rona below; the names of uninhabited islands follow the same general patterns as the inhabited islands. The following are the ten largest in their outliers; the etymology of St Kilda, a small archipelago west of the Outer Hebrides, its main island Hirta, is complex. No saint is known by the name of Kilda, various theories have been proposed for the word's origin, which dates from the late 16th century.
Haswell-Smith notes that the full name "St Kilda" first appears on a Dutch map dated 1666, that it may have been derived from Norse sunt kelda or from a mistaken Dutch assumption that the spring Tobar Childa was dedicated to a saint. The origin of the Gaelic for "Hirta"—Hiort, Hirt, or Irt—which long pre-dates the use of "St Kilda", is open to interpretation. Watson offers the Old Irish hirt, a word meaning "death" relating to the dangerous seas. Maclean, drawing on an Icelandic saga describing an early 13th-century voyage to Ireland that mentions a visit to the islands of Hirtir, speculates that the shape of Hirta resembles a stag, hirtir being "stags" in Norse; the etymology of small islands may be no less complex. In relation to Dubh Artach, R. L. Stevenson believed that "black and dismal" was a translation of the name, noting that "as usual, in Gaelic, it is not the only one." The Hebrides were settled during the Mesolithic era around 6500 BC or earlier, after the climatic conditions improved enough
The Berwyn range is an isolated and sparsely populated area of moorland in the northeast of Wales bounded by Llangollen in the northeast, Corwen in the northwest, Bala in the southwest, Oswestry in the southeast. The area is wild and vegetated by heather about one metre thick, with some acidic grassland and bracken, it is not popular for hill-walking or scrambling since the peaks are lower than those in nearby Snowdonia. However, the topmost peaks have a distinctive character well worth exploring. Nearby towns include Corwen, which are popular tourist destinations; the main summits are Cadair Berwyn at 832 metres above sea level, Moel Sych at 827 metres and Cadair Bronwen at 784 metres above sea level. The Berwyn range is crossed to the south-west by the B4391 Milltir Cerrig mountain pass at an altitude of 486 metres. Cadair Berwyn is the highest point in the Berwyn range, the highest significant summit in Wales outside the National Parks. Cadair Bronwyn and Cyrniau Nod to the west are the two Marilyns.
The mountain lies on main ridge of the Berwyn range. The eastern side of the ridge is characterised by steep drops and crags including Craig Berwyn north of the summit and Craig y Llyn to the south. Craig y Llyn forms the headwall of a cwm, it is to this that the word cadair refers. Further north along the ridge is Cadair Bronwen, whilst to south the ridge continues to Moel Sych, it is reported that Moel Sych, 1 kilometre along the ridge, is of equal height, but Cadair Berwyn's spot height on the Ordnance Survey maps, where the trig point stands, is not the true summit. Cadair Berwyn's summit, 200 metres south of the trig point, is three metres taller than Moel Sych; this summit is listed as Cadair Berwyn New Top on the Nuttall list. Several other summits in the area are listed as Hewitts or Nuttalls, including Foel Wen and Mynydd Tarw; the summit lies on the border between Powys and Denbighshire, is the highest point in Denbighshire. The northern end of Craig Berwyn is the highest point in Wrexham county borough.
There is a standing stone in the area, located near the summit between Cadair Tomle. This was re-erected in June 2008 by High Sports; the standing stone can be found at SJ080337. The Berwyn range played its part in causing King Henry II of England to turn back during his invasion of Gwynedd in 1165. Rather than taking the usual route along the northern coastal plain, his army invaded from Oswestry and took a route over the Berwyns; the English invasion faced an alliance of Welsh princes led by King Owain Gwynedd, but there was little fighting – endless days of heavy rain forced the English to retreat. At 8.38 pm on 23 January 1974, an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 was felt over a wide area of north Wales and as far as Liverpool. Since earthquakes are uncommon in the UK, it was not recognized for what it was, since a number of unusual lights in the sky had been observed the same evening, it was considered possible that an aircraft had crashed, or a meteorite had impacted. Further confusion was caused by lights seen on the Berwyn Mountains, which subsequently turned out to have belonged to poachers.
The area supports substantial populations of upland birds including raptors, such as the hen harrier and peregrine, for this reason it is a Special Protection Area classified in accordance with the European Union's Birds Directive. Much of the area is designated a national nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of the Berwyn and South Clwyd Mountains Special Area of Conservation. Other wildlife include short-eared owl, buzzard and golden plover; the scholar T. Gwynn Jones suggested that a possible origin of the term "Berwyn" was "Bryn Gwyn", where the Middle Welsh word "bre" had mutated to Ber + Gwyn, Gwyn ap Nudd being the mythological King of the Tylwyth Teg. A more etymology is "bar" + "gwyn", with the "a" in "bar" showing i-affection as a result of the "y" in "gwyn", therefore changing from "a" to "e".
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man, sometimes referred to as Mann, is a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann and is represented by a lieutenant governor. Defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom; the island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC. Gaelic cultural influence began in the 5th century AD, the Manx language, a branch of the Gaelic languages, emerged. In 627, Edwin of Northumbria conquered the Isle of Man along with most of Mercia. In the 9th century, Norsemen established the Kingdom of the Isles. Magnus III, King of Norway, was King of Mann and the Isles between 1099 and 1103. In 1266, the island became part of Scotland after being ruled by Norway. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the island came under the feudal lordship of the English Crown in 1399; the lordship revested into the British Crown in 1765, but the island never became part of the 18th-century Kingdom of Great Britain or its successors the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the present-day United Kingdom.
It retained its internal self-government. In 1881, the Isle of Man parliament, became the first national legislative body in the world to give women the right to vote in a general election, although this excluded married women. In 2016, the Isle of Man was awarded biosphere reserve status by UNESCO. Insurance and online gambling generate 17% of GNP each, followed by information and communications technology and banking with 9% each. Internationally, the Isle of Man is best known for the Isle of Man TT competition; the Manx name of the Isle of Man is Ellan Vannin: ellan is a Manx word meaning "island". The short form used in English, Mann, is derived from the Manx Mannin, though sometimes the name is written as Man; the earliest recorded Manx form of the name is Mana. The Old Irish form of the name is Mano. Old Welsh records named it as Manaw reflected in Manaw Gododdin, the name for an ancient district in north Britain along the lower Firth of Forth; the oldest known reference to the island calls it Mona, in Latin.
Latin references have Mevania or Mænavia, Eubonia or Eumonia by Irish writers. It is found in the Sagas of Icelanders as Mön; the name is cognate with the Welsh name of the island of Anglesey, Ynys Môn derived from a Celtic word for'mountain', from a Proto-Celtic *moniyos. The name was at least secondarily associated with that of Manannán mac Lir in Irish mythology. In the earliest Irish mythological texts, Manannán is a king of the otherworld, but the 9th-century Sanas Cormaic identifies a euhemerised Manannán as "a famous merchant who resided in, gave name to, the Isle of Man". A Manannán is recorded as the first king of Mann in a Manx poem; the island was cut off from the surrounding islands around 8000 BC, but was colonised by sea some time before 6500 BC. The first residents were fishermen. Examples of their tools are kept at the Manx Museum; the Neolithic Period marked the beginning of farming, megalithic monuments began to appear, such as Cashtal yn Ard near Maughold, King Orry's Grave at Laxey, Meayll Circle near Cregneash, Ballaharra Stones at St John's.
There were the local Ronaldsway and Bann cultures. During the Bronze Age, burial mounds became smaller. Bodies were put in stone-lined graves with ornamental containers; the Bronze Age burial mounds created long-lasting markers around the countryside. The ancient Romans knew of the island and called it Insula Manavia although it is uncertain whether they conquered the island. Around the 5th century AD, large-scale migration from Ireland precipitated a process of Gaelicisation evidenced by Ogham inscriptions, giving rise to the Manx language, a Goidelic language related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Vikings arrived at the end of the 8th century, they introduced many land divisions that still exist. In 1266 King Magnus VI of Norway ceded the islands to Scotland in the Treaty of Perth. In 1290 King Edward I of England sent Walter de Huntercombe to take possession of Mann, it remained in English hands until 1313, when Robert Bruce took it after besieging Castle Rushen for five weeks. A confused period followed when Mann was sometimes under English rule and sometimes Scottish, until 1346, when the Battle of Neville's Cross decided the long struggle between England and Scotland in England's favour.
English rule was delegated to a series of magnates. The Tynwald passed laws concerning the government of the island in all respects and had control over its finances, but was subject to the approval of the Lord of Mann. In 1866, the Isle of Man obtained limited home rule, with democratic elections to the House of Keys, but an appointed Legislative Council. Since democratic government has been extended; the Isle of Man has designated more than 250 historic sites as registered buildings. The Isle of Man is located in the middle of t
Harold Godwinson called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. Harold reigned from 6 January 1066 until his death at the Battle of Hastings, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England, his death marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England. Harold was a powerful member of a prominent Anglo-Saxon family with ties to Cnut the Great. Upon the death of his brother-in-law King Edward the Confessor on 5 January 1066, the Witenagemot convened and chose Harold to succeed. In late September, he repelled an invasion by rival claimant Harald Hardrada of Norway before marching his army back south to meet William the Conqueror at Hastings two weeks later. Harold was a son of Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex, of Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, whose brother Ulf the Earl was married to Estrith, the daughter of King Sweyn Forkbeard and sister of King Cnut the Great of England and Denmark. Ulf and Estrith's son would become King Sweyn II of Denmark in 1047.
Godwin was the son of Wulfnoth a thegn and a native of Sussex. Godwin began his political career by supporting King Edmund Ironside, but switched to supporting King Cnut by 1018, when Cnut named him Earl of Wessex. Godwin remained an earl throughout the remainder of Cnut's reign, one of only two earls to survive to the end of that reign. On Cnut's death in 1035, Godwin supported Harthacnut instead of Cnut's initial successor Harold Harefoot, but managed to switch sides in 1037—although not without becoming involved in the 1036 murder of Alfred Aetheling, half-brother of Harthacnut and younger brother of the King Edward the Confessor; when Harold Harefoot died in 1040, Harthacnut became King of England and Godwin's power was imperiled by his earlier involvement in Alfred's murder, but an oath and large gift secured the new king's favour for Godwin. Harthacnut's death in 1042 involved Godwin in a role as kingmaker, helping to secure the English throne for Edward the Confessor. In 1045 Godwin reached the height of his power.
Godwin and Gytha had several children—six sons: Sweyn, Tostig, Gyrth and Wulfnoth. The birthdates of the children are unknown. Harold was aged about 25 in 1045, which makes his birth year around 1020. Edith married Edward on 23 January 1045 and, around that time, Harold became Earl of East Anglia. Harold is called "earl" when he appears as a witness in a will that may date to 1044. One reason for his appointment to East Anglia may have been a need to defend against the threat from King Magnus the Good of Norway, it is possible that Harold led some of the ships from his earldom that were sent to Sandwich in 1045 against Magnus. Sweyn, Harold's elder brother, had been named an earl in 1043, it was around the time that Harold was named an earl that he began a relationship with Edith, who appears to have been the heiress to lands in Cambridgeshire and Essex, lands in Harold's new earldom. The relationship was a form of marriage, not blessed or sanctioned by the Church, known as More danico, or "in the Danish manner", was accepted by most laypeople in England at the time.
Any children of such a union were considered legitimate. Harold entered the relationship in part to secure support in his new earldom. Harold's elder brother Sweyn was exiled in 1047 after abducting the abbess of Leominster. Sweyn's lands were divided between a cousin, Beorn. In 1049, Harold was in command of a ship or ships that were sent with a fleet to aid Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor against Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, in revolt against Henry. During this campaign, Sweyn returned to England and attempted to secure a pardon from the king, but Harold and Beorn refused to return any of their lands, Sweyn, after leaving the royal court, took Beorn hostage and killed him; when in 1051 Earl Godwin was sent into exile, Harold accompanied his father and helped him to regain his position a year later. Godwin died in 1053, Harold succeeded him as Earl of Wessex; this arguably made him the most powerful figure in England after the king. Harold became Earl of Hereford in 1058, replaced his late father as the focus of opposition to growing Norman influence in England under the restored monarchy of Edward the Confessor, who had spent more than 25 years in exile in Normandy.
He led a series of successful campaigns against Gruffydd ap Llywelyn of king of Wales. This conflict ended with Gruffydd's defeat and death in 1063. In 1064, Harold was shipwrecked at Ponthieu. There is much speculation about this voyage; the earliest post-conquest Norman chroniclers report that King Edward had sent Robert of Jumièges, Archbishop of Canterbury, to appoint as his heir Edward's maternal kinsman, William of Normandy, that at this date Harold was sent to swear fealty. Scholars disagree as to the reliability of this story. William, at least, seems to have believed he had been offered the succession, but there must have been some confusion either on William's part or by both men, since the English succession was neither inherited nor determined by the reigning monarch. Instead the Witenagemot, the assembly of the kingdom's leading notables, would convene after a king's death