Lead: Having turned aside one invasion, Norsemen allied with his brother, Harold, King of England, received word that his archenemy, William, Duke of Normandy had landed near Hastings.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Before the battle, the two antagonists exchanged envoys and it probably was at that time that Harold learned of Pope Alexander’s decision against his claim to the throne along with the presumed threat of excommunication and interdict. Though the story is told by his detractors, more than one chronicler has said that he was visibly shaken at the time and after a period of agonizing silence he ordered his troops, already exhausted by their fighting in the north, into a forced march. He drew them up on a bluff commanding a small valley across the coastal road running out of Hastings to London. On Saturday, October 14, 1066 the two armies fought from dawn to dusk. In the end, the exhausted English foot-soldiers gave way under repeated assaults from mounted Norman knights. Harold was probably first blinded by a stray arrow and then, in the gathering darkness, hacked apart on the field by Norman knights. Leaderless, after a brief heroic stand at the crossroads, the Saxon army fled into the forest and melted away.