|King of England (more...)|
|Reign||5 January — 14 October 1066|
|Coronation||6 January 1066|
|Predecessor||Edward the Confessor|
|Successor||Edgar the Ætheling or William the Conqueror|
Edith of Mercia
|House||House of Godwin|
|Father||Godwin, Earl of Wessex|
|Died||14 October 1066
Battle of Hastings, Sussex
|Burial||Waltham Abbey, Essex, or Bosham (disputed)|
Harold Godwinson or King Harold II of England (c. 1022 – 14 October 1066) was an English king. He ruled England after king Edward the Confessor died. He ruled from 5 January 1066 until he was killed at the Battle of Hastings. Harold Godwinson was killed, it is generally assumed, by an arrow shot by one of William's archers, but some reports say he was cut down by many soldiers. Before Harold Godwinson became king, he swore to William, Duke of Normandy, that he would help him become king. Harold Godwinson had three brothers Tostig, Swegen and Gryth. He also had a sister called Edith. She was married to the king so he was his brother-in-law. He claimed to have been made King by Edward the confessor.
Harold Godwinson has a powerful background that perhaps allows historians to think him as rightful King for those times. His father was Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex- and his mother was also from a rich and noble house. His sister, Edith, was married to the King before him- Edward the Confessor. Also, when Godwin died, Harold inherited his earldom as well as being knighted Earl of East Anglia and Earl of Hereford. Now Wessex was, in those days, an enormous amount of land that covered about a third of England. Having added the lands of East Anglia and Hereford, Harold ruled over a large portion of England, making him the most powerful man in the whole kingdom, after the King.