In the spring, Harold made his ship ready and sailed
away. He and the duke parted on the friendliest terms. Harold went back to
England to the court of King Edward; he never returned to Normandy to
claim his bride.
King Edward was king over England for twenty-three
years, and died in London on the fifth of January. He was buried in St
Pauls Cathedral, and is regarded
as a saint by the English.
that time, Earl Godwms sons were the most powerful men in England.
Tostig bad been made commander of the English army, and he was put in
charge of the nations defences when the king began to grow old. Earl
Tostig had authority over all the other earls in England. His brother,
Harold, was always next In precedence to him at court, and was In charge
of the royal exchequer.
It is said that as the king's death was drawing near,
Harold was beside him, and only a few other people were present Harold is
supposed to have bent down over the king, and then said, I name you all
as witnesses that the king has just given me the crown and whole kingdom
Then the king was lifted dead from his bed.
That same day a meeting of the witan was held to
consider the succession to the throne. Harold called upon his witnesses to
testify that King Edward on his dying day had given him the kingdom. The
outcome of the meeting was that Harold was made king, and was crowned and
consecrated in St Pauls Cathedral on the sixth of January. All the
chieftains and all the people paid him their homage.
When his brother, Earl Tostig, heard this he was
extremely displeased. for he felt that he was no less entitled to the
I want the leaders of the land: he said, to elect
as king the man who, in their opinion, Is best suited for the task?
The brothers exchanged messages and Harold said be
refused to surrender his kingship since he had already been enthroned at
the proper place and then anointed and crowned king. Most people gave
Harold their support, and be was also in control of all the royal