14 October 2004

Hastings Day

Today, October 14th, is the 938th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. On October 13th everyone in England lived in an Anglo-Saxon country with random Norse problems. By the end of the following day they lived in a largely Anglo-Saxon country with Norman overlords. Pretty much every aspect of my life comes from that one day - the language I speak (and abuse so lovingly now and then), the social structure of the country (England) that so largely shaped the country in which I live (the US), and so forth and so forth.

Interestingly enough, William became "the Conquerer" because he believed that he had been left the crown of England as a bequest. He believed that it was his, so he came and took it. Roughly 450 years later, Henry V (Henry the Vee) returned the favor and marched into France and took it because he believed that it righfully belonged to him. William's heirs hung on to their father's conquest a bit better than Henry's did, though.

Hastings Day is also my mother's birthday. She has two connections with English history because she was born on Hastings Day and both 1066 and the year in which she was born - 1936 - were years with three English kings. Coincidence? I think not. Perhaps my mother is the rightful monarch, instead of Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor. Something to think about.

(1066 = Edward the Confessor, Harold II, and William the Conquerer;
1936 = George V, Edward VIII, and George VI)

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