Harald Hardrada wins the crown: Collaborative timeline

Im not sure if any thing like this has been done before but heres my go :)
anyway the POD is that Hardrada defeats Harold II at the battle of Stamford and quickly wins over the northern Barons. He waits in york colllecting troops and supplies until october 4th and marches south eventually coming to blows with Norman forces at the battle of winchester, the battle of Oxford and eventually killing William of Normandy at the Battle of Pevensey on the 23rd of October.

Following the death of William leadership of the norman forces fell apart with only a quarter managing to escape back to Normandy. So this is the world we are writing the timeline for.

31st October 1066: Harald Hardrada is Crowned king of England and Norway as Harald I unifing the two kingdoms, on the fields of Pevensey on which he stayed until Christmas.

2nd November 1066: Harald's sons Magnus and Olaf travel to england and begin buildng large estates with Magnus taking a large area of south Wales and Olaf taking a large portion of the southwest.

9th November 1066: Magnus of Pembroke as he wishes to be known as announces his marriage to a local girl of nobility starting the House of Pembroke-Hardrada
 
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Nice start, I have a soft spot for Norse Britain :)

Now, I don't want to seem to be criticizing, is just because I have little knowledge about the geography of Britain, but why did the Norwegians go all the way to Wales so quickly?

I mean, IOTL Harold Godwinson had defeated the Prince of Gwynedd (in the north half of Wales) a couple years earlier (1.063, says the Wiki), and some of Welsh rulers (if I recall correctly) sworn fealty to the Anglo-Saxon King, but Deheubart/Pembroke is the very southwestern tip of the country, fairly isolated from the rest of Britain.

Did the Norwegians blitz through the Welsh after defeating William and the Normans or the Welsh submitted peacefully? :confused:
 
Hårdråde or Hardrada was a nickname. It literally means "Harsh ruler". It would not be dynasty name.

Harald III Sigurdsson was the real full name (not that last names were used much by Scandinavians in this era, they are mainly used by historians to keep people apart.
 
All criticisms accepted, the welsh kings/lords swear fealty to Harald Hardrada and the few that dont are replaced with norwegian nobles

I see... so England is too small of a Kingdom for the Norwegians :eek:

Perhaps they want to replicate King Canute's "North Sea Empire", now that would be interesting.
 
31st October 1066: Harald Hardrada is Crowned king of England and Norway as Harald I unifing the two kingdoms, on the fields of Pevensey on which he stayed until Christmas.

2nd November 1066: Harald's sons Magnus and Olaf travel to england and begin buildng large estates with Magnus taking a large area of south Wales and Olaf taking a large portion of the southwest.

9th November 1066: Magnus of Pembroke as he wishes to be known as announces his marriage to a local girl of nobility starting the House of Pembroke-Hardrada

Right-o. Here's the thing. Wales wasn't part of England. If anyone is *claiming* Wales, that means they'll have to go boldly in and smash the Welsh. So before we go rampaging into Wales, let's do something about the elephant in the room.

William of Normandy landed at Pevensey 28 September. Not sure why Hadraada landed there in your TL. The point of the matter is the Norse have to defeat Godwin at Stamford (or elsewhere) AND be assured Normandy isn't going to get involved after Hadraada is weakened.

Now back it up for Stamford. That battle actually took place 25 September. Godwin actually was in Southern England when the Norse landed and defeated an army and seized York. He humped his troops - an estimated 15,000 (give or take, picking up more as he marched) - 185 miles to Stamford in just 4 days.

So earlier in 1066, Harold Godwinson's brother Tostig had been doing little abortive invasions in Northumbria, because he'd been deposed there. So let's assume reports vary on what the Norse are doing, and the local nobles think it's just another abortive attempt by Tostig. Maybe Hadraada waits an extra couple of week for some chap to bring his troops in from Flanders or Orkney or somesuch. So no battle at Fulford on 20 September to alert Godwin in the south. No alert on the 20th, no Stamford on the 25th. William of Normandy still lands on 27th, and battle ensues a week later, say October 2nd.

The Normans are routed and pushed into the sea, but Godwin's forces taken heavy losses. THEN the Norse smash the English in the North, and word reaches Godwin in the south. He turns and humps his army north, arriving a week later with a bloodied and exhausted army and is defeated by Hadraada's forces.

Alrighty. That's done. William of Normandy is dead, the Norman threat is curtailed, and now the House of Godwin is defeated, members dead, the rest submissive. Along with most of the Earls of England. But within a couple of years, the local Saxon Earls are still going to rise up. So it is imperative to have Hadraada be invested by then.

William of Normandy had Normandy's masses and wealth to call on to fight the simmering resistance/revolts in England. Hadraada doesn't have that sort at his disposal (to my knowledge), so he's going to have to be a bit more proactive in how he handles the Earls. Luckily, the Norse are at least a little bit more culturally linked to the Saxons, as opposed to the strange Norman Frenchmen. That might help smooth the transition a bit, for some select few like Northumbria, but there's no guarantee. Also having Tostig Godwinson with him might sway some others. Hadraada will just have to make sure Tostig doesn't try to claim the throne for himself later...

So let's ignore Wales for now, and focus on getting the Earls in line...

P.S. It is the Fairhair Dynasty, House Hardrada. But as stated, they didn't likely call themselves that. BUT as history goes, and this is a TL of the theoretical past, I see no reason not to refer to it as such. Someone will be noting history, and they'll need a way to identify the historical parties, so House Hardrada is no real issue.
 
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Thank you very much for your input :) how do you reckon he would sort the earls out?

By hook or by crook, carrot or stick. He could make examples of some or reward others. Intermarriage with Norse noble houses. Carving up lands of the Godwin & defeated pro-Godwins for those loyal to him.

Do a little research, see what you can find that might sound good.
 
There are no Norwegian noble houses at this time - while there are great men, there's no legal nobility (there never were).
 
Would he have given tostig any land? And what land would that be?

Research means not asking, but looking. Investigate. Read.

For example, Tostig WAS previously the Earl of Northumbria, but was a douchebag to the locals. It was a mix of Norse & Anglo-Saxons. They didn't like him, and he was a heavy-handed ruler who murdered as a means to quell. He was ousted in 1065 when (then-Earl, right-hand of King Edward) Harold Godwinson acquiesced to the demands of the rebels there seeking to prop up Morcar, the brother of Edwin, Earl of Mercia.

Morcar became Earl of Northumbria, and it was he and Edwin who were initially defeated by the forces of Hadraada and Tostig PRIOR to Stamford.

After William OTL won the crown, he replaced Morcar with Copsi - a supporter of Tostig and a magnate in Northumbria. Copsi was murdered at 5 weeks of rule by a member of the Bernician family, historical rulers in the area. That guy was also killed by an outlaw he was tracking later the same year. So... no one in Northumbria lives is what I'm getting at.

Morcar himself would end up causing mischief with his brother and being imprisoned for 20 years until he faded from history.

Oh, and Edwin of Mercia? He tried to raise rebellion later against William, but submitted quickly and was later betrayed by his cohorts to the Normans and killed. See a pattern here?

And in OTL with the Normans squashing the south of England, it was the north which saw the most of aforementioned 'mischief' and the supporting of another claimant to the throne. This nonsense didn't sit well with William, and... well, this was the result: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrying_of_the_North

Decimation.

William was a bastard, true, and hardcore. He confiscated lands from the local lords to pay his own lordlings for their loyalty, but this pissed off the locals and led to revolts. Which led to more confiscations and more revolts. So to deal with all that, he ended up building a bunch of castles. A practice which continued throughout English history - check out Edward I Longshanks. He loved 'em! He subjugated Wales with a series of castles.

Expensive as hell, though, hence why I'm not sure Hadraada could pull off so many castles. But England is a wealthy place, so once he's in control, it all depend son who he wants to confiscate from to keep the others happy. If he can find suitably politically-isolated earls or if he can just bribe away supporters, he can quell the revolts without stirring up a new round of revolts later.

Then there's the Norman Invasion of Ireland. He could always deport the more troublesome earls to Ireland to the headache that would cause...

By the way, all that? Wikipedia. Use it.
 
The thing about Wales is what it was absolutely standard for whoever was the biggest king in England to wander into wales and scotland and the isle of man and get everyone to recognize their overlordship.

Edward the Elder was 'father and lord' of all the kings in britain. Aethelstan was called 'king of all of britain' and had the welsh and scottish kings attend his councils. Canute had all the scottish, gaelic and welsh kings make tribute to him. William the Conqueror had the welsh and scottish kings agree to become 'his men'.

Now none of this was actual conquest. So much as a general agreement that 'you rule your kingdom but I'm the daddy, in these parts' here. At the most it was a promise to go to war with the english if they asked. The kingdom of isles and mann at various points recognised the overlordship of about 5 different kingdoms: Scotland, England, York, Dublin and Norway, often at the same time. And england would often get the scots to agree they were their vassal and then 3 years later the scots would be happily invading them.

But I think it's perfectly possible for Norway to have strong influence in Wales as soon as England falls.

It's worth remembering that Wales had been a united kingdom for the only time in it's history 3 years earlier. The newly created welsh splinter kingdoms are absolutely going to reach out for patronage from the new king of england as they did in real life. Of course they will also harbour rebel's like they did in real life, too.
 

takerma

Banned
Why not make the initial struggle more protracted? Have Harold be ready at stamford bridge(not surprised). I am not sure about the armour thing on wiki, putting on a mail shirt takes all of 10 seconds.

Northman can maybe win this time but not decisively. Normans show up take parts of the south then you have a protracted conflict between everyone involved. Nothing like a prolonged bloody war to reduce resistance one Harold wins.
 
But I think it's perfectly possible for Norway to have strong influence in Wales as soon as England falls.

It's worth remembering that Wales had been a united kingdom for the only time in it's history 3 years earlier. The newly created welsh splinter kingdoms are absolutely going to reach out for patronage from the new king of england as they did in real life. Of course they will also harbour rebel's like they did in real life, too.

Strong influence? Sure, but for the son (and heir) of the King of England & Norway to immediately wander off into far-away Wales within a month of England falling... and take a bride? I don't see it. England is still too much the focus for at least a few years. Tendrils of diplomacy to Wales, sure, but the heir presumptive to wander off? Nah.
 
Wdll when you think that he's at the head of a substantial norse army if he maybe savages a few villages, a town or two then maybe the rest will fall into place?
 
He'd need to either mollify the locals to accept his rule or brutalize and cow them into line.

For starters, he needs to eradicate the House Godwin or marry into it enough to secure his hold there and undermine their relationship with other Earls.

Part of this means hunting down any who fled to Ireland or elsewhere to stir up trouble, as well as Harold's mother who OTL became a bit of a thorn.

Murder them if needs be. Remove ANY Saxon claimant to the throne. Meanwhile, reduce taxes and ensure trade, safety, build up the church, and promote justice and harmony. OR raise taxes, build castles, and generally scare the locals.

Since Hadraada was a harsh ruler and relied on force and his military background, I don't really see him being benevolent. In fact, his rule might align strikingly similarly to William's in the cases of outright subjugation.

But he also initiated more profitable trade, something which can't be denied. And depending on how out of his element he feels in England's courts, he might rely on local sheriffs and advisors and not so much on smashing any perceived resistance.

It should be noted also that he supported the Church, but with his eastern influences, it seems more Orthodox than Catholic, as he saw no authority on earth higher than himself in his own kingdom. Which sort of skips over the idea of the Pope being above him, and more aligns with eastern thinking. Which might make for trouble if he pushes it in England.

BUT the Norman Invasion of Ireland also had Papal backing to bring the Irish (Celtic) church into line with Rome. It could be that this never takes place, or that Hadraada cleverly spins the issue to get backing for himself in England.

Thus, again, finding a dumping ground in Ireland for any Earls he can't trust at home on their own fiefs in England.
 
It seems to me it would be a lot easier to have William and Harold (the Anglo-Saxon one) duke it out BEFORE Harald Hardrada shows up, so the Norwegian can just sweep the field. I can't really imagine a circumstance where the Norwegians could win at Stamford Bridge, and even if they did they'd be too wounded to defeat William, who would by then be taking all the best parts of England. Much better to somehow delay Harald's move into England or advance William's, so it's the Norwegians and not the Normans who take on the weakened force (probably the Anglo-Saxons).

This also avoids a lot of problems with the pope, especially if William the Bastard was killed by the Anglo-Saxons.

Regardless, Harald was a real badass, so it's going to be fun to see how this develops:p.
 
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