Was an Norman dynasty on the English throne inevitable even without 1066?

May 2011
513
UK
#1
even before the 11th century England and Normandy developed close economic and cultural connections, largely due to the fact the Normans possessed many ports which provided a link between England and the continent and the Early Normans were culturally similar to the Anglo saxons. England was one richest Kingdoms in Europe which meant goods and people flowed between both territories. Anglo Saxon gold and weapons from the 10th and 11th centuries have been found in Normandy. Despite being considered an Anglo Saxon king, Edward the Confessor spent most of his life in Normandy before being crowned king. Two years before the conquest Harold Godwinson traveled to Normandy and fought for William in his army, (as did other anglo saxon's at the time). It's said that during Godwinson's time in Normandy, William had Harold make an oath to support his claim to the English throne, or he interpreted Harold's oath to take that meaning. I think it's more like that William believed he now had a cultural right to the English throne through the Norman sphere of influence over England.

So the cultural connections between England and Normandy were already developing and were strong before the Norman conquest. Is it likely this would have led to a Norman dynasty without military conquest?
 
Last edited:
Mar 2019
1,452
Kansas
#3
So the cultural connections between England and Normandy were already developing and were strong before the Norman conquest. Is it likely this would have led to a Norman dynasty without military conquest?
I don't see much evidence of a cultural connection. And the Anglo Saxons had no love for the Normans. Otherwise they would not have recognized Harold's claim to the throne and just ran with William to begin with.
 
May 2011
513
UK
#4
I don't see much evidence of a cultural connection. And the Anglo Saxons had no love for the Normans. Otherwise they would not have recognized Harold's claim to the throne and just ran with William to begin with.

Harold was recognised because his earldom controlled most of England which made him the only choice at the time. Edward the Confessor was culturally Anglo-Norman so there clearly was a developing connection. Anglo Saxons fought in Norman armies (as did Harold), and there were Anglo Saxon rebels which landed with Williams army in 1066! So I dont see on what basis you come to the conclusion "Anglo Saxons had no love for the Normans", certainly that was the case after the conquest but not before.

Im not saying it would have happened over night but it's definitely possible Godwinson family could have inter married with the house of Normandy, which might have eventually led to more or less an Anglo-Norman dynasty
 
#5
I agree betgo, if wasn't for the simultaneous invasion of the Vikings there's every chance the Saxons could of stood there ground, however ..............

What does concern me was the tactical limitations of the Saxons, which is eventually what brought them down in the end.

They were able to withstand the direct assault but when the Normans had to fall back and use alternative tactics that is what undid the Saxons, the chronicles like to blame it on the ill timed Saxon charge but how long were the Saxons going to stand there getting pot shot at by Frankish Crossbows? and Norman Knight Javelins?

If anything I think the Saxon charge was birthed out of desperation from a section of warriors gasping to get the fight over with and try to route the Normans.

As for the claims of the Normans, no, this would of likely remained a Saxon Monarchy had it not been for direct invasion.
 
Likes: duncanness

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,843
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#6
even before the 11th century England and Normandy developed close economic and cultural connections, largely due to the fact the Normans possessed many ports which provided a link between England and the continent and the Early Normans were culturally similar to the Anglo saxons. England was one richest Kingdoms in Europe which meant goods and people flowed between both territories. Anglo Saxon gold and weapons from the 10th and 11th centuries have been found in Normandy. Despite being considered an Anglo Saxon king, Edward the Confessor spent most of his life in Normandy before being crowned king. Two years before the conquest Harold Godwinson traveled to Normandy and fought for William in his army, (as did other anglo saxon's at the time). It's said that during Godwinson's time in Normandy, William had Harold make an oath to support his claim to the English throne, or he interpreted Harold's oath to take that meaning. I think it's more like that William believed he now had a cultural right to the English throne through the Norman sphere of influence over England.

So the cultural connections between England and Normandy were already developing and were strong before the Norman conquest. Is it likely this would have led to a Norman dynasty without military conquest?
How can someone think that they have a cultural right to a political position like king? That is like having a legal right to be right handed.

And even if culture could give political rights, even as late as 1066 the Anglo-Saxons were far more British (derived from the ancient Britons) in culture than Norman in culture, and far more Anglo-Saxon in culture than either British or Norman.
 

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