Tag Archives: Harold Godwinson

Almanac – January 06

1066 – Harold Godwinson  crowned King of England.  He reigned  until his death at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October of that same year, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England.

Harold is the first of only three kings of England to have died in warfare; the other two were Richard I and Richard III.

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1883 – Khalil Gibran born. Lebanese artist, poet, and writer.  He is chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose.

The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930s and again especially in the 1960s counterculture.  Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu (in modern Pinyin, Laozi), the Chinese founder of Taoism.

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1937 – Doris Troy born. American R&B singer, known to her many fans as “Mama Soul“.  

“She was a rarity in the early sixties – a singer who wrote her own material. She was always at the cutting edge. One of the earliest Soul divas, on Atlantic before Aretha, and recording with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff years before the heady days of the Philadelphia sound.”Ian Levine

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1993 – Dizzy Gillespie died. merican jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer.

During the 1964 United States presidential campaign he put himself forward as an independent write-in candidate. He promised that if he were elected, the White House would be renamed “The Blues House,” and a cabinet composed of Duke Ellington (Secretary of State), Miles Davis (Director of the CIA), Max Roach (Secretary of Defense), Charles Mingus (Secretary of Peace), Ray Charles (Librarian of Congress), Louis Armstrong (Secretary of Agriculture), Mary Lou Williams (Ambassador to the Vatican), Thelonious Monk (Travelling Ambassador) and Malcolm X (Attorney General).

America, what a chance you missed.

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Almanac – September 25

1066 – Battle Of Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire. The equally important, in many ways more important – precursor to the Battle of Hastings and the  Norman invasion of England.

An English army under Harold Godwinson, elected King of England, defeated a Norwegian invasion force commanded by Harald III of Norway.

Three days later, the Normans landed on the south coast, and the remnants of the English force had the long march south to meet them. If they hadn’t had to deal with Stamford Bridge and a few hundred miles of forced marching, the outcome of the Battle of Hastings would probably have been quite different.

Interesting to speculate what might have happened if the Norwegians had won at Stamford Bridge, since it would effectively have left three armies in the field – the Norwegians in the north, the Normans in the south, and the remnants of the English army plus whatever back-up they could draw on from the further-flung counties. Whatever, history would tell quite a different story.

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