Talk:Edward the Confessor
Alfred was captured and killed whilst in Godwins custody by blinding (although not on Godwins land) - an act that may have led to Edward offering the crown to william as he hated Godwin and wanted to ensure he didnt succeed him. Godwin was clearly the next most powerful man in england. Edward may also have promised the throne as reward for william sponsoring his accession to the throne.
He had a childless marriage again, possibly because he hated Godwin and would not see one of his line on the throne.
The godwins were exiled after Edwards cousin (a norman) went to Dover for reasons unknown and the locals rose up against him. Godwin was summoned and instructed to punish them and he refused and summoned an army and marched on gloucester i beleive. After a standoff the godwins agreed to exile ( a common theme in english politics).
Harolds oath swearing is largely a myth given the fact that history from this period was written by the victors. Harolds visit to Normany was probably to visit one of his his brothers and a cousin who were hostages in williams hands exchanged to ensure the loyaly of godwin to edwin the confessor on his attaining the throne. An oath may have been sworn under duress as Harold might not have been allowed to leave until he did and he would have been fearful of the treatment of his borther and cousin. The story that harold got lost on the way over and was held for ransom by a rival of williams does not make any sense.
Harold did not seize the throne at all but was elected by the Witan. He even secured the support of edwin and morcar, rivals of the godwins, by marrying their sister and agreeing that any child of that union would be first in line to succeed him.
Three things then -- 1) We "agree" that the entire Godwin clan were exiled by Edward. 2) There is adequate contenporary evidence of the oath-taking: that it was an oath to support William's claim is the only coherent option argued in those sources 3) Whetehr you call it "seizing" the throne or taking it, Godwinson was foresworn and therefore unfit to rule. Had the Witan known of the oath they would not have supported him.-- Simoncursitor