King Edward the Confessor dies without an heir. Harold Godwinson claims the throne, but many believe the throne was already promised to Duke William of Normandy.
1066: January 6th Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson is crowned King Harold II of England at Westminster Abbey on the same day as Edward’s burial. Harold will be the last Anglo-Saxon ruler of England and the first of only 3 Kings of England to be killed in battle
1066: September 25th Battle of Stamford Bridge
King Harold II (Harold Godwinson) of England defeats a Norwegian army led by King Harold Hardrada of Norway and his own brother Tostig Godwinson near York, ending the Viking Age in England.
1066: October 14th Battle of Hastings
William the Conqueror defeats the English led by King Harold II who dies in battle. This begins the Norman Conquest of England as well as the beginning of the Castle Age as motte and bailey castles are built all over England, starting in Pevensey and Hastings.
1066: December 25th William the Conqueror
William is crowned King of England on Christmas Day, 1066, at Westminster Abbey in London. As attending nobility and clerics loudly shout their approval of the king, his guards, surprised by the outburst and believing there was treachery afoot, promptly set fire to surrounding buildings in the city of London. The church filled with smoke, the congregation fled, and William was left trembling.
1170: December 29th Murder in the Cathedral
Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights, Reginald Fitzurse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy, and Richard le Breton, who interpreted words spoken by King Henry II to mean he wished Becket killed. The knights fled north and took refuge in Hugh de Morville's Knaresborough Castle after committing the murder. There are many accounts of what Henry said with the most likely being:
What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?
1199: March 25th Richard the Lionheart - Wounded
Richard the Lionheart is wounded while besieging the castle of Château de Châlus-Chabrol in France. Richard was walking around the weakly defended castle's perimeter without his chain mail on when he was stuck in the shoulder near his neck by a crossbowmen's arrow. He unsuccessfully tried to pull the arrow out on his own, then called on a surgeon who removed it but also mangled his arm in the process. Richard has the crossbowmen brought to him, and in an act of mercy forgave the boy and ordered that he be set free. Richard would die from this gangrenous wound soon after on April 6th.
1217: May 20th Second Battle of Lincoln
The Second Battle of Lincoln occurred at Lincoln Castle in England, during the First Barons' War, between the forces of the future Louis VIII of France and those of King Henry III of England. Louis's forces were attacked by a relief force under the command of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke. Thomas, the Comte du Perche, commanding the French troops, was killed and Louis was expelled from his base in the southeast of England.
1264: May 14th Battle of Lewes
The Battle of Lewes in Sussex England was part of the Second Barons' War. Henry III left the safety of Lewes Castle to engage the Barons in battle and was initially successful, his son Prince Edward routing part of the baronial army with a cavalry charge. However Edward pursued his quarry off the battlefield and left Henry's men exposed. Henry was forced to launch an infantry attack up Offham Hill where he was defeated by the Barons' men defending the hilltop. The royalists fled back to the castle and the King was forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding many of his powers to Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester.
1272: November 16th Edward I
Prince Edward becomes King Edward I while traveling during the Ninth Crusade, upon the death of his father King Henry III. It will be almost two years before Edward returns to England and assumes the throne.
1297: September 11th Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Stirling Bridge, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling Castle, on the River Forth.
1298: July 22nd Battle of Falkirk
The Battle of Falkirk was one of the major battles in the First War of Scottish Independence. Led by King Edward I of England, the English army defeated the Scots, led by William Wallace. Shortly after the battle Wallace resigned as Guardian of Scotland.
1300: July 22nd Edward I at Brougham Castle
Edward I stays at Brougham Castle in Cumbria during one of his Northern campaigns of the Anglo-Scottish Wars.
1304: July 20th The War Wolf
Edward I seizes control of Stirling Castle in Scotland by using the War Wolf; believed to be the largest trebuchet ever built. The Scots try to surrender the castle when they see the massive structure being assembled, but Longshanks decides to finish the assembly and see how well it works before accepting the surrender. Part of the castle's curtain wall is destroyed in quick order by the siege weapon.