1066 and all what? WHY no Battle of Hastings celebrations

What no Battle of Hastings street parties, scuffles?

Today in 1066 AD:

The Battle of Hastings[a] was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. It took place approximately 7 miles (11 kilometres) northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory.

This is when it all started, the British (Norman) Empire, that is.

If it hadn’t been for William the Conqueror turning sleepy England into a brutal imperial power determined to conquer every neighbour with its superior armed forces, there would have been no conquest of the rest of the British Isles, no colonisation of a quarter of the planet, no Queen Vic, no spitfires.

Why is Great Britain not celebrating its birthday?

Why are there no spitfires overhead? Now if Harold had had even one spitfire, things would have been very different. You can never have too many spitfires.

It doesn’t bear thinking about. Imagine, the Anglo-Saxons had won. We’d have no entrepreneurs, chauffeurs or omelettes!

On a positive note, those easy going Anglo-Saxons with their saintly kings might have given up on conquering the Celtic nations and we’d all be living happily, independently, together in a loose-fitting trading and defence bloc.

Even better, we wouldn’t have invaded anyone, certainly not Iraq. A very different Alistair Campbell would live his life, serving as a piper in the Burnley Peak District Light Infantry, based in Burnley, never knowing the word ‘dossier’ but coincidentally still though of as ‘dodgy.’

Vive la France !

16 thoughts on “1066 and all what? WHY no Battle of Hastings celebrations”

  1. Hastings Week commemmorates the anniversary of the famous battle on 14 October 1066, and includes a Classic Car Show, National Town Criers Championship, Battle of Hastings Re-enactment and the grand finale of the Hastings Bonfire Torchlight Procession.

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  2. I know. . ? Why no celebrations ?
    75 yrs since VE Day and they issue silly coins to commemorate as if anyone is interested.
    I suppose they did issue stamps to commemorate 1066 but that’s it.
    England likes to think it has always existed as it is now they ignore history that doesn’t suit those thoughts.

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  3. Alas, before the Normans, we had Athelstan as King of England (he finally got much of modern England under his control), and he imagined himself King of Britain. He invaded Scotland without provocation in 934. Constantine ll, the King of Alba, along with some the Viking King of Dublin ( whose father had been King of York) and Owain, King of Strathclyde (Cumbria) invaded England a few years later in retaliation but were beaten badly at Brunanburh
    Athelstan tied England together with laws and religion.
    Constantine ditto with Scotland ( they started referring to “Scots” ) during his reign. He retired to a monastery.
    Owain died at Brunanburh ( 5 kings perished), the most important Anglo-Saxon battle until Hastings.
    Aethelstan set the tone for centuries to come. Invasions of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and much of the world followed.

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  4. When I visited Bayeux to view the Tapestry and see the other parts of the exhibition, I had a revelation which made me understand something which really ought to have been obvious to me when I did history at school.
    There was a map which showed the various manors given to different Norman lords in various parts of England, Wales and Ireland, but there were none in Scotland!
    There were none in Scotland because there was NO Norman Conquest of Scotland! William had no gripe with the independent country of Scotland and, indeed, he had support amongst the rulers of our country.

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  5. They don’t celebrate 1066, when England actually lost at home. They are too busy celebrating 1966, when apparently they won something at home. Not that they really say as much about that as they perhaps could.

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    1. There seems to be something in the mindset of many in England that the Anglo Saxons were the native people. The Angles and the Saxons came from northern Germany near the border with Denmark and are as ‘foreign’ as the Normans. I think that this myth of Saxon England comes to a fair degree from Walter Scott’s novels, particularly Ivanhoe. Scott created a myth of Scotland, too.Both these myths have had significantly hegemonic effects. In the case of England, things like the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the works of Bede played a significant role and Shakespeare did a fair bit of myth making too (and having seen what the Tudors could do and the fate of Christopher Marlowe, who would blame him?)

      Prior to the Anglo Saxons there were peoples – probably Welsh/Ancient Britons – who were conquered by the Romans.

      Finally by their continual juxtapositions there has grown a belief that the Anglo Saxons were one. The Angles tended to be in the north and east and into Scotland as far as the Forth, while the Saxons were more towards the south, on both sides of the Thames and to the south coast.

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      1. I had a friend from Flensburg, a German city right on the border with Denmark. He’d get us to talk to him in Lallans Scots and he’d reply in his Juettish dialect. We reckoned there was about 80% mutual comprehensibility between the two languages that is most likely to result from a deep, ancient common root.

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    2. @ Coinneach
      Interesting.
      I hail from NW England and my mother could speak in the local dialect. When I first moved to NE Scotland, I found there was quite a broad overlap with that and Doric.

      Some sort of mutual root? Dalriadic Scots? Vikings? Both?

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      1. It might have had more to do with the herring fishing. As the shoals moved around the island of Great Britain, as well as the fishermen, many of the fish processors (mainly women) would follow. From Peterhead/Aberdeen, it would be Fife, Eyemouth then over the border to Northumbria (Seahouses, etc) then down towards Hull, Grimsby, Lowestoft etc. The herring moved clockwise around the island.

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      2. I think I once heard a talk on radio by Melvyn Bragg, who’s from NW England that either he, or a close relative, could understand some Danish or Norwegian.
        Apologies for beeing so imprecise!

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