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King Edward I of England, a.k.a. St. Edward the Confessor

King Edward I of England, a.k.a. St. Edward the Confessor

This is an informal update.
I just got back from the library. I have a shiny new library card and enough reading material to keep me out of trouble for a few days.

 

I am so hooked on working on this book. Every door I open opens three more. I was going to “head of the line” in Wyatt ancestry and damned if our first DOCUMENTED ancestor wasn’t Captain Guyot – who ran the fleet for William the Conqueror – who also was an ancestor through Sir Thomas Wyatt’s wife Elizabeth Brooke – whose pedigree goes further back than that.

Then I innocently lost focus due to overlap, wandered off into the world of what was and what if. Like our times, history is not black and white. Writers always had an agenda and you hope to find the truth somewhere in the middle. 

William the Conqueror was William the Bastard before he got to conquering. While researching him I discovered his father’s cousin (?) was then king of England – Edward I who would later be known as “Saint Edward the Confessor.”

What opposites.

Then I read some of Ed’s stuff. I don’t think he wanted that job, it sounds like he just wanted to go off and join a monastery.  Historians make him sound like the wimp king who gave up England to the Normans, while the Catholic church  pegs him as saint.

Did Ed have an arrangement with his wife that they would be celibate due to extreme piousness – or did he hate her because her family killed members of his family?? For most couples, that would be a dealbreaker.

And somewhere along the line Ed promised William he would succeed him to the throne if he (Ed) didn’t have heirs. ?? It didn’t sound like he had PLANS to have heirs. 

And I wondered why the saint was trying to help the bastard when I discovered that William spent his childhood dodging assassins. In one case, as a child, another boy he was sleeping with was stabbed in a case of mistaken identity. Poor kid – talk about post-traumatic stress syndrome.

I would have had a soft spot for him – or at least cut him some slack. Plus the young man was a relative on Ed’s mom’s side. Plus William grew up being called the bastard. (I kept thinking Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue” – I grew up quick and I grew up mean, my fists got hard and my wits got keen ….”)

History has an account of him cutting off the hands and feet of some burghers who made the mistake of mocking. 

And poor Ed – he’s got various sides breathing down his neck and all he wants to do is realize his life’s dream – construction of Westminster Abbey.  Then he goes and has a stroke or hemorrhage in November of 1065. He misses consecration of his beloved edifice.   

Turns out by Christmas Ed was alternately delirious/comatose and was “said” to have given his throne to Harold of Somethingorever just before he died on January 4. 

King Harold was crowned (at Westminster no less) on January 6.

Who gives their throne to Harold? Bill and two other guys were furious and all hell broke loose. 

After requesting directions to books on William the Conqueror and St. Edward the Confessor, I asked the librarians where I could find books on Westminster Abbey; they looked at me like I must have been out in the parking area smoking weed. 

It is just amazing. It’s SO much fun, completely addictive.

I apologize for feeding this blog in bits and pieces, but that’s just how it’s going at this point. My next few posts will be about Bill and Ed.

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