William duke of Normandy visited King Edward. William later claimed that Edward offered to make him his heir during this visit. During the visit some of the Normans were involved in a brawl in Dover and were killed.
1051 (late Summer)
King Edward the Confessor ordered that the people of Dover should be punished for the deaths of his Norman friends. He ordered Godwin Earl of Wessex to carry out the punishment.
Earl Godwin of Wessex refused to carry out King Edward the Confessor’s order to punish the town of Dover and instead raised an army against the King. The King also raised troops but neither side was prepared to start a civil war so the matter was referred to the Witan.
1051 (24th September)
The Witan met to discuss Earl Godwin’s refusal to carry out the King’s orders. They decided that Godwin and his family should be banished. The Godwin family left England.
Earl Godwin of Wessex raised an army and accompanied by his sons, Harold and Tostig, launched an attack on England. They quickly took the South and Edward, unable to raise sufficient forces to defeat them, was forced to sue for peace. It was agreed that the Godwin family could return to England and that their titles and land would be restored to them.
1053 (15th April)
Earl Godwin of Wessex died. He was succeeded by his son, Harold Godwinson who became Earl of Wessex.
1054 (27th July)
Battle of Dunsinane
Earl Siward of Northumbria crossed the Scottish border to support Malcolm Canmore in his fight against Macbeth who had usurped the throne of Scotland from Malcolm’s father, Duncan. The Battle of Dunsinane resulted in the defeat of Macbeth.
1057 (late August)
Edward the Exile, son of Edmund Ironside, died two days after returning to England with his young son, Edgar Aetheling.
1057 (31st August)
Leofric of Mercia died. He was the husband of Lady Godiva who reputedly rode naked through the streets of Coventry. He also founded Coventry’s first Cathedral.