Hakon Sweynson was born to Sweyn Godwinson
. The identity of his mother is not known.
1045 (23rd January)
Hakon’s father, Sweyn, was exiled for abducting the abbess of Leominster. It is thought that he intended to marry her and take control of the abbey estate, but he was denied permission.
Hakon’s father, Sweyn, returned to England to ask for forgiveness. His brother, Harold
and his cousin Beorn did not support the return as they had been allocated Sweyn’s lands in his absence. Beorn eventually agreed to support Sweyn but while accompanying Sweyn to meet the King he was murdered by Sweyn’s men. Sweyn was again exiled.
Hakon’s father, Sweyn, was pardoned and returned to England.
A group of Normans
had visited Edward the Confessor in London. On their return journey they had been involved in a conflict with the people of Dover and some were killed. Edward the Confessor asked Earl Godwin
to punish the townspeople of Dover. Earl Godwin refused to carry out the King’s demand and instead raised an army against the King. Not wanting civil war, the Witan intervened and the Godwin family were exiled. Earl Godwin, his wife Gytha
, Sweyn, Tostig
went to Flanders while Harold and Leofwine
went to Dublin. Hakon and his uncle Wulfnoth Godwinson
remained in England as hostages of Edward the Confessor.
Earl Godwin and his family returned to England at the head of an army. King Edward was unable to raise a force that would defeat the Godwins and was forced to sue for peace terms. It was agreed that the Godwin family could return and their former lands would be restored to them. Many prominent Normans, including Archbishop Robert of Jumieges, fled to Normandy. Hakon and his uncle Wulfnoth were taken with them and handed over to William Duke of Normandy
1052 (29th September)
Hakon’s father, Sweyn became ill while on Crusade and died.
1053 (15th April)
Hakon’s grandfather, Earl Godwin, died. His uncle Harold became Earl of Wessex and the most powerful nobleman in England.
Hakon’s uncle, Harold Godwinson, took a boat journey, setting sail from Bosham in the south of England. The purpose of the journey is not known but it may have been to try to secure the release of Hakon and Wulfnoth, or that he was simply taking a fishing trip. However, his boat was blown off course and he was shipwrecked off the coast of Ponthieu. William, Duke of Normandy ordered that Harold be brought to him. Harold rode into battle with William and helped to defeat Conan II of Brittany
. After the battle William knighted Harold and then claimed that Harold had sworn an oath to support William’s claim to the throne of England after the death of Edward the Confessor. Harold returned to England with Hakon but Wulfnoth remained in custody. William claimed that he had promised to release Wulfnoth once he was crowned King.
Hakon Sweynson disappeared from records and nothing more is known of his life.
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2019 – 2020). Hakon Sweynson. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/hakon-sweynson Last accessed April 14th, 2021