Sunday, May 21, 2017

Women in 1066: the Power Behind the Throne

Whether in fact or fiction, a competition for the crown is usually dominated by men. It is they who seek to be king, who lead and fight in armies and who hold the majority of political power. But, there are times when women come to the fore. Although few women have been crowned, history is filled with examples of them using family connections in the political arena, and the period surrounding the Norman Conquest was no different.

In the chronicles of the time, the Battle of Hastings is dominated by the thoughts and tactics of the men of war. But careful reading reveals that women also played important roles before and after the Battle.

At this time it was rare for individual women to appear in the historical records and where they do, it is in their role as mother, wife, sister etc. of important men. The role of women (particularly queens, who were the best recorded) was as advisors to their husbands, supporters of their sons and the voice of religious moderation.

They had influence and power over men – and the three women profiled below wielded particular power behind the throne in 1066.

read more here @ English Heritage
read also Women of History: Women and Domesday (29th July 2007)

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