Friday, October 14, 2016

Probably too late to get to Battle Abbey

Today is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, one of the most significant -- and misnamed -- battles in history. The battle ended with the death of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England (Harold II) and eventually, by virtue of the victory of William of Normandy, gave us the English language as we know it.

Naturally, there was a re-enactment of the battle at Battle Abbey, generally accepted as the epicenter of the battle:

The re-enactors marched from York, 300 miles away, to recreate the journey Harold II took to get himself killed:

Battle Abbey was built on the site of the battle at the order of William of Normandy to commemorate his victory. Oddly enough, the battle took place about seven miles from the town of Hastings, with several towns located much closer, yet the Hastings name stuck. Go figure.

Of course, the Battle of Hastings shares the anniversary with the 1322 Battle of Byland, where Scotland's Robert the Bruce defeated an English army and forced England's King Edward to accept Scotland's independence. On the same date in 1908, the Chicago Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers to clinch the last World Series title the Cubs have won to date (could change this year).

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