by Helen Hollick
In 1063/4 Earl Harold of Wessex took ship and ended up in Normandy.
On board he had hounds, hawks - gifts obviously.
For some reason he ended up as a prisoner to Guy de Ponthieu- who was then forced to submit to Duke William who apologised profusely to Harold and his men.
Harold then spent several months in Normandy - even going on campaign with William.
But then, he was forced to swear an oath - stating he would support William's claim to the English throne.
We know these events happened because they are in the Bayeux Tapestry.
But we do not know why Harold went to Normandy.
Was he heading elsewhere?
Was his ship blown off course by a storm?
Had he merely set out on a fishing trip?
and this I firmly believe - was he intending to go to Normandy to plead for the release of his brother Wulfnoth and cousin Hakon who had been held hostage since 1052?
One other fact that we do know. Harold returned to England with Hakon.
Over to you.
What do you think?