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A description of how the battle of Stamford Bridge began with a conversation between Harold Godwinson and his brother Tostig who had sided with the viking King Harald Hardrada
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I was there with King Harold at the battle of Stamford Bridge. Harold rode out to speak to his brother Tostig who had sided the viking king, Harald Hardrada. King Harold offered Tostig peace but Tostig asked what the King would offer his friend Hardrada. King Harold replied seven feet of ground. Tostig replied that we should make ready for battle and so it was that that we attacked the Vikings as they retreated across the bridge but we were stopped by a giant of a man wielding an axe. We couldn’t get past him so one of our men, in a swill tub, floated under the bridge and thrust a spear up between the planks and brogged him through his nethers. As he fell we charged at the Vikings on the other side of the bridge. Everyone was on foot, shield wall to shield wall, axe to axe. I saw Hardrada go down with an arrow through his through his throat, but with heavily armoured reinforcements arriving from their ships the Vikings fought on. It was a violent battle during which Tostig was cut down.
Kings & Queens
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