In the letter that accompanied my “chip and pin” (debit card), they cautioned consumers not to choose famous dates…like 1066…as their pin number. So, my ever so clever husband suggested 1776, as if that wouldn’t occur to British thieves. Look out 007.
As with many historical facts that seem to infiltrate the very fabric of English life, I found myself embarrassed by my ignorance and went to Wikipedia to shake the cobwebs out of my head. Unlike many English citizens, it has been quite a while since I gave the date much thought.
I can’t exactly pinpoint why I never developed a love of history. I tend to cite the fact that I grew up in Washington state, which has only been a state since 1889. Unlike my husband, who grew up in Virginia, I did not attend countless field trips to battle fields and colonial sites as a child, we went to the science center and to Canada. Maybe all the teachers who are enthusiastic about history lived on the east coast, too, but whatever the cause, I could not entirely recall the significance of the Battle of Hastings (1066). And, I could see from the line above my significant other’s brow that he was struggling a bit as well.
In a completely inadequate nutshell, the winner of the battle became the first widely accepted king of England (William the Conqueror). You can begin your query at http://www.battle1066.com if you like, but of course, there are historians who disagree on many of the details, so if you want to really be able to talk shop with the guides, you have a lot of late nights ahead. Ah, welcome to England.