St Leonards mum’s direct link to both William the Conqueror and King Harold

Emma King
Emma King

A mother will be marking her 40th birthday on Friday (October 14) with a difference.

Emma King, of Carpenter Drive, St Leonards, was not only born on Hastings Day in 1976 but is also descended from both King William the Conqueror and King Harold, who fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

She only recently found out about her unique ancestry through research done by her father, Geoff.

Emma said: “I am really interested in the history my father has researched, as it’s amazing to discover, especially with the strong connection to Hastings where I was both born and live now.

“All of this came about due to my father’s interest in researching family ancestry. Once he started and we discovered all this history we were amazed.

“Generations of my immediate family have also lived in Hastings for decades.

“My auntie Joy, who lives in George Street, my cousins, and both sets of my grandparents also lived here, as well as my father’s parents in All Saints Street in the Old Town, where there was a photograph of my grandfather and father in the Stag Inn Hastings Museum had for years as a publicity photo.

“My mother’s parents also lived in St Leonards.

“I was born in Buchanan Hospital and then lived in London. I returned as I love living in Hastings.

“It’s a wonderful town with something really special about it. After all, there is the saying that all who visit will return.

“I’m so proud of my connection to Hastings and its history.

“I think it’s interesting to have lineage on both Harold and William’s sides, my first born son is also called Harry. Coincidence only though, as I have only recently discovered about my ancestry.”

Emma’s direct link to both William the Conqueror and King Harold starts in the 14th century with the marriage between Lionel of Antwerp (1338 - 1368), a descendent of William the Conqueror, and Elizabeth de Burgh (1332 - 1363), Harold’s descendent.

Emma is also descended from other people depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry, which include Robert de Mortain (William’s half-brother), Guy I Count of Ponthieu who captured Harold on a Normandy beach in 1064, who was released after a ransom was paid, as well as Eustace II Count of Boulogne (also known as Eustaces aux Germons) who was suggested to be the patron of the Bayeux Tapestry.

Other figures in Emma’s family tree include Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk, KB who was the grandfather of Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, and the great-grandfather of Jane’s son, Edward VI.

The Battle of Hastings was fought 950 years ago, beginning the Norman conquest of England.

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