The Three Weird Sisters met Macbeth and Banquo on the heath
pronounced their fatal prophecies that lead to the death of King Duncan. Afterward, seeing
foes where he once saw friends, Macbeth called his henchmen and ordered the murder
of Banquo and his son Fleance.
The assassins failed in their mission, and the boy escaped
their clutches. But what happened to Fleance and who were the kings the weird sisters referred to?
As the Elizabethans apparently knew, Banquo was the ancestor of the Royal Stewart line, so no further explanation
was necessary. However, Fleance’s flight was only the beginning of a series of events that take you through the
battle of Dunsinane, William the Conqueror’s Normandy, the Battle of Hastings, and ultimately to Malcolm III’s Scotland, where
descendant Walter became the first Steward of Scotland.
Harold Godwineson, the Last Anglo-Saxon King,
owed everything to his father. Who was this Godwine, first Earl
of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous
schemer, using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the
greatest of all Saxon Earls, protector of the English against
the hated Normans? The answer depends on who you ask.
He was befriended by
the Danes, raised up by Canute the Great, given an Earldom and a
wife from the highest Danish ranks. He sired nine children,
among them four Earls, a Queen and a future King. Along with his
power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay, and Godwine's
best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn. Although he became father-in-law to a reluctant Edward
the Confessor, his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained
prominence at court.
Driven into exile,
Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger, only
to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass
him in renown and glory.