‘…The armies of England and Normandy engaged in a desperate battle near Hastings, and the victory was long obstinately contested. The Normans had a great advantage, from having amongst them large bands of archers, who used the long-bow, and greatly annoyed the English, who had but few bowmen to oppose them, and only short darts called javelins, which they threw from their hands, and which could do little hurt at a distance. Yet the victory remained doubtful, though the battle had lasted from nine in the morning until the close of the day, when an arrow pierced through King Harold's head, and he fell dead on the spot. The English then retreated from the field, and Duke William used his advantage with so much skill and dexterity, that he made himself master of all England, and reigned there under the title of William the Conqueror…’
From “Tales of a Grandfather” (first series) comes Walter Scott’s discussion of the Battle of Hastings, which took place on October 14, 1066.