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In 1037 Harold was accepted as king, and the following year he expelled Emma, who retreated to Bruges.She then summoned Edward and demanded his help for Harthacnut, but he refused as he had no resources to launch an invasion, and disclaimed any interest for himself in the throne.According to the Norman chronicler, William of Jumièges, Robert I, Duke of Normandy attempted an invasion of England to place Edward on the throne in about 1034, but it was blown off course to Jersey.He also received support for his claim to the throne from a number of continental abbots, particularly Robert, abbot of the Norman abbey of Jumièges, who was later to become Edward's Archbishop of Canterbury.The son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, Edward succeeded Cnut the Great's son – and his own half brother – Harthacnut, restoring the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut (better known as Canute) conquered England in 1016.When Edward died in 1066, he was succeeded by Harold Godwinson, who was defeated and killed in the same year by the Normans under William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

Edward spent a quarter of a century in exile, probably mainly in Normandy, although there is no evidence of his location until the early 1030s.He had Alfred blinded by forcing red-hot pokers into his eyes to make him unsuitable for kingship, and Alfred died soon after as a result of his wounds.The murder is thought to be the source of much of Edward's later hatred for the Earl and one of the primary reasons for Godwin's banishment in autumn 1051.His nickname reflects the traditional image of him as unworldly and pious.Confessor reflects his reputation as a saint who did not suffer martyrdom, as opposed to King Edward the Martyr.

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