1051 Earl Godwine Banished
King Edward the Confessor ordered Earl Godwine to sack Dover in retribution for a fight there, in which some of Edward’s Norman friends had been hurt. Earl Godwine refused and instead confronted the King. Initially Godwine had the support of the northern earls, but not wanting a civil war they backed down. The king banished Godwine and his sons. Earl Godwine fled initially to Bosham and then sailed to to Flanders with Earl Swein. Harold and Leofwine made for Ireland where they raised a fleet to support their families return to England.
1053 Earl Godwine Returns
Eager to restore themselves to the Kings good graces, Earl Godwine, Harold and Swein returned with a large army, raiding the south coast of England and taking numerous hostages. They met the kings fleet near the mouth of the river Stour in Kent where Bishop Stigand negotiated the return of Godwine, Harold and Swein's land in exchange for the hostages who sent to Normandy.