Hereward the Wake was a Saxon leader in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. The Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown met him at this time. The former referred to him as "the foremost of the Saxon outlaws who led a guerrilla campaign against the Normans after the Battle of Hastings." He was based in the fen country in England.
Later, he revealed himself to be King Harold Godwinson. He claimed that Countess Gytha and Lady Edith Swan-Neck had intentionally falsely identified his body on the battlefield, allowing him to die as King Harold, but remain alive as Hereward the Wake.
At one point in his guerrilla campaign, he considered an alliance with the Danes, so that he could march on London. However, the Doctor advised against it, as he felt the Danes would not have allowed a Saxon on the throne of England. Indeed, the Doctor was able to convince Harold to abandon his London plans and his ambitions towards recapturing the throne. Instead, he and his men took the Doctor's counsel that it would be better to remain a thorn in the side of the Normans. Thereby, they would give hope to the Saxon people and prevent them from ever fully accepting Norman rule. (PROSE: The Real Hereward)