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Encyclopedia > William the Conqueror
A romantic nineteenth century artists impression of King William I of England
A romantic nineteenth century artists impression of King William I of England
British Royalty
House of Normandy

William I
Children
   Robert Curthose
   William Rufus
   Adela of Blois
   Henry Beauclerc
William II
Henry I
Children
   Empress Maud
   William Adelin
   Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
Stephen

William I (c. 1027September 9, 1087), was King of England from 1066 to 1087. Known alternatively as William of Normandy, William the Conqueror and William the Bastard, he was the illegitimate and only son of Robert the Magnificent, Duke of Normandy, and Herleva, the daughter of a tanner. Born in Falaise, Normandy, now in France, William succeeded to the throne of England by right of conquest by winning the Battle of Hastings in 1066 in what has become known as the Norman Conquest. From [1], in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... From [1], in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... The Normans (adapted from the name Northmen or Norsemen) were a mixture of the indigenous Gauls of France and of the Viking invaders under the leadership of Rollo (Gange Rolf). ... This image depicts a seal, an emblem, a coat of arms or a crest. ... Robert (called Curthose for his short squat appearance) (c. ... William II (called Rufus, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance, or maybe his bloody reign) (c. ... Adela of Blois (c. ... Henry I (c. ... William II (called Rufus, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance, or maybe his bloody reign) (c. ... Henry I (c. ... Empress Maud (1102 – September 10, 1167) is the title by which Matilda, daughter and dispossessed heir of King Henry I of England and his wife Maud of Scotland (herself daughter of Malcolm III Canmore and St. ... William Adelin (1103 – November 25, 1120) was the only legitimate son of Henry I of England and his wife Maud of Scotland. ... Robert of Gloucester also frequently refers to the historian Robert_of_Gloucester Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (~1090 - October 31, 1147) was an illegitimate son of Henry I of England, and one of the dominant figures of the English Anarchy period. ... Stephen (1096 – October 25, 1154), the last Norman King of England, reigned from 1135 to 1154, when he was succeeded by his cousin Henry II, the first of the Angevin or Plantagenet Kings. ... Events March 26 - Pope John XIX crowns Conrad II Holy Roman Emperor. ... September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... Events May 9 - The remains of Saint Nicholas were brought to Bari. ... This is a list of British monarchs, that is, the monarchs on the thrones of some of the various kingdoms that have existed on, or incorporated, the island of Great Britain, namely: England (united with Wales from 1536) up to 1707; Scotland up to 1707; The Kingdom of Great Britain... Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area  - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 1st UK 49,138,831 377/km² Religion... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned King of England the day after Edward the Confessor dies. ... Illegitimacy was a term in common usage for the condition of being born of parents who are not validly married to one another; the legal term is bastardy. ... Robert I (or Robert the Magnificent) (c. ... The Duke of Normandy is a title held (or claimed) by various Norman, English, French and British rulers from the 10th century. ... Herleva (or Arlette) was the mother of William the Conqueror. ... Falaise is a commune in the Calvados département, in the Basse-Normandie administrative région, in Normandy, north-western France. ... Normandy is a geographical region in northern France. ... The Battle of Hastings was the decisive Norman victory in the Norman conquest of England in 1066. ... Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ...


No authentic portrait of William has been found. In the patriotic print he is wearing plate armour that was invented generations after his death. He was described as a big burly man, strong in every sense of the word, balding in front but of regal dignity. Plate armour is personal armour made from large metal plates, worn on the chest and sometimes the entire body. ...

Contents


Early life history

William was born the grandnephew of Queen Emma, wife of King Ethelred the Unready and later of King Canute. A family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family is a domestic group of people, or a number of domestic groups linked through descent (demonstrated or stipulated) from a common ancestor, marriage or adoption. ... Emma (c. ... Ethelred II (Old English: Æþelred) (c. ... Canute (or Cnut) I, or Canute the Great (Danish: Knud den Store, Norwegian: Knut den Store) (994/995 – November 12, 1035) was king of England, Denmark and Norway and governor or overlord of Schleswig and Pomerania. ...


William succeeded to his father's Duchy of Normandy at the young age of 7 in 1035 and was known as Duke William II of Normandy. He lost three guardians to plots to usurp his place. Count Alan of Brittany was a later guardian. King Henry I of France knighted him at the age of 15. By the time he turned 19 he was himself successfully dealing with threats of rebellion and invasion. With the assistance of King Henry, William finally secured control of Normandy by defeating the rebel Norman barons at Caen in the Battle of Val-ès-Dunes in 1047. The Duchy of Normandy stems from the Viking invasions of France in the 8th century. ... Events Harthacanute becomes king of Denmark. ... This is a family tree of the Dukes of Brittany, from the 9th century, to the annexation by France in 1514. ... Henry I (French: Henri Ier) (May 4, 1008–August 4, 1060) was King of France from 1031 to 1060. ... Location within France Caen is a city and a commune of northwestern France. ... The Battle of Val-ès-Dunes was fought in 1047 by the combined forces of William, Duke of Normandy and King Henry I of France against the forces of several rebel Norman barons, led by Guy of Burgundy. ... Events William the Conqueror, with assistance from King Henry I of France, secured control of Normandy by defeating the rebel Norman barons at Caen the Battle of Val-ès-Dunes Births Deaths October 9 - Pope Clement II Categories: 1047 ...


He married Matilda of Flanders, against the wishes of the pope in 1053 at the Cathedral of Notre Dame at Eu, Normandy (now in Seine-Maritime). He was 26, she was 22. Their marriage produced four sons and six daughters (see list below). Image:MatildaFlanders. ... Leo IX, né Bruno dEguisheim-Dagsbourg (June 21, 1002 - April 19, 1054) was pope from February 12, 1049 to his death. ... Events June 18 - Battle of Civitate - 3000 horsemen of Norman Count Humphrey rout the troops of Pope Leo IX Good harvests in Europe Malcolm Canmore invades Scotland. ... Seine-Maritime is a French département in Normandy. ...


His half-brothers Odo of Bayeux and Robert, Count of Mortain played significant roles in his life. Odo of Bayeux (c. ... Robert, Count of Mortain (d. ...


Conquest of England

See main article Norman Conquest. Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ...


Upon the death of William's cousin King Edward the Confessor of England (January 1066), William claimed the throne of England, asserting that the childless Edward had named him his heir during a visit by William (probably in 1052) and that Harold Godwinson, England's foremost magnate, had reportedly pledged his support while shipwrecked in Normandy (c. 1064). Harold made this pledge while in captivity and was reportedly tricked into swearing on a saint's bones that he would give the throne to William. Even if this story is true, however, Harold made the promise under duress and so may have felt free to break it. Edward the Confessor (c. ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned King of England the day after Edward the Confessor dies. ... Events Births Milarepa Deaths Heads of state Holy See - Leo IX pope (1049-1054) Categories: 1052 ... Name Harold Godwinson Lived c. ... Events Sunset Crater Volcano first erupts. ...


The assembly of England's leading notables known as the Witenagemot approved Harold Godwinson’s coronation which took place on January 5, 1066 making him King Harold II of England. In order to pursue his own claim, William obtained the Pope's support for his cause. He assembled an invasion fleet of around 600 ships and an army of 7000 men. He landed at Pevensey in Sussex on September 28, 1066 and assembled a prefabricated wooden castle near Hastings as a base. This was a direct provocation to Harold Godwinson as this area of Sussex was Harold's own personal estate, and William began immediately to lay waste to the land. It may have prompted Harold to respond immediately and in haste rather than await reinforcements in London. The Witenagemot (or Witan) was a political institution in Anglo-Saxon England which operated between approximately the 7th century and 11th century. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned King of England the day after Edward the Confessor dies. ... Name Harold Godwinson Lived c. ... Pevensey is a small village (1991 pop. ... Sussex as a traditional county. ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years). ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned King of England the day after Edward the Confessor dies. ... Hastings is a town and local government district in South East England, in the county of East Sussex. ... The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster which contains Big Ben Tower Bridge at night A red double-decker bus crosses Piccadilly Circus. ...


King Harold Godwinson was in the north of England and had just defeated another rival, King Hardrada of Norway supported by his own brother Tostig. He marched an army of similar size to William's 250 miles in 9 days to challenge him at the crucial battle of Senla, which later became known as the Battle of Hastings. This took place on October 14, 1066. According to some accounts, perhaps based on an interpretation of the Bayeux Tapestry commemorating the Norman victory, Harold was killed by an arrow through the eye, and the Anglo Saxon forces fled giving William victory. Harald III Haardraade (1015 — September 25, 1066) was the king of Norway from around 1040 together with the son of Olav Haroldsson (St. ... The Battle of Hastings was the decisive Norman victory in the Norman conquest of England in 1066. ... October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in Leap years). ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned King of England the day after Edward the Confessor dies. ... The Bayeux Tapestry (French: Tapisserie de Bayeux) is not actually a tapestry (that is, a weaving), but is embroidery, and dates from 1077. ...


This was the defining moment of what is now known as the Norman Conquest. The remaining Saxon noblemen surrendered to William at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire and he was acclaimed King of England there. William was then crowned on December 25, 1066 in Westminster Abbey. Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... Arms of Berkhamstead Town Council Berkhamsted (since 1937, former spellings include Berkhampstead, or Berkhamstead, and also known colloquially as Berko) is a historic town of some 19,000 people, situated in the west of Hertfordshire, to the north-west of London, UK. It is in the administrative district of Dacorum. ... Hertfordshire (pronounced Hartfordshire and abbreviated as Herts) is an inland county in the United Kingdom, officially part of the East of England Government region. ... December 25 is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 6 days remaining. ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned King of England the day after Edward the Confessor dies. ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster (Westminster Abbey), a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral, is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs. ...


Although the south of England submitted quickly to Norman rule, resistance continued, especially in the North for six more years until 1072. Harold's sons attempted an invasion of the south-west peninsula. Risings occurred in the Welsh Marches and at Stafford. Most seriously William faced separate attempts at invasion by the Danes and the Scots. William's defeat of these led to what became known as the The Harrowing of the North in which Northumbria was laid waste to deny his enemies its resources. The last serious resistance came with the Revolt of the Earls in 1075. Events William I of England invades Scotland, and also receives the submission of Hereward the Wake. ... In European history, marches are border regions between centres of power. ... Map sources for Stafford at grid reference SJ9223 Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire in England. ... Scotland (Alba in Scottish Gaelic) is a country in northwest Europe, occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain. ... The Harrowing of the North was a pogrom in the winter of 1069-1070 carried out by the subordinates of William of Normandy against the Anglo-Danish population. ... Northumbria is primarily the name of an Anglian or Anglo-Saxon kingdom which was formed in Great Britain at the beginning of the 7th century, and of the earldom which succeeded the kingdom. ... The Revolt of the Earls in 1075 was a rebellion of three earls against William I of England (William the Conqueror). ... Events Revolt of the Earls. ...


William's reign

William initiated many major changes. In 1085, in order to ascertain the extent of his dominion, William commissioned the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey of England's productive capacity similar to a modern census. He also ordered the building of a number of castles, among them the Tower of London. His conquest also led to Norman French replacing English as the language of the ruling classes, for nearly 300 years. Events May 25 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors. ... Domesday Book (also known as Domesday, or Book of Winchester), was the record of the great survey of England completed in 1086, executed for William the Conqueror, that was like a census by the government today. ... A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ... The Alcázar of Segovia, Spain A castle (from the Latin castellum, diminutive of castra, a military camp, in turn the plural of castrum or watchpost), is a fort, a camp and the logical development of a fortified enclosure. ... The Tower of London, seen from the river, with a view of the water gate called Traitors Gate. ... The Norman language is a Romance language, one of the Oïl languages. ... History of the English language Old English Main article: Old English language Around the 5th century and on, the land of England was invaded by Germanic tribes, primarily the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. ...


William is said to have deported large numbers of the old landed classes into slavery through Bristol. Many of the latter ending up in Umayyad Spain and Moorish lands, converting and taking high positions in the state. The Courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, one of the grandest architectural legacies of the Umayyads. ... For the terrain type see Moor Moors is used in this article to describe the medieval Muslim inhabitants of al-Andalus and the Maghreb, whose culture is often called Moorish. For other meanings look at Moors (Meaning) or Blackamoors. ...

The signatures of William I and Matilda (beside the first two large Xs) on the Accord of Winchester from 1072.
The signatures of William I and Matilda (beside the first two large Xs) on the Accord of Winchester from 1072.

He died aged 60 at the Convent of St Gervais, near Rouen, France, on September 9, 1087 from abdominal injuries received from his saddle pommel when he fell off a horse at the Siege of Mantes. He was buried in the St. Peter's Church in Caen, Normandy. In a most unregal postmortem, William's corpulent body would not fit in the stone sarcophagus, and burst after some unsuccessful prodding by the assembled bishops, filling the chapel with a foul smell and dispersing the mourners. [1] accord of winchester signed 1072 by william the conqueror & his wife this elevated canterbury over york as to whose archbishop would be the highest primate in england the large Xs are the signatures of william & matilda, the one under theirs is lanfrancs, and the other bishops are under his... Location within France Rouen (pronounced in French, sometimes also ) is the historical capital city of Normandy, in northern France, and presently the capital of the Upper Normandy région. ... September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... Events May 9 - The remains of Saint Nicholas were brought to Bari. ... Mantes-la-Jolie or Mantes or Mantes-sur-Seine is a commune of northern France, the capital of an arrondissement (sous-préfecture) and the third largest town in the département of Yvelines on the left bank of the Seine, some 30 miles north west of Paris. ... Underwater funeral in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seafrom an edition with drawings by Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou. ... Location within France Caen is a city and a commune of northwestern France. ... Normandy is a geographical region in northern France. ... Obesity is a significant public health concern throughout the developed and developing world. ... A sarcophagus is a stone container for a coffin or body. ... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ...


William was succeeded in 1087 as King of England by his younger son William Rufus and as Duke of Normandy by his elder son Robert Curthose. This led to the Rebellion of 1088. His youngest son Henry also became King of England later, after William II died without a child to succeed him. Events May 9 - The remains of Saint Nicholas were brought to Bari. ... William II (called Rufus, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance, or maybe his bloody reign) (c. ... Robert (called Curthose for his short squat appearance) (c. ... The Rebellion of 1088 occurred after the death of William the Conqueror and concerned the division of lands in England and Normandy between his two sons William Rufus and Robert Curthose. ... Henry I (c. ...


Children of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders

Some doubt exists over how many daughters there were. This list includes some entries which are obscure.

  1. Robert Curthose (c. 10541134), Duke of Normandy, married Sybil of Conversano, daughter of Geoffrey of Conversano
  2. Adeliza (or Alice) (c. 1055–?), reportedly betrothed to Harold II of England (Her existence is in some doubt.)
  3. Cecilia (or Cecily) (c. 10561126), Abbess of Holy Trinity, Caen
  4. William Rufus (10561100), King of England
  5. Richard (1057-c. 1081), killed by a stag in New Forest
  6. Adela (c. 10621138), married Stephen, Count of Blois
  7. Agatha (c. 1064–c. 1080), betrothed to (1) Harold of Wessex, (2) Alfonso VI of Castile
  8. Constance (c. 10661090), married Alan IV Fergent, Duke of Brittany; poisoned, possibly by her own servants
  9. Matilda (very obscure, her existence is in some doubt)
  10. Henry Beauclerc (10681135), King of England, married (1) Matilda (or Edith) of Scotland, daughter of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, (2) Adeliza of Louvain


Robert (called Curthose for his short squat appearance) (c. ... Events Cardinal Humbertus, a representative of Pope Leo IX, and Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, decree each others excommunication. ... Events Baalbeck taken by Genghis Khan House of Brandenburg begins when Albrecht the Bear is made head of the Nordmark St. ... Conversano is an ancient town and comune of Bari province in the Italian region of Puglia. ... Events January 11 - Theodora becomes Reigning Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire. ... Name Harold Godwinson Lived c. ... Events Anselm of Canterbury leaves Italy. ... Events Rutherglen becomes one of the first Royal Burghs in Scotland. ... William II (called Rufus, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance, or maybe his bloody reign) (c. ... Events Anselm of Canterbury leaves Italy. ... For alternate uses, see Number 1100. ... Events King Macbeth I of Scotland is killed in battle against Malcolm Canmore. ... Events Corfu taken from Byzantine Empire by Robert Guiscard, Italy Byzantine emperor Nicephorus III is overthrown by Alexius I Comnenus, ending the Middle Byzantine period and beginning the Comnenan dynasty Alexius I helps defend Albania from the Normans (the first recorded mention of Albania), but is defeated at the Battle... New Forest heathland The New Forest is an area of Hampshire in England which includes the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and old-growth forest in the heavily-populated south east of England. ... Adela of Blois (c. ... Events Founding of Marrakech The Almoravids overrun Morocco and establish a kingdom from Spain to Senegal. ... For other uses, see number 1138. ... Stephen II Henry (c. ... Events Sunset Crater Volcano first erupts. ... Wessex was one of the seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (the Heptarchy) that preceded the kingdom of England. ... Alfonso VI (before June 1040 - July 1, 1109), nicknamed the Brave, was king of León from 1065 to 1109 and king of Castile since 1072 after his brothers death. ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned King of England the day after Edward the Confessor dies. ... Events Granada captured by Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, King of the Almoravides Beginnings of troubadours in Provence Bejaia becomes the capital of the Algeria Births William of Malmsbury Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Saint Famianus Eliezer ben Nathan of Mainz Deaths Saint Malcoldia of Asti Saint Adalbero Categories: 1090 ... Alan IV of Cornwall (died 1119) was duke of Brittany, from 1084 to 1112. ... Brittany was a region with strong traditions of independence, including a language and culture all its own. ... Henry I (c. ... Events Emperor Go-Sanjo ascends the throne of Japan William the Conqueror takes Exeter after a brief siege Births Henry I of England (d. ... Events January - Byland Abbey founded Stephen of Blois succeeds King Henry I. Empress Maud, daughter of Henry I and widow of Henry V opposed Stephen and claims the throne as her own Owain Gwynedd of Wales defeats the Normans at Crug Mawr. ... Scotland (Alba in Scottish Gaelic) is a country in northwest Europe, occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain. ... King Malcolm III of Scotland (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada), (1031-November 13, 1093) also known as Malcolm Canmore (Malcolm with the large head)Cean Mor meaning Big Head in Gaidhlig, was the eldest son of King Duncan I of Scotland and first king of the House of Dunkeld. ... Adeliza of Louvain (1103-1151) was queen consort of England from 1121 to 1135, the second wife of King Henry I of England. ... Leuven in 2004 Leuven (Louvain in French, Löwen in German) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant, of which it is the capital. ...

Preceded by:
Edgar Ætheling
King of England
1066–1087
Succeeded by:
William II
Preceded by:
Robert the Magnificent
Duke of Normandy
1035–1087
Succeeded by:
Robert Curthose


The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... This is a list of British monarchs, that is, the monarchs on the thrones of some of the various kingdoms that have existed on, or incorporated, the island of Great Britain, namely: England (united with Wales from 1536) up to 1707; Scotland up to 1707; The Kingdom of Great Britain... William II (called Rufus, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance, or maybe his bloody reign) (c. ... Robert I (or Robert the Magnificent) (c. ... The Duke of Normandy is a title held (or claimed) by various Norman, English, French and British rulers from the 10th century. ... Robert (called Curthose for his short squat appearance) (c. ...


Further reading

  • David Bates, William the Conqueror (1989) ISBN 0752419803

Professor David Bates is a British historian. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:
William I of England

  Results from FactBites:
 
William I of England - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1152 words)
William was born the grandnephew of Queen Emma, wife of King Ethelred the Unready and later of King Canute.
William succeeded to his father's Duchy of Normandy at the young age of 7 in 1035 and was known as Duke William II of Normandy (Fr.
William was succeeded in 1087 as King of England by his younger son William Rufus and as Duke of Normandy by his elder son Robert Curthose.
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