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Appearance and character 4. Battle of Hastings 5. Church affairs 6. Biography of William the Conqueror 3. Argument 2. Curiosities 8. William as king • Changes in England • Domesday Book 7. Legacy 10.Conclusion 11.Bibliography . Death and aftermath 9.Nicolae Nicolae Raluca Raluca Nicolae Nicolae Roxana Roxana Vlad Ionela Vlad Ionela Coordinator Coordinator teacher: teacher: Vadasz Vadasz Reka Reka Grade:11G William the Conqueror Table of content 1.

Through his actions he succeeded to change the course of English history. by establish the reign of a new dynasty. . Nowadays William the Conqueror represent a symbol of English monarchy. strong and imposing king that certainly would never be forgotten. the Norman dynasty. he was and still is a remarkable personality of English history and culture. a brave.Argument We have chosen to present this project about William the Conqueror because he was not only one of the most important kings of England.

Matilda. After repulsing two French invasions. In 1053 he suppressed a revolt led by William of Arques. William's power in Normandy was constantly under threat. In 1051 William visited Edward the Confessor. Constance. Two years later. was born in 1027. Alan of Brittany and Osbern the Seneschal. When Robert of Normandy died in 1035 William inherited his father's title. Later. William began to govern Normandy in 1045. but William successfully defeated them at Val-es-dunes. Several leading Normans. he was Robert's only living son. At first the people of . the king of England. Robert of Normandy went on a pilgrimage. as Ralph had been involved in the plot against him and had been responsible for the murder of Gilbert of Brionne. Agatha. Adela. Herluin of Conteville. Duke of Normandy and King of England William. William claimed that Edward promised him that he would become his heir. Over the next sixteen years the couple had nine children: Robert Curthose. William Rufus. A number of Norman barons would not accept an illegitimate son as their leader and in 1040 an attempt was made to kill William. the lords of the western region of the duchy rebelled. Before setting out on his trip Robert forced his lords to swear fealty to William. Instead of marrying Herleva. William survived but he was forced to accept Ralph of Wacy as his guardian and leader of his armed forces. including Gilbert of Brionne. In 1035. Osbern the Seneschal and Alan of Brittany. Duke of Normandy and Herleva of Falaise. In 1053 William married Matilda of Flanders. Robert persuaded her to marry his friend. became William's guardians. the daughter of Count Baldwin of Flanders. Henry Beauclerk. The plot failed but they did manage to kill Gilbert of Brionne.Biography of William the Conqueror. William eventually managed to capture Maine. Cecily. Although William was illegitimate. Richard (killed in a hunting accident in 1075). the illegitimate son of Robert. William was unhappy with this.

the Witan decided that Harold was to be the next king of England. He was strong enough to draw bows that others were unable to pull and had great resistance.Maine were unwilling to accept William as their leader. Harold claimed that Edward promised him the throne just before he died on 5th January. quite tall for the time. In 1065 Edward the Confessor became very ill. Guy agreed and Harold went with William to Rouen. Edgar Etheling and Harald Hardrada. but after some fights that he had with Harold. He was captured by Count Guy of Ponthieu and imprisoned at Beaurain. the only bone which survive when the rest of his remains were destroyed. Geoffrey Martel described him as without equal as a fighter and as a horseman. Appearance and character No authentic portrait of William has been found. . showed he was approximately 5 feet 10 inches (1. The next day there was a meeting of the Witan to decide who would become the next king of England. In 1064 Harold of Wessex was on board a ship that was wrecked on the coast of Ponthieu. There are some written descriptions of a burly and robust appearance. Harold. On 6th January 1066. In 1063 William's army ravaged the land until he received their submission. He enjoyed excellent health until old age. Crowned in 1066. William became one of the most important kings of England. 1066. The Witan was made up of a group of about sixty lords and bishops and they considered the merits of four main candidates: William. William demanded that Count Guy release him into his care. with a guttural voice. Later the two men went into battle against Conan of Brittany. although he became quite fat in later life.78 m) in height. Examination of William's femur. William claimed that all the land in England now belonged to him. the contemporary depictions of him on the Bayeux Tapestry and on his seals and coins are conventional representations designed to assert his authority.

William's main hobby appears to have been hunting. but the extent of William's literary education is unclear. but his personal piety was universally praised by contemporaries. East Sussex. but it appears that the decisive event was Harold's death. Legend says that he was hit in the eye with an arrow. and there is little evidence that he sponsored scholarship or other intellectual activities. Battle of Hastings The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England. close to the present-day town of Battle. but was unable to devote sufficient time to the effort and quickly gave up. Orderic Vitalis records that late in William's life the king tried to learn to read Old English. The battle began at about 9 am and lasted all day. His marriage to Matilda appears to have been quite affectionate. He was not known as a patron of authors. approximately 10 km northwest of Hastings. . Medieval writers criticised William for his greed and cruelty. between the Norman-French army of William the Conqueror and the English army under King Harold II. It took place at Senlac Hill. The available sources are more confused about events in the afternoon. and was a decisive Norman victory. about which different stories are told.There are records of two tutors for the young duke during the late 1030s and early 1040s.

The army would have consisted of a mix of cavalry. Also the exact number of soldiers in Harold's army is unknown. Scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings The exact number and composition of William's force are unknown. Most modern historians argue for a figure of 7000–8000 English troops. The tapestry shows both armies fighting bravely but the final remaining scene shows the unarmoured English troops who run away from the battlefield. The Normans were French-speaking. Founded by King William the Conqueror.Although there was further English resistance. they introduced many French words that started in the nobility and eventually became part of the English language itself. A plaque marks the place where Harold is believed . during and after the battle. Some of the cavalry may have used a mace instead of the sword. Battle Abbey was built on the site of the battle. 10. Most archers would not have had armour. Modern historians have offered a range of estimates for the size of William's forces: 7000– 8000 men. 1000–2000 of them cavalry. The English army consisted entirely of infantry. The Battle of Hastings had a tremendous influence on the English language. this battle is seen as the point at which William gained control of England. infantry. Archers would have used a selfbow or a crossbow. and archers. or 7500 men. becoming its first Norman ruler as King William I. The famous Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events before. long and double-edged.000 men. Both the infantry and cavalry usually fought with a straight sword. and as a result of their rule. the abbey it serves as a memorial to the dead and may have been an act of penance for the bloodshed. 3000 of them cavalry.

. including the appointment of Maurilius as Archbishop of Rouen. including William's two monasteries in Caen. a non-Norman who rose to become one of William's prominent ecclesiastical advisors in the late 1040s and remained so throughout the 1050s and 1060s. In this way the Anglo-Saxon period from England's history ended. from 1035 to 1066. William gave generously to the church. including Lanfranc. William the Conqueror became the first Norman king of England. The battlefield from the north side Harold's plaque (2006) Battle Abbey . Another important appointment was that of William's half-brother Odo as Bishop of Bayeux in either 1049 or 1050. He took part in church councils.French monument to Harold After the victory of the Battle of Hastings. He also relied on the clergy for advice. the Norman aristocracy founded at least 20 new monastic houses. a remarkable expansion of religious life in the duchy. Church affairs William cultivated close relations with the church in his have fallen in the battle and the location where the high altar of the church once stood. and made several appointments to the Norman episcopate.

The White Tower was built by William the Conqueror during the late 11th century. He marched into Wales in 1081 and created special defensive 'marcher' counties along the borders. The early castles were simple earth and timber constructions. the White Tower.Bishop of Bayeux William as king Changes in England The first years of William's reign were spent crushing resistance and securing his borders. took place in 1075. As part of his efforts to secure England. In Norman architecture the keep was a symbol of a lord's power. It was the castle's strongest point militarily yet provided accommodation fit for the king and his representatives. later replaced with stone structures. . keeps. William ordered many castles. The White Tower was probably complete by 1100 at the latest. which he did with ruthless efficiency. The White Tower was multi-purpose.Abbey of Sainte-Trinité Odo. He invaded Scotland in 1072 and concluded a truce with the Scottish king. the Revolt of the Earls. The last serious rebellion against his rule. and mottes built – among them the central keep of the Tower of London. and subsequently extended.

. ploughs and any other farm equipment. grouped by owners. such as: 1. most of the native Anglo-Saxon aristocracy had been replaced by Norman and other continental magnates. William sent out his officials to every town. village and hamlet in England. 2. Domesday Book At Christmas in 1085. Each county's listing gives the holdings of each landholder. The information would help William to discover how much people of England could afford to pay the taxes. from the Bayeux Tapestry The White Tower(11th century) By William's death. what the tax assessment was. William's exact motivation in ordering the compilation of Domesday Book is unclear. animals. Not all of the Normans who accompanied William in the initial conquest acquired large amounts of land in England. a work now known as the Domesday Book. and usually the number of peasants. organised by counties. who owned the land before the Conquest. The information about the distribution of the population would help William to plan the defence of England against possible invaders. It remained one of the oldest valid legal documents in Britain.The White Tower in London. begun by William Building a motte. The lists also contained information about how the land it was used. its value. but it probably had several purposes. William ordered the compilation of a survey of the landholdings of himself and his vassals throughout the kingdom. after weathering a series of rebellions. The lists describe the holding. Some appear to have been reluctant to take up lands in a kingdom that did not always appear pacified.

and “helm. There was a great deal of doubt about who owned some of the land in England.” meaning desire. an Old French name composed of Germanic elements (“wil. where it was recorded in a book. Curiosities 1. All landowners were summoned to pay homage to William in 1086. When the information was collected it was sent to Winchester.” meaning protection). Domesday means "day of judgement". William. the book became known as the Domesday Book. His name. About a hundred years after it was produced. William planned to use this information to help him make the right judgements when people were in dispute over land ownership.3. By the . was introduced to England by William the Conqueror and quickly became extremely popular.

establishing separate Church courts to deal with infractions of Canon law. 2. Death and aftermath . Lanfranc. Tower of London. regulating who could hunt and what could be hunted. Lanfranc reorganized the English Church. Today it ranks eighth. William imported an Italian. Although he began the invasion with papal support. 7. William refused to let the church dictate policy within English and Norman borders. Firstly Pope forbade marriage to Matilda due to some relatedness which makes it illegal. 3. inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. to take the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. 4. and he introduced the forest law into areas of the country. and some have predicted that the future crowning of another King William will propel the name back to the top. which is why he is considered the first Norman King of England. Analyzing the family tree of William we find that his rights to the crown of England were void.13th century. William was known for his love of hunting. it was the most common given name among English men. In a twelfth-century document William appears with title of “Rex Norm”. and was a resented symbol of oppression. was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. 6. 5.

and physicians all were in attendance at his funeral. everyone who had been at his deathbed left the body and hurried off to attend to their own affairs. on the assumption that he would become king. he had nothing of any land but a seven-foot measure. the grave was reopened and the bones scattered and lost. during the French Wars of Religion. 1087." Slab marking the site of William's grave Funeral of William the Conqueror The tomb has been disturbed several times since 1087. He was fifty-nine years old and had ruled England for twenty-one years and Normandy for thirty-one years. It was determined that the body would be taken to Caen and buried in the Abbaye-aux-Hommes (which William had founded as penance for having married Matilda of Flanders against the wishes of the Pope). abbots. "so that what I amassed through evil deeds may be assigned to the holy uses of good men. William's grave is currently marked by a marble slab with a Latin inscription dating from the early 19th century.William the Conqueror died early on the morning of September 9. It is assumed that the cause of death would be represented by a riding accident. Disorder followed William's death. monks. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides his epitaph:"He who was earlier a powerful king. also called William. The intact body was restored to the tomb at that time. His treasure was distributed to the churches and the poor. Legacy ." The custody of England was given to William's second surviving son. and he who was at times clothed with gold and with jewels. and lord of many a land. he lay then covered over with earth. Knowledge of the events preceding his death is confused. Bishops. with the exception of one thigh bone. but in 1562.

William the Conqueror was crowned as the first Norman King of England at Westminster Abbey. language and identity. and language of the country have persisted into modern times. aristocracy. Since then. The impact on England of William's conquest was profound. as are countless Americans with British ancestry. William's government blended elements of the English and Norman systems into a new one that laid the foundations of the later medieval English kingdom. is considered a descendant of William. and the Anglo-Saxon period of British history was over. . more than 25 percent of the English population is also distantly related to William. The Conquest brought the kingdom into closer contact with France and forged ties between France and England that lasted throughout the Middle Ages.William’s ascent to the English throne ushered in a new era and forever transformed the country’s culture. Every English monarch that followed him. The coronation of William the Conqueror Westminster Abbey Millions of people are thought to descend from William the Conqueror. culture. On Christmas Day 1066. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the one who officiating the ceremony of coronation. According to some genealogists. changes in the Church. The last monarch who was crowned at Westminster Abbey was Queen Elizabeth II. Another consequence of William's invasion was the sundering of the formerly close ties between England and Scandinavia. every monarch has been crowned king or queen at Westminster Abbey. including Queen Elizabeth II.

there were major changes in the Church. diplomatic ties. even if he was not of English origin. At first. William the Conqueror was only Duke of Normandy.Conclusion In conclusion. from the eleventh century. and his achievements will include many areas. He founded the medieval English kingdom. administration. language etc. During his reign. social structure. culture. the language spoken in his time resisted until now and he was also the initiator of some traditions that are practiced even today. . William I or William the Conqueror was a very important figure in English history. but soon he will become one of the most representative kings of England.

google.schoolnet.Bibliography .