1066 William the illegitimate son of Duke Robert the Devil of Normandy invades England and defeats King Harold II, the last Saxon King at the “Battle of Hastings” claiming the English throne which had been bequeathed to him by Edward the Confessor.
On the 25thDecember William the Conqueror, King William I was crowned King of England.
1067 William suppresses a Saxon revolt in the south. He drives out Anglo-Saxon lords, and gives their lands to his Norman Earls. It was the beginning of a systematic transfer of lands, from Saxon to Norman.
1068 William faced with a revolt in the north of the country, led by Edwin and Morcar, creates an area of mass starvation. Norman soldiers burn every house, barn, crops and kills all livestock.
1069 Swen Estrithson and his armies land in the Humber and joins up with Northern English Earls, taking the Norman Garrison at York. William replies by taking York back.
1070 Howard the Wake leads a Saxon revolt against Norman invaders.
William plundered monasteries, which held Saxon’s wealth. To him England was no more than a resource to be exploited.
1071 William put an end to Saxon England in the East, by defeating Hereward the Wake.
1072 William’s Norman army heads North crossing the border into Scotland and insists Malcolm III should pay homage to him.
1073 William puts down a rebellion in Maine, France.
1078 The Tower of London construction begins, and the building has many stories to tell in its lifetime.
1079 William’s eldest son, Robert heads a rebellion in Normandy against his father, but is defeated at the “Battle of Gerbero.” William spares his life … for Robert would inherit Normandy in 1087.
Winchester Cathedral is built.
1086 The Domesday Book, listing England’s manors or shires and the value of the country.
William informs the Pope, that England owes no allegiance to the Church of Rome.
1087 William dies in battle at the French city of Mantes; his horse stumbles amongst the ruins, and he is unhorsed. He was buried at the Abbey Church of St.Etienne, Caen.
William leaves Normandy to his son Robert, and England to William II – Rufus.
History remembers him as William the Conqueror, the first Norman King of England and the creator of the Doomsday Book. But before he defeated King Harold of England, he was known as William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy. In 1051 or 1052, William married Matilda of Flanders. Matilda was the niece and granddaughter of Kings […]
The Normans originated from the Vikings who took up occupation in the early part of the 10th century in north-east France. A powerful state was created around the mouth of the Seine.
In 1035, the Duchy passed to William, an illegitimate son of Duke Robert of Normandy, and anarchy reigned. In 1047 he proved himself a skilled military leader, by defeating his enemies, and uniting the Duchy behind his rule.
William offered land hungry lords, large areas of England in return for military assistance to overcome Anglo-Saxon resistance. Edward the Confessor had told William, that upon his death, the English crown would pass to him. William expected resistance from the English, and was prepared to do battle, to claim what is his by right.
King William I: The year 1066, became a turning point in England’s history. William the illegitimate son of Duke Robert the Devil of Normandy invaded England, defeating King Harold II (Harold Godwinson) at the Battle of Hastings. On the 25th December William was crowned King William I of England at Westminster Abbey.
Norman feudalism became the basis for redistributing the land among the conquerors, giving England a new French aristocracy, and a new social and political structury.
William faced Saxon revolt in the south, and responded by driving out Anglo-Saxon lords from their lands. In the northern areas he created mass starvation by burning houses, barns crops and killing livestock.
His power and efficiency can be seen in the Domesday Book, a census for taxes, listings manors and shires across the land.
He appointed Lanfranc, an Italian clergyman to the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, and promoted church reform, with the creation of separate church courts, whilst retaining royal control.
King William I (William the Conqueror) died in battle at the French city of Mantes; his horse stumbled amongst the ruins, and he is unhorsed, causing a fatal stomach injury. William was buried at the Abbey Church of St.Etienne, Caen.
King William II: When William I died in 1087, he gave England to his second son, William II and Normandy to his eldest son Robert. To his third son Henry, he left nothing, for he was supposed to enter the church.
William II ascended to the English throne upon the death of his father William I in 1087, and was crowned King William II of England on the 26th September at his coronation at Canterbury Cathedral.
William faced rebellion from his brother Robert, urged on by his uncle Odo of Bayeux, the revolt quickly collapsed. William responded by waging war against Robert in 1089, laying claims to the lands of Normandy, and defeating him in battle.
William faced hostile opposition from Scotland in 1091, and was forced to take action, forcing Malcolm III, King of the Scots to acknowledge him as King of England and the lands of Scotland. In November 1093, Malcolm III and his forces revolted, taking on the might of William II near Alnwick, where Malcolm died on the battlefield.
William was always at odds with the church, he being a practicing homosexual, his interest lay in the revenue the church raised, not the faith itself.
On the 2nd August 1100, King William II was killed when an arrow penetrated his lung in a hunting accident. Walter Tirel, nobleman and friend of the King fired the fateful arrow, missing a stag and killing the king. Tirel fled to France, fearful of his life.
King Henry I: Henry, the third son of William the Conqueror received nothing at his father’s death, but thing’s changed, when his brother William was killed in a hunting accident, he swiftly moved being crowned King in a matter of a few days.
Henry’s brother Robert, landed on English shores in 1101, claiming he was the rightful heir of England. Conflict was averted, Henry’s territories in Normandy passed to Robert, along with 2,000 marks a year. In 1106, Henry invaded Normandy and captured Robert at the “Battle of Tinchebrai,” and imprisoned him for life.
In 1110 Henry created a financial counting system, a chequered cloth was used by the Royal Treasury, a central point for discussions on finance.
In 1121, Henry’s heir William died, and he had no male successor, and proposed his daughter Matilda would be Queen of England upon his death. Henry’s barons swore an allegiance to Matilda, yet their promise was never kept.
In 1135 King Henry I died in Rouen, France and was buried at Reading Abbey.
King Stephen: With Henry I dead, the last thing English barons wanted, was to be ruled by a woman, which led to conflict over succession… So it was, on the 22nd December 1135, Stephen the nephew of Henry I seized the English throne with the backing of barons and nobles, and was crowned on the 26th December.
Henry had so desired his daughter should be his successor, the actions taken by Stephen, led to Civil War as to who should be the rightful ruler; Stephen or Matilda.
Matilda received support from King David I of Scotland, as he invaded English lands. In 1138 Robert the Earl of Gloucester rebels against Stephen. In 1141, Matilda was elected as Queen, but driven out of London by its people who wanted Stephen, prior to her coronation.
This Civil War was tearing England apart, as Henry’s Royal Government lay in tatters. The church played one side against the other, extending its authority. It all came to a head, under the “Treaty of Westminster.” Stephen would remain king for the remainder of his life, and upon his death the English throne would pass to Matilda’s son, Henry Plantagenet and he would take the title; King Henry II of England.
In 1154, King Stephen of England died, and was buried at Faversham in Kent.