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William of normandy and his victory on the battlefield of hastings in 1066

His short reign gave his descendents, who included Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, a claim to the English throne. When Harold Godwinson became king of England on the death of Edward the Confessor, Hardrada william of normandy and his victory on the battlefield of hastings in 1066 forces with Tostig, Harold's brother, and took an invasion fleet of approximately 300 ships to England to press his own claim.

He raided the east coast, burning Scarborough, then sailed up the Humber river. The invaders then marched on York and took it four days later. This was a major crisis for Harold II, who marched north with his army to meet the threat. Harold caught the invaders off guard and defeated them in detail, slaughtering many of them and killing both Tostig and Hardrada.

Less than 30 of the invasion fleet of 300 ships returned to Norway. William believed that Edward the Confessor had promised him the English throne, and that Harold had agreed to back his claim after he was shipwrecked in Normandy and taken prisoner by William in 1064. The invasion force landed unopposed because Harold was still marching south after defeating his rival, Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. The two armies were evenly matched in numbers, but Harold's men were exhausted after a long march back from the hard-fought Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Nonetheless, the battle lasted the whole day. The English defensive shield wall was finally broken by the Norman tactic of using feigned retreats to lure Harold's troops into charging then cutting them down with cavalry. The Norman triumph was total. Harold was killed along with many Saxon nobles. Some attempts were made to resist him, but he gradually received the submission of many Saxon nobles.

He was crowned William I although is more commonly referred to as William the Conqueror in Westminster Abbey, the burial place of Edward the Confessor, the king from whom William derived his claim to the throne. William defeated the rebels and laid waste to the country between Nottingham and York, causing a widespread famine in 1070. In pacifying England, William transformed its social structure.

  1. Nonetheless, the battle lasted the whole day. Facing such odds, Harold had no choice but to fight a defensive battle.
  2. The invasion force landed unopposed because Harold was still marching south after defeating his rival, Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
  3. Aetheling actually means 'throneworthy' and was the title given to the most legitimate heir; but a legitimate blood claim was only part of the issue. The two armies were evenly matched in numbers, but Harold's men were exhausted after a long march back from the hard-fought Battle of Stamford Bridge.

About 4,000 English earls were dispossessed and replaced by about 200 Norman and compliant English barons. Most of the early castles were of the motte-and-bailey type, but around 1070 the earl of Hereford built a stone castle at Chepstow.

In the 1090s, the Welsh successfully rose in revolt. Wales was then governed in regions still under native rule, but dominated by powerful Norman lordships known as the 'Marcher Lords'.

All were obliged to recognise the overlordship of the king of England. But in 1075 he became implicated in the 'Revolt of the Earls' - an uprising planned by a group of nobles. He went to Normandy to expose the plot and seek mercy from William, but was brought back to England and beheaded near Winchester.

The revolt was the last serious uprising against William. Historically it is considered an unreliable account of events.

It shows the prelude, the battle and the aftermath entirely from the Norman perspective. The tapestry was probably commissioned in the 1070s by William's half-brother, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and made in Canterbury.

It was completed around 1077, and has been in Bayeux since the 15th century. Christmas 1085 Domesday Book is instituted to survey the English lands of William the Conqueror While at court in Gloucester, William decided to undertake a survey of his English realm. The country was divided into circuits, and groups of commissioners gathered information in the counties of individual circuits.

Initial returns were probably completed by the summer of 1086. The information gathered came to be known as the Domesday Book Domesday meaning 'day of judgement'. It was the most complete record of any country at that time and remains a legally valid document.

At Salisbury in 1086, a large gathering saw not just William the Conqueror's tenants, but also the major landholders swear loyalty to him. William may also have received the returns to the Domesday survey at this occasion. He fell ill while on campaign in the summer of 1087 and spent his final days at Rouen.

His eldest son, Robert, succeeded to Normandy.

  1. Soon after his accession, Henry I invited Anselm to return, but they were soon at loggerheads over a long-running dispute about the extent of the king's control of ecclesiastical appointments.
  2. Despite various conspiracy theories, it seems most likely that it was an accident.
  3. Harold called out the English levy the fyrd , which was an army of English peasant farmers obliged to fight for their king when required to do so, and kept it out.
  4. Instead, William watched, and he waited...
  5. Less than 30 of the invasion fleet of 300 ships returned to Norway. Stephen died the following year and Henry was crowned Henry II without bloodshed.

No specific succession was determined for England, but it may simply have been assumed that William's second son, known as William Rufus, would succeed.

His third son, Henry, received a large sum of money. He had to move swiftly if he was to lay claim to the crown of England, to which he had not been specifically named as heir. Robert of Normandy sent troops to support the rising, but they were driven back by bad weather. William II showed deft political skill to win over supporters, and the rebels were defeated. William defeated another rebellion, led by the earl of Northumbria, in 1095.

He was made archbishop of Canterbury in 1070, following the deposition of the Anglo-Saxon archbishop, Stigand. Throughout his archiepiscopate, Lanfranc was central to both the secular and the ecclesiastical affairs of England.

He played a key role in detecting the 'Revolt of the Earls', helped maintain the independence of the Church of England and acting as a restraining influence on the monarch. His ambition was to redraw the border and show his independence from the English king. The expedition caused considerable destruction, reaching as far as Durham.

He withdrew and acknowledged the overlordship of the king of England as William II prepared to campaign against him. Malcom was killed in an ambush by Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria, in 1093. In 1093, William fell ill and believing himself close to death, wished to atone for his sin. He chose Anselm, the Burgundian abbot of Bec, to be the new archbishop. Anselm was invested by the king on 6 March 1093.

He was a highly influential theologian and philosopher who was later canonised. It is one of the finest examples of Norman cathedral-building in Europe. She had a considerable influence on politics, culture and religion in her new home and was later canonised. A university was established in Cambridge around 1209, probably by scholars fleeing unrest in Oxford. To support his expedition, and to ensure the protection of his lands during his absence, he gave his brother, William II, King of England, custody of the duchy in return for a loan of 10,000 marks.

Chief among these was William's refusal to recognise Urban II as the true pope, which in turn prevented Anselm from receiving the pope's endorsement of his archiepiscopate. William of normandy and his victory on the battlefield of hastings in 1066 matter was resolved, but in 1097 there were fresh disagreements and Anselm departed for Rome to seek papal advice.

William then seized all the revenues of the archbishop of Canterbury. While out hunting in the New Forest, he was shot in the chest with an arrow, probably fired by his friend Walter Tirel, and died of his wounds. Despite various conspiracy theories, it seems most likely that it was an accident. William's brother had himself rapidly crowned Henry I.

Within days he had seized control of the royal treasure at Winchester and had himself crowned king at Westminster.

The coronation was performed by Maurice, Bishop of London, because the archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm, was out of the country as a result of a quarrel with William II.

Soon after his accession, Henry I invited Anselm to return, but they were soon at loggerheads over a long-running dispute about the extent of the king's control of ecclesiastical appointments.

Anselm returned to exile.

Norman Britain

It was not until 1107 that a reconciliation was finally arranged. Anselm spent the last few years of his life in England. His expedition proved unsuccessful and the two brothers came to terms in the Treaty of Alton. Robert agreed to recognise Henry as king of England in return for Henry's territories in Normandy and a large annuity.

The rapprochement did not last. In 1105, Henry invaded Normandy. One of his most serious reverses came in August 1103 when his Leinster and some Dublin followers were outnumbered and slaughtered by the MacLochlainns and allies in a conflict at Mag Coba, somewhere north of Newry.

The chronicles of the time are full of references to cattle plagues and other such devastating phenomena. The storm of 1103 was sufficiently large to have been recorded and was described as having done unprecedented damage to crops.

Robert had unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow him by invading in 1101, but in 1106 Henry turned the tables by defeating his brother at the Battle of Tinchebray, in Normandy. Robert was kept in captivity until his death in 1134. Thus Henry reunited his father's dominions. She was only eight years old. The marriage was clearly was made for diplomatic reasons and conferred much prestige on the English king.

Matilda continued to be called empress even after the death of the emperor in 1125. Her son, the future Henry II, would be referred to as 'Henry, son of the empress'. Midsummer 1114 Henry I invades Wales, forcing Gwynedd and Powys to submit Norman settlement had already extended considerably into Wales by the early 12th century. Much of the process was conducted by English nobles, but Henry I also led expeditions - most notably that of 1114.

He forced the submission of the princes of Gwynedd and Powys. He was involved in the rebellion against Henry I in 1101, when Robert, Duke of Normandy, had attempted to invade England. Muirchertach had ambitions to wider power in Ireland, but was frustrated by internal politics and reverses like his defeat at Mag Coba.

The succession was thrown into crisis when William was drowned while returning from Normandy to England on the 'White Ship'. Henry, a widower, married Adeliza, daughter of the duke of Louvain, a few months after the death of his son, but his new wife produced no children. Just before Christmas in 1126, he required his nobles and the clergy, together with David, King of Scotland, to swear to accept his daughter Matilda as his heir.

The following year, Matilda, widowed by the death of her husband the German emperor, Henry V, was married to Geoffrey of Anjou, nicknamed 'Plantagenet' after the broom flower, which he adopted as his emblem. This match served to seal a peace between Anjou and Henry's realms of England and Normandy. But many considered a woman unfit to rule and further resentment was generated by her marriage into the Anjou family in 1127.

Henry's nephew, Stephen of Blois, took advantage of the discord and secured support for his own succession from key political and administrative figures in England. He was crowned king by William of Corbel, Archbishop of Canterbury.