College papers help


A biography of william the conqueror a king of england

He was the son of Robert I Duke of Normandy. His father died in At first William was too young to rule but as he grew older he took control of Normandy. In he married a woman named Matilda of Flanders. Edward the Confessor, king of England died in January without leaving an heir.

William Duke of Normandy claimed that Edward once promised him he would be the next king of England. If Harold ever swore such an oath it was only because he had been shipwrecked off the Norman coast and was coerced into swearing an oath. In Saxon times the crown was not necessarily hereditary.

  1. Harold Godwinson later married Edith the sister of Edward the Confessor.
  2. William erected one of three pre-built castle he has brought with him at Pevensey and marched on to Hastings.
  3. The Saxon army was made up of the house-carles, the king's bodyguard.

A body of men called the Witan played a role in choosing the next king. Duke William of Normandy would have to obtain the crown by force. However William the Conqueror was not the only contestant for the throne.

Harald Hardrada, king of Norway, also claimed it. He sailed to Yorkshire with 10, men in ships. The Earls of Northumbria and Mercia attacked him but they were defeated. However King Harold marched north with another army. He took the Norwegians by surprise and routed them at Stamford Bridge on 25 September That ended any threat from Norway.

Meanwhile William the Conqueror built a fleet of ships to transport his men and horses across the Channel. They landed in Sussex at the end of September.

Navigation menu

They burned Saxon houses. The Battle of Hastings Harold rushed to the south coast. He arrived with his men on 13 October. The Saxon army was made up of the house-carles, the king's bodyguard. They fought on foot with axes. They wore coats of chain mail called hauberks. Kite shaped shields protected them. However most Saxon soldiers had no armour only axes and spears and round shields.

They fought on foot. Their normal tactic was to form a 'shield-wall' by standing side by side. However the Saxons had no archers. The Norman army was much more up to date. Norman knights fought on horseback. They wore chain mail and carried kite shaped shields.

A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

They fought with lances, swords and maces. Some Normans fought on foot protected by chain mail, helmets and shields. The Normans also had a force of archers.

  • Duke William appeals to the Pope to support his cause;
  • The Norman army was much more up to date;
  • William the Conqueror rushed north and crushed the rebellion However the rising in the north fanned the flames of rebellion elsewhere;
  • The Saxons kept on fighting in the Fens but by 1071 they were forced to surrender.

The battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October The Saxons were assembled on Senlac Hill. The Normans formed below them. Both armies were divided into 3 wings. William the Conqueror also divided his army into 3 ranks. At the front were archers, in the middle soldiers on foot then mounted knights. The Norman archers advanced and loosed their arrows but they had little effect.

The foot soldiers advanced but they were repulsed.

  • After a long effort, the duke succeeded in exiling Guy in
  • There followed years of famine in the north when many people starved to death;
  • Some Normans fought on foot protected by chain mail, helmets and shields.

The mounted knights then charged but they were unable to break the Saxon shield wall. Then the Saxons made a disastrous mistake. Foot soldiers and knights from Brittany fled. Some of the Saxons broke formation and followed them. The Normans then turned and attacked the pursuing Saxons. According to a writer called William of Poitiers the Saxons made the same mistake twice. Seeing Normans flee for a second time some men followed.

The Normans turned and destroyed them. The battle was now lost. Harold was killed with all his housecarles. Those Saxons who could fled down the north side of Senlac Hill. William the Conqueror captured Dover and Canterbury. He then captured Winchester a very important town in those days.

Finally William captured London and he was crowned king of England on 25 December The Saxon era was over. Now the Normans would impose their control over England. King William However at first his position was by no means secure. He had only several thousand men to control a population of about 2 million. Furthermore Swein, King of Denmark also claimed the throne of England.

At first the Normans were hated invaders and they had to hold down a resentful Saxon population. One method the Normans used to control the Saxons was building castles. They erected a mound of earth called a motte. On top they erected a wooden stockade.

A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

Around the bottom they erected another stockade. The area within was called the bailey so it was called a motte and bailey castle. The Normans soon began building stone castles. In William the Conqueror began building the Tower of London. William the Conqueror stayed in Normandy from March to December When he returned to England his first task was to put down an uprising in the Southwest. He laid siege to Exeter. Eventually the walled town surrendered on honourable terms. Although Southern England was now under Norman control the Midlands and North were a different matter.

In William marched north through Warwick and Nottingham to York. The people of York submitted to him- for the moment and William returned to London via Cambridge and York. However in January the people of Yorkshire and Northumberland rebelled. William the Conqueror rushed north and crushed the rebellion However the rising in the north fanned the flames of rebellion elsewhere.

There were local risings in Somerset and Dorset. There was also rebellion in the West Midlands.

A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

However local Norman commanders crushed the uprisings and drove out the Irish. It was not over yet. In the autumn of King Sweyn of Denmark sent an expedition to England. When the Danes arrived in Yorkshire the people of Yorkshire and rose in rebellion once again. William the Conqueror marched north and captured York.

The Danes withdrew from northern England. William the Conqueror was determined there would not be any more rebellions in the north. In his men burned houses, crops and tools between the Humber and Durham.

  • He died in early July at Nicea , on his way back to Normandy;
  • In 1052 William married Matilda of Flanders.

They also slaughtered livestock. There followed years of famine in the north when many people starved to death. Meanwhile the Danes sailed south. They plundered Peterborough and took the Isle of Ely as a base.

A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

Many Saxons joined the Danes. These Saxon rebels were led by a man called Hereward the Wake. The Saxons kept on fighting in the Fens but by they were forced to surrender. William was now in control of all of England After the Norman Conquest almost all Saxon nobles lost their land.

  1. William is in the centre, Odo is on the left with empty hands, and Robert is on the right with a sword in his hand. There were probably other reasons for William's delay, including intelligence reports from England revealing that Harold's forces were deployed along the coast.
  2. After waiting a short while, William secured Dover , parts of Kent, and Canterbury , while also sending a force to capture Winchester , where the royal treasury was. The Battle of Hastings Harold rushed to the south coast.
  3. In the autumn of 1069 King Sweyn of Denmark sent an expedition to England. The foot soldiers advanced but they were repulsed.

William confiscated it and gave it to his own followers.