Duke Richard NORMANDY, II
(Abt 963-1027)
Princess Judith BRITTANY
(956-Abt 1017)
Fulbert De FALAISE
(Abt 977-)
(Abt 979-)
Duke Robert NORMANDY, I
(Abt 999-1035)
Herleve De FALAISE
(Abt 1003-Abt 1050)
King William Normandy ENGLAND, I


Family Links

1. Queen Matilda Flanders ENGLAND

2. Concubine Ingelrica Maud England William

King William Normandy ENGLAND, I 1

  • Born: 14 Oct 1024-1025, Castle, Falaise, Calvados, France
  • Christened: 14 Oct 1066, Norman Conquest, Hastings, Sussex, England
  • Married (1): 1050-1053, Castle, Angi, Normandy, France
  • Married (2): Abt 1053
  • Died: 9 Sep 1087, Hermentruvilleby, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France
  • Buried: Abbey, St Stephen, Caen, Calvados, France

   Other names for William were NORMANDY Duke, Guillaume, "Le Conquberant", "The Conqueror", ENGLAND King and "The Bastard".

   Ancestral File Number: 8XHZ-SV. User ID: 151277956.

   General Notes:

"The Conqueror", "Le Conquberant", Duke of NORMANDY Reigned 1035-1066, "The Bastard", " King of ENGLAND Reigned 14 Oct [Battle of Hastings]; 25 Dec 1066 [Crowned at Westminster]- 9 Sep 1087.

Christened as an Adult 1066 Norman Conquest.

Barber Grandparents: 125 Kings, 143 Generations, Ted Butler Bernard and Gertrude Barber Bernard, 1978, McKinney TX, p87: "387W William `The Conqueror', King of England after being Duke of Normandy, (S of 375, F of 408); born in 1027; knighted at age of 15; subdued rebellious vassals; defeated King Henry I of France at Val Des Dunes; defeated Harold, Saxon King of England at Battle of Hastings in 1066 after which he was crowned as the first Norman King of England on December 22, 1066; died in 1087."

The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes, Elizabeth Longford, 1991, Oxford Univ Press, pxviii: "Saxons and Danes Genealogy 871-1066", pxix: "Normans and Plantagenets 1066-1399, William I The Conqueror (1066-1087) mar Matilda of Flanders."

A History of the English Speaking People Winston S Churchill Vol I The Birth of Britain Dodd Mead & Co p146:
"A crisis came in the year 1051, when the Norman party and Court succeeded in driving Godwin into exile. During Godwin's absence William of Normandy is said to have paid an official visit to the Confessor in England in quest of the succession to the Crown. Very likely King Edward promised that William should be his heir..."
p153: "The Normans claimed that their Duke held his cousin Edward'spromise of the throne. William of Normandy had a virile origin and a hard career...
"...Duke Robert died when William was only seven, and in those harsh times a minor's hold upon his inheritance was precarious. The great nobles whe were his guardians came one by one to violent ends, and rival ambitions stirred throughout Normandy. Were they to be ruled by a bastard? Was the grandson of a tanner to be the liege lord of the many warrior families? The taint of bastardy clung, andsank deep into William's nature. It embittered and hardened him. When, many years afterwards, he besieged the town of Alencon the citizens imprudently hung out hides upon the walls, shouting, `Hides for the tanner!' William rapid this taunt bydevastating the town, and mutilating or flaying alive its chief inhabitants.
"It was the declared policy of King Henry of France to recognise and preserve the minor upon the ducal throne. He became his feudal guardian and overlord. But forthis the boy could hardly have survived..."
p155: "Fate played startlingly into the hands of the Norman Duke. On some visit of inspection, probably in 1064, Harold was driven by the winds on to the French coast. The Count of Ponthieu, who held sway there, looked upon all shipwrecked mariners and their gear as treasure-trove. He held Harold to ransom for what he was worth, which was much. The contacts between the Norman and English Courts were at this time close and friendly, and Duke William asked for the release of King Edward's thane, acting at first by civil request, and later by armed commands. The Count of Ponthieu reluctantly relinquished his windfall, and conducted Harold to the Norman Court. A friendship spring up between William and Harold. Politics apart, they liked each other well..."
p156: "...[Harold] was honoured and knighted by William. But the Duuke looked forward to his future succession to the English crown. Here indeed was the prize to be won. Harold had one small streak of royal blood on his mother's side; but William, through his father, had a more pointed or at least less cloudy claim to the Island throne. This claim he was resolved to assert...He invited Harold to make a pactwith him whereby he himself should become King of England, and Harold Earl of the whole splendid province of Wessex, being assured thereof and linked to the King by marriage with William's daughter.
"All this story is told with irresistible charm in the tapestry chronicle of the reign commonly attributed to William's wife, Queen Matilda, but acutally designed by English artists under the guidance of his half-brother, Odo, Bishop of Baueux. It is our course the Norman version, and was for generations proclaimed by their historians as a full justification- and already even in those days aggressors needed justifications- of William's invasion of England...It is provable however that Harold swore a solemn oath to Williamto renounce all rights or designs upon the English crown, and it is likely that if he had not done so he might never have seen either crown or England again.
"The feudal significance of this oath making Harold William's man was enhanced by a trick novel to those times, yet adapted to their mentality. Under the altar or table upon which Harold swore there was concealed a sacred relic, said by some later writers to have been some of the bones of St Edmund..."
p160: "At the moment of victory [at Stamford Bridge] news reached the King form the South that `William the Bastard' had landed at Pevensey..."
p161: "But the winds [had been] contrary. For six whole weeks there was no day when the south wind blew. The heterogeneous army, bound by no tie of feudal allegiance, patriotism, or moral theme, began to bicker and grumble. Only William's repute as a managing director and the rich pillage to be expected held them together. At length extreme measures had to betaken with the weather. The bones of St Edmund were brought from the church of St Valery and carried with military and religious pomp along the seashore. This proved effective, for the very next day the wind changed, not indeed to the south, but to the south-west. William thought this sufficient, and gave the signal. The whole fleet put to sea, with all their stores, weapons, coats of mail, and great numbers of horses...
"On September 28 the fleet hove in sight, and all came safely to anchor in Pevensey Bay. There was no opposition to the landing..."
p162: "Meanwhile Harold and his house-carls, sadly depleted by the slaughter of Stamford Bridge, jingled down Watling Street on their ponies, marching night and day to London. They covered the two hundred miles in seven days. In London the King gathered all the forces he could...Remaining only five days in London, Harold marched out towards Pevensey, and in the evening of October 13 took up his position upon the slope of a hill which barred the direct march upon the capital.
"The military opinion of those as of these days has criticised his staking all upon an immediate battle. The loyalty of the Northern earls, Edwin and Morcar, was doubtful.They were hastening south with a substantial reinforcement, but he could not be sure which side they would join. In the event they `withdrew themselves form the conflict'...Duke William's was essentially a cavalry force assisted by archers, while Harold had nothing but foot-soldiers who used horses only as transport...King Harold had great confidence in his redoubtable axe-men, and it was in good heart that he formed his shield-wall on the morning of October 14. There is a great dispute about the numbers engaged. Some modern authorities suppose the battle was fought by five or six thousand Norman knights and men-at-arms, with a few thousand archers, against eight to ten thousand axe- and spear-men, and the numbers on bothsides may have been fewer. However it may be, at the first streak of dawn William set out from his camp at Pevensey resolved to put all to the test; and Harold, eight miles away, awaited him in resolute array."
"...The cavalry charges of William's mail-clad knights, cumbersome in manoeuvre, beat in vain upon the dense, ordered masses of the English. Neither the arrow hail nor the assaults of the horsemen could prevail against them. William's left wing of cavalry was thrown intodisorder, and retreated rapidly down the hill. On this the troops on Harold's right, who were mainly the local `fyrd' broke their ranks in eager pursuit. William in the center, turned his disciplined squadrons upon them and cut them to pieces.The normans then re-formed their ranks and began a second series of charges upon the English masses, subjecting them in the intervals to severe archery...The tortured infantry stood unbroken. Never, it was said, had the Norman knights met foot-soldiers of this stubbornness. They were utterly unable to break through the shield-walls, and theysuffered serious losses from deft blows of the axe-men, or from javelins, or clubs hurled from the ranks behind. But the arrow showers took a cruel toll. So closely were the English wedged that the wounded could not be removed, and the dead scarcely found room in which to sink upon the ground.
"The autumn afternoon was far spent before any result had been achieved, and it was thenthat William adopted the time-honoured ruse of a feigned retreat. He had seen how readily Harold's right had quitted their positions in pursuit after the first repulse of the Normans. He now organised a sham retreat in apparent disorder, whilekeeping a powerful force in his own hands. The house-carls around Harold preserved their discipline and kept their ranks, but the sense of relief to the less trained forces after these hours of combat was such that seeing their enemy in flightproved irresistible. They surged forward forward on the impulse of victory, and when half-way down the hill were savagely slaughtered by William's horsemen. There remained, as the dusk grew, only the valiant bodyguard who fought round the Kingand his standard. William now directed his archers to shoot high into the air, so that the arrows would fall behind the shield wall, and one of these pierced Harold in the right eye, inflicting a mortal wound...The hard-fought battle was now decided. The last formed body of troops was broken, though by no means overwhelmed. They withdrew into the woods behind, and William, who had fought in the foremost ranks and had three horses killed under him, could claim the victory. Nevertheless the pursuit was heavily checked. There is a sudden deep ditch on the reverse slope of the hill of Hastings, into which large numbers of Norman horsemen fell, and in which they were butchered by the infuriated English lurking in the wood... "...Here the English once again accepted conquest and bowed in a new destiny..."
p166: "William was a prime exponent of the doctrine, so well known in this civilised age as 'frightfulness'- of mass terrorism through the spectacle of bloodyand merciless examples..."
p167: "On Christmas Day Aldred, Archbishop of York, crowned him King of England at Westminster...Within two years of the conquest Duchess Matilda, who ruled Normandy in William's absence, came across the sea to her coronation at Westminster on Whit Sunday 1068, and later in the year a son, Henry, symbol and portent of dynastic stability, was born on English soil."
p168: "...For at least twenty years after the invasion the Normans were an army camped in ahostile country, holding the population down by the castles at key points. The Saxon resistance died hard...
"Woe to the conquered! Here were the Normans entrenched on English soil, masters of the land and the fullness thereof. An armed warrior from Anjou or Maine or Brittany, or even from beyond the Alps and the Pyrenees, took possession of manor and county, according to his rank and prowess, and set to work to make himself secure. Everywhere castles arose...From these strongpoints horsemen sallied forth to rule and exploit the neighbourhood; above them all, at the summit, sat William, active and ruthless, delighting in his work, requiring punctual service from his adherents, and paying good spoil to all who did their duty."
p173: "...Finally in 1086 a vast sworn inquiry was made into the whole wealth of the King's feudal vassals, from whom he derived a large part of his own income. The inquest or description, as it was called, was carried through with adegree of minuteness and regularity unique in that age and unequalled for centuries after. The history of many an English village begins with and entry in the Domesday Book. The result of this famous survey showed that the underlying structureof England and its pasant life were little changed by the shock of the invasion...
"...But the holding of the great Domesday inquest marks a crisis. The Normand garrison in England was threatened from abroad by other claimants... William took precautions. It became necessary that all feudal controversies arising out of the Conquest should be speedily settled, and it was under the shadow of this menace that Domesday Book was compiled. In 1086 William called together at Salisbury`all the land-holding men of any account throughout England whosoever men they were.' The King had need of an assurance of loyalty from all his feudal tenants of substance, and this substantial body bound itself together by oath and fealty to his person."
p175: "In the Norman settlement lay the germ of a constitutional opposition, with the effect of not the design of controlling the Government, not breaking it up. The seat of this potential opposition was found in the counties, among the smaller nobility and their untitled descendants...Whatever else changed they were always there. And the reason why they were there is that William found the old West Saxon organisation, which they alone could administer, exceedingly convienient..."
p176: "The Conquest was the supreme achievement of the Norman race. It linked the history of England anew to Europe, and prevented forever a drift into the narrower orbit of a Scandinavian empire. Henceforth English history marched with that of races and lands south of the Channel."

The Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Edition, England 1066.

The Lives of the Kings andQueens of England, Antonia Fraser, 1975, Alfred Knopf, p24.

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk IV, The Dark Ages, Ch XIX, The Decline of the West, Sec III, France, p481: "Known to his contemporaries as William the Bastard, to us as William the Conqueror...He was a man of craft and courage and farseeing plans, a god to his friends, a devil to his foes. He bore with good humor many quips about his birth, and signed himself, now and then `Gulielmus Nothus'- William the Bastard. Normandy admired his brutality and iron rule, and prospered. William moderated the exploitation of the peasantry by the nobles, and appeased these with fiefs; he dominated and presided over the clergy, and appeased them with gifts. He attended devoutly to his religious duties, and shamed his father by unprecedented marital fidelity.
p494: "Edward the Confessor was laid to rest in the great architectural event of his reign, Westminster Abbey, early in the fateful year 1066. On January 6th the assembled Witenagemot elected Harold king. He had hardly been crowned when news came that William, Duke of Normandy, claimed the throne and was preparing war. Edward, said William, had in 1051 promised to bequeath him the English crown in gratitude for thirty years of protection in Normandy. Apparently the promise had been made, but Edward, regretting or forgetting it, had, shortly before his death, recommended Harold as his successor; in any case such a promise had no validity unless approved by the Witan. But, said William, Harold, on a visit to him at Rouen, had accepted knighthood from him, had become William's `man,' owed him submission according to feudal law, and had promised to recognize and support him as heir to Edward's throne. Harold admitted this pledge. But again no oath of his could bind the English nation; the representatives of that nation had freely chosen him for its king; and Harold now re solved to defend that choice. William appealed to the Pope; Alexander II, counseled by Hildebrand, condemned Harold as a usurper, excommunicated him and his adherents, and declared William the lawful claimant of the English throne; he blessed William's proposed invasion, and sent him a consecrated banner and a ring containing, within a diamond, a hair of St. Peter's head.
"...Harold's brother Tostig, long since exiled by the Witan, had not been recalled byHarold come to power. Tostig now allied himself with William, raised an army in the north, and persuaded King Harald Hardrada of Norway to join him by promising him the English throne. In September, 1066, as William's armada of 1400 vessels sailed from Normandy, Tostig and Hardrada invaded Northumberland. York surrendered to them, and Hardrada was there crowned King of England. Harold rushed up with what troops he had, and defeated the northern invaders at Stamford Bridge (September25); in that battle Tostig and Hardrada died. Harold moved south with a diminished force far too small to pit against William's host, and every adviser bade him wait. But William was burning and harrowing southern England, and Harold felt bound to defend the soil that he once had ravaged but now loved. At Senlac, near Hastings, the two armies met (October 14), and fought for nine hours. Harold, his eye pierced by an arrow, fell blinded with blood, and was dismembered by Norman knights. When the English saw their cpatain fallen they fled. On Christmas Day, 1066, William I was crowned King of England."

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk V, The Climax of Christianity, Ch XXV, The Recovery of Europe, Sec VIII, England, p666: "William the Conquerer ruled England with a masterly mixture of force, legality, piety, subtlety, and fraud. Elevated to the throne by a cowed Witan, he swore to observe existing English law. He distributed the choicest lands of the kingdom in great estates among his Norman aides, and encouraged these to build castles as fortresses of defense against a hostile population. Robin Hood, famous in legend but obscure in history, may have been one of theAnglo-Saxons who continued for over a century a guerrilla resistance against the Norman conquerers. The English poor celebrated his memory as an unbeaten rebel. All the soil belonged to the King; but Englishmen who could show they had not resisted the Conquest were allowed to repurchase their lands from the state. To list and know his spoils, William sent agents in 1085 to record the ownership, condition, and contents of every parcel of land in England...The result was the Domesday Book, ominously so named as the final `doom' or judgment in all disputes of realty...Like most great men, William found it easier to rule a kingdom than his family. The last eleven years of his life were clouded by quarrels with h is Queen Matilda. His son Robert demanded full authority in Normandy; denied this, he rebelled. He warred with Philip I of France over boundaries...All his sons except Henry deserted his deathbed to fight for the succession; his officers and servants fled with what spoils they could take."
p668: "[While in battle with Philip I] William was thrown against the iron pommel of his saddle by a stumble of his horse. He was carried to the priory of St. Gervase near near Rouen. He confessed his sins in gross, and made his will; distributed his treasure penitently among the poor and to the Church, and provided for the rebuilding of Mantes. A rustic vassal bore his remains to the Abbaye aux Hommes at Caen (1087)...The results of the Norman Conquest were limitless. A new people and class were imposed upon the Danes who had displaced the Anglo-Saxons who had conquered the Roman Britons who had mastered the Celts...with their coming the customs and speech of official England became for three centuries French. Feudalism was imported from France into England with its trappings, chivalry, heraldry, and vocabulary...The Jewish moneylenders who came in with William gave a new stimulus to English trade and industry. The closer connection with the Continent brought to England many ideas in literature and art; Norman architecture achieved its greatest triumphs in Britain. The new nobility brought new manners, fresh vitality, a better organization of agriculture, and the Norman lofds and bishops improved the administration of the state. The government was centralized. Though it was through despotis, the country was unified; life and property were made more secure, and England entered upon a long period of internalpeace. She was never successfully invaded again."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol X, p679, William I the Conqueror of England: "Born Abt 1028 Falaise Normandy, Died 9 Sep 1087 Rouen, Duke of Normandy from 1035, King of England from 1066, one of the greatest soldiers and rulers of the Middle Age, made himself the mightiest feudal lord in what is now France and then changed the course of England's history by his conquest of that country.
"The son of Robert I ofNormandy, William was the effective ruler of Normandy from about 1042, when he was perhaps 15. In defending himself against rebellious barons, he proved to be an aggressive, ruthless military commander, treating war as a simple necessity ratherthan as a means of self- dramatization. In 1063 he considerably enlarged his duchy by annexing the province of Maine. Having received a vague promise of the English throne from King Edward the Confessor (Died 5 Jan 1066), he made good his claim when his Norman army defeated the English in the Battle of Hastings, Suxxex (Oct 1066). His internal and external policies transformed the secular and ecclesiastical life of his new realm. From about 1072 he spent much of his time in Normandyand largely deputed the everyday government of England to Lanfranc, the Norman archbishop of Canterbury. In 1085 he ordered the compilation of Domesday Book, the first exhaustive written survey of England."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol III, p799, Edward the Confessor Saint:
"...Edward on his deathbed named Harold as his successor even though he allegedly had already promised the crown to William. William killed Harold at the Battle of Hastings, Sussex, in October 1066, and two months later he ascended the throne..."

From Alfred to Henry III 871-1272, Christopher Brooke, 1961, Norton Library History of England, p82:
"...[William] had been in touch with England since his childhood friend, Edward the Aetheling, had become king in 1042...
p83: "...This did not mean that [Edward Confessor's] throne was insecure. He never consummated his marriage, and had no close heirs or rivals- his one nephew [Edward Atheling] died well before him,and his great-nephew [Edgar Atheling] was never seriously considered for the throne. There were in fact only two possible alternatives to Edward seriously canvassed before the last years of his reign, the Duke of Normandy and the King of Norway. Duke William was Edward's own choice for his successor, and there was no question of William's trying to usurp Edward's throne. So far as we know, the King of Norway, Harold Hardrada, was not favoured by any of the earls...
"...In 1051,supported by the earls of Mercia and Northumbria and by skillful manoeuvering [Edward] forced the family of Godwin into exile- all save Queen Edith, who was sent into enforced retreat among the nuns of Wherwell. Within a few months Edward hadpromised Duke William the crown..."
p85: "...Harold, however, was undoubtedly the first man in the kingdom, the `under-king' as one writer calls him, the leader of the English army. Necessity or circumstances had led to something like a true reconciliation between Edward and his wife's family. It may even be that Edward had partly reconciled Harold to Duke William's succession. For some reason now past explaining Harold crossed the Channel in 1064, was captured by the Count of Ponthieu, and rescued by William. Then followed the mysterious arrangement so graphically portrayed in the Bayeux Tapestry. Duke William somehow found the opportunity to cajole or compel Harold into an oath, sworn on the relics of Bayeux Cathedral,to support William's claim to the throne.
"The crisis of 1066 came swiftly and with only the slightest of warnings. At the end of 1065 the King was known to be dying, and the vultures began to collect. Three men were known to have the ambition to be king: Harold Hardrada of Norway, William of Normandy, and Harold of Wessex. What happened in the King's court at Christmas we shall never know. But in the end he designated Harold of Wessex as his successor; and on the day after theKing's death (6th January 1066) Harold was duly accepted by the magnates and crowned. We do not know what caused the King to change his mind. Either he or those about him must have reckoned that the confusion of the country, the uncertain stateof Northumbria, and the threatened invasion of Harold Hardrada, demanded a king who could instantly command the allegiance of a great part of England.
"Their calcuations were very nearly justified. In his brief reign Harold revealed hisskill, determination, and generalship to the full...
"The Norwegian came first, and somehow achieved surprise. Earl Edwin and earl Morcar gathered an army against him, but were checked in a violent battle at Fulford. From now on Harold ofEngland had to rely on his own resources. He and fell on the enemy before they could have expected him at Stamford Bridge, near York. Three hundred ships or more brought the Norwegian host to England; twenty-five sufficed to take away the survivors of Fulford and Stamford Bridge. Both Tostig and Harold of Norway were among the slain. Harold of England had won a great and decisive victory. A few days later he learned of the landing of William of Normandy.
"William's preparations had been very swiftly made. He needed ships and supplies, an army more considerable than could be levied in Normandy alone, and he needed moral and spiritual support. To many his scheme must have seemed a desperate adventure. With the resourcesof a single duchy William was planning to attack one of the richest and most powerful kingdoms in northern Europe, controlled by a soldier as experienced and competent as himself. The odds were heavily against him, and clearly some of his followers told him as much...The army which assembled on the Norman coast in the summer had been recruited from Normandy, Britanny, Maine (recently made a subject principality), and Flanders, the county of his father-in-law; with a sprinkling fromall over northern France and even from the recently formed Norman states in southern Italy.
"It was the greatest adventure of the day, and William had given it a coat of respectability by winning papal support. He had claimed at Rome that England was rightly his, that Harold was a perjurer and usurper. The nominal leader of the English Church, Archbishop Stigand, had acquired his see irregularly on the removal of his predecessor in 1052 and held it in plurality with that of Winchesterand in defiance of a papal sentence of deposition. William had already won the reputation of being friendly to reform in the Church; he was in a position to tempt the papacy...The Pope, urged on by Hildebrand, the future Pope Gregory VII, gave William his blessing, and so made the campaign of Hastings something very like a Crusade. The Duke's material preparations- the felling of trees, the building of ships, and gathering of arms and other stores- are very vividly shown in the Bayeux Tapestry. For a number of weeks in August and September the army was held up on the Norman coast by contrary winds. At last, on 27th September, two days after the battle of Stamford Bridge, the wind changed, and William was able to slip across the Channel. He landed at Pevensey, but rapidly established his base at Hastings.
"The battle of Hastings was fought on Saturday, 14th October, sixteen days after William's landing, nineteen days after the battle of Stamford Bridge. Thecampaign was extraordinarily rapid. After the briefest of pauses Harold hurried south. He left himself no time to collect a substantial army; but apparently marched into Sussex with his own and his brothers' housecarles, such thegns as had been able to answer his hasty summons and the local levies of the immediate neighbourhood. Nobody has ever explained his haste; had he waited, he could have collected a far larger army. He may have doubted the loyalty of the couthern counties; hemay have wished to protect his own estates, so many of which lay near Pevensey and Hastings. We do not know waht intelligence he had; nor do we know how large a force William had landed. William was reinforced very soon after the battle; it maybe that he had landed only a part of his army and that Harold calculated on pushing it into the sea before reinforcements came. It is probable in any case that Harold underestimated the Norman stength, and that his great victory in the north had made him over-confident.
"The decisive battle was fought between very small forces. Harold had camped his army for the night in a natural defensive position on the edge of the Weald, the great forest of Kent and Sussex and Surrey, ninemiles from Hastings, where the town of Battle now lies. It was camped on a promontory ofhill, with the forest behind it, and a front of only 500 or 600 yards. Beyond this front lay slopes of varying steepness, up which an advancing enemy must come. It was a strong position, but a very narrow one. Its size suggests that the English army was not much more than 3,000 strong; and it is unlikely that the effective Norman strength was very much greater. The battle of Hastings was an altogether slighter affair than Stamford Bridge.
"Early in the morning of 14th October the Normans began to attack. It seems that they had achieved tactical surprise. Harold hastily organised his camp as a defensive position, placing his best troops, dismounted, shoulder to shoulder along the crest of the hill. Their shields formed a solid and impenetrable wall, and the exes of the housecarles were formidable weapons against the chain mail of the Norman knights.
"The battle continued form early morning until dusk. The Norman attacks were beaten off as steadily as the French charges at Waterloo. At one moment the Normans retreated in some confusion, and were only rallied by Duke William's prompt intervention. This retreat proved the undoing of the English army. A number of the English broke ranks and pursued the Normans, who, when they had recovered, turned and cut them down. Later in the day, we are told, the Normans twice repeated the manoeuver: they feigned retreat, and then turned on their pursuers. By such means the English `shield-wall' was gradually whittled away; and its morale was constantly impaired by showers of arrows from the Norman archers. As dusk was falling King Harold himself waskilled. This was decisive. The English resisted some time longer, and even in their retreat did much damage to the Norman attackers. But in the end `the French had possession of the place of slaughter'.
"The death of Harold and his two brothers in the battle was a vital stroke of fortune for William. If Harold had still been at large after the battle, William would have had many difficulties to face. Even so, the English Witan did not immediately take William as seriously as hehad hoped. The legitimate adults of the large house of Godwin were now virtually extinct, and the only native heir was Edward the Confessor's great-nephew, Edgar the Aetheling, whom no-one had seriously considered hitherto. The Archbishop of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earls of Mercia and Northumbria, and the citizens of London all declared for Edgar. At this stage they seem to have regarded William as little more than a lucky adventurer.
"William meanwhile returned to Hastings, 'and waited there to see if there would be any surrender', and also to collect his reinforcements. He then began a long roundabout march on London, via Dover and Southwark, the middle Thames, and Berkhamstead. This gave him time to subdue the land between his coastal bases and the city, and to give England due notice of his methods. William was a pious man; but he was also utterly ruthless. He knew from experience that a successful ruler had to be feared, and he reckoned that this was even more true of a successful usurper. He harried the countryside as he went, and twenty years later in the signs of declining value and devastation recorded in the description of the manors in the Domesday Book, the route of his march can still be traced. By the time William reached Berkhamstead most of the English leaders had decided to submit, and on Christmas Day he was anointed and crowned in Westminster Abbey...
"William claimed to have stepped into his rightful inheritance, and at first he took some steps to maintain continuity of rule, as Cnut had done. The main points in the old system of local and central government were continued, but rapidly adapted and developed...He and his lieutenants began at once to build castles at key places and in many of the larger towns; symbols to the Normans of normal military organisation, to the English of the beginnings of foreign domination.
"William's hopes of succeeding as an English king accepted by the English leaders rapidly disappeared. From 1068 to 1070 he had to deal with almost continuous rebellion in Northumbria and sporadic outbreaks in Wessex and Mercia. The revolt in the north in 1069-1070 was made all the more serious by Danish intervention. It was joined by Waltheof, old Siward's son, and royal suspicion drove Edwin and Morcar into the alliance. In the end Waltheof and most of his associates submitted, Edwin was killed by his own men, and Morcar became a fugitive. After 1070 resistance was reduced to guerrilla warfare...William's subjection of Mercia and the north was sealed in the same fashion as his original conquest of the south-east, by devastation. His army harried extensive areas in the west Midlands, and he laid wast the vale of York so effectively that large areas of it had to be re-colonised in the twelfth century.
"By 1070 England had been conquered and had learned to fear its conqueror. This did not mean that William was free from wars and rebellions. In France, his position in 1066 had been made secure by the minority of King Philip I, the alliance of Flanders, the submission of Brittany and Maine, and anarchy in Anjou. None of these circumstances was lasting...In England the northern frontier was never entirely quiescent until Robert led a punitive expedition in 1080 into Scotland, and strengthened the defences of Northumbria by building a fortress on the north bank of the Tyne at the place still called Newcastle. In England as a whole, the only serious rebellion after 1070 came in 1075. In that year Earl Waltheof allied with the Earl of East Anglia, a Breton whose family had been settled in England by Edward the Confessor, and the Earl of Hereford, son of William's leading viceroy on the Welsh marches, William FitzOsbern...Their rebellion was swiftly supressed. The Breton fled to Brittany; the Norman, according to Norman custom, was impreisoned and lost his lands; Earl Waltheof, according to English custom, was beheaded. With him the last of the native earls disappeared from the scene, and although the title of earl has survived from that day to this, the power of Cnut's earldoms was never revived outside the frontier marches of Wales and Scotland.
"In 1085 the Conqueror prepared to face the last serious threat to his authority in England, a final attempt at imvasion from Scandinavia. Internal troubles in Denmark prevented the attack from developing. But it may well have been this crisis which led William to the great stock-taking which formed the climax of his reign, and underlined the strength of his control over England and the magnitude of the changes he and his followers had made.
"In this year the King spent Christmas at Gloucester, and there
had important deliberations and exhaustive discussion with his council about this land, how it was peopled, and with what sort of men.' Then he sent groups of commissioners to every part of England to collect details of each village from sworn inquests of local men- details which included not only who held what land, but much information about the value of each holding and its stock. These details were collected county by county and then digested in local centres; the the digests were sent to Winchester for the final version to be made. One of the digests, that for East Anglia, apparently came too late to be included. And so the great survey-
called by the natives "Domesday",' as a twelfth century writer tells us, because it was reckoned to be the final court of appeal in questions of tenure- has been preserved ever since in the national archives in two volumes. Volume I contains the final version of most English counties, volume II is the local digest of East Anglia, never finally revised. There are errors, inequalities, omissions, and incoherences in Domesday Book. But it remains the most impressive record of royal administration in the Europe of its day. It makes modern English historians of the period the enby of continental colleagues. It reminds us that in every sphere of government the elaborate foundations of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy were retained and expanded by the vivid energy of the Normans. Last and not least it is a monument to the imaginative vision and energy of the Conqueror. He may not have conceived the idea, or worked out all its details himself. But only he could have had the energy and confidence to organise so vast an inquiry so swiftly. It is likely that Domesday Book was completed in substantially its present form in little more than a year. While it was being compiled, William confirmed his authority in another way, by a great gathering of landowners at Salisbury, who did homage and renewed their fealty to him. At the end of the year 086 he left England for his last war in Normandy; on 9th September 1087 he died.
"William was more feared than loved in his lifetime, and his English subjects remembered his oppression, his castle-building, his exactions, his avarice. They remembered, too, some more human qualities: his love of the chase (
he loved the stags as dearly as though he had been their father'), and his love of justice, his piety, and rectitude.
Though stern beyond measure to those who opposed his will, he was kind to those good men who loved God'- and the chronicler goes on to describe William's benefactions to monasteries, in particular his foundation of Battle Abbey on the site of his victory over Harold. The chronicler might hive added that William was the only one of his line who was faithful to his wife. To his enemies he was utterly relentless; but the final impression is not one of unrelieved oppression. Successful kings in the eleventh century were rarely admirable in their public dealings. But in government William showed the imagination of a creative statesman- crude perhaps, but none the less remarkable for that. Only a fuller analysis of the effects of the Norman Conquest can reveal his essential achievement."

The Political History of England Vol II George Burton Adams 1905 Longmans Green and Co Ch I-III p8:
"Whatever may have prevented the coronation of Edgar, there was to be no unnecessary delay about William's. Christmas day, the nearest great festival of the Church, was fixed upon for the ceremony, which was to take place in the new abbey church of Westminster, where Harold had been crowned and where the body of Edward lay...The ceremony was made as formal and stately as possible. Norman guards kept order about the place; a long procession of clergy moved into the church, with the duke and his supporting bishops at the end. Within, the old ritual of coronation was followed as nearly as we can judge. Englishmen and Frenchmen were asked in their own languages if they would have William to be king, and they shouted out their approval; William then took oath to defend the Church, to rule justly, to make and keep right law, and to prevent disorders, and at last he was anointed an crowned and became King of the English in title and in law...
"At the time of his coronation William was not far from forty years of age. He was in the full tide of a vigorous fhysical life, in height and size, about the average, possibly a trifle above the average, of the men of his time, and praised for his unusual strength of arm. In mental gifts he stood highter above the general run of men than in physical. As a soldier and a statesman he was clear-headed, quick to see the right thing to do and the right time to do it; conscious of the ultimate end and of the combination of means, direct and indirect, slowly working out, which must be made to reach it. But the characteristic by which he is most distinguished from the other men of his time is one which he shares with many of the conquerors of history- a characteristic perhaps indispensable to that kind of success- an utterly relentless determination to succeed, if necessary without hesitation at the means employed, and without considering in the least the cost to others. His inflexible will treatly impressed his own time. The men who came in contact with him were afraid of him. His sternness and mercilessness in the enforcement of law, in the punishment of crime, and in the protection of what he thought to be his rights, were never relaxed. His laws were thought to be harsh, his money-getting oppressive, and his forest regulation cruel and unjust. And yet William intended to be, and he was, a good ruler. He gave hislands, what was in those days the best proof of good government, and to be had only of a strong king, internal peace. He was patient also, and did not often lose control of himself and yield to the terrible passion which could at last be roused. For thirty years, in name at least, he had ruled over Normandy, and he came to the throne of England with a long experience behind him of fighting against odds, of controlling a turbulent baronage, and of turning anarchy into good order."
p71: [1087] "...William was buried in the church of St. Stephen, which he had founded in Caen, and the manner in which such foundations were frequently made in those days was illustrated by the claim, loudly advanced in the midst of the funderal service, that the land on which the participants stood had been unjustly taken from its owners for the Conqueror's church. It was now legally purchased for William's burial place. The son, who was at the moment busy securing his kingdom in England, afterwards erected in it a magnificent tomb to the memory of his father."

World Ancestral Chart No. 31759 Ancestors of Warren Cash 1760.

Ancestral File Ver 4.19 8XHZ-SV.

   Marriage Information:

William married Queen Matilda Flanders ENGLAND, daughter of Count Baldwin FLANDERS, V and Princess Adela FRANCE, in 1050-1053 in Castle, Angi, Normandy, France. (Queen Matilda Flanders ENGLAND was born about 1031 in , Flanders, Belgium, died on 2 Nov 1083 in Caen, Calvados, Normandy, France and was buried in Church, Holy Trinity, Caen, Calvados, Normandy, France.)

   Marriage Information:

William also married Concubine Ingelrica Maud England William, daughter of Ingelric ENGLAND, about 1053. (Concubine Ingelrica Maud England William was born about 1032 in St Martins, Le Grand, London, Middlesex, England.)


1 Ancestral File Ver 4.19, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

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