William the Conqueror began life as William the Bastard, the illegitimate son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy. Robert died during his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, leaving the 8-year-old William as his heir. William successfully gained the support of the French king, Henry I, and ascended to his father's office.Continue Reading
In 1066, at the age of 38, William led an army across the English Channel to conquer England. He succeeded in this endeavor, defeating an Anglo-Saxon force at the Battle of Hastings, and was crowned King of England in 1087. The dynasty he founded first ruled as an occupation force but eventually intermarried with the native gentry and became Anglicized. William's government introduced feudalism to England along with a civil code of laws that largely supplanted the earlier Anglo-Saxon system. It also established French as the language of the English court. The Norman influence would eventually craft a fusion between English and Norman French that became the English language.
William became the first monarch to organize a full census of England, which became known as the Domesday Book. He also reorganized land ownership, tax law and property rights. William, who never learned English, eventually returned to France and died of wounds suffered at Mantes in 1087.Learn more about Middle Ages
The Battle of Hastings, fought on October 14, 1066, was important because William the Conqueror's defeat of Anglo-Saxon King Harold II brought about the era of Norman rule in England. On December 25, 1066, shortly after his victory at Hastings, William was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey in London.Full Answer >
William Shakespeare left his wife Anne Hathaway his second best bed along with other furniture. Shakespeare died in April 1616, when he was 52, while Anne died in 1623 at the age of 67.Full Answer >
William the Conqueror's army won at the Battle of Hastings. They defeated King Harold II's army after an all-day battle which, according to legend, resulted in the death of King Harold II when he was shot in the eye with an arrow.Full Answer >
The Battle of Hastings was fought on Oct. 14, 1066, between the Anglo-Saxon army of King Harold II of England and the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy. The battle, which is depicted on the famous Bayeaux Tapestry, was one of the bloodiest battles in English history.Full Answer >