William the Conqueror was famous for being the first Norman king of England. Also known as "William the Bastard," he became the Duke of Normandy when he was 7 years old.
The nickname "William the Bastard" was given to him because his mother and father were unmarried when he was conceived; his mother eventually married another man who was not William's father. After being shipwrecked and forced to stay in Normandy, Harold, the son of the Earl of Essex, was required by William to swear an oath to support his claim to the crown upon Edward's death. Under duress, Harold finally consented and swore the oath on holy relics. The Pope himself supported William after Harold rebuked his oath. The issue was famously settled at the Battle of Hastings, with William emerging victorious.