Battle of Stamford Bridge
The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, in England on 25 September 1066, between an English army under King Harold Godwinson and an invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson. After a bloody battle, both Hardrada and Tostig along with most of the Norwegians were killed. Although Harold Godwinson repelled the Norwegian invaders, his army was defeated by the Normans at Hastings less than three weeks later; the battle has traditionally been presented as symbolising the end of the Viking Age, although major Scandinavian campaigns in Britain and Ireland occurred in the following decades, such as those of King Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark in 1069–1070 and King Magnus Barefoot of Norway in 1098 and 1102–1103. The death of King Edward the Confessor of England in January 1066 had triggered a succession struggle in which a variety of contenders from across north-western Europe fought for the English throne.
These claimants included the King of Harald Hardrada. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Manuscript D, the Norwegians assembled a fleet of 300 ships to invade England; the authors, did not seem to differentiate between warships and supply ships. In King Harald's Saga, Snorri Sturluson states, "... it is said that King Harald had over two hundred ships, apart from supply ships and smaller craft." Combined with reinforcements picked up in Orkney, the Norwegian army most numbered between 7,000 and 9,000 men. Arriving off the English coast in September Hardrada was joined by further forces recruited in Flanders and Scotland by Tostig Godwinson. Tostig was at odds with his elder brother Harold. Having been ousted from his position as Earl of Northumbria and exiled in 1065, Tostig had mounted a series of abortive attacks on England in the spring of 1066. In the late summer of 1066, the invaders sailed up the Ouse before advancing on York. On 20 September they defeated a northern English army led by Edwin, Earl of Mercia, his brother Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, at the Battle of Fulford, outside York.
Following this victory they received the surrender of York. Having occupied the city and taken hostages and supplies from the city they returned towards their ships at Riccall, they offered peace to the Northumbrians in exchange for their support for Hardrada's bid for the throne, demanded further hostages from the whole of Yorkshire. At this time King Harold was in Southern England, anticipating an invasion from France by William, Duke of Normandy, another contender for the English throne. Learning of the Norwegian invasion he headed north at great speed with his Huscarls and as many Thegns as he could gather, travelling day and night, he made the journey from London to Yorkshire, a distance of about 185 miles, in only four days, enabling him to take the Norwegians by surprise. Having learned that the Northumbrians had been ordered to send the additional hostages and supplies to the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge, Harold hurried on through York to attack them at this rendezvous on 25 September.
Until the English army came into view the invaders remained unaware of the presence of a hostile army anywhere in the vicinity. There is some controversy as to whether or not a village and bridge existed at the time of the battle. One theory holds that there was no village at Stamford Bridge in 1066 and not in 1086 when the Domesday Book was compiled. According to this theory, the name is locative and descriptive of crossing points over the River Derwent being derived from a combination of the words stone and bridge i.e. stoneford and bridge. At the location of the present village, within the river bed, there is an outcrop of stone over which the river once flowed as a mini-waterfall. At low water levels one could cross over the river at this point, either on foot or horseback. An alternative explanation is given by Darby and Maxwell who state, "Stamford Bridge does, in fact, exemplify that small number of places which, though not mentioned in the Domesday Book, must have existed, or at any rate been named, in Domesday times because they appear in both pre-Domesday and post-Domesday documents."
Most the Stamford Bridge lands were included with Low Catton and therefore were not mentioned in the Domesday Book. As for the presence of a bridge, manuscripts C, D and E of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle all mention Stamford Bridge by name. Manuscript C contains a passage which states "... came upon them beyond the bridge....". Henry of Huntington mentions Stamford Bridge and describes part of the battle being fought across the bridge. Therefore, a bridge over the Derwent most did exist at this time. One mile to the south along the River Derwent at Scoreby lies the site of a 1st to 4th century Roman settlement known as Derventio; the town runs for two and a half miles east/west alongside a Roman road. Occupying both east and west banks of the river, the town was connected by the construction of a bridge which carried the road. There is no archaeological evidence for a Roman bridge construction at or near the present site of Stamford Bridge, it is possible that there may have been a two-pronged attack by Godwinson on Hardrada's army, making use of both the ford and the remnants of the earlier Roman bridge one mile to the south, information of which, of the two road routes to the location from York, could have been gathered from Godwinson's earlier occupation of the city of York.
However, no documentation exists to support this possibility. Topographically, on the east bank of the river from the bridge crossing point, the land rises up to 100 feet at High Catton; this is the only high ground around and a good defensive po
Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the mid-5th century, the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French; this is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English. Old English developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian or Ingvaeonic dialects spoken by Germanic tribes traditionally known as the Angles and Jutes; as the Anglo-Saxons became dominant in England, their language replaced the languages of Roman Britain: Common Brittonic, a Celtic language, Latin, brought to Britain by Roman invasion. Old English had four main dialects, associated with particular Anglo-Saxon kingdoms: Mercian, Northumbrian and West Saxon.
It was West Saxon that formed the basis for the literary standard of the Old English period, although the dominant forms of Middle and Modern English would develop from Mercian. The speech of eastern and northern parts of England was subject to strong Old Norse influence due to Scandinavian rule and settlement beginning in the 9th century. Old English is one of the West Germanic languages, its closest relatives are Old Frisian and Old Saxon. Like other old Germanic languages, it is different from Modern English and difficult for Modern English speakers to understand without study. Old English grammar is similar to that of modern German: nouns, adjectives and verbs have many inflectional endings and forms, word order is much freer; the oldest Old English inscriptions were written using a runic system, but from about the 9th century this was replaced by a version of the Latin alphabet. Englisc, which the term English is derived from, means'pertaining to the Angles'. In Old English, this word was derived from Angles.
During the 9th century, all invading Germanic tribes were referred to as Englisc. It has been hypothesised that the Angles acquired their name because their land on the coast of Jutland resembled a fishhook. Proto-Germanic *anguz had the meaning of'narrow', referring to the shallow waters near the coast; that word goes back to Proto-Indo-European *h₂enǵʰ- meaning'narrow'. Another theory is that the derivation of'narrow' is the more connection to angling, which itself stems from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning bend, angle; the semantic link is the fishing hook, curved or bent at an angle. In any case, the Angles may have been called such because they were a fishing people or were descended from such, therefore England would mean'land of the fishermen', English would be'the fishermen's language'. Old English was not static, its usage covered a period of 700 years, from the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain in the 5th century to the late 11th century, some time after the Norman invasion. While indicating that the establishment of dates is an arbitrary process, Albert Baugh dates Old English from 450 to 1150, a period of full inflections, a synthetic language.
Around 85 per cent of Old English words are no longer in use, but those that survived are basic elements of Modern English vocabulary. Old English is a West Germanic language, it came to be spoken over most of the territory of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which became the Kingdom of England. This included most of present-day England, as well as part of what is now southeastern Scotland, which for several centuries belonged to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Other parts of the island – Wales and most of Scotland – continued to use Celtic languages, except in the areas of Scandinavian settlements where Old Norse was spoken. Celtic speech remained established in certain parts of England: Medieval Cornish was spoken all over Cornwall and in adjacent parts of Devon, while Cumbric survived to the 12th century in parts of Cumbria, Welsh may have been spoken on the English side of the Anglo-Welsh border. Norse was widely spoken in the parts of England which fell under Danish law. Anglo-Saxon literacy developed after Christianisation in the late 7th century.
The oldest surviving text of Old English literature is Cædmon's Hymn, composed between 658 and 680. There is a limited corpus of runic inscriptions from the 5th to 7th centuries, but the oldest coherent runic texts date to the 8th century; the Old English Latin alphabet was introduced around the 9th century. With the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms by Alfred the Great in the 9th century, the language of government and literature became standardised around the West Saxon dialect. Alfred advocated education in English alongside Latin, had many works translated into the English language. In Old English, typical of the development of literature, poetry arose before prose, but King Alfred the Great chiefly inspired the growth of prose. A literary standard, dating from the 10th century, arose under the influence of Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester, was followed by such writers as the prolific Ælfric of Eynsham. Th
Richmondshire is a local government district of North Yorkshire, England. It covers a large northern area of the Yorkshire Dales including Swaledale and Arkengarthdale and Coverdale, with the prominent Scots' Dyke and Scotch Corner along the centre. Teesdale lies to the north. With a total area of 1,319 km², it is larger than seven of the English ceremonial counties; the history of this district in antiquity is not well known, but archeologists have found artifacts from the Neolithic Period, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Roman Period in the Richmond area. The closest important Roman settlement was at Catterick in what became known as Rheged, site of the Battle of Catterick. At the terminus of Scandinavian York, there was a local bout of rebellion in Stainmore, which resulted in the death of Eric Bloodaxe; the Scandinavian settlement of this area was eastwards from the Irish Sea with names such as Gilpatrick in Middleham and Thorfinn in Bedale occurring at the time of the Domesday Book.
At the time of the Norman Conquest it was the Fee of Gillingshire, held by Earl of Mercia. Gillingshire was made up of the Borough of Richmond and five wapentakes of Gilling West, Gilling East, Hang West, Hang East and Hallikeld. After the Harrying of the North, the land became capital of the Duchy of Brittany's Honour of Richmond; the Honour of Richmond was one of the three largest lordships created by William the Conqueror. King William granted it to his double-second-cousin, Alan the Red, the leader of the Bretons in England and a cousin of Hawise, Duchess of Brittany. According to the Register of the Honour of Richmond, the official transfer of the lands of Earl Edwin occurred at the "Siege of York" in 1068 or early 1069. Edwin's brother Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, lost his title to Robert Commines on 28 January 1069 and lost lands to Count Alan following the brothers' participation in the northern rebellion of 1068. A charter of Count Alan Rufus's dated before 1086 states that he obtained the honour with the help of Queen Matilda.
Alan had many other English estates, by the time of the compilation of the Domesday Book he was one of the richest and most powerful barons. He was succeeded by two of his brothers in turn; the family held on to this estate until 1399. Work on Richmond Castle started in 1071; the Honour of Richmond comprised 782 manors throughout England. The Yorkshire portion was a compact unit of 199 manors and 43 outlying properties situated near the main roads from Scotland into the Vale of York. Northern England is said to differ from the other areas of the country and the difference between Breton and Norman lordship is seen as being a cause. Richmondshire became an appanage of the English Royal Family during the reign of Edward III of England. In 1525 Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset became Lord Warden of the Marches and Lord President of the Council of the North while living at Sheriff Hutton. One of the most distinctive Christian names of Richmondshire folk was Marmaduke, but this is an old and fading tradition.
St. Paulinus baptised the locals in the River Swale and as a result, it was known as the "Jordan of England". Richmondshire is an archdeaconry which consisted of present-day Richmondshire and the Barony of Kendal in Westmorland, Copeland in Cumberland and what is now Lancashire north of Ribblesdale, such as Amounderness and Lonsdale. After composing part of the Diocese of York, it was transferred to the Diocese of Chester, before moving into the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds and the Diocese of Leeds known as the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales; the current district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972. It was a merger of the municipal borough of Richmond with the Aysgarth Rural District, Leyburn Rural District, Reeth Rural District and Richmond Rural District along with part of the Croft Rural District, all in the North Riding of Yorkshire; the Council was controlled by independent councillors until May 2003, when elections returned a council with no overall control.
Conservative John Blackie was elected as leader of the Council. In December 2005 Blackie was replaced by the leader of the Independent Coalition for Richmondshire, Bill Glover, following the resignation of several councillors from the Conservative group and the merger of the rival independent groups; as of January 2019, the 34 member council was controlled by a Conservative administration. The Chairman was Councillor Bill Glover and the Vice Chairman was Councillor Stuart Parsons; the region is agricultural but there are many commercial enterprises, supported by four main business associations: Richmond Business and Tourism Association and Arkengarthdale Business Association, Lower Wensleydale Business Network and Upper Wensleydale Business Association. Tourism is an important part of the economy with some visitors attracted by the Yorkshire Dales. In 2014 3.62 million people visited the area. There are many hiking trails in the region as well as various attractions. Travellers using the Trip Advisor site recommend Richmond Castle, Green Howards Museum, Georgian Theatre Royal, The Station, Millgate House Garden, Richmondshire Museum, Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserv
Kingdom of Northumbria
The Kingdom of Northumbria was a medieval Anglian kingdom in what is now Northern England and south-east Scotland. The name derives from the Old English Norþan-hymbre meaning "the people or province north of the Humber", which reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary. Northumbria started to consolidate into one kingdom in the early seventh century, when the two earlier core territories of Deira and Bernicia entered into a dynastic union. At its height, the kingdom extended from the Humber, Peak District and the River Mersey on the south to the Firth of Forth on the north. Northumbria ceased to be an independent kingdom in the mid-tenth century, though a rump Earldom of Bamburgh survived around Bernicia in the north to be absorbed into the mediaeval kingdoms of Scotland and England. Today, Northumbria refers to a smaller region corresponding to the counties of Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear in North East England; the term is used in the names of some North East regional institutions the Northumbria Police, (based in Newcastle upon Tyne, the Northumbria Army Cadet Force, the regionalist Northumbrian Association.
The local Environment Agency office, located in Newcastle Business Park uses the term Northumbria to describe its area. However, the term is not the official name for the EU region of North East England; the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was two kingdoms divided around the River Tees: Bernicia was to the north of the river and Deira to the south. It is possible that both regions originated as native British Kingdoms which the Germanic settlers conquered, although there is little information about the infrastructure and culture of the British kingdoms themselves. Much of the evidence for them comes from regional names that are British rather than Anglo-Saxon in origin; the names Deira and Bernicia are British in origin, for example, indicating that some British place names retained currency after the Anglo-Saxon migrations to Northumbria. There is some archeological evidence to support British origins for the polities of Bernicia and Deira. In what would have been southern Bernicia, in the Cheviot Hills, a hill fort at Yeavering called Yeavering Bell contains evidence that it was an important centre for first the British and the Anglo-Saxons.
The fort is pre-Roman, dating back to the Iron Age at around the first century. In addition to signs of Roman occupation, the site contains evidence of timber buildings that pre-date Germanic settlement in the area that are signs of British settlement. Moreover, Brian Hope-Taylor has traced the origins of the name Yeavering, which looks deceptively English, back to the British gafr from Bede's mention of a township called Gefrin in the same area. Yeavering continued to be an important political centre after the Anglo-Saxons began settling in the north, as King Edwin had a royal palace at Yeavering. Overall, English place-names dominate the Northumbrian landscape, suggesting the prevalence of an Anglo-Saxon elite culture by the time that Bede—one of Anglo-Saxon England's most prominent historians—was writing in the eighth century. According to Bede, the Angles predominated the Germanic immigrants that settled north of the Humber and gained political prominence during this time period. While the British natives may have assimilated into the Northumbrian political structure contemporary textual sources such as Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People depict relations between Northumbrians and the British as fraught.
The Anglo-Saxon countries of Bernicia and Deira were in conflict before their eventual semi-permanent unification in 654. Political power in Deira was concentrated in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which included York, the North York Moors, the Vale of York; the political heartlands of Bernicia were the areas around Bamburgh and Lindisfarne and Jarrow, in Cumbria, west of the Pennines in the area around Carlisle. The name that these two countries united under, may have been coined by Bede and made popular through his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Information on the early royal genealogies for Bernicia and Deira comes from Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People and Welsh chronicler Nennius’ Historia Brittonum. According to Nennius, the Bernician royal line begins with son of Eoppa. Ida was able to annex Bamburgh to Bernicia. In Nennius’ genealogy of Deira, a king named Soemil was the first to separate Bernicia and Deira, which could mean that he wrested the kingdom of Deira from the native British.
The date of this supposed separation is unknown. The first Deiran king to make an appearance in Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum is Ælle, the father of the first Roman Catholic Northumbrian king Edwin. A king of Bernicia, Ida's grandson Æthelfrith, was the first ruler to unite the two polities under his rule, he exiled the Deiran Edwin to the court of King Rædwald of the East Angles in order to claim both kingdoms, but Edwin returned in 616 to conquer Northumbria with Rædwald's aid. Edwin, who ruled from 616 to 633, was one of the last kings of the Deiran line to reign over all of Northumbria. Oswald's brother Oswiu succeeded him to the Northumbrian throne despite initial attempts on Deira's part to pull away again. Although the Bernician line became the royal line of Northumbria
York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England. At the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, it is the historic county town of the historic county of Yorkshire. York Minster and a variety of cultural and sporting activities make it a popular tourist destination; the city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, of the kingdoms of Deira, Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained. In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre; the economy of York is now dominated by services. The University of York and National Health Service are major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy; the City of York local government district includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries.
In 2011, it had a population of 198,051. The word York is derived from the Brittonic name Eburākon, a combination of eburos "yew-tree" and a suffix of appurtenance *-āko "belonging to-, place of-" meaning either "place of the yew trees"; the name Eboracum became the Anglian Eoforwic in the 7th century: a compound of Eofor-, from the old name, -wic a village by conflation of the element Ebor- with a Germanic root *eburaz. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, its name became Jórvík; the Old French and Norman name of the city following the Norman Conquest was recorded as "Everwic" in works such as Wace's Roman de Rou. Jórvík, meanwhile reduced to York in the centuries after the Conquest, moving from the Middle English Yerk in the 14th century through Yourke in the 16th century to Yarke in the 17th century; the form York was first recorded in the 13th century. Many company and place names, such as the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Latinised Brittonic, Roman name; the 12th‑century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his fictional account of the prehistoric kings of Britain, Historia Regum Britanniae, suggests the name derives from that of a pre-Roman city founded by the legendary king Ebraucus.
The Archbishop of York uses Ebor as his surname in his signature. Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether their settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes; the Brigantian tribal area became a Roman client state, but its leaders became more hostile and the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory. The city was founded in 71 AD, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a wooden military fortress on flat ground above the River Ouse close to its confluence with the River Foss; the fortress, whose walls were rebuilt in stone by the VI legion based there subsequent to the IX legion, covered an area of 50 acres and was inhabited by 6,000 legionary soldiers. The site of the principia of the fortress lies under the foundations of York Minster, excavations in the undercroft have revealed part of the Roman structure and columns.
The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. During his stay 207–211 AD, the Emperor Severus proclaimed York capital of the province of Britannia Inferior, it is that it was he who granted York the privileges of a'colonia' or city. Constantius I died in 306 AD during his stay in York, his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor by the troops based in the fortress. In 314 AD a bishop from York attended the Council at Arles to represent Christians from the province. While the Roman colonia and fortress were located on high ground, by 400 AD the town was victim to occasional flooding from the Rivers Ouse and Foss, the population reduced. York declined in the post-Roman era, was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century. Reclamation of parts of the town was initiated in the 7th century under King Edwin of Northumbria, York became his chief city; the first wooden minster church was built in York for the baptism of Edwin in 627, according to the Venerable Bede.
Edwin ordered the small wooden church be rebuilt in stone. In the following century, Alcuin of York came to the cathedral school of York, he had a long career as a teacher and scholar, first at the school at York now known as St Peter's School, founded in 627 AD, as Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs. In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of internecine struggles when the Vikings raided and captured York. Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe; the last ruler of an independent Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in 954 AD by King Eadred in his successful attempt to complete the unification
Alan Rufus Alan favored Almer by giving him two additional manors. In 1067, Alan witnessed a charter of King William to the monks of St Peter's at Westminster. In January 1069, Earl Edwin in Yorkshire and his brother Earl Morcar in Northumberland rebelled. In late 1069, the King brought an army north to recover York. According to the Register of Richmond, it was at the instigation of Queen Matilda, during the Siege of York, that King William conceded to Alan the Honour of Richmond in North Yorkshire. Unusually, within the land of Count Alan, King William himself and his half-brother Robert, Count of Mortain received only one manor each: William sharing one with Alan at Ainderby Steeple, on the eastern fringe of the Land, while Robert held one on its southern edge; the wording of the proclamation is: Ego Wilmus cognomine Bastardus Rex Anglie do et concedo tibi Nepoti meo Alano Britannie Comiti et heredibus tuis imperpetuum omnes uillas et terras que nuper fuerunt Comitis Edwyni in Eboraschira cum feodis Militum et ecclesiis et aliis libertat et consuetudinibus ita libere et honorifice sicut idem Edwinus ea tenuit.
Dat in obsidione coram Ciuitate Ebor. Philemon Holland's English translation of William Camden's "Brittania" renders the proclamation: "I William surnamed Bastard, King of England, doe give and grant unto thee my Nephew Alane Earle of Britaine, to thine heires for all and every the manour houses and lands which late belonged to Earle Eadwine in Yorkeshire, with the knights fees and other liberties and customes, as and in as honorable wise as the said Eadwin held the same. Given at our leaguer before the City of Yorke." Alan Rufus began construction on Richmond Castle in 1071, to be the principal manor and center of his honour. As the first constable of his new castle, Alan chose Enisant Musard, the husband of one of his half-sisters. Richmond Castle overlooks the old Roman fort at North Yorkshire. Alan's properties extended over the entire length of Earningas Street, the old Roman road from London to the North, heading to Edinburgh. Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed that Brittany was the place of origin for his "Historia Regum Britannia".
In fiction, Alan has an association with King Arthur: in the tale of Potter Thompson and his knights are said to lie at rest under Richmond Castle. In Richmondshire, the Domesday Book's "Land of Count Alan", many of the Anglo-Dane lords, or their heirs, were retained in their pre-1066 positions of authority; the locations where this was done were complementary to those owned by the deceased Edwin, Earl of Mercia, whereas many of those where Edwin had been Overlord were given to Alan's Breton relatives: his half-brothers Ribald, Lord of Middleham, Lord of Bedale, Bardolf, Lord of Ravensworth, their wet-nurse, Orwen. Other tenants of Alan in Yorkshire were English lords from East Anglia. In the 1080s, Alan witnessed several documents of King William in England and Ghent, one of Queen Matilda in England. For the period from about 1083-1086 the formidable Sainte-Suzanne Castle was besieged by the king's army. King William I established a fortified camp at Beugy, about 800 metres north of the castle, manned by William's best household knights under the command of Alan Rufus.
The siege did not go well, the castle proving to be well-def
William the Conqueror
William I known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later; the rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son. William was the son of Duke of Normandy, by Robert's mistress Herleva, his illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy that plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke and for their own ends. In 1047 William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process, not complete until about 1060.
His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders. By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointment of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church, his consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, by 1062 William secured control of the neighbouring county of Maine. In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There were other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, named the next king by Edward on the latter's deathbed in January 1066. William argued that Edward had promised the throne to him and that Harold had sworn to support William's claim. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London.
He made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, by 1075 William's hold on England was secure, allowing him to spend the majority of the rest of his reign on the continent. William's final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In 1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey listing all the landholdings in England along with their pre-Conquest and current holders. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France, was buried in Caen, his reign in England was marked by the construction of castles, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire but instead continued to administer each part separately. William's lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, his second surviving son, William Rufus, received England.
Norsemen first began raiding in. Permanent Scandinavian settlement occurred before 911, when Rollo, one of the Viking leaders, King Charles the Simple of France reached an agreement surrendering the county of Rouen to Rollo; the lands around Rouen became the core of the duchy of Normandy. Normandy may have been used as a base when Scandinavian attacks on England were renewed at the end of the 10th century, which would have worsened relations between England and Normandy. In an effort to improve matters, King Æthelred the Unready took Emma of Normandy, sister of Duke Richard II, as his second wife in 1002. Danish raids on England continued, Æthelred sought help from Richard, taking refuge in Normandy in 1013 when King Swein I of Denmark drove Æthelred and his family from England. Swein's death in 1014 allowed Æthelred to return home, but Swein's son Cnut contested Æthelred's return. Æthelred died unexpectedly in 1016, Cnut became king of England. Æthelred and Emma's two sons and Alfred, went into exile in Normandy while their mother, became Cnut's second wife.
After Cnut's death in 1035, the English throne fell to Harold Harefoot, his son by his first wife, while Harthacnut, his son by Emma, became king in Denmark. England remained unstable. Alfred returned to England in 1036 to visit his mother and to challenge Harold as king. One story implicates Earl Godwin of Wessex in Alfred's subsequent death. Emma went into exile in Flanders until Harthacnut became king following Harold's death in 1040, his half-brother Edward followed Harthacnut to England. William was born in 1027 or 1028 at Falaise, Duchy of Normandy, most towards the end of 1028, he was the only son of Duke Robert I, son of Duke Richard II. His mother, was the daughter of Fulbert of Falaise, she was a member of the ducal household, but did not marry Robert. Instead, she married Herluin de Conteville, with whom she had two sons – Odo of Bayeux and Robert, Count of Mortain – and a daughter whose name is unknown. One of Herleva's brothers, became a supporter and protector of William during his minority.
Robert had a daughter, Adelaide, by another mistress. Robert became Duke of Normandy on 6 August 1027, succeeding his elder brother Richard III, who had only succeeded to the title the previous year. Robert and his brother had been at odds over the succession, Richard's death