William The Conqueror Essay

1654 words - 7 pages

Throughout the duration of history, many important figures arose to lead nations to great conquests. This list of important figures includes William the Conqueror who had risen from somewhat humble beginnings to become the conqueror of England. Descendants of Viking raiders, the Normans eventually came to settle in a region in the northern portion of France. Before long, they developed their own culture and grew in might. And so, when William, the Duke of Normandy at the time, conquered England, he became the first Norman King of England. Conquering England plays out to be of great importance, as this event would shape the future for many years to come. And so, William the ...view middle of the document...

(Stenton 63)
He later died on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem leaving the duchy to William.
William the Conqueror was born in 1028 in Falaise, Normandy, most likely during autumn (“William the Conqueror;” Douglas 15). Since he was the illegitimate child of Arlette, the daughter of a village leather worker, and Robert I, the reigning Duke of Normandy, people of the time referred to him as William the Bastard (Tilton 21). His father, Robert, gathers his subjects and decides that in the event that he would have to step down; William would take his place (21). The gathering eventually accepted his case after much deliberation. In 1034 or 1035, Robert leaves on a crusade to Jerusalem but never returns (Tilton 21; Freeman 13). Therefore, his decision to have his subjects swear fealty to his seven year old, illegitimate son proved correct, as his son would ascend the throne in the absence of his death (Freeman 13). Therefore, in 1035 following the aftermath of his father’s death, William succeeds his father as the Duke of Normandy (“William the Conqueror”). However, before William ascends the throne many fights begin over who the successor to Robert would be; during which, many people were victim to stabbings and poisonings (Tilton 21). Therefore, William it was imperative that William’s guardians moved him around often to preserve his wellbeing (21). After much duration, he becomes duke and his barons accept his rule; Henry, the king of the French, also confirms his reign (Freeman 13). The reason that he had as little opposition as he did resulted from the fact that their illegitimate births, their youth, or their professions as clergymen (14) limited what potential opposition he had. Therefore, at the tender age of 8, William ascends the throne and his reign over Normandy begins (Freeman 8; Tilton 21). His uncle would serve as his regent for the time being (“William the Conqueror”).
As Duke of Normandy, William spent the beginning years of his reign, 1046-1055, crushing Baronial rebellions (1). The cause for these rebellions was that some of the nobles opposed his representation as a figure of law and order (Freeman 14). Sometime during his rule, he comes to meet his royal cousin who allegedly promises him the crown of England (Tilton 22). Later on, the English crown knights him in 1042 (23). Also during his reign of Normandy William fights and conquers many other armies augmenting his own by adding their troops to his ranks (Tilton 24). Furthermore, he builds many churches and abbeys during this period to endear himself with the Church, which had a great deal of power at the time (24).
January 5, 1066, Edward, the reigning king of England, dies leaving no posterity behind (Douglas 181). Naturally, this brings up many heated debates over who the next King of England would be. After much deliberation, Harold, someone who supposedly once swore oath to William, is selected and accepts (Douglas 181; “William the Conqueror”). ...

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