Essay on William the Conqueror

Words: 1948
Pages: 8

William I became known as William the Conqueror through his will and determination. William gained power through his father and soon he climbed high enough to conquer England and become its new king. William was born in 1028 at Falaise Castle. He was the son of Robert the Duke of Normandy and Herleve, the daughter of a tanner in Falaise. Robert was said to have caught sight of Herleve while she was washing her linens in the castle moat. William’s father went on a pilgrimage in 1034 to release his sins. While returning home from his journey, he died suddenly. Having no other heir, William took his place as Duke of Normandy. William had a hard time taking control. People constantly rebelled during his rule, and he would have to learn …show more content…
There was said to have been an arrow that landed into Harold’s eye, blinding him. Whether this was true or not, Harold was mortally wounded. The Saxon army began to flee the field. The houscarls, Harold's trained professional militia, bravely defended his body until they fell and Harold’s body was mutilated by the Normans. Edith Swan-neck, Harold’s lover, came to William pleading for Harold’s body and offering him its weight in gold in exchange, but William coldly refused her request, probably because of the mutilation the body had suffered. He had Harold buried in a secret location. William was crowned King of England at Edward the Confessor's foundation of Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1066. He could now be called by the name of William the Conqueror. On the whole the south of England submitted to Norman rule, whereas in the north resistance was more prolonged. William wrought down a reign of terror upon those who rebelled. Determined to punish and crush rebellion to his rule and strike abject fear into English hearts, he laid waste to vast tracts of Yorkshire, which suffered under a great famine for nine years after as a result. He rewarded his Norman and French followers by distributing the confiscated lands of the English to them. William was a savage and formidable ruler, by modern standards an exceedingly cruel one, but his methods produced the great results and none would