The Norman-French Conquest

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Bayeux Tapestry
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Review

An account of the effect of the Norman Conquest on the Anglo-Saxon and Danish people of Britain.

When William the Conqueror defeated King Harold of England and his army, England and its British neighbours faced a future dominated by one of the most powerful aristocracies produced by Medieval Europe.  William (born illegitimate and known as the Bastard in Normandy) and his powerful force of warlords had no intention of running back home with the country’s portable wealth as their Viking predecessors had done.  The Normans came with the intention of conquering an older civilisation; William sought a crown and absolute power over a wealthy nation and his supporters wanted their share of the spoils in the form of titles, territory with which to enrich themselves and a subservient people to carry out their bidding without question.

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Timeline

1066 Harold II returns south, unaccompanied by Morcar of Northumbria, and is killed at the Battle of Hastings, which witnessed the death of the last Anglo-Saxon king and the over-throw of the English ruling class by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy (c1028-1087).

~ William I is crowned on Christmas Day in Westminster Abbey where every succeeding English and British coronation has taken place.

~ The Witan elects Edgar Aetheling (c1051-c1126) grandson of Edmund Ironside and last prince of the House of Wessex to be king, but he is never crowned.


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