Born by Duke Robert I and his
mistress Herleva in c1028 in Falaise. Willian succeeded his father, in 1035 when
he- the king of Normandy dead. Given that William was the firstborn son of king
Robert he became the sole heir of Normandy kingdom.
At 8 years old William became the
new duke of Normandy. After a great struggle like taking control of London
by mounting a campaign across it and forcing Edgar Atheling to surrender. He was crowned a King on Christmas Day 1066 at Westminster Abbey and ruled England till September 1087.
He got married in the year 1050 to Matilda Blander. The
couple gave birth to least nine children. King William dead in
Rouen, France and was buried in St Stephen’s Abbey, Caen, Normandy. His
eldest son, Robert Curthose became the heir of Normandy.
William expected to become a King after the death of
Edward the confessor. But When Edward the Confessor died he was shocked to
learn that Harold Godwineson had taken the crown and was most likely planning
to attack England .He went to a one day battle “hasting battle” at Senlac Hill
and won the battle thus gaining control of London which was the English
As a religious leader he took part in church
councils, making appointments like appointing the Archbishop of Rouen,
Maurilius to the Norman episcopate. Although he was very religious he managed
to bring most of the church’s ordinary functions under the authority of common
law by separating ecclesiastical courts from lay courts.
Being the only heir of Normandy yet he was a bastard,
these landed him into a series of battles over power with his relatives from
within to distant.
Although William faced several challenges upon
becoming duke –with his illegitimate birth, his Archbishop Robert, his uncle together
with the king of France, Henry I, were there to help him to succeed to his
Concerned about William’s well
about, as a young king, French king Henry I played a major role on lending an
hand whenever needed. For instance, when Guy of Burgundy, William’s cousin tried to over through him in 1046, at
Val-és-Dunes king Henry I helped him defeat him and secured control over
On the other hand, with the help of
Henry, William was able to capture Alençon and Domfront
castle in Maine, France in 1051–52. Again with King Henry’s – besieged the
rebels- help Arques-la-Bataille castle was handed back to William in 1053.
Other times Henry the French king was
not that supportive. For instance, together with Geoffrey of Anjou they decided
to invade Normandy in 1054, but they gave up at Mortimer when part of their
force forced them to due to the fear of Normandy’s organized force.
Not being satisfied with the
outcome, Henry and Geoffrey led another attack in 1057, Varaville battle, with
determination William was able to defeat them again.
In 1050, William married the daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders, Matilda Flanders.
The union strengthened William’s status because his father in-law happened to
be one of the most powerful French leaders, with ties to the German emperors and
the French royal house.
WILLAM THE CONQUEROR’S SKILLS
A ruthless leader
His cousin led a rebellion against him he asked for support from
the French king and won the battle thus emerged as a ruthless leader due to the
punishments he enforced on the rebels, he chopped off their feet and hands to
instill fear and establish Normandy as a powerful state.
able and born skilled leader
He was able to unite his kingdom by all means. English was not
his first language but, more than anyone since his death he had more influence
on the evolution of the English language—adding a slew of French and Latin
words to the English dictionary. He also introduced skilled Norman
administrators in his regime who were responsible making England the most
powerful government in Europe.
and strategic leader
He wisely organized
his solders at any given time of war. For instance, When Harold was crowned the
king after the death of Edward the confessor and was supported by Witan, a
council of English whose work was to decide the successor. William decided to
attack England and enforce his claim. He assembled an army on the French coast
to wait for Halold’s army who were to return very weak since they were from a
war and he won the battle. He also requested for reinforcement from the French
king whenever he needed one.
He forced the north by laying waste to their villages,
destroying farmlands and robbing agricultural communities of their livelihoods
thus famine struck making them eating cats, dogs, and even human flesh to
survive after a series of rebellions they gave in thus he managed to unite
England, under his authority.