Search Ancestors Descendants
|Name:||William I "The Conqueror" King Of England|
|Birth:||14 OCT 1027 Falaise, Calvados, Normandy, France||Father:||Mother:|
|Christening:||1066 Norman Conquest, As An Adult;|
|Married:||Maud De Ingelrica NOT MARRIED|
|Married:||Matilda (Maud) Flanders ABT 1053 Eu, Seine-Inferieure, France|
|Henry I Beauclerc (King of England 1100-1135)||SEP 1068 Selby, Yorkshire, England||1 DEC 1135 Lyons-La-Foret, Normandy, France|
|Anna England||ABT 1066 Normandy, France||DECEASED|
|Agatha England||ABT 1064 Normandy, France||BEF 1080 Calvados, France|
|Adela Princess Of England||ABT 1062 Normandy, France||8 MAR 1136/1137 Marsigny, Charente-Maritim, France|
|Constance Of Normandy||1061 Normandy, France||13 AUG 1090 England|
|William II "Rufus" England||ABT 1060 Normandy, France||1 AUG 1100 New Forset While Hunting|
|Margaret England||1059 Normandy, France||BEF 1112|
|Cecilia England||ABT 1055 Normandy, France||13 JUL 1127 Caen, Calvados, France|
|Richard England||ABT 1055 Normandy, France||1081 New Forest, Hampshire, England|
|Gundred-Gundrada Of Fleming||ABT 1055 Normandy, France||27 MAY 1085 Castle Acre, Norfolk, England|
|Adelaide (Adeliza The Nun) Of Normandy||ABT 1055||1065|
|Robert II "Curthose" Duke Of Normandy||ABT 1054 Normandy, France||2 OCT 1134 Cardiff Castle, Glamorganshire, Wales|
|Matilda Dau Of William Of Normandy|
|Death:||9 SEP 1087 Hermenbraville, Seine-Maritime, France|
|Burial:||UNKNOWN Abbey Of St Step, Caen, Calvados, France|
Ancestral File Number:
WilliamI, byname WILLIAM The CONQUEROR, or The BASTARD, or WILLIAM of NORMANDY, French GUILLAUME le CONQUÉRANT, or le BÂTARD, or GUILLAUME de NORMANDIE (b. c. 1028,Falaise, Normandy--d. Sept. 9, 1087, Rouen), duke of Normandy (as William II) from 1035 and king of England from 1066, one of the greatest soldiers and rulers of the Middle Ages. He made himself the mightiest feudal lord in France and then changed the course of England's history by his conquest of that country.
William was the elder of two children of Robert I of Normandy and his concubine Herleva, or Arlette, the daughter of a burgher from the town of Falaise. In 1035 Robert died when returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and William, his only son, whom he had nominated as his heir before his departure, was accepted as duke by the Norman magnates and his feudal overlord, King Henry I of France. William and his friends had to overcome enormous obstacles. His illegitimacy (he was generally known as the Bastard) was a handicap, and he had to survive the collapse of law and order that accompanied his accession as achild.
Three of William's guardians died violent deaths before he grew up, and his tutor was murdered. His father's kin were of little help; most of them thought that they stood to gain by the boy's death. But his mother managed to protect William through the most dangerous period. These early difficulties probably contributed to his strength of purpose and his dislike of lawlessness and misrule.
Ruler of Normandy.
By 1042, when William reached his 15th year, was knighted, and began to play a personal part in the affairs of his duchy, the worst was over. But his attempts to recover rights lost during the anarchy and to bring disobedient vassals and servants to heel inevitably led to trouble. From 1046 until 1055 he dealt with a series of baronial rebellions, mostly led by kinsmen. Occasionally he was in great danger and had to rely on Henry of France for help. In 1047 Henry and William defeated a coalition of Norman rebels at Val-ès-Dunes, southeast of Caen. It was in these years that William learned to fight and rule.
William soon learned to control his youthful recklessness.He was always ready to take calculated risks on campaign and, most important, to fight a battle. But he was not a chivalrous or flamboyant commander. His plans were simple, his methods direct, and he exploited ruthlessly any advantage gained. If he found himself at a disadvantage, he withdrew immediately. He showed the same
qualities in his government. He never lost sight of his aim to recover lost ducal rights and revenues, and, although he developed no theory of government or great interest in administrative techniques, he was always prepared to improvise and experiment. He seems to have lived a moral life by the standards of the time, and he acquired an interest in the welfare of the Norman church. He made his half brother, Odo, bishop of Bayeux in 1049 at the age of about 16, and Odo managed to combine the roles of nobleman and prelate in a way that did not greatly shock contemporaries. But William also welcomed foreign monks and scholars to Normandy. Lanfranc of Pavia, a famous master of the liberal arts,who entered the monastery of Bec about 1042, was made abbot of Caen in 1063.
According to a brief description of William's person by an anonymous author, who borrowed extensively from Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, he was just above average height and had a robust, thick-set body. Though he was always sparing of food and drink, he became fat in later life. He had a rough bass voice and was a good and ready speaker. Writers of the next generation agree that he was exceptionally strong and vigorous. William was an out-of-doors man, a hunter and soldier, fierce and despotic, generally feared; uneducated, he had few graces but was intelligent and shrewd and soon obtained t