Monday, 6 October 2014

Fascinating Facts: William the Conqueror

What do you know about William the Conqueror?

Coin of William the Conqueror
(Wikimedia)

Probably just a few dry facts and the general impression that he was one of the bad guys. You may be surprised to find he was deeply religious, faithful to his wife, and convinced his claim to the throne was valid. Here are some more fascinating facts:






Fascinating Facts: William I (The Conqueror) [1066-1087]

  • His father died when he was seven and his life was continually under threat. His uncle repeatedly smuggled him out of the castle and hid him in a peasant's hut to keep him safe.
  • He married Matilda, daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, and had four sons and five daughters.
  • He was a distant cousin to Edward the Confessor, King of England, who named him his heir.
  • Harold swore an oath of loyalty to William and sealed the pact by marrying his daughter Agatha.
  • He had remarkable self-control and self-discipline, and was faithful in his religion and his marriage.
  • The pope gave William his backing in claiming the throne.
  • He tried to learn English, but spoke only French.
  • He spent over half his reign in Normandy, keeping control there.
  • He had trouble keeping control in England. Every time he put down a rebellion, he built a castle!
  • When his subjects heard he was dead they cowered in fear. He was so superhuman that they expected natural catastrophes to follow.

I think he was actually quite a guy!

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