William of NORMANDY

Male 1024 - 1087  (63 years)

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  • Name William of NORMANDY 
    Born 1024  Falaise, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1087  Convent of St. Gervais, Rouen, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried St. Stephen's, Caen, Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I19861  Sorensen-Remington Family Tree
    Last Modified 7 Aug 2018 

    Father DUKE the Magnificent Robert,   b. 22 Jun 1000,   d. Jul 1035  (Age 35 years) 
    Mother of FALAISE Herleva 
    Family ID F08974  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Countess of FLANDERS Matilda 
     1. Adela Beauclerc
     2. Robert Beauclerc,   b. Abt 1050
     3. Richard Beauclerc,   b. Abt 1053
     4. William Rufus Beauclerc,   b. Between 1056 and 1060,   d. 2 Aug 1100  (Age ~ 44 years)
     5. Henry BEAUCLERC, I, of Normandy,   b. 1068, Selby, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Dec 1135, Rouen, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    Last Modified 7 Aug 2018 
    Family ID F07543  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • The following information is from "Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain" by Eric R. Delderfield, pub. 1990 by David & Charles, pp. 20 - 22.

      William married his second cousin, Matilda of Flanders. She was daughter of the Count of Flanders, and is a descendant of the House of Wessex.

      William was also a second cousin of Edward the Confessor, King of England from 1042 to 1066.

      William was said to be illegitimate by birth, son of Duke Robert the Magnificent and a tanner's daughter.

      As king, William I, The Conqueror, was "ruthless and cruel." However, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says "He was mild to the good men that loved God, and beyond measure severe to the men that gainsaid his will . . . It is not to be forgotten that good peace he made in this land."

      "By his oath to observe the old Saxon laws and his imposition of Continental feudal customs, William effectively prevented the monarchy from exercising unlimited power, laying the ground for the development of English laws and liberties."

      The following notes are from "The Lives of the Kings & Queens of England" edited by Antonia Fraser, pub. 1998 University of California Press, pp. 20 ff.

      William became Duke of Normandy in 1035. He was almost continuously at war.

      From the evidence of the bones in their graves, it seems that William was about 5" 10' tall, while Matilda was about 4" 2' tall. They had at least nine children, and it is believed that William was never unfaithful to her.

      William invaded England in 1066 because he said that Edward the Confessor had promised the English throne to him and that Harold Godwinson had sworn an oath supporting this. He defeated Harold and his forces at Hastings on 14 Oct 1066.

      Over the next few years minor revolts broke out around England, and little by little William achieved control of the entire country. Rebels were punished by confiscation of their lands, which were given to Normans who were loyal supporters of William. Several hundred castles were built, evidence of William's stronghold on the land. Most of the English aristocracy was subdued and/or wiped out.

      In 1086 William commissioned the Domesday Book, which listed the major landholders in each county along with the value of their holdings.

      He died in a battle against the King of France for disputed territory between Rouen and Paris. His forces won the attack on Mantes, but William received a mortal wound.

      His ancestral lands in Normandy were given to the eldest son Robert (who at times had rebelled against his father), while the will gave England to his son William to rule.