William the Conqueror

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A segment of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, rally Duke William’s troops during the Battle of Hastings.

William, usually known as William the Conqueror, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke fo Normandy from 1035 onward. After his hold on Normandy was secure, William launched the Norman conquest of England six years later.

In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England, then held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on October 1066. After further military efforts, William was crowned king on Christmas Day, in London.

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His reign in England was marked by the construction of castles and churches, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, and change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire, but instead continued to administer each part separately. William’s lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert, and his second surviving son, William, received England. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)

(Obviously this should have run yesterday, but I didn’t want it to interfere with Christmas Day; William was crowned on Christmas Day, 1066.)

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