William I the Conqueror Plantagenet King of England  459
- Born: 1028, Falaise, Normandy, France 459
- Marriage (1): Matilda of Flanders  in 1053 in Cathedral of Notre Dame D'eu, Normandy
- Marriage (2): Maud (Ingelrica) Peverell 
- Died: 9 Sep 1087, Hermentrube, Near Rouen, France at age 59 459
- Buried: St. Stephen Abbey, Caen, Normandy
FamilySearch ID: 9CWS-BZZ.
Acceded: 25 DEC 1066, Westminster Abbey, London, England
Reigned 1066-1087. Duke of Normandy 1035-1087. Invaded England defeated and
killed his rival Harold at the Battle of Hastings and became King. The Nor man
conquest of England was completed by 1072 aided by the establishment of
feaudalism under which his followers were granted land in return for pledges
of service and loyalty. As King William was noted for his efficient if harsh
rule. His administration relied upon Norman and other foreign personnell
especially Lanfranc Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1085 started Domesday Book.
William I , (The Conqueror) King of England was born on 14 October 1024 in Falaise, Normandy, France <pd2.htm>. He married Matilda of Flanders, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders, in 1051 in Cathedral of Notre Dame d'Eu, Normandy . He married Ingelrica Maud of England after 2 November 1083; they married after the death of Matilda of Flanders who died in 1083. He died on 9 September 1087 in Priory of St. Gervais, Rouen, France , at age 62. He was buried in 1087 in St. Stephen's Abbey, Caen, Normandy, France . William I of the House of Normandy, was the first Norman king. He was known as "The Conqueror of England," as well as William "The Bastard," son of Robert II "The Devil," Duke of Normandy (or Robert II "Curthose" of Normandy). His mother was Arlette (or Herleva de Falaise), daughter of Fulbert, a tanner of Falaise. Though an illegitimate son, William suceeded his father as Duke of Normandy in 1035 at the age of eleven. He lived in obscurity for 12 years until the Battle of Val-des-Dunes (1047) when the lords of the western part of the duchy rebelled and Henri I of France came to his aid defeating the rebels. The lack of heirs to the English throne, and Edward the Confessor's predilection for Normans, made it possible for William to put forward his candidature though he was only Edward's cousin by marriage. In 1051 William received a promise from Edward the Confessor of the English succession and in 1051, in defiance of the Pope, he married Matilda, the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders and Adelaide of France. They had to wait until 1059 before receiving a papal dispensation for their marriage. William the Conqueror and Matilda had relatively great difficulty in obtaining a papal dispensation for their marriage. It was not immediately obvious what the impediment was that would require a dispensation. The problem of what the relationship between Matilda and William might be which required a dispensation generated a vigorous debate earlier this century; the theory appears to be that Matilda and William were cousins of sorts. In the next ten years William repulsed two French invasions, and in 1063 conquered Maine. Although he was never keen on actual capital punishment, he could get touchy about jokes too near the bone, so when he captured the town of Alencon that had displayed flayed skins on its walls in allusion to the tanner's trade (his maternal grandfather, Fulbert, had been a tanner), he chopped the right hand and left foot off each citizen to teach them a lesson about laughing last. About 1064, the powerful English noble, Harold, Earl of Wessex, (aka Harold Godwin) was shipwrecked on the Norman coast and taken prisoner by William. He secured his release by swearing to support William's claim to the English throne. When King Edward died, however, the "witenagemot" (royal council) elected Harold king. Determined to make good his claim, William secured the sanction of Pope Alexander II for a Norman invasion of England. The duke and his army landed at Pevensey on September 28, 1066. On October 14, the Normans defeated the English forces at the celebrated Battle of Hastings, in which Harold was slain along with the rest of the Godwin family members. William then proceeded to London, crushing the resistance he encountered on the way. On Christmas Day he was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. After his conquest, William requested a large number of Jews move to England; they spoke Norman and did well under his reign. (Sharon Kay Penman, "Falls the Shadow.") Gaining the crown didn't give William complete control of England, though, and there was remaining resistance which was severely crushed, and castles were built to control the country (including a fortress on the site of Windsor Castle, and the White Tower at the Tower of London). The west and north of England were subdued in 1068; but the next year the north revolted and William devastated the county between York and Durham. The Conqueror's rule was stern and orderly but the English did not accept foreign rule without a struggle. William met the opposition, which was particularly violent in the north and west, with strong measures being taken; he was responsible for the devastation of great areas of the country, particularly in Yorkshire, where Danish forces had arrived to aid the Saxon rebels. In 1070 there was a rebellion in the Fen Country and, under the leadership of Hereward the Wake, the rebels held out for some time in the Isle of Ely. English exiles were sheltered by the Scottish King, Malcolm, who plundered the northern shires; but William invaded Scotland in 1072 compelling King Malcolm III MacDuncan to do him homage at Abernethy. In 1073 he reconquered Maine. He also made a successful expedition into South Wales. During the succeeding years the Conqueror crushed insurrections among his Norman followers, including that incited in 1075 by Ralph de Guader, 1st Earlof Norfolk, and Roger Fitzwilliam, Earl of Hereford, and in 1079 a series of uprisings in Normandy led by his eldest son Robert, who later became Robert III, duke of Normandy. In 1086,William commissioned the Domesday Book to record land holdings for the assessment of taxes and other dues. He reorganized the English feudal and administative systems. He dissolved the great earldoms which had enjoyed virtual independence under his Anglo-Saxon predecessors and distributed the lands confiscated from the English to his trusted Norman followers. The old national assembly become a council of the king's tenants-in-chief. By the Oath of Salisburgy of 1086, all landlords swore allegiance to William, thus establishing the precedent that a vassal's loyablty to the king overrode his fealty to his immediate lord. The feudal lords were compelled to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the local courts which William retained along with many other Anglo-Saxon institutions. The ecclesiastical and secular courts were separated, and the power of the papacy in English affairs was greatly curtailed. In 1087 during a campaign against King Philip I of France, William burned the town of Mantes (now Mantes-la-Jolie). As William rode through the burning town, his horse stumbled and fell fatally injuring William who was thrown against the iron pommel of his saddle. He was carried to the priory of St. Gervase near Rouen where he confessed his sins. He died of a burst bowel on September 9th at age 62. All his sons, except Henry, deserted his deathbed to fight for the succession; his officers and servants fled with what spoils they could take. A rustic vassal bore his remains to the Abbaye aux Hommes at Caen. The coffin made for him proved too small for his corpse; when the attendants tried to force the enormous bulk into the narrow space, the body burst, and filled the church with a royal stench. He was buried at Caen in Saint Stephen's, one of the abbeys he and Matilda had founded at the time of their marriage as penance for their defiance of the Pope. William was succeeded by his third-born son, William II, to whom he left England. He left Normandy to his son Robert. [Click on the following document icons for a bit more interesting information related to William and the makeup of the English people.]. Children of William I , (The Conqueror) King of England and Matilda of Flanders:
Robert III Duke of Normandy, b. 1051, d. bt 10 Feb 1133 - 1134
Richard de Normandy, Duke of Bernay b. 1054, d. 1081
Adelidis (Alice) de Normandy, b. 1055, d. 1066
Cecilia of The Holy Trinity b. 1056, d. 30 Jul 1126
William Rufus II , King of England b. 1060, d. 2 Aug 1100
Adela de Normandy b. 1062, d. bt 8 Mar 1137 - 1138
Matilda (Gundred) de Normandy b. 1063
Agatha (Matilda) de Normandy b. 1064, d. 1080
Constance de Normandy b. 1066, d. 13 Aug 1090
Anna de Normandy b. 1066
Henry I Beauclerc, King of England + b. c Sep 1068, d. 1 Dec 1135
"Burke's Guide to the Royal Family," London, 1973.
"Burke's Guide to the Royal Family," London, 1973, Ref: 193, 310.
Noted events in his life were:
• Acceded, 25 Dec 1066, Westminster Abbey, London, England.
William married Matilda of Flanders  [MRIN: 697], daughter of Baldwin V "the Pious" of Flanders Count of Flanders  and Adela (Alix) of France Capet Princess  [KPD2-NT5], in 1053 in Cathedral of Notre Dame D'eu, Normandy. (Matilda of Flanders  was born about 1031 in Flanders, France, died on 2 Nov 1083 in Caen, Normandy and was buried in Holy Trinity Abbey, Caen, Normandy.)
William next married Maud (Ingelrica) Peverell  [MRIN: 8396].