William the Conqueror - Kings, Family and Personal Life

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William the Conqueror's Personal Details

William the Conqueror was the Duke of Normandy, who later became the King of England

InformationDetail
Birthday1028
Died onSeptember 9, 10871028
NationalityBritish
FamousEmperors, King of England, Kings, Poorly Educated, Historical Personalities, Emperors & Kings, Military Leaders
Nick namesWilliam the Bastard
SpousesMatilda of Flanders
SiblingsAdelaide of Normandy, Count of Mortain, Earl of Kent, Odo, Robert
Known asWilliam I of England
Childrens Henry I of England, William II of England
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Norwich Castle
Cause of deathAccident
Birth PlaceDuchy of Normandy
GenderMale
FatherRobert I, Duke of Normandy
MotherHerleva
Born inDuchy of Normandy
Famous asKing of England
Died at Age59

// Famous King of England

William the Conqueror's photo

Who is William the Conqueror?

William the Conqueror was the Duke of Normandy, who later became the King of England. He was crowned the Duke in 1035 and over the years made himself the mightiest noble in France, later seizing the English throne in 1066. Born in France, William was an illegitimate child of Robert I, Duke of Normandy, who died abruptly while returning from a pilgrimage and thus, at the age of 8, William inherited his father’s throne. His early reign was plagued with violence as the feudal barons fought for the control of his fragile dukedom but William managed to survive them and grew up to become a great warrior, crushing the rebels and restoring his kingdom. Subsequently, childless King Edward the Confessor promised William succession to the English throne but upon Edward’s death, one of Edward’s relatives succeeded him as the King. Unsurprisingly, William felt betrayed and attacked England, which came to be known as the Battle of Hastings. Successful in his conquest of the English throne, William was crowned King and ruled England for 21 years (1066–1087) until his death. This conquest changed the course of English history, transforming almost every aspect of the nation, eventually making England the most powerful nation in Europe. One of the most significant figures of medieval English history, William left a profound mark on both Normandy and England

// Famous Kings

Childhood & Early Life

William I, famously known as William the Conqueror, was an illegitimate child, born around 1028 at Falaise, Normandy, to Robert I, Duke of Normandy and his mistress, Herleva.

In 1035, before leaving for pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Robert declared William as his heir to the throne of Normandy. On his way back, Robert died suddenly and the young William, aged 8, inherited the dukedom.

The early years of William’s reign were afflicted with violence and corruption as the barons constantly rebelled and conspired to gain control of the kingdom. However, with good fortune and some help from Robert’s loyal men, William survived and evolved into a dominating ruler with an aversion towards lawlessness.

By 1042, William was knighted, and from 1046 until 1055, he dealt with a series of baronial rebellions. He returned to Normandy and asserted his authority, defeating the insurgents after which he began to restore order in his dukedom.

Accession & Reign

Upon gaining a firm control over his duchy, William started expanding the territories under his kingdom. By 1064, he was successful in conquering two neighboring provinces, Brittany and Maine.

Meanwhile, the King of England, Edward the Confessor, who had no heir to his throne and was a distant relative of William, promised William succession to the English throne.

However, upon Edward’s death in 1066, his brother-in-law, Harold Godwin, claimed the throne of England for himself despite having made an oath earlier to support William in his claim. As a consequence of this betrayal, William decided to invade England and enforce his claim.

William assembled his troops but due to bad weather, their plan of attack was delayed for several weeks. Meanwhile, Harold’s exiled brother, Tostig, joined hands with the King of Norway and together they invaded England from the North Sea.

Harold, who had been preparing for William's invasion from the south, rapidly moved his army north to defend England from Norway. Although Tostig and his allies were ultimately defeated in the battle, their sudden attack proved to be beneficial for William.

After defeating the Norwegians, Harold’s troops marched back down to fight William’s army without a rest and in October 1066, the two armies met in the famous ‘Battle of Hastings’. King Harold, along with his two brothers, was killed in the battle and William's path to the English throne became clear.

On Christmas Day, 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned the King of England in Westminster Abbey. Upon ascending the throne, William introduced the Norman practice of building castles in England, including the Tower of London.

During the next few years, there occurred several rebellions under his reign which William cleverly manipulated to confiscate English land and declare it his personal property, later giving it to Norman barons.

William’s conquest played a significant role in shaping the history of England by transforming its language and literature as well as art and architecture. Due to his policies and efforts, Britain emerged as the most powerful nation of Europe.

During the last 15 years of his life, William mostly remained in Normandy, retaining most of the greatest Anglo-Norman barons with him. He effectively confided the English government to his loyal bishops.

Major Works

After seizing the English throne, William retained most of the country’s institutions and was much eager to learn about his new property. He ordered a detailed and economic survey of the population and property of England, the results of which are compiled in the two volumes of ‘The Domesday Book’. Viewed as one of the greatest administrative accomplishments of the Middle Ages, the book currently rests in the Public Record Office in London.

Personal Life & Legacy

William the Conqueror was married to Matilda of Flanders, the daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders. The couple had a large family which consisted of four sons and five or six daughters.

William died on September 9, 1087, in Priory of Saint Gervase, Rouen, Normandy, after sustaining injuries in a horse riding accident. He was buried in the monastery of Saint-Étienne de Caen, France.

// Famous Emperors

William the Conqueror biography timelines

  • // 1028
    William I, famously known as William the Conqueror, was an illegitimate child, born around 1028 at Falaise, Normandy, to Robert I, Duke of Normandy and his mistress, Herleva.
  • // 1035
    In 1035, before leaving for pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Robert declared William as his heir to the throne of Normandy. On his way back, Robert died suddenly and the young William, aged 8, inherited the dukedom.
  • // 1042 To 1055
    By 1042, William was knighted, and from 1046 until 1055, he dealt with a series of baronial rebellions. He returned to Normandy and asserted his authority, defeating the insurgents after which he began to restore order in his dukedom.
  • // 1064
    Upon gaining a firm control over his duchy, William started expanding the territories under his kingdom. By 1064, he was successful in conquering two neighboring provinces, Brittany and Maine.
  • // 1066
    However, upon Edward’s death in 1066, his brother-in-law, Harold Godwin, claimed the throne of England for himself despite having made an oath earlier to support William in his claim. As a consequence of this betrayal, William decided to invade England and enforce his claim.
  • // 1066
    On Christmas Day, 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned the King of England in Westminster Abbey. Upon ascending the throne, William introduced the Norman practice of building castles in England, including the Tower of London.
  • // Oct 1066
    After defeating the Norwegians, Harold’s troops marched back down to fight William’s army without a rest and in October 1066, the two armies met in the famous ‘Battle of Hastings’. King Harold, along with his two brothers, was killed in the battle and William's path to the English throne became clear.
  • // 9th Sep 1087
    William died on September 9, 1087, in Priory of Saint Gervase, Rouen, Normandy, after sustaining injuries in a horse riding accident. He was buried in the monastery of Saint-Étienne de Caen, France.

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William the Conqueror's FAQ

  • When was William the Conqueror died?

    William the Conqueror was died at 1087-09-09

  • Where was William the Conqueror died?

    William the Conqueror was died in Rouen

  • Which age was William the Conqueror died?

    William the Conqueror was died at age 59

  • Where is William the Conqueror's birth place?

    William the Conqueror was born in Duchy of Normandy

  • What is William the Conqueror nationalities?

    William the Conqueror's nationalities is British

  • What is William the Conqueror nick names?

    William the Conqueror's nickNames is William the Bastard

  • Who is William the Conqueror spouses?

    William the Conqueror's spouses is Matilda of Flanders

  • Who is William the Conqueror siblings?

    William the Conqueror's siblings is Adelaide of Normandy, Count of Mortain, Earl of Kent, Odo, Robert

  • Who is William the Conqueror childrens?

    William the Conqueror's childrens is Henry I of England, William II of England

  • Which company or organization was founded by William the Conqueror?

    William the Conqueror was the founder/co-founder of Norwich Castle

  • What is William the Conqueror's cause of dead?

    William the Conqueror dead because of Accident

  • Who is William the Conqueror's father?

    William the Conqueror's father is Robert I, Duke of Normandy

  • Who is William the Conqueror's mother?

    William the Conqueror's mother is Herleva

  • How famous is William the Conqueror?

    William the Conqueror is famouse as King of England