Here are some facts about William the Conqueror (William I), the first Norman King of England.
- William I was born in about 1028. He was the illegitimate child of the Duke of Normandy, Robert I and Herleva, his mistress.
- In 1035, William became Duke of Normandy.
- Edward the Confessor, the King of England, was William’s cousin, giving William a claim to the throne of England.
- He invaded England from Normandy in September 1066. He defeated and killed Harold Godwinson, Edward the Confessor’s successor, on 14th October 1066 in the Battle of Hastings.
- He was crowned as the King of England on Christmas Day 1066.
- It is estimated that William was 5′ 10″. This made him quite tall for his time.
- Many castles and keeps, for example, The White Tower (the central keep of the Tower of London), were constructed during William’s reign.
- William was a keen hunter and he brought in laws to regulate who had permission to hunt in England.
- William I ordered a survey of all of the landholdings in England. This work, started in 1085, became known as the Domesday Book. It was completed in 1086.
- William the Conqueror died on 9th September 1087, while protecting his lands in France. William I left Normandy to his eldest son, Robert, England to his middle son, William, and he left money to his youngest son, Henry.
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