William I

Satisfactory Essays
Early Life
William was born in 1027 in Falaise, France. His parents were Duke Robert I of Normandy and Arletta, a tanner’s daughter. William was illegitimate, he was also called “William the Bastard” and because of this he was an outcast. His father went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and left William as his successor with twelve barons to advise and take care of young William. When the news reached Normandy that his father was killed, violence broke out in the country.

In 1047 William gained control of Normandy. He dealt with rebellion inside Normandy and became a very experienced and ruthless military commander. The people of Normandy liked to fight, when at peace William had to find a new place to conquer. William married Mathilda, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders. William had three reasons to be king of England: he was promised by Edward the Confessor, he was the closest relative to Harold II, and promised by Edwards brother in-law, Harold Goodwin, on his deathbed. But Harold became King of England.

Battle of Hastings
When William did not get the throne of England he held a council of war. He had a fleet of ships built in the port of Dives, building the boats took seven months. William was not the only person invading England, Norway had landed in northern England and Harold had rushed to defeat them. On September 28, 1066 William landed in Pevensey with no opposition except for the townspeople because Harold was in the north. Harold quickly moved his troops to the south of England

The armies matched in size and Harold had the battlefield advantage but William had skillfully co-ordinate his armies, which Harold had not. The first assault by the Normans failed and a rumor had started that William had died. “ The battle was close-fought: a chronicler described the Norman counter-attacks and the Saxon defense as 'one side attacking with all mobility, the other withstanding as though rooted to the soil'.” Harold died in The Battle of Hastings and lost the battle by and arrow shot through his eye. Historians say the reasons he lost are the battle were: “he was weaker because of perjury and moral lapses, his soldiers were tired from walk from London, they spent the night carousing instead of prayer, the solders were armed with stones and bill-hooks, and he needed horsemen and archers.” The Battle of Hasting became a battle of such significance because with this victory William won the battle and England.
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