William the Conqueror and his Patronage

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William the Conqueror and his Patronage

William I, better known as William the Conqueror, began his medieval and political career at a young age when his father left him to go on a crusade. Effectively William became the Duke of Normandy. He had to fight against other members of the Norman royalty who desired William's land and treasure. William learned at an early age that the men who ruled Europe during the middle ages were primarily interested in their own greed at the expense of all else, including the concepts chivalry and honor. He soon became a feared military commander, conquering all in Normandy who would oppose his interests. Also an excellent statesman, William planed a visit across the channel to England, so that he might meet with the elderly King Edward the Confessor, who had no obvious successors to his throne. It is hard to say what actually transpired during that meeting, due to a lack of historical records. However, what we do know comes down to us from the magnificent Bayeux tapestry. Believed to have been commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, it is in fact not a tapestry at all, but a long (230 feet long, 20 inches wide) embroidery. The Bayeaux tapestry is a pictorial history of the events leading up to and including William's victory at the battle of Hastings in 1066. At any rate the tapestry tells us that William was given the consent of Edward the Confessor, King of England, to rule the country after Edward's death. Furthermore, the tapestry also shows scenes of the Earl of Wessex Harold, swearing, on relics, before William, that he would not take the throne of England. Edward died and Harold took the throne, in spite of any prior arrangement with William of Normandy. William, gathered his armies and set...

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... was begun in 1077. The main building, included a small cathedral in one corner, and rises three stories. Towers extend from each of the four corners. Exterior walls enclose the premises. The walls were clearly built for defensive purposes with towers on each corner. The tower of London exists, with some later modifications, till this day.

Finally historians remember William for taking the first modern census of England. The so called Domesday Book, is a chronicle of England's population during the 11th century.

We remember William of Normandy as a conquering hero. Truly one of the great warrior's of all time. But its is his patronage that still can be viewed in the twentieth century. The churches of St. Etienne and La Trinite as well as the tower of London, are medieval architectural models. All three buildings have a wealth of documentation surrounding them.
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