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The Norman Conquest


The Harrying of the North

Some English people rebelled against the new ruler including Hereward the Wake in East Anglia and Eadric the Wild in Shropshire.

The biggest rebellion [rebellion: An attempt to overthrow a king or ruler by fighting against them. was in the north of England in 1069. It was led by Edgar the Atheling, who had a blood-claim to the throne. He was joined by Danish and Scottish armies.

William defeated the rebellion. In the north-east of England, he ordered villages to be destroyed and people to be killed. Herds of animals and crops were burnt. Most people who survived starved to death and there were even stories of people turning to cannibalism. This is called the Harrying of the North.

Even by the standards of the time, the Harrying was seen as excessively cruel.

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