Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Home > History > The Middle Ages > The Norman Conquest

History

The Norman Conquest

Print

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.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.