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This Sceptred Isle

Bayeux Tapestry: Harold wounded
Bayeux Tapestry: Harold wounded
The Conquest
Christmas Day 1066 William the Conqueror was crowned king William I. His queen, Matilda of Flanders, who ruled Normandy in his absence, arrived in England in 1068 and was then crowned queen. They had a son later that year whom they named Henry (later Henry I).

By 1069 William had conquered the north and south of England and built many castles. Chester was the last township to fall in 1070.

This was a period of unhappiness and unrest. Saxon England was always on the verge of rebellion. In 1075 a group of Norman knights and one surviving Saxon leader, Waltheof revolted and fought a battle but lost. Waltheof gave himself up to William, who beheaded him - this was considered harsh if not unfair, the Norman knights merely had lands confiscated and were imprisoned for life. William the Conqueror was said to have been obsessed by guilt over his treatment of Waltheof until his own death a decade later.


  • A Saxon Earl half trusted by William the Conqueror
  • Joined the Northern revolt in 1069
  • When he finally submitted, William made further efforts to win his loyalty by marrying him to his niece Judith and giving him the earldom of Northumbria in 1072
  • Waltheof joined the revolt of the Norman earls in 1075 and was once again defeated
  • William the Conqueror had no mercy and Waltheof was beheaded
  • The last earl to be executed for rebellion in England until the 14th Century

did you know?
The Bayeaux Tapestry was designed by the English under the strict supervision of the Normans.

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Voices of the Powerless
1072William the Conqueror invades Scotland
Malcolm III of Scots pays homage to William
1078William the Conqueror begins the Tower of London
1087William Rufus, II of England
1093Donald III Bane, king of Scots
1097Edgar, king of Scots
1100Henry I, king of England

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