Why Did Several Contenders Emerge for the English Throne in 1066?

Why Did Several Contenders Emerge for the English Throne in 1066?

This article is an edited transcript of 1066: Battle of Hastings with Marc Morris, available on Our Site TV.

The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. It took place approximately 7 miles (11 kilometres) northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory.

Listen Now

With Harold Godwinson’s coronation as King of England in 1066 – a single day after the death of his predecessor, Edward the Confessor – Duke William of Normandy, the future William the Conqueror, went ballistic. Harold Godwinson had no blood link to the crown and, while he did have a marital link, his claim to the throne was weak enough that rivals to the crown emerged.

William’s claim to the English throne rested on Edward the Confessor’s designation – 15 years before, in 1051 – which had promised him the crown.

William had a slightly stronger claim than Harold because he had a weak blood claim – he was a second cousin of Edward the Confessor. But his main claim came through the designation.

The contenders emerge

We only have later sources, around 100 years after the event, that actually describe William’s reaction. He apparently felt that, after 15 years of being promised the English throne, he was suddenly hearing that Harold had claimed what belonged to him.

A couple of years prior, Harold had been in Normandy and had sworn an oath to William that he would uphold the Norman duke’s claim. Thus, William supposedly went into a rage.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Scandinavians were interested in the crown of England. The first time anyone on the British mainland seemingly realised that the Scandinavians were interested, however, is when they arrived in England in September 1066.

Indeed, there’s nothing in the original source material to suggest that an invasion from Scandinavia was expected or feared at the start of 1066.

Harold Godwin’s coronation, as depicted by the Bayeux Tapestry.

Indeed, Harold didn’t start preparing his troops until he realised that William was serious about mounting an invasion.

This was a surprise because launching an invasion across the sea hadn’t been tried for a really long time. Although the Normans began their career as Vikings, by 1066 they were not famous for their seafaring activities.

William went into preparation mode. He twisted the arms of his magnates to get them to promise him military service. He ordered ships to be built or borrowed or bought. He wrote to the pope and even sent a messenger to lay out his case and get papal support.

It was only when William was in overdrive on all these fronts, military, political and diplomatic, that Harold realised in the spring of that year that the Norman duke was actually going to put his money where his mouth was.

That was when Harold responded, beginning to raise and call out the English army and the English fleet in early May.

Schoolchildren Beth and Ned give us a masterclass in the events of 1066. Why did the battle last so long? Why were Harold's army so tired? Why could William's victory be put down to luck? And why should we still care today?

Watch Now

The Scandinavian threat

There are older books by very eminent scholars on the Norman conquest that discuss a threat from Scandinavia mounting throughout the 1050s and into the 1060s. But there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support such an idea.

Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway, was completely preoccupied with internal warfare in his own country and another war with Denmark until the eve of 1066 itself. He was fighting his own battles in Scandinavia, and he didn’t have time to launch an attack on England.

The key figure was in fact Tostig Godwinson, Harold Godwinson’s troublesome younger brother.

Throughout the 1050s and early 1060s, Harold and Tostig had collaborated very well, including successfully invading Wales together in the 1060s. Tostig had been made Earl of Northumbria in 1055, which wasn’t then the modern county of Northumbria, but a huge swathe of land comprising everything north of the River Humber up as far as the Scottish border.

Tostig contrived very quickly to alienate Northumbrian society, provoking a big rebellion against him in 1064.

Harold and Tostig fell out because Harold refused to back his brother against the Northumbrian rebels, and Tostig was sent into exile. From that point on, the two men were enemies.

It’s not entirely clear what happened with Tostig because we only know the story from much later legends, either 12th-century chronicles or 13th-century Norse sagas. It is clear, however, that Tostig roamed the courts of northern France and Scandinavia, looking for military support to topple Harold.

Dan Jones discusses his book 'The Knights Templar' at the Temple in Central London, the physical embodiment of this medieval religious order that also trained warrior monks.

Watch Now

It doesn’t seem as though Tostig was aiming at the crown himself. He seemed more interested in toppling his brother, while also restoring his own power. So it was a revenger’s tragedy.

He ended up persuading Harald Hardrada to support an invasion, with the ultimate goal of restoring his earldom.

Nobody in England was predicting an attack from Scandinavia, because the region had been on good terms with England since the 1040s. The previous reference to Harald Hardrada in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle prior to 1066 is 1042 or 1043, when he made peace with Edward the Confessor.

The status quo with Scandinavia was peaceful.

Just 50 or 60 miles across the water in Normandy, however, it was no big secret that an invasion was coming. The boatyards of Normandy were humming with activity.

William rounded up a fleet from all the way across the northern coast of France from friendly powers. Harold and everybody in southern England saw that this was where the threat was brewing, and the English king stationed an army on the south coast throughout 1066 in preparation for William’s invasion.


Claimants to the throne in 1066

Edward the Confessor died in early 1066. As a religious man he had made a vow of celibacy, resulting in no natural heir to the throne. Several people claimed that they should be the next king of England. The claims to the throne of these men were based on blood ties oaths kinship and links to earlier Kings. Each claim to the throne was strong.

The claims to the throne
Edgar the Aetheling

Edgar the Aetheling was the son of King Edmund Ironside. Edmund had seen the crown seized by the Danes under Cnut. Edgar could trace his heritage as far back as King Alfred the Great. He was blood related to the Confessor. Under todays system of lineage, there would be no question at all about him being the rightful heir. However, by 1066 he had a weakened power base. His families lands and wealth had been reduced by the Danish invasions and occupation.

Harold Godwinson

Harold Godwinson was the head of the House of Wessex. Wessex was the richest and most powerful part of England. It dominated the English economy. Harold himself was well known in court. He had acted for Edward the Confessor. Harold had fought many battles, proven himself time and again and was the most trusted military commander in England.

Harold Hardrada

In Denmark, Harold the Hardrada had a claim. Edward the Confessor had usurped Harold’s father, King Magnus. Magnus had been named as the heir to the English throne by King Hardicanute. Edward had simply taken the throne before Magnus, who was quite old, could take the crown. For Harold, the crown of England was rightfully his. His father ought to have been king, his grandfather and the great Cnut, his great grandfather, had been King. England ought to be part of his Viking empire. He would take back what was rightfully his.

William of Normandy

Edward the Confessor had spent much of his youth in Normandy. The young Edward married into the Norman court. The Normans and Wessex had built up a strong relationship, they had treaties to support each other against Viking attacks and were natural trading partners. William of Normandy was a distant cousin of Edward. When Edward became king of England, he adopted many Norman ideas and many Normans began to work for his administration. William visited Edward and, it is claimed, was promised that he was the heir to Edward’s throne. Harold of Wessex, claimed the Normans, swore and oath supporting William’s claim whilst seeking refuge in Normandy.

The succession crisis of 1066: summary

The four men claiming that they are the rightful heir to the throne are all very powerful. One, Harold of Wessex, is in situ when the Confessor dies. At court when Edward passes, he is in a position to take the crown and secure key buildings. Harold Hardrada and William of Normandy are powerful: but overseas. Edgar the Aetheling has little support from nobles and is powerless, initially, to prevent any of these men from seizing his crown.

Things are more complicated as a result of ties between England, Denmark and Normandy. Non of the claimants could be entirely sure who would support which claim. The best example of this is the case of Tostig Godwinson. Tostig is the brother of Harold of Wessex. Their mother is from the Danish court.. Tostig is married to a Norman. Tostig had also, until 1065, been the Earl of Northumberland. (Note: Tostig had been ousted as Earl in 1065 and outlawed. His brother had played a role in this and it was something that Tostig resented).


September 1066

Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, invades England

Hardicanute, King of Denmark, had also been king of England in 1042. His short reign gave his descendents, who included Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, a claim to the English throne. When Harold Godwinson became king of England on the death of Edward the Confessor, Hardrada joined forces with Tostig, Harold's brother, and took an invasion fleet of approximately 300 ships to England to press his own claim. He raided the east coast, burning Scarborough, then sailed up the Humber river.


Harold becomes king

Westminster Abbey, the site of Harold's coronation © On top of anything else, William must have been painfully aware that his claim to England's throne was actually the least legitimate of all the putative contenders. It rested entirely on a spurious promise, made over 15 years previously, and on the fact that William's great-grandfather was Edward's maternal grandfather.

Harold had an equally weak blood claim, through the brother-in-law of King Cnut, although it was he who was Edward's last nominated heir. There were others with much stronger blood claims, among them Swegn Estrithson, King of Denmark, who was the nephew of King Cnut and Edgar the Aetheling, grandson of Edmund Ironside, from whom Cnut had wrested the kingdom in 1016.

Aetheling actually means 'throneworthy' and was the title given to the most legitimate heir but a legitimate blood claim was only part of the issue. The crown would go to the claimant who could muster most support amongst the 'great and the good' of England. In January 1066, Edgar Aetheling was a minor, and with the wolves breathing at the door, the English magnates could not afford to risk the kingdom in such inexperienced hands. So they turned to Harold, the obvious power behind the throne, who, as we have seen, had prepared his ground well.

Instead, William watched, and he waited.

Immediately after Edward's death, the cards were flying and everyone was gambling madly. Tostig enlisted the help of a powerful Joker in the pack, the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada, an adventurer who had fought for the Byzantines in the Varangian Guard and was now trying to recreate the Viking kingdom of Northumbria.

William had the other Joker, the Pope, in his pocket, and was drawing his Aces around him. He toured Normandy, visiting each of his most powerful barons in person, and also made deals with neighbouring magnates like Eustace of Boulogne and the exiled Count Alan of Brittany. He promised them land and positions within his new kingdom, which they in turn could grant to their followers in return for loyal service.

In May 1066, Tostig made his first, abortive, attempt to invade England. Harold called out the English levy (the fyrd), which was an army of English peasant farmers obliged to fight for their king when required to do so, and kept it out. He wanted to be ready to face the invasion fleet that William had built and mustered at Rennes on the Norman coast. But William did not come.

Instead, William watched, and he waited, and he made his meticulous preparations. These included the gathering of all the great magnates of Normandy, called to attend the dedication of his wife Matilda's new abbey at St Etienne, in Caen, on 18 June 1066. There William asked for the blessing of God on his invasion plan, and ensured that he also had the backing of man.


Battle of Hastings: Aftermath

After his victory at the Battle of Hastings, William marched on London and received the city’s submission. On Christmas Day of 1066, he was crowned the first Norman king of England, in Westminster Abbey, and the Anglo-Saxon phase of English history came to an end.

French became the language of the king’s court and gradually blended with the Anglo-Saxon tongue to give birth to modern English. (Illiterate like most nobles of his time, William spoke no English when he ascended the throne and failed to master it despite his efforts. Thanks to the Norman invasion, French was spoken in England’s courts for centuries and completely transformed the English language, infusing it with new words.) William I proved an effective king of England, and the 𠇍omesday Book,” a great census of the lands and people of England, was among his notable achievements.


Contents

Normans Edit

Norman conquest Edit

In 1002 King Æthelred II of England married Emma, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. [1] Their son Edward the Confessor, who spent many years in exile in Normandy, succeeded to the English throne in 1042. [2] This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew heavily on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers, soldiers, and clerics and appointing them to positions of power, particularly in the Church. Childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and his sons, Edward may also have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne. [3]

When King Edward died at the beginning of 1066, the lack of a clear heir led to a disputed succession in which several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. [4] Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by the Archbishop of York, Ealdred, although Norman propaganda claimed the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury. [4] [5] Harold was immediately challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this [6] King Harald III of Norway, commonly known as Harald Hardrada, also contested the succession. His claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor Magnus I of Norway and the earlier English king, Harthacnut, whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. [7] William and Harald at once set about assembling troops and ships to invade England. [8] Tostig Godwinson, brother of Harold, made a series of attacks in the north of England in early 1066 that may have been the beginning of a bid for the throne, but after defeat at the hands of Edwin and Morcar and the desertion of most of his followers he threw his lot in with Harald Hardrada, who invaded northern England in early September. [9] Harold defeated and killed Hardrada and Tostig at the battle of Stamford Bridge. [10] William invaded with an army of Norman followers and mercenaries. Harold marched south to meet him, but was defeated and killed at the battle of Hastings on 14 October and William's forces rapidly occupied the south of England. [11]

William I (1066–87) Edit

Major revolts followed, which William suppressed before intervening in the north-east of England, establishing Norman control of York and devastating the region. [13] Once England had been conquered, the Normans faced many challenges in maintaining control. [14] They were few in number compared to the native English population including those from other parts of France, historians estimate the number of Norman settlers at around 8,000. [15] William's followers expected and received lands and titles in return for their service in the invasion, [16] but William claimed ultimate possession of the land in England over which his armies had given him de facto control, and asserted the right to dispose of it as he saw fit. [17] Henceforth, all land was "held" directly from the king in feudal tenure in return for military service. [17] A Norman lord typically had properties located in a piecemeal fashion throughout England and Normandy, and not in a single geographic block. [18]

To find the lands to compensate his Norman followers, William initially confiscated the estates of all the English lords who had fought and died with Harold and redistributed part of their lands. [19] These confiscations led to revolts, which resulted in more confiscations, a cycle that continued for five years after the Battle of Hastings. [17] To put down and prevent further rebellions the Normans constructed castles and fortifications in unprecedented numbers, [20] initially mostly on the motte-and-bailey pattern. [21] William and his barons also exercised tighter control over inheritance of property by widows and daughters, often forcing marriages to Normans. [22] Some Norman lords used England as a launching point for attacks into South and North Wales, spreading up the valleys to create new Marcher territories. [23] By the time of William's death in 1087, England formed the largest part of an Anglo-Norman empire, ruled over by a network of nobles with landholdings across England, Normandy, and Wales. [24] England's growing wealth was critical in allowing the Norman kings to project power across the region, including funding campaigns along the frontiers of Normandy. [25]

At Christmas 1085, William ordered the compilation of a survey of the landholdings held by himself and by his vassals throughout the kingdom, organised by counties, a work now known as the Domesday Book. The listing for each county gives the holdings of each landholder, grouped by owners. The listings describe the holding, who owned the land before the Conquest, its value, what the tax assessment was, and usually the number of peasants, ploughs, and any other resources the holding had. Towns were listed separately. All the English counties south of the River Tees and River Ribble are included, and the whole work seems to have been mostly completed by 1 August 1086, when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that William received the results and that all the chief magnates swore the Salisbury Oath, a renewal of their oaths of allegiance. [26]

William II (1087–1100) Edit

At the death of William the Conqueror in 1087 his lands were divided into two parts. His Norman lands went to the eldest son Robert Curthose and his English lands to the younger William Rufus. This presented a dilemma for those nobles who held land on both sides of the waterway of the English Channel, who decided to unite England and Normandy once more under one ruler. The pursuit of this aim led them to revolt against William in favour of Robert in the Rebellion of 1088, under the leadership of the powerful Bishop Odo of Bayeux, who was a half-brother of William the Conqueror. [27] As Robert failed to appear in England to rally his supporters, William won the support of the English lords with silver and promises of better government, and defeated the rebellion. In 1091 he invaded Normandy, crushing Robert's forces and forcing him to cede a portion of his lands. The two made up their differences and William agreed to help Robert recover lands lost to the King of France, notably Le Maine. This plan was later abandoned, but William continued to pursue a ferociously warlike defence of his French possessions and interests, exemplified by his response to the attempt by Elias de la Flèche, Count of Maine, to take Le Mans in 1099. William came into conflict with Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury over Gregorian reforms in the Church. Eventually Anselm went into exile and Pope Urban II, involved in a major conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, came to a concordat with William, whereby William recognised Urban as pope, and Urban gave sanction to the Anglo-Norman ecclesiastical status quo. Anselm remained in exile, and William was able to claim the revenues of the archbishop of Canterbury to the end of his reign. [28] William died while hunting in 1100. [29]

Henry I (1100–35) Edit

Despite Robert's rival claims, his younger brother Henry immediately seized power in England. [30] Robert, who invaded in 1101, disputed Henry's control of England. This military campaign ended in a negotiated settlement that confirmed Henry as king. The peace was short-lived, and Henry invaded the Duchy of Normandy in 1105 and 1106, finally defeating Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray. Henry kept Robert imprisoned for the rest of his life. Henry's control of Normandy was challenged by Louis VI of France, Baldwin of Flanders and Fulk of Anjou, who promoted the rival claims of Robert's son, William Clito, and supported a major rebellion in the Duchy between 1116 and 1119. Following Henry's victory at the Battle of Brémule, a favourable peace settlement was agreed with Louis in 1120. [31]

Considered by contemporaries to be a harsh but effective ruler, Henry skilfully manipulated the barons in England and Normandy. In England, he drew on the existing Anglo-Saxon system of justice, local government and taxation, but also strengthened it with additional institutions, including the royal exchequer and itinerant justices. [32] Normandy was also governed through a growing system of justices and an exchequer. Many of the officials that ran Henry's system were "new men", relatively low-born individuals who rose through the ranks as administrators. [33] Henry encouraged ecclesiastical reform, [34] but from 1101 he also became embroiled in a serious dispute with Archbishop Anselm, which was resolved through a compromise solution in 1105. [35] He supported the Cluniac order and played a major role in the selection of the senior clergy in England and Normandy. [36]

Stephen, Matilda and the Anarchy (1135–54) Edit

Henry's only legitimate son, William, died aboard the White Ship in the disaster of 1120, sparking a fresh succession crisis. Henry named his daughter Matilda as his heir, [37] but on Henry's death in 1135 her cousin Stephen of Blois had himself proclaimed king. [38] Matilda's husband Geoffrey, Count of Anjou showed little interest in England, but he supported Matilda by entering Normandy to claim her inheritance. [39] Matilda landed in England to challenge Stephen and was declared "Lady of the English" which resulted in a civil war called the Anarchy. Stephen was defeated and captured at the Battle of Lincoln (1141) and Matilda was the effective ruler. When Matilda was forced to release Stephen in a hostage exchange for her half-brother Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, Stephen was re-crowned. The conflict in England continued inconclusively. However, Geoffrey secured the Duchy of Normandy. Matilda's son, Henry II, by his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine had acquired the Duchy of Aquitaine and was now immensely rich. With skilful negotiation with the war-weary barons of England and King Stephen, he agreed to the Treaty of Wallingford and was recognised as Stephen's heir. [40]

Angevins Edit

Henry II (1154–89) Edit

After Stephen's death in 1154 Henry succeeded as the first Angevin king of England, so-called because he was also the Count of Anjou in Northern France, adding it to his extensive holdings in Normandy and Aquitaine. [41] England became a key part of a loose-knit assemblage of lands spread across Western Europe, later termed the Angevin Empire. [42]

Henry asserted his authority over Brittany, even reorganising the Duchy into eight administrative districts and introducing Angevin legal reforms. [43] He pursued an aggressive policy in Wales, reclaiming lands lost by Anglo-Norman princes and conducting four punitive campaigns against Welsh princes that resulted in their submission to his authority. This underlined his overlordship, but he did not attempt a direct conquest. When the Scottish king William the Lion joined the rebellion of Henry's sons and was captured, it allowed Henry to extract homage from the Scottish king under the Treaty of Falaise (1174), which he did not pursue directly, but which would provide a justification for later interventions in Scottish kingship. [44]

In the mid-twelfth century Ireland was ruled by local kings, although their authority was more limited than their counterparts in the rest of western Europe. [45] In the 1160s deposed King Diarmait Mac Murchada King of Leinster turned to Henry for assistance in 1167, and the English king agreed to allow Diarmait to recruit mercenaries within his empire. [46] Diarmait put together a force of Anglo-Norman and Flemish mercenaries drawn from the Welsh Marches, including Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow. [47] With his new supporters, he reclaimed Leinster but died shortly afterwards in 1171 de Clare then claimed Leinster for himself. [48] Henry took this opportunity to intervene personally in Ireland, landing in October 1171. [49] Henry's timing was influenced by several factors, including encouragement from Pope Alexander, who saw the opportunity to establish papal authority over the Irish church. [50] Henry's intervention was initially successful, with both the Irish and Anglo-Normans in the south and east of Ireland accepting his rule. [51] However, the Treaty of Windsor in 1175, under which Rory O'Connor would be recognised as the high king of Ireland, giving homage to Henry and maintaining stability on the ground on his behalf, [52] meant that he had little direct control. [53]

Henry saw an opportunity to re-establish what he saw as his rights over the Church in England by reasserting the privileges held by Henry I when Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, died, by appointing his friend, Thomas Becket to the post. Henry had clashed with the church over whether bishops could excommunicate royal officials without his permission and whether he could try clerics without them appealing to Rome. However, Becket opposed Henry's Constitutions of Clarendon and fled into exile. Relations later improved, allowing Becket's return, but soon soured again when Becket saw the crowning as coregent of Henry's son by the Archbishop of York as a challenge to his authority and excommunicated those who had offended him. On hearing the news Henry uttered the infamous phrase "What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low born clerk". In response to please Henry three of his men murdered Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, probably by misadventure after Becket resisted a botched arrest attempt. [54] In Christian Europe Henry was considered complicit in this crime, making him a pariah, and he was forced to make a dramatic exhibition of penance, publicly walking barefoot into the cathedral and allowing monks to scourge him. [38]

When Henry II attempted to give his land-less youngest son, John, a wedding gift of three castles it prompted his three eldest sons and wife to rebel in the Revolt of 1173–1174. Louis VII encouraged the three elder sons to destabilise his mightiest subject and not to wait for their inheritances. It was only after eighteen months of conflict that Henry II was able to force the rebels to submit to his authority. [55] In Le Mans in 1182 Henry II gathered his children to plan for partible inheritance in which his eldest son, also called Henry, would inherit England, Normandy and Anjou Richard the Duchy of Aquitaine Geoffrey Brittany and John would receive Ireland. This broke down into further conflict and the younger Henry rebelled again, but died of dysentery. In 1186 Geoffrey died as a result of a tournament accident but Henry was still reluctant to have a sole heir [56] so, in 1189, Richard and Philip II of France took advantage of a sickening Henry II with more success. Henry II was forced to accept humiliating peace terms, including naming Richard as sole heir. When Henry II died shortly afterwards his last words to Richard were allegedly "God grant that I may not die until I have my revenge on you". [57]

Richard I (1189–99) Edit

On the day of Richard's English coronation there was a mass slaughter of the Jews, described by Richard of Devizes as a "holocaust". [58] Quickly putting the affairs of the Angevin Empire in order he departed on Crusade to the Middle East in early 1190. In Sicily he came into conflict with Tancred I over the rights of Richard's sister Queen Joan, widow of the former king William II of Sicily. Richard captured the city of Messina on 4 October 1190 and using it to force Tancred into a peace agreement. [59] When his sister and his fiancée Berengaria along with several other ships, including the treasure ship were seized by the island's despot Isaac Komnenos, Richard conquered the island, which became a western feudal and Christian base in the Mediterranean. [60]

Opinions of Richard amongst his contemporaries were mixed. He had rejected and humiliated the king of France's sister insulted and refused spoils of the third crusade to nobles like Leopold V, Duke of Austria, and was rumoured to have arranged the assassination of Conrad of Montferrat. His cruelty was demonstrated by his massacre of 2,600 prisoners in Acre. [61] However, Richard was respected for his military leadership and courtly manners. He achieved victories in the Third Crusade but failed to capture Jerusalem, retreating from the Holy Land with a small band of followers. [62]

Richard was captured by Leopold on his return journey in 1192. Custody was passed to Henry the Lion and a tax of 25 percent of movables and income was required in England to pay the ransom of 100,000 marks, with a promise of 50,000 more, before Richard was released in 1194. In his absence Philip II of France had overrun much of Normandy, while John of England controlled much of the remainder of Richard's lands. On his return to England, Richard forgave John and re-established his control. Leaving England in 1194 never to return, Richard battled Phillip for the next five years for the return of the holdings seized during his incarceration. Close to total victory he was injured by an arrow during the siege of Château de Châlus-Chabrol and died after lingering injured for ten days. [63]

John (1199–1216) Edit

Richard's failure in his duty to provide an heir caused a succession crisis. Anjou, Brittany, Maine and Touraine chose Richard's nephew and nominated heir, Arthur, while John succeeded in England and Normandy. Yet again Philip II of France took the opportunity to destabilise the Plantagenet territories on the European mainland, supporting his vassal Arthur's claim to the English crown. When Arthur's forces threatened his mother, John won a significant victory, capturing the entire rebel leadership at the Battle of Mirebeau. [64] Arthur was murdered, it was rumoured by John's own hands, and his sister Eleanor would spend the rest of her life in captivity. John's behaviour drove numerous French barons to side with Phillip. The resulting rebellions by the Norman and Angevin barons broke John's control of the continental possessions, leading to the de facto end of the Angevin Empire, even though Henry III would maintain the claim until 1259. [65]

After re-establishing his authority in England, John planned to retake Normandy and Anjou. The strategy was to draw the French from Paris while another army, under Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, attacked from the north. However, his allies were defeated at the Battle of Bouvines in one of the most decisive and symbolic battles in French history. [66] The battle had both important and high-profile consequences. [67] John's nephew Otto retreated and was soon overthrown while King John agreed to a five-year truce. Philip's decisive victory was crucial in ordering politics in both England and France. The battle was instrumental in forming the absolute monarchy in France. [68]

John's defeats in France weakened his position in England. The rebellion of his English vassals resulted in the treaty called Magna Carta, which limited royal power and established common law. This would form the basis of every constitutional battle through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. [69] However, both the barons and the crown failed to abide by the terms of Magna Carta, leading to the First Barons' War in which the rebel barons invited an invasion by Prince Louis. This is considered by some historians to mark the end of the Angevin period and the beginning of the Plantagenet dynasty with John's death and William Marshall's appointment as the protector of the nine-year-old Henry III. [70] Marshall won the war with victories at the battles of Lincoln and Dover in 1217, leading to the Treaty of Lambeth by which Louis renounced his claims. [71] In victory, the Marshal Protectorate reissued the Magna Carta agreement as a basis for future government. [72]

Within twenty years of the Norman conquest, the Anglo-Saxon elite had been replaced by a new class of Norman nobility. [73] The new earls (successors to the ealdermen), sheriffs and senior clergy were all drawn from their ranks. [74] In many areas of society there was continuity, as the Normans adopted many of the Anglo-Saxon governmental institutions, including the tax system, mints and the centralisation of law-making and some judicial matters initially sheriffs and the hundred courts continued to function as before. [75]

The method of government after the conquest can be described as a feudal system, in that the new nobles held their lands on behalf of the king in return for promising to provide military support and taking an oath of allegiance, called homage, they were granted lands termed a fief or an honour. [76] Major nobles in turn granted lands to smaller landowners in return for homage and further military support, and eventually the peasantry held land in return for local labour services, creating a web of loyalties and resources enforced in part by new honorial courts. [77] This system had been used in Normandy and concentrated more power in the king and the upper elite than the former Anglo-Saxon system of government. [78] The practice of slavery declined in the years after the conquest, as the Normans considered the practice backward and contrary to the teachings of the church. [79] The more prosperous peasants, however, lost influence and power as the Normans made holding land more dependent on providing labour services to the local lord. [80] They sank down the economic hierarchy, swelling the numbers of unfree villeins or serfs, forbidden to leave their manor or seek alternative employment. [81]

At the centre of power, the kings employed a succession of clergy as chancellors, responsible for running the royal chancery, while the familia regis, the military household, emerged to act as a bodyguard and military staff. [82] England's bishops continued to form an important part in local administration, alongside the nobility. [83] Henry I and Henry II both implemented significant legal reforms, extending and widening the scope of centralised, royal law by the 1180s, the basis for the future English common law had largely been established, with a standing law court in Westminster—an early Common Bench—and travelling judges conducting eyres around the country. King John extended the royal role in delivering justice, and the extent of appropriate royal intervention was one of the issues addressed in the Magna Carta of 1215. [84]

Many tensions existed within the system of government. [85] Royal landowning and wealth stretched across England, and placed the king in a privileged position above even the most powerful of the noble elite. [86] Successive kings still needed more resources to pay for military campaigns, conduct building programmes, or to reward their followers, and this meant exercising their feudal rights to interfere in the land-holdings of nobles. [87] This was contentious and a frequent issue of complaint, as there was a growing belief that land should be held by hereditary right, not through the favour of the king. [88] Property and wealth became increasingly focused in the hands of a subset of the nobility, the great magnates, at the expense of the wider baronage, encouraging the breakdown of some aspects of local feudalism. [89] As time went by, the Norman nobility intermarried with many of the great Anglo-Saxon families, and the links with the Duchy began to weaken. [90] By the late twelfth century, mobilising the English barons to fight on the continent was proving difficult, and John's attempts to do so ended in civil war. [91]

Women in society Edit

Medieval England was a patriarchal society and the lives of women were heavily influenced by contemporary beliefs about gender and authority. [92] However, the position of women varied according to factors including their social class whether they were unmarried, married, widowed or remarried and in which part of the country they lived. [93] Significant gender inequities persisted throughout the period, as women typically had more limited life-choices, access to employment and trade, and legal rights than men. [94] After the Norman Conquest, the position of women in society changed. The rights and roles of women became more sharply defined, in part as a result of the development of the feudal system and the expansion of the English legal system some women benefited from this, while others lost out. [95] The rights of widows were formally laid down in law by the end of the twelfth century, clarifying the right of free women to own property, but this did not necessarily prevent women from being forcibly remarried against their wishes. [96] The growth of governmental institutions under a succession of bishops reduced the role of queens and their households in formal government. Married or widowed noblewomen remained significant cultural and religious patrons and played an important part in political and military events, even if chroniclers were uncertain if this was appropriate behaviour. [97] As in earlier centuries, most women worked in agriculture, but here roles became more clearly gendered, with ploughing and managing the fields defined as men's work, for example, and dairy production becoming dominated by women. [98]

Identity Edit

The Normans and French who arrived after the conquest saw themselves as different from the English. They had close family and economic links to the Duchy of Normandy, spoke Norman French and had their own distinctive culture. [99] For many years, to be English was to be associated with military failure and serfdom. [100] During the twelfth century, the divisions between the English and Normans began to dissolve as a result of intermarriage and cohabitation. [101] By the end of the twelfth century, and possibly as early as the 1150s, contemporary commentators believed the two peoples to be blending, and the loss of the Duchy in 1204 reinforced this trend. [102] The resulting society still prized wider French cultural values, however, and French remained the language of the court, business and international affairs, even if Parisians mocked the English for their poor pronunciation. [103] During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the English began to consider themselves superior to the Welsh, Scots and Bretons. The English perceived themselves as civilised, economically prosperous and properly Christian, while the Celtic fringe was considered lazy, barbarous and backward. [104] Following the invasion of Ireland in the late twelfth century, similar feelings were expressed about the Irish. [105]

Ecclesiastical structures and orders Edit

The 1066 Norman conquest brought a new set of Norman and French churchmen to power some adopted and embraced aspects of the former Anglo-Saxon religious system, while others introduced practices from Normandy. [106] Extensive English lands were granted to monasteries in Normandy, allowing them to create daughter priories and monastic cells across the kingdom. [107] The monasteries were brought firmly into the web of feudal relations, with their holding of land linked to the provision of military support to the crown. [108] The Normans adopted the Anglo-Saxon model of monastic cathedral communities, and within seventy years the majority of English cathedrals were controlled by monks every English cathedral, however, was rebuilt to some extent by the new rulers. [109] England's bishops remained powerful temporal figures, and in the early twelfth-century raised armies against Scottish invaders and built up extensive holdings of castles across the country. [110]

New orders began to be introduced into England. As ties to Normandy waned, the French Cluniac order became fashionable and their houses were introduced in England. [111] The Augustinians spread quickly from the beginning of the twelfth century onwards, while later in the century the Cistercians reached England, creating houses with a more austere interpretation of the monastic rules and building the great abbeys of Rievaulx and Fountains. [112] By 1215, there were over 600 monastic communities in England, but new endowments slowed during the thirteenth century, creating long-term financial problems for many institutions. [113] The religious military orders that became popular across Europe from the twelfth century onwards, including the Templars, Teutonic Knights and Hospitallers, acquired possessions in England. [114]

Church and state Edit

William the Conqueror acquired the support of the Church for the invasion of England by promising ecclesiastical reform. [115] William promoted celibacy amongst the clergy and gave ecclesiastical courts more power, but also reduced the Church's direct links to Rome and made it more accountable to the king. [116] Tensions arose between these practices and the reforming movement of Pope Gregory VII, which advocated greater autonomy from royal authority for the clergy, condemned the practice of simony and promoted greater influence for the papacy in church matters. [117] Despite the bishops continuing to play a major part in royal government, tensions emerged between the kings of England and key leaders within the English Church. Kings and archbishops clashed over rights of appointment and religious policy, and successive archbishops including Anselm, Theobald of Bec, Thomas Becket and Stephen Langton were variously forced into exile, arrested by royal knights or even killed. [118] By the early thirteenth century, however, the church had largely won its argument for independence, answering almost entirely to Rome. [119]

Pilgrimages Edit

Pilgrimages were a popular religious practice throughout the Middle Ages in England, with the tradition dating back to the Roman period. [120] Typically pilgrims would travel short distances to a shrine or a particular church, either to do penance for a perceived sin, or to seek relief from an illness or other condition. [121] Some pilgrims travelled further, either to more distant sites within Britain or, in a few cases, onto the continent. [122] Under the Normans, religious institutions with important shrines, such as Glastonbury, Canterbury and Winchester, promoted themselves as pilgrimage destinations, maximising the value of the historic miracles associated with the sites. [123] Accumulating relics became an important task for ambitious institutions, as these were believed to hold curative powers and lent status to the site. [124] By the twelfth century reports of posthumous miracles by local saints were becoming increasingly common in England, adding to the attractiveness of pilgrimages to prominent relics. [125]

Crusades Edit

The idea of undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem was not new in England, as the idea of religiously justified warfare went back to Anglo-Saxon times. [126] While English participation in the First Crusade between 1095–99 was limited, England played a prominent part in the Second, Third and Fifth Crusades over the next two centuries, with many crusaders leaving for the Levant during the intervening years. [127] Many of those who took up the Cross to go on a Crusade never actually left, often because the individual lacked sufficient funds to undertake the journey. [128] Raising funds to travel typically involved crusaders selling or mortgaging their lands and possessions, which affected their families and, at times, the economy as a whole was considerably affected. [129]

England had a diverse geography in the medieval period, from the Fenlands of East Anglia or the heavily wooded Weald, through to the upland moors of Yorkshire. [130] Despite this, medieval England broadly formed two zones, roughly divided by the rivers Exe and Tes: the south and east of England had lighter, richer soils, able to support both arable and pastoral agriculture, while the poorer soils and colder climate [sic] of the north and west produced a predominantly pastoral economy. [131] Slightly more land was covered by trees than in the twentieth century, and bears, beavers and wolves lived wild in England, bears being hunted to extinction by the eleventh century and beavers by the twelfth. [132]

Of the 10,000 miles of roads that had been built by the Romans, many remained in use and four were of particular strategic importance—the Icknield Way, the Fosse Way, Ermine Street and Watling Street—which criss-crossed the entire country. [133] The road system was adequate for the needs of the period, although it was significantly cheaper to transport goods by water. [134] The major river networks formed key transport routes, while many English towns formed navigable inland ports. [135]

For much of the Middle Ages, England's climate differed from that in the twenty-first century. Between the ninth and thirteenth centuries England went through the Medieval Warm Period, a prolonged period of warmer temperatures in the early thirteenth century, for example, summers were around 1 °C warmer than today and the climate was slightly drier. [136] These warmer temperatures allowed poorer land to be brought into cultivation and for grapevines to be cultivated relatively far north. [137]

The English economy was fundamentally agricultural, depending on growing crops such as wheat, barley and oats on an open field system, and husbanding sheep, cattle and pigs. [138] Agricultural land became typically organised around manors, and was divided between some fields that the landowner would manage directly, called demesne land, and the majority of the fields that would be cultivated by local peasants. [139] These peasants would pay rent to the landowner either through agricultural labour on the lord's demesne fields or through rent in the form of cash and produce. [139] By the eleventh century, a market economy was flourishing across much of England, while the eastern and southern towns were heavily involved in international trade. [140] Around 6,000 watermills were built to grind flour, freeing up labour for other more productive agricultural tasks. [141]

Although the Norman invasion caused some damage as soldiers looted the countryside and land was confiscated for castle building, the English economy was not greatly affected. [142] Taxes were increased, however, and the Normans established extensive forests that were exploited for their natural resources and protected by royal laws. [143] The next two centuries saw huge growth in the English economy, driven in part by the increase in the population from around 1.5 million in 1086 to between 4 and 5 million in 1300. [144] More land, much of it at the expense of the royal forests, was brought into production to feed the growing population and to produce wool for export to Europe. [145] Many hundreds of new towns, some of them planned communities, were built across England, supporting the creation of guilds, charter fairs and other medieval institutions which governed the growing trade. [146] Jewish financiers played a significant role in funding the growing economy, along with the new Cistercian and Augustinian religious orders that emerged as major players in the wool trade of the north. [147] Mining increased in England, with a silver boom in the twelfth century helping to fuel the expansion of the money supply. [148]

Anglo-Norman warfare was characterised by attritional military campaigns, in which commanders tried to raid enemy lands and seize castles in order to allow them to take control of their adversaries' territory, ultimately winning slow but strategic victories. Pitched battles were occasionally fought between armies but these were considered risky engagements and usually avoided by prudent commanders. [149] The armies of the period comprised bodies of mounted, armoured knights, supported by infantry. Crossbowmen become more numerous in the twelfth century, alongside the older shortbow. [150] At the heart of these armies was the familia regis, the permanent military household of the king, which was supported in war by feudal levies, drawn up by local nobles for a limited period of service during a campaign. [151] Mercenaries were increasingly employed, driving up the cost of warfare, and adequate supplies of ready cash became essential for the success of campaigns. [152]

Naval forces played an important role during the Middle Ages, enabling the transportation of troops and supplies, raids into hostile territory and attacks on enemy fleets. [153] English naval power became particularly important after the loss of Normandy in 1204, which turned the English Channel from a friendly transit route into a contested and critical border region. [154]

Although a small number of castles had been built in England during the 1050s, after the conquest the Normans began to build timber motte and bailey and ringwork castles in large numbers to control their newly occupied territories. [155] During the twelfth century the Normans began to build more castles in stone, with characteristic square keeps that supported both military and political functions. [156] Royal castles were used to control key towns and forests, whilst baronial castles were used by the Norman lords to control their widespread estates a feudal system called the castle-guard was sometimes used to provide garrisons. [157] Castles and sieges continued to grow in military sophistication during the twelfth century. [158]

Art Edit

The Norman conquest introduced northern French artistic styles, particular in illuminated manuscripts and murals, and reduced the demand for carvings. [159] In other artistic areas, including embroidery, the Anglo-Saxon influence remained evident into the twelfth century, and the famous Bayeux Tapestry is an example of older styles being reemployed under the new regime. [160] Stained glass had been introduced into Anglo-Saxon England. Very few examples of glass survive from the Norman period, but there are a few examples that survive from minor monasteries and parish churches. The largest collections of twelfth-century stained glass at the Cathedrals of York and Canterbury. [161]

Literature and music Edit

Poetry and stories written in French were popular after the Norman conquest, and by the twelfth century some works on English history began to be produced in French verse. [162] Romantic poems about tournaments and courtly love became popular in Paris and this fashion spread into England in the form of lays stories about the court of King Arthur were also fashionable, due in part to the interest of Henry II. [163] English continued to be used on a modest scale to write local religious works and some poems in the north of England, but most major works were produced in Latin or French. [164] Music and singing were important in England during the medieval period, being used in religious ceremonies, court occasions and to accompany theatrical works. [165] From the eleventh century distinctive monophonic plainchant was superseded, as elsewhere in Europe, by standardised Gregorian chant. [166]

Architecture Edit

The Normans brought with them architectural styles from their own duchy, where austere stone churches were preferred. Under the early Norman kings this style was adapted to produce large, plain cathedrals with ribbed vaulting. [167] During the twelfth century the Anglo-Norman style became richer and more ornate, with pointed arches derived from French architecture replacing the curved Romanesque designs this style is termed Early English Gothic and continued, with variation, throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. [168] In domestic architecture, the Normans, having first occupied the older Anglo-Saxon dwellings, rapidly beginning to build larger buildings in stone and timber. The elite preferred houses with large, ground-floor halls but the less wealthy constructed simpler houses with the halls on the first floor master and servants frequently lived in the same spaces. [169] Wealthier town-houses were also built using stone, and incorporated business and domestic arrangements into a single functional design. [170]

The period has been used in a wide range of popular culture. William Shakespeare's plays on the lives of the medieval kings have proved to have had long lasting appeal, heavily influencing both popular interpretations and histories of figures such as King John. [171] Other playwrights have since taken key events and personalities as the subject of drama, including T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and Jean Anouilh's Becket (1959), that focus on the death of Thomas Becket and James Goldman's The Lion in Winter (1966), which focuses on Henry II and his sons. [172] Walter Scott's location of Robin Hood in the reign of Richard I and his emphasis on the conflict between Saxons and Normans set the template for much later fiction and film adaptations. [173] Historical fiction set in England during the Middle Ages remains persistently popular, with the 1980s and 1990s seeing a particular growth of historical detective fiction such as Ellis Peters's The Cadfael Chronicles set in the Anarchy, [174] which is also the location of much of Ken Follett's best-selling The Pillars of the Earth (1989). [175] Film-makers have drawn extensively on the medieval period, often taking themes from Shakespeare or the Robin Hood ballads for inspiration and adapting historical romantic novels as Ivanhoe (1952). [176] [177] More recent revivals of these genres include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005). [178]

Notes Edit

  1. ^Williams 2003, p. 54
  2. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 3
  3. ^Stafford 1989, pp. 86–99
  4. ^ abHigham 2000, pp. 167–181
  5. ^Walker 2000, pp. 136–138
  6. ^Bates 2001, pp. 73–77
  7. ^Higham 2000, pp. 188–190
  8. ^Huscroft 2005, pp. 12–14
  9. ^Thomas 2007, pp. 33–34
  10. ^Walker 2000, pp. 158–165
  11. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 72–74
  12. ^Douglas 1964, p. 216
  13. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 76
  14. ^Stafford 1989, pp. 102–105
  15. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 82–83
  16. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 79–80
  17. ^ abcCarpenter 2004, p. 84
  18. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 83–84
  19. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 75–76
  20. ^Chibnall 1986, pp. 11–13
  21. ^Kaufman and Kaufman 2001, p. 110
  22. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 89
  23. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 110–112
  24. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 125–126
  25. ^Prestwich 1992, pp. 70–71 and 74
  26. ^Bates 2001, pp. 198–202
  27. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 129
  28. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 132
  29. ^Barlow 2000, pp. 402–406
  30. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 134–135
  31. ^Huscroft 2009, pp. 65, 69–71 Carpenter 2004, pp. 124, 138–140
  32. ^Hollister 2003, pp. 356–357 and 358–359 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHollister2003 (help)
  33. ^Green 2009, pp. 242–243
  34. ^Green 2009, p. 255
  35. ^Green 2009, p. 273
  36. ^Green 2009, p. 278
  37. ^Hooper 1996, p. 50 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHooper1996 (help)
  38. ^ abSchama 2000, p. 117
  39. ^Grant 2005, p. 7
  40. ^Ashley 2003, p. 73
  41. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 191
  42. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 191 Aurell 2003, p. 15
  43. ^Davies 1990, p. 67
  44. ^Davies 1990, p. 76
  45. ^Warren 2000, pp. 187–188
  46. ^Warren 2000, p. 192
  47. ^Warren 2000, pp. 192–193
  48. ^Warren 2000, p. 194
  49. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 215
  50. ^Bull 2007, p. 124 Warren 2000, p. 197
  51. ^Warren 2000, p. 200
  52. ^Warren 2000, p. 203
  53. ^Warren 2000, p. 203 Davies 1990, pp. 64–65 and 78
  54. ^Schama 2000, p. 142
  55. ^Jones 2012, pp. 82–92
  56. ^Jones 2012, p. 86
  57. ^Jones 2012, p. 109
  58. ^Ackroyd 2000, p. 54
  59. ^Flori 1999, p. 116
  60. ^Flori 1999, p. 132
  61. ^Jones 2012, p. 128
  62. ^Carlton 2003, p. 42
  63. ^Jones 2012, p. 146
  64. ^Turner 1994, pp. 100
  65. ^Jones 2012, pp. 161–169
  66. ^Favier 1993, p. 176
  67. ^Contramine 1992, p. 83
  68. ^Smedley 1836, p. 72
  69. ^Jones 2012, p. 217.
  70. ^Hamilton 2010, p. 1
  71. ^Jones 2012, pp. 221–222.
  72. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 271
  73. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 4 Davies 1990, p. 20 Huscroft 2005, p. 81
  74. ^Burton 1994, p. 21 Barlow 1999, p. 87
  75. ^Huscroft 2005, pp. 78–79
  76. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 84–85 Barlow 1999, pp. 88–89
  77. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 84–85 and 94 Huscroft 2005, p. 104
  78. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 87
  79. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 40
  80. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 52
  81. ^Douglas 1964, p. 312
  82. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 85
  83. ^Bartlett 2002, pp. 395–402
  84. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 290–292
  85. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 104
  86. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 95
  87. ^Barlow 1999, p. 320
  88. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 87 Barlow 1999, p. 320 Dyer 2009, pp. 108–109
  89. ^Pounds 1994, pp. 146–147 Carpenter 2004, pp. 399–401 and 410
  90. ^Barlow 1999, pp. 308–309
  91. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 369–70 Stenton 1976, pp. 56–57
  92. ^Mate 2006, pp. 6–7, 97–99
  93. ^Mate 2006, pp. 2–3 Johns 2003, p. 14
  94. ^Mate 2006, pp. 98–99
  95. ^Johns 2003, pp. 25, and 195–196 Mate 2006, pp. 20–21
  96. ^Mate 2006, pp. 21–23
  97. ^Johns 2003, pp. 22–25, 30 and 69 Mate 2006, p. 25
  98. ^Mate 2006, p. 26
  99. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 3
  100. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 6–7
  101. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 6
  102. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 3–4 and 8
  103. ^Davies 1990, pp. 18–20 Carpenter 2004, p. 9 Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 219
  104. ^Davies 1990, pp. 20–22
  105. ^Rubin 2006, p. 106
  106. ^Burton 1994, pp. 23–24.
  107. ^Burton 1994, pp. 29–30
  108. ^Burton 1994, p. 28
  109. ^Burton 1994, pp. 28–29 Nilson 2001, p. 70
  110. ^Huscroft 2005, pp. 126–127 Bradbury 2009, p. 36 Pounds 1994, pp. 142–143
  111. ^Burton 1994, pp. 36–38
  112. ^Carpenter 2009, pp. 444–445 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help)
  113. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 446 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help) Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 208
  114. ^Forey 1992, pp. 98–99 and 106–107
  115. ^Burton 1994, p. 21 Barlow 1999, p. 75
  116. ^Barlow 1999, pp. 98 and 103–104
  117. ^Barlow 1999, p. 104 Duggan 1965, p. 67 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDuggan1965 (help)
  118. ^Hollister 2003, p. 168 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHollister2003 (help) Alexander 1986, pp. 2–3 and 10 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFAlexander1986 (help) Barlow 1986, pp. 83–84 and 88–89
  119. ^Barlow 1999, p. 361
  120. ^Webb 2000, p. 1
  121. ^Webb 2000, pp. xiii and xvi
  122. ^Webb 2000, pp. xvi–xvii
  123. ^Webb 2000, pp. 19–21
  124. ^Webb 2000, pp. 24–27
  125. ^Webb 2000, pp. 35–38
  126. ^Tyerman 1996, pp. 11 and 13
  127. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 445 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help)
  128. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 456 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help)
  129. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 458 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help) Tyerman 1996, pp. 16–17
  130. ^Cantor 1982, p. 22
  131. ^Cantor 1982, pp. 22–23
  132. ^Dyer 2009, p. 13
  133. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, pp. 48–49
  134. ^Dyer 2010, pp. 261–263 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDyer2010 (help)
  135. ^Prior 2006, p. 83 Creighton 2005, pp. 41–42
  136. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 33 Hughes and Diaz 1997, p. 111
  137. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 33
  138. ^Dyer 2009, p. 14
  139. ^ abBartlett 2002, p. 313
  140. ^Bartlett 2002, p. 313 Dyer 2009, p. 14
  141. ^Dyer 2009, p. 26
  142. ^Douglas 1964, p. 310 Dyer 2009, pp. 87–88
  143. ^Dyer 2009, p. 89 Barlow 1999, p. 98
  144. ^Cantor 1982, p. 18
  145. ^Bailey 1996, p. 41 Bartlett 2002, p. 321 Cantor 1982, p. 19
  146. ^Hodgett 2006, p. 57 Bailey 1996, p. 47 Pounds 2005, p. 15
  147. ^Hillaby 2005, p. 16 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHillaby2005 (help) Dyer 2009, p. 115
  148. ^Blanchard 2002, p. 29
  149. ^Bradbury 2009, p. 71
  150. ^Bradbury 2009, p. 74
  151. ^Morillo1994, p. 52 Prestwich 1992, pp. 97–99
  152. ^Stringer 1993, pp. 24–25 Morillo1994, pp. 16–17 and 52
  153. ^Rose 2002, p. 57
  154. ^Warren 1991, p. 123
  155. ^Liddiard 2005, pp. 22, 24 and 37 Brown 1962, p. 24
  156. ^Hulme 2007, p. 213
  157. ^Pounds 1994, pp. 44–45, 66 and 75–77
  158. ^Pounds 1994, pp. 107–112 Turner 1971, pp. 23–25
  159. ^Thomas 2003, pp. 368–369
  160. ^Thomas 2003, pp. 372–373
  161. ^Daniell 2013, pp. 212
  162. ^Stenton 1976, pp. 274–275
  163. ^Myers 1978, p. 275 Aurell 2007, p. 363
  164. ^Myers 1978, pp. 96–98
  165. ^Happé 2003, pp. 335–336 Danziger and Gillingham 2003, pp. 29–30
  166. ^Hiley 1995, p. 483
  167. ^Stenton 1976, pp. 268–269
  168. ^Stenton 1976, pp. 270–271
  169. ^Emery 2007, p. 24
  170. ^Pantin 1963, pp. 205–206
  171. ^Driver and Ray 2003, pp. 7–14
  172. ^Tiwawi and Tiwawi 2007, p. 90 Barber 1997, p. 184
  173. ^Rennison 2012
  174. ^Ortenberg 2006, p. 175 D'haen 2004, pp. 336–337
  175. ^Turner 1996, pp. 122–123
  176. ^Umland and Umland 1996, p. 105
  177. ^Airlie 2001, pp. 163–164, 177–179 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFAirlie2001 (help) Driver and Ray 2006, pp. 7–14 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDriver_and_Ray2006 (help)
  178. ^Haydock and Risden 2009, p. 187

Bibliography Edit

  • Ackroyd, Peter (2000). London – A Biography. Vintage. ISBN0-09-942258-1 .
  • Alexander, James W. (1970). "The Becket Controversy in Recent Historiography". The Journal of British Studies. 9 (2): 1–26. doi:10.1086/385589. JSTOR175153.
  • Aurell, Martin (2003). L'Empire de Plantagenêt, 1154–1224. Paris: Tempus. ISBN978-2-262-02282-2 .
  • Aurell, Martin (2007). "Henry II and Arthurian Legend". In Harper-Bill, Christopher Vincent, Nicholas (eds.). Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-1-84383-340-6 .
  • Ashley, Mike (2003). A Brief History of British Kings and Queens . Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN0-7867-1104-3 .
  • Bailey, Mark (1996). "Population and Economic Resources". In Given-Wilson, Chris (ed.). An Illustrated History of Late Medieval England. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN978-0-7190-4152-5 .
  • Barber, Richard W. (1997). The Devil's Crown: A History of Henry II and His Sons (2 ed.). London: Combined Books. ISBN0938289780 .
  • Barlow, Frank (1986). Thomas Becket. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN978-0-297-79189-8 .
  • Barlow, Frank (1999). The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042–1216. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education. ISBN0582381177 .
  • Barlow, Frank (2000). William Rufus (Second ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN0-300-08291-6 .
  • Bartlett, Robert (2002). England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225. Oxford University Press. ISBN0199251010 .
  • Bates, David (2001). William the Conqueror. Stroud, UK: Tempus. ISBN978-0-7524-1980-0 .
  • Blanchard, Ian (2002). "Lothian and Beyond: the Economy of the "English Empire" of David I". In Britnell, Richard Hatcher, John (eds.). Progress and Problems in Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Edward Miller. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-52273-1 .
  • Bradbury, Jim (2009). Stephen and Matilda: the Civil War of 1139–53. Stroud, UK: The History Press. ISBN978-0-7509-3793-1 .
  • Brown, R. Allen (1962). English Castles. London: Batsford. OCLC1392314.
  • Bull, Marcus (2007). "Criticism of Henry II's Expedition to Ireland in William of Canterbury's Miracles of St Thomas Becket". Journal of Medieval History. 33: 107–129. doi:10.1016/j.jmedhist.2007.04.001. ISBN0199251010 . Archived from the original on 14 October 2008.
  • Burton, Janet E. (1994). Monastic and Religious Orders in Britain, 1000–1300 . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-37797-3 .
  • Cantor, Leonard (1982). "Introduction: The English Medieval Landscape". In Cantor, Leonard (ed.). The English Medieval Landscape. London: Croon Helm. ISBN978-0-7099-0707-7 .
  • Carlton, Charles (2003). Royal Warriors: A Military History of the British Monarchy. Pearson Education. ISBN0-582-47265-2 .
  • Carpenter, David (2004). The Struggle for Mastery: The Penguin History of Britain 1066–1284. New York: Penguin. ISBN978-0-14-014824-4 .
  • Chibnall, Marjorie (1986). Anglo-Norman England 1066–1166 . Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell. ISBN978-0-631-15439-6 .
  • Contramine, Phillipe (1992). Histoire militaire de la France (tome 1, des origines à 1715) (in French). PUF. ISBN2-13-048957-5 .
  • Creighton, Oliver Hamilton (2005). Castles and Landscapes: Power, Community and Fortification in Medieval England. London: Equinox. ISBN978-1-904768-67-8 .
  • D'haen, Theo (2004). "Stalking Multiculturalism: Historical Sleuths at the end of the Twentieth Century". In Bak, Hans (ed.). Uneasy Alliance: Twentieth-Century American Literature, Culture and Biography. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Rodopi. ISBN978-90-420-1611-8 .
  • Daniell, Christopher (2013). From Norman Conquest to Magna Carta: England 1066–1215. London: Routledge. ISBN1136356975 .
  • Davies, R. R. (1990). Domination and Conquest: The Experience of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1100–1300. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-02977-3 .
  • Danziger, Danny Gillingham, John (2003). 1215: The Year of Magna Carta. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN978-0-340-82475-7 .
  • Driver, M. W. Ray, S (2004). The medieval hero on screen: representations from Beowulf to Buffy. McFarland. ISBN0786419261 .
  • Duggan, Charles (1962). "The Becket Dispute and the Criminous Clerks". Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research. 35 (91): 1–28. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.1962.tb01411.x.
  • Douglas, David C. (1964). William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Dyer, Christopher (2000). Everyday Life in Medieval England. London: Hambledon and London. ISBN978-1-85285-201-6 .
  • Dyer, Christopher (2009). Making a Living in the Middle Ages: The People of Britain 850–1520. New Haven, US and London: Yale University Press. ISBN978-0-300-10191-1 .
  • Emery, Anthony (2007). Discovering Medieval Houses. Risborough, UK: Shire Publications. ISBN978-0-7478-0655-4 .
  • Forey, Alan (1992). The Military Orders From the Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Centuries. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan. ISBN978-0-333-46235-5 .
  • Favier, Jean (1993). Dictionnaire de la France médiévale (in French). Fayard.
  • Flori, Jean (1999). Richard Coeur de Lion: le roi-chevalier. Paris: Biographie Payot. ISBN978-2-228-89272-8 .
  • Grant, Lindy (2005). Architecture and Society in Normandy, 1120–1270. Yale University Press. ISBN0-300-10686-6 .
  • Green, Judith (2009). Henry I: King of England and Duke of Normandy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-74452-2 .
  • Hamilton, J. S. (2010). The Plantagenets: History of a Dynasty. Bloomsbury. ISBN1441157123 .
  • Happé, Peter (2003). "A Guide to Criticism of Medieval English Theatre". In Beadle, Richard (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Theatre. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-45916-7 .
  • Haydock, N. Risden, E. L. (2009). Hollywood in the Holy Land: Essays on Film Depictions of the Crusades and Christian-Muslim Clashes. McFarland. ISBN0786453176 .
  • Hiley, David (1995). Western Plainchant: a Handbook. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN0198165722 .
  • Higham, Nick (2000). The Death of Anglo-Saxon England. Stroud, UK: Sutton. ISBN978-0-7509-2469-6 .
  • Hillaby, Joe (2003). "Jewish Colonisation in the Twelfth Century". In Skinner, Patricia (ed.). The Jews in Medieval Britain: Historical, Literary, and Archaeological Perspectives. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-0-85115-931-7 .
  • Hodgett, Gerald (2006). A Social and Economic History of Medieval Europe. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-37707-2 .
  • Hulme, Richard (2007). "Twelfth Century Great Towers – The Case for the Defence" (PDF) . The Castle Studies Group Journal (21): 209–229.
  • Huscroft, Richard (2005). Ruling England 1042–1217. London: Pearson/Longman. ISBN978-0-582-84882-5 .
  • Huscroft, Richard (2009). The Norman Conquest: A New Introduction. New York: Longman. ISBN978-1-4058-1155-2 .
  • Hughes, Malcolm K. Diaz, Henry F. (1997). "Was There a 'Medieval Warm Period', and if so, Where and When?". In Hughes, Malcolm K. Diaz, Henry F. (eds.). The Medieval Warm Period. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN978-0-7923-2842-1 .
  • Johns, Susan M. (2003). Noblewomen, Aristocracy and Power in the Twelfth-Century Anglo-Norman Realm. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN0-7190-6305-1 .
  • Jones, Dan (2012). The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England. HarperPress. ISBN0-00-745749-9 .
  • Kaufman, J. E. Kaufman, H. W. (2001). The Medieval Fortress: Castles, Forts, and Walled Cities of the Middle Ages. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN978-0-306-81358-0 .
  • Liddiard, Robert (2005). Castles in Context: Power, Symbolism and Landscape, 1066 to 1500. Macclesfield, UK: Windgather Press. ISBN0-9545575-2-2 .
  • Mate, Mavis (2006). Trade and Economic Developments 1450–1550: The Experience of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Boydell Press. ISBN1-84383-189-9 .
  • Morillo, Stephen (1994). Warfare Under the Anglo-Norman Kings 1066–1135. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-0-85115-689-7 .
  • Myers, A. R. (1978). English Society in the Late Middle Ages, 1066–1307 (8th ed.). Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. ISBN0-14-020234-X .
  • Nilson, Ben (2001). Cathedral Shrines of Medieval England. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-0-85115-808-2 .
  • Ortenberg, Veronica (2006). In Search of The Holy Grail: The Quest for the Middle Ages. London: Hambledon Continuum. ISBN978-1-85285-383-9 .
  • Pantin, W. A. (1963). "Medieval English Town-House Plans" (PDF) . Medieval Archaeology. 6–7: 202–239. doi:10.1080/00766097.1962.11735667.
  • Pounds, Norman John Greville (2005). The Medieval City. Westport, US: Greenwood Press. ISBN978-0-313-32498-7 .
  • Prestwich, J. O. (1992). "The Military Household of the Norman Kings". In Strickland, Matthew (ed.). Anglo-Norman Warfare. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN0-85115-327-5 .
  • Pounds, Norman John Greville (1994). The Medieval Castle in England and Wales: A Social and Political History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-45828-3 .
  • Prior, Stuart (2006). A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War. Stroud, UK: Tempus. ISBN978-0-7524-3651-7 .
  • Rennison, Nick (2012). Robin Hood. Oldcastle Books. ISBN1842436376 .
  • Rose, Susan (2002). Medieval Naval Warfare, 1000–1500. London: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-23976-9 .
  • Rubin, Miri (2006). The Hollow Crown: The Penguin History of Britain 1272–1485. Penguin. ISBN978-0-14-014825-1 .
  • Schama, Simon (2000). A History of Britain – At the edge of the world. BBC. ISBN0-563-53483-4 .
  • Smedley, Edward (1836). The History of France, from the final partition of the Empire of Charlemagne to the Peace of Cambray. Baldwin and Craddock.
  • Stenton, Doris Mary (1976). English Society in the Early Middle Ages, 1066–1307. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. ISBN0-14-020252-8 .
  • Stafford, Pauline (1989). Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries. London: Edward Arnold. ISBN978-0-7131-6532-6 .
  • Stringer, Keith J. (1993). The Reign of Stephen: Kingship, Warfare and Government in Twelfth-Century England . London: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-01415-1 .
  • Thomas, Hugh M. (2003). The English and the Normans: Ethnic Hostility, Assimilation, and Identity, 1066-c.1220. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN978-0-19-925123-0 . *
  • Thomas, Hugh (2007). The Norman Conquest: England after William the Conqueror. Critical Issues in History. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. ISBN978-0-7425-3840-5 .
  • Turner, Ralph V (1994). King John (The Medieval World). Longman Medieval World Series. ISBN978-0-582-06726-4 .
  • Turner, Richard Charles (1996). Ken Follett: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN0313294151 .
  • Turner, Hilary L. (1971). Town Defences in England and Wales. London: John Baker. OCLC463160092.
  • Tiwawi, Subha Tiwawi, Maneesha (2007). The Plays of T.S. Eliot. New Delhi: Atlantic. ISBN978-81-269-0649-9 .
  • Tyerman, Christopher (1996). England and the Crusades, 1095–1588. Chicago, US: University of Chicago Press. ISBN978-0-226-82013-2 .
  • Umland, S. J. (1996). The Use of Arthurian Legend in Hollywood Film: from Connecticut Yankees to Fisher Kings. London: Greenwood. ISBN0313297983 .
  • Warren, W. Lewis (1991). King John. London: Methuen. ISBN0-413-45520-3 .
  • Warren, W. Lewis (2000). Henry II (Yale ed.). New Haven, U.S.: Yale University Press. ISBN978-0-300-08474-0 .
  • Walker, Ian (2000). Harold the Last Anglo-Saxon King. Gloucestershire, UK: Wrens Park. ISBN978-0-905778-46-4 .
  • Webb, Diana (2000). Pilgrimage in Medieval England. London: Hambledon. ISBN978-1-85285-250-4 .
  • Williams, Ann (2003). Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King. London: Hambledon & London. ISBN978-1-85285-382-2 .

160 ms 12.5% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::callParserFunction 140 ms 10.9% ? 100 ms 7.8% 60 ms 4.7% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::match 60 ms 4.7% recursiveClone 60 ms 4.7% (for generator) 40 ms 3.1% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::find 40 ms 3.1% [others] 180 ms 14.1% Number of Wikibase entities loaded: 0/400 -->


1066 and a Real Game of Thrones

The death of a king 950 years ago today opened the most important year in English history. By the 5 January 1066, it was clear to all those circling him that Edward the Confessor was dying. Roy Porter, Properties Curator for English Heritage in the South East of England, takes a look at the significance of this historic date, 950 years after the Norman Conquest.

Frail and feeble, he had shown little appetite on Christmas Day and was not well enough to attend the dedication of his new Westminster Abbey. The Bayeux Tapestry – that exquisite piece of Norman propaganda – shows the haggard king on his deathbed, his body only held up by a servant, his wife at his feet with a cleric by his side and, ready to catch the crown from Edward’s drooping head, his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson.

“I commend this woman and all the kingdom to your protection,” were, according to one source, the childless Edward’s last words to Harold. But was that as a caretaker or as his nominated heir? Certainly Harold wasted no time in taking advantage of the ambiguity – the very next day as Edward was consigned to the ground, Harold was crowned King of England.

The suspiciously hasty coronation revealed the insecurity of his position. There were several competing claimants. Edgar Atheling, the young nephew of Edward and with the strongest hereditary right to the throne, Harold Hardrada of Norway, and across the sea and the greatest threat to Harold’s new reign, one William, Duke of Normandy.

English Heritage Property Curator Roy Porter inspects the roof of the Great Gatehouse at Battle Abbey, East Sussex, which will be opened this year to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Force of arms

According to a later source, William was out hunting close to Rouen when he heard the news of Harold’s accession. Such was his anger that he returned to the city immediately, without speaking to anyone. The Normans claimed Edward had promised William the throne over a decade before and that while a recent guest of the duke, Harold had sworn an oath to support William in his claim.

William would need “to claim his inheritance through force of arms”. The stage was set for a year that would see four claimants to one throne, two invasions, and three battles, the last of which outside Hastings on 14 October between the armies of William and Harold proved decisive.

Illustration showing William the Conqueror standing over the body of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 © Walker Art Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Day of destiny

Every man, woman and child knows the outcome of that battle. Today, 1066 is the most famous date in English history and the story of that arrow in that eye is enshrined in the nation’s consciousness.

We still live with the legacy of that year. In the early 12th century, the battle was described as “a day of destiny for England, a fatal disaster of our dear country.” In light of the profound changes ushered in by William the Conqueror’s victory, it is easy to see why such views prevailed.

The English political elite and major landowners were completely displaced by followers of William, the English language was relegated to secondary status, the country’s subjugation under its new rulers was physically marked by the introduction of castles (many of them in the care of English Heritage today), and the traditional links which bound England to the Scandinavian realm were inevitably eroded in the reigns of kings who held territory in Western Europe.

And yet, Anglo-Saxon England did not die on the Hastings battlefield, but was transformed in the years following. That transformation included the eventual emergence of a new English language with the words we use today, from ‘appetite’ to ‘zany’, reflecting the cultural impact of the Norman Conquest. And much of the pre-Conquest state survived.

1066 can be seen as a point of departure and re-foundation rather than the disaster recognised by contemporary English writers. This is not to be glib: Norman rule could be brutal. But at a time when the peoples of the United Kingdom are again giving active consideration to their relationship with Europe, the 950th anniversary of the Norman Conquest invites us to review the consequences of the date that made history.

Throughout the year, English Heritage will be marking the 950th anniversary of the Norman Conquest at the 1066 battlefield and at Norman castles and abbeys across the country. We will also be tweeting from eight different Twitter channels, each representing different areas of medieval society. Follow, share and take part using the hashtag #battle1066.


Contents

In 911, the Carolingian ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings to settle in Normandy under their leader Rollo. [1] Their settlement proved successful, [2] [b] and they quickly adapted to the indigenous culture, renouncing paganism, converting to Christianity, [3] and intermarrying with the local population. [4] Over time, the frontiers of the duchy expanded to the west. [5] In 1002, King Æthelred II married Emma, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. [6] Their son Edward the Confessor spent many years in exile in Normandy, and succeeded to the English throne in 1042. [7] This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew heavily on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers, soldiers, and clerics and appointing them to positions of power, particularly in the Church. Edward was childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and his sons, and he may also have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne. [8]

Succession crisis in England

King Edward's death on 5 January 1066 [9] [c] left no clear heir, and several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. [11] Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats and son of Godwin, Edward's earlier opponent. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by Ealdred, the Archbishop of York, although Norman propaganda claimed that the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury. [11] [12] Harold was at once challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this. [13] Harald Hardrada of Norway also contested the succession. His claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor Magnus the Good and the earlier King of England Harthacnut, whereby, if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. [14] William and Harald Hardrada immediately set about assembling troops and ships for separate invasions. [15] [d]

Tostig and Hardrada's invasions

In early 1066, Harold's exiled brother Tostig Godwinson raided southeastern England with a fleet he had recruited in Flanders, later joined by other ships from Orkney. Threatened by Harold's fleet, Tostig moved north and raided in East Anglia and Lincolnshire. He was driven back to his ships by the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria. Deserted by most of his followers, he withdrew to Scotland, where he spent the middle of the year recruiting fresh forces. [21] Hardrada invaded northern England in early September, leading a fleet of more than 300 ships carrying perhaps 15,000 men. Hardrada's army was further augmented by the forces of Tostig, who supported the Norwegian king's bid for the throne. Advancing on York, the Norwegians occupied the city after defeating a northern English army under Edwin and Morcar on 20 September at the Battle of Fulford. [22]

The English army was organised along regional lines, with the fyrd, or local levy, serving under a local magnate – whether an earl, bishop, or sheriff. [23] The fyrd was composed of men who owned their own land, and were equipped by their community to fulfil the king's demands for military forces. For every five hides, [24] or units of land nominally capable of supporting one household, [25] one man was supposed to serve. [24] It appears that the hundred was the main organising unit for the fyrd. [26] As a whole, England could furnish about 14,000 men for the fyrd, when it was called out. The fyrd usually served for two months, except in emergencies. It was rare for the whole national fyrd to be called out between 1046 and 1065 it was only done three times, in 1051, 1052, and 1065. [24] The king also had a group of personal armsmen, known as housecarls, who formed the backbone of the royal forces. Some earls also had their own forces of housecarls. Thegns, the local landowning elites, either fought with the royal housecarls or attached themselves to the forces of an earl or other magnate. [23] The fyrd and the housecarls both fought on foot, with the major difference between them being the housecarls' superior armour. The English army does not appear to have had a significant number of archers. [26]

Harold had spent mid-1066 on the south coast with a large army and fleet waiting for William to invade. The bulk of his forces were militia who needed to harvest their crops, so on 8 September Harold dismissed the militia and the fleet. [27] Learning of the Norwegian invasion he rushed north, gathering forces as he went, and took the Norwegians by surprise, defeating them at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Harald Hardrada and Tostig were killed, and the Norwegians suffered such great losses that only 24 of the original 300 ships were required to carry away the survivors. The English victory came at great cost, as Harold's army was left in a battered and weakened state, and far from the south. [28]

William assembled a large invasion fleet and an army gathered from Normandy and the rest of France, including large contingents from Brittany and Flanders. [30] He spent almost nine months on his preparations, as he had to construct a fleet from nothing. [e] According to some Norman chronicles, he also secured diplomatic support, although the accuracy of the reports has been a matter of historical debate. The most famous claim is that Pope Alexander II gave a papal banner as a token of support, which only appears in William of Poitiers's account, and not in more contemporary narratives. [33] In April 1066 Halley's Comet appeared in the sky, and was widely reported throughout Europe. Contemporary accounts connected the comet's appearance with the succession crisis in England. [34] [f]

William mustered his forces at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, and was ready to cross the English Channel by about 12 August. [36] But the crossing was delayed, either because of unfavourable weather or to avoid being intercepted by the powerful English fleet. The Normans crossed to England a few days after Harold's victory over the Norwegians, following the dispersal of Harold's naval force, and landed at Pevensey in Sussex on 28 September. [30] [g] [h] A few ships were blown off course and landed at Romney, where the Normans fought the local fyrd. [32] After landing, William's forces built a wooden castle at Hastings, from which they raided the surrounding area. [30] More fortifications were erected at Pevensey. [51]

Norman forces at Hastings

The exact numbers and composition of William's force are unknown. [31] A contemporary document claims that William had 776 ships, but this may be an inflated figure. [52] Figures given by contemporary writers for the size of the army are highly exaggerated, varying from 14,000 to 150,000. [53] Modern historians have offered a range of estimates for the size of William's forces: 7,000–8,000 men, 1,000–2,000 of them cavalry [54] 10,000–12,000 men [53] 10,000 men, 3,000 of them cavalry [55] or 7,500 men. [31] The army consisted of cavalry, infantry, and archers or crossbowmen, with about equal numbers of cavalry and archers and the foot soldiers equal in number to the other two types combined. [56] Later lists of companions of William the Conqueror are extant, but most are padded with extra names only about 35 named individuals can be reliably identified as having been with William at Hastings. [31] [57] [i]

The main armour used was chainmail hauberks, usually knee-length, with slits to allow riding, some with sleeves to the elbows. Some hauberks may have been made of scales attached to a tunic, with the scales made of metal, horn or hardened leather. Headgear was usually a conical metal helmet with a band of metal extending down to protect the nose. [59] Horsemen and infantry carried shields. The infantryman's shield was usually round and made of wood, with reinforcement of metal. Horsemen had changed to a kite-shaped shield and were usually armed with a lance. The couched lance, carried tucked against the body under the right arm, was a relatively new refinement and was probably not used at Hastings the terrain was unfavourable for long cavalry charges. Both the infantry and cavalry usually fought with a straight sword, long and double-edged. The infantry could also use javelins and long spears. [60] Some of the cavalry may have used a mace instead of a sword. Archers would have used a self bow or a crossbow, and most would not have had armour. [61]

After defeating his brother Tostig and Harald Hardrada in the north, Harold left much of his forces in the north, including Morcar and Edwin, and marched the rest of his army south to deal with the threatened Norman invasion. [62] It is unclear when Harold learned of William's landing, but it was probably while he was travelling south. Harold stopped in London, and was there for about a week before Hastings, so it is likely that he spent about a week on his march south, averaging about 27 mi (43 km) per day, [63] for the approximately 200 mi (320 km). [64] Harold camped at Caldbec Hill on the night of 13 October, near what was described as a "hoar-apple tree". This location was about 8 mi (13 km) from William's castle at Hastings. [65] [j] Some of the early contemporary French accounts mention an emissary or emissaries sent by Harold to William, which is likely. Nothing came of these efforts. [66]

Although Harold attempted to surprise the Normans, William's scouts reported the English arrival to the duke. The exact events preceding the battle are obscure, with contradictory accounts in the sources, but all agree that William led his army from his castle and advanced towards the enemy. [66] Harold had taken a defensive position at the top of Senlac Hill (present-day Battle, East Sussex), about 6 mi (9.7 km) from William's castle at Hastings. [67]

English forces at Hastings

The exact number of soldiers in Harold's army is unknown. The contemporary records do not give reliable figures some Norman sources give 400,000 to 1,200,000 men on Harold's side. [k] The English sources generally give very low figures for Harold's army, perhaps to make the English defeat seem less devastating. [69] Recent historians have suggested figures of between 5,000 and 13,000 for Harold's army at Hastings, [70] and most modern historians argue for a figure of 7,000–8,000 English troops. [26] [71] These men would have been a mix of the fyrd and housecarls. Few individual Englishmen are known to have been at Hastings [31] about 20 named individuals can reasonably be assumed to have fought with Harold at Hastings, including Harold's brothers Gyrth and Leofwine and two other relatives. [58] [l]

The English army consisted entirely of infantry. It is possible that some of the higher class members of the army rode to battle, but when battle was joined they dismounted to fight on foot. [m] The core of the army was made up of housecarls, full-time professional soldiers. Their armour consisted of a conical helmet, a mail hauberk, and a shield, which might be either kite-shaped or round. [72] Most housecarls fought with the two-handed Danish battleaxe, but they could also carry a sword. [73] The rest of the army was made up of levies from the fyrd, also infantry but more lightly armoured and not professionals. Most of the infantry would have formed part of the shield wall, in which all the men in the front ranks locked their shields together. Behind them would have been axemen and men with javelins as well as archers. [74]

Background and location

Because many of the primary accounts contradict each other at times, it is impossible to provide a description of the battle that is beyond dispute. [75] The only undisputed facts are that the fighting began at 9 am on Saturday 14 October 1066 and that the battle lasted until dusk. [76] Sunset on the day of the battle was at 4:54 pm, with the battlefield mostly dark by 5:54 pm and in full darkness by 6:24 pm. Moonrise that night was not until 11:12 pm, so once the sun set, there was little light on the battlefield. [77] William of Jumièges reports that Duke William kept his army armed and ready against a surprise night attack for the entire night before. [75] The battle took place 7 mi (11 km) north of Hastings at the present-day town of Battle, [78] between two hills – Caldbec Hill to the north and Telham Hill to the south. The area was heavily wooded, with a marsh nearby. [79] The name traditionally given to the battle is unusual – there were several settlements much closer to the battlefield than Hastings. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle called it the battle "at the hoary apple tree". Within 40 years, the battle was described by the Anglo-Norman chronicler Orderic Vitalis as "Senlac", [n] a Norman-French adaptation of the Old English word "Sandlacu", which means "sandy water". [o] This may have been the name of the stream that crosses the battlefield. [p] The battle was already being referred to as "bellum Hasestingas" or "Battle of Hastings" by 1086, in the Domesday Book. [83]

Sunrise was at 6:48 am that morning, and reports of the day record that it was unusually bright. [84] The weather conditions are not recorded. [85] The route that the English army took south to the battlefield is not known precisely. Several roads are possible: one, an old Roman road that ran from Rochester to Hastings has long been favoured because of a large coin hoard found nearby in 1876. Another possibility is the Roman road between London and Lewes and then over local tracks to the battlefield. [75] Some accounts of the battle indicate that the Normans advanced from Hastings to the battlefield, but the contemporary account of William of Jumièges places the Normans at the site of the battle the night before. [86] Most historians incline towards the former view, [67] [84] [87] [88] but M. K. Lawson argues that William of Jumièges's account is correct. [86]

Dispositions of forces and tactics

Harold's forces deployed in a small, dense formation at the top of steep slope, [84] with their flanks protected by woods and marshy ground in front of them. [88] The line may have extended far enough to be anchored on a nearby stream. [89] The English formed a shield wall, with the front ranks holding their shields close together or even overlapping to provide protection from attack. [90] Sources differ on the exact site that the English fought on: some sources state the site of the abbey, [91] [92] [93] but some newer sources suggest it was Caldbec Hill. [89] [84]

More is known about the Norman deployment. [94] Duke William appears to have arranged his forces in three groups, or "battles", which roughly corresponded to their origins. The left units were the Bretons, [95] along with those from Anjou, Poitou and Maine. This division was led by Alan the Red, a relative of the Breton count. [90] The centre was held by the Normans, [95] under the direct command of the duke and with many of his relatives and kinsmen grouped around the ducal party. [90] The final division, on the right, consisted of the Frenchmen, [95] along with some men from Picardy, Boulogne, and Flanders. The right was commanded by William fitzOsbern and Count Eustace II of Boulogne. [90] The front lines were made up of archers, with a line of foot soldiers armed with spears behind. [95] There were probably a few crossbowmen and slingers in with the archers. [90] The cavalry was held in reserve, [95] and a small group of clergymen and servants situated at the base of Telham Hill was not expected to take part in the fighting. [90]

William's disposition of his forces implies that he planned to open the battle with archers in the front rank weakening the enemy with arrows, followed by infantry who would engage in close combat. The infantry would create openings in the English lines that could be exploited by a cavalry charge to break through the English forces and pursue the fleeing soldiers. [90]

Beginning of the battle

The battle opened with the Norman archers shooting uphill at the English shield wall, to little effect. The uphill angle meant that the arrows either bounced off the shields of the English or overshot their targets and flew over the top of the hill. [95] [q] The lack of English archers hampered the Norman archers, as there were few English arrows to be gathered up and reused. [96] After the attack from the archers, William sent the spearmen forward to attack the English. They were met with a barrage of missiles, not arrows but spears, axes and stones. [95] The infantry was unable to force openings in the shield wall, and the cavalry advanced in support. [96] The cavalry also failed to make headway, and a general retreat began, blamed on the Breton division on William's left. [97] A rumour started that the duke had been killed, which added to the confusion. The English forces began to pursue the fleeing invaders, but William rode through his forces, showing his face and yelling that he was still alive. [98] The duke then led a counter-attack against the pursuing English forces some of the English rallied on a hillock before being overwhelmed. [97]

It is not known whether the English pursuit was ordered by Harold or if it was spontaneous. Wace relates that Harold ordered his men to stay in their formations but no other account gives this detail. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the death of Harold's brothers Gyrth and Leofwine occurring just before the fight around the hillock. This may mean that the two brothers led the pursuit. [99] The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio relates a different story for the death of Gyrth, stating that the duke slew Harold's brother in combat, perhaps thinking that Gyrth was Harold. William of Poitiers states that the bodies of Gyrth and Leofwine were found near Harold's, implying that they died late in the battle. It is possible that if the two brothers died early in the fighting their bodies were taken to Harold, thus accounting for their being found near his body after the battle. The military historian Peter Marren speculates that if Gyrth and Leofwine died early in the battle, that may have influenced Harold to stand and fight to the end. [100]

Feigned flights

A lull probably occurred early in the afternoon, and a break for rest and food would probably have been needed. [99] William may have also needed time to implement a new strategy, which may have been inspired by the English pursuit and subsequent rout by the Normans. If the Normans could send their cavalry against the shield wall and then draw the English into more pursuits, breaks in the English line might form. [101] William of Poitiers says the tactic was used twice. Although arguments have been made that the chroniclers' accounts of this tactic were meant to excuse the flight of the Norman troops from battle, this is unlikely as the earlier flight was not glossed over. It was a tactic used by other Norman armies during the period. [99] [r] Some historians have argued that the story of the use of feigned flight as a deliberate tactic was invented after the battle however most historians agree that it was used by the Normans at Hastings. [102]

Although the feigned flights did not break the lines, they probably thinned out the housecarls in the English shield wall. The housecarls were replaced with members of the fyrd, and the shield wall held. [99] Archers appear to have been used again before and during an assault by the cavalry and infantry led by the duke. Although 12th-century sources state that the archers were ordered to shoot at a high angle to shoot over the front of the shield wall, there is no trace of such an action in the more contemporary accounts. [103] It is not known how many assaults were launched against the English lines, but some sources record various actions by both Normans and Englishmen that took place during the afternoon's fighting. [104] The Carmen claims that Duke William had two horses killed under him during the fighting, but William of Poitiers's account states that it was three. [105]

Death of Harold

Harold appears to have died late in the battle, although accounts in the various sources are contradictory. William of Poitiers only mentions his death, without giving any details on how it occurred. The Tapestry is not helpful, as it shows a figure holding an arrow sticking out of his eye next to a falling fighter being hit with a sword. Over both figures is a statement "Here King Harold has been killed". [103] It is not clear which figure is meant to be Harold, or if both are meant. [107] [s] The earliest written mention of the traditional account of Harold dying from an arrow to the eye dates to the 1080s from a history of the Normans written by an Italian monk, Amatus of Montecassino. [108] [t] William of Malmesbury stated that Harold died from an arrow to the eye that went into the brain, and that a knight wounded Harold at the same time. Wace repeats the arrow-to-the-eye account. The Carmen states that Duke William killed Harold, but this is unlikely, as such a feat would have been recorded elsewhere. [103] The account of William of Jumièges is even more unlikely, as it has Harold dying in the morning, during the first fighting. The Chronicle of Battle Abbey states that no one knew who killed Harold, as it happened in the press of battle. [110] A modern biographer of Harold, Ian Walker, states that Harold probably died from an arrow in the eye, although he also says it is possible that Harold was struck down by a Norman knight while mortally wounded in the eye. [111] Another biographer of Harold, Peter Rex, after discussing the various accounts, concludes that it is not possible to declare how Harold died. [109]

Harold's death left the English forces leaderless, and they began to collapse. [101] Many of them fled, but the soldiers of the royal household gathered around Harold's body and fought to the end. [103] The Normans began to pursue the fleeing troops, and except for a rearguard action at a site known as the "Malfosse", the battle was over. [101] Exactly what happened at the Malfosse, or "Evil Ditch", and where it took place, is unclear. It occurred at a small fortification or set of trenches where some Englishmen rallied and seriously wounded Eustace of Boulogne before being defeated by the Normans. [112]

Reasons for the outcome

Harold's defeat was probably due to several circumstances. One was the need to defend against two almost simultaneous invasions. The fact that Harold had dismissed his forces in southern England on 8 September also contributed to the defeat. Many historians fault Harold for hurrying south and not gathering more forces before confronting William at Hastings, although it is not clear that the English forces were insufficient to deal with William's forces. [113] Against these arguments for an exhausted English army, the length of the battle, which lasted an entire day, shows that the English forces were not tired by their long march. [114] Tied in with the speed of Harold's advance to Hastings is the possibility Harold may not have trusted Earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria once their enemy Tostig had been defeated, and declined to bring them and their forces south. [113] Modern historians have pointed out that one reason for Harold's rush to battle was to contain William's depredations and keep him from breaking free of his beachhead. [115]

Most of the blame for the defeat probably lies in the events of the battle. [113] William was the more experienced military leader, [116] and in addition the lack of cavalry on the English side allowed Harold fewer tactical options. [114] Some writers have criticised Harold for not exploiting the opportunity offered by the rumoured death of William early in the battle. [117] The English appear to have erred in not staying strictly on the defensive, for when they pursued the retreating Normans they exposed their flanks to attack. Whether this was due to the inexperience of the English commanders or the indiscipline of the English soldiers is unclear. [116] [u] In the end, Harold's death appears to have been decisive, as it signalled the break-up of the English forces in disarray. [114] The historian David Nicolle said of the battle that William's army "demonstrated – not without difficulty – the superiority of Norman-French mixed cavalry and infantry tactics over the Germanic-Scandinavian infantry traditions of the Anglo-Saxons." [119]

The day after the battle, Harold's body was identified, either by his armour or by marks on his body. [v] His personal standard was presented to William, [120] and later sent to the papacy. [103] The bodies of the English dead, including some of Harold's brothers and housecarls, were left on the battlefield, [121] although some were removed by relatives later. [122] The Norman dead were buried in a large communal grave, which has not been found. [123] [w] Exact casualty figures are unknown. Of the Englishmen known to be at the battle, the number of dead implies that the death rate was about 50 per cent of those engaged, although this may be too high. Of the named Normans who fought at Hastings, one in seven is stated to have died, but these were all noblemen, and it is probable that the death rate among the common soldiers was higher. Although Orderic Vitalis's figures are highly exaggerated, [x] his ratio of one in four casualties may be accurate. Marren speculates that perhaps 2,000 Normans and 4,000 Englishmen were killed at Hastings. [124] Reports stated that some of the English dead were still being found on the hillside years later. Although scholars thought for a long time that remains would not be recoverable, due to the acidic soil, recent finds have changed this view. [125] One skeleton that was found in a medieval cemetery, and originally was thought to be associated with the 13th century Battle of Lewes, now is thought to be associated with Hastings instead. [126] [y]

One story relates that Gytha, Harold's mother, offered the victorious duke the weight of her son's body in gold for its custody, but was refused. William ordered that Harold's body be thrown into the sea, but whether that took place is unclear. [121] Another story relates that Harold was buried at the top of a cliff. [123] Waltham Abbey, which had been founded by Harold, later claimed that his body had been secretly buried there. [121] Other legends claimed that Harold did not die at Hastings, but escaped and became a hermit at Chester. [122]

William expected to receive the submission of the surviving English leaders after his victory, but instead Edgar the Ætheling [z] was proclaimed king by the Witenagemot, with the support of Earls Edwin and Morcar, Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Ealdred, the Archbishop of York. [128] William therefore advanced on London, marching around the coast of Kent. He defeated an English force that attacked him at Southwark but was unable to storm London Bridge, forcing him to reach the capital by a more circuitous route. [129]

William moved up the Thames valley to cross the river at Wallingford, where he received the submission of Stigand. He then travelled north-east along the Chilterns, before advancing towards London from the north-west, [aa] fighting further engagements against forces from the city. The English leaders surrendered to William at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. William was acclaimed King of England and crowned by Ealdred on 25 December 1066, in Westminster Abbey. [129]

Despite the submission of the English nobles, resistance continued for several years. [131] There were rebellions in Exeter in late 1067, an invasion by Harold's sons in mid-1068, and an uprising in Northumbria in 1068. [132] In 1069 William faced more troubles from Northumbrian rebels, an invading Danish fleet, and rebellions in the south and west of England. He ruthlessly put down the various risings, culminating in the Harrying of the North in late 1069 and early 1070 that devastated parts of northern England. [133] A further rebellion in 1070 by Hereward the Wake was also defeated by the king, at Ely. [134]

Battle Abbey was founded by William at the site of the battle. According to 12th-century sources, William made a vow to found the abbey, and the high altar of the church was placed at the site where Harold had died. [101] More likely, the foundation was imposed on William by papal legates in 1070. [135] The topography of the battlefield has been altered by subsequent construction work for the abbey, and the slope defended by the English is now much less steep than it was at the time of the battle the top of the ridge has also been built up and levelled. [78] After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the abbey's lands passed to secular landowners, who used it as a residence or country house. [136] In 1976 the estate was put up for sale and purchased by the government with the aid of some American donors who wished to honour the 200th anniversary of American independence. [137] The battlefield and abbey grounds are currently owned and administered by English Heritage and are open to the public. [138] The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered narrative of the events leading up to Hastings probably commissioned by Odo of Bayeux soon after the battle, perhaps to hang at the bishop's palace at Bayeux. [139] [ab] In modern times annual reenactments of the Battle of Hastings have drawn thousands of participants and spectators to the site of the original battle. [141] [142]


Contents

Normans Edit

Norman conquest Edit

In 1002 King Æthelred II of England married Emma, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. [1] Their son Edward the Confessor, who spent many years in exile in Normandy, succeeded to the English throne in 1042. [2] This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew heavily on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers, soldiers, and clerics and appointing them to positions of power, particularly in the Church. Childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and his sons, Edward may also have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne. [3]

When King Edward died at the beginning of 1066, the lack of a clear heir led to a disputed succession in which several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. [4] Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by the Archbishop of York, Ealdred, although Norman propaganda claimed the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury. [4] [5] Harold was immediately challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this [6] King Harald III of Norway, commonly known as Harald Hardrada, also contested the succession. His claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor Magnus I of Norway and the earlier English king, Harthacnut, whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. [7] William and Harald at once set about assembling troops and ships to invade England. [8] Tostig Godwinson, brother of Harold, made a series of attacks in the north of England in early 1066 that may have been the beginning of a bid for the throne, but after defeat at the hands of Edwin and Morcar and the desertion of most of his followers he threw his lot in with Harald Hardrada, who invaded northern England in early September. [9] Harold defeated and killed Hardrada and Tostig at the battle of Stamford Bridge. [10] William invaded with an army of Norman followers and mercenaries. Harold marched south to meet him, but was defeated and killed at the battle of Hastings on 14 October and William's forces rapidly occupied the south of England. [11]

William I (1066–87) Edit

Major revolts followed, which William suppressed before intervening in the north-east of England, establishing Norman control of York and devastating the region. [13] Once England had been conquered, the Normans faced many challenges in maintaining control. [14] They were few in number compared to the native English population including those from other parts of France, historians estimate the number of Norman settlers at around 8,000. [15] William's followers expected and received lands and titles in return for their service in the invasion, [16] but William claimed ultimate possession of the land in England over which his armies had given him de facto control, and asserted the right to dispose of it as he saw fit. [17] Henceforth, all land was "held" directly from the king in feudal tenure in return for military service. [17] A Norman lord typically had properties located in a piecemeal fashion throughout England and Normandy, and not in a single geographic block. [18]

To find the lands to compensate his Norman followers, William initially confiscated the estates of all the English lords who had fought and died with Harold and redistributed part of their lands. [19] These confiscations led to revolts, which resulted in more confiscations, a cycle that continued for five years after the Battle of Hastings. [17] To put down and prevent further rebellions the Normans constructed castles and fortifications in unprecedented numbers, [20] initially mostly on the motte-and-bailey pattern. [21] William and his barons also exercised tighter control over inheritance of property by widows and daughters, often forcing marriages to Normans. [22] Some Norman lords used England as a launching point for attacks into South and North Wales, spreading up the valleys to create new Marcher territories. [23] By the time of William's death in 1087, England formed the largest part of an Anglo-Norman empire, ruled over by a network of nobles with landholdings across England, Normandy, and Wales. [24] England's growing wealth was critical in allowing the Norman kings to project power across the region, including funding campaigns along the frontiers of Normandy. [25]

At Christmas 1085, William ordered the compilation of a survey of the landholdings held by himself and by his vassals throughout the kingdom, organised by counties, a work now known as the Domesday Book. The listing for each county gives the holdings of each landholder, grouped by owners. The listings describe the holding, who owned the land before the Conquest, its value, what the tax assessment was, and usually the number of peasants, ploughs, and any other resources the holding had. Towns were listed separately. All the English counties south of the River Tees and River Ribble are included, and the whole work seems to have been mostly completed by 1 August 1086, when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that William received the results and that all the chief magnates swore the Salisbury Oath, a renewal of their oaths of allegiance. [26]

William II (1087–1100) Edit

At the death of William the Conqueror in 1087 his lands were divided into two parts. His Norman lands went to the eldest son Robert Curthose and his English lands to the younger William Rufus. This presented a dilemma for those nobles who held land on both sides of the waterway of the English Channel, who decided to unite England and Normandy once more under one ruler. The pursuit of this aim led them to revolt against William in favour of Robert in the Rebellion of 1088, under the leadership of the powerful Bishop Odo of Bayeux, who was a half-brother of William the Conqueror. [27] As Robert failed to appear in England to rally his supporters, William won the support of the English lords with silver and promises of better government, and defeated the rebellion. In 1091 he invaded Normandy, crushing Robert's forces and forcing him to cede a portion of his lands. The two made up their differences and William agreed to help Robert recover lands lost to the King of France, notably Le Maine. This plan was later abandoned, but William continued to pursue a ferociously warlike defence of his French possessions and interests, exemplified by his response to the attempt by Elias de la Flèche, Count of Maine, to take Le Mans in 1099. William came into conflict with Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury over Gregorian reforms in the Church. Eventually Anselm went into exile and Pope Urban II, involved in a major conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, came to a concordat with William, whereby William recognised Urban as pope, and Urban gave sanction to the Anglo-Norman ecclesiastical status quo. Anselm remained in exile, and William was able to claim the revenues of the archbishop of Canterbury to the end of his reign. [28] William died while hunting in 1100. [29]

Henry I (1100–35) Edit

Despite Robert's rival claims, his younger brother Henry immediately seized power in England. [30] Robert, who invaded in 1101, disputed Henry's control of England. This military campaign ended in a negotiated settlement that confirmed Henry as king. The peace was short-lived, and Henry invaded the Duchy of Normandy in 1105 and 1106, finally defeating Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray. Henry kept Robert imprisoned for the rest of his life. Henry's control of Normandy was challenged by Louis VI of France, Baldwin of Flanders and Fulk of Anjou, who promoted the rival claims of Robert's son, William Clito, and supported a major rebellion in the Duchy between 1116 and 1119. Following Henry's victory at the Battle of Brémule, a favourable peace settlement was agreed with Louis in 1120. [31]

Considered by contemporaries to be a harsh but effective ruler, Henry skilfully manipulated the barons in England and Normandy. In England, he drew on the existing Anglo-Saxon system of justice, local government and taxation, but also strengthened it with additional institutions, including the royal exchequer and itinerant justices. [32] Normandy was also governed through a growing system of justices and an exchequer. Many of the officials that ran Henry's system were "new men", relatively low-born individuals who rose through the ranks as administrators. [33] Henry encouraged ecclesiastical reform, [34] but from 1101 he also became embroiled in a serious dispute with Archbishop Anselm, which was resolved through a compromise solution in 1105. [35] He supported the Cluniac order and played a major role in the selection of the senior clergy in England and Normandy. [36]

Stephen, Matilda and the Anarchy (1135–54) Edit

Henry's only legitimate son, William, died aboard the White Ship in the disaster of 1120, sparking a fresh succession crisis. Henry named his daughter Matilda as his heir, [37] but on Henry's death in 1135 her cousin Stephen of Blois had himself proclaimed king. [38] Matilda's husband Geoffrey, Count of Anjou showed little interest in England, but he supported Matilda by entering Normandy to claim her inheritance. [39] Matilda landed in England to challenge Stephen and was declared "Lady of the English" which resulted in a civil war called the Anarchy. Stephen was defeated and captured at the Battle of Lincoln (1141) and Matilda was the effective ruler. When Matilda was forced to release Stephen in a hostage exchange for her half-brother Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, Stephen was re-crowned. The conflict in England continued inconclusively. However, Geoffrey secured the Duchy of Normandy. Matilda's son, Henry II, by his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine had acquired the Duchy of Aquitaine and was now immensely rich. With skilful negotiation with the war-weary barons of England and King Stephen, he agreed to the Treaty of Wallingford and was recognised as Stephen's heir. [40]

Angevins Edit

Henry II (1154–89) Edit

After Stephen's death in 1154 Henry succeeded as the first Angevin king of England, so-called because he was also the Count of Anjou in Northern France, adding it to his extensive holdings in Normandy and Aquitaine. [41] England became a key part of a loose-knit assemblage of lands spread across Western Europe, later termed the Angevin Empire. [42]

Henry asserted his authority over Brittany, even reorganising the Duchy into eight administrative districts and introducing Angevin legal reforms. [43] He pursued an aggressive policy in Wales, reclaiming lands lost by Anglo-Norman princes and conducting four punitive campaigns against Welsh princes that resulted in their submission to his authority. This underlined his overlordship, but he did not attempt a direct conquest. When the Scottish king William the Lion joined the rebellion of Henry's sons and was captured, it allowed Henry to extract homage from the Scottish king under the Treaty of Falaise (1174), which he did not pursue directly, but which would provide a justification for later interventions in Scottish kingship. [44]

In the mid-twelfth century Ireland was ruled by local kings, although their authority was more limited than their counterparts in the rest of western Europe. [45] In the 1160s deposed King Diarmait Mac Murchada King of Leinster turned to Henry for assistance in 1167, and the English king agreed to allow Diarmait to recruit mercenaries within his empire. [46] Diarmait put together a force of Anglo-Norman and Flemish mercenaries drawn from the Welsh Marches, including Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow. [47] With his new supporters, he reclaimed Leinster but died shortly afterwards in 1171 de Clare then claimed Leinster for himself. [48] Henry took this opportunity to intervene personally in Ireland, landing in October 1171. [49] Henry's timing was influenced by several factors, including encouragement from Pope Alexander, who saw the opportunity to establish papal authority over the Irish church. [50] Henry's intervention was initially successful, with both the Irish and Anglo-Normans in the south and east of Ireland accepting his rule. [51] However, the Treaty of Windsor in 1175, under which Rory O'Connor would be recognised as the high king of Ireland, giving homage to Henry and maintaining stability on the ground on his behalf, [52] meant that he had little direct control. [53]

Henry saw an opportunity to re-establish what he saw as his rights over the Church in England by reasserting the privileges held by Henry I when Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, died, by appointing his friend, Thomas Becket to the post. Henry had clashed with the church over whether bishops could excommunicate royal officials without his permission and whether he could try clerics without them appealing to Rome. However, Becket opposed Henry's Constitutions of Clarendon and fled into exile. Relations later improved, allowing Becket's return, but soon soured again when Becket saw the crowning as coregent of Henry's son by the Archbishop of York as a challenge to his authority and excommunicated those who had offended him. On hearing the news Henry uttered the infamous phrase "What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low born clerk". In response to please Henry three of his men murdered Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, probably by misadventure after Becket resisted a botched arrest attempt. [54] In Christian Europe Henry was considered complicit in this crime, making him a pariah, and he was forced to make a dramatic exhibition of penance, publicly walking barefoot into the cathedral and allowing monks to scourge him. [38]

When Henry II attempted to give his land-less youngest son, John, a wedding gift of three castles it prompted his three eldest sons and wife to rebel in the Revolt of 1173–1174. Louis VII encouraged the three elder sons to destabilise his mightiest subject and not to wait for their inheritances. It was only after eighteen months of conflict that Henry II was able to force the rebels to submit to his authority. [55] In Le Mans in 1182 Henry II gathered his children to plan for partible inheritance in which his eldest son, also called Henry, would inherit England, Normandy and Anjou Richard the Duchy of Aquitaine Geoffrey Brittany and John would receive Ireland. This broke down into further conflict and the younger Henry rebelled again, but died of dysentery. In 1186 Geoffrey died as a result of a tournament accident but Henry was still reluctant to have a sole heir [56] so, in 1189, Richard and Philip II of France took advantage of a sickening Henry II with more success. Henry II was forced to accept humiliating peace terms, including naming Richard as sole heir. When Henry II died shortly afterwards his last words to Richard were allegedly "God grant that I may not die until I have my revenge on you". [57]

Richard I (1189–99) Edit

On the day of Richard's English coronation there was a mass slaughter of the Jews, described by Richard of Devizes as a "holocaust". [58] Quickly putting the affairs of the Angevin Empire in order he departed on Crusade to the Middle East in early 1190. In Sicily he came into conflict with Tancred I over the rights of Richard's sister Queen Joan, widow of the former king William II of Sicily. Richard captured the city of Messina on 4 October 1190 and using it to force Tancred into a peace agreement. [59] When his sister and his fiancée Berengaria along with several other ships, including the treasure ship were seized by the island's despot Isaac Komnenos, Richard conquered the island, which became a western feudal and Christian base in the Mediterranean. [60]

Opinions of Richard amongst his contemporaries were mixed. He had rejected and humiliated the king of France's sister insulted and refused spoils of the third crusade to nobles like Leopold V, Duke of Austria, and was rumoured to have arranged the assassination of Conrad of Montferrat. His cruelty was demonstrated by his massacre of 2,600 prisoners in Acre. [61] However, Richard was respected for his military leadership and courtly manners. He achieved victories in the Third Crusade but failed to capture Jerusalem, retreating from the Holy Land with a small band of followers. [62]

Richard was captured by Leopold on his return journey in 1192. Custody was passed to Henry the Lion and a tax of 25 percent of movables and income was required in England to pay the ransom of 100,000 marks, with a promise of 50,000 more, before Richard was released in 1194. In his absence Philip II of France had overrun much of Normandy, while John of England controlled much of the remainder of Richard's lands. On his return to England, Richard forgave John and re-established his control. Leaving England in 1194 never to return, Richard battled Phillip for the next five years for the return of the holdings seized during his incarceration. Close to total victory he was injured by an arrow during the siege of Château de Châlus-Chabrol and died after lingering injured for ten days. [63]

John (1199–1216) Edit

Richard's failure in his duty to provide an heir caused a succession crisis. Anjou, Brittany, Maine and Touraine chose Richard's nephew and nominated heir, Arthur, while John succeeded in England and Normandy. Yet again Philip II of France took the opportunity to destabilise the Plantagenet territories on the European mainland, supporting his vassal Arthur's claim to the English crown. When Arthur's forces threatened his mother, John won a significant victory, capturing the entire rebel leadership at the Battle of Mirebeau. [64] Arthur was murdered, it was rumoured by John's own hands, and his sister Eleanor would spend the rest of her life in captivity. John's behaviour drove numerous French barons to side with Phillip. The resulting rebellions by the Norman and Angevin barons broke John's control of the continental possessions, leading to the de facto end of the Angevin Empire, even though Henry III would maintain the claim until 1259. [65]

After re-establishing his authority in England, John planned to retake Normandy and Anjou. The strategy was to draw the French from Paris while another army, under Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, attacked from the north. However, his allies were defeated at the Battle of Bouvines in one of the most decisive and symbolic battles in French history. [66] The battle had both important and high-profile consequences. [67] John's nephew Otto retreated and was soon overthrown while King John agreed to a five-year truce. Philip's decisive victory was crucial in ordering politics in both England and France. The battle was instrumental in forming the absolute monarchy in France. [68]

John's defeats in France weakened his position in England. The rebellion of his English vassals resulted in the treaty called Magna Carta, which limited royal power and established common law. This would form the basis of every constitutional battle through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. [69] However, both the barons and the crown failed to abide by the terms of Magna Carta, leading to the First Barons' War in which the rebel barons invited an invasion by Prince Louis. This is considered by some historians to mark the end of the Angevin period and the beginning of the Plantagenet dynasty with John's death and William Marshall's appointment as the protector of the nine-year-old Henry III. [70] Marshall won the war with victories at the battles of Lincoln and Dover in 1217, leading to the Treaty of Lambeth by which Louis renounced his claims. [71] In victory, the Marshal Protectorate reissued the Magna Carta agreement as a basis for future government. [72]

Within twenty years of the Norman conquest, the Anglo-Saxon elite had been replaced by a new class of Norman nobility. [73] The new earls (successors to the ealdermen), sheriffs and senior clergy were all drawn from their ranks. [74] In many areas of society there was continuity, as the Normans adopted many of the Anglo-Saxon governmental institutions, including the tax system, mints and the centralisation of law-making and some judicial matters initially sheriffs and the hundred courts continued to function as before. [75]

The method of government after the conquest can be described as a feudal system, in that the new nobles held their lands on behalf of the king in return for promising to provide military support and taking an oath of allegiance, called homage, they were granted lands termed a fief or an honour. [76] Major nobles in turn granted lands to smaller landowners in return for homage and further military support, and eventually the peasantry held land in return for local labour services, creating a web of loyalties and resources enforced in part by new honorial courts. [77] This system had been used in Normandy and concentrated more power in the king and the upper elite than the former Anglo-Saxon system of government. [78] The practice of slavery declined in the years after the conquest, as the Normans considered the practice backward and contrary to the teachings of the church. [79] The more prosperous peasants, however, lost influence and power as the Normans made holding land more dependent on providing labour services to the local lord. [80] They sank down the economic hierarchy, swelling the numbers of unfree villeins or serfs, forbidden to leave their manor or seek alternative employment. [81]

At the centre of power, the kings employed a succession of clergy as chancellors, responsible for running the royal chancery, while the familia regis, the military household, emerged to act as a bodyguard and military staff. [82] England's bishops continued to form an important part in local administration, alongside the nobility. [83] Henry I and Henry II both implemented significant legal reforms, extending and widening the scope of centralised, royal law by the 1180s, the basis for the future English common law had largely been established, with a standing law court in Westminster—an early Common Bench—and travelling judges conducting eyres around the country. King John extended the royal role in delivering justice, and the extent of appropriate royal intervention was one of the issues addressed in the Magna Carta of 1215. [84]

Many tensions existed within the system of government. [85] Royal landowning and wealth stretched across England, and placed the king in a privileged position above even the most powerful of the noble elite. [86] Successive kings still needed more resources to pay for military campaigns, conduct building programmes, or to reward their followers, and this meant exercising their feudal rights to interfere in the land-holdings of nobles. [87] This was contentious and a frequent issue of complaint, as there was a growing belief that land should be held by hereditary right, not through the favour of the king. [88] Property and wealth became increasingly focused in the hands of a subset of the nobility, the great magnates, at the expense of the wider baronage, encouraging the breakdown of some aspects of local feudalism. [89] As time went by, the Norman nobility intermarried with many of the great Anglo-Saxon families, and the links with the Duchy began to weaken. [90] By the late twelfth century, mobilising the English barons to fight on the continent was proving difficult, and John's attempts to do so ended in civil war. [91]

Women in society Edit

Medieval England was a patriarchal society and the lives of women were heavily influenced by contemporary beliefs about gender and authority. [92] However, the position of women varied according to factors including their social class whether they were unmarried, married, widowed or remarried and in which part of the country they lived. [93] Significant gender inequities persisted throughout the period, as women typically had more limited life-choices, access to employment and trade, and legal rights than men. [94] After the Norman Conquest, the position of women in society changed. The rights and roles of women became more sharply defined, in part as a result of the development of the feudal system and the expansion of the English legal system some women benefited from this, while others lost out. [95] The rights of widows were formally laid down in law by the end of the twelfth century, clarifying the right of free women to own property, but this did not necessarily prevent women from being forcibly remarried against their wishes. [96] The growth of governmental institutions under a succession of bishops reduced the role of queens and their households in formal government. Married or widowed noblewomen remained significant cultural and religious patrons and played an important part in political and military events, even if chroniclers were uncertain if this was appropriate behaviour. [97] As in earlier centuries, most women worked in agriculture, but here roles became more clearly gendered, with ploughing and managing the fields defined as men's work, for example, and dairy production becoming dominated by women. [98]

Identity Edit

The Normans and French who arrived after the conquest saw themselves as different from the English. They had close family and economic links to the Duchy of Normandy, spoke Norman French and had their own distinctive culture. [99] For many years, to be English was to be associated with military failure and serfdom. [100] During the twelfth century, the divisions between the English and Normans began to dissolve as a result of intermarriage and cohabitation. [101] By the end of the twelfth century, and possibly as early as the 1150s, contemporary commentators believed the two peoples to be blending, and the loss of the Duchy in 1204 reinforced this trend. [102] The resulting society still prized wider French cultural values, however, and French remained the language of the court, business and international affairs, even if Parisians mocked the English for their poor pronunciation. [103] During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the English began to consider themselves superior to the Welsh, Scots and Bretons. The English perceived themselves as civilised, economically prosperous and properly Christian, while the Celtic fringe was considered lazy, barbarous and backward. [104] Following the invasion of Ireland in the late twelfth century, similar feelings were expressed about the Irish. [105]

Ecclesiastical structures and orders Edit

The 1066 Norman conquest brought a new set of Norman and French churchmen to power some adopted and embraced aspects of the former Anglo-Saxon religious system, while others introduced practices from Normandy. [106] Extensive English lands were granted to monasteries in Normandy, allowing them to create daughter priories and monastic cells across the kingdom. [107] The monasteries were brought firmly into the web of feudal relations, with their holding of land linked to the provision of military support to the crown. [108] The Normans adopted the Anglo-Saxon model of monastic cathedral communities, and within seventy years the majority of English cathedrals were controlled by monks every English cathedral, however, was rebuilt to some extent by the new rulers. [109] England's bishops remained powerful temporal figures, and in the early twelfth-century raised armies against Scottish invaders and built up extensive holdings of castles across the country. [110]

New orders began to be introduced into England. As ties to Normandy waned, the French Cluniac order became fashionable and their houses were introduced in England. [111] The Augustinians spread quickly from the beginning of the twelfth century onwards, while later in the century the Cistercians reached England, creating houses with a more austere interpretation of the monastic rules and building the great abbeys of Rievaulx and Fountains. [112] By 1215, there were over 600 monastic communities in England, but new endowments slowed during the thirteenth century, creating long-term financial problems for many institutions. [113] The religious military orders that became popular across Europe from the twelfth century onwards, including the Templars, Teutonic Knights and Hospitallers, acquired possessions in England. [114]

Church and state Edit

William the Conqueror acquired the support of the Church for the invasion of England by promising ecclesiastical reform. [115] William promoted celibacy amongst the clergy and gave ecclesiastical courts more power, but also reduced the Church's direct links to Rome and made it more accountable to the king. [116] Tensions arose between these practices and the reforming movement of Pope Gregory VII, which advocated greater autonomy from royal authority for the clergy, condemned the practice of simony and promoted greater influence for the papacy in church matters. [117] Despite the bishops continuing to play a major part in royal government, tensions emerged between the kings of England and key leaders within the English Church. Kings and archbishops clashed over rights of appointment and religious policy, and successive archbishops including Anselm, Theobald of Bec, Thomas Becket and Stephen Langton were variously forced into exile, arrested by royal knights or even killed. [118] By the early thirteenth century, however, the church had largely won its argument for independence, answering almost entirely to Rome. [119]

Pilgrimages Edit

Pilgrimages were a popular religious practice throughout the Middle Ages in England, with the tradition dating back to the Roman period. [120] Typically pilgrims would travel short distances to a shrine or a particular church, either to do penance for a perceived sin, or to seek relief from an illness or other condition. [121] Some pilgrims travelled further, either to more distant sites within Britain or, in a few cases, onto the continent. [122] Under the Normans, religious institutions with important shrines, such as Glastonbury, Canterbury and Winchester, promoted themselves as pilgrimage destinations, maximising the value of the historic miracles associated with the sites. [123] Accumulating relics became an important task for ambitious institutions, as these were believed to hold curative powers and lent status to the site. [124] By the twelfth century reports of posthumous miracles by local saints were becoming increasingly common in England, adding to the attractiveness of pilgrimages to prominent relics. [125]

Crusades Edit

The idea of undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem was not new in England, as the idea of religiously justified warfare went back to Anglo-Saxon times. [126] While English participation in the First Crusade between 1095–99 was limited, England played a prominent part in the Second, Third and Fifth Crusades over the next two centuries, with many crusaders leaving for the Levant during the intervening years. [127] Many of those who took up the Cross to go on a Crusade never actually left, often because the individual lacked sufficient funds to undertake the journey. [128] Raising funds to travel typically involved crusaders selling or mortgaging their lands and possessions, which affected their families and, at times, the economy as a whole was considerably affected. [129]

England had a diverse geography in the medieval period, from the Fenlands of East Anglia or the heavily wooded Weald, through to the upland moors of Yorkshire. [130] Despite this, medieval England broadly formed two zones, roughly divided by the rivers Exe and Tes: the south and east of England had lighter, richer soils, able to support both arable and pastoral agriculture, while the poorer soils and colder climate [sic] of the north and west produced a predominantly pastoral economy. [131] Slightly more land was covered by trees than in the twentieth century, and bears, beavers and wolves lived wild in England, bears being hunted to extinction by the eleventh century and beavers by the twelfth. [132]

Of the 10,000 miles of roads that had been built by the Romans, many remained in use and four were of particular strategic importance—the Icknield Way, the Fosse Way, Ermine Street and Watling Street—which criss-crossed the entire country. [133] The road system was adequate for the needs of the period, although it was significantly cheaper to transport goods by water. [134] The major river networks formed key transport routes, while many English towns formed navigable inland ports. [135]

For much of the Middle Ages, England's climate differed from that in the twenty-first century. Between the ninth and thirteenth centuries England went through the Medieval Warm Period, a prolonged period of warmer temperatures in the early thirteenth century, for example, summers were around 1 °C warmer than today and the climate was slightly drier. [136] These warmer temperatures allowed poorer land to be brought into cultivation and for grapevines to be cultivated relatively far north. [137]

The English economy was fundamentally agricultural, depending on growing crops such as wheat, barley and oats on an open field system, and husbanding sheep, cattle and pigs. [138] Agricultural land became typically organised around manors, and was divided between some fields that the landowner would manage directly, called demesne land, and the majority of the fields that would be cultivated by local peasants. [139] These peasants would pay rent to the landowner either through agricultural labour on the lord's demesne fields or through rent in the form of cash and produce. [139] By the eleventh century, a market economy was flourishing across much of England, while the eastern and southern towns were heavily involved in international trade. [140] Around 6,000 watermills were built to grind flour, freeing up labour for other more productive agricultural tasks. [141]

Although the Norman invasion caused some damage as soldiers looted the countryside and land was confiscated for castle building, the English economy was not greatly affected. [142] Taxes were increased, however, and the Normans established extensive forests that were exploited for their natural resources and protected by royal laws. [143] The next two centuries saw huge growth in the English economy, driven in part by the increase in the population from around 1.5 million in 1086 to between 4 and 5 million in 1300. [144] More land, much of it at the expense of the royal forests, was brought into production to feed the growing population and to produce wool for export to Europe. [145] Many hundreds of new towns, some of them planned communities, were built across England, supporting the creation of guilds, charter fairs and other medieval institutions which governed the growing trade. [146] Jewish financiers played a significant role in funding the growing economy, along with the new Cistercian and Augustinian religious orders that emerged as major players in the wool trade of the north. [147] Mining increased in England, with a silver boom in the twelfth century helping to fuel the expansion of the money supply. [148]

Anglo-Norman warfare was characterised by attritional military campaigns, in which commanders tried to raid enemy lands and seize castles in order to allow them to take control of their adversaries' territory, ultimately winning slow but strategic victories. Pitched battles were occasionally fought between armies but these were considered risky engagements and usually avoided by prudent commanders. [149] The armies of the period comprised bodies of mounted, armoured knights, supported by infantry. Crossbowmen become more numerous in the twelfth century, alongside the older shortbow. [150] At the heart of these armies was the familia regis, the permanent military household of the king, which was supported in war by feudal levies, drawn up by local nobles for a limited period of service during a campaign. [151] Mercenaries were increasingly employed, driving up the cost of warfare, and adequate supplies of ready cash became essential for the success of campaigns. [152]

Naval forces played an important role during the Middle Ages, enabling the transportation of troops and supplies, raids into hostile territory and attacks on enemy fleets. [153] English naval power became particularly important after the loss of Normandy in 1204, which turned the English Channel from a friendly transit route into a contested and critical border region. [154]

Although a small number of castles had been built in England during the 1050s, after the conquest the Normans began to build timber motte and bailey and ringwork castles in large numbers to control their newly occupied territories. [155] During the twelfth century the Normans began to build more castles in stone, with characteristic square keeps that supported both military and political functions. [156] Royal castles were used to control key towns and forests, whilst baronial castles were used by the Norman lords to control their widespread estates a feudal system called the castle-guard was sometimes used to provide garrisons. [157] Castles and sieges continued to grow in military sophistication during the twelfth century. [158]

Art Edit

The Norman conquest introduced northern French artistic styles, particular in illuminated manuscripts and murals, and reduced the demand for carvings. [159] In other artistic areas, including embroidery, the Anglo-Saxon influence remained evident into the twelfth century, and the famous Bayeux Tapestry is an example of older styles being reemployed under the new regime. [160] Stained glass had been introduced into Anglo-Saxon England. Very few examples of glass survive from the Norman period, but there are a few examples that survive from minor monasteries and parish churches. The largest collections of twelfth-century stained glass at the Cathedrals of York and Canterbury. [161]

Literature and music Edit

Poetry and stories written in French were popular after the Norman conquest, and by the twelfth century some works on English history began to be produced in French verse. [162] Romantic poems about tournaments and courtly love became popular in Paris and this fashion spread into England in the form of lays stories about the court of King Arthur were also fashionable, due in part to the interest of Henry II. [163] English continued to be used on a modest scale to write local religious works and some poems in the north of England, but most major works were produced in Latin or French. [164] Music and singing were important in England during the medieval period, being used in religious ceremonies, court occasions and to accompany theatrical works. [165] From the eleventh century distinctive monophonic plainchant was superseded, as elsewhere in Europe, by standardised Gregorian chant. [166]

Architecture Edit

The Normans brought with them architectural styles from their own duchy, where austere stone churches were preferred. Under the early Norman kings this style was adapted to produce large, plain cathedrals with ribbed vaulting. [167] During the twelfth century the Anglo-Norman style became richer and more ornate, with pointed arches derived from French architecture replacing the curved Romanesque designs this style is termed Early English Gothic and continued, with variation, throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. [168] In domestic architecture, the Normans, having first occupied the older Anglo-Saxon dwellings, rapidly beginning to build larger buildings in stone and timber. The elite preferred houses with large, ground-floor halls but the less wealthy constructed simpler houses with the halls on the first floor master and servants frequently lived in the same spaces. [169] Wealthier town-houses were also built using stone, and incorporated business and domestic arrangements into a single functional design. [170]

The period has been used in a wide range of popular culture. William Shakespeare's plays on the lives of the medieval kings have proved to have had long lasting appeal, heavily influencing both popular interpretations and histories of figures such as King John. [171] Other playwrights have since taken key events and personalities as the subject of drama, including T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and Jean Anouilh's Becket (1959), that focus on the death of Thomas Becket and James Goldman's The Lion in Winter (1966), which focuses on Henry II and his sons. [172] Walter Scott's location of Robin Hood in the reign of Richard I and his emphasis on the conflict between Saxons and Normans set the template for much later fiction and film adaptations. [173] Historical fiction set in England during the Middle Ages remains persistently popular, with the 1980s and 1990s seeing a particular growth of historical detective fiction such as Ellis Peters's The Cadfael Chronicles set in the Anarchy, [174] which is also the location of much of Ken Follett's best-selling The Pillars of the Earth (1989). [175] Film-makers have drawn extensively on the medieval period, often taking themes from Shakespeare or the Robin Hood ballads for inspiration and adapting historical romantic novels as Ivanhoe (1952). [176] [177] More recent revivals of these genres include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005). [178]

Notes Edit

  1. ^Williams 2003, p. 54
  2. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 3
  3. ^Stafford 1989, pp. 86–99
  4. ^ abHigham 2000, pp. 167–181
  5. ^Walker 2000, pp. 136–138
  6. ^Bates 2001, pp. 73–77
  7. ^Higham 2000, pp. 188–190
  8. ^Huscroft 2005, pp. 12–14
  9. ^Thomas 2007, pp. 33–34
  10. ^Walker 2000, pp. 158–165
  11. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 72–74
  12. ^Douglas 1964, p. 216
  13. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 76
  14. ^Stafford 1989, pp. 102–105
  15. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 82–83
  16. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 79–80
  17. ^ abcCarpenter 2004, p. 84
  18. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 83–84
  19. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 75–76
  20. ^Chibnall 1986, pp. 11–13
  21. ^Kaufman and Kaufman 2001, p. 110
  22. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 89
  23. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 110–112
  24. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 125–126
  25. ^Prestwich 1992, pp. 70–71 and 74
  26. ^Bates 2001, pp. 198–202
  27. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 129
  28. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 132
  29. ^Barlow 2000, pp. 402–406
  30. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 134–135
  31. ^Huscroft 2009, pp. 65, 69–71 Carpenter 2004, pp. 124, 138–140
  32. ^Hollister 2003, pp. 356–357 and 358–359 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHollister2003 (help)
  33. ^Green 2009, pp. 242–243
  34. ^Green 2009, p. 255
  35. ^Green 2009, p. 273
  36. ^Green 2009, p. 278
  37. ^Hooper 1996, p. 50 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHooper1996 (help)
  38. ^ abSchama 2000, p. 117
  39. ^Grant 2005, p. 7
  40. ^Ashley 2003, p. 73
  41. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 191
  42. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 191 Aurell 2003, p. 15
  43. ^Davies 1990, p. 67
  44. ^Davies 1990, p. 76
  45. ^Warren 2000, pp. 187–188
  46. ^Warren 2000, p. 192
  47. ^Warren 2000, pp. 192–193
  48. ^Warren 2000, p. 194
  49. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 215
  50. ^Bull 2007, p. 124 Warren 2000, p. 197
  51. ^Warren 2000, p. 200
  52. ^Warren 2000, p. 203
  53. ^Warren 2000, p. 203 Davies 1990, pp. 64–65 and 78
  54. ^Schama 2000, p. 142
  55. ^Jones 2012, pp. 82–92
  56. ^Jones 2012, p. 86
  57. ^Jones 2012, p. 109
  58. ^Ackroyd 2000, p. 54
  59. ^Flori 1999, p. 116
  60. ^Flori 1999, p. 132
  61. ^Jones 2012, p. 128
  62. ^Carlton 2003, p. 42
  63. ^Jones 2012, p. 146
  64. ^Turner 1994, pp. 100
  65. ^Jones 2012, pp. 161–169
  66. ^Favier 1993, p. 176
  67. ^Contramine 1992, p. 83
  68. ^Smedley 1836, p. 72
  69. ^Jones 2012, p. 217.
  70. ^Hamilton 2010, p. 1
  71. ^Jones 2012, pp. 221–222.
  72. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 271
  73. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 4 Davies 1990, p. 20 Huscroft 2005, p. 81
  74. ^Burton 1994, p. 21 Barlow 1999, p. 87
  75. ^Huscroft 2005, pp. 78–79
  76. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 84–85 Barlow 1999, pp. 88–89
  77. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 84–85 and 94 Huscroft 2005, p. 104
  78. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 87
  79. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 40
  80. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 52
  81. ^Douglas 1964, p. 312
  82. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 85
  83. ^Bartlett 2002, pp. 395–402
  84. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 290–292
  85. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 104
  86. ^Huscroft 2005, p. 95
  87. ^Barlow 1999, p. 320
  88. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 87 Barlow 1999, p. 320 Dyer 2009, pp. 108–109
  89. ^Pounds 1994, pp. 146–147 Carpenter 2004, pp. 399–401 and 410
  90. ^Barlow 1999, pp. 308–309
  91. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 369–70 Stenton 1976, pp. 56–57
  92. ^Mate 2006, pp. 6–7, 97–99
  93. ^Mate 2006, pp. 2–3 Johns 2003, p. 14
  94. ^Mate 2006, pp. 98–99
  95. ^Johns 2003, pp. 25, and 195–196 Mate 2006, pp. 20–21
  96. ^Mate 2006, pp. 21–23
  97. ^Johns 2003, pp. 22–25, 30 and 69 Mate 2006, p. 25
  98. ^Mate 2006, p. 26
  99. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 3
  100. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 6–7
  101. ^Carpenter 2004, p. 6
  102. ^Carpenter 2004, pp. 3–4 and 8
  103. ^Davies 1990, pp. 18–20 Carpenter 2004, p. 9 Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 219
  104. ^Davies 1990, pp. 20–22
  105. ^Rubin 2006, p. 106
  106. ^Burton 1994, pp. 23–24.
  107. ^Burton 1994, pp. 29–30
  108. ^Burton 1994, p. 28
  109. ^Burton 1994, pp. 28–29 Nilson 2001, p. 70
  110. ^Huscroft 2005, pp. 126–127 Bradbury 2009, p. 36 Pounds 1994, pp. 142–143
  111. ^Burton 1994, pp. 36–38
  112. ^Carpenter 2009, pp. 444–445 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help)
  113. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 446 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help) Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 208
  114. ^Forey 1992, pp. 98–99 and 106–107
  115. ^Burton 1994, p. 21 Barlow 1999, p. 75
  116. ^Barlow 1999, pp. 98 and 103–104
  117. ^Barlow 1999, p. 104 Duggan 1965, p. 67 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDuggan1965 (help)
  118. ^Hollister 2003, p. 168 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHollister2003 (help) Alexander 1986, pp. 2–3 and 10 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFAlexander1986 (help) Barlow 1986, pp. 83–84 and 88–89
  119. ^Barlow 1999, p. 361
  120. ^Webb 2000, p. 1
  121. ^Webb 2000, pp. xiii and xvi
  122. ^Webb 2000, pp. xvi–xvii
  123. ^Webb 2000, pp. 19–21
  124. ^Webb 2000, pp. 24–27
  125. ^Webb 2000, pp. 35–38
  126. ^Tyerman 1996, pp. 11 and 13
  127. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 445 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help)
  128. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 456 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help)
  129. ^Carpenter 2009, p. 458 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFCarpenter2009 (help) Tyerman 1996, pp. 16–17
  130. ^Cantor 1982, p. 22
  131. ^Cantor 1982, pp. 22–23
  132. ^Dyer 2009, p. 13
  133. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, pp. 48–49
  134. ^Dyer 2010, pp. 261–263 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDyer2010 (help)
  135. ^Prior 2006, p. 83 Creighton 2005, pp. 41–42
  136. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 33 Hughes and Diaz 1997, p. 111
  137. ^Danziger and Gillingham 2003, p. 33
  138. ^Dyer 2009, p. 14
  139. ^ abBartlett 2002, p. 313
  140. ^Bartlett 2002, p. 313 Dyer 2009, p. 14
  141. ^Dyer 2009, p. 26
  142. ^Douglas 1964, p. 310 Dyer 2009, pp. 87–88
  143. ^Dyer 2009, p. 89 Barlow 1999, p. 98
  144. ^Cantor 1982, p. 18
  145. ^Bailey 1996, p. 41 Bartlett 2002, p. 321 Cantor 1982, p. 19
  146. ^Hodgett 2006, p. 57 Bailey 1996, p. 47 Pounds 2005, p. 15
  147. ^Hillaby 2005, p. 16 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHillaby2005 (help) Dyer 2009, p. 115
  148. ^Blanchard 2002, p. 29
  149. ^Bradbury 2009, p. 71
  150. ^Bradbury 2009, p. 74
  151. ^Morillo1994, p. 52 Prestwich 1992, pp. 97–99
  152. ^Stringer 1993, pp. 24–25 Morillo1994, pp. 16–17 and 52
  153. ^Rose 2002, p. 57
  154. ^Warren 1991, p. 123
  155. ^Liddiard 2005, pp. 22, 24 and 37 Brown 1962, p. 24
  156. ^Hulme 2007, p. 213
  157. ^Pounds 1994, pp. 44–45, 66 and 75–77
  158. ^Pounds 1994, pp. 107–112 Turner 1971, pp. 23–25
  159. ^Thomas 2003, pp. 368–369
  160. ^Thomas 2003, pp. 372–373
  161. ^Daniell 2013, pp. 212
  162. ^Stenton 1976, pp. 274–275
  163. ^Myers 1978, p. 275 Aurell 2007, p. 363
  164. ^Myers 1978, pp. 96–98
  165. ^Happé 2003, pp. 335–336 Danziger and Gillingham 2003, pp. 29–30
  166. ^Hiley 1995, p. 483
  167. ^Stenton 1976, pp. 268–269
  168. ^Stenton 1976, pp. 270–271
  169. ^Emery 2007, p. 24
  170. ^Pantin 1963, pp. 205–206
  171. ^Driver and Ray 2003, pp. 7–14
  172. ^Tiwawi and Tiwawi 2007, p. 90 Barber 1997, p. 184
  173. ^Rennison 2012
  174. ^Ortenberg 2006, p. 175 D'haen 2004, pp. 336–337
  175. ^Turner 1996, pp. 122–123
  176. ^Umland and Umland 1996, p. 105
  177. ^Airlie 2001, pp. 163–164, 177–179 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFAirlie2001 (help) Driver and Ray 2006, pp. 7–14 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDriver_and_Ray2006 (help)
  178. ^Haydock and Risden 2009, p. 187

Bibliography Edit

  • Ackroyd, Peter (2000). London – A Biography. Vintage. ISBN0-09-942258-1 .
  • Alexander, James W. (1970). "The Becket Controversy in Recent Historiography". The Journal of British Studies. 9 (2): 1–26. doi:10.1086/385589. JSTOR175153.
  • Aurell, Martin (2003). L'Empire de Plantagenêt, 1154–1224. Paris: Tempus. ISBN978-2-262-02282-2 .
  • Aurell, Martin (2007). "Henry II and Arthurian Legend". In Harper-Bill, Christopher Vincent, Nicholas (eds.). Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-1-84383-340-6 .
  • Ashley, Mike (2003). A Brief History of British Kings and Queens . Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN0-7867-1104-3 .
  • Bailey, Mark (1996). "Population and Economic Resources". In Given-Wilson, Chris (ed.). An Illustrated History of Late Medieval England. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN978-0-7190-4152-5 .
  • Barber, Richard W. (1997). The Devil's Crown: A History of Henry II and His Sons (2 ed.). London: Combined Books. ISBN0938289780 .
  • Barlow, Frank (1986). Thomas Becket. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN978-0-297-79189-8 .
  • Barlow, Frank (1999). The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042–1216. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education. ISBN0582381177 .
  • Barlow, Frank (2000). William Rufus (Second ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN0-300-08291-6 .
  • Bartlett, Robert (2002). England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225. Oxford University Press. ISBN0199251010 .
  • Bates, David (2001). William the Conqueror. Stroud, UK: Tempus. ISBN978-0-7524-1980-0 .
  • Blanchard, Ian (2002). "Lothian and Beyond: the Economy of the "English Empire" of David I". In Britnell, Richard Hatcher, John (eds.). Progress and Problems in Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Edward Miller. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-52273-1 .
  • Bradbury, Jim (2009). Stephen and Matilda: the Civil War of 1139–53. Stroud, UK: The History Press. ISBN978-0-7509-3793-1 .
  • Brown, R. Allen (1962). English Castles. London: Batsford. OCLC1392314.
  • Bull, Marcus (2007). "Criticism of Henry II's Expedition to Ireland in William of Canterbury's Miracles of St Thomas Becket". Journal of Medieval History. 33: 107–129. doi:10.1016/j.jmedhist.2007.04.001. ISBN0199251010 . Archived from the original on 14 October 2008.
  • Burton, Janet E. (1994). Monastic and Religious Orders in Britain, 1000–1300 . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-37797-3 .
  • Cantor, Leonard (1982). "Introduction: The English Medieval Landscape". In Cantor, Leonard (ed.). The English Medieval Landscape. London: Croon Helm. ISBN978-0-7099-0707-7 .
  • Carlton, Charles (2003). Royal Warriors: A Military History of the British Monarchy. Pearson Education. ISBN0-582-47265-2 .
  • Carpenter, David (2004). The Struggle for Mastery: The Penguin History of Britain 1066–1284. New York: Penguin. ISBN978-0-14-014824-4 .
  • Chibnall, Marjorie (1986). Anglo-Norman England 1066–1166 . Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell. ISBN978-0-631-15439-6 .
  • Contramine, Phillipe (1992). Histoire militaire de la France (tome 1, des origines à 1715) (in French). PUF. ISBN2-13-048957-5 .
  • Creighton, Oliver Hamilton (2005). Castles and Landscapes: Power, Community and Fortification in Medieval England. London: Equinox. ISBN978-1-904768-67-8 .
  • D'haen, Theo (2004). "Stalking Multiculturalism: Historical Sleuths at the end of the Twentieth Century". In Bak, Hans (ed.). Uneasy Alliance: Twentieth-Century American Literature, Culture and Biography. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Rodopi. ISBN978-90-420-1611-8 .
  • Daniell, Christopher (2013). From Norman Conquest to Magna Carta: England 1066–1215. London: Routledge. ISBN1136356975 .
  • Davies, R. R. (1990). Domination and Conquest: The Experience of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1100–1300. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-02977-3 .
  • Danziger, Danny Gillingham, John (2003). 1215: The Year of Magna Carta. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN978-0-340-82475-7 .
  • Driver, M. W. Ray, S (2004). The medieval hero on screen: representations from Beowulf to Buffy. McFarland. ISBN0786419261 .
  • Duggan, Charles (1962). "The Becket Dispute and the Criminous Clerks". Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research. 35 (91): 1–28. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.1962.tb01411.x.
  • Douglas, David C. (1964). William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Dyer, Christopher (2000). Everyday Life in Medieval England. London: Hambledon and London. ISBN978-1-85285-201-6 .
  • Dyer, Christopher (2009). Making a Living in the Middle Ages: The People of Britain 850–1520. New Haven, US and London: Yale University Press. ISBN978-0-300-10191-1 .
  • Emery, Anthony (2007). Discovering Medieval Houses. Risborough, UK: Shire Publications. ISBN978-0-7478-0655-4 .
  • Forey, Alan (1992). The Military Orders From the Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Centuries. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan. ISBN978-0-333-46235-5 .
  • Favier, Jean (1993). Dictionnaire de la France médiévale (in French). Fayard.
  • Flori, Jean (1999). Richard Coeur de Lion: le roi-chevalier. Paris: Biographie Payot. ISBN978-2-228-89272-8 .
  • Grant, Lindy (2005). Architecture and Society in Normandy, 1120–1270. Yale University Press. ISBN0-300-10686-6 .
  • Green, Judith (2009). Henry I: King of England and Duke of Normandy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-74452-2 .
  • Hamilton, J. S. (2010). The Plantagenets: History of a Dynasty. Bloomsbury. ISBN1441157123 .
  • Happé, Peter (2003). "A Guide to Criticism of Medieval English Theatre". In Beadle, Richard (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Theatre. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-45916-7 .
  • Haydock, N. Risden, E. L. (2009). Hollywood in the Holy Land: Essays on Film Depictions of the Crusades and Christian-Muslim Clashes. McFarland. ISBN0786453176 .
  • Hiley, David (1995). Western Plainchant: a Handbook. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN0198165722 .
  • Higham, Nick (2000). The Death of Anglo-Saxon England. Stroud, UK: Sutton. ISBN978-0-7509-2469-6 .
  • Hillaby, Joe (2003). "Jewish Colonisation in the Twelfth Century". In Skinner, Patricia (ed.). The Jews in Medieval Britain: Historical, Literary, and Archaeological Perspectives. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-0-85115-931-7 .
  • Hodgett, Gerald (2006). A Social and Economic History of Medieval Europe. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-37707-2 .
  • Hulme, Richard (2007). "Twelfth Century Great Towers – The Case for the Defence" (PDF) . The Castle Studies Group Journal (21): 209–229.
  • Huscroft, Richard (2005). Ruling England 1042–1217. London: Pearson/Longman. ISBN978-0-582-84882-5 .
  • Huscroft, Richard (2009). The Norman Conquest: A New Introduction. New York: Longman. ISBN978-1-4058-1155-2 .
  • Hughes, Malcolm K. Diaz, Henry F. (1997). "Was There a 'Medieval Warm Period', and if so, Where and When?". In Hughes, Malcolm K. Diaz, Henry F. (eds.). The Medieval Warm Period. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN978-0-7923-2842-1 .
  • Johns, Susan M. (2003). Noblewomen, Aristocracy and Power in the Twelfth-Century Anglo-Norman Realm. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN0-7190-6305-1 .
  • Jones, Dan (2012). The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England. HarperPress. ISBN0-00-745749-9 .
  • Kaufman, J. E. Kaufman, H. W. (2001). The Medieval Fortress: Castles, Forts, and Walled Cities of the Middle Ages. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN978-0-306-81358-0 .
  • Liddiard, Robert (2005). Castles in Context: Power, Symbolism and Landscape, 1066 to 1500. Macclesfield, UK: Windgather Press. ISBN0-9545575-2-2 .
  • Mate, Mavis (2006). Trade and Economic Developments 1450–1550: The Experience of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Boydell Press. ISBN1-84383-189-9 .
  • Morillo, Stephen (1994). Warfare Under the Anglo-Norman Kings 1066–1135. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-0-85115-689-7 .
  • Myers, A. R. (1978). English Society in the Late Middle Ages, 1066–1307 (8th ed.). Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. ISBN0-14-020234-X .
  • Nilson, Ben (2001). Cathedral Shrines of Medieval England. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN978-0-85115-808-2 .
  • Ortenberg, Veronica (2006). In Search of The Holy Grail: The Quest for the Middle Ages. London: Hambledon Continuum. ISBN978-1-85285-383-9 .
  • Pantin, W. A. (1963). "Medieval English Town-House Plans" (PDF) . Medieval Archaeology. 6–7: 202–239. doi:10.1080/00766097.1962.11735667.
  • Pounds, Norman John Greville (2005). The Medieval City. Westport, US: Greenwood Press. ISBN978-0-313-32498-7 .
  • Prestwich, J. O. (1992). "The Military Household of the Norman Kings". In Strickland, Matthew (ed.). Anglo-Norman Warfare. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN0-85115-327-5 .
  • Pounds, Norman John Greville (1994). The Medieval Castle in England and Wales: A Social and Political History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-45828-3 .
  • Prior, Stuart (2006). A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War. Stroud, UK: Tempus. ISBN978-0-7524-3651-7 .
  • Rennison, Nick (2012). Robin Hood. Oldcastle Books. ISBN1842436376 .
  • Rose, Susan (2002). Medieval Naval Warfare, 1000–1500. London: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-23976-9 .
  • Rubin, Miri (2006). The Hollow Crown: The Penguin History of Britain 1272–1485. Penguin. ISBN978-0-14-014825-1 .
  • Schama, Simon (2000). A History of Britain – At the edge of the world. BBC. ISBN0-563-53483-4 .
  • Smedley, Edward (1836). The History of France, from the final partition of the Empire of Charlemagne to the Peace of Cambray. Baldwin and Craddock.
  • Stenton, Doris Mary (1976). English Society in the Early Middle Ages, 1066–1307. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin. ISBN0-14-020252-8 .
  • Stafford, Pauline (1989). Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries. London: Edward Arnold. ISBN978-0-7131-6532-6 .
  • Stringer, Keith J. (1993). The Reign of Stephen: Kingship, Warfare and Government in Twelfth-Century England . London: Routledge. ISBN978-0-415-01415-1 .
  • Thomas, Hugh M. (2003). The English and the Normans: Ethnic Hostility, Assimilation, and Identity, 1066-c.1220. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN978-0-19-925123-0 . *
  • Thomas, Hugh (2007). The Norman Conquest: England after William the Conqueror. Critical Issues in History. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. ISBN978-0-7425-3840-5 .
  • Turner, Ralph V (1994). King John (The Medieval World). Longman Medieval World Series. ISBN978-0-582-06726-4 .
  • Turner, Richard Charles (1996). Ken Follett: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN0313294151 .
  • Turner, Hilary L. (1971). Town Defences in England and Wales. London: John Baker. OCLC463160092.
  • Tiwawi, Subha Tiwawi, Maneesha (2007). The Plays of T.S. Eliot. New Delhi: Atlantic. ISBN978-81-269-0649-9 .
  • Tyerman, Christopher (1996). England and the Crusades, 1095–1588. Chicago, US: University of Chicago Press. ISBN978-0-226-82013-2 .
  • Umland, S. J. (1996). The Use of Arthurian Legend in Hollywood Film: from Connecticut Yankees to Fisher Kings. London: Greenwood. ISBN0313297983 .
  • Warren, W. Lewis (1991). King John. London: Methuen. ISBN0-413-45520-3 .
  • Warren, W. Lewis (2000). Henry II (Yale ed.). New Haven, U.S.: Yale University Press. ISBN978-0-300-08474-0 .
  • Walker, Ian (2000). Harold the Last Anglo-Saxon King. Gloucestershire, UK: Wrens Park. ISBN978-0-905778-46-4 .
  • Webb, Diana (2000). Pilgrimage in Medieval England. London: Hambledon. ISBN978-1-85285-250-4 .
  • Williams, Ann (2003). Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King. London: Hambledon & London. ISBN978-1-85285-382-2 .

160 ms 12.5% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::callParserFunction 140 ms 10.9% ? 100 ms 7.8% 60 ms 4.7% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::match 60 ms 4.7% recursiveClone 60 ms 4.7% (for generator) 40 ms 3.1% Scribunto_LuaSandboxCallback::find 40 ms 3.1% [others] 180 ms 14.1% Number of Wikibase entities loaded: 0/400 -->


The Battle of Hastings 1066

One of the most famous battles in British history is the Battle of Hastings. It could be said that it was this battle that formed what we now know as Britain. It is the point which many trace the British monarchy back to so it certainly did have a lasting impact.

When did the Battle of Hastings take place?

The battle of Hastings took place on the 14th of October 1066. This date has been calculated from the old records. The following excerpt talks about the dating: Finding Fulford – the Search for the First Battle Of 1066. Dates in the past were worked out differently to the way we work them out now. if you look back to the way Romans dated things then this is shown quite clearly. If we calculate the date of the 14th of October as the gregorian calendar then we can end up with a date of the 1st of October. The excerpt looks at a date around the same time and has a much smaller difference. However, the date is worked out we can say that the battle took place on a Saturday in October 1066.

Where did the Battle of Hastings take place?

This might seem obvious at first. Clearly, it happened at Hastings. This isn’t quite accurate though. The battle has actually been placed closer to a village called Battle. This is an English village that grew up around and Abbey that was built to commemorate the Battle of Hastings after William the Conqueror had taken charge of the country. The actual battle took place on a hill known as Senlac hill. There is some dispute over the name which can be followed on Wikipedia: Senlac hill on Wikipedia. Whatever the origins of the name that is the most common name for the hill currently.

In the larger landscape, this was in an area to the south of London and near the South Eastern coast of England in East Sussex. It is a relatively short distance from the channel coast which is no surprise considering where the invasion came from.

What happened at the Battle of Hastings?

Apart from the obvious, that there was a battle, knowing how the battle progressed is also important.

The Norman forces were confronted by the Anglo-Saxon army (by now they could be termed English so I shall use that from now on) as they advanced inland. The English army had marched south from a battle at Stamford bridge where they had faced and defeated a Scandinavian army under the leadership of Harald Hardrada. This Scandinavian army was mainly Norwegian as that is where Harald was king.

The English took positions atop Senlac hill and formed the famous shield wall. Shield walls were a common tactic in this era and had been for a long time. This tactic involved the warriors overlapping their shields to form a wall, hence the name. The Norman force consisted of several parts but was famous for its cavalry. The cavalry at this time would throw their spears, or stab downwards as they attacked their enemies. The Bayeux tapestry, which depicts the battle, shows a few of these Norman warriors charging with a couched lance. A couched lance was one which was tucked under the arm and the force of the attack would be delivered through the impact.

Traditionally the Normans attacked throughout the day. They would charge the shield wall with their cavalry but retreat before they hit the wall. Archers would then fire at the dense formation in an effort to break it up. The cavalry would then charge again and retreat if they stood no chance of breaking through. This carried on for the whole day. Near the end of the day, the Normans managed to draw out some of the English with this feigned retreat tactic and killed them. King Harold of the English was also struck in the eye and died. These factors broke the English formation and the Normans were able to run down and kill the English warriors who were on foot. The battle ended with a decisive victory to the Normans.

Why did the Battle of Hastings happen?

What caused the battle of Hastings? Why did the Normans invade? One of the important factors to consider here is the expansionist nature of the Normans. Since arriving in northern France, and being granted a duchy, they had pushed further and expanded their territory. Groups of Normans had also broken off and invaded Italy as well as fighting as mercenaries. Invading England was the next logical step in this expansion from the Northern coast of France. This doesn’t get o the heart of the matter though. The Invasions in 1066, both the Norweigeien one and the Norman one, were due to arguments of the succession of the English crown. Harald Hardrada claimed the crown on the basis of an old agreement that went back to the time of the Danelaw. William the Conqueror claimed that he had been promised the crown by Edward, the previous king of England. Harold’s claim was that he was the most powerful and richest Englishmen and was elected to the position by his peers.

After the death of Edward, there was always going to be a crisis and it was a matter of time before the three main contenders to the throne claimed it and fought over it. The events of 1066 were going to shape the history of England and the British Isles no matter who won the crown.

What happened after the Battle of Hastings?

William the conqueror spent some time chasing down the fleeing English to make sure that he would not have to fight a second battle to secure the victory he had just had. After he had done this he moved north to try and take London. To do this he needed to cross the Thames. At this timeLonfdon was only on the North bank of the Thames. He was unable to cross the Thames close to London so marching west along its course to find a place where he could cross easily. Eventually, he reached Wallingford, a town in what is now south Oxfordshire. It is here that he crossed the Thames and marched west to take London and have himself crowned as the new king of England. In thanks for the help the people of Wallingford had given him, he built a castle and began work on a new bridge. Wallingford had been a Burh under Alfred. Burhs were fortified towns which had protected the northern borders of Wessex during the time of Alfred but that is a topic for another post. Today Wallingford is still based largely on the Saxon and Norman town plan.

William’s taking fo the English crown lead to a succession of rulers and the replacing of the old Saxon lords with new Norman lords. This wasn’t a complete replacement but enough were replaced to change the aristocracy forever.

If you liked this post then please look at some of the related posts on the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans on this site. If you liked it then others may too so please share on social media.


Watch the video: Βέλγιο: Αναζητώντας τον βασιλιά - πατέρα επί μία δεκαετία