also called King William the Conqueror
was the son of the Duke of Normandy in France.
- His father died when he was
young and the barons took over the Duchy. When William grew up, he was
able to take over.
- The mother of King Edward the Confessor of England
was William's aunt. So the King was his cousin.
- King Edward had no children and
he thought about leaving the Throne to William when he died. But
England belonged to his father's Saxon
family, not his mother's Norman one.
- King Edward probably changed his
mind, but William said he hadn't.
- When King Edward died in 1066, his
brother-in-law, Harold, was made King of England. William was very
cross and took a big army over to England. He won the Battle of
Hastings. Harold and most of the England thanes were killed.
- King Harold's Witan (king's
advisors) made Edgar Atheling the new king. He was grand-nephew of old
King Edward. He was only 15 and had no army left.
- William wanted to take over
London but he couldn't cross the River Thames. The Londoners beat back
this men at London Bridge. He followed the River Thames to Wallingford
and crossed there instead.
- At Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire,
the Edgar told William he could be king. He was crowned in the newly
built Westminster Abbey.
- William took all the land in
England away from the Saxon landowners. Many of them had already died
at the Battle of Hastings. He shared it out amongst his Norman
- In 1086, he sent out his
undertake the first census in England. It was called the Domesday Book.
It recorded who owned what land, what was there and how much it was worth.
- King William and his followers
built the first castles in England, including the Tower of London and
Windsor Castle. They wanted to control the local Saxons who didn't
- The next king was his son, William