Essay on William the Conqueror

1917 Words Mar 24th, 2008 8 Pages
William I became known as William the Conqueror through his will and determination. William gained power through his father and soon he climbed high enough to conquer England and become its new king. William was born in 1028 at Falaise Castle. He was the son of Robert the Duke of Normandy and Herleve, the daughter of a tanner in Falaise. Robert was said to have caught sight of Herleve while she was washing her linens in the castle moat. William’s father went on a pilgrimage in 1034 to release his sins. While returning home from his journey, he died suddenly. Having no other heir, William took his place as Duke of Normandy. William had a hard time taking control. People constantly rebelled during his rule, and he would have to learn …show more content…
In the middle of September, England was invaded by Harold Hardrada, King of Norway. He was accompanied by Tostig, Earl of Northumbria, Harold's unruly and discontented brother, who had earlier been banished and his earldom confiscated Harold went north to meet the invaders at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, where he won a victory over the Viking army. The winds William had been waiting for turned favorable and he set sail with his massive army. News of his landing at Pevensey was told to Harold, who responded by hurrying south to meet him, giving his exhausted army no rest. If Harold had rested and reorganized his army, the outcome of the battle and English history could have been very different. On the 14th of October, the Saxon and Norman forces clashed in the Battle of Hastings. Harold took up a defensive position on Senlac Ridge. The Norman army was forced to attack uphill, placing them at a disadvantage. A rumor arose in the Norman ranks that William was dead, causing panic. Many of the Saxon fyrdd pursued the fleeing Normans down the hill. William raised his armies morale by loudly announcing that he was still alive. The Normans with new strength fought hard against the Saxons, Harold's brothers Gyrth and Leofwine were both slain on the battlefield. The battle continued for most of the