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The Norman Conquest

England before the conquest

The Country of England
Barbaric country
Barons and a King
Not a unified country, North and South rivalry
Wealthy country
International trade
Dark ages ­ not many written documents
Earls ­ powerful land owners
Church had mass power

Church in Anglo-Saxon England…

Page 2

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Peasant classes
o Held the estate by right of charter
o Had to do armed service
o Repaired fortresses and bridges
o A riding servant or bailiff
Would serve the Thegan in various capacity
o Cottar
o Worked for the Lord on Mondays and three days a week…

Page 3

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The Anglo-Norman Church
Presence of God was very real to everyone
Church was wealthy
Politically powerful
Major land owner
Its land was held permanently and could not be granted away or sold
The Bishops and Abbots were educated men, often at the centre of government ­ formulating
policy and controlling…

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Well trained but expensive, training, horses, etc.
Owned land
Had people work for them
Society and Norman economy is set up to keep a ready supply of knights
Wealthy men
Of noble blood lines

Castles in Normandy
Motte and Bailey castle
o Easy to build
o Used as a base…

Page 5

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Reasons for the revolt and why Godwin was angered by Edward
Godwin and sons
o Earl of Wessex and controlling most of Southern England
Eustance of Boulogne
o Visits Edward and stops off in Dover
o Eustance and his men were refused lodgings upon arrival possibly on Godwin's orders

Page 6

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o He claim that he was touched by Edward on his death bed which signified that Edward
wanted Godwinson to be his heir
o He was asked by Edward to watch over the kingdom and his wife
o He was a powerful man
o He owned a lot of land…

Page 7

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Some Anglo-Saxon Earls don't care who is on the throne. They just want their land. So William has
got two sets of people who wanted land. There is not enough land to go around
Those reluctant to serve with William were persuaded by the papal banner given to William by…

Page 8

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Comet was believed to be a bad omen
Soothsayer dies
William trips when he lands, claims to grab his land with two hands

After Hastings
Problems that William had after the Battle of Hastings:
There were other contenders for the throne
Edgar "Atheling" was still alive
Threat from the Vikings/Danes…

Page 9

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The North
1069 ­ 1070
The remaining Anglo-Saxon leaders, Earls Edwin and Morcar, and Edgar Atheling were defected
from Williams court
They fled North during 1068
North still semi-independent from the south
Northern earls had not intervened to save Godwin in 1051 or help Edward in 1052, and had thrown…

Page 10

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o Uncultivated and developed lands and villages
o For much of the land that William devastated
o Over 80%of wasteland recorded in Yorkshire
Swathes of land depopulated
Villages left deserted
Farms empty
Yorkshire was like a desert in 1070
From Yorkshire, William pushed his troops across the Tees in the…


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