1066 William the Conqueror revision


Before 1066

England before 1066

earl – most powerful, owned lots of land, friend of king, controlled a shire for the king

thegn – owned land, fought in army, controlled peasants living on his land

peasant – worked on their own land, and sometimes for earls/thegns; served in army and attended village meetings; 90% of population

slave – owned by earls/thegns, could be bought/sold e.g. to Ireland; 10-30% of population

Textus Roffensis – book containing laws made by Anglo-Saxon kings

economy – most people made a living from farming the land; England was wealthy, with silver coins; farmers sold produce at markets;

geld – a tax to cover the cost of the army and navy, to protect the country

cathedral – large, beautiful church; 15 in England; Westminster Abbey – large church and monastery in London, built by Edward the Confessor, who was buried there

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Events of 1066

Events of 1066

heir – person with the right to be the next king; usually the king’s son

invade – to enter another country with an army

conquer – to take control of a country by force

knight – soldier fighting on horseback, using a lance and sword

foot-soldier – soldier fighting on foot; the English used spears, battle-axes and swords

archer – soldier using a bow and arrow

Bayeux Tapestry – embroidery made in the 1070s showing events of 1066

Song of the Battle of Hastings – written in 1068, describing events of the battle

coronation – ceremony officially making someone king; William’s held in Westminster Abbey

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After 1066 1

England after 1066

baron – friend and adviser to the king; granted land by the king, ruled peasants living there

knight – fought in army, granted land in return by baron, ruled peasants living on land

castles – over 500 built by the Normans by 1086, initially wood, replaced with stone; 

cathedrals – 9 out of 15 rebuilt in Norman style, destroying Anglo-Saxon art and architecture

New Forest – created for William to hunt in, clearing 32 villages: 2000 people lost their homes

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After 1066 2

England after 1066 

French and Latin – William switched to using these for government documents and laws by 1086; he initially used Old English; French and Latin were used until 1258

slaves – Wiliam prohibited the slave trade and set many slaves free; their number reduced by 25%

geld – William continued it, and increased it to 3x the old amount in 1084

villeins – many more peasants had to work for barons and knights on their land, doing labour services, rather than being freemen

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