William I of England (1027-1087)

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William I the Conqueror of England and Normandy, Duke of Normandy, King of England, was born 9 September 1027 in Falaise, France to Robert II, Duke of Normandy (c1000-1035) and Herleva of Falaise (1003-1050) and died 1087 in Rouen, France of unspecified causes. He married Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083) 1051 . Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814). Ancestors are from France, Germany, Belgium.

William I, King of England, Duke of Normandy was a mediæval monarch. He ruled as the Duke of Normandy from 1035 to 1087 and as King of England from 1066 to 1087. As Duke of Normandy, William was known as William II, and, as King of England, as William I. He is commonly refered to as William the Conqueror (Guillaume le Conquérant) or William the Bastard (Guillaume le Bâtard).

The name "William the Bastard", a name used by his enemies arose from the fact that his mother was a Tanner's daughter who agreed to be his father Robert II's mistress. She demanded that their relationship not be secret, and had a position in court. After the affair was over, she married a Viscount. William retained the favour of his father and when Robert II left for the Holy Land, he forced his lords to pledge fealty to William. Robert II never returned from the Holy land and the oath was quickly forgotten, and intrigue surrounded the boy Duke. William's guardian Gilbert of Brionne was murdered, as was his tutor, as was his uncle Osbern- killed while protecting William from kidnappers found in his bedroom. William was sent away from home for his protection, and it was common practice for William's uncle Walter to awaken him in the night to move him to a new location.

By age fifteen, William was knighted, and by twenty he went to war against his cousin Guy of Normandy to defend his title of Duke of Normandy. With the help of King Henri I of France, he subdued his enemies who were forced to swear allegiance to William.

William asked for the hand of Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders, but Matilda would have none of it. Purportedly, she was in love with the English ambassador to Flanders, a Saxon named Brihtric, who declined her advances. As for William, she told his emissary that she was far too high-born (being descended from King Alfred the Great of England) to consider marrying a bastard. When that was repeated to him, William, all of 5'10", rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse (some said by her long braids), threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants, and then rode off. Another version states that William rode to Matilda's father's house in Lille, threw her to the ground in her room (again, by the braids), and hit her (or violently shook her) before leaving.

William convinced Matilda to relent, but the pope opposed the marriage because they were distant cousins. For a period of time all of Normandy was excommunicated along with their duke because William disregarded the pope's advice and married Matilda. In return for the construction of two abbeys, the excommunication of Normandy was lifted.

In 1051, William visited his cousin Edward the Confessor, king of England. Edward was childless, and William's account is that the king made him his heir. According to supporters of William, Edward sent his brother in law Harold Godwinson to see William in 1063. Other accounts say that Harold was shipwrecked. All accounts agree that William refused to let Harold depart until he swore on holy relics that he would uphold William's claim to the throne of England, and agreed to marry his daughter (then an infant) Agatha. After winning his release, Harold reneged on both promises.

In support of his claim to the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts| in what has become known as the Norman Conquest.

His reign brought Norman culture to England, which had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. In addition to political changes, his reign also saw changes to English law, a programme of building and fortification, changes in the English language and the introduction of continental European feudalism into England.

For additional details beyond William's family history, see more here.

Residence at Falaise

In Falaise France, is a series of statues that pays tribute to the six Norman Dukes from Rollo to William Conqueror. The castle here was the principal residence of the Norman Knights.

Château Guillaume-le-Conquérant Place Guillaume le Conquérant / 14700 Falaise / Tel: 02 31 41 61 44


Offspring of William I of England and Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Robert III, Duke of Normandy (c1051-1134) 1051 (Normandy) 10 February 1134 (Cardiff Castle+ Glamorganshire+ Wales) Sybilla of Conversano (-1103)

Richard of Normandy (c1054) 1054 Normandy 1081 New Forest, Hampshire
Adeliza of Normandy (c1055) 1055 Normandy 1065
Cecilia of Normandy (c1055) 1055 Normandy, France 30 July 1126 Caen, Calvados, France
William II of England (c1056-1100) 1056 Normandy, France 2 August 1100 New Forest, England, United Kingdom
Adela of Normandy (c1062) 1062 Normandy, France 8 March 1138 Marcigny, Saône-et-Loire, France Stephen II, Count of Blois (c1045-1102)

Agatha of Normandy (c1064) 1064 1079
Constance of Normandy (c1066-1090) 1066 1090 Alain Fergent de Bretagne (c1060-1119)

Henry I of England (1068-1135) 13 June 1068 Selby, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom 1 December 1135 St. Denis-le-Fermont near Gisors, Picardy, Lyons-la-Forêt, Eure, France Ansfrid (1070-?)
Matilda of Scotland (c1080-1118)
Sybil Corbet (1077-?)
Gieva de Tracy
Nest ferch Rhys (c1073-aft1136)
Isabel de Beaumont
Adeliza of Leuven (1103-1151)

Noteworthy descendants include

  1. Henry II of England (1133-1189)
  2. William I of England (1027-1087)

Sources and notes

‡ General


  John Kenney

Facts about "William I of England (1027-1087)"RDF feed
Age at death60 +
Alternative names William the Conqueror, Guillaume le Conquérant, William the Bastard; William II, Duke of Normandy, Guillaume le Bâtard, Guillaume II de Normandie, Guillaume I d’Angleterre +
AncestryFrance +, Germany + and Belgium +
Birth blurb9 September 1027
Birth date9 September 1027 +
Birth date string9 September 1027
Birth day9 +
Birth latitude48.89 +
Birth localityFalaise, Calvados +
Birth longitude-0.19 +
Birth month9 +
Birth nationFrance +
Birth place Falaise, France
Birth year1,027 +
Children-g1Robert III, Duke of Normandy (c1051-1134) +, Richard of Normandy (c1054) +, Adeliza of Normandy (c1055) +, Cecilia of Normandy (c1055) +, William II of England (c1056-1100) +, Adela of Normandy (c1062) +, Agatha of Normandy (c1064) +, Constance of Normandy (c1066-1090) + and Henry I of England (1068-1135) +
Children-list1Robert III, Duke of Normandy (c1051-1134)+Robert III, Duke of Normandy (c1051-1134)+Richard of Normandy (c1054) +Adeliza of Normandy (c1055)+Cecilia of Normandy (c1055)+William II of England (c1056-1100)+Adela of Normandy (c1062)+Agatha of Normandy (c1064) +Constance of Normandy (c1066-1090) +Henry I of England (1068-1135)1066-1090) +Henry I of England (1068-1135)
ContributorsUser:John Kenney +
Contributors-display stringJohn Kenney
Death blurb1087
Death date1087 +
Death date string1087
Death latitude49.441 +
Death localityRouen +
Death longitude1.096 +
Death nationFrance +
Death place Rouen, France
Death year1,087 +
Desc1Robert III, Duke of Normandy (c1051-1134) +, Richard of Normandy (c1054-1081) +, Adeliza of Normandy (c1055-1065) +, Cecilia of Normandy (c1055-1126) +, William II of England (c1056-1100) +, Adela of Normandy (c1062-1138) +, Agatha of Normandy (c1064-c1079) +, Constance of Normandy (c1066-1090) + and Henry I of England (1068-1135) +
Desc2Guillaume of Blois (c1086-1150) +, Theobald II de Champagne (c1088-1152) +, Odo of Blois +, Philip, Bishop of Châlons (c1092) +, Adélaïde de Blois (c1092-c1139) +, Humbert of Blois (c1094 ) +, Stephen of England (c1095-1154) +, Maud of Blois (c1097-1120) +, Henry of Blois (c1098-1171) +, Agnes of Blois +, Alix of Blois (c1100-1145) +, Eléonore of Blois (c1104-1147) +, Sybille de Blois (c1100-c1147) +, Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (1090-1147) +, Maud FitzRoy (c1091-) +, Constance FitzRoy (c1110-) +, Mabel FitzRoy (c1093-) +, Alice FitzRoy (c1116-bef1141) +, Gilbert FitzRoy (c1095-) +, Juliane de Fontevrault (1090-) +, Fulk FitzRoy (1092-) +, Richard of Lincoln (1094-1120) +, Euphamia +, Matilda of Normandy (1102-1167) +, William of Normandy (1103-1120) +, Sybilla de Normandy (c1106-) +, William Constable (c1108-) +, Gundred of England (1114–1146) +, Rohese of England (1114-) +, Elizabeth of England (c1115-) +, Robert FitzEdith (c1111-) +, Matilda FitzRoy (c1090-1120) +, Adeliza FitzEdith (c1113-) +, Henry FitzHenry (c1114-) +, Isabel Hedwig of England (c1115-) +, Matilda FitzRoy (c1116-) +, William de Tracy (-c1189) +, Henry FitzRoy (1103-1158) +, Emma FitzRoy (c1110-c1157) + and Reginald de Dunstanville (c1110-1175) +
Desc3Eudes de Sully (-aft1162) +, Raoul de Sully (-1176) +, Henry de Sully (-1187) +, Marguerite de Sully (-1145) +, Elisabeth de Sully (-1128) +, Henri Ier de Champagne (c1126-1181) +, Thibaut V de Blois (1130-1191) +, Alice de Champagne (1140-1206) +, Marie de Champagne (c1130-c1177) +, Agnès de Champagne (1138-1207) +, Margaret de Champagne +, Elisabeth de Champagne (1130-) +, Étienne I de Sancerre (1133-1191) +, Guillaume de Champagne (1135-1202) +, Mathilde de Champagne (-1184) +, Fils de Montlhéry (1118-c1165) +, Gervase, Abbot of Westminster (c1120-) +, Baudouin de Blois (c1126-c1134) +, Eustace IV de Boulogne (c1130-) +, Matilda (c1133-) +, Marie de Boulogne (1136-1182) +, William of Blois (c1137-1159) +, Guyomarch IV de Léon (c1125-1179) +, Hamon de Léon +, Elimarius de Léon +, Jeanne de Léon +, Henry II of England (1133-1189) +, Geoffrey VI d'Anjou, Count of Nantes (1134-1158) +, Guillaume d'Anjou (1136-1164) +, Henry de Montmorency (c1127-bef1160) +, Bouchard V de Montmorency (c1129-1189) +, Theobald de Montmorency (c1131-1190) +, Herve de Montmorency (c1133-1192) +, Matthieu de Montmorency (c1135-1204) +, Guy IV de Laval (c1135-c1182) +, Hamon de Laval (-1194) +, Emma de Laval (-1190) +, Guillaume Gouët (-c1170) +, Nicholas de Dustanville (1136-1175) +, Hawyse de Dustanville (1138-1162) +, Sarah de Dustanville (c1130-1216) +, William FitzCount +, Emma de Dunstanville (c1143-c1190) +, Maud FitzRoy (c1143-) +, Ursula de Dustanville (c1145-) +, Joan FitzRoy (c1150-) + and Reginald de Dustanville (c1152-) +
DescriptionWilliam the conqueror, first Norman king of England.
Familysearch afn8XHZ-SV +
FatherRobert II, Duke of Normandy (c1000-1035) +
Given nameWilliam +
Ifmarried-g1true +
ImageWilliamI-lrg +
Joined withMatilda of Flanders (c1031-1083) +
Joined with-g1Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083) +
Long nameWilliam I the Conqueror of England and Normandy +
MotherHerleva of Falaise (1003-1050) +
Notable ancestorsCharlemagne (747-814) +
Page language
SexM +
Short nameWilliam I of England +
Sourceswikipedia:en:William the Conqueror <new note>Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, London, 1973 , Reference: 193, 310
Spouse latitude
Spouse longitude
SurnameOf England +
TitlesDuke of Normandy + and King of England +
VIAF88049597 +
Wedding1 date1051 +
Wedding1 year1,051 +
WikipediaWilliam the Conqueror + and William I of England +

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