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HOME   -   PEOPLE IN HISTORY A-Z   -   WILLIAM I THE CONQUEROR

 
   


William I the Conqueror, 1028 - 1087

 

William I the Conqueror 1028(?)-1087

William's real name was Guillaume because he was French. He was a smart and very determined man.

Among other nicknames, William answered to William the Bastard (Guillaume le Bâtard) and William of Normandy (Guillaume de Normandie.)

Of course, his favorite nickname was William the Conqueror (Guillaume le Conquérant.)



Who Ruled France at the Time?

That was the Capetian family with Henry I at the time, who was king of France from 1026 - 1059. Henry's son Philip I ruled France from 1059 - 1108.

 

William's Family

William's father was Robert I of Normandy.

William's mother was Herleva, also called Arlette. Herleva was Robert's concubine, which explains the byname William the Bastard.

When Robert died in 1035, the only heir was wee William. Thus, William became William II, the new duke of Normandy.

Later, his mother married again and had three children from a Viscount Herluin. Hence, William had two stepbrothers and a stepsister.

One of William's half brothers was Odo.

In 1052, William married Matilda. Matilda was the daughter of Baldwin V of Flanders.

William and Matilda had four sons, Robert, Richard, William Rufus, and  Henry. They also had several daughters. One of them was Adela.

 

The Miracle

The miracle in William's story simply consists of the fact that he wasn't killed as a child. William was an illegitimate heir of a substantial inheritance surrounded by many family members who would have only benefited from his death.

 

THE BATTLE OF Val-ès-Dunes

The battle of Val-ès-Dunes, also called the Battle of Val-aux-Dunes, was fought in 1047 in the neighborhood of Caen, northern France.

Who fought?