The Norman conquest of England is a great historical invasion of England marked in the 11th century when the Anglo Saxons lost their throne over England. The army consisted a team of the French soldiers, Norman, and Breton and this army were led by the Duke of Normandy, who was later popularly known as William, Norman invader of England in 1066 the conqueror. Thus, this enlightens the question of who led the Norman conquest of England.
The claim of William over England was mainly derived from a relationship very familial with the then present King of Anglo Saxons, King Edward the confessor who didn’t have any rightful heir to this throne. This is known to be one of the reasons as to why William had hopes that he could conquer and reign over England.
Let us now go through a deeper study of the Norman conquest of England with some important points and topic relating to the same.
When was the Norman invasion of England?
William, who led the Norman invasion of England, also known as the Duke of Normandy, used to reign on the other side of the channel of England, which is presently a part of France. After King Edward, the confessor died, William believed that he was the one who deserves to be the rightful king of England. This is one of the main reasons as to why did the Normans invaded England.
But, despite William’s belief that he should be the rightful king, King Harold II was crowned to be the king of England instead of William. This led to a great historical significant battle, that is, the Battle of Hastings in the year 1066 on the 14th of October.
This battle was fought between King Harold with his Anglo Saxons army and William the Duke, with his Norman army. In this battle, King Harold was killed, after which his army left. This resulted as the victory of William the Duke and he was crowned to be the new King of England on the 25th of December 1066, which marks the Norman conquest of England.
Due to a number of reasons, the conquest of Normans led to a number of changes in the history of England. While the link between England and Continental Europe became closer and established due to the conquest of the Normans, on the other hand, the influences of the Scandinavians became less important than before.
Apart from this, the conquest of the Normans also created one of the most known powerful monasteries of Europe. Another influence of the conquest of Normans is that it changed the course of English Language widely also influencing the culture. The rivalry between England and France became stronger and prominent which continued right up to the 19th century.
In the next context of this article, we shall learn more in details about the changes that came up due to the conquest of the Normans.
How did the Norman conquest change England?
We have read about the Norman conquest changes over England in a brief above. Let us now study point wise the major changes that came across due to the conquest of the Normans over England.
- As obvious, the elites of the Anglo Saxons, that is, the ones who held the major portions of land in England was replaced by the Franco-Normans. The nobles of the Anglo Saxons who survived the battle in 1066, was given a chance to possess their land if they served William, which later was turned away due to the contentious issues.
- Almost all of the upper reaches of the churches were replaced. By the end of the year 1087, out of 15 bishops in England, 11 of them were Normans and the remaining 4 were English.
- One of the best emergence’s was that of the building of castles. Anglo Saxons never really built castles and Normans was the first to start building the castles. These castles were first made of wood and then followed by stone. These castles are still of great historical importance in the present days in England. The main reason for building the castles was to secure the power of reign.
- Another important concept grew during the times of the Normans. The Normans started a concept of land tenure and highly established the same. In this concept, the Norman king used to give land to the people in return for their service or loyalty towards him.
- The Normans developed another concept where they used to hold two types of land. One is the land which they used to conquer and the other was the land which they used to inherit from their family line. In this concept, it was also declared that it could be such that an owner of the land, gives his inherited land and conquered land to two different heirs.
- The increase in the writings on the government to the increase in the importance of literature. The Anglo Saxons were richly known for their literature or writing, but the Normans increased the volume in which it was previously carried out.
- After the year 1070, the English language was replaced by the Latin language in the government.
- Royal forests came into force after their creation and had their own laws of governance.
- There was an increase in the taxes and King William did it so for the intention of raising funds in order to the betterment of the pacification and occupation of England.
- Murdrum fines were introduced. This concept says that if a Norman was killed due to any reason and the killer or murderer of that Norman was unidentified or couldn’t be identified, then the entire community of the English would be fined.
- The concept of “trial by battle” was introduced and came into force.
Rules in force in England before Norman conquest
As we all know the force which was in England before the Normans were the Anglo Saxons and they had their own rules of governing England. However, the term “rules in force in England before Norman conquest” relates to a popular Norman crossword. The answer to the crossword as of 10th of January 2017 is “DANELAW”.