The Anglo-Norman Territories


The Reign of William the Conqueror


Silver penny of William the Conqueror [Yorkshire Museum, York]William the Conqueror rewarded his Norman followers with English estates. In return the new lords were expected to provide their king with military service. William granted senior positions in the English church to Normans and appointed Lanfranc, Abbot of Caen, as Archbishop of Canterbury. Norman bishops began a major campaign of cathedral building in the new Romanesque style at such places as Canterbury and York.Reconstruction of the Norman Minster at York [York Archaeological Trust]

In order to assess the resources of England for tax purposes William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey of landholdings and their value throughout the kingdom. Although England was more valuable than Normandy, William gave much of his attention to the Duchy after 1066 and pursued a number of territorial claims. He succeeded in keeping control of Maine, but had less success in retaining influence over Flanders. William was under continual pressure from King Philip I of France and lost control of the French Vexin. He also had to quell a revolt by his eldest son Robert in 1079. In 1087 the garrison of Mantes in the French Vexin raided Norman territory. While sacking the town of Mantes, William was fatally injured. After his death in Rouen, he was buried in the abbey of St Stephen at Caen.

William and the Barons
Domesday book
Lanfranc and the Anglo-Norman Church
The Duke and his neighbours
Mantes : the last battle
The revolts of Robert Curthose

previous page     next page