The Anglo-Norman Territories


The Heirs to the Conquest


On his deathbed in 1087 William I made his rebellious eldest son, Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy and second son, William Rufus, King of England; the youngest son Henry got money, but no land. William Rufus has the reputation of a man who was hated by many of his barons and despised by the church.

Carlisle castle seen from the south. The Norman keep is behind the Norman and later medieval gatehouse and curtain wall.However, William was successful as a military leader and kept control of all the territory ruled by his father. In the north William defeated the ambitions of King Malcolm of Scotland and seized Carlisle. In Wales William’s barons continued to encroach on the territory of the free Welsh kingdoms.

In Normandy Duke Robert failed to control the barons, some of whom began to support Henry, and by 1090 William felt he had to intervene to restore order. In 1096 Robert set out for the First Crusade and left the duchy to William as a pledge for a loan. In 1100 news of Robert’s imminent return gave William the problem of whether to let his brother reclaim Normandy, but before he had to decide William was killed while hunting and his brother Henry seized the throne.

The reign of William Rufus
The enemy brothers, Robert, William and Henry
Robert's crusade
William Rufus at War with the Scots
William Rufus at War with the Welsh
The Mysterious Death of William Rufus
King Henry against Duke Robert

previous page     next page