William the Conqueror

1066 is probably the most remembered date in English history - recognized by people who know virtually nothing else about Britain or history. On 14 October of that year, an invading army from Normandy defeated the English. The battle was close and extremely bloody. At the end, most of the best warriors in England were dead, including their leader, King Harold. He was defeated with a lucky shot of the Norman leader, Duke William of Normandy. On Christmas day that year, Duke William of  Normandy, was crowned king of England. He is known in popular history as ´William the Conqueror´ and the date is remembered as the last time that England was successfully invaded. The victorious William, now known as 'the Conqueror', brought a new aristocracy to England from Normandy and some other areas of France. He also strengthened aristocratic lordship and moved towards reform of the church. At the same time, William was careful to preserve the powerful administrative machinery that had distinguished the regime of the late Anglo-Saxon kings.

At William's death, his lands were divided, with his eldest son Robert taking control of Normandy, and his second son, William Rufus, becoming king of England.