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The last Anglo-Saxon King of England, Edward the Confessor, failed to produce a male heir before he died. It gave way for the Norman invasion led by Duke William II of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror. See the fact file below for more information on the Norman Conquest or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Edward the Confessor was a son of King Ethelred II and Emma, daughter of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. He became the King of England from 1042 until 1066. By the 1045, the new King married Edith, daughter of Godwine, Earl of Wessex.
- In 1066, while Edward was on the deathbed, he appointed his brother-in-law Harold Godwineson to be his successor. Harold then inherited the power and influence of his father. He became known as King Harold II.
- Some accounts say that prior to appointment, Harold took an oath of allegiance with William II that he will secure the Duke’s claim to the throne some time in 1051.
- King Harold II’s brother, Tostig conspired with the King of Norway, Harald III to claim the throne through invasion. King Harold II faced challenges as his brother started raiding the southern and eastern territories of England.
- Eight months after his reign, Harold II fought with Harald III and Tostig at the Stamford Bridge. The invaders did not succeed and died in the king’s hand.
- While Harold II was celebrating the victory at the Battle in Stamford Bridge, he left the south coast of England unguarded.
- On the other hand, William the Conqueror seek the approval of the Norman aristocracy and the Church for an invasion.
- On September 28, William with 4,000-7,000 knights landed in Pevensey and went ahead to Hastings.
- At the dawn of October 14, Harold II’s 7,000 exhausted men faced the battle against William, now known as the Battle at Hastings.
- According to the Bayeux Tapestry, Harold II was killed by an arrow in his eye.
- Later in the evening, William marched his way to London as he reached the Berkhamsted. Majority of the English leaders submitted to him.
- On December 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned in Westminster Abbey as the new King of England.
- William’s reign was alarmed with revolts. One of which was in Northumbria between 1069-70.
Effects of the Invasion
- The Norman invasion of England led to the intact connection with France. The Normans also introduced the concept of land tenure and military service. English aristocracy faced a revolutionary change in terms of social ranking. The social class was divided into few Norman chiefs and tenants holding fiefs through knight service. The villeins, cottars, and serfs comprised the lower class.
- William continued to use the traditional Anglo-Saxon law since it was a highly organized judicial system. On the other hand, the Norman trial by combat was added to the old Saxon ordeals as practiced by the English.
- Religiously, William replaced the Anglo-Saxon bishops except Wulfstan of Dorchester, with Norman bishops to lead the church of England. He also joined church councils and supported legislations against clerical marriage and simony.
- Many of the English families fled to Ireland and Scotland including the Godwineson family while some settled along the Byzantine frontier.
- The Old English language of the English ruling class was displaced with the Anglo-Norman language in Old French origin. Leaving literature in vain.
Norman Conquest Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Norman Conquest Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about the Norman invasion of England. The Normans first introduced the concept of tenure and military service. It was also during this period when English aristocracy faced revolutionary changes in terms of social classes.
Download includes the following worksheets
- Norman Conquest Facts
- Kings of England
- Map the Invasion
- Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms
- Social Classes
- William the Conqueror
- Houses of Kings
- Effects of Conquest
- Battle at Hastings
- Bayeux Tapestry
- Norman Influence
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Link will appear as Norman Conquest Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 24, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.