Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
William of Normandy, commonly known as William the Conqueror, was the King of England from 1066 until his death in 1087. Amidst being of French lineage, he became one of the most influential kings in English history.
See the fact file below for more information on the William the Conqueror or alternatively, you can download our 24-page William the Conqueror worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY AND PERSONAL LIFE
- When William was born around 1028, he was nicknamed as William the Bastard because he was the illegitimate son of Duke Robert I of Normandy and an unmarried lower class French woman named Herleve.
- In 1035, while returning from a pilgrimage, his father died which made William the Duke of Normandy at the age of seven or eight. Through his mother, he had two half-brothers named Odo and Robert who both supported him in the following years.
- At the age of 15, his great uncle King Henry I of France, who was his overlord, knighted him. However, the duchy was then under a civil war.
- William was able to subdue a rebellion led by his cousin and proved his military skills. Given his victory, he sealed an alliance with a rich neighbouring state, and William married Matilda of Flanders in 1051.
- Between 1046 and 1055, William dealt with numerous baronial rebellions. He heavily relied on King Henry’s protection before mastering the art of battle.
- In 1049, he made his brother Odo the Bishop of Bayeux. Aside from spiritual charisma, the appointment was dominantly an administrative task. Among their accomplishments was the passage of legislations against simony, or selling of church offices, and clerical marriage.
- Moreover, William welcomed foreign monks and scholars to Normandy which resulted in an increase in monasteries in the duchy.
- In support of King Henry, William participated in a series of campaigns against Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou.
CONNECTION AND CONFLICT TO THE ENGLISH THRONE
- William and Edward the Confessor, King of England between 1042 and 1066 were distant cousins. In 1002, King Ethelred II of England married Emma, sister of William’s grandfather.
- Following the death of his father, Edward the Confessor was exiled in Normandy. Edward was then 36, while William was 13 years old. William supported Edward’s return and reign in England.
- In 1051, Edward was believed to have promised William to be the childless king’s rightful heir.
- In England, Edward’s brother-in-law, Harold, Earl of Wessex was accepted by the English magnates as the new king.
- According to a Norman account, Harold Godwinson swore an oath of fealty to William during his campaign and ransom in Brittany.
INVASION OF ENGLAND
- The death of Edward the Confessor on January 5, 1066, led Harold to rule England. On the other hand, William began to consolidate foreign support and power.
- In preparation for the invasion of England, William gave his wife Matilda and son, Robert, special powers to rule the duchy. Moreover, he also gained the blessing of Alexander II in support of the invasion.
- By the time of William’s attack, Harold was also attacked by Tostig, Harold’s brother and Harald III, king of Norway. Amidst the defeat of the two, it gave way to William’s victory conquering the southern coast of England.
- After defeating Tostig and Harald at Stamford, Harold attempted to halt invaders at Hastings.
- By the nightfall of the Battle at Hastings, Harold was struck in the eye by an arrow which led to the surrender and defeat of the English army.
AS KING OF ENGLAND
- On the Christmas day of 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. Like what he did in Normandy, William strengthened the church in England by condemning simony and clerical marriage.
- Moreover, he maintained a good relationship with Popes Alexander II and Gregory VII.
- In 1069, unrest reached its peak in England. In response, William introduced the English to the Norman practice of building castles, among the notable was the Tower of London.
- By 1071, the rebellions were subdued which resulted in complete dissolution of English aristocracy and entrance of Norman lords.
- By the following year, William invaded Scotland, followed by Wales in 1081.
- As king, William dominantly stayed in Normandy instead of England. He entrusted his kingdom to bishops, particularly his close confidant, Lanfranc, while most of his Anglo-Norman barons were in Normandy.
- Among the most notable achievement of William as King of England was the vast surveying of all English lands and holdings. In six months, the country-wide survey was finished which led to the Doomsday book legitimizing the King’s ownership of England.
- The records transferred all lands and power of old Anglo-Saxon elite to the Normans. The document also enabled the king to collect taxes and services from land tenants. William the Conqueror introduced the feudal system in England which lasted until the 19th century.
- In 1082, William ordered the arrest and imprisonment of his brother, Odo, for taking an Anglo-Norman army to Italy to make himself Pope.
- In 1087, due to territorial disputes, William had conflict with King Philip of France. As a result, William seized the French town of Mantes, which caused him a serious injury.
- On September 9, 1087, at age 60, William died. He left Normandy, Maine, and sizeable amount of gold and silver to his half-brother Robert. His son William Rufus inherited the throne of England, but he would be replaced by his brother, Henry.
- William the Conqueror was the first Norman king of England.
William the Conqueror Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the William the Conqueror across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use William the Conqueror worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about William of Normandy, commonly known as William the Conqueror, who was the King of England from 1066 until his death in 1087. Amidst being of French lineage, he became one of the most influential kings in English history.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- William the Conqueror Facts
- William, the Norman King of England
- Norman Dynasty
- For the Throne
- As King of England
- Feudal Terms
- The Feudal System
- Oath of Fealty
- Mark the Truth
- Figure Mapping
- William’s Conquest
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as William the Conqueror Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 17, 2019
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.