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Brand: Teresa Cole

The Norman Conquest

by Teresa Cole

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The Norman Conquest: William The Conqueror's Subjugation of England

In that fateful year of 1066 three kings ruled England in succession. One was a saint, one a soldier and one a Frenchman. Tradition tells us the conquest of England by the powerful Normans was inescapable, and suggests England benefited almost at once by closer links with Europe.

New discoveries however, have thrown doubt on these long accepted truths. The Battle of Hastings itself has been re-assessed, its very site disputed, as too are the whereabouts of the mortal remains of the defeated King Harold. As for the kings themselves; was Edward the Confessor as saintly and William as dominant as they have been portrayed, and was Harold more than just the hinge on which history turned? Nine and a half centuries later it is appropriate to look again at the course and outcomes of the Norman Conquest of England, the genocide committed in northern England, the wholesale transfer of lands to Norman lords, and the Domesday Book designed to enable every last drop of taxation to be extracted from a subdued kingdom.

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