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posticon William the Red


The next in our series "Heroes of the Norman Revolution".William the Red (1060-1100) was Duke of Normandy 1096-1100,Duke of Aquitaine 1100 and King of England [sign in to see URL] was the co-leader with William the Conqueror of The Norman Revolution [sign in to see URL] tragically short rule was nevertheless exemplary and ended with success that outdistanced the Conqueror.

1. In 1079,at the Battle of Gerberoi,he fought with the Conqueror against the counter-revolutionary Robert Courtheuse.

2. His appointment as King of England by the Conqueror was probably motivated by his actions at Gerberoi since he had received no land or titles to recommend him.

3. He was crowned king on 26th September 1087.

4. He supressed the Odo-Courtheuse counter-revolution of 1088.

5. In astute,tactical maneuvers involving firstly an "alliance" with Courtheuse against Beauclerc in 1091 to expel the latter from the Contentin and similarly with Beauclerc in 1094 against Courtheuse as the latter's incompetence played into the hands of the Frankish King Philippe.

6. In 1096,the Red payed Courtheuse [sign in to see URL] marks to unite Normandy-Angleland as the latter joined the First Crusade.

7. He scored decisive victories for the revolution against the Welsh (1095 and 1097).the Scottish in 1091 and over Cumbria in 1092.

8. He vigorously maintained the strategic export of The Norman Revolution in The Frankish Kingdom in the Vexin 1097-98 and Maine 1098-99.

9. Suger of St Denis described the Red as :
" magnanimous and prodigal with the treasures of England a brilliant recruiter and paymaster of soldiers".

10. Like the Conqueror,the Red refused to be bullied by the Church in Rome and counter-revolutionary activity such as that carried out by William St Calais,Bishop of Durham in 1088 was put down and the supremacy of his Court over "clerical immunity" [sign in to see URL] 1096, a pro-Courtheuse venture was forestalled by him at Cerne Abbas when monks organised for the First Crusade.

11. In 1099/1100,he acquired the Aquitaine from Duke William 1X in exchange for financing the latter's Crusade [sign in to see URL] was the apex of The Norman Revolution,1066-1100.

12. The Red was assassinated on 2nd August 1100 in the New Forest as a result of a plot involving The Clares,Beauclerc, the Lord of Poix with the backing of the ultimate and greatest beneficiary The Frankish King [sign in to see URL] assassination marked the end of The Norman Revolution.

Drogo,Chairperson (on behalf of TWTRF2002)
Jul/25/2004, 6:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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posticon Re: William the Red


Drogo with the Red being the huge subject he is you've got the essentials well covered! It might seem a bit trivial but his sayings were also very memorable,my favourite is
'I will spend Xmas in Poitiers'
Anybody whose visited that eminent place can testify even by today's experience that his taste was spot-on.
Rob (personal capacity)
Jul/30/2004, 9:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Red


Drogo and Rob
Can bullet-point type info really do justice to the Red?? Interesting as far as it goes but "fleshing it out" is preferable or am I being hyper-critical? Warenne and others can be summarised like that but the Red was above them in so many ways.
The best line he came out with was when Abbot Serlo turned up on 2/8/1100 with his "prophecy" of doom if he went hunting.
The Red's reply:" Does he take me for an Englishman?Let them put off their journeys and business because some old woman has sneezed or had a dream!Not me!"

Bill H (personal capacity)
Jul/31/2004, 4:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Red


Today Ist August marks the festival of Lammas (loaf-mass) which celebrates the consecration of bread made from new [sign in to see URL] is a day which strategically connects the Conqueror and the [sign in to see URL] 1086, following the implosion of the Scandinavian counter-revolutionary invasion led by Cnut the Holy and supported by the Frankish King Philippe through his proxy in the invasion alliance Robert Count of Flanders, the Conqueror having successfully assembled a new international force to defend The Norman Revolution, turned his attention to what he knew was next: a new counter-revolutionary thrust by Philippe aimed at the fortress of the revolution, Normandy itself. He could not be certain of the timing but like the best politico-military strategists concentrated on what he had to do rather than the plan of the enemy. For this principal reason, he called a mass-meeting of all those leadership forces who had made the revolution in Normandy-Angleland possible to fire up their support for the battles ahead. At this Oath of Salisbury, his supporters swore allegiance to him and his revolution. When, in the late summer of 1087, Philippe's army invaded Normandy from the Vexin which he had acquired in 1077, The Oath of Salisbury had so solidified the Conqueror's support that his victory at Mantes was strongly facilitated. The Oath stands as one of the tenets of The Norman Revolution 1066-1100 and its significance was profoundly understood by the Frankish [sign in to see URL] not least that it took place on Lammas.

He was still ruler of the Franks when the Aquitaine was handed over to the Red in 1100 by Duke William 1X. An event which cut Philippe's kingdom in half. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recalls the death of the Red with the following,"In the morning after Lammas King William when hunting was shot by an arrow by one of his own men". The synchronisation of the Lammas dates was surely no accident if one understands Philippe for what he indubitably was, the consummate enemy of The Norman Revolution with a long memory,especially but by no means specifically, his father Henri's defeat by the Conqueror, and ruler of the Frankish Kingdom 1060-1108. He became the right age to rule in 1066 and bided his time until 1076 before entering a bloc with Courtheuse against the Conqueror. He only effectively altered his tactics after 1096 when Courtheuse handed over Normandy to the Red.

John G.,Vice-Chairperson,Lydia Giles,First Secretary,Hugo,Franc B,Sammy (all in personal capacity)
Aug/1/2004, 12:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Red


Gerberoi is often underestimated.
The Frankish king forges an alliance with Courtheuse to commandeer the fortress as a base for a campaign from the Vexin into [sign in to see URL] more serious an assault on The Norman Revolution could be possible apart from what happened in September 1087?
Courtheuse's supine policy makes it crystal clear that he's a counter-revolutionary and after the Conqueror's [sign in to see URL] he draws blood by wounding him in the arm after unhorsing [sign in to see URL] Red standing with the Conqueror also gets wounded.I cant find any more detailed,historical record on [sign in to see URL] anybody know his precise wound and who inflicted it?The Red is only 19 in 1079 when he defends the Revolution from its most mortal enemy The Frankish king and risks paying with his life doing [sign in to see URL] there is one incident that foretells his stand in 1087 is that not it?Gerberoi ended in defeat for the Conqueror due to a surprise attack by Courtheuse as the siege was [sign in to see URL] it was a victory for The Norman Revolution because Gerberoi produced its next and greatest leader. emoticon

CT (personal capacity)
Aug/5/2004, 9:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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posticon Re: William the Red


CT
I am not sure that it was quite as simple as [sign in to see URL] Conqueror and Robert Curthose were reconciled, if thats the right word, within months of Gerberoi.
The wound inflicted by Curthose was also a matter of dispute in that according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles his life was saved during the battle outside the town's walls by an anglo-saxon soldier.
It's not beyond the possible of course if one remembers the Bristol Avon events of 1068 when the Godwineson's sons Godwin Magnus and Edmund attacked from Ireland backed by Diarmaid of Dublin and were scattered back to Ireland by predominantly anglo-saxon soldiers in support of the Conqueror.
The thought that Curthose was so filled with hate that he aimed to kill his father does not sit well with the Conqueror being saved by an [sign in to see URL] the sequence of events is awry but whether it is plausible or not, I think its clear that Gerberoi was a defining moment and that it was clear to both that familial reconciliation was considerably more possible than political.

Lydia Giles,First Secretary (personal capacity)

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Re: William the Red


CT,[sign in to see URL]'s power resided in [sign in to see URL] explains for me why his alliance with Edgar Aethling was so [sign in to see URL] was the next in line of ascent to the rule Angleland from the House of Cerdic (Wessex) after the [sign in to see URL],the Confessor's promise to the Conqueror in 1051 that he should rule is decisive vis-a-vis the dispute between him and [sign in to see URL] the case of the Aethling however,the Conqueror knew that he was on 'less solid foundations'.To put it frankly post-Godwineson,the Aethling was a boil he could not [sign in to see URL] somebody as pro-Frankish king as Courtheuse he was the perfect political ally. For this reason:Philippe 1 had a clear plan to maintain Courtheuse in Normandy as an anti-Conqueror proxy and beyond that time as Duke(I'm no convinced he ever saw him as a realistic prospect as king of Angleland),and when the time was right install the Aethling as king in [sign in to see URL]'t forget Beauclerc was only 11 at the time of [sign in to see URL] Aethling was [sign in to see URL] was a totally untrustworthy man and proved as much also during the Red's [sign in to see URL] facts that the Conqueror trusted him with 200 knights to fight for the Hautevilles in South Italy in 1086 or that the Red utilised his Scottish connections in the struggle with the counter-revolutionary King Donalbane between 1094 and 1097 should not obscure this.

Sammy (personal capacity)
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posticon Re: William the Red


Sammy CT Lydia:::
The Conqueror and Courtheuse were irreconciliable.
What was Courtheuse triggering when he dealt the Conqueror what surely could have been a fatal wound at Gerberoi? For us it must be 1054-58 and the counter-revolution led by Henri and [sign in to see URL]'s Courtheuse's tradition: the erasure of Normandy as a revolutionary axis against the Frankish King,not obviously the Frankish Kingdom and the maintenance of Angleland as a Scandanavian outpost.
If this seems to overstate the situation then so be [sign in to see URL] would base ourselves on the life or death realities of the battlefield rather than something more abstract concerning the vagaries or otherwise of Courtheuse's political allegiances whatever interest they may contain.
After Gerberoi,you get the emergence of counter-revolutionary intitiatives centering on Odo (1082) and the demise of Queen Matilda (1083) who in her only known arguement with the Conqueror threatened her own death in the place of Courtheuse as a measure of her political commitment to his "cause".We would not,however,conjecture that her own death was anything but natural and nothing [sign in to see URL] are divisions at the highest level of The Norman [sign in to see URL] make the counter-revolutionary thrust of Cnut the [sign in to see URL] the Quiet and the Count of Flanders a reality in [sign in to see URL] it all starts,at least in a short-term sense,in 1079 at Gerberoi.

Concerning Edgar the Aethling, the matter is more [sign in to see URL] would contend that in a psychological sense as well as the House of Ceric factor the Conqueror identified with his [sign in to see URL] usurped his kingdom just as some in Normandy tried to usurp the Conqueror when he succeeded to the dukedom in [sign in to see URL] if the Aethling had met a sticky end in one the various counter-revolutionary schemes he got involved in especially that of 1069,it would not have disturbed the Conqueror unduly on the other hand since he had destroyed the Godwinesonite leadership at Hastings,Edgar's manoevres would not seriously threaten the revolution.
In the case of Edgar's alliance with Courtheuse it's more [sign in to see URL] Aethling's principal problem for Godwineson and co had been that he was born outside Angleland and even worse had spent most of his formative years with Edward the Exile in [sign in to see URL],this historical background is an asset for Courtheuse because his subordination to the Frankish King also has a larger "external force" factor to "inspire" it.
For us, despite his wild excesses like leaving Odo to hang out to dry in 1088,it's Courtheuse who after the Frankish King Philippe 1 constitutes the number one threat to The Norman [sign in to see URL] activitities under the Red served only to reinforce what must have been obvious to the Red after Gerberoi.

Bill H., [sign in to see URL] (both in personal capacity)
Aug/9/2004, 8:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
ginia Profile
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Re: William the Red


I have been admiring everyone' s interest and research into the subject of southern England's most famous royals, but there is nothing like local knowledge. If you are a multi generational local it means that your family has probably been there since the year dot as people did not move around over 100 years ago. Regardless of your sources of information [probably historians in the pay of noble families] the simple fact is that Rufus is remembered as a bad man, a bad king, and Walter Tyrrell is the local hero for killing him accidently or otherwise. Go to the area and find someone whose great -grandparents lived there and listen to what they have to say on the matter. Not everything you read in ancient history is true . Remember-- written histories were commisioned ,otherwise the scribes did not eat, and what they wrote depended wholly on who was paying the bills
Aug/11/2004, 10:30 am Link to this post Send Email to ginia   Send PM to ginia
 
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Re: William the Red


ginia
Its true that perceptions of good or bad are subjective but there are objective facts that cannot be ignored about the Red.
To take one example: if as you say the locals considered him a bad king then why was it that local peasants who discovered his body, transported it in a cart on the long journey to Winchester? This might seem unimportant except that while the assassin Walter Tirel 111 fled and his co-conspirators scattered to save themselves and possessions,the peasants not only discovered the body but cared enough to ensure it got safely transported for burial.

Hugo (personal capacity)
Aug/14/2004, 10:06 am Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 


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