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posticon William the Conqueror


25th December will be the 938th anniversary of the Conqueror’s accession to rule in Angleland and its unification with Normandy. This completed a revolutionary process begun in 1058 with the victory of the Revolution in Normandy under his leadership at the Battle of Varaville. Although the Red was to surpass the Conqueror’s achievements, there can be no doubt that without the burning example of his leadership such achievements would have been rendered impossible.

1. The Conqueror was born in 1027,the son of Duke Robert the Devil (aka “the Magnificent”) and Herleve of Falaise who was a tanner’s daughter. He was Duke of Normandy 1035-87 and King of Angleland 1066-87.

2. Following Robert the Devil’s death on pilgrimage to The Holy Land (1035) the young Conqueror became Duke in deadly circumstances as Counts clashed over his ‘right to rule’.
His main defender was Osbern the Seneschal who was murdered in the room where the young Conqueror hid.

3. In the civil conflict that broke out in Normandy in the 1040’s, Henri 1, the Frankish King, assisted the Conqueror against forces led by Guy de Brionne and Geoffrey Martel .These forces were defeated by the Conqueror and Henri at the Battle of Val-es-Dune (1047). Earlier in 1042 he imposed The Truce of God to limit the battles between rival counts in Normandy and protect the peasantry from unnecessary depredations.

4 Between 1047-54, Henri 1 switched his support to Geoffrey Martel because he feared the growing dynamics of the evolving revolutionary process in Normandy and the threat to his rule of the Frankish Kingdom of which Normandy was a part.

5. Henri and Geoffrey Martel of Anjou led a counter-revolutionary invasion of Normandy between 1054-58 . The Conqueror and the Frank-Viking (ie Norman) revolutionist, leadership he had forged defeated them at Mortemer, Arques, and decisively at Varaville (1058).

6. Following Varaville, spread the dynamics of The Norman Revolution to Ponthieu, Vexin , Brittany and crucially: Maine(1064) increasing its power and influence to great effect. He also cemented alliances involving landed, church and military interests in Normandy to firm up the ideological power of the Revolution.

7. The Conqueror married Matilda of Flanders in 1051. This also involved an alliance with her father Baldwin V.

8. In 1051 Edward the Confessor acknowledged the Conqueror as his successor either directly or through an intermediary who was probably Robert de Jumieges.

9. In 1064, Harold Godwineson swore allegiance to the Conqueror as the Confessor’s successor in Angleland.

10. When Godwineson usurped Angleland’s throne in the counter-revolution of January 1066, the Conqueror assembled an alliance of politico-military forces inside The Frankish Kingdom and gained the support of Pope Alexander 11 to assert his just right to rule in Angleland.

11. The Conqueror annihilated the Usurper and his oppressive, ruling class at the Battle of Senlac Hill (aka Hastings) on 14th October 1066. The revolutionist, Frank-Viking ruling class who replaced them, expropriated that ex-ruling class’ land and wealth to finance the export of The Norman Revolution to the remainder of the The Frankish Kingdom with the ultimate aim of putting a Frank-Viking on the Frankish throne and generating the fusion of the most advanced, historical forces of Scandinavia and The Kingdom of The Franks, at the highest leadership level. There is also evidence that the Conqueror exploited the divisions inside and between Angleland and Scandinavia as a catalyst to facilitate this historic victory. The highest expression of his consummate, revolutionary skill in this regard was the evidence albeit by no means conclusive for all traditions, of what de facto was a temporary alliance with Hardraada to implement a two-front war on the Usurper.

12. A series of counter-revolutionary uprisings from 1067-1075 were defeated, chief among which was The Northern Rising 1069-1070 which combined with a Danish counter-revolutionary thrust ordered by Sweyn Esrithsen.

13. The Conqueror ordered the first, permanent settlements of Jewish people in Angleland’s history. This order ended a 1000-year-old-plus, racist, exclusion order on this unjustly persecuted people which was based on the big lie that they killed Jesus Christ and not the Roman Empire. Permanent settlements of Jewish people had existed in Normandy since the 10th Century. Allied to this policy was the Conqueror’s strong belief in Cluniacism and a firm identification with St Stephen the Protomartyr who historically occupies the politico-military-ideological-religious terrain which separates the original teachings of Jesus Christ and his brother, James the Just from Paulian revisionism. We do not believe it was anything other than personal identification that the Conqueror chose to be crowned ruler of Angleland one day before the Protomartyr’s feast day which is on 26th December.

14. The Conqueror presided over the beginning of the end of the institution of Slavery in Angleland (it ended totally in the early decades of the 12th Century) Pre-Senlac Hill, 1 in 11 people, mostly Celts, were slaves in Angleland, by the time of the Domesday Book (1086), this had been reduced to almost zero. The Vita Wulfstani records the Conqueror’s vigorous policy to suppress the Bristol slave-trade. He also signed a Charter banning the sale of one man by another outside Angleland. The Conqueror certainly allowed forced labour, a common practice in medieval times, but to compare that, as some Conqueror critics do, to the institution of Slavery ie ownership, sale and distribution of one human being by another, is like in a modern sense, comparing Slavery today with compulsory, unpaid overtime. Not only is it pure ignorance but an insult to the unique, brutalised suffering of the slave past and present. The institution of Slavery was virtually unknown in Normandy since the mid -10th Century.

15. The Conqueror ordered a massive, church and castle-building program in Angleland to provide a dynamic infrastructure from which to implement The Norman Revolution and combined with the leading force of Normandy, to export that Revolution to the remainder of The Frankish Kingdom and ultimately to put a Frank-Viking in power to rule that Kingdom.

16. Setbacks inside The Frankish Kingdom prevented the export. Chief among these were defeats at the Battles of Dol (1076) and ,crucially, Gerberoi (1079). Divisions inside the Norman leadership led by pro-Frankish King Philippe 1, counter-revolutionaries such as Odo of Bayeux and Robert Curthose also aided the setbacks.

17. In 1083, Matilda died and in 1086-1087 a counter-revolutionary thrust on two fronts aimed at overthrowing The Norman Revolution. A huge invasion force assembled in Scandinavia led by Cnut the Holy, Olaf the Quiet and Robert of Flanders who was the Frankish King’s proxy. Internal divisions led to its abandonment allied to the Conqueror’s assembly of the biggest, international army ever seen on Angleland soil. In 1087 the Frankish King Philippe 1 led attacks from the Vexin deep into Normandy.

18. In 1086, the Conqueror organised a huge mass meeting at which the Oath of Salisbury demonstrated the dynamic support for him and the Revolution.

19. Also in 1086, following the failure of the Scandinavian counter-revolutionary invasion, the production of the Domesday Book was accomplished following the Conqueror’s order in December 1085 prior to that impending invasion. It was the first systematic example of scientific state planning in Europe.

20. During his spectacular victory over Philippe 1 at Mantes in 1087 and so defeating the second counter-revolutionary thrust of 1086-1087, the Conqueror was fatally wounded in mysterious circumstances, dying later at St Gervais on the outskirts of Rouen on 9TH September 1087. In his deathbed speech, he left Angleland not to another monarch but to God. No monarch of Angleland/England/ UK in his/her death process has ever done that before or since.

***season’s greetings to the chatboard ***

Drogo, Chairperson, Rob, Chairperson-Elect ( both on behalf of TWTRF2002)



Dec/24/2004, 10:18 am Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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posticon Re: William the Conqueror


Great posting Drogo and Rob!
One factor worth mentioning too is Swein's Danish claim to Angleland which was traceable to Cnut 1016/35.
Regardless of his humbling defeat at Nissa his claim was as legit as Hardraadi.

Franc B,First Secretary (personal capacity)
Jan/5/2005, 1:48 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Conqueror


I'm of the opinion that so many times when the Conqueror's religeous beliefs are put under the microscope their strength is [sign in to see URL] is not so much a criticism of Drogo & Rob's account but more my concern that detail is something that you can never have too much [sign in to see URL] you look at the fact that in 1027 the year of the Conqueror's birth, Robert the Devil and Abbot Richard of Saint Vanne went on pilgimage to The Holy Land arriving on Palm Sunday where it is reliably recorded that they were overcome greatly by the emotional and spiritual occasion they [sign in to see URL] historical asssessments of the Conqueror's dad fail to emphasise how deeply devout he was and surely this goes a long way to explain why the Conqueror ordered that prayers be said for Robert and Herleve daily to aid the journey of their souls in the [sign in to see URL] also may be linked to something else that has always fascinated [sign in to see URL] is said about the Conqueror and Cluniacism but at the core of this is also perhaps the fact that Cluny Abbey was founded by Duke William the Pious of Aquitaine in 909 which is only 2 years before the founding of Normandy in 911 by Rolf [sign in to see URL]'s founding was all about asserting radical independence from Rome's overbearing [sign in to see URL]'s not without significance that radical independence was inscribed on Normandy's banner from its inception?
Martin Tilston (personal capacity)
Jan/6/2005, 10:52 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Conqueror


Martin

The incident in Jerusalem is significant but, for us, does in no way indicate that Robert was a Norman Revolutionist in the way that the Conqueror was which seems to be the ‘drift’ of the points you [sign in to see URL], it may well be the case that Robert’s evolution even unto death did not involve becoming conscious of the necessity of Normandy’s strategy within The Kingdom of the Franks which Drogo and Rob cite but it surely indicates an understanding of the centrality of religion to the Conqueror’s upbringing and its unique impact on him.
It does however emphasise that the Conqueror’s religious upbringing was clearly influenced by the revolutionist events of Palm Sunday either directly or [sign in to see URL] events centred on the attack on the Temple, inspired by the quintessentially Jewish-Semitic Dead Sea Scrolls, which Jesus the Christ led and the resulting ejection of the money traders, which targeted the domination of the Roman Empire.
Here once again is the revolutionist link to the permanent Jewish settlements in Normandy which the Conqueror strongly believed in and which impacted on his Faith and their export to Angleland after Senlac Hill to importantly influence the revolutionization there allied to the domination which Normandy suffered under the Frankish King which reached its height in 1054-58.
We consider it no less pertinent to compare the harmonious complexity of the revolutionary relationship between the Conqueror and Lanfranc with that of the discordant simplicity of the Angevin, counter-revolutionary Henry 11 and Thomas of London (known later as Thomas a Becket).

Lydia Giles, Sammy, Hugo (all in personal capacity)
Jan/8/2005, 12:48 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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posticon Re: William the Conqueror


All::
Perhaps its only me but do I detect two differing positions on the Conqueror's religious thinking? the first has him with Cluniacist beliefs while the other links him more obscurely with being influenced by events in Jerusalem in 1027?
Personally I do not see problems but more likely multiple influences which certainly do not get the airing they deserve in conventional data on him. Which is why I would bring things back to the points made in the presentation which emphasise the [sign in to see URL] must be of clear and dominant significance that where the Conqueror chose to be buried carries the name of his favourite [sign in to see URL] the work I have checked on the Conqueror fails to cite a decisive reason for him choosing Saint Stephen (who was unique).What did Lanfranc think about the Protomartyr?If anybody on the Board has any data on this or Conqueror-Protomartyr as a whole it would be good to see it because it is pivotal to understanding why Cluniacism in all its components was foremost in his thinking and explains the value he places on holy relics,the religiously inspired tassels he wore on his helmet at Senlac etc.
He was a great revolutionary warrior and champion of The Frankish Kingdom and Normandy's strategy within it but the moral thread runs through all of those and not to comprehend it in all the splendour of its detail is like trying to understand a clock without its spring.

Bill H (personal capacity)
Jan/12/2005, 10:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Conqueror


Point 13 is correct but can understate the matter if you consider the landing at Pevensey by the Conqueror’s revolutionary army took place on or about 29th September which is Michaelmas or the Feast Day of Saint Michael the warrior Archangel and reputed leader of God’s [sign in to see URL] makes you wonder whether the delays in the sailing of the Conqueror’s fleet were attributable to the weather, divine guidance, the Conqueror’s revolutionary plan or an eclectic combination of all three.

Telling too is how that rapturous (??) episode in 1027 compares with the murder and mayhem which Robert the Devil’s grandson Courtheuse was to co-lead in the invasion of Jerusalem in 1099. The First Crusade was an anodyne description for what was a European war on Arabia inspired by the Papacy to quell ,remould and divert into counter-revolutionary channels, revolutionary warfare in Northern Europe that threatened to change the course of the Continent’s history.

The Red wanted no part of it and correctly saw it as a chance to regain Normandy for the Conqueror’s revolutionary cause and like him export it to The Frankish Kingdom with all the resources at his disposal. This was despite the fact that the Red did not get on well with Archbishop Anselm unlike the Conqueror with Lanfranc. But when you learn that on hearing of the Red’s assassination Anselm declared that he wished the arrow had struck him not his ruler its clear that they got on a lot better than Becket and Henry 11.

CT , Vice-Chairperson (personal capacity)


Jan/15/2005, 3:59 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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posticon Re: William the Conqueror


All
Putting to one side the fact that The Truce of God referred to in the presentation was actually inspired directly from Cluny Abbey surely it is of decisive significance that no lesser mortal than William Warenne the number 3 in the Norman Revolutionary leadership visited the abbey with his wife during the early 1080s and decided that it would be the blueprint for his Cluniac abbey which he was to order to be built in Lewes.
John G (personal capacity)
Jan/19/2005, 10:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Conqueror


all
The great pre-battle event at Senlac must be when the Conqueror challenged the Usurper to trial by mortal combat to settle the dispute and save countless [sign in to see URL] that he was,the Usurper turned the offer down.
Bill H (personal capacity)
Feb/3/2005, 11:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Conqueror


 ' He ruled the savage Normans; Britains men he courageously conquered and kept them in his power; and bravely thrust back swords from Maine and made them subject to his rule's [sign in to see URL] the great king lies in this little urn,so small a house serves for a mighty [sign in to see URL] died when Phoebus had lain in Virgo's bosom for 3 weeks and additional 2 days '
Thomas who was Archbishop of York wrote this for the Conqueror's tomb inscription.

Bill H, Drogo (both in personal capacity)
Feb/19/2005, 3:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to thewilliam theredforum2002   Send PM to thewilliam theredforum2002
 
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Re: William the Conqueror


Just a couple of points - firstly, the crown was not Edwards to promise to anyone - in 1051 or at any other time! Whether he did or not is neither here nor there, but he had fallen out with Godwin and his sons at this time, so may have made some soothing noises to William.

Also, Harold, whatever your views of him was not stupid. He simply wouldnt have risen to the position he was in by being so thick as to blithely swear oaths of fealty to William, and certainly not on holy relics! The only reasonable explnation is that either Harold was tricked, or he was made to swear under duress.

Not sure what version of the Domesday book you have seen, but the one I have shows that very few of the population were called free, and many who were by then serfs or villeins were described being previously free under Edward. Hardly the ending of slavery!

Reading the Domesday book, it becomes clear that this was written by someone who had done this before, this was not the product of Norman import, although it was ordered to be done by William, but was surely written by an Anglo-Saxon scribe.

What evidence is there for a pree battle call for single combat between Harold and William? Charges of cowardice are often laid at Harold, but only from Norman sources. Even the welsh and the scots acknowledged him as courageous in battle, and of course William noted his bravery when Harold was with him in 1064/5.
Feb/28/2005, 10:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to Guthric   Send PM to Guthric
 


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