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William I of England

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William and his brothers Odo archbishop of Bayeux (left) and Robert Count of Mortain (right). Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry

William I of England was king of England from 1066 to 1087. He was known as William the Conqueror. He was born at Falaise, France, about 1028, and died at Rouen on 9 September 1087. In the 1050s, he married Matilda of Flanders and had 9 or 10 children.

William I was the illegitimate son of Robert I of Normandy, who recognized him as heir. His cousin, Edward the Confessor, king of England, recognized him as successor. But at Edward's death Harold, a Saxon nobleman, was proclaimed king. William invaded England and defeated king Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

William introduced Norman institutions and customs (including feudalism) and the Domesday Book. William I was the father of William II of England and Henry I of England. He fought against king of France Philip I who supported the rebellion of his son Henri Curthose.


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