Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy 924th Deathday, William the Conqueror (1028-1087)!

Gayle's many-greats-grandfather
with statue of William in Bayeux, France
Don't most people with English ancestry claim descent through William the Conqueror?  (Our line goes back through Asa Calkin.) To claim the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces at the Battle of Hastings. His reign, which brought Norman culture to England, had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. In addition to political changes, his reign affected law, vocabulary, a program of building and fortification, and the introduction of continental European feudalism into England.  He was married to Mathilda and had ten children.

The Bayeux tapestry, which memorializes William's conquest, is on display in France in the charming town of Bayeux. The embroidered cloth has its own adventuresome history, rescued from French revolutionaries who were using it to cover military wagons, and later stolen by the Gestapo. It is well worth the visit; don't miss an evening sound and light show at the nearby cathedral and the best (and only) tuna pizza I've ever eaten!

museum of Bayeux Tapestry 

La Reine Mathilde--restaurant in Bayeux named for William's Queen Mathilda
William, I would give you a trip on the Chunnel!

1 comment:

  1. I'd give him a chance to explain himself: there are so many controversies that he could clear up.