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William (I) the Conqueror , king of England, duke of Normandy

Born: C. 1027   Died: 1087   

William's conquest of England in 1066 brought the realms of England and Normandy under one rule and revolutionised political, social and religious life in England.

The Norman Conquest of 1066, led by Duke William of Normandy, brought Anglo-Norman rule and culture to England and effected monumental change. Castles were erected to conquer and consolidate power, the church was reformed and there was a new ruling elite. Anglo-Norman was the language of the ruling classes. William was responsible for initiating the Domesday Survey and is celebrated as a strong and authoritarian king who established himself as the true successor of Edward the Confessor.

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David Bates, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online - William the Conqueror (View website)