Thursday, March 31, 2016

Visit of Duke William. 1051

In Godwine's absence, in 1051 King Edward the Confessor received a visit from the Duke of the Normans, William, the bastard son of Duke Robert and the daughter of a tanner of Falaise.

Robert was a son of Richard II., and William was thus the grandson of the brother of Edward's mother, Emma. Such a relationship gave him no title whatever to the English throne, as Emma was not descended from the English kings, and as, even if she had been, no one could be lawfully king in England who was not chosen by the Witenagemot. Edward, however, had no children or brothers, and though he had no right to give away the crown, he now promised William that he should succeed him.

William, indeed, was just the man to attract one whose character was as weak as Edward's. Since he received the dukedom he had beaten down the opposition of a fierce and discontented nobility at Val-├Ęs-dunes (1047). From that day peace and order prevailed in Normandy. Law in Normandy did not come as in England from the traditions of the shire-moot or the Witenagemot, where men met to consult together. It was the Duke's law, and if the Duke was a strong man he kept peace in the land. If he was a weak man, the lords fought against one another and plundered and oppressed the poor. William was strong and wily, and it was this combination of strength and wiliness which enabled him to bear down all opposition.

No comments:

Post a Comment