William the Conqueror

The first Norman king of England, William the Conqueror (previously William, Duke of Normandy) defeated the Anglo-Saxon king Harold II at the battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066 – a triumph famously recorded in the Bayeux Tapestry. William the Conqueror transformed the face of Anglo-Saxon England: he skillfully secured his hold on the lands he had invaded, replacing the English ruling class with Norman counterparts and building defensive fortresses at strategic points throughout the kingdom. Under William the feudal system [a hierarchical system in which people held lands in return for providing loyalty or services to a lord] was introduced; the church was reorganised and England’s links to Europe were strengthened. But no one at the time called William ‘the Conqueror’ – the earliest recorded use of that nickname occurred in the 1120s, and the name didn’t become commonplace until the 13th century

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