A Chamber Oratorio

Adelina the Jester

A new production inspired by the Domesday Book

The Norman Conquest of 1066 provides the backdrop to Adelina the Jester

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William the Conquerer (1028-1087)

King of England, Duke of Normandy

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The Norman Conquest of 1066 is one of the most famous events in English history. England’s King Edward died in early 1066 and was succeeded by Harold, who was the Earl of Wessex. Edward was William’s distant cousin. In 1051, Edward had promised William the throne and Harold swore to support that claim. So, when Harold was crowned as the new king, William became very furious.

On September 28, 1066, William went to England and established a camp near Hastings. At that time, Harold was in the northern region where he was fighting king Hardrada of Norway, who had invaded England. Harold defeated Hardrada at Stamford Bridge and then marched quickly south. On October 14, 1066, Harold’s army met William’s and the two were involved in a close-fought battle that lasted all day. During the battle, Harold was hit by an arrow and died on the spot. In addition to that, his two brothers were also killed and the English army collapsed.

On December 25, 1066, William was crowned in Westminster Abbey. With his victory came many changes. Many members of the local English leaders were replaced with Normans. Other changes included a more strictly controlled system of feudal government and castle construction.

The feudal system of governing was unheard of in England before the conquest but was very prominent in northern France. King William and his followers managed to secure their position during the next four years, especially after 1069 Yorkshire rising. At Yorkshire, William destroyed a lot of crops, livestock and houses, making sure that the area remained deserted and indigent for many years. He took over large parts of land that was seized from Saxon rebels and the old royal estates. He kept about 1/4 of the earnings from the land to himself. Read more here

Source - totalhistory.com

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