William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror was born in 1087 in Normandy. He was the
illegitimate son of Robert I and Arletta, a tanner's daughter.
In 1066 the army from Normandy, led by Duke William, attacked
England again. Harold Godwinson was the King of England at this time.
Duke William arrived in England on October 14, 1066. On his ship he
brought horses, supplies, and a prefabricated castle. The English met the
Norse army at Hastings, on the southern coast of England. Duke William
won the battle.
After the Battle of Hastings, William and his army went north
through England. They met a lot of resistance on the way and William built
a castle wherever he encountered resistance. He reached London, his
final goal. The city fell quickly. William built his biggest castle in London.
It is called the Tower of London. He was crowned King of England in
December, 1066 in Westminster Abbey.
King William left England and returned to Normandy. He ruled
England from there, but by 1086 he began a survey of his wealth in
England. The survey book was called the Domesday Book and it counted
the number of people, farm animals, and agricultural implements under his
One interesting fact about King William is that he invented
beheading as a punishment. He used it to punish people for political
Ultimately, after all the fighting, King William made England a
peaceful place. Finally, it was possible to travel through the country
without fear of being attacked.
Charles the Great
In 742 Charles the Great, also called Charlemagne, was born.
When his father, Pepin the Short, died in 768, Charles and his brother
Carloman, split the land their father controlled. Three years later his
brother died and Charlemagne became the ruler of his brother's land...