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The North -Three major rebellions 1068-69. First Edwin, Morcar, Edgar and Gospatric were beaten by a lightning campaign north from William, building castles.

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Presentation on theme: "The North -Three major rebellions 1068-69. First Edwin, Morcar, Edgar and Gospatric were beaten by a lightning campaign north from William, building castles."— Presentation transcript:

1 The North -Three major rebellions First Edwin, Morcar, Edgar and Gospatric were beaten by a lightning campaign north from William, building castles as he went. Second Robert de Commines was burned in the Bishop of Durham’s house only for the rebels to melt away or be slain when William marched north. Finally, Waltheof, Edgar, Gospatric, some Danish Vikings in 1069 were defeated by William – significant perhaps that Edwin and Morcar didn’t join in. -William remained in England for one of the longest periods of his reign during , this in itself points to seriousness. -He decimated the north, burning, killing and destroying. This is drastic action that points at seriousness and seems to be the only thing that William regretted. Border Nations -Wales and Scotland provided safe havens and support to rebels. -Eadric the Wild raided Hereford (1067) and then Shrewsbury (1069) with the support of Welsh princes but on both occasions was unable to take the castle. William defeated them in battle in From Eadric lived in Wales. -King Malcolm sheltered Gospatric and Edgar and supported the northern rebellions. Malcolm raided into Northumbria from , prompting William to invade and he forced Malcolm to expel Edgar from Scottish court. In 1080 William had to sent his son Robert to invade to stop Scottish raids again. The Danish -Invaded in 1069 to support northern rebels but were skilfully cut off from the rebels by William’s decisive march north. -Invaded again and sacked Peteborough Abbey alongside Hereward the Wake They left with their loot. -Ralph de Gael one of the earls involved in the Revolt of the Earls, brought 200 ships back from Denmark but when they landed they failed to do anything significant. -They were a powerful force that were willing to help the rebels but the lack of coordination between the rebels and the Danes, along with the strength of the Normans and their castles, meant that the Danes did not meet with much success. Revolt of the Earls -Roger de Bretuil, son of William’s right-hand man William fitzOsbern, and Ralph de Gael decided to rebel against William. Bretuil was a Norman and Ralph a Breton. -It is unclear why but probably because William refused to sanction the marriage of Ralph to Roger’s sister. -Waltheof was dragged into the rebellion but panicked and revealed all to Lanfranc Archbishop of Canterbury. -Earl Roger’s forces were bottled up by the Worcestershire Fyrd commanded by the Abbot of Evesham, showing that William had control of England to the extent that he was able to use the fyrd. -Bishop Odo commanded an army that forced Ralph to flee. -Two armies needing to be raised indicates a crisis but it seems that William didn’t even have to leave Normandy to deal with this revolt and it shows the extent of Norman control of England with the use of the Worcesterhisre fyrd. Basic notes based on how serious the rebellions were

2 Castles -Normans referred to as Castlemen by some chroniclers of the time -Built castles as they went. One estimate suggests that around 20,000 Norman or other people form areas of Northern France and Flanders, dominated a population of 2 million. They used castles as a safe haven when rebellion occurred, allowing them to wait for reinforcements or for the rebels to leave. -A castle build at Warwick was said to have cut Edwin and Morcar from northern rebels and compelled them to submit in Eadric the Wild was thwarted by castles twice, once at Hereford, once at Shrewsbury. -There is only one recorded example of rebels taking a castle throughout William’s reign., at York during the great northern rebellion of Historians estimate that the Normans build between Motte and Bailey castles during the reign of William. William’s Bold Leadership (Machievellian Tactics – switches tactics to suit his needs) -Unlike Edward who often delegated to his earls, William took personal command during the vast majority of the crises he faced. -He marched north swiftly to deal with the first northern rebellion, cutting Edwin and Morcar off from the Northumbrian rebels and compelling them to submit -He personally oversaw the siege of Exeter in He offered mercy on occasion but further mistakes were met with decisive action e.g. Waltheof beheading -Harrying of the North decisive, ruthless action that stifled further rebellion Lack of Coordination + Military Strength of Rebels -The housecarls had been slaughtered at Hastings. -Many men of fighting age had been killed at Fulford, Stamford Bridge or Hastings. -The most stark example of uncoordinated rebellion was in 1069 when the north rebelled, Edgar sent word for other to join in and areas of the south rebelled e.g. Eadric the Wild attacked Shrewsbury. However William was able to march to the Midlands, defeating rebels at Stafford as well as Eadric, before marching north to deal with York and finally convincing the Danish to retreat. If they had all rebelled together he wouldn’t have been able to defeat them separately. -Lots of examples of separate rebellions, too weak to defeat William e.g. Exeter, Hereward the Wake English Lack of Leader -All of the Godwinsons, Gryth, Tostig, Leofwine, Harold had died in the battles of Edgar the Aetheling had been overlooked in 1066, probably because he was not a strong leader, was too young and had no following. He was the best hope after 1066 – not exactly a strong leader. -Edwin, Morcar and Waltheof were all potential rebel leaders but switched between collaboration with the Normans and tentative rebellion, hardly the strong leaders the rebels would need. -Compare this to the leader that the Normans had i.e. the bold decisive, ruthless William. -Hereward the Wake, an unknown English thegn until he led a rebellion Basic notes based on why William was able to overcome


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