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once stood. This land was made into a huge hunting ground, called the New Forest, and no one was allowed to hunt in it without the permission of the king.

William made several visits to Normandy, and on his return from one of these excursions, finding that the Arch5 bishop of Canterbury had not been faithful to him, he put a learned man named Lanfranc there in his stead. This man helped the king to govern, and to settle the affairs of the English Church.


What was the most noted of the castles built by William the Conqueror?

What was the one great battle in the conquest of England by the Normans?

What happened every time a Saxon lord disobeyed or was killed?
What was the feudal system?
In what way did William maintain good order in his new realm?
How were criminals tried in the old Saxon days?
What was trial by ordeal?
What is trial by jury?
What fashion did the Norman barons introduce?
What is the “Doomsday Book”?
What was the “New Forest”?
Is there still an Archbishop of Canterbury?
What position does he hold?



King William was not a happy man, in spite of all his conquests. His three sons gave him much trouble, and once, when the two younger lads playfully threw some water upon their elder brother as he was passing under 5 their window, a terrible quarrel broke out.

Robert, the elder, declared that his brothers had insulted him, and wanted to kill them both in his rage. When his father reproved him, Robert said he would not stay in

England, and asked to be allowed to return to Normandy 15 and govern this province, which his father had once prom

ised him. William refused to grant this request, so Robert fled to Normandy, where, joining some discontented noblemen, he declared war against his father.

Forced to bear arms against his son, William crossed 15 the Channel with an army, and after several years' warfare

father and son met face to face in battle. As William's visor (the steel grating which protected a warrior's face) was down, Robert did not recognize his father until he had knocked him off his horse and was about to kill him.

Full of remorse, Robert begged William's pardon, helped him to rise, and offered him his own horse. But William was too angry just then to forgive him, and, vaulting upon the steed, he rode testily away. It was not till some

time after that father and son, owing to the queen's en25 treaties, became friends once more. Shortly after this,

* From Guerber's “Story of the English.” Copyright, 1898, by American Book Company. Used by permission of the publishers.



good Queen Matilda, a descendant of Alfred the Great, died, and was sorely missed.

The rest of William's life was spent in warfare, and his last campaign was in France, where he went to subdue a 5 revolt of the Normans, whom the French had induced to

rebel. The Conqueror was old, stout, and in poor health; but when he heard that the King of France was making fun of him because he was fat, he vowed revenge.

He therefore attacked Mantes, a small town, where, after 10 killing most of the inhabitants he had the houses set afire.

As he was riding through the place on the next day, his horse stepped on some hot ashes, and, rearing and plunging wildly, flung the king heavily against the pommel of his saddle.

The blow was so violent that William was mortally injured. His men carried him off to a neighboring village, where he gave his last orders. He said that his son Robert should have Normandy; his namesake, William, England; and his youngest son, Henry, a large sum of money.

The three young princes were so anxious to take possession of their inheritance that they all rushed away without waiting until their father had breathed his last. The king's servants followed their example and fled also,

carrying off everything they could lay hands upon. Even 25 the sheets of the bed upon which William lay were snatched

away from him, and the thief escaped, leaving the king's body on the ground, where it had rolled.

Some monks found the dead monarch lying on the floor, all alone, and charitably prepared to bury him. But when 30 they had dug a grave for him in a church William had

founded, a man stepped forward and said that the ground was his. The king, he declared, had never paid him for it, so his body should not be buried there.

The priests bought the soil; but the grave proved too 35 small to hold so large a corpse, and the priests had to


force it into the hole, while the few spectators fled in horror. The king, who had won a large part of France and all England by his sword, was thus buried like a criminal; and as he had shown no mercy to any one, no tears were shed 5 over his grave.


Why was King William unhappy?
What did his son Robert do?

What happened when William and Robert met face to face in battle?

How did Robert feel when he found out that he had been about . to kill his father?

Did William forgive him then?
What induced them to become friends?
Who was Alfred the Great?
Why did the Conqueror vow revenge upon the King of France?
Where is Mantes?
In what way did William receive his death blow?
What were his last orders?
What did the three young princes do?
Was the death of the great Conqueror sadly mourned? Why?


Mantes (mont)



When Henry V died, his only child, Henry VI, was nine months old. The English crown was far too large and heavy for this baby monarch's head, and when the sceptre was brought, his tiny hand clutched it as if it 5 had been a mere rattle. Fortunately for him, Henry VI had two very able uncles, the Dukes of Gloucester and Bedford, who governed England and France for him.

Two months after the death of Henry, the insane monarch of France breathed his last. According to the treaty 10 of Troyes, Henry VI was now King of France; but the

Dauphin Charles, the eldest son of the mad king, also claimed the crown, which by right did really belong to him.

The northern part of France was now in the hands of the English, who in fun called the dauphin King of Bourges 15 because they said he ruled only the province around a

small town of that name. Charles had very few troops, but he often secured the help of the Scots, who hated the English because they kept the Scotch king, James

I, a prisoner. The baby king's uncles now agreed to 20 set James free, provided the Scots paid for his eighteen

years' board, and promised they would not help the French or make war against the English for a term of seventeen years.

It now seemed as if all would go well for the English. 25 The Duke of Bedford, who was as good a warrior as Henry V, declared that as soon as he became master of the town

* From Guerber's “Story of the English.” Copyright, 1898, by American Book Company. Used by permission of the publishers.

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