Companions of William the Conqueror

Companions Of William The Conqueror

Companions of William the Conqueror

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William the Conqueror had men of diverse standing and origins in France, under his command at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, along with others completing his Norman conquest of England until after the Harrying of the North and before the Anarchy.

The term “Companions of the Conqueror” in the widest sense signifies those who planned, organised and joined with William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, in the great adventure which was the Norman Conquest of England (1066–1071). The term is however more narrowly defined as those nobles who actually fought with Duke William in the Battle of Hastings. This article is concerned with the latter narrow definition.

Proof versus legend

Many ancient English families of French origin have claimed amongst their ancestors a participant at the Battle of Hastings as a matter of great pride giving them legitimacy in the higher echelons of the British aristocracy. The large majority of these claims are based on legend and cannot be proven by historical evidence.

Many hundreds of Norman nobles of varying degrees certainly fought with the Duke at Hastings, yet the fact remains that the names of only 15 of these are recorded in contemporary historical sources considered to be unimpeachable.Douglas (1959) states the number of proven companions to be less...
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