The Battle of Hastings lasted more than ten hours. William’s cavalry and archers attacked, but the English defense seemed strong at the outset. Exhausted but still firm English warriors did not give up, and the Normans could not break their lines. The English even managed to make the Norman troops confused and disarrayed, then started to chase the offenders. William spontaneously organized a counterattack. The Normans suddenly stopped fleeing and slaid the fooled English soldiers pursuing them.
The new tactics of feigned retreat worked out for William’s benefit. The success was inevitable owing to William’s reckless spirit and obstinacy. The Hastings Battle became a Norman triumph. King Harold, his two brothers and several thousands of his best warriors were killed. The English aristocracy of that time lacked a leader capable of initiating resistance against the Normans invading England.
Norman Sovereign in England
William’s coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on Christmas in 1066. In the person of William, England obtained a brilliant and experienced leader. He had encountered internal upheavals in his homeland. William learned how to discover disloyal servants and effectively combat treason. He centralized power and distributed authorities to vassals to an adequate degree.
The flourishing continental church penetrated into and merged with the English religious structures. William the Conqueror introduced monastic culture and founded monasteries in England.
English Rebellions: Déjà Vu from Normandy
Unrests broke out on the English land in 1067 and then persisted to reach culmination in 1069. In the English cycle of upheavals, William turned into a cruel repressor. He was not going to give in, especially in the newly conquered territory. Thus he finally suppressed the rebellions by the year 1071 and destroyed the aristocracy of England. Subsequently, the crushed English nobles faded to the French noblesse.
To reinforce his reign in England, William resorted to enormous construction. Numerous castles and fortresses emerged. In particular, the Tower of London also pertains to William the Conqueror’s construction strategy.
Norman landholders moved to England and became English landholders introducing Norman and French principles of land tenure. The frontiers of England finally got reinforced, since William introduced military service proven efficient in Normandy.