illiam Rufus was the third son of William the Conqueror and Matilda. William's two elder brothers were Robert and Richard. Robert was the eldest and the chief heir of William the Conqueror. Richard died in an accident while on a hunting trip. William Rufus was loyal to his father, much more than his elder brother Robert, and when William the Conqueror died it was William Rufus who was at his father's side while Robert attended the court of the Conqueror's enemy Philippe the King of France. In the Conqueror's will the title of Duke of Normandy was bestowed upon Robert and the crown of England was bestowed upon William Rufus. On September 26 1087, William Rufus was crowned at Westminster as William II by Lanfranc, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
William the Conqueror's land was divided in two. William Rufus had England and his brother Robert had Normandy. This made life difficult for those Norman barons who had interests in both England and Normandy. In 1088 a revolt, led by William's uncle Odo and supported by some Norman barons attempted to remove William from the throne. Robert failed to come to England to assist the rebels and William put the revolt down. Odo was banished to Normandy. In 1096 William was able to turn the tables on his brother and he invaded Normandy. William had gained support from the Norman barons, and Robert's position became weak. Robert took the opportunity of Pope Urban II's call for a Crusade to loan Normandy to William in return for money to fund the expedition.
On the 2nd of August, 1100, William was hit with an arrow while hunting in the New Forest. Whether this was an accident or by design is not known. William was buried under the tower of Winchester Cathedral which collapsed the following year.