Rollo, in return for land in Northern France, swore allegiance to the French king Charles III. Charles' motives were to use a settled band of Vikings in his country to help prevent more Viking attacks in the future. The hope that Charles may have had of removing the Vikings at a later date proved impossible to implement. ¹
Rollo, the founder of Normandy, look control of the area around Bayeux.an the north caost of modern day France.
Rollo declared that the treaty that had maintained the peace between the Normans and the Franks was invalid and attacked the area around Amiens, north of Paris. But the Franks raised as army and defeated the Normans at Eu.
Forced to leave England by the invasion from Denmark, Emma Aethelred's wife, fled to Normandy assisted by the Bishop of Peterborough. Sons Edward (the Confessor) and Alfred followed later along with the Bishop of London. Ethelred was not far behind.
Aethelred had to abandon his country to Swein and went to Normandy to join his wife Emma and his sons.
Canute married Emma, the widow of Aethelred the Unready. This helped Canute secure ties with Normandy as Emma was the daughter of Count of Normandy.
In the eighth year of his life William (the Conqueror) became the Duke of Normandy when his father Robert died on a pilgrimage at Nicea. Robert's death led to a period of instability in Normandy as William was too young to take his father's place and the nobles in the region took the opportunity to settle old feuds and to increase their private wealth. ¹
A mysterious meeting is reported to have taken place in Normandy between William the Conqueror and Harold in 1064 or 1065. In the meeting it was claimed that Harold agreed that William should become King of England when Edward the Confessor died. From what is known of Harold it seems unlikely that he would agree to something like this. We know that he went against this agreement when he assumed the role as King after Edward's death. The Bayeaux Tapestry shows Harold travelling to, or being shipwreked on the land of Guy, count of Ponthieu. Harold was captured by Guy and held at his castle at Beaurain until William the Conqueror arranged for his release. The tapestry possibly shows Harold swearing an oath while his hands rest on what appear to be sacred relics. After this his returned to England.
Edward the Confessor died at Westminster. The death of Edward was an important event in the chain of events that led up to the invasion by William the Conqueror from Normandy.
William the Conqueror made preparations to invade England. His invasion fleet gathered in the estuary of the River Dives and other ports in Normandy. ¹
William returned to Normandy taking as guests Edgar the Aetheling (the grandson of Edmund Ironside), Stigand (Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earls of Mercia and Northumbria and the brothers Edwin and Morcar. ¹
Many Norman barons held land both in England and Normandy. With two opposing lords, William in England and Robert in Normandy, the barons were finding it difficult to know who to support. A revolt led by Odo sprung up in England with the aim of removing William from the throne. Odo's revolt in Kent and Sussex was supported by barons across the country. Roger Bigod from Norwich and Geoffrey of Coutances and Robert Mowbray from Bristol supported Odo. In Worcestershire Roger de Lacy captured Hereford and attacked Worcester. In the south-east Roger Montgomery at Arundel Robert of Mortain at Pevensey and Gilbert de Clare at Tonbridge also prepared to fight the King. Robert of Belleme, a Norman baron, who was able to bring support from Normandy. Robert also controlled castles in the Welsh Marches where the revolt also took place.
Odo was accompanied to Rochester Castle by an escort but When they reached the castle the rebels captured the escort and refused to accept William Rufus as their King. Again William called for the people of England to support him against the rebels and together they lay siege to the castle. Odo surrendered when it was agreed that those in the castle would have their lives spared if the they came out. Odo and the rebels were allowed to leave but their lands in England were taken from them. Odo went into exiled in Normandy.
Robert of Normandy became under pressure from William Rufus who laid claim to Normandy. William was gaining support from some Norman barons and Robert took the opportunity to leave Normandy to answer Pope Urban II's call for a Crusade. Robert agreed that William could lease Normandy for three years for a sum of 10,000 marks. This money would help him fund the expedition.
Ranulf Flambard escaped from the Tower of London and fled to Normandy. There he joined Robert II of Normandy who had just returned from the Crusades. Flambard and Robert planned to take the English throne away from his younger brother Henry I.
King Henry I entered Normandy to take power from this brother Robert whose incapacity to manage the affairs of the region could have had grave consequences. Robert fought back forcing Henry to return to England but not before Henry had gained Caen and Bayeux.
The son of Henry I was drowned attempting a crossing from Normandy to England. It should have been a straight forward sea crossing from Normandy to England and the weather was good, but the young prince and his young friends had delayed the sailing with their merrymaking in Normandy. The crew of the White Ship were supplied with beer and as a result were in no state to handle the ship safely. The ship hit rocks and began to sink. Prince William was initially rescued and placed in a small boat but on his orders he tried to rescue his sister and the boat was overwhelmed by others hoping to be saved. The small boat tipped over and the prince was drowned.
Henry landed in England with a small army intent on attacking Stephen. Unfortunately, Henry's army of mercenaries was small and they were not being paid enough. Stephen gave Henry money to pay the mercenaries and for Henry to return to Normandy. Henry left England.
Without the support of the Earl of Gloucester, who had died the previous year, Matilda left England for Normandy leaving King Stephen to rule. His control over the country was limited due to his inability to subdue the lawless barons.
Henry returned to Normandy from Scotland and he was given the title of Duke of Normandy by his father.
Louis VII, the king of France, was not happy with Henry's new position as Duke of Normandy. Louis declared war on Henry. But Louis fell ill and the two enemies did not meet in battle. The dispute was sent to arbitration in Paris (Knights Templar?) and was resolved by Henry doing homage to Louis for Normandy and giving France the area of Vexin.
Henry had besieged a fort that King Stephen had built at Crowmarsh on the banks of the Thames opposite Wallingford Castle. An agreement of succession of Henry II after Stephen was concluded and witnessed by the English Knights Templars. King Stephen accepted Henry of Normandy, Anjou and Aquitaine as heir to the throne and in turn Henry recognised Stephen as King. Stephen made his barons do homage to Henry in January of 1154. ¹
A triumphant Henry returned to Rouen in Normandy to a warm reception from his family including Eleanor and his eight month old son William. ¹
While staying in Dover, the king suddenly became ill and died. He had agreed that Matilda's son Henry should become King upon his death. Henry was in Normandy at the time.
Henry of Normandy was crowned as King Henry II of England, and Eleanor of Aquitaine was crowned Queen, at Westminster Abbey. ¹
The Compromise of Avranches. Even though Henry II was cleared of involvement in Thomas Becket's murder, he did penance before the Cathedral at Avranches in Normandy. The compromise was a deal struck between Henry and the church over the matter of Becket's death.
King Richard I landed at Tyre and quickly moved towards Acre, where he needed to help an army that was besieging the town which was being held by a garrison of Saladin's troops. By July 12th, the town fell to Richard. Richard held Saladin's men hostage in exchange for 200,000 dinars and the release of 1500 of Richard's own troops who were being held by Saladin. When no ransom was paid, Richard publicly executed 2700 of the garrison. It was at this point that Richard angered Leopold of Austria, who was to imprison Richard as he tried to return to Normandy. Leopold's banner was ripped down from alongside Richard's and the French. The banners indicated that the spoils of war should be shared, but Richard was not prepared the share with Leopold, who had not contributed to the fall of Acre. ¹
John is crowned Duke of Normandy at Rouen by Walter the Archbishop of Rouen. ¹
In France the Lusignans were causing problems still angry over John's marriage to Isabella. John ordered that an army should assemble at Portsmouth. Instead of taking the assembled army John used the money to hire mercenaries and took them instead.
Failing to attend the court of Philippe II, John was declared to be a rebel and to have forfeited the areas of Aquitaine, Poitou and Anjou. Philippe tried to mediate in the problems between John and the Lusignans but was ignored by John. The lands were given to Arthur of Brittany. Philippe kept Normandy for himself. ¹
By the summer of 1203 John had retreated to Normandy and was surrounded by his enemies. He was losing ground and castles. It would not be long before he abandoned Normandy for good.
After losing Normandy to the French, John sent an embassy to France to negotiate with Philippe. In the party that went from England were Hubert Walter and William Marshal. The negotiations failed due to Philippe's demands. ¹
Philippe II, King of France won control of Rouen, the capital of Normandy and Normandy itself. John still had control of Aquitaine. ¹
Philippe II of France held a meeting in Normandy to discuss invading England. This forced King John to abandon his own plans of invading Normandy as he could not risk moving his army abroad when the French were about to attack. The planned French invasion never materialised. ¹
Worried by rumours of an invasion from Philippe of France, led by heirs of king Stephen, John prepared an invasion fleet of his own. But the barons refused to cross the Channel and attack Normandy and so the fleet was disbanded. ¹
The defeat of the French fleet left Prince Louis without much hope of taking the English throne. William Marshall blockaded London from the sea and land and at Lambeth Louis accepted peace terms. Louis waived his claim to the throne of England and should have restored Normandy to Henry but did not. Louis was paid 10,000 marks to ensure he left the country as soon as possible. William Marshall pardoned all those who had supported Louis.
The Treaty of Paris also known as the treaty of Albeville/Abbeville was a treaty between Louis IX of France and Henry III of England in which Henry agreed to the loss of Normandy, Maine, Anjou and Poitou. These areas had been lost under the reign of King John. Henry was able to keep the lands of Gascony and parts of Aquitaine. This won Henry the support of Louis IX of France against the rebellious Barons back in England.
Philippe VI of France and the Normandy elite planned an invasion of England. Their invasion force consisted of around 20,000 to 25,000 men.
Edward's invasion fleet landed on the north west coast of Normandy at Saint-Vaast de la Hougue on the Cotentin Peninsula (also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula). Edward stayed there for several days while the large army came ashore. ¹
Edward III's army began their march east across Normandy attacking and destroying French towns as they went. Those towns that did not surrender were shown no mercy and when they fell to the English many of the inhabitants were killed. Other towns surrendered to avoid bloodshed. Many hostages were taken and shipped back to England so that ransom money could be demanded. The English fleet sailed along the coast at the same time destroying French ships and attacking ports as they went.
Henry's army landed on the north bank of the Seine estuary near to the town of Harfleur (now part of Le Havre). Henry organised the siege of the town and waited for it to fall.
The future King Edward IV was born on April 28th in Rouen in Normandy. His father was Richard, Duke of York, the great-grandson of Edward III and his mother was Cecily Neville. Richard was acting as Henry VI's lieutenant-general in France.
Selection of references used:
Explore the White Tower
Explore all four floors of the White Tower at the Tower of London using the Unity 3d game engine.
A Medieval Mystery
There appear to be some strange connections between the fourteenth century Old Wardour Castle and ancient stone circle Stonehenge.
Old Wardour Castle appears to be aligned to ancient sites in the Stonehenge landscape.
Stonehenge is aligned to the Summer Solstice. Old Wardour has a very similar alignment.
Could the builders of Old Wardour used mesaurements from Stonehenge to layout the geometrical keep?