William The Conqueror: A Hero Or Villain?

1680 Words 7 Pages
Throughout medieval times and throughout all of history, there have been many people who have caused much controversy regarding whether or not they are good or bad. William Ⅰ, or more commonly known as William the Conqueror, is one of these people. William did many things throughout his reign that may give people the difficult decision of whether or not to call him a hero or villain. Regardless, he did many things that shaped England as a whole and that are still able to be seen today. Although there are many actions that may depict William as a villain, he is mainly able to be seen as a hero due to the fact that he wrote the Domesday book, reorganized and strengthened the church, and organized law and order. William the Conqueror was born …show more content…
When it came time to chose the head positions of the church, he appointed well educated men. This provided many benefits due to the fact that because these men were educated, they were able to know what they were doing, which allowed them to lead the Norman church in a very strong way (John Simkin). Also, they were able to use their knowledge to educate those who were not educated (including those not involved with the church), which further strengthened the church, as well as overall society. Not only did they have advanced administrative skills, but they also contributed large amounts of money, which allowed the church to make major improvements. Often with some of the money they received, the church also donated it to the poor and to the building of infrastructure, which further helped the development of England. William also invited foreign monks and scholars to Normandy to be a part of the church (CN Trueman). This decision made it possible to spread Norman culture due to the fact that these scholars and monks were coming to and from England, which allowed them to transport culture and language. Before his death, he declared that he would like his wealth and possessions to go to a certain place. This place is described from The Ecclesiastical History with, “…The wise king ordered all his treasures to be distributed among the churches and the poor” (Ordericus). …show more content…
At the beginning of William’s reign as king, he established many laws that helped England thrive. These laws not only helped him stay in control, but they also helped to prevent rebellion, arguments among people, and offered protection. For example, one of the laws he created is described with, “…that every freeman shall affirm by oath and compact that he will be loyal to King William both within and without England” (William the Conqueror, Medieval Sourcebook). This quote explains one of the very important laws William enforced, which was to swear loyalty to him. Although this law is partly selfish, it is also very smart because it would prevent rebellion and many other forms of conflict towards him, as well as England. Because people were forced to swear their loyalty to him, it meant that they were on his side and agreed with his views. Because they agreed with him and liked what he did, there would be no reason to rebel against him nor England. This would result in many lives as well as money being saved, because no one would be fighting. With all of this combined, England would be able to be a very strong force. Another very beneficial law that William created is shown with, “I will, moreover, that all men I have brought with me, or who have come after me, shall be protected by my peace and shall dwell in quiet” (William the Conqueror, Medieval Sourcebook). This

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