Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In 1051, William, Duke of Normandy, was laying siege to the town of Alençon, about 100 miles west of Paris. Residents of the town taunted William by hanging hides from the city walls, because William’s peasant mother was the daughter of the local tanner. William, then called ‘the Bastard’ but later known as ‘the Conqueror’, was particularly sensitive about the subject, and after taking the city, he rounded the offending townspeople, and had their hands and feet cut off.

Links and Sources:
The House of Normandy on English Monarchs
The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, 1110-1142.
War and Chivalry: The Conduct and Perception of War in England and Normandy, 1066-1217, by Matthew Strickland, Cambridge University Press, 1996, page 3.

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