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William the Conqueror$
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David Bates

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300118759

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300118759.001.0001

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The Final Years

The Final Years

(p.451) Chapter 12 The Final Years
William the Conqueror

David Bates

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the final years of William's life. During this time, William had to continue to juggle cross-Channel priorities as he had done ever since 1066. Another military intervention in Maine became necessary in either 1084 or 1085. In the autumn of 1085 he went to England to confront an expected invasion from Denmark, and although the invasion did not materialize, it was potentially more dangerous than the previous ones. The year spent in England in 1085–6 also involved the ‘deep speech’ at Gloucester at Christmas 1085 and the subsequent survey that produced what later ages have called Domesday Book, processes in which William was a centrally active participant. Relations with his eldest son broke down again during this period. And having crossed to France in the autumn of 1086, William was taken ill in the summer of 1087 while leading a campaign into the French Vexin.

Keywords:   cross-Channel rule, Maine, Denmark, deep speech, Domesday Book, Robert, military interventions, France

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