William I of England

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Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
William Shakespeare
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I have taken England with both my hands.

William I of England (1027 - 1087) Duke of Normandy; after 1066, King of England. Also known variously as William of Normandy, William the Bastard and William the Conqueror.


  • See, I have taken England with both my hands.
    • When he stepped off his ship on the coast of England and fell on his face in the sand (28 September, 1066)
  • I attacked the English of the Northern Shires like a lion. I ordered their houses and corn, with all their belongings, to be burnt without exception and large herds of cattle and beasts of burden to be destroyed wherever they were found. It was there I took revenge on masses of people by subjecting them to a cruel famine; and by doing so — alas!— I became the murderer of many thousands of that fine race.
    • Part of a speech on his deathbed in 1087, referring to the Harrying of the North. This was written down by a monk named Ordericus Vitalis in 1123.

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