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William the Conqueror biography
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to feudal homage. On the other hand, St. Gregory himself commended the king for the zeal he had shown in securing the freedom of the Church, and he was content, while such a spirit prevailed, to leave the sovereign practically free in his appointments to English bishoprics. He reformed the English church, which he promised Alexander II he would do in exchange for papal sanction of his conquest.
He was mild to those good men who loved God, but severe beyond measure to those who withstood his will. He founded a noble monastery Battle Abbey on the spot where God permitted him to conquer England., and he established monks in it, and he made it very rich. In his days the great monastery at Canterbury was built, and many others also throughout England; moreover, this land was filled with monks who lived after the rule of St. Benedict; and such was the state of religion in his days that all who would, might observe that which was prescribed by their respective orders.He wore his crown three times every year when he was in England: at Easter he wore it at Winchester, at Pentecost at Westminster, and at Christmas at Gloucester
He achieved peace and stability primarily by replacing the old English aristocracy with his Norman vassals. The symbols of the security and order are the numerous castles and feudal estates which they established, the most famous being the White Tower of the Tower of London. He subdued the Scottish in the north and the Welsh in the west. He laid the foundations for the modern bureaucratic state in England by creating the Domesday book, a record of all the resources in the kingdom and the annual income of his subjects. While carrying on many of the Anglo-Saxons tradition, he imported continental feudalism to England. This way he could demand an oath of fealty from all the magnates in his realm and impose law and order on his subjects. Because of such measures as these William laid the foundations for successful medieval monarchy in England during the Middle Ages. For this reason the period between 1066 and 1154 is known as the age of Anglo-Norman institutions.
Amongst other things, the good order that William established is not to be forgotten. It was such that any man...might travel over the kingdom with a bosom full of gold unmolested; and no man durst kill another, however great the injury he might have received from him.
Zdroje: John Cannon: The Oxford Companion to British History, J. P. Kennyon: Dictionary of British History