IN 911AD the Vikings invaded northern France and established a new colony in Normandy, and that is a seriously good name for a region if ever I’ve heard one. They quickly dominated the local population and became so immensely powerful that eventually William, Duke of Normandy, decided to invade England. He believed he had been promised the throne by the English King, Edward the Confessor. Unfortunately, on Edward’s death William’s distant relative, King Harold Godwinson, managed to beat him to the throne and break his promise to William. William was not amused, to say the least, and very soon lived up to his nickname of William the Bastard. He then went ballistic!
In 1066 he began a full-scale invasion of England. Harold’s army was soundly defeated at the Battle of Hastings and he died with an arrow in the eye. Ouch! King William then set about being very beastly indeed to the English, spreading his wrath (and taxes) far and wide.
William’s brother, Bishop Odo, had huge comic-like account of the Battle of Hastings called the Bayeux Tapestry made to celebrate the battle.
Always warlike, like his Viking ancestors, I suppose, William died twenty years later while fighting the French, when his intestines burst, merde, though it took a further five weeks for him to actually die. At his funeral his bloated corpse was crammed into a too-small coffin and this, together with a warm day, caused his body to explode! The resulting smell was so disgusting that all the royal mourners immediately ran away from the royal funeral.
William’s favourite son, William Rufus, inherited the throne of England and he was said to be a right chip off the old block, also being cruel, unjust, self-indulgent and downright selfish, just like any normal English king. Rufus too came to a sticky end, being mysteriously shot by an arrow while out hunting in the New Forest.