Edward was Harthacnuts half brother and the son of Æthelred and Emma. He was made king in 1042. He had spent most of his life in exile in Normandy, so his relationship to Normandy was closer than to either Denmark or England. A long-lasting conflict between Edward and the family of Godwin, the earl of Wessex, characterised Edward's reign in the 1050s and early 1060s. He died heirless as the last Anglo-Saxon king, a situation that led to the Norman Conquest. He was a very religious king, which earned him the title the Confessor.
|History, Old English Period, Political, Kings + Rulers, Norman Conquest|
When Edward the Confessor died without an heir, three people made a claim the throne: First was Harold Godwinson who ascended the throne, but was attacked by Scandinavian king Harald Hardrada in the north. Though Harold Godwinson won the battle, William of Normandy used the opportunity to attack in the south. Godwinson and his weakened armies hurried to the south, but lost the Battle of Hastings again William.
|Political, Old English Period, Middle English Period, Norman Conquest, History|
The Middle English Period is another commonly used division of English history into a larger category. In the ME Period, English had already evolved into a more analytic language, probably as a result of Old Norse contact. During this period, it was heavily influenced by French. Like OE, the term is used to distinguish linguistic, literary and historical eras.
|Linguistics, Middle English Period, Norman Conquest|
William was the first Norman king of England. His predecessor Edward the Confessor was his first cousin once removed and had maintained a close relationship to William, having promised the throne to William during his stays in Normandy and making William's claim to the throne well-founded. William became king of England after the Norman Conquest. During his reign, William gave orders to compile a great survey of all the landed possessions in England to strengthen his authority.
|History, Middle English Period, Kings + Rulers, Norman Conquest, Political|
As a result of the Norman Conquest, French became the official language of government. Though English survived, it was heavily influenced and adopted a large amount of French vocabulary. The influence happened on a higher register, in the language of government, medicine, fashion, aristocracy, art and education.
|Linguistics, Language Contact, Middle English Period, Norman Conquest|
William the Conqueror gave orders to compile a great survey of all the landed possessions in England in 1086 which should provide the king with reliable assessment of taxes due to the crow. This Domesday Book is an inventory of England which made it easier to track taxes. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest administrative achievements of the Middle Ages.
|Literature, Middle English Period, Political, Norman Conquest, Prose|