History of England
I have decided that I want to write about a subject not much studied any more, at least not in America – the history of England. I have been studying English history from a young age; really, ever since I could get my fingers on a G. A. Henty or R. M. Ballantyne book. In my study of English history, I have decided to start where most historians consider to be the beginning of a civilized England.
I have only my first article and my most recent article on this page. For other articles on the English monarchy, hit the red Archive button on the above right.
King William II, called Rufus
King William succeeded his father on September 26, 1087 at the age of 31. He was called ‘Rufus’ (which means ‘red’ in Latin) because of his ruddy face.
King William Rufus spent most of his reign trying to capture Normandy from his elder brother, Duke Robert Curthose. In 1095, Pope Urban called for the first crusade to capture Jerusalem back from the Muslims, which was accomplished in 1099. Duke Robert ceded Normandy to King William for 10,000 marks while on crusade; the duke returned to Normandy one month after William’s death in 1100. Because King William had no children, Robert’s position as Duke of Normandy was undisputed.
King William repelled two Scottish invasions, killing the Scotch King Malcolm at the Battle of Alnwick in 1093. He also dealt with rebellions in Northumbria and attempted to invade Wales.
On August 2, 1100, King William died in a hunting accident in the New Forest in Hampshire and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. The Rufus Stone was erected where he fell. His brother Henry immediately succeeded him.
The inscription on the Rufus Stone reads:
Here stood the oak tree, on which an arrow shot by Sir Walter Tyrrell at a stag, glanced and struck King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, on the breast, of which he instantly died, on
the second day of August, anno 1100.
King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, being slain, as before related, was laid in a cart, belonging to one Purkis and drawn from hence, to Winchester, and buried in the Cathedral Church, of that city.