King fears for his life

The Saxon Times 25th December 1066

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William Proclaims to be Reluctant King

Two days ago I talked with one of the City Magnates who was a member of the delegation that met with Duke William. He told me that “he prayed that Duke William would take the crown, pleading that they were accustomed to serve a king and wished only for a king to be their lord”. Even after just one day, he had begun to affect a Norman style of dress and manner, betraying his heritage for the sake of self-preservation.


There is a certain irony in the choice of West Minster Abbey, rather than St Paul’s. A Coronation at West Minster Abbey will finally lay to rest Duke William’s grievance with Harold Godwinson.

A Simple Coronation held today at West Minster Abbey

A short ceremony with little of the grandeur accustomed to coronations of the past. He will assume the title, William, King of England, Duke of Normandy.The English were subdued and grouped to one side and dominated by the greater numbers of Norman knights in attendance. Prominent was Bishop Odo and Count Robert of Mortain, the Bishops younger brother.

The Coronation

A full report of the coronation, and of the riot that followed, will appear in tomorrow’s edition of The Saxon Times.

Evening Update

At the reports of the riot most of the congregation fled. Only the bishops and a few clergy and monks remained, terrified in the sanctuary of the Abbey and with some difficulty the coronation was finally completed. The king was trembling from head to foot which shows how insecure the ‘Conquerors’ are. The Normans are bullies, skilled in violent retribution, barbarity and summary justice. It does not bode well for the future of what was once Saxon England.

An extract from The Saxon Times Resources dated 22nd December 1066 Issue 57, also available in A4 paperback covering 1066.

Also available as a teaching resource from: T.E.S.

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