The Norman duke William crossed the Channel from France to England in 1066. He wanted to conquer what he thought was rightfully his: The English throne. Indeed, he could make some claims to the throne, as his adoptive father, Edward the Confessor, had no children of his own. The English nobleman Harald nonetheless took control of the Kingdom.
In this second episode of the series “A history of Britain” Simon Schama shows how William of Normandie gained the support of the pope, transforming his dynastic feud in a crusade against the unjust. By destroying his opponents at the Battle of Hastings he not only took the crown in England. He transformed the Kingdom in a centralized, suppresive and inventorized organisation.