The Marvelous Middle Aged figures!

William the Conqueror, King John, and Joan of Arc

William the Conqueror

  WIlliam was born in the Nomandy region of northwestern France. He was acquaintances with the king of England, and when he died, Harold took the throne. This upset William, so he attacked! This battle was called the Battle of Hastings. WIlliam and his army killed Harold, and on christmas day WIlliam was crowned king. William was the first Norman king of England. He took the throne in 1066. As king of England, he maintained strict control of the government. William conquered many other lands aswell, which is how he earned his name. Perhaps one of his most famous accomplishments was establing the Doomsday book. This book was the first record of all the Land Owners in England and how much land they owned. We learn about him today because he was a leader who united England in a time of disorder. An interesting fact about William is he spoke no English when he conquered England, and never really mastered it! Quote- "England is Mine!"

King John

King John was king of England from April 6, 1199 to death. He was the youngest of King Henry II and Eleanor Aquitane. During his reign, Phillip II of France took back Normandy from England. This was a huge loss for England, and earned John is nickname "John Lackland" for losing land. John disagreed with the Catholic Pope on a great many of things, and they were always arguing. At one point the Pope Excommunicated King John from the Catholic Church. John has been described as cruel, strict, and he ruled with an iron fist over England. Finally the nobles and lords had had enough, and forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. This meant that even kings had to obey the same laws that the citizens of England had to. This document is thought of as the first step to modern Checks and Balences and the United Kingdom Constitution.

Quote- "Alright, alright! I'll sign this petty document if you all will quit nagging me!"

Joan of Arc

This character is a little different than the last two. Joan of Arc was born a peasant girl in France, and is now remembered as a Catholic saint and a Patriotic sign of France. She lead French Soldiers to victory over England in the Battle of Orleans when she was 15! This gave her the nickname "The Maid of Orleans." She claimed that she was recieving visions from God, and she helped Charles VII become king of France. Evantually she was captured by the English and burned at the stake for committing Heresy, which is any crime against the church. She was forced to wear womans clothing during her trial in England. Quote- "God has spoken to me. I don't think you should be worrying about what kind of clothes im wearing!"

Quinn Constantz

Historical researcher of the Middle Ages and professor at the College of William and Mary.