Leaders of The Middle Ages

William the Conqueror

Biographical Information:

William the Conqueror was born in c. 1027 in Falaise, France. He died September 9, 1087 in Rouen, France. During his life, his occupation was King of England for as long as he was alive. Other citizens described him as intelligent and a strong military leader. William the Conqueror succeeded his father as duke. "I am the most powerful leader to ever take over England."

Memorable Moments:

During his rein as King, WIlliam had many moments that are remembered to this day. He made a heredity claim to the Anglo-Saxon throne and invaded the island kingdom. He set in motion the Battle at Hastings and succeeded in winning the battle. On Christmas Day he was crowned the King of England in Westminster, Abbey. Between 1085 and 1086, he commissioned a county by county assessment of his English realm known as the Domesday Book.

Importance:

The importance of William the Conqueror was that he made a very strong monarchy during his rule from 1066-1087. He conquered England and the Anglo-Saxons and then changed his name to William the Conqueror. He crossed the English Channel with his Norman knights and defeated his enemy Harold during the Battle of Hastings. It took him ten months to defeat him but he finally won. He also shaped the feudal system in England along with creating a survey to create a central tax system.
William the Conqueror

King John

Biographical Information:

King John was born on December 24, 1167 in Oxford, United Kingdom. He died October 19, 1216 in Newark, United Kingdom. His nationality is English and his occupation during his life span was King of England. He is the youngest son of King Henry II of England. At first, King John was called John Lackland because his father did not grant him an appange on the continent.

Memorable Moments:

Open warfare between King John and his feudal overload, Phillip, caused John's ultimate forfeiture and loss of Normandy as well as the Angovin possessions on the continent to the French Crown. King John abandoned the fight in 1213 and accepted papal vassalage. In 1215, his nobles went against him because of how angry he made them. "The Magna Carta was not my idea, but I had to do it for the people."

Importance:

King John was not a very popular king, but he did have importance. He accepted the Magna Carta, which was also called the Great Charter. He agreed to not collect taxes from the nobles without their consent or to take their property without paying for it. This also happened due to the fact that the nobles went to him in a "gay military array" and demanded that liberties be granted to them. King John and his subjects than had to obey his own laws.
Horrible Histories - King John Online

Joan of Arc

Biographical Information:

Joan of Arc was born in 1412 in Domremy, France. Her maiden name was Jeanne d'Arc. She died May 30, 1431 in Rouen, France. She was only nineteen years old and a very religious person. Her nationality is French and her occupation was known as a Catholic saint. Famous quote- "I may be young, but I know what I am doing because God tells me what to do."

Importance:

She was a teenager who led Charles VII's armies to dramatic victories in the Anglo-French Hundred Year's War. At age fifteen, she lead the French soldiers to victory over the English at the battle of Orleans. Joan of Arc is also known as the "Maid of Orleans." She is so important for her ability to lead an army during a war but people believed that she was too good to be true and that there was no way that God was actually talking to her.

Memorable Moments:

Joan of Arc was tried and executed by her enemies, but she was later exonerated and proclaimed as a saint. She was first tried and then burned at the stake when she was nineteen. This is the cause of her death so young. She was accused of many crimes through her years. One of the crimes was that she was accused of wearing pants. Another crime was that she was accused of talking to God. (Even though that was part of everyone's religion.) She truly thought that God was talking to her through specific visions. She was able to pick out the king in a crowd of people without ever seeing him before. He was also dressed differently but she somehow knew that was the king.
Horrible Histories - Joan of Arc sketch