Famous people of the Middle Ages

William the Conqueror, King John, and Joan of Arc

WIlliam the Conqueror - Biograhical Info.

WIlliam the Conqueror, also known as William I or William the Bastard, was born in 1027, in Falaise, France. He was the illegitimate son of Robert I, duke of Nrmandy and his concubine, Herleva. When he was younger, he developed intelligence and shrewdness, both of which helped him in his later years.

William the Conqueror - Memorable Moments

When Edward the Confessor died without an heir, William I made a claim to his throne. But another person, Harold III had also wanted the throne. Eventually WIlliam had won and was crowned king of England on Christmas Day; though opposition to his rule had continued for the next twenty years. He also had two sons, Robert II, and William II, which he divided his kingdoms to after he died.
William at the Battle of Hastings

William the Conqueror - Importance

WIlliam I had shaped England's feudal system, making it so that kings, not nobles, had supreme power. He imposed royal authority on the courts and imposed and imposed an accurate tax system. That tax system's records came to be known as the Doomsday book. He revolutionized the social, political, and military systems of England, replaced English nobles with French nobles to strengthen his power, and introduced Feudalism.

“I have persecuted its native inhabitants beyond all reason. Whether gentle or simple, I have cruelly oppressed them; many I unjustly inherited; Innumerable multitudes, especially in the county of York, perished through me by famine or the sword." – William the Conqueror

King John - Biographical Info.

King John was born in December 24, 1167, in Oxford. He was the youngest son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was also known as John Lackland since his father had not granted him any in the Continent. John's character was unstable, suspicious, and unforgiving, yet he was also highly intelligent, efficicent, and sophisticated. John competed for his brother's throne against his nephew, Arthur, and had him killed in 1203. He eventually died from peaches and left the throne to his son Henry.

King John - Memorable Moments

King John's reign was most memorable for his with the churches and barons, the latter of which resulted in the Magna Carta. In 1200, he married Isabella of Angouleme, though she was already married to Hugh of Lusignan. He disputed with Pope Innocent III for two years before being excommunicated from the church. He attempted to strengthen his hand against the barons, but they got him to agree to their commands to restore feudal rights in the Magna Carta.
King John signing the Magna Carta

King John - Importance

King John was most notable for the Magna Carta. He had quarreled with the church up until 1213 to accept papal passage; he then attempted to strengthen his hand against the barons. Eventually, the barons forced him to write the Magna Carta, the first document a king was forced into in an attempt to limit his powers and provide protection for his people.

Joan of Arc - Biographical Info.

Joan of Arc, also known as the Maid of Orleans or Jeanne d'Arc in French, was born 1412 in Domremy, France. She was the daughter Jacques and Ysabeau d'Arc. She also stood in a tradition of Christian warriors, including Charlemagne, Roland, and El Cid. She grew up as a shepherd girl in a farming family; at the age of around 13, she began experiencing visions, though it could be explained as epilepsy or schizophrenia. She had visions of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret and was convinced she had to save France. In 1430, she was captured by England and was tried and burned at the stake. In 1920, she was recognized as a saint and became a symbol of patriotism for France.

Joan of Arc - Memorable Moments

Joan's most memorable moment was in her help with the French in the Hundred Years' War, though she was most famous for the siege of Orleans. It marked a turning point in the Hundred Years' War. The siege had lasted about four years, and it seemed the English were winning until she arrived, winning nine days after she arrived.
Joan, captured by the English

"She is the most notable Warrior Saint in the Christian calendar, and the queerest fish among the eccentric worthies of the Middle Ages." -George Bernard Shaw

Saint Joan of Arc - The battle of Orléans

Joan of Arc - Importance

Her importance was recognized centuries after her death when she canonized as a saint in 1920. She was a key character in the Hundred Years' War, though she never actually fought in the battles. She was a great help to Charles IV, standing by him when he was crowned in 1429.

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