|In June, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the expertise of Mike and Mike, SWAAG members had the option of joining the speaker in Fremington Sunday School or watching Zoom from home.
King William’s conquest of England in 1066 was something like the blitzkrieg of its day – a single massive defensive battle in which Saxon infantry faced armoured cavalry for the first time, resulting in English defeat and their almost immediate subjugation. The new king’s control reached from the Tamar to the Tyne within a year, although repeated rebellions took another 5 years to subdue.
Member Rod Flint discussed why it was that the small North West corner of the kingdom, and the central fells of the Lake District in particular, remained outside the King’s control for 91 years, and even after the Normans finally set foot there, why it took them 65 years before it was fully under their control. Geography, international politics, and the egos of competitive and powerful men all played their role.
Rod’s talk explored the politics of pre- and post-conquest northern England, looking at who the ‘strongmen’ of the North West were, and why the King’s writ didn’t extend beyond Carlisle until late in the reign of Henry I.