Why did William the Conqueror die in Rouen?

On September 7th 1087   William the Conqueror died in Rouen, why Rouen?

Even though he had conquered England, he was also Duke of Normandy and he had to spend more time in France protecting his kingdom than he did here. In fact, it’s reported that at one point he spent five years out of the country.  He controlled England by being ruthless and bribing his soldiers with profitable lands, which in return they supplied him with soldiers when he needed them. It was the start of the Feudal system.   At the same time, he created a record of all the land owned in England, you may have heard of it, it is the Doomsday book.

So why was he in Rouen, and why wasn’t he buried in England?

Well, in 1087, when he was 60, he was in France demanding that Phillip, the King of France, return three towns. He entered one of them, Mantes, in July that year and fell ill.   They took him to a priory outside Rouen, where he lay for five weeks before dying. 

So, the conqueror of England died in France!

To tell your children about the Battle of Hastings, his invasion of England and how he won it, we have published a musical 1066 – The Battle of Hastings.  Click on https://bit.ly/31SDEaI which takes you to the show, where you can read two pages of script and hear two of the songs.

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