The Normans 911 – 1204

Normans

 

This timeline details the history of the Normans in Normandy, England and Italy from 911 to 1204.

 

 

911 (during)
Under the terms of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, Charles III (the Simple) of France gave land in northern France to the Viking leader Rollo as part of a deal to stop Viking raids on France. In return for the land Rollo agreed to protect that land from Viking invasion and to make no further invasion into France. He also agreed to convert to Christianity and swear allegiance to King Charles. Rollo was given the title Count of Rouen. It became known as Northmannia, the land of the Northmen.
927 (during)
Rollo’s son, William Longsword, succeeded him as Count of Rouen.
930 (around)
Rollo died at Rouen.
933 (during)
Rollo died at Rouen.
935 (during)
King Rudolph of France gave William Longsword the Contentin region (Cherbourg) and the Channel Islands.
942 (17th December)
William Longsword, Count of Rouen, was assassinated by suppoprters of Arnulf the Great, Count of Flanders. He was succeeded as Count of Rouen by his 10 year old illegitimate son Richard. He became known as Richard the Fearless.
946 (during)
Richard the Fearless was recognised by Louis IV of France as Duke of Normandy.
960 (Autumn)
Richard the Fearless married Emma of Paris, daughter of Hugh the Great.
991 (March)
Richard the Fearless and Aethelred the Unready of England made a peace agreement.
996 (20th November)
Richard the Fearless died. He was succeeded by his son Richard II Duke of Normandy.
1002 (5th April)
Richard II made peace with King Aethelred the Unready of England. The peace was sealed with the marriage of Richard’s sister, Emma to Aethelred.
1014 (early)
Aethelred the Unready of England, his wife Emma and their children sought refuge with Emma’s brother, Richard II of Normandy, after the Viking, Sweyn Forkbeard, took the English throne. They returned to England in March after Sweyn died.
1016 (during)
A group of Normans making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem were asked to help the Italians liberate southern Italy from Byzantine control.
1016 (December)
The children of Aethelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, Edward, Alfred and Godgifu were taken to Normandy for safety after King Cnut took the English throne.
1017 (2nd July)
Emma of Normandy, sister of Richard of Normandy, married King Cnut of England.
1018 (October)
The Normans in Italy were defeated by the Byzantines.
1026 (28th August)
Richard II Duke of Normandy died. He was succeeded by his son Richard III Duke of Normandy.
1027 (6th August)
Richard III died. He was succeeded by his brother Robert I Duke of Normandy.
1030 (during)
The Norman, Rannulf, won land at Aversa in Italy.
1035 (22nd July)
Robert I died while returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was succeeded by his illegitimate son, William.
1041 (during)
Edward the Confessor, son of Emma of Normandy and Aethelred the Unready was invited back to England to become heir to his half-brother Harthacnut.
1041 (during)
The Normans in Italy, led by William Iron Arm, succeeded in defeating the Byzantians in the Battles of Olivento and Montemaggiore.
1042 (8th June)
Edward the Confessor, son of Emma of Normandy, became King of England.
1043 (during)
The Norman William Iron Arm and his brother Drogo de Hauteville took control of Apulia in Italy.
1047 (10th August)
Battle of Val-es-Dunes
William Duke of Normandy, supported by Henry I of France, defeated rebel barons and gained full control of Normandy.
1051 (Summer)
William Duke of Normandy visited England and spent time with Edward the Confessor who had stayed in Normandy as a child. William claimed that Edward promised him the throne of England on his death.
1053 (18th June)
Battle of Civitate
The Norman army of Humphrey of Hauteville, Count of Apulia and Calabria defeated the troops of Pope Leo IX and the Holy Roman Emperor.
1054 (February)
Battle of Mortemer
The Normans defeated a raiding French army. King Henry I withdrew his support of William, Duke of Normandy in retaliation.
1057 (August)
William Duke of Normandy defeated a French/Angevin army.
1059 (23rd August)
The Norman explorer, Robert Guiscard had conquered much of Italy and was invested by Nicholas II as duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily. Sicily had not yet been conquered but Nicholas II declared him as duke as an incentive for him to make the conquest.
1060 (May)
The Norman Robert Guiscard conquered Taranto in Italy.
1060 (October)
Norman held Taranto in Italy fell to the Byzantines.
1061 (May)
Robert and Roger Guiscard conquered Messina, Sicily.
1064 (during)
Harold Godwinson was shipwrecked off the coast of Normandy. He allegedly swore an oath to support William of Normandy’s claim to the throne of England when Edward the Confessor died.
1066 (5th January)
Edward the Confessor died. The English crowned Harold Godwinson King of England.
1066 (28th September)
William Duke of Normandy invaded England to take the English crown beginning the Norman Conquest.
1066 (14th October)
William Duke of Normandy defeated Harold II at the Battle of Hastings.
1066 (25th December )
William Duke of Normandy was crowned King of England.
1068 (during)
William successfully put down a rebellion by Harold Godwinson’s sons in Exeter.
1068 (Summer)
A son, Henry was born to William I and Matilda of Flanders at Selby, Yorkshire. He was the first Norman king to be born in England.
1069 (during)
In order to put down resistance to his rule, particularly in the north of England, William mounted a series of harsh campaigns known as the Harrying of the North. Houses, crops, cattle and land were burnt and more than 100,000 people died from starvation and cold.
1071 (during)
William I defeated Hereward the Wake who had mounted a rebellion on the Isle of Ely.
1071 (during)
The Normans, Robert and Roger Guiscard, took control of the Italian city of Bari.
1075 (during)
Revolt of the Earls
Roger of Montgomery allowed Ralph de Gael to marry his sister even though the alliance had been forbidden by William. The two men then plotted to overthrow William and invited the Earl of Northumbria, Waltheof and Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark to join them. However, Waltheof got cold feet and told William of the plot. William reacted quickly and imprisoned Roger of Montgomery. Ralph escaped to Brittany leaving his new wife to hold out against William alone. She too fled to Brittany after William agreed a safe passage for her. When Sweyn Estrithson arrived with a sizeable force and found no army waiting for him he raided York and then returned to Denmark. This was the last major resistance to William’s rule.
1077 (during)
Work began in Canterbury on a huge embrodery to commemorate the Norman Conquest of England. Probably commissioned by William’s uncle Odo of Bayeux, it is known as the Bayeux Tapestry.
1077 (during)
Robert Curthose, eldest son of William I, who wanted more responsibility and power, led a revolt to take Rouen from his father. The revolt failed and Robert was forced to flee to Gerberoi in Flanders.
1079 (during)
The New Forest
William, who loved hunting, created a New Forest in Hampshire England. Around 20 small hamlets were cleared from the area. To make sure that his hunting grounds were unaffected by poaching, William made large areas of woodland subject to Forest Law. This meant that everything in any designated area, including trees, leaves, birds and animals, belonged to the King. This made life especially difficult for the common people who relied on the woodland for wood and food.
1080 (Autumn)
William’s eldest son, Robert Curthose, invaded Scotland.
1081 (during)
The Norman Robert Guiscard, took control of Albania.
1085 (during)
William I commissioned the Domesday Survey to discover the wealth and possessions of everyone in England.
1086 (during)
The Italian port of Syracruse fell to the Normans.
1086 (during)
The Domesday Survey was completed and the findings written up in the Domesday Book.
1087 (during)
William I died. He left England to his son William who was crowned King William II, while his elder son, Robert became Duke of Normandy.
1088 (Spring)
Odo of Bayeux, led a rebellion of a large number of barons against William II. They believed that William’s eldest son, Robert Curthose, should have inherited both England and Normandy. The rebels made their base at Pevensey Castle but William II successfully lay siege to the castle and the rebellion was put down. Odo was banished to Normandy.
1091 (during)
Roger Guiscard succeeded in conquering Sicily.
1091 (2nd February)
William II invaded Normandy at the head of a large army. Robert and William agreed a treaty of mutual assistance which excluded their younger brother Henry from the succession.
1091 (March)
William II and his brother Robert lay siege to their brother, Henry’s forces at Mont St Michel. Henry fled to France.
1093 (during)
William II invaded Wales and built castles at Cardiff and Pembroke.
1093 (13th November)
Battle of Alnwick
William II met Malcolm III as he tried to invade England. The Scottish King was defeated and killed.
1098 (during)
The Norman Bohemond captured Antioch while on the First Crusade.
1099 (during)
Robert Duke of Normandy was one of those to answer Pope Urban’s call for a crusade to take back the Holy Land. To raise money for the crusade he leased Normandy to his brother William II of England for 10,000 marks.
1100 (during)
The Normans lost control of Albania.
1100 (2nd August)
William II was killed by an arrow fired by Walter Tirel. There has been much debate as to whether William’s death was an accident or an assassination.
1100 (5th August)
Henry I, younger son of William I, was crowned King Henry I.
1101 (during)
Roger of Sicily died. He was succeeded by his son, Simon.
1101 (20th July)
Robert Duke of Normandy landed at Portsmouth to lay claim to the English throne. Many influential barons led by Robert of Belleme flocked to his side, believing him to be the true King of England. However, the former court of William II, led by Robert of Meulan and the English church remained loyal to Henry. Conflict was avoided when both sides agreed to negotiate. The Treaty of Alton agreed that Henry would keep England but would pay Robert a pension of 2,000 marks per year.
1105 (during)
Simon of Sicily died. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Roger II of Sicily.
1106 (28th September)
Battle of Tinchbrai
Robert Duke of Normandy, was defeated by Henry I of England and imprisoned. Henry took the title Duke of Normandy but this was contested by Robert’s son William Clito.
1114 (7th January)
Henry I’s daughter, Matilda, married Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor.
1118 (during)
Henry spent the whole year in Normandy defending it against attack from the King of France, the Count of Anjou and the Count of Flanders. With Henry’s long absences in Normandy it was necessary to leave the government of England in the hands of a vice-regal committee. This committee met twice-yearly to audit the accounts of the sheriffs. Accounts were balanced with the famous chequered cloth giving rise to the naming of the finances of government as the exchequer. Routine administrative work, especially that related to revenue was carried out by Roger of Salisbury.
1120 (25th November)
After a successful summit meeting with King Louis VI of France where his son, William Aetheling was created Duke of Normandy, Henry I made his way back to England. His son, William chose to sail in a new ship, the White Ship owned by Thomas Fitzstephen. Leaving the harbour at Barfleur the ship struck a rock and sank. The disaster left Henry I without a male heir.
1127 (during)
Roger II of Sicily succeeded in taking control of Malta.
1128 (17th June)
Henry married his daughter, Matilda, to Geoffrey, Count of Anjou. He was known as Plantagenet because he wore a sprig of broom in his hat.
1130 (25th December)
Roger II of Sicily was crowned King of Sicily, Apulia and Calabria.
1135 (1st December)
Henry I died in Normandy.
1135 (22nd December)
Although the English barons had promised to recognise Henry’s daughter as queen they chose to crown Henry’s nephew, Stephen of Blois as King of England instead. Matilda, who was in Normandy when her father died, claimed Normandy as hers.
1137 (during)
King Stephen of England attempted to take Normandy but was unsuccessful.
1138 (during)
Matilda, supported by her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester rebelled against Stephen’s rule beginning a civil war known as The Anarchy.
1141 (2nd February)
Battle of Lincoln
Matilda took control of the throne of England after capturing Stephen.
1141 (14th September)
Rout of Winchester
Matilda’s main supporter and commander of her army, Robert of Gloucester, was captured by forces loyal to King Stephen. Matilda was forced to exchange Stephen for Robert.
1151 (7th September)
Matilda’s husband, Geoffrey of Anjou died. Her son, Henry inherited the dukedom of Anjou.
1153 (early)
The Anarchy ended when it was agreed that Stephen would continue to rule England but when he died he would be succeeded by Matilda’s son, Henry Plantagenet.
1154 (19th December)
In England, King Stephen died. He was succeeded by Henry II, Duke of Anjou the first Plantagenet King. Henry ruled over a vast land including England, Anjou, Maine, Normandy, Aquitaine and Nantes. He would go on to control parts of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
1189 (during)
King William II of Sicily died. Tancred of Lecce, son of Roger III Duke of Apulia seized the throne.
1194 (during)
Tancred of Lecce died. He was succeeded by his son King William III of Sicily.
1195 (during)
Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VI invaded Sicily and was crowned King, ending Norman rule in southern Italy.
1204 (during)
King John of England lost control of Normandy to King Philip Augustus of France.

 

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017). The Normans 911 – 1204. Available: http://www.totallytimelines.com/the-normans=911-1204 Last accessed January 19th, 2018

 

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