The Norman Conquest of the North:
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William the Conqueror's conquest of the North was not immediate; the northerners massacred his troops at Durham and York and murdered his appointed earls; it was only after William's "Harrying of the North" in the winter of 1069 that the conquest of the region really began; it was completed by the construction of Norman castles at York, Richmond, Durham and "New Castle"; these became the strongholds of Norman control and authority in the North-East.

1066 - MAP OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR'S CAMPAIGNS:

This is a map of William the Conqueror’s campaigns (Red) and Harold’s route from York to Hastings (Blue).

1067 - EARL MURDERED:
King William appoints Copsig, a former lieutenant of Tostig, as Earl of Northumbria but Copsig is captured and beheaded at Newburn; Osulf of Bamburgh claims the Earldom but he is killed by an outlaw and William appoints a noble called Gospatric.

1068 - NORTH-EAST REBELLION CRUSHED:
Gospatric supports the Midland-based rebellion of Edwin and Morcar against the King but the rebellion fails and the rebels flee to Scotland; King William enters York and builds a castle; he grants Yorkshire to William Malet and Robert Fitz Richard and the troops are based at York Castle.

January 30, 1069 - NORMANS SEIZE DURHAM:
Robert Comines, a Norman knight, is appointed Earl of Northumbria by the King; Comines' 700-B army seizes Durham City and the Normans murder many people; Aegelwine, Bishop of Durham, warns Robert that he will be defeated.

January 31, 1069 - MASSACRE IN DURHAM:
Early in the morning a mob of Northumbrians broke the gates of Durham and stormed through the streets killing the Normans; Earl Comines flees for safety into the bishop's palace but is killed when it is set alight; the blaze threatens the western tower of Durham Minster but the locals pray and the wind diverts the flames; only two Normans survive and flee.

February 1069 - SIEGE AT YORK:
The natives of York besiege their castle and Robert Fitz Richard, a Norman commander, is killed.

March 1069 - WILLIAM SACKS YORK:
York is sacked by the Normans under King William; churches including the Minster are plundered and the rebels flee; William builds an additional castle and the garrison is placed under William FitzOsbern.

September 8, 1069 - DANES AND REBELS ENTER THE HUMBER:
The Danes under King Sweyn enter the Humber with a fleet of ships accompanied by Edgar of Wessex who claims England's throne; they march for York.

September 1069 - NORMANS RETREAT AFTER ST CUTHBERT MIRACLE:
Norman soldiers retreat at Northallerton during a march north to attack Durham; Durham folk claim the Normans were frightened by a miracle fog created by St Cuthbert; the real reason is that they have the Danish invasion of York to contend with; the Normans prevent the Danes from making York their headquarters by burning it; but the fires burn out of control, destroying the Anglo-Saxon minster and killing many Normans.

December 1069 - AXHOLME DANES DRIVEN OUT BY CONQUEROR:
Danes fortify the Isle of Axholme near Doncaster but King William's army attacks them and they flee and William spends the winter at York.

1069 - CUTHBERT FOLK TAKE FLIGHT:
St Cuthbert's Community flee from Durham with St Cuthbert's coffin to escape the Norman army; they seek refuge on Lindisfarne and are surprised by the receding tide allowing them to cross to the island; they proclaim it to be a miracle of St Cuthbert

December 1069-January 1070 - HARRYING OF THE NORTH:
King William lays waste to the region in a campaign which will be remembered as the Harrying of the North, destroying all farmland and property between Durham and York; the area is reduced to wasteland by fire and sword; many Northerners flee to the hills.

December 1069 - BISHOP PLUNDERS DURHAM MINSTER:
St Cuthbert's Community returns to Durham from Lindisfarne with the saint's body only to find the town has been destroyed; a worse discovery is that Bishop Aegelwine has robbed Durham of its richest treaures and fled.

1070 - SCOTS ATTACK NORTH:
Scots under King Malcolm invade the North from Cumbria; they are victorious at Hunderthwaite in Teesdale before plundering Cleveland, Hartlepool and Monkwearmouth; Gospatric, the reappointed Earl of Northumbria, attacks Malcolm's territory in Cumbria.

1070 - YORK MINSTER:
Thomas of Bayeux becomes the first Norman Archbishop of York; he starts building a new Norman minster.

1070 - NORMANS IN THE DALES:
King William gives Richmond (Hindrelac) to Alan the Red, Count of Brittany, so he can build a castle; Alan also constructs a castle at Middleham for his brother, Ribald.

April 1072 - YORK MUST ANSWER TO CANTERBURY:
William orders that the Archbishop of York must answer to Canterbury in terms of seniority; it is a demoralising decision for the North.

August 1072 - WALTHEOF AND WALCHER:
William replaces Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria, with Waltheof, an Anglo-Saxon of Northampton; Waltheof's powers extend from the Tees to the Tweed; Waltheof builds a castle at Durham for protection against the Scots and Frenchman William Walcher of Lorraine becomes Bishop of Durham.

1074 - MONASTERIES REFOUNDED:
Jarrow and Monkwearmouth monasteries are refounded by three Mercian monks.

May 1075 - EARL-BISHOP OF DURHAM:
Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, has been executed at Winchester for plotting against the king; Walcher, the Bishop of Durham, is given the earl's powers and becomes an Earl-Bishop.

1079 - SCOTS RAID NORTHUMBERLAND:
Scots under King Malcolm III ravage the North-East.

1080 - LUMLEY MURDER:
Liulf Lumley, a Northumbrian noble, is murdered by officers of the Bishop of Durham; Liulf, a confident of the Bishop, had aroused jealousy among the bishop's men; Bishop Walcher agrees to meet Liulf's family at Gateshead to make peace.

May 13, 1080 - BISHOP MURDERED AT GATESHEAD:
Arriving in Gateshead, the Bishop's peace making words are drowned out by the mob which shouts "slay ye the bishop"; Walcher takes refuge in Gateshead church but it is set alight; he is butchered as he tries to escape; the mob then attacks the Norman castle at Durham but the siege is abandoned after a four day onslaught.

1080 - BISHOP OF BAYEUX ATTACKS THE NORTH:
William sends an army north led by his brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, who destroys much land north of the Tees and steals valuable items from Durham monastery.

September 1080 - NEWCASTLE FOUNDED:
Robert Curthose, eldest son of William, has built a "New Castle" on the Tyne; it is built out of wood and will ultimately give its name to Newcastle-upon-Tyne; the castle occupies the site of the Roman Fort of Pons Aelius and lies close to a small Anglo-Saxon monastic settlement called Monkchester; Curthose built the castle on return from a military expedition in Scotland.



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