Notes for WILLIAMII, RUFUS, KING OF ENGLAND:|
WILLIAM II, called Rufus (1060?-1100), King of England (1087-1100), who extended his power into Normandy and Scotland. He was the third son of William the Conqueror, King of England, who on his deathbed named him as his successor in England, leaving the duchy of Normandy to his eldest son, Robert (1054?-1134). William Rufus, as he was known because of his ruddy complexion, was crowned in Westminster Abbey in 1087. The following year William's uncle Odo, bishop of Bayeux (1036?-97), led a rebellion of Norman barons who sought to unseat him in favor of Robert. William's English subjects, believing his promises of less oppressive taxation and more liberal laws, helped him quell the revolt. The king, despite his promises, continued to pursue a domestic policy that was harsh and venal.
William invaded Normandy in 1089, 1091, and 1094, winning some concessions from his brother Robert II, duke of Normandy, each time. He forced the Scottish king Malcolm III MacDuncan (1031?-93) to pay him homage and in 1092 seized the city of Carlisle and other areas claimed by Malcolm in Cumberland and Westmorland. In 1096 Robert mortgaged Normandy to William for funds to finance a Crusade. William then fought to recapture lands his brother had lost as duke of Normandy and returned the county of Maine to the rule of the duchy.
After the death in 1089 of Lanfranc, the archbishop of Canterbury, William delayed naming a successor. He held open vacant bishoprics and enriched himself with church monies, incurring the displeasure of many ecclesiastics. In 1093 he selected Anselm, Abbot of Bec (see Anselm, Saint), as the new archbishop, but they quarreled over William's authority to control church appointments. William was killed on Aug. 2, 1100, while on a hunting trip in the New Forest in Hampshire. It is not known whether the slaying, which is traditionally ascribed to a Norman named Walter Tirel (d. after 1100), was accidental or intentional. William was buried at Winchester; he never married and had no children. His younger brother succeeded to the throne as King Henry I.
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