William II. (10661100)

William II., king of England, surnamed Rufus or Ruddy, born in Normandy, third son of William I.; succeeded his father in 1087; had to face a rebellion, headed by Bishop Odo, in favour of his eldest brother, Robert, Duke of Normandy, which he suppressed by favour of the mass of the people, to whom he made promises which he did not keep, for he proved a stern and exacting ruler; his energy was great, but was frequently spasmodic; he added Normandy to his dominion by compact with Robert, who went on Crusade, compelled Malcolm of Scotland to do homage for his kingdom, conducted several campaigns against the Welsh, and had a long-continued wrangle with Archbishop Anselm, virtually in defence of the royal prerogative against the claims of the Church, for a humorous account of the meaning of which see Carlyle's “Past and Present,” Book iv. chap. i.; he was accidentally shot while hunting in the New Forest by Walter Tirel, and buried in Winchester Cathedral, but without any religious service; in his reign the Crusades began, and Westminster Hall was built (10661100).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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