HIST 204 Lecture Outline (Spring 2023 – Week 8)

HIST 204


ENGLAND, c. 1000-1307




Animated Bayeux Tapestry (second half, 4:16 min.):

Horrible Histories: Stephen and Matilda (Norman Family Tree Song, 3:10 min.):

The Bayeux Tapestry (BBC, 4:56 min.):

How parchment is made (BBC, 4:03 min.):



Marie de France, Lai du Chèvrefeuille (poem about the lovers Tristan and Iseult, possibly written at the court of Henry II, late 12th cent.) (4:42 min.):

The sound of Old English:

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Battle of Hastings, 1066 (1:21 min.):

The Lord’s Prayer, in Old English (Anglo-Saxon, 0:28 min.):

The Norman Conquest (see maps):

The back-story (according to the Normans): Edward the Confessor, King of England, is elderly and childless. He decides to name his maternal cousin William, Duke of Normandy, as his heir. Edward sends his brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, the most powerful noble in England, on a diplomatic visit to Normandy. He is shipwrecked, arrested, and delivered to Duke William as a prisoner. William takes Harold on a military campaign against the rebel duke of Brittany. Harold’s conduct is valiant, and after the rebel duke surrenders at Dinan, William gives Harold arms (a sign of vassalage). At Bayeux,  Harold swears an oath on relics to William (seemingly, to support William’s claim to be King Edward’s heir), and William sends Harold home to England.

(There is another claimant waiting to claim the throne of England: Harald Hardrada, King of Norway. His invasion, also in 1066, is ignored in the Bayeux Tapestry.)

(Click here for an animated [and abbreviated] version of the second half of the tapestry) (or click here for a later version of the same animation)

1066 January: Death of Edward “the Confessor” and accession of his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson as King of England
Spring: Halley’s Comet is seen as a fearsome omen
September: invasion of Harald of Norway, who is defeated by Harold Godwinson at Stamford Bridge
October: invasion of William, duke of Normandy, whose Norman-French army, with archers and cavalrydefeats Harold Godwinson at the battle of Hastings
1066-1087 Reign of William I “the Conqueror” (click here for a map of William’s dominions)
1086 Domesday Book (click here for an online glossary to Domesday Book)
1087-1100 William II “Rufus”
1100-1135 Henry I “Beauclerk”Establishment of Itinerant Justices and Exchequer
1135-1154 Stephen: anarchy (struggle for crown vs. Henry I’s daughter Matilda, widow of Emperor Henry V, and wife of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou)


Primary sources:

The Bayeux Tapestry, c. 1070s (see all 35 images at the the site below)

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Domesday Book and William I

Domesday Book (1086): Instructions and entry

Henry, archdeacon of Huntingdon (c.1080-1160), Chronicle: Stephen’s reign


 NORMAN ENGLAND, 1154-1307


Richard the Lionheart, King of England, “Ja nuns hons pris” (Ballad written while imprisoned, 2:40 min.):

Another version of the same (5:54 min.):

For your amusement:

Steeleye Span, “Queen Eleanor’s Confession” (A very anachronistic folk song about Henry II and Queen Eleanor, 5:13 min.):

The Robin Hood myth lives on:

Clip from the classic: “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938), with Errol Flynn, Olivia de Haviland, Basil Rathbone, and Claude Rains (4:58 min.):

Theme song to British TV series, 1955-?: “Robin Hood” (1:17 min.):

Trailer for “Robin and Marian” (1976), with Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn (3:11 min.):

Montage from BBC fantasy TV series “Robin of Sherwood” (c. 1983-4), with Michael Praed (3:13 min.):

Two clips from “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (1991), with Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman:

Readying the troops (1:52 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_1yILWMqFA
Cancel Christmas (2:17 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJk-yQadw_U

Trailer for “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (1993), with Cary Elwes (1:33 min.):

Trailer for “Robin Hood” (2011), with Russell Crowe (3:11 min.):

Opening of anime cartoon series, in French, 1990: “Les aventures de Robin des Bois” (1:21 min.):

The same opening, in its English, Japanese, and German versions (3:54 min.):



Henry II Plantagenet, son of Empress Matilda and Geoffrey, count of Anjou marries Eleanor, duchess of Aquitaine (d. 1204; former wife of Louis VII of France) (click here for map of his “Angevin empire” )

expands royal justice, leading to development of common law of England

attempts to bring clergy under royal justice, leading to clash with Thomas Becket, chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury (murdered 1170Becket’s shirthair shirt (of St. Louis);

murder commemorated on the seal of Arbroath Abbey)

invades and partly conquers Ireland

clashes with wife and sons, and with Philip II “Augustus” of France


Richard I “the Lionheart”spends only 6 months of reign in England; goes on 3rd Crusade and on return is captured and held to ransom by Germans, while Philip II “Augustus” of France attempts to conquer English possessions in France

(Click here for a story about the recent examination of Richard’s embalmed heart.)

1199-1216 John
1204 Loses French possessions to Philip II “Augustus” of France (including Richard I’s famous castle, Château Gaillard), except Gascony and parts of Aquitaine: see map of France in 1180 and map of France in 1223
1207-14 Interdict by Pope Innocent III forces John to grant England to pope as papal fief, which John then holds as papal vassal
1214 Defeated at Bouvines
1215 Baronial revolt forces John to agree to Magna Carta (the “Great Charter”).
Provisions of Magna Carta include:King and other lords may not arbitrarily tax tenants or vassalsUnder-age heirs shall not have their estates despoiled by their guardiansAristocratic widows shall not be forced to re-marry against their willThe freedoms of the Church and of London and other towns to be upheldDefendants at law are entitled to trial by a jury of their peersKing shall not sell, deny, or delay justiceBaronial council of 25 shall oversee fulfilment of the terms of this CharterMain concept of Magna Carta:The king is not above the law; he himself is subject to the laws of the land

Henry III

1245-72 (and later): Hen. III’s devotion to the cult of St. Edward the Confessor leads him to rebuild Westminster Abbey (plannaveCosmati pavement)

1258 Provisions of Oxford: curtail king’s expenditures; require thrice-yearly Great Councils (“Parliaments”); and establish baronial Council of Fifteen to oversee government
1264-5 Simon de Montfort‘s rebellion; first representative Parliament summoned (barons, prelates, two knights from every shire, and two burgesses from every borough)

Edward I “Longshanks”

Conquest of Wales; attempted conquest of Scotland; war with Philip IV (“the Fair”) of France; development of Parliament; expulsion of all Jews from England

Online readings:

Peter of Blois: Description of Henry II, 1177

Edward Grim: The Murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket, 29 Dec. 1170

Peter of Blois: Letter to Queen Eleanor, 1173

Magna Carta, 1215: complete text

Matthew of Westminster: Simon de Montfort’s rebellion, 1264-5

Three summonses to Parliament, 1295