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Old October 27th, 2017, 11:22 AM   #1
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Why do the English hate 1066 so much


I have observed that people of Britain, especially from England, use to hate the year of 1066, calling it a foreing invasion and a downfall of the country. May i ask why? As someone in a different topic explained it already, the Normans didn't change English society that much, and much of pre-1066 culture remains still. And literally every each one of the European countries experienced a non-native dynasty ruling for at least a couple of years. One thing is certain: The Normans didn't harm English people as much as the Anglo-Saxons did when they invaded the insland and started conquering and extermnating Celtic people. So what are you mad at if you are not better yourselves (no offence, conquering other nations was common in Mmiddle Ages)?
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Old October 27th, 2017, 11:53 AM   #2
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I don't think we do. We see it as perhaps THE most important/memorable year in our history, but not with any negative connotations. It was a turning point in the history of Britain, but without William ee wouldn't have had our rich pagentry of kings and queens like Edward I,Richard III, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I etc etc
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Old October 27th, 2017, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
I have observed that people of Britain, especially from England, use to hate the year of 1066, calling it a foreing invasion and a downfall of the country. May i ask why? As someone in a different topic explained it already, the Normans didn't change English society that much, and much of pre-1066 culture remains still. And literally every each one of the European countries experienced a non-native dynasty ruling for at least a couple of years. One thing is certain: The Normans didn't harm English people as much as the Anglo-Saxons did when they invaded the insland and started conquering and extermnating Celtic people. So what are you mad at if you are not better yourselves (no offence, conquering other nations was common in Mmiddle Ages)?
I don't believe the English do hate 1066. I suspect those who do think of these things recognise it as a significant event. It had both positive and negative consequences. The consequences are probably seen as marginally more negative than positive. 1066 is not celebrated, but neither is it seen as a year of shame or infamy.

You are asking why descendents of a "historically conquered people" might have certain misgivings about being conquered? These misgivings have nothing to do with being better than anyone, rational thought or any comparative death count.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 01:02 PM   #4

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I grew up in the UK and I never heard anyone hating 1066, we learned about it in school, in due course of learning British history.

William wasn't viewed as French, I mean it wasn't a French invasion. William was the rightful heir (though some contest that), he was only returning from Normandy to take up his duties.

From what I remember, William's sister was married to the King of England - Edward the Confessor, who died in 1066.
William was claiming his throne, though as you might guess, this is a debatable point.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 01:53 PM   #5
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I don't think we hate it, I know I don't.
Maybe it was a foreign invasion, but after all the invaders, most of them, stayed, left descendants and are as much the ancestors of the modern English as the Saxons (and Britons) are.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 02:12 PM   #6

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The Normans were every bit as bad to the English as the English were to the population when they arrived.

The North of England was ravaged so completely that it was depopulated still at the time of the Doomsday Survey.

But I’m unaware of any hatred of it, in fact it’s quite celebrated as a key part of our history.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 02:52 PM   #7

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I too don't know of anyone who hates the year 1066. We were taught it at school - but I mainly remember it as the battle where King Harald got an arrow in his eye. Whilst I do actually think of it as a 'foreign' invasion (even if William could claim legitimacy to rule), it was nearly a thousand years ago and I don't engage with it on any personally emotional level. The society I live in, and the benefits I gain from doing so, owe a lot to its Norman heritage, as well as the Tudor, Stuart, Hanoverian, Danish, Saxon, Celtic, Roman,Flemish, etc, ones.

Perhaps the OP has picked up on some extreme Brexit rhetoric?
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Old October 27th, 2017, 04:25 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by Wickerman View Post

From what I remember, William's sister was married to the King of England - Edward the Confessor, who died in 1066.
William was claiming his throne, though as you might guess, this is a debatable point.
My mistake, Emma (who married the king of England) was Williams Great Aunt, the sister of his grandfather.
These family trees are quite complex, and the title 'king of England' is not quite as well defined as the title suggests.

William claimed that king Edward had promised him the throne as Edwards successor, but Edwards Will showed his successor would be Harold (who lost the eye), hence the subsequent Battle of Hastings

Last edited by Wickerman; October 27th, 2017 at 04:30 PM.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 05:23 PM   #9
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I think 793 might be such a year. The raid on Lindisfarne monastery is considered to be the beginning of the Viking Age. Good for the vikings, not so good for the English.

Last edited by stevev; October 27th, 2017 at 05:27 PM.
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Old October 27th, 2017, 10:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
I have observed that people of Britain, especially from England, use to hate the year of 1066, calling it a foreing invasion and a downfall of the country.
I'm intrigued by your opening comment. I'm 80 years old, English, and I have never come across anyone expressing hatred (other than in jest) for the events of 1066. There are, after all, many vital turning points in the country's history - the loss of the French possessions culminating in Mary's 'Calais engraved on my heart' comment, 1588 the Spanish Armada, the loss of the American colonies, 1805 and Trafalgar, 1815 and Waterloo, 1940 and the Battle of Britain - just a few at random, all of them with the potential to have been even more significant in that they were aimed at a far more homogeneous Britain than was the case in 1066.
The Norman conquest didn't destroy Britain - but it certainly changed it greatly.
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