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Old October 4th, 2006, 10:19 AM   #1
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William The Conqueror


Can anyone document that William The Conqueror had any blood claim to the throne of England? Was he in any way a descendant of Egbert? I know that Williamís wife, Matilda of Flanders, was a direct descendant of Alfred the Great, so Williamís sons all had blood claims, but what about William himself?

Also, William and Matilda were buried in separate cathedrals that they had built for this purpose. Supposedly they were cousins and needed the Catholic Churchís permission to marry. They had to buy this permission with the two cathedrals. But, I have researched both William and Matildaís lineages back for several generations and cannot find how they were related. Does anyone know?
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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #2

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Re: William The Conqueror


William and Mathilda's marriage was finally papally permitted in the 1050's, through her Wm was related to Alfred the Great, as was Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, his previous & subsequent rival.

Wm did not have any legitimate right to the Englsh crown(same vague 'promises' Edward the COnfessor 'promised' to Kings Magnus of Norway & Swein of Denmark in the 1040's) and, only after a bitterly-fought, close-run and brutal(even by the standards back then) all-day battle, did he win the crown. Even after 1066, Wm found strong and organised resistance(Ansgar the Staller, earls Waltheof,Edwin & Morcar, Hereward 'the Wake', Edric the Wild, etc)
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #3
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Re: William The Conqueror


Quote:
Originally Posted by kingtaker
Wm did not have any legitimate right to the Englsh crown(same vague 'promises' Edward the COnfessor 'promised' to Kings Magnus of Norway & Swein of Denmark in the 1040's)
Did The Confessor have such legal authority? What about the Witan and the rule of law?
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Old October 5th, 2006, 01:42 PM   #4

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flaja and all:

No, Edward "the Confessor" did *not* have any "legitimate" authorty under English law, to promise the crown to anybody. Besides, it is my understanding, based on what I've read, that Edward never made any public statements to the effect that William should inherit the English throne. About the only claim William actually had, was through Emma, the daughter of Richard, duke of Normandy, who was William's grandfather! It's true, she married first Aethelraed "the Unready", and Edward was one of the offspring of this marriage. But that was about it. William himself had no real claim other than this rather tenuous relationship. And it didn't help much that he was the Child of an Informal Relationship!. Or, that Harold was about the most reasonable candidate around, at least according to the Witan(Edward, in front of witnesses, willed the throne to Harold on his deathbed).
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Old October 5th, 2006, 01:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Illg
flaja and all:

No, Edward "the Confessor" did *not* have any "legitimate" authorty under English law, to promise the crown to anybody. Besides, it is my understanding, based on what I've read, that Edward never made any public statements to the effect that William should inherit the English throne. About the only claim William actually had, was through Emma, the daughter of Richard, duke of Normandy, who was William's grandfather! It's true, she married first Aethelraed "the Unready", and Edward was one of the offspring of this marriage. But that was about it. William himself had no real claim other than this rather tenuous relationship. And it didn't help much that he was the Child of an Informal Relationship!. Or, that Harold was about the most reasonable candidate around, at least according to the Witan(Edward, in front of witnesses, willed the throne to Harold on his deathbed).
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But, if Emma was not a blood relative to Egbert, what claim could William had had to the throne through her?
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Old October 5th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #6

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Flaja:

I don't quite see what Egbert had to do with it. However, William's "claim" --- if he made such a claim, and there's no evidence that I know of that he did --- would have been (a), that Edward had the right to give him the throne since they were (sort of) related by marriage, through Emma and that (b)that would have made him, William, the "logical" choice. But AFAIK, he never made such a claim. He *did* claim that Harold swore to support his own claim, on holy relics. The trouble with this is, that that chroniclers who reported this, couldn't agree as to what the nature of the oath was, nor even *where* it took place. And most people(even "Pro-Norman" historians, tend to think that Harold was pretty much coerced into swearing such an oath, and therefore, even by medieval standards, it would not have been binding.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 04:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illg
Flaja:

I don't quite see what Egbert had to do with it.
Egbert was the first king of all the English. By right the throne belongs to his blood descendants.

Quote:
However, William's "claim" --- if he made such a claim, and there's no evidence that I know of that he did --- would have been (a), that Edward had the right to give him the throne
Edward had no such right. Succession is a matter of law, not the whim of the current occupant of the throne.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaja
Quote:
Originally Posted by Illg
Flaja:

I don't quite see what Egbert had to do with it.
Egbert was the first king of all the English. By right the throne belongs to his blood descendants.

Quote:
However, William's "claim" --- if he made such a claim, and there's no evidence that I know of that he did --- would have been (a), that Edward had the right to give him the throne
Edward had no such right. Succession is a matter of law, not the whim of the current occupant of the throne.
True, but the King was also a part of that law process, though yes- the witan (council of the rich or powerful) had the ultimate say in succession matters in Anglo-Saxon England. Billy the fat had no 'rights' at all...
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Old October 6th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #9

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Kingtaker:

I knew that Egbert is considered the first king of the English, but I was confused because I wasn't aware of any direct line between him and Edward "the Confessor". In any case, the fact of the matter by 1066 was, that the Witan had the final say as to who the king succeeding Edward would be. And they didn't want William. And that was the law of the land, which, as you pointed out, the king was a part. End of story. At least until William won at Hastings.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 04:54 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illg
Kingtaker:

I knew that Egbert is considered the first king of the English, but I was confused because I wasn't aware of any direct line between him and Edward "the Confessor". In any case, the fact of the matter by 1066 was, that the Witan had the final say as to who the king succeeding Edward would be. And they didn't want William. And that was the law of the land, which, as you pointed out, the king was a part. End of story. At least until William won at Hastings.
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Hi Illg

King Ecgbert(802-39), was the grandfather of Alfred the Great(871-99- Count Eustace II of Boulogne also claimed ancestry with Alfred), and seven generations older than his direct descendant Edward the Confessor(1042-66)
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