chapter  2
THE NORMAN CONQUEST AND AFTER: 1066–1189 2.1 WILLIAM I 1066–87
Pages 2

William I lacked any claim to the English throne by hereditary right. In reality, he was king by conquest, and by the deaths of his adult rivals. He and his Norman followers were a very small minority in a foreign land.1 Certainly, in the first years after 1066, the new king attempted to rule not only through established institutions, but through personnel inherited from his predecessors. The Norman Conquest is traditionally seen as one of the greatest watersheds in English history, yet, beneath the surface, much is apparent of continuity from the Anglo-Saxon period.