The Kings and the Church, 1066–1154
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The Kings and the Church, 1066–1154 book
As has been seen in Chapter 4, the English Church on the eve of the Norman Conquest was by no means moribund. However, the duchy of Normandy had been a centre of ecclesiastical reform since the turn of the eleventh century, and to Duke William and his Norman followers in 1066 the English Church would have appeared old-fashioned and in need of modernisation. From about 1070 onwards, therefore, significant changes were made to the structure and personnel of the English Church, and other innovations were introduced, into the way monastic life was conducted, for example. There were significant elements of continuity as well, most importantly in the ways the king continued to exercise control over ecclesiastical affairs. If the king was to govern his kingdom effectively, he had to govern the Church within it. So the changes made to the English Church between 1066 and 1154 will be analysed here to discover the extent to which they impacted on the effective exercise of royal power.