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Урок The Norman Invasion. William the Conqueror. Medieval Britain

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«Урок The Norman Invasion. William the Conqueror. Medieval Britain»

Lesson 4

Subject: The Norman Invasion. William the Conqueror. Medieval Britain


  • to give the students information about the main historic events during the years of the Norman Invasion and after it

  • to introduce such a historical figure as William the Conqueror

  • to check the Ss’ knowledge on the topic


  1. Greetings + daily routine

  2. Revision

a) Answer the questions.

  1. When did the Germanic tribes (the Anglo-Saxons) in­vade Britain?

  2. Where did the Germanic tribes come from?

  3. What changes did the new conquerors bring to Britain?

  4. What was the fate of the Celts?

  5. Why did the Jutes, Saxons and the Angles merge into one people?

  6. What were the customary methods of cultivating the land?

  7. Describe the Anglo-Saxon village. What were the main occupations of the Anglo-Saxons?

  8. Why was here so little trading?

  9. Why was the unification of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms into one kingdom in the 9th century necessary?

  10. How did the Danish settlers in England influence the development of the country in the 10th — 11th centu­ries?

  11. How was the united kingdom of England governed in the 10th — 11th centuries?

  12. How did the Danish king Canute secure his power in England?

  13. Why were the Danes’ raids successful?

  14. Who became king of Denmark, Norway and England in 1017?

  15. What country did he make the centre of his power?

  16. What did he divide country into?

  17. What were they called?

  18. Who came to the throne after the death of Canute?

b) Complete the sentences

P. 14, 16

c) Put the following sentences in chronological order.

  1. In 449 the Jutes landed in Kent and that was the be­ginning of the conquest.

  2. By the beginning of the 9th century changes had taken place in Anglo-Saxon society.

  3. In the 10th century under the rule of Alfred the Great the Saxon monarchy was further consolidated and won several victories over the Danes.

  4. At the end of the 8th century another branch of the Germanic people began to attack Britain.

  5. From the middle of the 5th century they had to defend the country against the attacks of the Germanic tribes from the Continent.

  6. In the 5th century first the Jutes and then other German­ic tribes, the Saxons and the Angles, began to migrate to Britain.

(5, 6, 1, 2, 4,3)

3. The Norman Invasions

Four different peoples invaded England. First came the Celts in the 6th century B.C., then the Romans in the 1st century A.D. They were followed by the Anglo-Saxons in the __ century. After them came the Danes at the end of the 8th century. In the 11th century England was invaded by the Normans. This was the 5th and the last invasion of England.

A) Video “Norman Invasion of England 1”

The story behind the invasion. The last but one Anglo-Saxon king, Edward the Confessor did not have an heir. Thus, a four-way conflict developed over who would become the next King of England. The English Witan, the traditional council of nobles, chose Harold Godwinson as the new king. The other claimants included: King Harold’s half-brother, Tostig Godwinson, Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway, and William, Duke of Normandy, a region in northwest France.

Both Tostig and Harald Hardrada invaded England to unseat King Harold, but both attacks failed. The third invasion, by William of Normandy, proved successful: Harold Godwinson and his army were defeated by the army of William, Duke of Normandy in the battle of Hastings (1066). He was crowned king of England in the Westminster Abbey on Christmas Fay, 1066.

b) The Conquest “Norman invasion 2”

c) Impact of the Norman Invasion

The Norman Conquest was significant for several reasons. William was the new King of England, but he was also still the Duke of Normandy in France, which put him and his successors in the awkward position of ruling one country, while still serving as a vassal of another country’s ruler, in this case, the King of France. This dilemma set up England and France for hundreds of years worth of warfare as the ruling families of each kingdom battled for control of both countries.

Also, The Conquest created an ongoing link between the island of Great Britain (which includes England, Scotland, and Wales) with the European Continent through the connection of England and French Normandy. This connection can be seen in the development of English culture, language, history, and economics.

d) Life under the Normans. William the Conqueror became a savage and formidable ruler, by modern standards an exceedingly cruel one, but his methods produced the desired results and extinguished the fires of opposition. William gave lands to Norman nobles. The Saxons became an underclass whose language was the despised argot of the stable. French became the language of the new aristocracy.

William organized his English kingdom according to the feudal system. The land was owned by the king but it was held by others, called “vassals”, in return for a promise to serve him in war for up to forty days, and part of the produce of the land. On the other hand, each lord had responsibilities to his vassals. He had to give them land and protection. The people at the bottom of the society were called “serfs” and were in effect no more than slaves.

In order to know exactly who owned each piece of land and exactly how much taxes he could get, in 1086 William sent his men into every shire to conduct the first ever survey of its kind in Europe. Not surprisingly, it was most unpopular with people and they called in the Domesday Book. The last great change the Norman Conquest brought to England was the reform of the Church in which the Church obtained its own courts.

The reign of William II Rufus – William the Conqueror’s son – was very different from his father’s. He was a greedy man and was always in need of money to finance his extravagant lifestyle. His stringent demands and the new payments he introduced caused several rebellions. Besides, he shocked people by his treatment of the Church and his refusal to appoint a new Archbishop of Canterbury in order to collect the money of the archbishopric. He was further disliked for his rigid enforcement of the cruel forest laws. Ironically, Rufus met his end whilst hunting in the New Forest in August 1100.

William’s brother Henry seized the treasury at Winchester and persuaded local nobles to proclaim him king. Henry made his government more professional. Thanks to him the early twelfth century saw the appearance of the first national law courts, the rapid expansion of legal training and the growth of a new professional class of lawyers. His only son William died in 1120. So, Henry had to proclaim his daughter Matilda an heir. Yet neither Normans nor Anglo-Saxons wanted to be ruled by a woman, so on Henry’s death in 1135 his nephew Stephen of Blois was proclaimed king before Matilda could arrive to England from Anjou.

King Stephen was good-natured and courteous, but he was also lacking in resolution, did not enforce law and order and anarchy was the inevitable result. The lords recognized these weaknesses and built unlicensed castles from which they terrorized the people and against them Stephen could do nothing. Matilda did eventually invade England in 1139. There followed a long period during which the country was torn apart by civil war. Finally in 1153 it was agreed that Stephen could keep his throne only if Matilda’s son Henry could succeed him. King Stephen died in 1154 and was succeeded by Henry II, the first of the great Plantagenet dynasty.

4. The Middle Ages (1216-1485) encompass one of the most turbulent periods in English History.

  • Starting with the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest – when William the Conqueror effectively took all of the lands from the Saxon English and gave them to French nobles.

  • The English Middle Ages then saw the building of the great English castles, including the Tower of London, which helped the Normans to retain their hold on England. The start of the Crusades and the knights of the Middle Ages, including the founding of the Knights Templar.

  • The Domesday Book and the Magna Carta.

  • The Kings and Queens of the Middle Ages including Richard the Lion Heart and great Plantagenet Kings from Henry II (1154-1189) to Edward III (1327-1377).

  • The Hundred Years’ War between England and France.

  • The Medieval Knights and Queens of the Royal Houses of Lancaster and York and the Wars of the Roses.

  • The Middle Ages Feudal System and the terrible Black Death which really did plague in the period of the Middle Ages.

5. H/A

p. 16-20

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Предмет: Английский язык

Категория: Уроки

Целевая аудитория: 10 класс

Урок The Norman Invasion. William the Conqueror. Medieval Britain

Автор: Полякова Наталия Александровна

Дата: 06.10.2019

Номер свидетельства: 521822

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