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Explain Why William Became Involved in Wales in the Years 1066 to 1087 Essay

* Had to keep Wales at bay because the border kept shifting * Rebels that went against William went to Wales for safety The main reason that William became involved in Wales shortly after he had taken England was because he would have seen the Welsh as a threat. Along with many other countries, they would have known that the situation in England was unstable and William may have thought Wales were planning an invasion. To assert his authority over Wales, he led a campaign into their country in 1066 and an even larger one in 1081 for the sole purpose of asserting his dominance over the country.

If he shown just how powerful he was, then the Welsh princes would see that it was in their best interests to submit. He would have thought that because Wales had submitted to Edward the Confessor, they should do the same with him. Another reason why he got involved with William was because the borders between England and Wales were an issue. The borders between the two countries kept shifting which led to disputes between the Welsh and the English over the land. This would have created tension and William would have had to intervene.

This is why he built castles along the border so he could establish the line between his country and Wales. Also, why he wanted this line to be established was because Wales was having a power struggle itself. Because there were multiple princes in Wales there were many disputes going on and William did not want this ‘spilling over’ into his country. Furthermore, some rebels that went against William such as Hereward the Wake and Edric the wild took shelter in wales when their rebellions had failed.

Because Wales was sheltering the rebels from William, this made Wales an enemy to Williams reign. Overall, the reason why William became involved with wales during his reign was because he wanted to show them that he was in charge and was vastly superior to them. ‘Scotland presented major problems to William in the years 1066 to 1087’. Explain whether you agree or disagree with this view Plan * The northern rebellion-Malcolm teamed up with Edgar and the Danes * Malcolm was a king- natural rivalry dating back Tension between borders- this meant that Malcolm was hiding rebels * 1072 march into Scotland- showed his power because nobody really stopped him * Treaty of Abernethy was signed which meant that Malcolm recognised him as a leader and kicked Edgar out of his court. Scotland certainly caused issues for William during his years as the King of England however the severity of King Malcolm’s threats is to be disputed. One of the most important reasons why Malcolm was considered a threat was because he became involved in the 1069 Northern rebellion.

If Scotland had invaded by itself with nobody else supporting them, then they would have not been much of a threat. However when teamed up with the Danes and Edgar Aetheling, who was called “king” by rebels, the threat became considerably larger. Due to the North still being “semi-independent” from the south according to a historian, William did not have as much power here than he did down south which allowed Malcolm and Edgar to gain considerable support which was a major problem for William because he had only been King for 3 years and his hold on power was still quite fragile.

Another reason why Scotland was such a threat was because there was tension around the borders of Scotland and England. Much like Wales, the borders kept changing and this caused dispute between landowners. Also, Scotland could provide refuge for anyone that had rebelled against William (including Edgar) which would have furthered the tensions. The disputes of land had also caused problems for William. Lands such as Cumbria and Northumbria were disputed between Malcolm and William.

This became worrying for William because parts of his kingdom were being threatened to be taken from him which would give Malcolm more land and support against William. However, the threat of Scotland was not as substantial as some historians make it out to be. In 1072, William marched through Scotland with relative ease. Although Williams army was “fearfully exposed” according to Purser, the Scottish did not capitalize on this opportunity. This could be interpreted as Malcolm showing he did not want to fight against William.

This point links into the treaty of Abernethy. In the same year Malcolm met William at abernethy and signed a treaty which shown that he recognised William as his superior. According to purser, in “good faith”, Malcolm kicked Edgar out of his court which would have made further rebellions in the north very difficult. Overall, Scotland was initially a threat around the time of the Northern rebellion however the treaty of Abernathy played a main factor in extinguishing the threat of the Scottish.


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