Heritage > Rulers

"William Rufus" 1087-1100

William Rufus was the Third son of The Conqueror and came to the throne instead of his elder brothers due to one political and one suspicious event. Robert was next in line to the throne but following Robert's attempt to seize the throne of Normandy from his father his claim became invalidated. Robert was given Normandy after he and his father had made peace but England was to be handed down to Richard, the next in line. Richard was killed in a hunting accident in the New Forest, leaving the path free for William Rufus.

William Rufus is described as being a greedy man who despised the Church. This is possibly due the fact that the Church had received great tracts of land, and the taxes they brought, that would have been extremely useful in paying for the wars he fought against the Scots and the Welsh. He is responsible for the building of Carlisle Castle, in Cumbria, to assist in the defence of England from their northern neighbours.

He is said to have been flamboyantly colourful in both dress and speech. It is hinted that he was homosexual but this has yet to be proven or disproved by historians.

In an a most curiously copycat death to that of his brother Richard he died from an arrow wound whilst hunting in the New Forest.

Historians have suggested that it should not be too hard to believe as one member of the hunting party was William and Richard's younger brother, Henry. When Henry heard, officially, of his brother's death he did not weep with sorrow but made full speed to Winchester to take possession of the Royal Treasury.

William Rufus was approximately 44 years old at the time of his accidental death? and had no wife or child.

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