The norman conquest and the french

Harrying caused by political disturbances or by incursions of the Scots or Welsh was only occasional… Invasion of England The conquest was the final act of a complicated drama that had begun years earlier, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, last king of the Anglo-Saxon royal line. Edward, who had almost certainly designated William as his successor inwas involved in a childless marriage and used his lack of an heir as a diplomatic tool, promising the throne to different parties throughout his reign, including Harold Godwineson, later Harold IIthe powerful earl of Wessex. Amid this welter of conflicting claims, Edward from his deathbed named Harold his successor on January 5,and Harold was crowned king the following day.

The norman conquest and the french

Invasion of England

In the Normans conquered England and it affected strongly the language. Without William the Conqueror? It would have lacked the greatest part of French words that today make English seem on the side of vocabulary more a Romance than a Germanic language.

The Norman conquest changed the whole course of English. His possession of the throne had been a matter of conquest and was attended by all the consequences of the conquest of one people by another. A new nobility was introduced. Many of the English higher class had been killed at Hastings, and others were considered as traitors.

In only one of the 12 earls in England was an Englishman. For several generations after the conquest the important positions and the great estates were almost held by Normans or men of foreign blood.

Norman prelates occupied important positions in the church. The use of French by the upper class The number of Normans who settled in England was sufficiently predominant to continue to use their own language. It was natural at first, because they knew no English.

For years after the Norman conquest, French remained the language of ordinary intercourse among the upper classes in England. Intermarriage and association with the ruling class numerous people of English extraction thought it was and advantage to learn the new language.

Before long the distinction between those who spoke French and those who spoke English was not ethnic but social. The most important factor in the continued use of French but the English upper class until the beginning of the 13th century was the close connection that existed through all these years between England and the continent.

Consequences of the conquest

English kings spend often a great part of the time in Normandy. The Conqueror and his sons were in France for about half of their respective reigns. The English nobility was also as much a nobility of England as an Anglo French aristocracy.

Nearly all the English landowners had possessions on the continent. There is no reason to think that the preference that the governing class in England showed for French was anything more than a natural result of circumstances.

The idea that the newcomers were actively hostile to the English language is without foundation. It is true that English was now an uncultivated tongue, the language of a socially inferior class, and that a bishop like Wulfstan might be subjected to Norman disdain in part, at least, because of his ignorance of that social matter.

The Norman Conquest

According to the chronicler Ordelic Vitalis, William the Conqueror made an effort at the age of 43 to learn English, His sons may have known some English, although their approach to the language may be characterised by mere indifference.

A lot of French literature was produced for royal and noble patronage.During this time, thousands of French words entered the English language. Look at the list of words below. Some of the words come from Old English (or Anglo-Saxon). The Norman Conquest had important consequences on all levels, including the linguistic one.

English phonetics, vocabulary, morphology and also syntax were influenced by French, but, despite the historical and social background, the mother tongue survived and adapted, reestablishing itself after Norman Conquest: Norman Conquest, the military conquest of England by William, duke of Normandy, primarily effected by his decisive victory at the Battle of Hastings (October 14, ) and resulting ultimately in profound political, administrative, and social changes in the British Isles.

The Norman Conquest, resulting from Battle of Hastings in , gave the English language its strongest change in direction.

For the next years, the mixture of French rule over English subjects saw the dawn of a two tiered society.

The norman conquest and the french

Read on to discover more about how the Norman Conquest changed the English language. During the period when Norman French was the dominant language, English was rarely used in writing, and started to change in many ways. From Old English to Middle English Before the conquest English had a much more complex grammar, however 70 years later, the grammar had become much simpler.

The Norman Conquest of the English Language. Or does the red thread of the Norman Conquest run across our linguistic history as it does across our social and institutional past? The French Revolution's Angel of Death; The British Church That Worshipped Hitler;.

BBC Bitesize - KS3 History - The Norman Conquest - Revision 7