Hysterical News Agency Staff Reporter
This communique received from History Maintenance Commission HQ, Madison Avenue, NYC, Friday 31st July:
The Omphalos File on William the Conqueror
William is born in Falaise, Normandy the son of Robert the Magnificent, aka Duke Robert I of Normandy, and Herleva the Quite Good Tanner’s Daughter. His parents aren’t married so he becomes known as William the Bastard. Fortunately, due to the trade of his mother’s family he has plenty of thick skins available.
Herleva finds it difficult to get babysitters for William the Bastard and wishes she’d married her childhood sweetheart Richard the Docile instead, as childminders are queuing up to look after his kids.
William learns to read and write. He applies to a recently deceased official in Warsaw with a request to change his name. This shows he hasn’t quite mastered the art of writing as his father told him that to legally alter his name he needed to do so via Deed Poll.
Robert the Magnificent dies on his way back from a crusade. Herleva cannot claim on the travel insurance because it’s classed as an Act for God. William, aged 7, becomes Duke of Normandy. He is supported by his great uncle Archbishop Robert and Henry I of France.
Archbishop Robert dies.
Various magnates act as guardians to young William as Normandy descends into chaos.
- Alan of Brittany until he dies in 1040.
- Gilbert of Brionne until killed in 1041.
- Turchetil of Burgundy killed just weeks later in 1041.
- Osborn of Angers is killed as he sleeps in a bed next to William’s in 1042.
Jean of Rouen is next but he quickly drops the last two parts of his name so that nobody can locate him. Similarly, Eric of the Shed near Southampton who is 352 on the list of guardians quickly takes out a restraining order in William as he doesn’t want him anywhere near him and figures that at the rate his guardians are dropping it will be his turn by the time 1044 is out.
At college William is accused of bullying a Danish pupil in his class. But the young Duke of Normandy excuses his behaviour by saying that he is just practicing at ‘Harrying the Norse’.
William The Bastard declares to friends that he fully intends to become known for great deeds that will provide him with a much better name even more superior than that his father sported. He swiftly becomes known as William the Arrogant Bastard.
William becomes a director in a firm of stocking and hosiery manufacturers in Rouen. He becomes known as William the Tight Bastard.
William wins the Normandy Quiz Champion of the Year title and becomes known as William the Clever Bastard.
It is revealed that the Duke bribed the question master in the Normandy Quiz Champion contest the previous year and he becomes known as William the Cheating Bastard.
William, in a fit of pique, declares that he is going to take a few years off from doing anything that might influence changing the name he is familiar to everyone as. He then becomes known as William the Lazy Bastard.
The childless Edward the Confessor King of England, having fallen out with his in-laws, the powerful Godwin family, names Duke William of Normandy, a distant cousin, as his heir to the throne. In England he becomes known as William the Lucky Bastard.
After a rebellion in Normandy the Duke orders that everyone who rebelled should have their hands and feet cut off. Sales of gloves and slippers in the Rouen branch of Debenhams take a big hit at Christmas this year.
To cement a union with a powerful, neighbouring state William marries Matilda of Flanders against the wishes of Pope Leo IX who christens him William the Stubborn Bastard.
Edward the Confessor becomes reconciled with the Godwins.
In England Earl Godwin dies, leaving his sons to inherit his vast lands. Harold becomes Earl of Wessex, Tostig Earl of Northumbria, Leofwine Earl of Kent and Gyrth becomes Earl of East Anglia…mainly to provide his name with some much needed vowels.
Edward The Confessor dies and Harold of Wessex claims the crown of England.
William, rebuffed in his attempts to claim the crown, obtains backing from Pope Alexander II who gives him a papal banner. After William’s envoy leaves Rome, the Pope realizes the Catholic Church is low on funds and laments the fact that he hadn’t provided William with a PayPal banner instead.
In September Earl Tostig along with his ally the Viking King Harald Hardrada are defeated in battle and killed by King Harold and his army at Stamford Bridge. Harold immediately turns his forces South to deal with the Norman invasion led by William.
The two armies meet at a location now called Battle, near Hastings. In a brutal affair King Harold is struck by an arrow to his eye. As he lies dying he asks a priest to remove the arrow from him. The priest pleads with God to irradicate every vestige of the King’s privileged public school education from his being.
With King Harold dead by mid-afternoon the battle is effectively won by William and the Normans. The invaders superior cavalry and massed archers soon achieves full victory. King Harold’s mum offers her son’s weight in gold to have his body sent to her, privately thanking the Almighty that Harold had been with weightwatchers in the last few months of his life. But William is still bitter and refuses the offer preferring instead to unceremoniously toss the former King’s body into the sea.
William is King of England and holds his coronation on Christmas Day at Westminster Abbey.
William returns to Normandy leaving his half-brother Odo jointly in charge of England. Odo invites his mother over from Normandy. She travels with him everywhere and when she returns home she tells William about all the places they had visited and the distances covered. This is the first instance in history of the use of an odomater.
Many castles are built to maintain the trip of England by the Normans. In December William returns to the land he has conquered.
Harold’s sons land forces accumulated in Ireland near Bristol, but William and the Normans defeat them. They were lucky not to be dehanded too bearing in mind the fate that befel the rebels of 1051.
The Harrying of the North commences in which William lays great swathes of land in the North to waste in retaliation for their support of rebel forces such as those assembled by Edgar the Aethling. The scorched earth policy sets the North back one hundred years.
English is becoming increasingly Frenchified as the King, his courtiers and the law only speak French. It is estimated that 28% of the current, present day, English language derives from the Norman invasion of 1066.
Bishop Doo commissions a 250 foot long, 20 inch high tapestry telling the story of the invasion as he thinks it will make a good yarn.
The English made tapestry goes on display in Bishop Odo’s palace in Bayeux and soon becomes known by that name. This is bad news for the local branch of Greggs, who had planned to produce an item designed for those in tune with the Earth to be called The Bayeux Tao Pastry.
William’s oldest son, Robert, gets shirty when his two younger brothers throw water over him. The sources don’t explain why they threw water over him but had this occurred in the North we could safely assume it was because he was on fire. Willuam falls out with Robert and his son launches raids on Normandy.
William orders the building of The White Tower, the most iconic part of The Tower of London.
William names Robert his heir to the Dukedom of Normandy to cease the conflict. His middle son William Rufus is named heir to the throne of England, on condition he stops throwing water at people. The youngest son, Henry, is given a lump sum.
The Doomsday Book us compiled. It is basically a survey of what everyone owns in England complete with details of what is on their land, peasants, ploughs, pets, foliage, livestock etc. This is compiled by each landowner. The form is much easier for landowners to complete who live in the North for in answer to the question What is on your land? They can simply answer “Sod All!”
Due to The Doomsday Book The King becomes known as William The Nosey Bastard.
William I leaves England for the last time.
William dies in Rouen. His middle son becomes William II of England.
William Rufus dies in a hunting accident. William’s third son becomes Henry I of England.
Categories: William The Conqueror