William I, usually known as William the Conqueror, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. William was the son of the unmarried Robert I, Duke of Normandy, by Robert's mistress Herleva. In the 1050’s and early 1060’s, William became a contender for the throne of England, then held by the childless Edward the Confessor.There were other potential claimants, including
the powerful English earl, Harold Godwinson. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold, at the Battle of
Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts, William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London. William's final years were marked by
difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, and threatened invasions of England by the
Danes. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France and was buried in Caen.
William's lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert and his second surviving
son, William, received England, making him King William II of England.