Five Things About: William the Conqueror

Keeping it in the family, William appointed his half-brother, Odo, bishop of Bayeux when Odo was still a teenager. After Hastings, William gave Kent to Odo.

William made his other half-brother, Robert, count of Mortain. Robert was one of his key lieutenants, before and after Hastings, when he became one of England’s greatest landowners.

William nicknamed his eldest son, Robert, ‘Curthose’, which can be translated as ‘Shortypants’. Relations between father and son were strained.

William had a passion for hunting that, after the Conquest, would translate into the creation of huge new hunting grounds in England such as the New Forest.

William’s third son, also called William and later king of England, was nicknamed ‘Rufus’ either for his red hair or his red complexion.


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