HFM 131 | Leaders in Times of Crisis, Part 2 – William the Conqueror (1028-1087)

February 15, 2016



William of Normandy, also known as William the Conqueror, had to overcome challenges not faced by most royalty. We know this because his other moniker was William the Bastard. He was born in 1028 to Robert I, the sixth Duke of Normandy. His mother was Herleva the humble daughter of a Tanner. They were unmarried, hence William’s sobriquet. Despite this humble upbringing he became a formidable Norman ruler and one of England’s most influential kings.

Here’s my question when I researched the life of William. He was a bastard offspring. In some contexts this would disqualify one from receiving his father’s office, especially a Duke. But it didn’t appear to be a problem for William. How did the illegitimate offspring of a tanner’s daughter become king of England? Find out in this podcast episode.


This episode is brought to you by Hillsdale College. They would like to invite you to learn more about the incredible life of this fascinating man — one of the greatest leaders and statesmen of our time: Winston Churchill.

You can get exclusive access to this new free online course studying the life of Churchill by going to Hillsdale.edu/h5m and signing up today.

Almost a million people have taken Hillsdale’s renowned courses like Constitution 101,  American Heritage. As a history fan, you won’t want to miss this one.

Get exclusive access to Hillsdale College’s new course on Winston Churchill right now. Go to Hillsdale.edu/h5m and sign up today.

About Michael Rank

Michael writes history books on dictators, the Middle East, and insane rulers, not necessarily in that order. He lives somewhere between Europe and Asia (literally)

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