The Harrying of the North

The Harrying of the North refers to the brutal slaughter and pillaging of Northumbria in 1069-1070 by the army of William the Conqueror. This is thought to have been devastating to the extent that 100,000 people starved to death. 

The Harrying of the North was a response to the strong resistance to Norman rule shown by the Northumbrian people. It was sparked by the murder of William’s newly-appointed earl, Robert de Comines, in 1069. 

Following the Harrying of the North, many of the key positions formerly held by the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy were given to Normans. However, despite the creation of a new Norman elite, Anglo-Saxon culture remained vibrant.

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