[MR] William II of England

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 9 04:14:24 PDT 2020

Noble Friends,

On this date in 1187 William the Conqueror, King of England by force of
arms, died. He died of illness or accident while campaigning at Mantes in
France. William I was succeeded by his third son William Rufus, who reigned
as William II. For some reason not clear to me from Wikipedia, William II
did not take the throne until 26 September. That was the date of his
coronation, but likely it took some time for news of his father's death to
reach England.

I will skip over William II's controversial reign, his conflict with the
church, and his testy relations with his two surviving brothers. You can
read Wikipedia's summary if that interests you:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_II_of_England . I am more concerned
with his mysterious death. It's pretty juicy dirt.

On 2 August 1100, William was hunting with his buddies in New Forest. There
he was shot through the lung with an arrow. Accident or murder? It depends
on who is writing the history. In most versions, the arrow was shot by one
Walter Tirel, a nobleman in the King's party (who by all accounts quickly
made himself scarce). Some accounts claim Tirel's arrow glanced against an
oak tree and hit the King. Others claim Tirel was an excellent archer, and
the King was his intended target. All the nobles fled the scene, and it
remained for some peasants who stumbled upon the body to take it to
Winchester Cathedral, where the tomb remains.

What was certain is that William's younger brother Henry, who was in the
hunting party, rode hard to London where he secured the royal treasury. He
was crowned as Henry I on 5 August. Whether Henry had a hand in William's
death is unproven by historians, but he certainly wasted no time in
grabbing the throne.

And the aforementioned Walter Tirel: He's found at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Tirel .

Isn't history wonderful?

Yours Aye,

Lord Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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