Essay on William the Conqueror, Always Getting the Job Done
William started to take an interest in the well being of the Norman church and in 1049. He appointed his half-brother Odo as the bishop of Bayeux at the age of sixteen, and “Although Odo and the other bishops appointed by William were not recognized for their spirituality, they strengthened the church in Normandy by their pious donations and administrative skill” (Barlow 5). Odo was later caught for trying to take an army to Italy to perhaps make himself pope and was arrested and imprisoned. William had control over numerous church councils and he passed an extremely important law forbidding the selling of church offices and clerical marriages. He also enriched many monasteries in the duchy and welcomed scholars and foreign monks to Normandy, but then William turned his attention towards England. Claiming the English crown had been an ambition of the Normans for centuries.
Edward the Confessor became the King of England in 1042 and “when he died in early January 1066, many Normans took this as a sign that the time had come to place their claim on the throne of England” (Schlager 3). The Normans were obstructed by Harold who was not going to give up the throne without a fight, and while he was by other means distracted with a conflict in