William  II

William Rufus (the Red), the second surviving son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, was born in about 1056.

As a child he was educated by Lanfranc of Pavia. When he was a young man he obtained the name Rufus because of his ruddy complexion.

In 1077, his brother Robert Curthose suggested that he should become the ruler of Normandy and Maine. When William the Conqueror refused, Robert rebelled and attempted to seize Rouen. William Rufus took the side of his father and helped him put down the rebellion. Robert was forced to flee and established himself at Gerberoi.

Just before William the Conqueror died he decided that William Rufus, rather than his older brother, Robert Curthose, should be king of England. He was crowned by Lanfranc, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on 26th September, 1087.

The following year some Normans, including Odo of Bayeux, Robert of Mortain, Richard Fitz Gilbert, William Fitz Osbern and Geoffrey of Coutances, led a rebellion against the rule of Rufus in order to place Robert Curthose on the throne.

However most Normans in England remained loyal and Rufus and his army successfully attacked the rebel strongholds at Tonbridge, Pevensey and Rochester.

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