Battle of Mortemer
The Battle of Mortemer was a battle fought in 1054, during the Norman Conquest of…
The Battle of Mortemer was a battle fought in 1054, during the Norman Conquest of England.
The Normans, led by Duke William II of Normandy, defeated an English army under King Edward the Confessor. The battle took place near the village of Mortemer-sur-Epte in Normandy, France.
The English had been preparing for an invasion of Normandy since 1051, when Duke William II had first begun to threaten England with war. In early 1054, King Edward sent an army to invade Normandy and besiege the city of Caen. However, the Normans were able to repel this attack and drive the English back across the Channel.
In September 1054, Duke William invaded England with a large force.
He quickly conquered the city of Hastings and began marching towards London. The English king then gathered what forces he could and marched to meet William at Oxford. However, before they could engage in battle, news reached them that Pope Leo IX had excommunicated Duke William. This caused many of his nobles to desert him and return to Normandy.
King Edward then continued on to London where he was crowned king again on Christmas Day 1054. Meanwhile, Duke William returned to Normandy where he prepared for another invasion of England in early 1055.
On September 28, 1031, at the village of Mortemer in Normandy, France, the armies of Duke Robert II of Normandy and Count Baldwin V of Flanders clashed with the forces of King Henry I of France. The Normans were victorious, and Henry was captured.
The battle was the culmination of a conflict that had its roots in the contested succession to the throne of England.
In 1066, the last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold II, was defeated by the Norman Duke William II, who became William I, or William the Conqueror. Harold’s heirs, however, continued to contest the Norman claim to the English throne. In 1075, William’s son, William Rufus, invaded Normandy in an attempt to assert his own claim to rule both England and Normandy. Robert, William Rufus’ cousin, invaded England in response.
The two Williams withdrew from England, and Robert returned to Normandy. In 1077, Pope Gregory VII excommunicated William Rufus, and in 1080, Robert again invaded England, this time in concert with the excommunicated king. They were defeated, and Robert was forced to flee to Flanders.
The conflict between the rival claimants to the English throne spilled over into Normandy, and in 1087, William Rufus invaded Normandy. Robert was again forced to flee, this time to Sweden. He returned the following year, and in 1090, he and William Rufus finally made peace.
Robert’s son, William Clito, however, continued the fight for the English throne, and in 1119, he invaded Normandy. William Rufus’ successor, Henry I, invaded Normandy in response, and in the ensuing battle at Mortemer, he was defeated and captured.
Henry I was released the following year, but William Clito continued to contest the Norman claim to the English throne until his death in 1128.