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William, 4 kings of England. William I, or William the Conqueror (1027?–1087), duke of Normandy from 1035, became the first Norman king in 1066 by defeating Harold in the Battle of Hastings; he suppressed all opposition by 1071. William I was a harsh but capable ruler, reorganizing England's military and land-holding systems, building many castles, and creating a strong feudal government. The Domesday Book, a survey of England, was compiled by his order (1085). His son, William II or Rufus (c. 1056–1100), succeeded him in 1087. Autocratic and brutal, William II put down a rebellion by his own barons in 1088 and invaded Scotland in 1097. He quarreled with St. Anselm over the independence of the Church. He was killed (probably deliberately) by an arrow while hunting. He was succeeded by his brother, Henry I. William III, or William of Orange (1650–1702), was stadholder (ruler) of Holland (1672–1702) and king of England (1689–1702). He married Mary, Protestant daughter of the Roman Catholic king of England, in 1677. English Protestants, unhappy with James II, invited William to invade England, which resulted in the so-called Glorious Revolution (1688). William became coruler of England with his wife after they accepted the Bill of Rights, which reduced their power (1689). William ruled alone after Mary's death (1694) and was succeeded by Queen Anne. William IV (1765–1837) succeeded his brother George IV in 1830. He exercised little political influence and was succeeded by his niece Victoria.

See also: United Kingdom.

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