FATHERLESS CHILDREN STORY 005
by Winsome Solo
When he was 8 years old, his father died, and the boy became the new duke. But he was just a illegitimate little boy, and local barons took advantage of him. They stole his inherited lands. They murdered his bodyguard and his teacher. He escaped from harm with help from an uncle who smuggled him out at night into the country. He never learned how to read, but he did learn how to fight. He was knighted at age 15.
At age 19, he began to fight the barons who had been stealing from him. By the time he was 26, he had taken his own lands back and conquered even more. He impressed important people with his efforts, and married a girl from a wealthy and powerful family, creating a large new network of allies.
In 1051, a distant cousin sought his military help. That relative was King Edward of England, and Vikings were overrunning his country. The royal refugee promised to name him heir to the throne in return for the help. But the promise was not honored. When Edward died, an English noble named Harold was crowned as the king. With the Pope's support, the French soldier assembled an army and a fleet of ships. He landed in England in 1066 and erected a castle on the spot to hold his position. In full armor, he led his forces, riding at the very front. The English soldiers had been fighting Vikings in the north, but travelled down to challenge him, and a famous battle took place in Hastings. Panic set in when it was thought he had been killed, but he pulled off his helmet and rode along the lines of soldiers shouting,
And they did. King Harold and his brothers were killed, and on December 25, 1066, the French duke was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. It still took him four more years to put down all the rebellions, but by 1070 the "Norman Conquest" was complete. He built castles all over England, including the famous Tower of London. In 1086, he conducted the first English census, called The Domesday Book.
His rule fostered England's eventual rise as the most powerful country in Europe. Although he never spoke English and was illiterate, he permanently influenced the English language with the addition of numerous French and Latin words. Since his reign, every king of England has been his direct descendant. He was
William the Conqueror, a boy from a "fatherless home".
The term "fatherless" ("fatherlessness" or "father-absent") is used in this series as it is in research and "father absence" policy rhetoric by the U.S. government, DHHS, the National Fatherhood Initiative, U.S. states in connection with child custody law and policy, and various family values and fatherhood policy and lobbying groups. The effects of father absence can be seen in the fatherless children stories. Citations to research and studies on the effects of father-absence can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
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