William I of England
first Norman King of England
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- See — I have taken England with both my hands.
- Remark after he stepped off his ship on the coast of England and fell into the sand (28 September, 1066), as quoted in LIFE magazine, Vol. 40, No. 13 (26 March 1956), p. 85
- I attacked the English of the Northern Shires like a lion. I ordered their houses and corn, with all their belongings, to be burnt without exception and large herds of cattle and beasts of burden to be destroyed wherever they were found. It was there I took revenge on masses of people by subjecting them to a cruel famine; and by doing so — alas!— I became the murderer of many thousands of that fine race.
- Part of a speech on his deathbed in 1087, referring to the Harrying of the North, written down by a monk named Ordericus Vitalis in 1123; as quoted in Empires and Citizens : The Roman Empire, Medieval Britain, African Empires (2003) by Ben Walsh, p. 60