IntroductionThe Normans (in French: Normands)Descended from Norse Viking Frankishconquerors of andGallo-Roman stock. Normans and the Anglo-Saxons came from the same basic stock. They were each Scandinavian immigrants English and Norman social structures were very similar
William of Normandy was crowned William I (William theConqueror) in Westminster Abbey, the burial place ofEdward the Confessor, the king from whom William derivedhis claim to the throne, on December 25th 1066. Henry II, the first Plantagenet king, accedes to the throne, on December 19th 1154
William the Conqueror led to the Norman Conquestof England In 1066Normans largelyremoved the nativeruling class, replacingit with a foreign,French-speakingmonarchy, aristocracyand clerical hierarchy.In turn, Normans brought about a transformation ofthe English language and the culture of England in anew era often referred to as Norman England.
Organization The hearth The Lord owned land, which he parceled out amongst his followers in return for service. The value of a man was determined by his warlike ability: 1. The lord led warriors; the warrior fought for his lord.2. They were both serviced by non-fighting tenant farmerswho owed their incomes to the lord.3. And below them came the unfree slaves.
The Domesday Book - compiled in 1085-6 - the earliestpublic record of the national archives and a legaldocument that is still valid as evidence of title to land.Drawn up on the ordersof King William I
There was only one Christian church in Western Religion Europe - the Roman Catholic Church with the Pope in Rome as Head of the Church. The Normans brought to Britain a more organized and sophisticated clergy with them. They built solid stone churches and cathedrals, many of which can still be seen today. Everyone was expected to attend on Sundays. The peasants had to stand and would not have understood a word of the Latin services read by the parish priest. Baptisms and weddings were very brief. Babies were usually baptized on the day of birth in case they died, and weddings were quick affairs at the church door. Funerals were far longer and more elaborate. There was no village hall so meetings were held in theNorwich church nave, and farming matters discussed. ManorialCathedral courts and sometimes even fairs were held here.
ClothesFine wool or linen clothes weremade from yarn which was spun,woven, dyed and sewn in the lordscastle.The rich lord wore a tunic, with asuper tunic worn over the top.His cloak (cape) was fastened witha Brooch (pin).The short hair and beard werevery Norman, and so too thepolite manner!The ladys Muslim style veil andwimple was a fashion brought backfrom the first of the Crusades.
HousingThey built themselves strong, stone keeps in which tolive. Entrances were at first floor level and reached bymeans of wooden steps which could be taken away ifan attack threatened.
Small peasants cottages were usually of wood. The sides were made up of rows of sticks with long flexible twigs woven in and out of them and then covered with mud and dung mixed with straw - this was called wattle and daub. The roofs were thatched with straw or reeds.There was very little furniture inside - perhaps a stool, atrestle table, a bench and a chest. In one corner may bea few cooking pots and dishes.
The blacksmith played a vitalIndustry role in village life. He made metal parts for plough, rims for wheels and hand tools for farming. He forged armor and weapons for war. The iron he used came from furnace sites set in the depths of forests. Industry was small scale and found in the heart of the country.
ConclusionA huge body of French words were ultimately tobecome part of the English vocabulary, many of thesecontinuing side by side with their English equivalent,such as "sacred" and "holy", "legal" and "lawful,""stench" and "aroma," etc. Many French words replacedEnglish ones, so that before the end of the 14th centuryChaucer was able to use a vast store of new words suchas "courage" in place of "heartness," and so on. Englishbecame vastly enriched, more cosmopolitan, sharing itsTeutonic and Romance traditions.Sources:http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/normans/http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/kids/aston/changingtimes/norman/htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_conquest_of_Englandhttp://www.britannia.com/history/narmedhist.html