William II – William Rufus – Reign 1087-1100

William Rufus, also known as William II, was the third son of William the Conqueror.

He was also the second Norman King of England and ruled the country after the death of his father in 1087. One of the peculiar aspects of William Rufus was that he never married and thus did not leave any heir.

King William The Conqueror Medieval KIngs

William the Conqueror Father of William Rufus

William Rufus Biography

William Rufus was born in 1056 and was the third child of William I. After the death of his father, when he assumed control of the kingdom, he extended his influence to Wales and established his control over Scotland.

In the last few years of his life, William Rufus also ruled Normandy as regent after his brother Robert left for the First Crusade.

King WIlliam Rufus

King William Rufus was the son of William the Conqueror

William Rufus timeline

William Rufus assumed the throne of England after the death of his father in 1087. Meanwhile, his brother Robert ruled Normandy and there was a rebellion in England in 1088 in order to bring both England and Normandy under one ruler.

The revolt failed and in 1091 William attacked Normandy and occupied some portions of it. He had been planning campaigns in France at the time of his death in 1100.

Normans in Normandy Flag of Normandy

Norman Flag

In What period did William Rufus rule

William Rufus ruled from 1087 till his death in 1100. The period was not completely peaceful and he had to face internal rebellions and external invasions. The first rebellion broke out only one year after his enthronement.

Medieval Nobility Medieval Baron Oliver St John 1st Baron St John of Bletso

Medieval Baron

This rebellion was in favor of his brother Robert who ruled Normandy. Over the subsequent years, William Rufus also faced revolts from a few nobles but managed to control the situation.

What Kind of Ruler was William Rufus

William Rufus has been praised by historians for his chivalry and his achievements in battles. He also dealt very successfully with the various revolts during his reign.

Additionally, he managed to extend his rule to Wales and Maine. However, he has also been called lacking in social graces and natural dignity and devoid of religious piety and morality.

Great Seal of King William Rufus

This is the Great Seal of King William Rufus

What was King William Rufus Like?

While William Rufus lacked the refinement of personality and social graces, he was nonetheless an effective soldier and a successful administrator.

As a ruler, however, he was quite ruthless and often offended the nobles who rebelled against him. According to some critics, he was also addicted to a lot of other vices including sodomy.

Odo Earl of Kent Famous Norman People

What was William Rufus Famous For?

William Rufus was famous for leading an unmarried life and not having any child, legitimate or illegitimate. He was also known for his uncouth habits and unrefined personality. Finally, he was famous for his disdain for the local English culture.

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William Rufus Death

The death of William Rufus occurred when an arrow pierced his lung on 2 August 1100 during hunting in the New Forest near Brockenhurst.

The identity of the actual killer of king Rufus remains disputed to this day, with some claiming that it was an offended noble while others saying that one of his own men killed him.

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William Rufus Summary

William Rufus was the second ruler of the Norman Dynasty and the third son of William the Conqueror. He ruled England from 1087 until his death in 1100.

During this time, he extended his influence to Wales and Scotland in addition to Maine on the continent. He was known for his lack of social graces and unrefined personality.

William Rufus Fast Facts

  • King William Rufus was an accomplished soldier and had good organizational skills
  • King William Rufus made many enemies as he was a quite a ruthless and unfriendly person
  • The reign of William Rufus lasted from 1087 until 1100
  • William Rufus was killed in mysterious circumstances in 1100 when he was hit by an arrow

Normans Sheilds Bayeux Tapestry

  • It is thought that the death of William Rufus may have been deliberate and it was revenge
  • King William Rufus was born in 1056 the third son of William the conqueror
  • King William Rufus never married and there was not an heir to his throne after his death
  • There were internal rebellions during the reign of William Rufus who died in 1100
  • King William Rufus was successful in repelling many rebellions and one from his brother Robert

Odo Earl of Kent Famous Norman People

  • Robert King William’s brother ruled over Normandy at the same time as King William Rufus’ reign
  • King William Rufus is not described as being a nice person and appeared to have no moral

We hope you enjoyed this article on King William Rufus who was the son of William the conqueror. If you’d like to read about other medieval Kings such as William Rufus and William the conqueror please look at the links at the bottom of this page or visit our medieval Kings category page.