King William Rufus
The story of King William II ( William Rufus - The Red King )
The atrocities in Jerusalem started the preaching of Peter the Hermit and led to the First Crusade. Many thousands promised to go on this crusade and among them was Robert, Duke of Normandy. But he had wasted his money, so that he could not fit out an army to take with him. So he offered to give up Normandy to his brother William while he was gone, if William would let him have the money he wanted. The Red King was very ready to make such a bargain, and he laughed at the Crusaders, and thought that they were wasting their time and trouble.
In England Rufus removed the Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Anselm, and everyone else who tried to object to his behaviour. He was hated by the people who dislike the court and the favor that King William II showed to Ranulf Flambard, whom he appointed Bishop of Durham in 1099. Rufus had never showed any interest in women. He did not marry, nor produce any heirs to the English throne.
In the year 1100, Rufus went out to hunt deer in the New Forest. He was later found dead under an oak tree, with an arrow through his heart by peasants. A wood-cutter called Purkis took his body in his cart to Winchester Cathedral, where he was buried. Who shot the arrow nobody knew, and nobody ever will know. Some thought it must be a knight, named Walter Tyrrell, to whom the king had given three long good arrows that morning. Walter Tyrrell rode straight away to Southampton, and went off to the Holy Land; so it is likely that he knew something about the king's death. The Norman friends of Rufus fled the English court and returned to Normandy.
The Death of King William Rufus - The Rufus Stone
"Here stood the oak tree, on which an arrow shot by Sir Walter Tyrell at a stag, glanced and struck King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, on the breast, of which he instantly died, on the second day of August, anno 1100. King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, being slain, as before related, was laid in a cart, belonging to one Purkis, and drawn from hence, to Winchester, and buried in the Cathedral Church, of that city."
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