English History Timeline 1070-1079

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1070 – 1079

The monarch for this period was William I (The Conqueror)


1070 (during)
King William I founded Battle Abbey on the site of the Battle of Hastings.
1070 (Spring)
Hereward the Wake and King Sweyn of Denmark took the Isle of Ely and stood against King William I.
1070 (11th April)
Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury had been excommunicated in the past for holding two offices, however, Harold Godwinson had allowed him to continue as archbishop. William did not support this and he removed the archbishop from office, confiscated his land and goods and imprisoned him at Winchester.
1070 (June)
Hereward raided Peterborough Abbey as an act of defiance against the Normans. He stated that he would take the Abbey’s treasures into safekeeping away from the Normans. Some sources state that his uncle was the Abbot of the abbey and Hereward persuaded his uncle to knight him.
1070 (August)
William appointed Lanfranc of Bec Archbishop of Canterbury.
1070 (Autumn)
Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland, married Edgar Aetheling’s sister, Margaret.
1071 (during)
Hereward the Wake together with Earl Morcar had managed to hold the Isle of Ely against the Normans. However, the Normans eventually managed to bribe a local person to show them a safe route across the Fens enabling them to break the rebellion. Morcar was captured but Hereward escaped.
1071 (during)
Earl Edwin began a new revolt against William but was betrayed by his own men and killed.
1072 (during)
Treaty of Abernethy
Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland, had made several raids into the North of England. William rode North, invaded Scotland and forced the signing of this treaty which agreed a peace. Malcolm’s son, Duncan was taken by William as a hostage.
1072 (22nd February)
Stigand, former Archbishop of Canterbury, died in prison.
1072 (8th April)
William was celebrating Easter at Winchester when a dispute broke out between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York over who was the most important.
1072 (27th May)
Accord of Winchester
This stated that the Archbishop of Canterbury was higher in status than the Archbishop of York. This remains the case today.
1072 (27th May)
William appointed the Norman Osbern Fitz Osbern as Bishop of Exeter. He was consecrated in St Paul’s Cathedral.
1073 (early)
William returned to Normandy to protect The Maine, a province in the South of Normandy, that had been invaded by Count Fulk of Anjou.
1073 (30th March)
William defeated Count Fulk of Anjou making his position in Normandy more secure.
1074 (during)
William spent the whole year in Normandy. England was managed by loyal Norman nobles and Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury.
1075 (during)
Revolt of the Earls
Roger of Montgomery, Earl of Hereford and Ralph de Gael, Earl of East Anglia were new Norman Earls. Roger allowed Ralph to marry his sister, Emma even though William had forbidden the alliance.
The two men plotted to unseat William and invited the Earl of Northumbria, Waltheof and Sweyn Estridsson of Denmark to join them. Waltheof betrayed the plot to William and was imprisoned. William mobilised Norman forces and Roger was held in the West which meant he could not join Ralph in East Anglia. He was tried and imprisoned.
Odo of Bayeux and Geoffrey de Montbray moved against Ralph who fled to Brittany leaving his new wife, Emma, to face the Normans. Emma held out for two months but then agreed terms with William and left England for Brittany with a guaranteed safe passage.
The Danes eventually arrived in 200 ships but seeing that the rebellion was no real rebellion raided York before sailing home.
1075 (18th December)
Edith of Wessex, wife of Edward the Confessor, sister of Harold II (Godwinson) died at Winchester. She was buried in Westminster Abbey with her husband.
1076 (April)
The Council of Westminster agreed that priests should be celibate and that the only valid marriage was one made in church.
1076 (31st May)
Waltheof of Northumberland was beheaded on St Giles’s Hill, Winchester for the part he played in the Revolt of the Earls in 1075. The Earl’s protest that he had played no part in the actual revolt had no effect.
1077 (during)
Bayeux Tapestry
William’s half-brother, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, had built a new church. It is thought that the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the history of the Norman Invasion, was commissioned by him to hang in his new church. The Tapestry was made in Kent which was controlled by Odo. The exact date work began on the Tapestry is unknown but 1077 is thought a likely date.
1077 (during)
Robert Curthose, eldest son of William I, led a revolt to take Rouen from his father. The revolt failed and Robert was forced to flee to Gerberoi.
1078 (during)
Tower of London
Construction began on the White Tower. This inner tower of the present Tower of London, was built on Tower Hill.
1079 (during)
Work began on a new cathedral at Winchester.
1079 (during)
Forest Law
William, who loved hunting, made large areas of woodland subject to Forest Law. This meant that everything in any designated area, including trees, leaves, birds and animals, belonged to the King. This made life especially difficult for the common people who relied on the woodland for wood and food. Around 20 small hamlets were affected by William’s decision to create a New Forest in Hampshire.


First published 2016; updated and republished May 8 2022 @ 1:24 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1070 – 1079. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/english-history-1070-1079 Last accessed [date]


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