English History Timeline 1080-1089

King William I William II, Rufus
This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1080 – 1089

The monarchs for this period were:
William I to 1087
William II from 1087


1080 (during)
Gundulf of Rochester founded Rochester Cathedral.
1080 (14th May)
William Walcher, who had been appointed Bishop of Durham by King William I following the ‘Harrying of the North’, was murdered by rebels. Odo of Bayeux, William’s half-brother, was sent North to deal with the rebels.
1080 (Autumn)
King William sent his eldest son, Robert Curthose, on a campaign against the Scots. Curthose succeeded in raiding as far north as Lothian. On his return to London he built a castle on the River Tyne (Newcastle).
1080 (Christmas)
King William I spent Christmas at Gloucester.
1081 (late May)
William I spent Whitsun at Winchester. During this period he refused to pay fealty to Pope Gregory VII.
1081 (late)
William I returned to Normandy to deal with a flare up of a long standing dispute with Count Fulk of Anjou over a strip of land known as the Vexin.
1082 (during)
Odo of Bayeux was arrested and imprisoned. Sources are not clear on the reason for this action but it is thought that he may have mis-appropriated church funds or made a play to become Pope.
1083 (2nd November)
Matilda of Flanders, William’s wife, died in Normandy.
1085 (Christmas)
Domesday Book
William ordered commissioners to visit every part of England and make a detailed inventory of the holdings of every person in the land. Included in the survey were details of land ownership both before and after the Conquest, ownership of animals, machines and other goods. The exact reason for the survey is not known but it is thought that William intended to use it for tax calculations.
1086 (1st August)
The Domesday survey was finally completed. The findings were copied into a book known as the Domesday Book.
1086 (1st August)
Oath of Salisbury
William I summoned 170 of his chief landholders to Salisbury where they were asked to swear a new oath of fealty to the King.
1086 (late)
William returned to Normandy to deal with a new dispute.
1087 (during)
A fire destroyed much of London.
1087 (July)
The garrison of the French fortress at Mantes made a raid into Normandy. William retaliated and led a raid on Mantes. During the raid he was badly injured.
1087 (9th September)
William I died in Normandy from the injury he received in July. William left Normandy to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, England to his second son, William and a sum of money to his youngest son, Henry.
1087 (26th September)
William Rufus was crowned King William II of England in Westminster Abbey.
1088 (Spring)
Odo of Bayeux, who had been released from prison on William I’s death, led a rebellion of many barons against the reign of William II. They believed that the throne should have passed to William I’s eldest son Robert. Unfavourable winds prevented reinforcements arriving from Normandy and the barons were defeated following the siege of Pevensey Castle. Odo was banished to Normandy.
1088 (24th June)
William Warenne, Earl of Surrey, who had fought at the Battle of Hastings and had remained loyal to William II died of wounds sustained during the siege of Pevensey Castle.
1089 (during)
In the face of continual rebellions by the county of Northumbria King William II decided to partition the county to make it more manageable. Northumbria was subsequently divided into the counties of Northumberland, County Palatine of Durham, Yorkshire, Westmorland and Lancashire.
1089 (24th May)


First published 2016; updated and republished May 9 2022 @ 1:11 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1080 – 1089.

Leave a comment