English History Timeline 1090-1099

William II, Rufus

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1090 – 1099

The monarch for this period was William II (Rufus)


1091 (2nd February)
King William II invaded Normandy and defeated his brother, Robert Curthose. Robert was forced to cede lands in Normandy to his brother.
1091 (July)
King Malcolm Canmore of Scotland invaded England reaching as far south as Durham.
1091 (August)
Treaty of Caen
This treaty agreed a peace between William II and his brother Robert Curthose whereby they both agreed to be each other’s heirs
1091 (September)
After his successful campaign in Normandy William returned to England to deal with Malcolm Canmore’s invasion. The English army marched North but Canmore retreated to Scotland rather than fight. A peace was agreed and Canmore was forced to pay homage to King William II.
1091 (17th or 23rd October)
The first recorded tornado to hit London killed two people and destroyed London Bridge.
1092 (during)
William II took Cumbria from Malcolm Canmore of Scotland and built a castle there.
1092 (9th May)
Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated.
1092 (Autumn)
High tides caused severe flooding in Britain. Earl Godwin’s lands in Kent were completely flooded and those areas became known as the Goodwin Sands.
1093 (6th March)
William was taken ill and believing he was dying appointed Anselem of Bec as Archbishop of Canterbury. The appointment proved to be a disaster for William, who was not dying after all. Bec called for churchmen to be more politically aware and take a more prominent role in government.
1093 (19th March)
William II invaded Normandy but failed to make further gains.
1093 (8th April)
The construction of Winchester Cathedral which had begun in 1079, was completed.
1093 (11th August)
Work began on a new cathedral at Durham.
1093 (13th November)
Battle of Alnwick
King Malcolm of Scotland had invaded England and lay siege to Alnwick. An English force led by Robert of Mowbray attempted to relieve the siege. Malcolm and his son Edward were both killed in the fighting. Malcolm’s brother, Donald, became King of Scotland.
1093 (16th November)
Margaret of Scotland, wife of Malcolm III, sister of Edgar Aetheling, died following a short illness.
1094 (February)
William II was a very different man to his father. He had long hair and enjoyed parties and having fun. Together with his favourite, Ranulf Flambard, he raised money by increasing taxes and also by selling church offices and taking revenue from vacant sees. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselem of Bec was furious at his behaviour and the relationship between the two broke down.
1094 (19th March)
William II invaded Normandy again but once again failed to make any gains.
1095 (January)
Robert of Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland rebelled against William’s rule by refusing to attend the Curia Regis. William marched North and defeated him. Mowbray was imprisoned.
1095 (19th January)
Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, died.
1095 (25th February)
Council of Rockingham
This was held in an attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute between William II and Anselem of Bec but it failed to find any common ground for a settlement.
1095 (May)
Walter of Albano was sent as Papal Legate to England. He was instructed to find a reconciliation between William II and Anselem of Bec and also to get William II to recognised Urban II as Pope. The Legate managed to find a solution and the two men were reconciled.
1095 (26th June)
Robert, Bishop of Hereford, died.
1096 (during)
Oxford University
Teaching began at an institution in Oxford. It would later become Oxford University.
1096 (during)
Robert Curthose, William II’s brother, decided to join the first crusade. In order to raise money for the venture he leased Normandy to William for 10,000 marks.
1096 (during)
Work began on Norwich Cathedral.
1097 (early)
Odo of Bayeux, William’s uncle, died while on Crusade.
1097 (October)
William II went North to help Edgar Aetheling to overthrow Donald III of Scotland. Edgar Aetheling’s nephew, Edgar, was then made King of Scotland.
1097 (8th November)
William and Anselem of Bec had another disagreement. William wanted Anselem to provide him with Knights for a campaign in Wales but the Archbishop refused stating that William had not fulfilled his promise to reform the Church. Anselem then left England for Rome. William confiscated the Archbishop’s lands.
1099 (Easter)
Anselem was still in Rome and attended the Easter Council at St Peter’s Basilica. Pope Urban II announced a ban lay investiture. This meant that church appointements should only be made by Bishops and Archbishos and not by monarchs. The Pope also stated that Church officials should not pay homage to Kings.
1099 (after Easter)
Having received a definitive answer to the relationship between Kings and Church, Bec began the journey back to England stopping in various towns along the way.
1099 (May)
William II appointed his favourite, Ranulf Flambard, as Bishop of Durham.


First published 2016; updated and republished May 9 2022 @ 1:32 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1090 – 1099.

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