William I(redirected from William the First)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
William I 1Known as "William the Conqueror." 1027?-1087.
King of England (1066-1087) and duke of Normandy (1035-1087). He led the Norman invasion of England (1066) after being promised the English throne by his cousin Edward the Confessor. He defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings and as king adopted a feudal constitution.
William I 2Prince of Orange. Known as "William the Silent." 1533-1584.
Dutch aristocrat who was made stadholder of Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht (1559) by Phillip II of Spain. Spurred by the Spanish persecution of Protestants, he led a successful revolt against Spanish rule (1568-1576).
William I 3
See Wilhelm I.
1. (Biography) known as William the Conqueror. ?1027–1087, duke of Normandy (1035–87) and king of England (1066–87). He claimed to have been promised the English crown by Edward the Confessor, after whose death he disputed the succession of Harold II, invading England in 1066 and defeating Harold at Hastings. The conquest of England resulted in the introduction to England of many Norman customs, esp feudalism. In 1085 he ordered the Domesday Book to be compiled
2. (Biography) known as William the Bad. 1120–66, Norman king of Sicily (1154–66)
3. (Biography) known as William the Silent. 1533–84, prince of Orange and count of Nassau: led the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain (1568–76) and became first stadholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands (1579–84); assassinated
4. (Biography) 1772–1843, king of the Netherlands (1815–40): abdicated in favour of his son William II
5. (Biography) German name Wilhelm I. 1797–1888, king of Prussia (1861–88) and first emperor of Germany (1871–88)