The Norman Conquest gives England to Jews John de Nugent

The Normans: Englands Blessing and Curse

[This is an abridged version of my long 2009 essay on the Normans found here: NORMANS Dec 12 2009]

After that came out three years ago, an English comrade wrote me:

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It was a few weeks ago when you sent me the PDF regarding the Norman invasion, occupation, genocide and transformation of Anglo-Saxon England, and I thought I would thank you very much for doing so. The article was well written and, most importantly, balanced.

From reading the pdf I can tell that you feel empathy with what happened to our Saxon ancestors, I know you carry the name of a Norman but no doubt you are of Saxon blood.

Yours truly with dog Spike in 2010, who looked like an English spaniel but that day, I decided, should try being a Doberman

And as you said, John, the Normans had Viking blood, other Vikings settled in England during various invasions, and in fact the original Germanic tribes that invaded England were from a similar area anyway.


I was pleased to see you mention the Jews who did indeed first settle in England in 1066. I was also shocked to discover the death toll of the Harrowing of the North could be as high as 100,000. This I found truly shocking.

Greetings John, I read your article on the Norman conquest recently and greatly enjoyed it, as for one, it is rare to find a piece on them in such a vein. I thought you might find the cover picture on this page of interest duly. We held this demo on holocaust day at the Tower of London. Best Wishes. S.

Banner: Remembering the Holocaust that was the Norman Conquest. Its legacy still affects us today.

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The British Empire used to be pretty darned big. It was said that the sun never set on England (and it still might not).

A new map is making the rounds that shows the places where the British have invaded. Of the nearly 200 countries out there, the Brits have invaded all but 22. That is just about 90% of all countries!

Mongolia, the Ivory Coast, Bolivia and Sweden are among the selective group of making it to 2013 without a British invasion. Here is the map showing where (pink) the British have invaded.

The data comes from the new book All the Countries Weve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To. Author Stuart Laycock went through the history of every country in the world to see where the Brits invaded.

The author spoke with The Telegraph about his two years of research and the results. He said France may be in second place with most countries invaded and says he hopes people will challenge his findings to determine whether or not he is right or some countries on the no list were actually invaded.

I was absolutely staggered when I reached the total. I like to think I have a relatively good general knowledge. But there are places where it hadnt occurred to me that these things had ever happened. It shocked me, said Laycock to the Telegraph.

Other countries could write similar books but they would be much shorter. I dont think anyone could match this, although the Americans had a later start and have been working hard on it in the twentieth century.

The Telegraph lists some of the more surprising entries;

Iceland, invaded in 1940 by the British after the neutral nation refused to enter the war on the Allies side. The invasion force, of 745 marines, met with strong protest from the Iceland government, but no resistance.


Because that essay was so long, though it contains much, IMHO, fascinating material ;-), here is an abridged version for you now.



It has been nearly 1,000 years now since anyone, with open military force, successfully conquered the English, a fierce and resolute mixture of Germanic whites (with a dash of Kelts and pre-Indo-Europeans). The Spanish Armada, Napoleon and Hitler all failed to defeat the Sceptered Isle. But back in 1066, Old French-speaking Vikings called Normans (from the Scandinavian word for Northmen) slew the English nobility and their common soldiers at Hastings, just days after the exhausted and valiant English army had rushed south from defeating an invasion by Danish Vikings in northern England at Stamford Bridge.

Hastings was the catastrophic end of Anglo-Saxon Englandof its original language, its purely Germanic culture, and its semi-isolation from the troubles of the European continent and of the world. Ever since that October day in 1066, Normans and the Jewish immigrants they brought in have played a large role in Englands leadership. As a blessing or a curse? Let us tackle this thorny question.

By John de Nugent,

of Norman ancestry myself


A few years ago this writer wrote to a comrade in England, and happened to mention that I had ancestors from both the English common people, the Anglo-Saxons, (specifically, the Coldwells of Yorkshire), and also from the Norman aristocrats who conquered England in 1066, both Angells and Nugents.

His reply surprised me and made me realize that the English have not yet grown very fond of their longtime overlords:

Normans, eh? I guess we can forgive you that.

A fascinating trip with one gifted woman through all the major accents spoken throughout the English-speaking white world; the Norman-led British Empire spread this tongue and made it into a world language.

The British Empire and its offshoot, the United States, around 1920, controlling one-third of the worlds land mass and all the oceans via two vast navies.

My first nave thought was that the English comrade had been overly influenced by the tales of Robin Hood,

and how this legendary English hero (actually a Norman himself) had led the English common people in resistance to the cruel usurper on the throne of England, the Norman prince John, while Johns brother, good King Richard the Lion-Heart, was away on the Crusades.

But then I read about the shocking Harrowing of the North (the North of England) by William the Conqueror right after the Conquest, and discussed further below. The term referred to the utter devastation of man, woman, child, plant and cow in that very Yorkshire where my maternal grandfather, John Thomas Coldwell, was born.

One of my favorite pix of Grampy Coldwell, grilling burgers. He is, I think, one of my guardian angels today. We were close and spent every Sunday together at his farm in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

At least one hundred thousand Yorkshire men and women perished, and it was due to what my own Norman ancestors did. Even the pope, who at the time was, rarely enough, an Englishman, and who actually had supported Williams claim to mount the throne of England, threatened in disgust and horror to excommunicate him.

And Hereward the Exile (also known as Hereward the Wake; c. 1035-1072), the Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Danish champion who fought the Normans for years from a fort in a swamp, may have been foully murdered by the Normans after he had honorably surrendered.

And I read that J.R. Tolkien, the great Oxford professor and author of The Lord of the Rings (the three-part movie version of these novels has been by two billion film goers) actually loathed the Normans as nightmarishly cruel, and as money-grubbing corruptors of souls. He decried their lust for the ring of gold, and their terrorizing of the decent, honest English common folk, symbolized in The Lord of the Rings by the brave little Hobbits in their rustic cottages.

(If you can stand the heavy-metal band Metallica, here are some images from The Lord of the Rings of both innocent yet brave Hobbits and evil cavalrymen)

I began to get an inkling of why that English comrade would write me as he had.

Anglo-Danish England before the Normans

One reason why Hereward had risen up against the Normans was the atrocious Harrowing of the North of England in 1069-70. England had once been a freedom-loving Hobbits country, an island of Germanic and Keltic folk, and it certainly was not interested in being forced to learn French, a foreign tongue, or become any French nobles serf.

Northern England especially was barely under the control of any king. In fact, there was only one castle in all of Anglo-Saxon England..because castles were meant to not just resist invaders but also to resist uprisings by hostile, enslaved local populations. An island like England did not need castles for lording it over a free people who accepted their rulers.

The Old English kings did respect their own people, they did not fear them or need to, and when they called for volunteers, as King Alfred the Great did in 877 against the invading Vikings, they came a-running to help. Nor did the Anglo-Saxon kings have a heavy tax system, because no one was building vastly expensive castles with moats for overlording their own subjects.

Tonbridge Castle, built just four years after the Conquest as protection for the Normans against the English people.

..nor did the Anglo-Saxon folk feel a need to pay for a standing, professional army, and they dreaded such a thing as a threat to their freedom.

An Anglo-Saxon mead hall.

Mead is an alcoholic drink made from honey, going back to Indo-European times, at least 3,000 BC. It was a great honor to drink it in the kings mead hall, sing, and tell stories of heroes past.

In this regard Old England, with its volunteer militia, was very unlike the Vikings from Denmark, who all were professional soldiers were the French Viking heavy cavalry that made up the Norman armies.

A dismounted Norman knight. Horses could be brought down by lances, swords or arrows. The Anglo-Saxons preferred fighting as infantry, not cavalry, and it was cheaper than outfitting an armored horse.

It was a big mistake, though, in a psychopathic world to not have a professional military. Militias are cheap, with part-time soldiers and weekend warriors, and professional armies on the other hand do cost a lot, but freedom isnt free, as the expression goes, and the Anglo-Saxons lost it. By having only a militia they paid an incredible price centuries of enslavement that, somewhat less openly brutal that before, lasts in my view to this day.

Northern England, the region William the Conqueror would decide to devastate, had been settled heavily by both northern German Saxons and by the Scandinavian Danes, and was even more rich in Nordic genes than the south. The dialect of Yorkshire and the whole north, in fact, was heavily influenced by Danish, so much so that the Londoners down south could barely understand it. Many nobles up there, in fact, were Danes. The region was even called the Danelaw, and the historians of today call that region, in that era, by the name Anglo-Scandinavia.

In fact, English-seeming place names that end in -thorpe, -borough, -wick, or in -by, such as Oglethorpe, Warwick, Attleborough, Bixby, Hornby, Frisbee or Albee all come in reality from the Danish. By is still today the Danish word for a village. Thus the meaning of the English word by-laws is village laws, hence one never hears of federal or state by-laws, but only the by-laws of towns, local clubs and associations. Hundreds of the most basic English words came in through the Danelaw, such as take, skin, sky, he, they, anger, bask, bawl, bet, build, blunder, crash, crazy and other basic English words.

(One can hear a northern English dialect very hard for Americans to understand, because our own American accent comes from southeastern England in the unique and touching 1997 English tragicomic film The Full Monty, written by a Simon Beaufoy Goodfaith in French with as Norman a name as you can imagine. It depicts six very desperate unemployed ex-steel mill workers in Sheffield who resort, quite bashfully, to putting on a nightclub striptease in their despair to raise money to pay their back bills and their child support. This is from the very area that William the Bastard had genocided nine hundred years ago.)

Trailer to the touching comedy The Full Monty. I had a lot of trouble understanding some of the accent, though not in this trailer.


Given both their heritages, Scandinavian and Saxon, the ingredients of a double bravery, the doughty Yorkshiremen up north told William the Bastard in no uncertain terms that he was not welcome as their new master after they saw how he was enslaving the south of England.

At the legendary Battle of Maldon, 75 years before, their brave Saxon brothers in southern England had already fought honorably to the very death rather than pay any tribute to Viking marauders. (They finally began paying Danegeld, money for the Danes, only after their total annihilation at Maldon). The Maldon Yorkshiremen of the year 1066 were just as brave as the men of Maldon had been a mere 75 years earlier.

In 1916 the great British poet Rudyard Kipling

.penned a notable, even jarring poem that expressed the innate Anglo-Saxon fierceness, resolve and hatred of oppression:

When the Saxon Begins to Hate

It was not part of their blood.

It came to them very late.

With long arrears to make good

When the Saxon began to hate.


They were not easily moved.

They were icy willing to wait.

Till every count should be proved

Ere the Saxon began to hate.


Their voices were even and low;

Their eyes were level and straight.

There was neither sign nor show

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