Ordinance of William the Conqueror Separating the Spiritual and Temporal Courts
William the Conqueror
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William I (circa 1028 – 9 September 1087), also known as William the Conqueror (Guillaume le Conquérant), was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II. Before his conquest of England, he was known as William the Bastard because of the illegitimacy of his birth. His reign, which imposed Norman culture and leadership on England, reshaped England in the Middle Ages. The details of that impact and the extent of the changes have been debated by scholars for centuries. In addition to the obvious change of ruler, his reign also saw a programme of building and fortification, changes to the English language, a shift in the upper levels of society and the church, and adoption of some aspects of continental church reform.
As King of England, William also passed an ordinance that has been credited with being one of the earliest expressions of the separation of church and state. William’s ordinance separating the spiritual and temporal courts specifically separated religious courts from secular ones, creating a divide between civil authorities and state-established ecclesiastical authority,.
This edition of William’s Ordinance is illustrated and specially formatted.