This is an interesting article. William the Conqueror covering all angles on his death bed. How much is true is anyone’s guess, but he lived in violent times and his conquest of England was a violent and ruthless one. The bloodshed did not stop with the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
“I have persecuted the natives of England beyond all reason. Whether gentle or simple I have cruelly oppressed them; many I unjustly disinherited; innumerable multitudes perished through me by famine or the sword……I fell on the English of the northern shires like a ravening lion. I commanded their houses and corn, with all their implements and chattels, to be burnt without distinction, and great herds of cattle and beasts of burden to be butchered whenever they are found. In this way I took revenge on multitudes of both sexes by subjecting them to the calamity of a cruel famine, and so became a barbarous murderer of many thousands, both young and old, of that fine race of people. Having gained the throne of that kingdom by so many crimes I dare not leave it to anyone but God…..
William’s death bed confession according to Ordericus Vitalis c AD 1130.