EARLY KINGS OF IRELAND AND EUROPE

The Anglo-Normans (NormanAnglo-NormaundsOld EnglishEngel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic NormansFrenchAnglo-SaxonsFlemings and Bretons, following the Norman conquest. A small number of Normans had earlier befriended future Anglo-Saxon king of EnglandEdward the Confessor, during his exile in his mother’s homeland of Normandy in northern France. When he returned to England some of them went with him, and so there were Normans already settled in England prior to the conquest. Edward’s successor, Harold Godwinson, was defeated by Duke William the Conqueror of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings, leading to William’s accession to the English throne.

The victorious Normans formed a ruling class in Britain, distinct from (although inter-marrying with) the native populations. Over time their language evolved from the continental Old Norman to the distinct Anglo-Norman language. Anglo-Normans quickly established control over all of England, as well as parts of Wales (the Cambro-Normans). After 1130, parts of southern and eastern Scotland came under Anglo-Norman rule (the Scoto-Normans), in return for their support of David I’s conquest. The Norman conquest of Ireland in 1169 saw Anglo-Normans and Cambro-Normans settle vast swaths of Ireland, becoming the Hiberno-Normans.

The composite expression regno Norman-Anglorum for the Anglo-Norman kingdom that comprises Normandy and England appears contemporaneously only in the Hyde Chronicle.[1]