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Battle Abbey was founded in 1066 by William the Conqueror, on the site of his famous victory over King Harold at the Battle of Hastings (which actually took place about 7 miles from Hastings). This manuscript, created in 1150, contains two historical accounts of the abbey, almost certainly written there. The page is the start of the second account, introduced by an exceptionally large initial 'A' containing an image of King William enthroned.
The Normans would transform England, both culturally and linguistically. For over 300 years French was the language spoken by the most powerful people - royalty, aristocrats and high-powered officials. French was used in political documents, in administration, and in literature. Latin was still the language of the church and of scholars, but most of the general population spoke English in their everyday lives.
Shelfmark: Cotton MS Domitian, f.22.