William expected that the English would simply accept him as their king because of Hastings, but the English nobles instead planned resistance to him. There was scattered resistance to William as he marched north and claimed the crown for himself, the main opposition was expected to come from the northern Shires of Northumbria and Mercia. However, the earls of the shires withdrew to the north, perhaps thinking that William would be content only with southern England and leave northern England under their rule. (William the conqueror. 213.) William moved towards London, after the destruction of Romney important towns such as Dover and Canterbury avoided being sacked by surrendering to William. William fell ill on the way to London and stayed near Canterbury for nearly a month, but during that time the ancient and honorable town of Winchester surrendered to William. (William the conqueror. 218.) London was prepared for resistance, the only way to cross the Thames at this time was a narrow bridge which could be easily defended. William sent out about 500 knights to observe and engage the English forces there, the English faced heavy losses but the Normans did not enter London. William then went west to Cross the Thames and the first English noble surrendered to William.
William was crowned king on Christmas day in Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Ealdred of York with all of the observances of a coronation of Anglo-Saxon kings. (William the conqueror. 225.) The earls of Mercia and Northumbria swore allegiance at this time. William began his administrative duties right away and soon an almost complete personnel change occurred.
The battle of Hastings had been fatal to much of the land-owning class of Southern England and so many of those lands and riches were placed in Norman hands. William soon felt confident enough in his rule that he let as many men return to Normandy as they wished and he himself returned to show the nobles of Normandy the fruits of their labor. Once William left England scattered revolts broke out around England, William returned and peace returned, but the feeling of suppressed revolt remained close the surface.
Stenton, F. K, William the Conqueror. 213.
Stenton, F. K, William the Conqueror. 218.
Stenton, F. K, William the Conqueror. 225.