England labelled William ruling as cruel and oppressive. However, the laws were created to control a nation which had been conquered so could easily have been much worse. From the beginning of William’s reign, he wanted to be seen as appealing to the English - therefore attempted to learn their language as a way of showing this.
The laws were also a way for William to control the population of England along with castle building and the Domesday Book. However, William’s ‘appealing’ behaviour was not received in the way he expected it to be. Norman rule turned out to be a lot stricter after northern England rebelled.
The following list is an up to date translation of exactly what the laws stated:
William’s vicious opposing of any opponents happened only after the failed northern England rebellion, centring on a York Castle attack, had occurred. Once the English appeared to betray William and his ‘generosity’ he set out on the ‘Harrying of the North’ and the law inflicted onto England was even more harsh.
"The Laws of William the Conqueror". HistoryLearning.com. 2024. Web.