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Quiz about Henry at Court  Cognomina Mania
Quiz about Henry at Court  Cognomina Mania

Henry at Court: Cognomina Mania! Quiz

Yikes! I need your help! The people at the King's Court are speaking some sort of secret language! Are they nicknames or what? Can you help me learn these cognomina? Quick!

A matching quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 174 (2/10), Phoibean (10/10), Drowsyotter (3/10).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Beauclerc  
Henry I
2. Confessor  
Ethelred II
3. Conqueror  
William I
4. Great  
Edmund I
5. Unready  
6. Harefoot  
7. Curthose  
8. Deed-Doer  
William II
9. All-Fair  
Harold I
10. The Red  

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Beauclerc

Answer: Henry I

Upon the death of his father, William I, Henry, as the fourth son, did not inherit very much. By chance, he was with his oldest brother, William II, when he died, killed in a hunting accident as was his other brother, Richard, and was able to seize the throne of England before his brother, Robert, was able to make his claim. During his reign, one of Henry's concerns was the beginning of England's system of justice, which has been further developed by his grandson, Henry II.

He also developed what has become known as the office of the Exchequer, which is responsible for collecting taxes and other fees, as well as serving as a court to hear disputes involving those payments.

As a fourth son, Henry I had planned to enter the priesthood; his cognomen, "Beauclerc" or "Fine Scholar" denotes the better-than-average education he received in preparation.
2. Confessor

Answer: Edward

Considered the last king of the House of Wessex, Edward the Confessor expanded his territory by conquering Wales and Scotland; he is, however, largely blamed for the Norman conquest that followed his death. It is possible that he promised his throne to both William the Conqueror and Harold Godwinson, but the truth of the matter is that he failed to produce his own heir to the throne, which left his kingdom vulnerable after his death.

The only king of England to be made a saint, Edward is known as the "Confessor" due to his pious behavior; the title distinguishes the difference between a saint who died a natural death and one who died a martyr.
3. Conqueror

Answer: William I

William, Duke of Normandy, was the cousin of King Edward. Believing that he had been promised the throne of England upon Edward's death, he was outraged when instead it was claimed by Harold Godwinson, an English nobleman and the late king's brother-in-law.

After winning the Battle of Hastings, William was crowned King of England, and set about establishing a new type of government in England - feudalism. He needed to reward his Norman allies, and he had plenty of land to do just that, but he made sure their fiefs were few and far between, and limited the building of castle fortifications on them.

In order to establish a uniform system of tax collecting, he ordered a census called "The Domesday Book". Many of those at the King's Court today have said that William is the one who made England what it is today, although nobody likes to be conquered; it appears that "The Conqueror" is a relatively new nickname, having been around for about the last eighty years.

While he was alive, William was called either "The Great" or "The Bastard", depending on one's feelings toward him.
4. Great

Answer: Alfred

Alfred, King of Wessex, not only defended England from the Vikings invaders, but also contained them in the area known as the Danelaw. He did an extensive amount of work organizing England's legal code, and supported education, inviting scholars from all over Europe to come to England in an effort to improve the level of culture and learning. I have heard that he traveled all over England to ensure that all his people received justice.

The Welsh monk, Asser, wrote that "... in spite of all the demands of the present life, it has been the desire for wisdom, more than anything else, together with the nobility of his birth, which have characterized the nature of his noble mind".

While his name roughly translates to "elf counsel" or "wise elf", people have been recently calling him "The Great"; it is not a cognomen that he was given during his lifetime.
5. Unready

Answer: Ethelred II

Many of the English nobles believed that Ethelred had been involved in the death of his half-brother, Edward the Martyr; they did not, therefore, wish to help him protect his realm from the constant invasions of the Danes. In fact, Ethelred was driven into exile by King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark, even after paying the Danegeld, a tribute which was levied to keep the Danes from raiding land in England. Ethelred's decision to kill peaceful Danish settlers, called the St. Brice's Day Massacre, led to his exile.

However, he was able to return to rule England once more after Forkbeard's death. Ethelred's cognomen comes from the word "unræd", which really means ill-advised more than it means "Unready".
6. Harefoot

Answer: Harold I

Harold I was the son of Canute the Great, who had been the King of England, Denmark, and Norway. Although his half-brother, Harthacnut, was really the legitimate heir to the throne of England, he was unable to travel to his own coronation! Harold, chosen to stand in as regent for his brother, became king after holding that position for two years; it took that long for the Archbishop of Canterbury to be convinced that the Witan approved of Harold's ascension to the throne.

He died of unknown cases just three years later. Apparently Harold "fleet of foot" could really run fast!
7. Curthose

Answer: Robert

The oldest son of William the Conqueror, Robert only inherited part of the empire, the Duchy of Normandy, when William died. This was probably due to the fact that Robert and his father were constantly at odds; even thought Robert was the oldest son, he was also viewed as the weaker one.

In addition, Robert's relationship with his brothers was rather stormy; alliances and promises were made and broken. Although the nobles would have preferred to have been ruled by Robert - it is said that he was easier to manipulate - it was the youngest son, Henry, who eventually became King of England. Robert was called "Curthose" from the Norman French "Courtheuse", because of his short legs that needed short leggings!
8. Deed-Doer

Answer: Edmund I

Grandson of Alfred the Great, Edmund I was King of England for only seven years before he was brutally assassinated. During his reign the Midlands were recovered from King Olaf III, and a peaceful relationship with Scotland was established. It also appears that he aided Louis IV in his restoration to the throne of France. Known as a legal reformer due to restrictions he placed on blood feuds, Edmund is called the "Deed-Doer" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and also called "The Magnificent" by Florence of Worcester.
9. All-Fair

Answer: Eadwig

The reign of Eadwig only lasted for four years, and there was turmoil in England throughout. His altercation with Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury who eventually became Archbishop of Canterbury, on the day of his coronation is still told about in legends. Apparently Eadwig choose the company of a noblewoman, Æthelgifu, who he eventually married over that of nobles, with whom he was supposed to have a meeting! Dunstan appears to have had the final say - against their will, he was able to have the marriage of Eadwig and Æthelgifu annulled.

While Eadwig was known for his generosity in giving away land, he was called "All-Fair" by the common people due to his "great beauty".
10. The Red

Answer: William II

Upon the death of William I, the vast kingdom was divided between his two oldest sons. Robert inherited the Duchy of Normandy, while William II inherited only half of the huge kingdom - the English half! The nobles, wishing to unite the lands under one ruler, sided with the older brother Robert, but he failed to come to England, and William II eventually gained control over the entire area his father had ruled.

It is whispered that William II was indeed an unpopular king, as evidenced by the fact that he was killed in a hunting "accident", with his body left where it fell from his horse.

His nickname, "William Rufus", or "William the Red", is derived from his ruddy complexion.
Source: Author ponycargirl

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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May 27 2023 : Guest 174: 2/10
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