To What Extent Was the Changing Role of the Vice Regent the Most Important Change in English Government in the Period of 1066-1154?

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To what extent was the changing role of the vice regent the most important change in English government in the period of 1066-1154? Throughout the Anglo-Norman period, from 1066-1154, there were many changes to the government of England, such as the growing role of the vice-regents, the increasing power of the sheriffs at the expense of the Earls, and the growing centralisation of government. The introduction of vice-regent type figures were as a consequence of continental possessions, which led to the King being away from the country for long periods during times of war in Northern France. Whilst under William II, who was the exception to the rule in that he possessed no lands in France, had very little interest in administering the Kingdom and so as a result delegated the task to Ranulf Flambard. Whilst Flambard’s role was very much to increase Crown revenues, in preparation of an invasion of Normandy, under Henry I the role was built upon. He appointed Roger of Salisbury to oversee administration, justice and taxation, even appointing him head of the Exchequer in 1110. Whilst under William I men such as Odo of Bayeux and Lanfranc had minor roles when William was out of the country, they did not have the power to implement reform. However, the fact that William, who ruled over more land than either of his sons under more difficult circumstances, did not appoint a vice-regent shows that the role may not have been as important to English administration as it is sometimes thought, although at the time the country was not as centralised as it would become under Henry. Instead of the need for someone to implement reform and change, under later English Kings after William I it may have been that a figure was required to oversee the system and enable the King to depart the country to protect his interests on the Continent. It is clear that a strong centralised
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