Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday Search Challenge (12/25/13): A Christmas coronation... and big data?

It's Christmas Day, and my thoughts turn historical.  But probably not in the way you'd think.  Because it's a big and important celebration day in the Christian world, it was once also used to mark extra-special events in Christendom.  

For instance... A long time ago, a historically important king was crowned on Christmas day, and today's challenge is about him and events connected with him.  (But as you'll see when you search, several kings were crowned on Christmas!)  

No, this image won't help you answer the question.
I've modified it to be evocative, but not useful.

Not only was this particular king heavily influential in the history of the kingdom, he also commissioned what was, for his time, a big data analysis of his country.  No other Christmas-crowned king seems to have done this.)  

Since today's a holiday, this is more of a fun challenge than a difficult one.  You should be able to do this in just a couple of minutes.  (Then you may return to your goose or cup of egg nog...)  

Can you find out:

(1) Which king was crowned on Christmas?  (Big hint: He didn't speak the language of his kingdom!)   

(2)   What is that big-data analysis summary called?   

(3)  What did the church look like on coronation day?
   (Can you find a contemporary picture of the way it looked on (or about) coronation day?)  

And for extra credit...  

(4) when will the bells be rung at his coronation site today? 

Search on!  (But don't spend more than 10 minutes on this!  You have other things to do!) 


  1. I know that big-data analyses by governments are most commonly called censuses.

    [king coronated Christmas census]

    "On Christmas Day, 1066, [William the Conqueror] was crowned the first Norman king of England, in Westminster Abbey...French became the language of the king's court...the 'Domesday Book,' a great census of the lands and people of England, was among his notable achievements."

    [westminster abbey christmas day 1066] (Isn't Google Instant cool?)

    Switch to Image Search [duh]

    No picture here. Oh well.

    [coronation westminster abbey "christmas day 1066"]

    There ya go!

    [bells westminster abbey]

    [bells westminster abbey ringing today] (Hooray for Google Instant!)

    Bells rung this morning following the 10:30am (Greenwich time, natch) Eucharist.

    Total time, maybe eight or nine minutes including thinking.

    1. After reading some of the answers did another search. Great findings Jeffrey and Fred I thought about Census too and tried with Charlemagne and I was wrong.

      [Christendom Christmas coronation king]
      Found: Coronation – customs and history site mentions:"William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas Day 1066 but during the ceremony the noise of from inside the Abbey alarmed the Norman guards outside who fearing a revolt began to massacre the local Saxon populace in the local area." and shows image.

      [Westminster Abbey historical images intext:1066] in Books mentions: "Bayeux Tapestry"

      [ Bayeux Tapestry]
      The story of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, as least as seen from the Norman side

      WestMinster Abbey site mentions: "Westminster Abbey has witnessed 38 coronations: the first documented coronation here was that of William the Conqueror in 1066, the most recent was that of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953. Before 1066 there was no fixed location for the coronation ceremony."

  2. Good Christmas Day, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers

    [king crowned Christmas day]

    Found: Kings crowned on Christmas

    [king crowned Christmas Christendom]

    Charlemagne [charlemagne christmas coronation]

    Found The Significance of the Coronation of Charlemagne
    Facts about Charlemagne

    [christmas bell]

    [st peter's basilica christmas bell rung hour]

    Pope On Christmas Eve Lauds Jesus' 'Humble' Start

    1) Which king was crowned on Christmas?

    A: Charlemagne

    (2) What is that big-data analysis summary called?
    (3) What did the church look like on coronation day?
    [St. Peter's Basilica Charlemagne coronation] in Images
    Found: The Nave that says "The red porphyry disc at the entrance, taken from the old basilica, is the stone on which Charlemagne and other Emperors were crowned"

    Coronation of Charlemagne

    A:when will the bells be rung at his coronation site today?

    2.5 hours before Christmas. Normal time is at midnight to announce Christmas and at 11:50 CET with Urbi et Orbi.

    I'll try to find answers that I need later. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas.

  3. Seasons Greetings! [ "coronation" "december 25" -street ] Had to get rid of references to the soap opera. Headed down the Charlemagne path for bit but wasn't coming up with any big data things.
    Scanned a the SERP and found William the Conqueror next.

    1. William The Conqueror from Normandy crowned the King of England on December 25, 1066 at Westminster Abbey.

    2. Domesday Book
    Both answers from the Wikipedia page for William The Conqueror

    3. A little bit questionable on this one. Going with what it looked like for Queen Elizabeth II and for her 60th Anniversary. WARNING the first link has auto-play music on it.

    [ Westminster abbey bells schedule ]
    2013 Bell Ringing Days

    4. December 25 Christmas Day Following the 10.30 am Eucharist

    Extra extra credit William the Conqueror by the History Teachers. Although my favorite is Black Death.

    1. Yes Fred I some some references to Coronation Street and I lost some time. But that was because I have been watching the show on Sunday mornings for over 30 years. There was interesting news this week that after 50 years they are moving the Coronation Street set from Granada TV Studios to a nearby location. I know not everyone's "cup of tea".

    2. Here's my addendum regarding the Bayeux Tapestry - Scrolling it you will see the Abbey but not the Coronation. It seems to have been lost/destroyed. Here's an update with video. Very Interesting! Enjoy the new section shown.

    3. Here is a link to the Aldnerney Tapestry which depicts the Coronation (nice scroll)

      The source of the image given at a site previously quoted is questionable. It gives no indication of its origins.

    4. Fred I wasn't going to send another post but I have to tell you the You Tube video is excellent! I wish I had that kind of entertainment back when I studied History. The students must love this type of "history lesson".

      Sorry my above responses regarding the Tapestries are out of order so please refer to them in context to my answers below.

    5. Excellent. I added the videos to the blogpost answering the question. Also like the Alderney link, Rosemary.

  4. Query [christmas coronation king]

    Christmas Day 1066 William the Conqueror’s Coronation was held at Westminster Abbey. (He was born 1028 Château de Falaise, Falaise, Normandy) List of Coronations since Norman Conquest

    Query >"westminster abbey" "coronations"

    Westminster Abbey has witnessed 38 coronations: the first documented coronation here was that of William the Conqueror in 1066, the most recent was that of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953.

    Query> “William the Conqueror” adminstration OR census in ‘Advanced Book Search’

    King William ordered in 1086 a census (see Census ‘80) called the Domesday Inquest to assess the population and the wealth of the country. “For the thoroughness and speed with which it was taken, the Domesday survey as an administrative measure is unsurpassed in medieval history.”

    But what’s our searches without a little controversy thrown in. According to David Roffe in his Domesday: the Inquest and the Book
    “His main propositions are these. William the Conqueror did not commission Domesday Book. Domesday Book was 'unrelated to the concerns which launched the inquest in 1085. I’ve left that for the die-hard historian researchers among us. Here’s the book and lecture links- by David Roffe and a subsequent lecture

    The Abbey ( a portion of it) had been built by King Edward between 1042-1052 (Wiki) for his own burial site and it was depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry (the most famous tapestery in the world. Paintings from that time period (William the Conqueror and the Coronation don’t appear to exist). Beautifully presented online so you can scroll across showing the history. You will see the Abbey with a man installing the weather vane which was to indicate it being recently built.

    The Christmas service at the Abbey will have bells ringing after the 10:30am service according to the 2013 bell ringing days list

    Best wishes to all!

  5. This was great. Made me feel like a genius,

    1) and 2) I knew right already. 3) same as 1) and 2)

    Had to look up 4) which is Following the 10.30 am Eucharist

    jon, a campanologist myself back in the day as was my missus. In fact that's how we met.

    1. Glad to have made your day, Jon! I've never been a change-ringer, but have frequently admired their work from a distance. Once upon a time, many years ago, I did have the chance to be in the tower of the Old North Church (in Boston) while changes were being rung. That was a remarkable experience. I can easily see how such activities could lead to matrimony!

  6. My knowledge of British history gives me a leg up on this as I know straight away this is the Domesday Book. Wikipedia reminds me this was William the Conquerors idea and he was indeed crowned 25 Dec 1066 at Westminster Abbey.
    I use Image search and try [Westminster abbey 1066] which has a lot of results but mainly modern pictures. I try adding [contemporary image] to search but doesn't help.
    Hmm back to Wikipedia and read the history section. According to them the only contemporary 1066 image is in the Bayaux tapestry as the Abbey was rebuilt 2 centuries later.

    The Westminster Abbey website says the bells will be rung after the 10.30 am Eucharist on Christmas Day.

    Took about 10 mins.
    Happy Christmas. Back to the mince pies!!

  7. William I (William the conquerer). The Domesday book, see below for picture sources, 11:30ish bell ringing.

    I started with the[ Domesday book], as it was the only "big data" effort I could think of in the time of kings. the wikipedia article on the domesday book told me it was william I, and that he was crowned on xmas day. The article on William I told me it was in westminster abbey.

    [william i coronation] in images, got me to this after following a few links, but it doesn't seem to be contemporaneous. There were also images from the Bayeaux tapestry, such as (look down the page), which I know is from about that time, so I didn't validate further.

    [2013 westminster abbey chimes] got me to the westminster abbey official site, where I learned here that the bells are rung after the 10:30 Eucharist on Dec 25, which I suppose means 11:30ish local time