The New Forest ~ Hampshire
The king was nicknamed Rufus, apparently because of his ruddy complexion and red hair, and was of course the son of King William I who was
responsible for designating the area as the royal hunting ground that we know as the New Forest. William Rufus was, by all accounts,
an absolute barbarian and showed no mercy to the local inhabitants of the Forest, as well as being a fairly unpopular Monarch.
It was on August 2nd in the year 1100 when King William Rufus and his team of noblemen were out hunting deer and wild boar.
The story goes that an arrow was shot, supposedly at a stag, by the Frenchman Sir Walter Tyrell but the arrow struck an oak tree
and ricocheted off it straight into the chest of the king, killing him there and then.
Sir Walter hot-footed it back to Normandy, the tale goes that he stopped at a blacksmith on the way
and had his horse re-shoed with backwards facing horseshoes, so as to confuse the chasers!
As it happened, there were no chasers because no-one was particularly upset about the King's death.
There is still great mystery over whether or not the death was just a very unfortunate accident, or whether Sir Walter ever intended to shoot the deer at all.
Norman political ambition and the general desire to see Rufus removed from the throne are common theories about the incident.