Commenting on William and the Norman invasion, J.S. Calvert wrote
York fell into the hands of the English rebels. William hastened from the Forest of Dean, where he was hunting and vowed “by the splendour of God” that he would lay waste from the Humber to the Tweed. This threat he carried out ruthlessly. He burnt the villages, battered down farm houses and castles, massacred the inhabitants and destroyed the crops. Such a scene as he left had never been imagined. When on his return to York, he thought his work was done, he heard that there was a camp of refuge near the mouth of the Tees, and in January of 1070, made his way thither to where Coatham and Warrenby now stand. There he found the Camp of Refuge. A few days sufficed to end the hopes of the Saxons. He returned by the same road that he had come, and in Bilsdale had the adventure of his life. His force was encountered by a terrible snowstorm, lost its way on the moors, wandered about without sense of direction a whole night and with difficulty escaped. Freeman remarks that had there been a troop of English to attack the King’s force, the whole course of English History might have been changed.
Cleveland in English History. J.S. Calvert.
In the 1930’s an old farmer in the Roppa area, used the phrase ‘He wur swearing like Billy Norman coming out of the fog on the moor.
The North York Moors, An Introduction. Stanhope White