Biography of King Canute of England 995-1035

1014 Death of King Sweyn "Forkbeard"

1016 Death of King Æthelred "Unready"

1016 Battle of Assandun

1017 Coronation of Cnut

1017 Marriage of Canute and Emma of Normandy

1026 Battle of Helgeå

1035 Death of Canute

1042 Death of King Harthacnut

In 986 [his father] Sweyn "Forkbeard" King Denmark King Norway King England (age 26) succeeded King Denmark, King Norway.

Around 995 King Canute of England was born to Sweyn "Forkbeard" King Denmark King Norway King England (age 35).

In 1002 King Æthelred "Unready" II of England (age 36) and [his future wife] Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 17) were married. She by marriage Queen Consort England. She the daughter of Richard "Fearless" Normandy I Duke Normandy and Gunnora Countess Ponthieu. He the son of King Edgar "Peaceful" I of England and Aelfthryth Queen Consort England (age 57).

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1013. The year after that Archbishop Elfeah was martyred, the king (age 47) appointed Lifing to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. And in the same year, before the month August, came King Sweyne (age 53) with his fleet to Sandwich, Kent [Map]; and very soon went about East-Anglia into the Humber-mouth, and so upward along the Trent, until he came to Gainsborough [Map]. Then soon submitted to him Earl Utred, and all the Northumbrians, and all the people of Lindsey, and afterwards the people of the Five Boroughs, and soon after all the army to the north of Watling-street; and hostages were given him from each shire. When he understood that all the people were subject to him, then ordered he that his army should have provision and horses; and he then went southward with his main army, committing his ships and the hostages to his son Knute (age 18). And after he came over Watling-street, they wrought the greatest mischief that any army could do. Then he went to Oxford, Oxfordshire [Map]; and the population soon submitted, and gave hostages; thence to Winchester, where they did the same. Thence went they eastward to London; and many of the party sunk in the Thames, because they kept not to any bridge. When he came to the city, the population would not submit; but held their ground in full fight against him, because therein was King Ethelred (age 47), and Thurkill with him. Then went King Sweyne (age 53) thence to Wallingford; and so over Thames westward to Bath, where he abode with his army. Thither came Alderman Ethelmar, and all the western thanes with him, and all submitted to Sweyne (age 53), and gave hostages. When he had thus settled all, then went he northward to his ships; and all the population fully received him, and considered him full king. The population of London also after this submitted to him, and gave hostages; because they dreaded that he would undo them. Then bade Sweyne (age 53) full tribute and forage for his army during the winter; and Thurkill bade the same for the army that lay at Greenwich, Kent [Map]: besides this, they plundered as oft as they would. And when this nation could neither resist in the south nor in the north, King Ethelred (age 47) abode some while with the fleet that lay in the Thames; and the [his future wife] lady (age 28)57 went afterwards over sea to her brother [his future brother-in-law] Richard (age 49), accompanied by Elfsy, Abbot of Peterborough. The king sent Bishop Elfun with the ethelings, [his future step-son] Edward (age 10) and [his future step-son] Alfred (age 8), over sea; that he might instruct them. Then went the king from the fleet, about midwinter, to the Isle of Wight [Map]; and there abode for the season; after which he went over sea to Richard (age 49), with whom he abode till the time when Sweyne (age 53) died. Whilst the lady (age 28) was with her brother (age 49) beyond sea, Elfsy, Abbot of Peterborough, who was there with her, went to the abbey called Boneval, where St. Florentine's body lay; and there found a miserable place, a miserable abbot, and miserable monks: because they had been plundered. There he bought of the abbot, and of the monks, the body of St. Florentine, all but the head, for 500 pounds; which, on his return home, he offered to Christ and St. Peter.

Note 57. This was a title bestowed on the queen.

Death of King Sweyn "Forkbeard"

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1014. This year King Sweyne (age 54) ended his days at Candlemas, the third day before the nones of February; and the same year Elfwy, Bishop of York, was consecrated in London, on the festival of St. Juliana. The fleet all chose Knute (age 19) for king; whereupon advised all the counsellors of England, clergy and laity, that they should send after King Ethelred (age 48); saying, that no sovereign was dearer to them than their natural lord, if he would govern them better than he did before. Then sent the king hither his son Edward, with his messengers; who had orders to greet all his people, saying that he would be their faithful lord-would better each of those things that they disliked-and that each of the things should be forgiven which had been either done or said against him; provided they all unanimously, without treachery, turned to him. Then was full friendship established, in word and in deed and in compact, on either side. And every Danish king they proclaimed an outlaw for ever from England. Then came King Ethelred (age 48) home, in Lent, to his own people; and he was gladly received by them all. Meanwhile, after the death of Sweyne (age 54), sat Knute (age 19) with his army in Gainsborough [Map] until Easter; and it was agreed between him and the people of Lindsey, that they should supply him with horses, and afterwards go out all together and plunder. But King Ethelred (age 48) with his full force came to Lindsey before they were ready; and they plundered and burned, and slew all the men that they could reach. Knute (age 19), the son of Sweyne (age 54), went out with his fleet (so were the wretched people deluded by him), and proceeded southward until he came to Sandwich, Kent [Map]. There he landed the hostages that were given to his father, and cut off their hands and ears and their noses. Besides all these evils, the king ordered a tribute to the army that lay at Greenwich, Kent [Map], of 21,000 pounds. This year, on the eve of St. Michael's day, came the great sea-flood, which spread wide over this land, and ran so far up as it never did before, overwhelming many towns, and an innumerable multitude of people.

On 03 Feb 1014 [his father] Sweyn "Forkbeard" King Denmark King Norway King England (age 54) died. His son [his brother] Harald King Denmark succeeded King Denmark. There was a dispute as to who succeeded to the Kingdom of England with some supporting King Æthelred "Unready" II of England (age 48) and some King Canute of England (age 19).

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1015. This year was the great council at Oxford, Oxfordshire [Map]; where Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia betrayed Sigferth and Morcar, the eldest thanes belonging to the Seven Towns. He allured them into his bower, where they were shamefully slain. Then the king took all their possessions, and ordered the widow of Sigferth to be secured, and brought within Malmsbury [Map]. After a little interval, Edmund Etheling (age 25) went and seized her, against the king's (age 49) will, and had her to wife. Then, before the Nativity of St. Mary, went the etheling west-north into the Five Towns58, and soon plundered all the property of Sigferth and Morcar; and all the people submitted to him. At the same time came King Knute (age 20) to Sandwich, Kent [Map], and went soon all about Kent into Wessex, until he came to the mouth of the Frome; and then plundered in Dorset, and in Wiltshire, and in Somerset. King Ethelred (age 49), meanwhile, lay sick at Corsham, Wiltshire; and Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia collected an army there, and Edmund the etheling (age 25) in the north. When they came together, the alderman designed to betray Edmund the etheling (age 25), but he could not; whereupon they separated without an engagement, and sheered off from their enemies. Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia then seduced forty ships from the king, and submitted to Knute (age 20). The West-Saxons also submitted, and gave hostages, and horsed the army. And he continued there until midwinter.

Note 58. The "seven" towns mentioned above are reduced here to "five"; probably because two had already submitted to the king on the death of the two thanes, Sigferth and Morcar. These five were, as originally, Leicester, Lincoln, Stamford, Nottingham, and Derby. Vid. an. 942, 1013.

In Sep 1015 King Canute of England (age 20) landed at Sandwich, Kent [Map].

Before 1016 King Canute of England (age 21) and Aelfgifu Northumbria (age 25) were married. She the daughter of Aelfhelm Northumbria and Wulfruna. He the son of Sweyn "Forkbeard" King Denmark King Norway King England.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1016. This year came King Knute (age 21) with a marine force of one hundred and sixty ships, and Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia with him, over the Thames into Mercia at Cricklade, Wiltshire [Map]; whence they proceeded to Warwickshire, during the middle of the winter, and plundered therein, and burned, and slew all they met. Then began Edmund the etheling (age 26) to gather an army, which, when it was collected, could avail him nothing, unless the king (age 50) were there and they had the assistance of the citizens of London. The expedition therefore was frustrated, and each man betook himself home. After this, an army was again ordered, under full penalties, that every person, however distant, should go forth; and they sent to the king (age 50) in London, and besought him to come to meet the army with the aid that he could collect. When they were all assembled, it succeeded nothing better than it often did before; and, when it was told the king, that those persons would betray him who ought to assist him, then forsook he the army, and returned again to London. Then rode Edmund the etheling (age 26) to Earl Utred in Northumbria; and every man supposed that they would collect an army King Knute (age 21); but they went into Stafforddhire, and to Shrewsbury, Shropshire [Map], and to Chester [Map]; and they plundered on their parts, and Knute (age 21) on his. He went out through Buckinghamshire to Bedfordshire; thence to Huntingdonshire, and so into Northamptonshire along the fens to Stamford [Map]. Thence into Lincolnshire. Thence to Nottinghamshire; and so into Northumbria toward York [Map]. When Utred understood this, he ceased from plundering, and hastened northward, and submitted for need, and all the Northumbrians with him; but, though he gave hostages, he was nevertheless slain by the advice of Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia, and Thurkytel, the son of Nafan, with him. After this, King Knute (age 21) appointed Eric earl over Northumbria, as Utred was; and then went southward another way, all by west, till the whole army came, before Easter, to the ships. Meantime Edmund Etheling (age 26) went to London to his father (age 50): and after Easter went King Knute (age 21) with all his ships toward London; but it happened that King Ethelred (age 50) died ere the ships came. He ended his days on St. George's day; having held his kingdom in much tribulation and difficulty as long as his life continued.

Around 1016 [his son] Harold "Harefoot" King England was born to King Canute of England (age 21) and [his wife] Aelfgifu Northumbria (age 26).

Around 1016 [his son] Svein Knutsson Knytlinga was born to King Canute of England (age 21) and [his wife] Aelfgifu Northumbria (age 26).

Death of King Æthelred "Unready"

On 23 Apr 1016 King Æthelred "Unready" II of England (age 50) died. His son King Edmund "Ironside" I of England (age 26) succeeded I King England although tthe Witan meeting at Southampton chose King Canute of England (age 21).

Battle of Assandun

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 18 Oct 1016. When the king (age 26) understood that the army was up, then collected he the fifth time all the English nation, and went behind them, and overtook them in Essex, on the down called Assingdon; where they fiercely came together. Then did Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia as he often did before-he first began the flight with the Maisevethians, and so betrayed his natural lord and all the people of England. There had Knute (age 21) the victory, though all England fought against him! There was then slain Bishop Ednoth, and Abbot Wulsy, and Alderman Elfric, and Alderman Godwin of Lindsey, and Ulfkytel of East-Anglia, and Ethelward, the son of Alderman Ethelsy59. And all the nobility of the English nation was there undone! After this fight went King Knute (age 21) up with his army into Glocestershire, where he heard say that King Edmund (age 26) was. Then advised Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia, and the counsellors that were there assembled, that the kings should make peace with each other, and produce hostages. Then both the kings met together at Olney, Buckinghamshire [Map], south of Deerhurst, and became allies and sworn brothers. There they confirmed their friendship both with pledges and with oaths, and settled the pay of the army. With this covenant they parted: King Edmund (age 26) took to Wessex, and Knute (age 21) to Mercia and the northern district. The army then went to their ships with the things they had taken; and the people of London made peace with them, and purchased their security, whereupon they brought their ships to London, and provided themselves winter-quarters therein.

Note 59. There is a marked difference respecting the name of this alderman in MSS. Some have Ethelsy, as above; others, Elfwine, and Ethelwine. The two last may be reconciled, as the name in either case would now be Elwin; but Ethelsy, and Elsy are widely different. Florence of Worcester not only supports the authority of Ethelwine, but explains it "Dei amici."

On 18 Oct 1016 Battle of Assandun was fought between the Danish army of King Canute of England (age 21) and the English army commanded by King Edmund "Ironside" I of England (age 26) who was defeated. Following the battle King Edmund "Ironside" I of England (age 26) was compelled to agree to King Canute of England (age 21) reigning over all Engliand except Wessex, and to mutual succession ie one will succeed whoever dies first.

In 1017 Eadwig Ætheling Wessex was executed by King Canute of England (age 22). He was buried at Tavistock Abbey, Devon [Map].

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1017. This year King Knute (age 22) took to the whole government of England, and divided it into four parts: Wessex for himself, East-Anglia for Thurkyll, Mercia for Edric, Northumbria for Eric. This year also was Earldorman Eadric "Streona aka Acquisitive" Mercia slain at London, and Norman, son of Alderman Leofwin, and Ethelward, son of Ethelmar the Great, and Britric, son of Elfege of Devonshire. King Knute (age 22) also banished Edwy etheling, whom he afterwards ordered to be slain, and Edwy, king of the churls; and before the calends of August the king gave an order to fetch him the [his future wife] widow (age 32) of the other king, Ethelred, the daughter of Richard (age 53), to wife.

Coronation of Cnut

In 1017 King Canute of England (age 22) was crowned King England by Archibishop Ælfstan aka Lyfing.

Marriage of Canute and Emma of Normandy

Around Aug 1017 King Canute of England (age 22) and Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 32) were married. She the daughter of Richard "Fearless" Normandy I Duke Normandy and Gunnora Countess Ponthieu. He the son of Sweyn "Forkbeard" King Denmark King Norway King England.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1018. This year was the payment of the tribute over all England; that was, altogether, two and seventy thousand pounds, besides that which the citizens of London paid; and that was ten thousand five hundred pounds. The army then went partly to Denmark; and forty ships were left with King Knute (age 23). The Danes and Angles were united at Oxford under Edgar's law; and this year died Abbot Ethelsy at Abingdon [Map], to whom Ethelwine succeeded.

Around 1018 [his son] King Harthacnut of Denmark and England was born to King Canute of England (age 23) and [his wife] Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 33).

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1019. This year went King Knute (age 24) with nine ships to Denmark, where he abode all the winter; and Archbishop Elfstan died this year, who was also named Lifing. He was a very upright man both before God and before the world.

Around 1020 [his daughter] Gunhilda Knytlinga was born to King Canute of England (age 25) and [his wife] Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 35).

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1020. This year came King Knute (age 25) back to England; and there was at Easter a great council at Cirencester, Gloucestershire [Map], where Alderman Ethelward was outlawed, and Edwy, king of the churls. This year went the king (age 25) to Assingdon; with Earl Thurkyll, and Archbishop Wulfstan, and other bishops, and also abbots, and many monks with them; and he ordered to be built there a minster of stone and lime, for the souls of the men who were there slain, and gave it to his own priest, whose name was Stigand; and they consecrated the minster at Assingdon. And Ethelnoth the monk, who had been dean at Christ's church, was the same year on the ides of November consecrated Bishop of Christ's church by Archbishop Wulfstan.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1021. This year King Knute (age 26), at Martinmas, outlawed Earl Thurkyll; and Bishop Elfgar, the abundant giver of alms, died in the morning of Christmas day.

John of Worcester. 1021. Before the feast of St. Martin [11th Nov], Canute, king of England and Denmark (age 26), banished from England Thurkill, the earl often mentioned, and his wife Edgitha. Algar, bishop of the East-Angles (of Ehnham) died, and was succeeded by Alwin.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1022. This year went King Knute (age 27) out with his ships to the Isle of Wight [Map]. And Bishop Ethelnoth went to Rome; where he was received with much honour by Benedict the magnificent pope, who with his own hand placed the pall upon him, and with great pomp consecrated him archbishop, and blessed him, on the nones of October. The archbishop on the self-same day with the same pall performed mass, as the pope directed him, after which he was magnificently entertained by the pope himself; and afterwards with a full blessing proceeded homewards. Abbot Leofwine, who had been unjustly expelled from Ely, was his companion; and he cleared himself of everything, which, as the pope informed him, had been laid to his charge, on the testimony of the archbishop and of all the company that were with him.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1023. This year returned King Knute (age 28) to England; and Thurkyll and he were reconciled. He committed Denmark and his son to the care of Thurkyll, whilst he took Thurkyll's son with him to England. This year died Archbishop Wulfstan; and Elfric succeeded him; and Archbishop Egelnoth blessed him in Canterbury. This year King Knute (age 28) in London, in St. Paul's minster [Map], gave full leave60 to Archbishop Ethelnoth, Bishop Britwine, and all God's servants that were with them, that they might take up from the grave the archbishop, Saint Elphege. And they did so, on the sixth day before the ides of June; and the illustrious king, and the archbishop, and the diocesan bishops, and the earls, and very many others, both clergy and laity, carried by ship his holy corpse over the Thames to Southwark [Map]. And there they committed the holy martyr to the archbishop and his companions; and they with worthy pomp and sprightly joy carried him to Rochester. There on the third day came the [his wife] Lady Emma (age 38) with her royal son [his son] Hardacnute (age 5); and they all with much majesty, and bliss, and songs of praise, carried the holy archbishop into Canterbury Cathedral [Map], and so brought him gloriously into the church, on the third day before the ides of June. Afterwards, on the eighth day, the seventeenth before the calends of July, Archbishop Ethelnoth, and Bishop Elfsy, and Bishop Britwine, and all they that were with them, lodged the holy corpse of Saint Elphege on the north side of the altar of Christ; to the praise of God, and to the glory of the holy archbishop, and to the everlasting salvation of all those who there his holy body daily seek with earnest heart and all humility. May God Almighty have mercy on all Christian men through the holy intercession of Elphege!

Note 60. Matthew of Westminster says the king took up the body with his own hands.

Battle of Helgeå

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1026. This year went King Knute (age 31) to Denmark with a fleet to the holm by the holy river; where against him came Ulf and Eglaf, with a very large force both by land and sea, from Sweden. There were very many men lost on the side of King Knute (age 31), both of Danish and English; and the Swedes had possession of the field of battle.

John of Worcester. 1027. Canute (age 32), king of England and Denmark, received intelligence that the Norwegians held their king Olaf (age 32) in contempt on account of his meekness and simplicity, his justice and piety. In consequence, he sent large sums of gold and silver to certain of them, earnestly entreating them to reject and depose Olaf (age 32), and submitting to him, accept him for their king. They greedily accepted his bribes, and caused a message to be returned to Canute (age 32) that they were prepared to receive him whenever he chose to come.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1028. This year went King Knute (age 33) from England to Norway with fifty ships manned with English thanes, and drove King Olave (age 33) from the land, which he entirely secured to himself.

John of Worcester. 1028. Canute (age 33), king of England and Denmark, went over to Norway with fifty stout ships, and expelled king Olaf (age 33) from the kingdom, which he subjugated to himself.

The same year was born Marianus, of Ireland, the celebrated Scot, by whose study and pains this excellent Chronicle was compiled from various books.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1029. This year King Knute (age 34) returned home to England.

John of Worcester. 1029. Canute (age 34), king of England, Denmark, and Norway, returned to England, and after the feast of St. Martin [11 Nov] banished Hakon, a Danish earl, who had married the noble lady Gunilda, his sister's daughter by Wyrtgeorn, king of the Winidi, sending him away under pretence of an embassy; for he feared that the earl would take either his life or his kingdoms.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1031. This year returned King Knute (age 36); and as soon as he came to England he gave to Christ's church in Canterbury [Map] the haven of Sandwich, Kent [Map], and all the rights that arise therefrom, on either side of the haven; so that when the tide is highest and fullest, and there be a ship floating as near the land as possible, and there be a man standing upon the ship with a taper-axe in his hand, whithersoever the large taper-axe might be thrown out of the ship, throughout all that land the ministers of Christ's church should enjoy their rights. This year went King Knute (age 36) to Rome; and the same year, as soon as he returned home, he went to Scotland; and Malcolm, king of the Scots (age 77), submitted to him, and became his man, with two other kings, Macbeth and Jehmar; but he held his allegiance a little while only. Robert, Earl of Normandy (age 30), went this year to Jerusalem, where he died; and William (age 3), who was afterwards King of England, succeeded to the earldom, though he was a child.

John of Worcester. 1031. Canute (age 36), king of England, Denmark, and Norway, went in great state from Denmark to Rome58, and, having made rich offerings in gold, silver, and other precious objects, to St. Peter, prince of the apostles, he obtained from pope John that the English School should be free from all tribute and taxes. On his journey to Rome and back, he distributed large alms among the poor, and procured at great cost the abolition of the tolls levied at many barriers on the roads, where they were extorted from pilgrims. He also vowed to God, before the tomb of the apostles, that he would amend his life and conduct; and he sent thence a memorable letter by the hands of Living, the companion of his journey, (a man of great prudence, at that time abbot of Tavistock, and afterwards, in the course of the same year, Ednoth's successor in the see of Crediton), and others his envoys to England, while he himself came back from Rome by the same road he went there, visiting Denmark before his return to England. I think it right to subjoin the text of this letter.

"Canute (age 36), king of all England, and of Denmark, Norway, and part of Sweden, to Ethelnoth, metropolitan, and Alfric, archbishop of York, and to all the bishops and prelates, and to the whole nation of the English, both the nobles and the commons, greeting:

"I notify to you that I have lately taken a journey to Rome, to pray for the forgiveness of my sins, and for the welfare of my dominions, and the people under my rule. I had long since vowed this journey to God, but I have been hitherto prevented from accomplishing it by the affairs of my kingdom and other causes of impediment. I now return most humble thanks to my God Almighty for suffering me in my lifetime to visit the sanctuary of his apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, and all others which I could find either within or without the city of Rome, and there in person reverentially worship according to my desire. I have performed this chiefly, because I have learnt from wise men that St. Peter the apostle has received from God great power in binding and in loosing, and carries the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and therefore I esteemed it very profitable to seek his special patronage with the Lord.

"Be it known to you that, at the celebration of Easter, a great assembly of nobles was present with our lord, the pope John, and Conrad the emperor; that is to say, all the princes of the nations from Mount Garganus to the neighbouring sea. All these received me with honour and presented me with magnificent gifts; but more especially was I honoured by the emperor with various gifts and valuable presents, both in gold and silver vessels, and in palls and very costly robes. 1 spoke with the emperor himself, and the lord pope, and the princes who were there, in regard to the wants of my people, English as well as Danes; that there should be granted to them more equal justice and greater security in their journeys to Rome, and that they should not be hindered by so many barriers on the road, nor harassed by unjust tolls.

The emperor assented to my demands, as well as king Rodolph (age 60)59, in whose dominions these barriers chiefly stand; and all the princes made edicts that my people, the merchants as well as those who go to pay their devotions, shall pass to and fro in their journeys to Rome in peace, and under the security of just laws, free from all molestation by the guards of barriers or the receivers of tolls. I made further complaint to my lord the pope, and expressed my high displeasure, that my archbishops are sorely aggrieved by the demand of immense sums of money, when, according to custom, they resort to the apostolical see to obtain the pallium; and it is decreed that it should no longer be done. All things, therefore, which I requested for the good of my people from my lord the pope, and the emperor, and king Rodolph, and the other princes through whose territories our road to Rome lies, they have most freely granted, and even ratified their concessions by oath; to which four archbishops, twenty bishops, and an innumerable multitude of dukes and nobles who were there present, are witnesses. Wherefore I return most hearty thanks to Almighty God for my having successfully accomplished all that I had desired, as I had resolved in my mind, and having satisfied my wishes to the fullest extent.

"Be it known therefore to all of you, that I have humbly vowed to the Almighty God himself henceforward to amend my life in all respects, and to rule the kingdoms and the people subject to me with justice and clemency, giving equitable judgements in all matters; and if, through the intemperance of youth or negligence, I have hitherto exceeded the bounds of justice in any of my acts, I intend by God's aid to make an entire change for the better. I therefore adjure and command my counsellors to whom I have entrusted the affairs of my kingdom, that henceforth they neither commit themselves, nor suffer to prevail, any sort of injustice throughout my dominions, either from fear of me, or from favour to any powerful person. I also command all sheriffs and magistrates throughout my whole kingdom, as they tender my regard and their own safety, that they use no unjust violence to any man, rich or poor, but that all, high and low, rich or poor, shall enjoy alike impartial law; from which they are never to deviate, either on account of royal favour, respect of person in the great, or for the sake of amassing money wrongfully, for I have no need to accumulate wealth by iniquitous exactions.

"I wish you further to know, that, returning by the way I went, I am now going to Denmark to conclude a treaty for a solid peace, all the Danes concurring, with those nations and peoples who would have taken my life and crown if it had been possible; but this they were not able to accomplish, God bringing their strength to nought.—May He, of his merciful kindness, uphold me in my sovereignty and honour, and henceforth scatter and bring to nought the power and might of all my adversaries ! When, therefore, I shall have made peace within the surrounding nations, and settled and reduced to order all my dominions in the East, so that we shall have nothing to fear from war or hostilities in any quarter, I propose to return to England as early in the summer as I shall be able to fit out my fleet. I have sent this epistle before me in order, that my people may be gladdened at my success; because, as you yourselves know, I have never spared, nor will I spare, myself or my exertions, for the needful service of my whole people. I now therefore command and adjure all my bishops and the governors of my kingdom, by the duty they owe to God and myself, to take care that before I come to England all dues belonging to God, according to the old laws, be fully discharged; namely, plough-alms, the tithe of, animals born in the current year, and the pence payable to St. Peter at Rome, whether from towns or vills; and in the middle of August the tithes of corn; and at the feast of St. Martin the first-fruits of grain (payable) to every one's parish church, called in English ciric-sceat. If these and such-like dues be not paid before I come, those who make default will incur fines to the king, according to the law, which will be strictly enforced without mercy. Farewell."

Note 58. The Saxon Chronicle and Henry of Huntingdon agree with John as to the date of Canute's journey to Rome; but it was probably five or six years earlier. Wippo, a contemporary writer, places it in 1027.

Note 59. Rudolph "Idle" III King Burgundy (age 60). Note some sources refer to Rudolph "Pious" II King Burgundy II King Italy but he would have been dead one hundred years before.

Before 1035 Drogo of Mantes Count of Amiens and Vexin and [his step-daughter] Goda Wessex Countess Boulogne (age 30) were married. She the daughter of King Æthelred "Unready" II of England and Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 49).

Death of Canute

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1035. This year died King Knute (age 40) at Shaftesbury, Dorset, on the second day before the ides of November; and he is buried at Winchester Old Minster in the old minster. He was king over all England very near twenty winters. Soon after his decease, there was a council of all the nobles at Oxford; wherein Earl Leofric, and almost all the thanes north of the Thames, and the naval men in London, chose [his son] Harold (age 19) to be governor of all England, for himself and his brother [his son] Hardacnute (age 17), who was in Denmark. Earl Godwin (age 34), and all the eldest men in Wessex, withstood it as long as they could; but they could do nothing against it. It was then resolved that Elfgiva (age 45), the mother of Hardacnute (age 19) [Note. [his wife] Aelfgifu Northumbria (age 45) is the mother of Harold "Harefoot" King England (age 19), [his wife] Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 50) is the mother of King Harthacnut of Denmark and England (age 17)], should remain at Winchester with the household of the king her son. They held all Wessex in hand, and Earl Godwin (age 34) was their chief man. Some men said of Harold (age 19), that he was the son of King Knute (age 40) and of Elfgive (age 45) the daughter of Alderman Elfelm; but it was thought very incredible by many men. He was, nevertheless, full king over all England. Harold himself said that he was the son of Knute and of Elfgive (age 45) the Hampshire lady; though it was not true; but he sent and ordered to be taken from her all the best treasure that she could not hold, which King Knute possessed; and she nevertheless abode there continually within the city as long as she could.

John of Worcester. 1035. Canute (age 40), king of England, before his death, gave the kingdom of Norway to Sweyn (age 19), who was reported to be his son by Elfgiva of Northampton (age 45) [Note. Possibly a mistake for Northumberland?], the daughter of Alfhelm the ealdorman, and the noble lady Wulfruna. Some, however, asserted that this Elfgiva desired to have a son by the king (age 40), but as she could not, she caused the new-born child of a certain priest to be brought to her, and made the king (age 40) fully believe that she had just borne him a son. He also gave the kingdom of Denmark to [his son] Hardicanute (age 17), his son by the queen [his wife] Elfgiva (age 50). Afterwards, the same year, he departed this life at Shaftesbury on Wednesday, the second of the ides [the 12th] of November; but he was buried at Winchester in the Old Minster, with due honours. After his burial the queen Elfgiva (age 50) took up her abode there. [his son] Harold (age 19) also said that he was the son of king Canute (age 40) and Elfgiva of Northampton (age 50), although that is far from certain; for some say that he was the son of a cobbler, and that Elfgiva (age 50) had acted with regard to him as she had done in the case of Sweyn: for our part, as there are doubts on the subject, we cannot settle with any certainty the parentage of either. Harold (age 19), however, assuming the royal dignity, sent his guards in the utmost haste to Winchester, and tyrannically seized the largest and best part of the treasure and wealth which king Canute (age 40) had bequeathed to queen Elfgiva (age 50), and having thus robbed her, permitted her to continue her residence at Winchester. He then, with the consent of many of the higher orders of England, began to reign as though he was the lawful heir; but he had not the same power as Canute (age 40), because the arrival of Hardicanute (age 17), the more rightful heir, was looked for. Hence, shortly afterwards, the kingdom was divided by lot, Harold (age 19) getting the northern, and Hardicanute (age 17) the southern portion.

On 12 Nov 1035 King Canute of England (age 40) died at Shaftesbury, Dorset. His son [his son] Harold "Harefoot" King England (age 19) succeeded King England.

Harold "Harefoot" King England (age 19) succeeded King England.

In 1035 [his son] Svein Knutsson Knytlinga (age 19) died.

After 1036 [his former wife] Aelfgifu Northumbria (age 46) died.

Death of King Harthacnut

John of Worcester. 1042. [his son] Hardicanute (age 24), king of England, while he was present at a joyous feast given at a place called Lambeth, Surrey [Map], by Osgod Clapa, a man of great wealth, on occasion of his giving the hand of his daughter Githa in marriage to Tovi, surnamed Prudan, a noble and powerful Dane,—and carousing, full of health and merriment, with the bride and some others, fell down, by a sad mischance, while in the act of drinking, and continued speechless until Tuesday the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of June, when he expired. He was carried to Winchester and buried near his father Canute. His brother [his former step-son] Edward (age 39) was proclaimed king at London, chiefly by the exertions of earl Godwin (age 41), and Living, bishop of Worcester. Edward (age 39) was the son of Ethelred, who was the son of Edgar, who was the son of Edmund, who was the son of Edward the Elder, who was the son of Alfred.

John of Worcester. 1044. At a general synod, held about that time in London, Wulfmar, a devout monk of Evesham, also called Manni, was elected abbot of that monastery. The same year, the noble lady, Gunhilda, daughter of king Wyrtgeorn, by king Canute's sister, and successively the wife of earls Hakon and Harold, was banished from England with her two sons, Hemming and Thurkill. She went over to Flanders, and resided for some time at a place called Bruges [Map], and then went to Denmark. Stigand, the king's chaplain, was appointed bishop of East-Anglia.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1049. Whilst Earl Godwin (age 48) and Earl Beorn lay at Pevensey [Map] with their ships, came Earl Sweyne (age 28), and with a pretence requested of Earl Beorn, who was his uncle's son, that he would be his companion to the king at Sandwich, Kent [Map], and better his condition with him; adding, that he would swear oaths to him, and be faithful to him. Whereupon Beorn concluded, that he would not for their relationship betray him. He therefore took three companions with him, and they rode to Bosham, where his63 ships lay, as though they should proceed to Sandwich, Kent [Map]; but they suddenly bound him, and led him to the ships, and went thence with him to Dartmouth, Devon, where they ordered him to be slain and buried deep. He was afterwards found, and Harold (age 27) his cousin fetched him thence, and led him to Winchester, to the old minster, where he buried him with King Knute, his uncle.

Note 63. i.e. The ships of Sweyne (age 28), who had retired thither, as before described.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1052. This year, on the second day before the nones of March, died the aged [his former wife] Lady Elfgiva Emma (age 67), the mother of King Edward (age 49) and of King Hardacnute, the relict of King Ethelred and of King Knute; and her body lies in the old minster with King Knute.

John of Worcester. 06 Mar 1052. [his former wife] Elfgiva Emma (age 67), wife of the kings Ethelred and Canute, died at Winchester, Hampshire [Map] on the second of the nones [the 6th] of March, and was buried there.

On 06 Mar 1052 [his former wife] Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 67) died.

Royal Descendants of King Canute of England 995-1035

Harold "Harefoot" King England x 1

King Harthacnut of Denmark and England x 1