King Cnut ENGLAND, I
- Born: Abt 994, , , Denmark
- Married (1): Abt 1013
- Married (2): Jul 1017
- Died: 12 Nov 1035, , , England
Other names for Cnut were "Den Grosse", "The Great", Canute, Knud, Knut, DENMARK King, ENGLAND King, NORTH EMPIRE Ruler and NORWAY King.
"Den Grosse", "The Great", Ruler of the Empire of the North, King of ENGLAND
Reigned 1016-1035, King of DENMARK Reigned 1019-1035, King of NORWAY Reigned 1028-1035.
Not Married Aelfgifu Northampton.
Kings and Queens of Europe, Genealogical Chart, Anne Taute and Romilly Squire, Taute, 1989: "Knud I, Son of Svend I Tveskagg, King ofEngland 1016, King of Danmark 1019, King of Norge 1028-1035, Mar =1 Aelfgifu of Northampton, =2 (2) Emma Widow of Aethelred II King of England, Died 1035."
Kings and Queens of Great Britain, Genealogical Chart, Anne Taute and Romilly Squire, Taute, 1990: "Canute King of England 1016-1035, King of Denmark 1019, King of Norway 1028, Mistress =1 Aelfgifu Daughter of Aelfhelm Earl of Northampton, Mar =2 (2) Emma Widow of Aethelred II, Died 1035...Emma Mar =1 (2) Aethelred II, =2 (2) Canute."
The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes, Elizabeth Longford, 1991, Oxford Univ Press, pxviii: "Saxons and Danes Genealogy: Cnut I, Son of Swein Forkbeard, Danish, mar (2) Emma, reigned 1016-1035, died 1014."
A History of the English SpeakingPeople Winston S Churchill Vol I The Birth of Britain Dodd Mead & Co p138:
"...In 1013 Sweyn, accompanied by his youngest son, Canute, came again to England, subdued the Yorkshire Danes and the five boroughs in the Danelaw, was accepted as overlord of Northumbria and Danish Mercia, sacked Oxford and Winchester in a punitive foray, and, though repulsed from London, was proclaimed King of England, while Ethelred fled for refuge to the Duke of Normandy, whose sister he had married. On these triumphs Sweyn died at the beginning of 1014. There was another respite...
"...But soon the young Danish prince, Canute, set forth to claim the English crown..."
p139: "...At Southampton, even while Edmund lived, the lay and spiritual chiefs of England agreed to abandon the descendants of Ethelred forever and recognise Canute as King. All resistance, moral and military, collapsed before the Dane. The family of Ethelred was excised from the royal line, and the last sons of the house of Wessex fled into exile. The young Danish prince received this general and abject submission in a good spirit, although a number of bloody acts were required to attain and secure his position. He made good his promise to fulfill the duties of a king both in spiritual and temporal affairs to the whole country...
"There were three principles upon which sovereignty could be erected: conquest, which none could dispute; hereditary right, which was greatly respected;and election, which was a kind of compromise between the two. It was upon this last basis that Canute began his reign..."
p140: "...He made a point of submitting himself to the laws whereby he ruled. He even in his military capacity subjectedhimself to the regulations of his own household troops. At the earliest moment he disbanded his great Danish army and trusted himself broadly to the loyalty of the humbled English. He married Emma of Normandy, the widow of Ethelred, and so forestalled any action by the Duke of Normandy on behalf of her descendants by Ethelred.
"Canute became the ruling sovereign of the North, and was reckoned as having five or six kingdoms under him. He was already King of Denmark when he conquered England, and he made good his claim to be King of Norway. Scotland offered him its homage. The Viking power, although already undermined, still stretched across the world, ranging from Norway to North America, and through the Baltic to theEast. But of all his realms Canute chose England for his home and capital..."
The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Antonia Fraser, 1975, Alfred Knopf, p25: "Emma of Normandy, mar (1) Ethelred II the Unready, mar (2) Cnut, died 1035..."
The Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Editions,
Denmark 1016: "Canute of England, 1016-1035..."
England 1016: "Canute, Danish King of England, 1016-1035, `The Great', Son
of Sweyn, Completed the conquest of England..."
The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk IV, The Dark Ages, Ch XX, The Rise of the North, Sec I, England, p485: "Ethelred, seeking foreign aid, negotiated an alliance with Normandy, and married Emma, daughter of the Norman Duke Richard I; from that union would spring much history..."
p492: "Cnut was more than a conqueror; he was a statesman. His early reign was tarnished with cruelty: he banished the children of Edmund Ironsides, andhad Edmunds's brother murdered to forestall an Anglo-Saxon restoration. But then, noting that the widow and sons of King Ethelred were alive at Rouen, he cut many knots by offering Emma his hand in marriage (1017). She was thirty-three, he twenty-three. She consented, and at one stroke Cnut secured a wife, an alliance with Emma's brother the Duke of Normandy, and a safe throne..."
From Alfred to Henry III 871-1272, Christopher Brooke, 1961, Norton Library History of England, p62: "...Swein had been accepted by a large proportion of the thegns as king; and, as Sewin's son, Cnut had some show of legitimacy. This he confirmed by marrying the young widow of King Ethelred, Emma, a Norman princess, whose advent foreshadows theevents of fifty years later..."
p82: "Across the English Channel, at its narrowest point, lay another great Viking state, the duchy of Normandy. A Norman princess, Emma, had successively married both Ethelred and Cnut. [Her brother] a Norman duke, Robert I, amiably known to later tradition as Robert the Devil, had gone through a form of marriage with a sister of Cnut..."
The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk IV, The Dark Ages, Ch XX, The Rise of the North, Sec I, England, p 485: "When Sweyn died (1014) Ethelred renewed the struggle; the nobles again deserted him, and made their peace with Sweyn's son Cnut (1015). Ethelred died in beseiged London; his son Edmund "Ironside" fought bravely, but was overwhelmed by Cnut at Assandun (1016). Cnut was now accepted by all England as its king, and the Danish Conquest was complete..."
p492: "Cnut was more than a conqueror; he was a statesman...noting that the widow and sons of King Ethelred were alive at Rouen, he cut many knots by offering Emma his hand in marriage (1017). She was thirty-three, he twenty-three. She consented, and at one stroke Cnut secured a wife, an alliance with Emma's brother the Duke of Normandy, and a safethrone. From that moment his reign became a blessing for England...He came in as a Dane, and died as an Englishman. He was King of Denmark as well as of England, and in 1028 he became also King of Norway...Cnut died in 1035, aged forty. His son Harald Harefoot ruled England for five years, then died...another son, Harthacnut ruled it for two years and passed away (1042). Before his death he summoned from Normandy the surviving son of Ethelred and Emma, and recognized this Anglo-Saxon stepbrother as heir to the English throne..."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol II, p526, Canute the Great of Denmark and England: "Died 12 Nov 1035, King of England and Denmark and, after 1028, of Norway, and a power in the politics of Europe in the 11th century.
"In 1013 Canute accompanied his father on the Danish invasion of England and was placed in charge of the fleet at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. In 1015 he began a long struggle with Edmund II Ironside for control of England. He became king of England in 1016. In 1016 and 1017 he placed Viking chieftains in charge of Northumbria and East Anglia. In 1017 he married the widow of King Ethelred II. In 1019 he secured the throne of Denmark upon thedeath of his brother. In 1028 he drove out the king of Norway. He conducted an expedition to Scotland and attended the coronation of the emperor Conrad II in Rome in 1027."
Macropaedia, Vol III, p785, Canute the Great of Denmark and England:"...became a power in European politics, respected by emperor and pope. Yet more remarkable than his acquisition of an empire was his development from a typical Viking to an enlightened monarch, to the surprise of contemporaries such as Fulbert, Bishop of Chartres, who wrote him : `We were amazed at your wisdom and equally at your piety'...
The New Columbia Encyclopedia, 1975, p446, Canute: "Born Abt 995, Died 1035, King of England, Norway, and Denmark. The younger son of Sweyn of Denmark, Canute accompanied his father on the expedition of 1013 that invaded England and forced Aethelred to flee to Normandy. When Sweyn died (1014), the Danes in England swore fealty to Canute, but on Aethelred's return from Normandy, Canute withdrew to Denmark, where his older brother Harold, had become king. In 1015, Canute reinvaded England with a powerful army that conquered Northumbria. After the Danish victory in the battle of Assandun, Canute divided England with Edmund Ironside, Aethelred's son. When Edmund died, late in 1016, Canute was accepted as sole king. He gave England peace and strove to continue English traditions by restoring the church to high place and codifying English law. To forestall dynastic quarrels he banished his wife (and their son Sweyn) and married Emma the widow of Aethelred. His son by Emma was Harthacanute. In 1018 or 1019 he succeeded to the throne of Denmark and was forced to lead several expeditions to assert his rights there and in the Danish provinces in Norway. In 1028, after an uprising had expelled Olaf II of Norway, Canute was recognized as ruler of that kingdom. He made his son Harthacanute King of Denmark, and in 1029 he made his son Sweyn King of Norway,with Sweyn's mother as regent. She and Sweyn were driven out by 1035, and Norway was ruled by Olaf's son Magnus. Canute established friendly relations with the Holy Roman Empire and attended the coronation of Conrad II in Rome in 1027. At theend of his reign Canute led an army into Scotland to stop Scottish invasions under Malcolm II. Canute was succeeded by his illegitimate son, Harold Harefoot, then by Harthacanute. The name also appears as Cnut or Knut."
From Alfred to Henry III 871-1272, Christopher Brooke, 1961, Norton Library History of England, p60-65: "...In 1013 Swein himself came to England for the third and last time- he had raided in the country in 994 and 1003. This time he was derermined on conquest, and after a rapid campaign described in brief but vivid phrases by the chronicler he was accepted as king over most of the ocuntry. Then in February 1014 he suddenly died. The period between the death of Swein and the final acknowledgment of his son, Cnut, as king, at the end of 1016 is exceedingly confusing. At the time of his father's death Cnut was about eighteen, and the sudden access of responsibility was evidently too much for him. He withdrew hastily from England; and when he returned, he was supported by three great Viking leaders: his elder brother, Harold, King of Denmark; Eric, the Rengent of Norway; and Thorkell the Tall, who had returned to his old allegiance. At one point Cnut held Wessex and Mercia, while Edmund`Ironside', Ethelred's son, held the northern Danelaw- both in defiance of King Ethelred, who was still holding out in the south-east. It was Cnut's unheralded withdrawal which had alienated the Danelaw and made Edmund's intrusion there possible; while in spite of the momentary recovery of Ethelred in 1014 and 1015, there was treachery in the English court, which aided Cnut to overrun Wessex and Mercia. Ethelred died in April 1016; a few months later Edmund was decisively beaten by Cnut, and the uneasy truce which followed was quickly ended by Edmund's sudden death. The events of the civil war had shown that there was no simple division of loyalty between English and Danes, and that a number of leading thegns and jarls were prepared to support a monarch from either side, if he proved more competent than Ethelred, and capable of holding the allegiance of his subjects. It was these circumstances which made possible the notable success of the young Cnut.
"...At first sight it seems surprising that the first ruler of a really united England should have been a Dane; but on closer inspection the paradox is easy to understand. Divergent customs and language, links with the north and memories of past glory wouldtend to make the Danes and Norwegians uneasy subjects of a native English king...They had experienced some of the benefits of a regime more stable than those towhich they had been accustomed in Scandinavia, while suffering as much as the native English from the constant passage of armies and levying of tribute in Ethelred's later years. Cnut was thus doubly attractive to them: as a Danish overlord and as a man who could restore peace and stable government...Swein had been accepted by a large proportion of the thegns as king; and, as Swein's son, Cnut had some show of legitimacy. This he confirmed by marrying the young widow of King Ethelred, Emma, a Norman princess, whose advent foreshadows the events of fifty years later. In 1019 he became King of Denmark on his brother's death, and to this he added Norway for a time, and even claimed some part of Sweden. He was for most of his reign in England far and away the greatest lord of the Viking world, and soa natural centre of loyalty for English Scandinavians, and a guarantee of peace to his English subjects...
"...At Oxford in 1018, `King Cnut with the advice of his councillors completely established peace and friendship between the Danes and the English and put an end to all their former strife,' as the official record describes it. The councillors `determined that above all things they would ever honour one God and steadfastly hold one Christian faith, and would love King Cnutwith due loyalty and zealously observe Edgar's laws.' As well as needing exhortation to piety the Danes needed to be paid off, and a levy of Dane-geld which the `Chronicle' assesses at the enormous figure of L82,500 was necessary for this. Forty ships and a number of Viking leaders remained with Cnut; the rest sailed for Denmark. From then on Cnut's reign in England saw remarkably little incident...
"...In most respects the English Church maintained the traditions of Edgar's day; including the tradition of royal patronage and royal authority. In other respects, too, Edgar was regarded as the model of English kingship. The councillors at Oxford in 1018 in `determin[ing] that...they would...zealously observe Edgar's laws', thus ignored Ethelred and the period of anarchy and misgovernment which had intervened since Edgar's death...
"...It is a symptom of the change in personnel that the title of the Old English ealdorman came to be replaced by the Scandinavian jarl or earl...
"In 1027, like several of his predecessors, Cnut went on pilgrimage to Rome, to visit the tombs of the apostles and all its many other sanctuaries and holy places. He chose his time well. His visit coincided with thecoronation of the Emperor Conrad II by the Pope, and all the princes of the Empire were there; `and they all received me with honour, and honoured me with lavish gifts' as Cnut himself proudly said in a letter which was sent on his bejalf to England to describe the scene. At the same time he won privileges for English pilgrims to Rome, and no doubt took the chance to hold convdrsations with the Emperor, since the frontier between Denmark and Germany was uneasy. The pilgrimage was thecharacteristic act of a man of conventional piety, and a distinguished patron of the Church; it also underlined Cnut's determination to act in the tradition of the English kings- and to cut a figure in European society. He was the greatest monarch in northern Europe in his day, and was evidently much flattered to be well received by Pope and Emperor."
p82-83 "...England had been conquered by a Viking leader in 1016, and Cnut's success and his care to rule in the tradition of his English predecessors, might seem to have left his kingdom secure against another similar conquest. But there were potential weaknesses in Cnut's England which might, if occasion offered, have given a foreign pretender a chance to succeed.
"In the first place Cnut died young (1035), and left an uncertain succession. His throne was disputed between his two sons: Harold, his son by his concubine, Aelfgifu, and Harthacnut, his son by his queen, Emma. Each was strongly supported by hismother. In addition, Ethelred's sons, Alfred and Edward, were awaiting their chance..."
Cnut married Aelfgifu NORTHAMPTON, daughter of Earl Aelfhelm NORTHAMPTON, about 1013. (Aelfgifu NORTHAMPTON was born in Northampton, Mercia, England.)
Cnut also married Queen Emma Normandy ENGLAND, daughter of Duke Richard NORMANDY, I and Duchess Gonnor De Crepon NORMANDY, in Jul 1017. (Queen Emma Normandy ENGLAND was born about 980-984 in , Normandy, France, died on 6 Mar 1052 in Winchester, Hampshire, England and was buried in St Martins Church, Winchester, Hampshire, England.)