Archive for the ‘King Canute’ Category

King Canute and Jarl Ulf

In the year 1016, King Edmund Ironside had died on November 30, leaving Canute (or Knut) as reigning monarch over all of England. The Danish king was the beneficiary of  the Treaty of Olney granting survivorship to one or the other, and he took over his inheritance without undue resistance. Canute was crowned in London […]

Canute’s Palace at Bosham

I keep wondering whether the Anglo-Saxons or Danes had an interest in Roman history.  After all, they must have stumbled across plenty of ruins, and maybe even a surviving building or two.  It was gratifying to see the Viking TV show episode where King Ecbert revealed his Roman treasure trove to Athelstan.  Why not?  I’m […]

Canute and the Treaty of Olney

In the year 1016, the succession was bitterly contested between Edmund Ironside and Canute (or Knut) the Dane. Although Wessex had submitted to Canute late in 1015, Aethelred was still alive and sulking in London, leaving his son Edmund to fight his battles. But this didn’t last long; King Aethelred took his last breath on 23 […]

Who was Eadric Streona?

In the days of Edmund Ironside, the name Eadric Streona keeps popping up at the most critical moments… and not in a happy way.  It seems that this slippery Mercian Earl must have had incredible powers of persuasion, because he kept turning up no matter how often he changed sides.  No one seemed to know […]

Who was Harthacnut?

Soon after Canute gained the throne of England, he invited Aethelred’s widow Emma of Normandy to be his queen.  Emma agreed, on the condition that only the sons born of their union would be next in line to the throne.  This meant that two of his sons and two of her sons from previous marriages […]

Who was Harold Harefoot?

After Canute’s untimely death in 1035, Queen Emma, backed by the powerful Earl Godwine of Wessex, strongly supported her son Harthacnut’s claim to the English throne. Unfortunately, Harthacnut’s position in Denmark at that moment was very insecure, and much though he would have loved to claim the crown of England, he just couldn’t get away.   […]

Heirs to the Throne after Canute

King Canute died suddenly in 1035 at around 40 years of age. His reign had been surprisingly peaceful and successful, and at least he could be comforted by the knowledge that he left behind two grown sons to succeed him. Of course, things were a little messy. His eldest son Svein and second son Harold […]

When England lived under Danish rule

The year 2016 marked the 1000th anniversary of Canute’s coronation as the King of England. I think it’s interesting that even though the Danes ruled all of England for more than a generation, very few moderns seem to give it any thought at all. Between Canute and his sons, the Danes were kings from 1016 through 1042, yet […]

Canute’s Grave Sites

Winchester Cathedral is breathtakingly beautiful and formidable at first sight. Knowing that Canute is said to be buried there, I gazed at the stone foundations of the non-existent Anglo-Saxon Minster with some trepidation. The footprint of the Old Minster butts up against the cathedral, and I wondered what happened to all the bones of saints and […]

Edmund Ironside, Hero or fool?

Edmund Ironside’s foray into written history was as dynamic as it was brief. 1016 was a pivotal year for England, as we see the death of two kings and an awful lot of Danish activity. By the time King Aethelred the Unready died in April of that year, Canute was entrenched in Wessex, with London […]