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King Cnut (Canute) (1016 - 1035)

Name: King Cnut (Canute)
Born: c.995 at Denmark
Parents: Sweyn I (Forkbeard) and Gunhilda
Relation to Charles III: husband of the 28th great-grandaunt
House of: Denmark
Ascended to the throne: November 30, 1016
Crowned: January, 1017 at Old St Paul's Cathedral, aged c.22
Married: (1) Emma of Normandy (2) Elfigfu
Children: 3 sons including Harold I and Harthacnut, 1 daughter, several illegitimate children
Died: November 12, 1035 at Shaftesbury
Buried at: Winchester
Reigned for: 18 years, 11 months, 11 days
Succeeded by: his son Harold

King of England from 1016, Denmark from 1018, and Norway from 1028. Having invaded England in 1013 with his father, Sweyn, king of Denmark, he was acclaimed king on Sweyn's death in 1014 by his Viking army. Canute defeated Edmund (II) Ironside at Assandun, Essex, in 1016, and became king of all England on Edmund's death. He succeeded his brother Harold as king of Denmark in 1018, compelled King Malcolm to pay homage by invading Scotland in about 1027, and conquered Norway in 1028. He was succeeded by his illegitimate son Harold I.

Under Canute's rule English trade improved, and he gained favour with his English subjects by sending soldiers back to Denmark. The legend of Canute disenchanting his flattering courtiers by showing that the sea would not retreat at his command was first told by Henry of Huntingdon in 1130

Canute and Edmund Ironside split up England, and Canute ruled Mercia and Northumbria until he inherited the whole kingdom. The empire collapsed on his death. He was buried at Winchester.

Timeline for King Cnut (Canute)

Year Event
1017Canute marries Emma of Normandy, the widow of Aethelred II. Canute divides England into four earldoms - Northumbria Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia.
1027Canute makes a pilgrimage to Rome to demonstrate his alliance with the Church, and attends the coronation of the Pope
1028In addition to his existing kingdoms Canute becomes King of Norway
1035Canute dies at the age of 40, and his huge Northern European empire disintegrates.