Canute (Svendsson) Sveynsson

Knut (Svendsson) Sveynsson (0995 - 1035)

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Knut (Canute) "the Rich" Sveynsson formerly Svendsson aka King of Danmark, of England
Born in Denmarkmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married before in More Danicomap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Shaftsbury, Dorsetshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Nov 2013
This page has been accessed 2,734 times.

Categories: This Day In History November 12 | List of Danish Monarchs | List of Norwegian Monarchs | House of Gorm.

European Aristocracy
Canute (Svendsson) Sveynsson was a member of aristocracy in Europe.
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Preceded by
Edmund II "Ironside"
King of England
1016 - 1035
Succeeded by
Harold I "Harefoot"
Do not merge with Knute, son of Knute A.K.A. HARTHECANUTE. Danmark-22 KNUD I 1018-1035 (Denmark), HARDEKNUD 1035-1042 (England) KING OF DENMARK 1029 TO 1035; however, the identity of Knud's mother is uncertain...
Relationships between historical figures could be simplified or fabricated in text to give the impression that succession remained in the same family.
Precise chronology is difficult to assess from the Sagas. The conclusion must be that the tight family network they describe is likely incorrect. So relationships should be treated with caution. | more at

|King of Denmark:||1018-1035
|King of England:||1016-1035
|King of Norway:||1028-1035
|King in parts of Sweden:||1026-1030
|c.995:|| Born in Denmark.
|30 NOV 1016:||Accedes.
|1013:||Svend invades England.
|1015:||Knud invades England.
|1016:||Æthelred dies.
Knud defeats Edmund Ironside.[1]
|1016-1035:||King of the English.[2]
|1019:||King of Denmark[3]
|1027:||Attends coronation of Conrad II in Rome.
|1028:||King of Norway[4]
|1013:||Malcolm II King of Scotland submits to Knut.
|12 NOV 1035|| Dies in Shaftesbury, Dorset.
Buried at Winchester Cathedral.
|1042:||Alternate Death.

King Canute the Great
ca. 995 - 1035 King 1018 - 35
The viking warrior who created a North Sea empire consisting of Britain, Denmark, Norway and a part of Sweden.
Canute the Great was the son of Sweyn Forkbeard. His grandfather was Harald Bluetooth and his great-grandfather was Gorm the Old.
In Knud's first years as the King of England a lot needed to be done. The country was divided into four earldoms after the old kingdoms. Canute kept Wessex; Torkild Høje (Thorkild the Tall) was given East Anglia; the Norwegian Erik Jarl – the powerful family of the Trøndejarls - was given Northumbria; and the British renegade, the ealderman Eadric Streona, who time after time had changed sides, was given Mercia. In year 1017 Canute had him killed, and ”rightly so,” a British source states. Other British magnates were also killed - among them Æthelred's (Ethelred's) son Eadwig from his first marriage - and some were banished. The same year Canute married Ethelred's widow, Emma, but her two sons stayed in Normandy. By this, relations were established with the old English royal house. They had two children – Hardeknud (Hardicanute) and Gundhild – even though he also had another woman, Elfgifu of Northampton – with whom he had two sons – Harald and Svend (Sweyn).
The big army was still in Britain, but in year 1018 the situation was so stable that it could be dissolved after having paid a tax of a unprecedented size. 72000 pounds of silver not counting 10500 pounds from London alone. This was the famous Thinglid. But 40 vessels stayed with Canute. Canute, who might have been regarded as the viking conqueror by many people, based his power on loyal, well-equipped Scandinavian warriors who were under strict discipline.
In his time Britain also got a new aristocracy who owed him a debt of gratitude for their prosperity. Men of many old families died in heroic fights fought since year 991; they were killed by the kings because of suspicion of betrayal or exile. Canute pursued the main structure in the British Royal power, but he had other men than Ethelred had, and in connection with these changes redistributions of land and changes in the government of the empire were made.
In year 1018 King Harald II of Denmark died and in the winter 1019-1020 Canute went to Denmark to obtain power after his brother while the rule in Britain rested with Thorkild Høje (Thorkild the Tall). Canute sent a message to the British people from Denmark. It was probably meant to be an oral statement to the empire in which he gave an account of his results, and that he had protected Britain against threats from Denmark and he underlined his role as Christian King of Britain and his authority there. It appears that Thorkild Høje (Thorkild the Tall) later became Canute's representative in Denmark for the little Hardeknud. In the years from 1020 to 1028 Canute started laying claim to Norway and in year 1028 he conquered the country from Olav den Hellige (Olav the Holy). Soon after it was ruled by Ælfgifu and her son Svend (Sweyn). In year 1027 the Scottish King submitted and in the message to the British people which Canute had sent during his trip to Rome in year 1027 he called himself King of Britain.
Denmark, Norway and a part of Sweden. In Rome he attended the coronation of the German Kaiser Konrad and he was highly honoured. He also entered into practical agreements to benefit the British people and Scandinavians and arranged a match with Konrad´s son Henrik (Henry) who later got Kaiser and his daughter Gundhild. They married in 1036, but she died a few years later.
First and foremost Canute became British King. When problems arose he went to Scandinavia in order to interfere with new viking attacks against Britain. He created peace in the country which had been ravaged for many years, and there were no signs of internal revolts either. Creating peace costed him money to his thinglid, but it was probably considered to be more cheap and pleasant than plunder and payment of danegeld to ravaging enemies.
Canute attached great importance to the old British laws and he was a great benefactor of the church. In many respects he almost became British and with a lot of publicity he apologized for old viking sins. In order to retrieve the martyrdom in year 869 of King Edmund of East Anglia he built a large church to the convent in Bury St. Edmunds. For the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury in year 1012 he let the corpse transfer from London to Canterbury with all due ceremony. In order to retrieve the bloody battle at Assandun in year 1016 he built a church on the battlefield. Many churches were given large gifts and the handing over of one of them – a golden altar cross to New Minster
in Winchester - was portrayed in the memorial book of the church about year 1031.[5]

Marriage to Emma

A.D. 1017
This year King Knute 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 Alderman Edric 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 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 widow of the other king, Ethelred, the daughter of Richard, to wife.[6]

In 1013, Knud invaded England with his father, Svend. But once the Danish king died, Æthelred II struck. He counter-attacked Danes in Lindsey, and Knud's fleet retreated to Denmark.
In August 1015, Knud invaded England again. And by the end of 1015, Knud controlled Wessex with the aid of defector ... Eadric "Streona/the Acquisitor" Ealdorman of Mercia.
The Danes controlled Northumbria in early 1016, then turned their attention to London and the south-east. Once Æthelred died in Apr 1016, the Witan offered the throne to Knud, while a group of nobles and church dignitaries from southern England swore allegiance at Southampton[232].
After Knud's fleet sieged London, Edmund "Ironside" sent relief.[7] While Knud focused on Mercia, Eadric "Streona" decided to change sides. He went back to Edmund's forces at Aylesford, only to return to Knud at Ashingdon in Essex where Danish forces dealt Edmund the final blow in Oct 1016.
After "Ironsides" died, Knud was accepted and became CANUTE king of England. He might of been crowned at Old St Paul’s Cathedral around the 6th of January in 1017.
England's first Danish king died at Shaftesbury on 12 Nov 1035. He's bured in the Old Minster at Winchester.[8]The Encomium Emmae Reginae also describes Edward the Confessor and Alfred Aetheling as Canute's sons. Today they would be called step-sons.
  1. Svein
  2. Harold
  3. Harthacnut.
Father: Haraldsson, Sveyn I Forkbeard, King of Denmark (b.965)
Mother: Gunhilda of Poland[9]

m. (02 or 31 Jul 1017) Emma of Normandy[10][11]

1. HARDEKNUD (England 1018-Lambeth 8 Jun 1042, bur Winchester Cathedral). Adam of Bremen names "Hardechnut" as son of King Knud and Emma when recording that he succeeded his father in Denmark
2. GUNHILD [Æthelfryth] ([1020]-in Italy 18 Jul 1038, bur Limburg Klosterkirche). She adopted the name KUNIGUND on her marriage.
before 1015: ÆLFGIFU Ælfhelmsdotter of Northampton[12]
3. SVEND Alfifasen (1015-in Denmark 1036).
4. HARALD[13]

Links and Sources

  1. succeeds King Edmund II "Ironsides" as CANUTE King of England
  2. First Danish King of England. He defended England from Viking attacks (1017. 1026. 1028.) and subjected Malcolm II of Scotland (1028). He also proved the limits of his power by demonstrating inability to get waves to recede.
  3. Succeeded brother in 1018 as KNUD I "den Storre/the Great" King of Denmark. Left England for Denmark to take possession in 1019.
  4. Expells Olav, king of Norway, and takes the Norwegian throne.
  5. Stenager, Erik Lynge, "King Canute the Great," at from Danmarks Konger: Fra Gorm den Gamle til vor tids Dronning Margrethe II, website at URL
  6. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, The Avalon Project, Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library, retrieved 12 June 2014, amb
  7. Edmund was proclaimed king by a London assembly.
  8. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle He was survived by 3 sons:
  9. Adam of Bremen names "Chnut" as son of King Svend & his wife "Herici relictam, matrem Olaph"[214]. The Fagrskinna suggests that Knud was the son of King Svend's first marriage by stating that Astrid, daughter of King Svend and Sigrid Skoglar-Tosta, had the same father as King Knud and the same mother as Olof King of Sweden[215].
  10. widow of ÆTHELRED II; dau. of RICHARD I "Sans Peur" Comte de Normandie and second wife Gunnora - (985-Winchester 14 Mar 1052, bur Winchester Cathedral, Old Minster
  11. Issue: Child 3: Cnutsson, Hardicanute of Denmark, King of England, b. 1018; Child 4: Gunhilda, b. ABT 1020; Child 5: Daughter
  12. dau. Ealdorman ÆLFHELM of Deira and his wife Wulfrun of Northampton (-after 1042). She was known as ALFIFA in Denmark and Norway. King Knud took her as a "temporary wife"[251], but the "marriage" was not recognised by the church. Note: Associated with AElfgiva of Northampton. Issue: 1.) Alfivason, Sweyn of Norway, King of Norway, b. ABT 1015; 2.) Harold I Harefoot, King of England, b. ABT 1015
  13. (maybe Northampton [1016/17]-Oxford 17 Mar 1040. Harold "began to reign as though he was the lawful heir," and shortly afterwards the kingdom was divided by lot, Harold getting the north and Harthacnut the south[290]. In Harthacnut's continuing absence, Harald was chosen as king in England in 1037[291], when he can be taken to have succeeded as HAROLD I "Harefod/Harefoot" King of England, crowned in 1037 at Oxford. |

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Canute by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Images: 4
Knud Denmark Image 1
Knud Denmark Image 1

Canute I Sveynsson Image 2
Canute I Sveynsson Image 2

King Cnut and Aelgifu (Emma)
King Cnut and Aelgifu (Emma)

Mortuary chests
Mortuary chests


On 23 Jul 2016 at 13:11 GMT RJ Horace wrote:

Why the Questionable tag?

On 4 Dec 2013 at 04:22 GMT Sheri (Petersen) Sturm wrote:

On 11 Mar 2011 at 17:03 GMT Krissi (Hubbard) Love wrote:

Known as "Den Grosse".

Canute is 33 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 29 degrees from Burl Ives and 22 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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