Canute (Knud) King of England, Norway and Denmark

Canute, the son of Sweyn Forkbeard and Gunnhild of Poland, was born in Denmark in about 995.
He married firstly in about 1013 Aelfgiu of Northampton. She died in about 1044 after ruling Norway with her son, Sweyn
He married secondly in about 1017 Emma of Normandy, widow of Aethelred II.

Canute with his first wife, Aelfgiu

Canute went back to Denmark shortly after his father died but returned to England the following year to begin a long struggle with Edmund Ironside. After a battle at Ashingdon in Essex, Canute claimed the English throne.

Canute deprived English nobles of their land. Some were killed as Viking earls took over Northumbria  and East Anglia. He ordered Edmund's brother, Edwy, to be killed, but the King's two young sons, Edward and Edmund escaped to seek asylum in Hungary.  In 1018 Canute paid off his Danish fleet and changed his policy by appointing Englishmen to titles in Wessex  and Mercia. Eventually he brought peace and prosperity to his conquered country.

Victorian impression of Canute ordering the
the tide not to rise.

Canute died at Shaftsbury in November 1035 and was buried in the Old Minster at Winchester. He was succeeded in England by his son, Harold the Harefoot.