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Hardicanute - 1035-1042

Hardicanute was the son of Canute and his second wife, Emma of Normandy, the widow of Ethelred II. His father intended Hardicanute to become king of the English in preference to his elder brother Harold Harefoot, but he nearly lost his chance of this when he became preoccupied with affairs in Denmark, of which he was also king. Instead, Canute's eldest son, Harold Harefoot, became king of England as a whole.  In 1039 Hardicanute eventually set sail for England, arriving to find his brother dead and himself king.

Hardecanute was crowned at Canterbury. Arguably, he should have succeeded his father instead of Harold I, so he showed what he thought of Harold by digging up his body and throwing it into a bog. He murdered Earl Edwulf of Northumbria; burned the city of Worcester; plundered and taxed his subjects to excess. His name literally meant 'Deadly Cnut': in fact, he was thoroughly hated. He died from a fit while drinking at a wedding feast and was buried at Winchester.

Emma's son, Edward the Confessor, who had been brought up in Normandy, was now invited to become the next king, thus restoring the Saxon line.



 
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