Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Canute, or Cnut, the son of Sweyn or Swend, King of Denmark and England, was born about 995, and succeeded his father in 1014. The English refused at first to recognise him, and recalled Edmund Ironsides, who for two years maintained a fierce struggle against the foreigners, but in 1016 was fain to agree to a division of the kingdom. Next year Edmund died, perhaps of treachery at which his rival connived, and Canute became sole monarch. Until he had crushed out the opposition of the Saxon element his rule was stern and cruel. He banished Edmund's sons, put Edwy his brother to death, and imposed a danegeld; but when his position was secure, he adopted a wise conciliatory policy, administering justice with impartiality, promoting men of native race such as Godwin, and in every way advancing the prosperity of his people. The rebuke which he gave his courtiers, who tried to persuade him that he could command the waves, proves his reputation for common sense, and the song composed by him as he rowed past the monastery of Ely shows that he cultivated the English tongue. He conquered Norway, extended his power over Wales and Scotland, and consolidated a great northern empire. On his return from a pilgrimage to Rome he founded the monasteries of St.Bennet, St. Edmund's Bury, and Holme. He died in 1035 at Shaftesbury, and his wide dominions were soon dismembered after his death.