Harold I Harefoot, King of England

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Harald Harefoot Knutsson, King of England

Also Known As: "Harefoot"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Northampton, England
Death: Died in Oxford,England
Place of Burial: St Clement Danes,London,England
Immediate Family:

Son of Cnut the Great, King of Denmark, Norway and England; Ælfgifu and Ælgifu of Northampton
Husband of Ælgifu
Fiancé of Ælfgifu
Father of Ælfwine Haroldsson, Monk At St. Poi Aquitaine and Ælfwine
Brother of Sveinn Knútsson, Kung af Norge and Sweyn
Half brother of Harthacnut, King of Denmark and England and Cunigunda (Gunnhild) Knutsdatter af Danmark, Princess Of Denmark

Occupation: King of England (1035 - 1040), Konungur Englands 1035 - 1040. Engir afkomendur
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Harold I Harefoot, King of England

http://jazz.openfun.org/wiki/Harold_Harefoot

Harold Harefoot, or Harold I, (c. 1015–17 March 1040) was King of England from 1035 to 1040. His cognomen "Harefoot" referred to his speed, and the skill of his huntsmanship.[1] He was the son of Cnut the Great, king of England, Denmark, and Norway by Ælfgifu of Northampton. Though there was some scepticism he was really Cnut's son,[2] this was probably just propaganda by the opponents of his kingship.


Harthacnut's reign

Upon Cnut's death (12 November 1035), Harold's younger half-brother Harthacnut, the son of Cnut and his queen Emma of Normandy, was legitimate heir to the thrones of both the Danes and the English. Harthacnut, however, was unable to travel to his coronation because his Danish kingdom was under threat of invasion by King Magnus I of Norway and King Anund Jacob of Sweden. England's magnates[3] favoured the idea of installing Harold Harefoot temporarily as regent, due to the difficulty of Harthacnut's absence, and despite the opposition of Godwin, the Earl of Wessex, and the Queen, he eventually wore the crown.

Harold survived an attempt to unseat him led by Ælfred Ætheling and Edward the Confessor, Emma's sons by the long-dead Æthelred the Unready, in 1036. Harold died at Oxford on 17 March 1040,[2] just as Harthacnut was preparing an invasion force of Danes, and was buried at the abbey of Westminster[4]. His body was subsequently exhumed, beheaded, and thrown into a fen bordering the Thames when Harthacnut assumed the throne in June, 1040.[5] His supporters later rescued the body, to be buried in a church which was fittingly named St. Clement Danes.

Assumes the throne

In 1037, Emma of Normandy fled to Bruges, in Flanders, and Harold "was everywhere chosen as king".[2] Harold himself is somewhat obscure; the historian Frank Stenton considered it probable that his mother Ælfgifu was "the real ruler of England" for part or all of his reign.[7]

With the north at least on Harold's side, in adherence to the terms of a deal, which Godwin was part of, Emma was settled in Winchester, with Harthacnut's huscarls. Harold soon "sent and had taken from her all the best treasures" of Cnut the Great,[8] and the Kingdom of England was practically his.

According to the Encomium Emmae, though, the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to crown Harold Harefoot. There is evidence that Ælfgifu of Northampton was attempting to secure her son's position through bribes to the nobles.[4]

Alfred and Edward's invasion

In 1036, Alfred Atheling, Emma's son by the long dead Æthelred, returned to the kingdom from exile in Normandy with his brother Edward the Confessor, with some show of arms. With his bodyguard, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle he intended to visit his mother, Emma, in Winchester, but he may have made this journey for anything other than a family reunion. As the "murmur was very much in favour of Harold", Alfred was captured on the direction of Godwin, now apparently on Harold's side at this point, and the men loyal to Harefoot blinded him. He subsequently died soon after due to the severity of the wounds, his bodyguard similarly treated.[8]

Offspring

Harold apparently had a son, Ælfwine, who became a monk on the continent when he was older.[4] Ælfgifu of Northampton disappears with no trace after 1040. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Harold Harefoot ruled for 4 years and 16 weeks, by which calculation he would have begun ruling two weeks after the death of Cnut.[9]

Harold was the son of Canute and his first wife Aelfgifu. When Canute died in November of 1035 Harathacanute was declared heir to the English throne. Harthacanute was also the son of Canute but by his second wife Emma. Harthacanute was in Denmark when Canute died and could not return to England because his claim to the (Danish/Norwegian ?) throne was being contested by Magnus I of Norway. Harthacanute appointed his mother Emma and Harold Harefoot as regents to look after the affairs of England.

As King

Harthacanute was delayed from returning to England and a dispute between Emma and Harold began as to who should rule the country. The Earl Godwine sided with Harold and in 1036 Harold was proclaimed as sole Regent. At this point Emma called to her sons in Normandy for assistance. Albert, one of her sons arrived in England and was promptly murdered possibly by the Earl Godwine. Emma took refuge in Bruges. Harold died in March of 1040, and the death may not have been natural. In June of the same year, Harthacanute landed in England with a suitably large fleet and claimed back the English throne.

http://www.btinternet.com/~timeref/hpr676.htm

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Harefoot

Harold Harefoot (or Harold I) (c. 1015 – 17 March 1040) was King of England from 1037 to 1040. His cognomen "Harefoot" referred to his speed, and the skill of his huntsmanship. He was the son of Cnut the Great, King of England, Denmark, and Norway by Ælfgifu of Northampton. Though there was some scepticism that he was really Cnut's son, this was probably just propaganda by those who opposed his kingship.

Harthacnut's reign

Upon Cnut's death (12 November 1035), Harold's younger half-brother Harthacnut, the son of Cnut and his queen Emma of Normandy, was legitimate heir to the thrones of both the Danes and the English. Harthacnut, however, was unable to travel to his coronation in England because his Danish kingdom was under threat of invasion by King Magnus I of Norway and King Anund Jacob of Sweden. England's magnates favoured the idea of installing Harold Harefoot temporarily as regent, due to the difficulty of Harthacnut's absence, and despite the opposition of Godwin, the Earl of Wessex, and the Queen, he eventually wore the crown.

Harold survived an attempt to unseat him jointly led by Ælfred Ætheling and Edward the Confessor, Emma's sons by the long-dead Æthelred the Unready, in 1036.

Assumes the throne

In 1037, Emma of Normandy fled to Bruges, in Flanders, and Harold "was everywhere chosen as king". Harold himself is somewhat obscure; the historian Frank Stenton considered it probable that his mother Ælfgifu was "the real ruler of England" for part or all of his reign.

With the north at least on Harold's side, in adherence to the terms of a deal, which Godwin was part of, Emma was settled in Winchester, with Harthacnut's huscarls. Harold soon "sent and had taken from her all the best treasures" of Cnut the Great, and the Kingdom of England was practically his.

According to the Encomium Emmae, though, the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to crown Harold Harefoot. There is evidence that Ælfgifu of Northampton was attempting to secure her son's position through bribes to the nobles.

Alfred and Edward's invasion

In 1036, Ælfred Ætheling, Emma's son by the long dead Æthelred, returned to the kingdom from exile in Normandy with his brother Edward the Confessor, with some show of arms. With his bodyguard, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle he intended to visit his mother, Emma, in Winchester, but he may have made this journey for reasons other than a family reunion. As the "murmur was very much in favour of Harold", on the direction of Godwin (now apparently on the side of Harold Harefoot), Ælfred was captured and blinded by men loyal to Harefoot. He died soon after due to the severity of the wounds, his bodyguard similarly treated.

Death

Harold died at Oxford on 17 March 1040,[2] just as Harthacnut was preparing an invasion force of Danes, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. His body was subsequently exhumed, beheaded, and thrown into a fen bordering the Thames when Harthacnut assumed the throne in June 1040. His supporters later rescued the body, to be buried in a church in the City of Westminster which was fittingly named St. Clement Danes.

Offspring

Harold apparently had a son, Ælfwine, who became a monk on the continent when he was older.[7] Ælfgifu of Northampton disappears with no trace after 1040. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Harold Harefoot ruled for 4 years and 16 weeks, by which calculation he would have begun ruling two weeks after the death of Cnut.

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Harold I Harefoot, King of England's Timeline

1015
January 1015
Northampton, England
1035
November 12, 1035
Age 20
Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom

King Canute died at Shaftesbury leaving the rule of the country in dispute between Harthacnut (the son of Emma) and Harold Harefoot (the son of Aelfgifu). The Earls of Northumbria and Mercia supported Harold's claim while Earl Godwine supported Harthacanute's.

1037
1037
- 1040
Age 22
King of England
1040
March 17, 1040
Age 25
Oxford,England

His brother Harthacanute invaded England and killed his half-brother and threw him in the Thames river. - Scandinavia by Butler

1040
Age 25
St Clement Danes,London,England
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