Before the Norman invasion of 1066, Canute the great crossed the sea from Denmark and seized the throne of England. As a viking warrior, the son of King Swein ‘Forkbeard’ Canute was a conqueror with no clear connection to the royal dynasties that ruled England for centuries.
Capturing the English throne was the beginning of a period of conquest that saw him claim control of most of northern Europe.
Canute, was the leader of Danish forces, was determined to follow his father’s ambition to conqueor ‘all England’. He landed in Kent around 1015, with as many as 120 longships and he embarked on a series of campaigns and battles. Laying siege to London, he defeated Athelred II successor, his eldest son Edmund ‘Ironside’. Canute became king of Danelaw while Edmund continued to reign in the English Kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia. When Edmund died, shortly after the treaty was signed. Canute a viking with no clear connection to the old Anglo-Saxon kings was proclaimed ‘King of all England’.
Canute’s coronation is understood to have taken place in London, probably in St Paul’s Cathedral, in 1017. In 1018, after the death of his brother Harald, Canute inherited the throne of Denmark.
Canute married Edmund’s widow paid his vikings in gold and sent most of them home. For 20 years Canute bought stability to England. He died at the age of 40 was was buried in Winchester Cathedral, along with other Anglo-Saxon Kings.
Canute is best remembered through the story of his attempt to control the incoming tide. Legend has it, he sat on his throne at the waters edge and ordered the waves to turn back. This tale has often been interpreted as a sign of Canute’s arrogance, his attempt to prove his power was so great he could control the seas. But the earliest story shows Canute in a different light, as a humble king, proving to his flattering courtiers he was only human.
This Brilliant Uncirculated coin, sealed with original mint packaging