Aethelred was forced to pay the Danes that were camped on the Isle of Wight another large amount of money for them to leave.
Aethelred marries Emma
Aethelred paid the Vikings a sum of £24,000 to try and stop further invasions. In an attempt to strengthen his position against the Vikings he married Emma, the daughter of Richard Duke of Normandy. Aethelred also ordered the murder of all Danes in England but some escaped to report back. Not surprisingly the Viking attacks started again.
Massacre of St Brice's day
Aethelred ordered the massacre of all Danes living in England because he was fearful of them plotting against him.
Swein attacked the town of Wilton and possibly its abbey.
Edward the Confessor is born
Edward the Confessor is thought to have been born sometime between 1003 and 1005 at Islip in Oxfordshire. His father was Aethelred II, the Unready, and his mother was Emma of Normandy, daughter of Robert I, Earl of Normandy.
A Viking raiding fleet landed in Norfolk. The Ealdorman in the area was Ulfcetel who ordered some men to reach and burn the Viking ships to strand Swein. The plan failed and Ulfcetel's small army was defeated by the Vikings.
The Vikings captured Canterbury and obtained a payment of £48,000. In a drunken rage the Vikings murdered Aelfheah, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Aelfheah was the man that had baptised Olaf Trygvasson in the Winter of 994. Outraged by the actions of his fellow men Thorkell the Tall defected to the side of Aethelred along with 45 Viking ships to help defend England from further Viking attacks.
Swein Fork-Beard and his son Canute sailed from Denmark to attack England. Again London defended itself and the Vikings moved elsewhere, taking Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria.
Emma and Edward leave England
Forced to leave England by the invasion from Denmark, Emma Aethelred's wife, fled to Normandy assisted by the Bishop of Peterborough. Sons Edward (the Confessor) and Alfred followed later along with the Bishop of London. Ethelred was not far behind.
London surrenders to Swein
London was the last part of the country to accept Swein as the new king of England. Swein and his Viking army had already taken control of the Danelaw and the rest of the country accepted him as their new ruler. Swein's rule of the country would only last a few months.
Aethelred had to abandon his country to Swein and went to Normandy to join his wife Emma and his sons.
Harald II becomes King of Denmark
As Swein's eldest son Harald became King of Denmark when Swein died. Harald controlled Denmark while his younger brother Canute was in England.
London Bridge destroyed
An attempt was made by Ethelred II to take back his throne from the Danes. He was assisted by Olaf of Norway and sailed up the Thames to London. The tactic was to destroy the wooden bridge and so divide the Danish army. The bridge was heavily defended and so by using rafts with coverings to protect those onboard Ethelred's men were able to get close enough to place ropes around the bridge piles. Then by rowing back down stream they managed to pull the piles from the riverbed and sections of the bridge fell down.
Swein Fork-Beard died. Canute left England not sure of his ability to hold the country but returned a year later. Aethelred sent ambassadors to England, including his own son Edward (later the Confessor) to negotiate a possible return.
Uhtred, the earl of Northumbria, was murdered by a fellow lord. This started a family blood-feud that lasted several generations.
Edmund II (Ironside) becomes King
Edmund II became king at the death of his father Aethelred II in London. The people of London chose prince Edmund as king but it was short lived as the Southampton Witan chose Canute, who then invaded England.
Canute attempts to take the throne
Canute advanced on London for a fight with Aethelred but Aethelred died in the same month. London accepted Edmund Ironside as their ruler. Canute would have to defeat Edmund if he was to become King of England.
Canute attacks London
Edmund had gone to Wessex to accept the support of the people there as the new king of England but Canute had reached London and was besieging its inhabitants. The Londoners held out against Canute's attempts to defeat them while Edmund travelled back to help. Edmund's army grew as he advanced towards Canute. The English won a couple of battles forcing the Danes to retreat and regroup but the Danes won the important battle at Ashingdon.
Treaty between Canute and Edmund
Canute defeated Edmund Ironside at Ashingdon and a treaty was signed leaving Edmund with only the area of Wessex.
Canute becomes King of England
Edmund Ironside died only a month after the treaty with Canute. Canute then became King of England.
Canute arranged for a massive Danegeld to be paid to the Viking fleet. Happy with the sum of money they received from the English, the Viking army returned home leaving just a small number of ships under the control of Canute.