Emma (of Normandy, Wife of Aethelred)

 Born  circa 982   Born At  
 Died  Mar 1052   Buried At  
 Father  Richard (I, Count of Normandy)   Mother  Gunnor
Wife of Aethelred

mma of Normandy was the daughter of Richard I, the Duke of Normandy. Emma married Aethelred the King of the English in November of 1002. This was at the time when England was under constant attack from Viking raiders. The English had to pay the Vikings sums of money, known as Danegeld, to keep the Vikings from invading. The marriage to Emma was an attempt by Aethelred to strengthen his position against the Vikings with support from the Normans. In the same year, on St. Brice's Day, Aethelred had all the Danes who were living in England killed.


This did nothing to prevent the Viking raids which continued until 1013 when the Viking Sweyn Forkbeard invaded England and took control of the country. Emma was forced to leave England by the invasion from Denmark and flee to Normandy along with her sons Edward (the Confessor) and Alfred. King Aethelred escaped shortly afterwards. After the death of Sweyn Forkbeard in 1014 Aethelred returned to England to reclaim the English throne. But it was contested by Canute, Sweyn's son. In 1016 Canute arrived in England to confront King Aethelred. The English king died the same month and the council choose Canute as the next king of England.

Wife of Canute

In 1017 Emma married Canute securing ties between the Danes and the Normans. Together they had a son called Harthacanute. When Canute died in 1035 the English throne was claimed by Harthacanute and Harold Harefoot, the son of Canute by his first wife Aelfgifu. Harthacanute was in Denmark at the time and Harold claimed the throne for himself forcing Emma into exile in Bruges.

Edward the Confessor

Emma's son Edward had been in exile in Normandy since 1013 and returned in 1041 when he was chosen as the successor to the English throne after Harthacanute. Edward became King of England in 1042 when Harthacanute died. Emma joined forces with Magnus of Norway in attempt to take the English throne for herself but failed and was stripped of her lands and wealth. When she died in 1052 Emma was buried at Winchester.


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1002 Nov  20yrsAethelred 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.[1] 
1003   21yrsEdward 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.[2] 
1013 Autumn  31yrsEmma 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.

Episode: Viking Invasions  
1017 Jul  35yrsCanute marries Emma
 Canute married Emma, the widow of Aethelred the Unready. This helped Canute secure ties with Normandy as Emma was the daughter of Count of Normandy.

Episode: Viking Invasions  
1035 Nov 12  53yrsCanute dies
 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. Canute's body was taken to Winchester to be buried. Harthacnut was in Denmark at the time of his father's death and was unable to travel to England because of invasion threats.

Episode: Viking Invasions  
1037 Dec  55yrsHarold Harefoot becomes king
 Harold Harefoot was proclaimed king of England and Emma was exiled to Bruges.

Episode: Viking Invasions  
1043 Nov  61yrsEdward confiscated Emma's land
 Edward learnt that his mother Emma was plotting with Dane Magnus of Norway to take control of the English throne. Edward had no choice and stripped his mother of her land and treasure. Emma was allowed to stay in England until her death. 
1052 Mar  70yrsDeath of Queen Emma
 Queen Emma died at Winchester.[3] 

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