|Died||3 February 1014||Buried At||Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark|
|Preceded by||Aethelred (II The Unready, King of the English 978-1013, 1014-1016)||Succeeded by||Aethelred (II The Unready, King of the English 978-1013, 1014-1016)|
|Royal House||Denmark||Titles include||King of Denmark|
|Died||3 February 1014 / Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark|
Family Tree Details
Swein (Fork-Beard) (b.960 - d.1014)
| = Canute (King of England 1016-1035) (b.995? - d.1035)
| +Aelfgifu (of Northampton) (b.990? - d.1040)
| | = Swein
| | = Harold (Harefoot, King of England 1037-1040) (b.1015? - d.1040)
| +Emma (of Normandy, Wife of Aethelred) (b.982? - d.1052)
| = Harthacnut (King of England 1040-1042) (b.1018? - d.1042)
| = Gunhildr
+Sigrid (The Haughty)
+Robert (I, Duke of Normandy 1027-35) ( - d.1035)
Swein Fork-Beard overthrew this father King Harold Blue-Tooth Gormsson, King of Denmark.
Swein Fork-Beard had overthrone this father King Harold Blue-Tooth Gormsson, King of Denmark in 988. With a huge fleet of 94 ships he arrived in the Thames estuary with Olaf Trygvasson by his side. London put up a good defence and drove the Vikings back so Fork-Beard moved his forces again to attack the south-east coast to plunder what he could find. ¹
Aethelred ordered the massacre of all Danes living in England because he was fearful of them plotting against him. The death toll was greatest in the south. In the north the number of Danes and their close relationships to the Saxons made the order more difficult to perform. One of those killed was Gunhilde, the sister of Sweyn Forkbeard, the wife of Palig, also a Dane and living in England a hostage as a condition of peace. It is possible that in revenge for the murder of Gunhilde that the Danes invaded England and took control of the English throne.
Swein attacked the town of Wilton and possibly its abbey. ¹
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 Danes, led by Swein, attacked and destroyed the river crossing at Wallingford. ¹
Swein Fork-Beard repeatedly attacked England over several years destroying the land.
The Danes were paid a large sum of money, known as the Danegeld, to leave England.
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.
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.
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. ¹
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