anute IV of Denmark ruled from 1080 until his murder in a peasant revolt in 1086. He is also known as Canute the Saint due to his support for the Roman Catholic Church. Before becoming king, he took part in several raids on England, including the raid of his father Sweyn Estrithson in 1069. When Sweyn died in 1074 or 1076, his brother Harald became king of Denmark forcing Canute into exile. In 1080 Harald died and Canute succeeded him as King of Denmark. His time as king is marked with large donations to the Church and the enforcement of the collection of tithes. Canute regarded himself as a legitimate ruler of England as he was descended from Canute the Great who had ruled England some seventy years earlier and so in 1085 he planned an invasion and gathered a large fleet of ships. But delays resulted in the fleet's warriors, mostly consisting of peasants turning their back on their king. In 1086 Canute tried again to gather the fleet, but a peasant revolt broke out resulting in his murder. Canute was succeeded by Olaf I.
Word reached King William that Canute IV of Denmark was gathering a very large invasion fleet and preparing to invade England. Internal disputes delayed the fleet setting sail. In response William employed many mercenaries from Normandy as he was unable to trust the support of the local Anglo-Saxons. He also ordrered the land on the east coast to be laid waste so it did not provide resources for the invaders. ¹
A peasant revolt ended Canute IV of Denmark's plans to gather a large fleet of ships to invade England. Canute took refuge with his men inside a church but was found and murdered. ¹
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Selection of references used:
1. J. C. Curtis B.A., School and College History of England, 1860