NOTES: Sister of Richard II. Daughter of Richard I, Duke of Normandy. She
assumed the popular English name of Elfgiva (the same name as Ethelred's fist
wife) and gave Ethelred two more sons and a daughter. After his death she
NOTES: His marriage to Emma provided the basis for the subsequent Norman
claim to the English throne. "The Unready" is a corruption of the Old English
unraed, "bad counsel," which is a reference to his misfortunes.
NOTES: Reign: 1042-66. He founded Westminster Abbey and was canonized less
than a century after his death by Pope Alexander III in 1161. He was
succeeded by Harold II. Edward was crowned in Winchester Cathedral on Easter
Sunday, 3 April 1043 with great ceremony.
NOTES: Harold was about 45 years old at his death. William is said to have
had his body buried on the sea shore, but there is a tradition that Harold's
mistress Edith Swan-neck sought it out and took it to Waltham Abbey for burial.
Harold had lived happily with Edith for many years and she had borne him many
children, including a daughter Gytha, named after Harold's mother, who was to seek
refuge abroad after the Conquest and eventually to marry Vladimir Monomakh, Grand
Duke of Kiev. In 1065 Harold married Ealdgyth, the widow of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn,
King of Gwynedd and Powys, and dau of Alfgar, Earl of Mercia. She bore him at least
one son, Harold, whose fate is unknown. There is much confusion between Ealdgyth and
Edith Swan-neck. With such spelling, is there any wonder?
NOTES: Canute was the younger son of King Sweyn and his first wife, the
exotic Polish Princess Gunhild. He was crowned at St Paul's Cathedral on 6 Jan
1017. In 1019 the death of his elder brother made him King of Denmark also.
Also, the King of Denmark and Norway.
NOTES: Canute had formed an alliance with Elfgiva, dau of Elfhelm,
Ealdorman of Northampton, and they had two sons. Soon after his accession he
repudiated her (although she was a very able woman and was later to govern
Norway with her son Sweyn).
NOTES: He was regarded as the legitimate heir to England, but tarried so
long in Denmark the people got tired of waiting for him and elected his
half-brother instead. In 1039 he joined his mother, Emma, in Bruges and on
Harold's death the following year set out for England with a fleet of sixty ships
to claim his inheritance. He imposed crippling taxes which soon alienated those
who had solicited his return and, in the words of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, "never
did anything worthy of a King while he reigned." Hardicanute's reign was even
shorter than his brother's (1040-42). He died at a wedding feast at Lambeth "as he
stood at his drink and... suddenly fell to the ground with a horrible convulsion; and
those who were near thereto took hold of him, but he never spoke again." He was buried
with his father at Winchester.