- Harold Harefoot
Infobox British Royalty|Monarch
title=King of England
reign=12 November 1035 – 17 March 1040
Canute the Great
date of birth=c. 1015
place of birth=
date of death=death date|1040|3|17|mf=y
place of death=
place of burial=
St. Clement Danes, Westminster, England
Canute the Great
Harold Harefoot (c. 1015–17 March 1040) was King of
Englandfrom 1035 to 1040. His cognomen"Harefoot" was for his speed, and the skill of his huntsmanship [For an explanation of this etymology, see Albert Le Roy Bartlett, "The Essentials of Language and Grammar", Silver, Burdett and Co., 1900, p. 38.] .He was the son of Canute the Great, King of England, Denmark, Norway, and some of the Kingdom of Sweden, through his handfast wife Aelgifu of Northampton. Though there was some scepticism he was really Canute's son."The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", 1035–40, M. Swanton translation (1996).] , this was probably just propaganda by the opponents of his kingship.
Upon Canute's death (12 November 1035), Harold's younger half-brother
Harthacanute, the son of Canute and his queen, Emma of Normandy, was legitimate heir to the thrones of both the Danes and the English. He was, however, unable to travel to his coronation, because his Danish kingdom was under threat of invasion by King Magnus I of Norwayand King Anund Jacob of Sweden. England's magnates ["Earl Leofric and almost all the thegns north of the Thames, and the men of the fleet in London"] favoured the idea of installing Harold Harefoot temporarily as regent, due to the difficulty of Harthacanute's absence, and despite the opposition of Godwin, the Earl of Wessex, and the Queen, he eventually wore the crown.
Harold survived an attempt to unseat him led by
Alfred Aethelingand Edward the Confessor, Emma's sons by the long-dead Ethelred the Unready, in 1036. Harold died at Oxfordon 17 March 1040, just as Harthacanute was preparing an invasion force of Danes, and was buried at the abbey of Westminster. His body was subsequently exhumed, beheaded, and thrown into a fenbordering the Thames when Harthacanute assumed the throne in June, 1040. [This may have been motivated partly in response to the murder of Alfred, Harthacanute's half-brother, and partly for his perceived theft of the crown.] His supporters later rescued the body, to be buried in a church which was fittingly named St. Clement Danes.
Assumes the throne
Emma of Normandyfled to Bruges, in Flanders, and Harold "was everywhere chosen as king". Harold himself is somewhat obscure; the historian Frank Stentonconsidered it probable that his mother Aelgifu was "the real ruler of England" for part or all of his reign. [Stenton, page 421.]
With the north at least on Harold's side, in adherence to the terms of a deal, which Godwin was part of, Emma was settled in
Winchester, with Harthacanute's huscarls. Harold soon "sent and had taken from her all the best treasures" of Canute the Great,Frank Stenton, "Anglo-Saxon England", Oxford University Press (1998 paperback), pages 420–421; quoted segments from the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle".] and the Kingdom of England was practically his.
According to the "
Encomium Emmae", though, the Archbishop of Canterburyrefused to crown Harold Harefoot. There is evidence that Aelgifu of Northampton was attempting to secure her son's position through bribes to the nobles.Tim Bolton, [http://www.literarydictionary.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1667 "Reign of King Harold Harefoot"] , "The Literary Encyclopedia", May 5, 2006.]
Alfred and Edward's invasion
, with some show of arms. With his bodyguard, according to the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" he intended to visit his mother, Emma, in Winchester, but he may have made this journey for anything other than a family reunion. As the "murmur was very much in favour of Harold", Alfred was captured on the direction of Godwin, now apparently on Harold's side at this point, and the men loyal to Harefoot blinded him. He subsequently died soon after due to the severity of the wounds, his bodyguard similarly treated.
Harold apparently had a son, Elfwine, who became a
monkon the continent when he was older. Aelfgifu of Northampton disappears with no trace at this space in time. According to the " Anglo-Saxon Chronicle", Harold Harefoot ruled for 4 years and 16 weeks, by which calculation he would have begun ruling two weeks after the death of Canute. ["ASC" manuscript E, 1039 (1040); for the calculation, see Swanton's translation, page 161, note 18.]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12271 Harold Harefoot At Find A Grave]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Harold Harefoot — Harold I of Denmark and England … Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games
Harold Harefoot — noun illegitimate son of Canute who seized the throne of England in 1037 (died in 1040) • Syn: ↑Harold I, ↑King Harold I, ↑Harefoot • Instance Hypernyms: ↑King of England, ↑King of Great Britain … Useful english dictionary
Harold I — ( Harefoot ) died 1040, king of England 1035 40 (son of Canute). * * * known as Harold Harefoot died March 17, 1040, Oxford, Eng. King of England (1035–40). The illegitimate son of Canute the Great, he served as regent of England for his half… … Universalium
Harold Godwinson — Harold depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry King of England Reign 5 January – 14 October 1066 Coronation 6 January 1066 Predecessor … Wikipedia
Harold — [englisch hærld], Könige von England: 1) Harold I., genannt Harold Harefoot [ heərfʊt, »Hasenfuß«], König (seit 1037), ✝ Oxford 17. 3. 1040; illegitimer Sohn Knuts des Großen Nach dessen Tod 1035 zum Regenten für Hardknut ernannt und 1037… … Universal-Lexikon
Harold — Harold1 [her′foot΄har′əld] n. [OE Hereweald & Harald < ON Haraldr, both < Gmc * Hariwald, lit., army chief < * harja , army (OE here, OHG heri) + * waldan, to rule: see WIELD] a masculine name: dim. Hal Harold2 [har′əld] 1. died 1040;… … English World dictionary
Harold I — noun illegitimate son of Canute who seized the throne of England in 1037 (died in 1040) • Syn: ↑King Harold I, ↑Harold Harefoot, ↑Harefoot • Instance Hypernyms: ↑King of England, ↑King of Great Britain * * * ( Harefoot ) died 1 … Useful english dictionary
Harefoot — noun illegitimate son of Canute who seized the throne of England in 1037 (died in 1040) • Syn: ↑Harold I, ↑King Harold I, ↑Harold Harefoot • Instance Hypernyms: ↑King of England, ↑King of Great Britain … Useful english dictionary
Harold — /har euhld/, n. a male given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Alexander Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander 1st Earl Arlen Harold Barton Sir Derek Harold Richard Bloom Harold Clurman Harold Edgar Crane Harold Hart James Harold Doolittle… … Universalium
Harold — (as used in expressions) Alexander, Harold (Rupert Leofric George) Alexander, 1 conde Arlen, Harold Barton, Sir Derek H(arold) R(ichard) Harold George Belafonte, Jr. Bloom, Harold Clurman, Harold (Edgar) Crane, (Harold) Hart James Harold… … Enciclopedia Universal