Who Was Emma
Emma (985 - 1052 AD) was the sister of Richard II,__ Duke of Normandy__.
During the period of the Forkbeard’s raids (1002 - 1012 AD, when Sweyn Forkbeard led the Danish Vikings in a series of raids along the English South coast) England and Normandy became allies. This involved Aethelred, ‘the Unready’, making an agreement that England and Normandy would both support each other against the Forkbeard raids. Aethelred tried to confirm the alliance through marrying Emma (enabling Duke of Normandy to spread his power).
See BBC article on King Forkbeard: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-25341754
For extra reading see timeline of Forkbeard’s life: https://www.totallytimelines.com/sweyn-forkbeard-960-1014/
Cnut was Forkbeard’s son. Forkbeard attempted to raid and take over England again, when Aethelred was out of the country. The country fell into disarray. After some fighting, Cnut took the throne of King of England, but was fought off when Aethlered returned and Cnut went back to Denmark. However, this was not the last England saw of Cnut!
Cnut the Great
After Aethelred died in 1016 AD his son Edmund ‘Ironside’* (a name given to him because of his bravery against the Vikings) took the throne of England. However, Edmund’s reign did not last long. Cnut returned and fought off Edmund. Edmund was given __Wessex __(one of several Kingdoms of England at the time) to rule over, whilst __Cnut reigned over the rest __of the country.
Cnut saw England as the most important kingdom. It had good trade systems and resources. Cnut did whatever he could to keep power, including__ working hard to please the English people he ruled over. He became a fair and just leader__ and brought peace __to the land and because of this became known as __Cnut ‘the great’.
*note - Aethelred had over 10 sons including Edmund ‘Ironside’ and Edward ‘the Confessor’.
Emma Secured Peace
Emma, now Aethelred’s widow, married Cnut in order to bring greater stability __to England. They had a son __Harthacnut __and a daughter Gunhilda. Both Harthacnut, and Cnut’s first son with a different wife, Harold ‘Harefoot’, were __hated __by the English people and both had very short reigns over England, after Cnut died. In 1042 AD Harthacnut died without children and the throne went to his brother-in-law __Edward ‘the Confessor’.
Edward the Confessor
Edward became king in 1042 AD. Edward saw himself as French rather than English (having grown up in France) and had lots of close friends and advisors, one of whom was William of Normandy. However, Edward he did not marry someone from Normandy, France. Edward married Edith of Wessex, the sister of Harold Godwinson - a powerful Anglo Saxon. In 1066 Edward died with no children and no clear heir to the English throne.
- Who was Emma married to?
- Your answer should include: aethelred / cnut
- Who were kings after Cnut?
- Your answer should include: edward / harold / harthacnut
- Why was Cnut seen as ‘Great’?
- Your answer should include: brought / peace / fair / just / ruler / improved / relations