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The Ecole

The Ecole Glossary

Canute IV

The illegitimate son of Sven II of Denmark, Canute was the grandnephew of Canute of England, who had reigned from 1016 until 1035, and considered the throne of England to be his and William the Conquerer to be a usurper. Canute, who was then king of Norway, made his first attempt to claim the English crown in 1075; he and his army were defeated at York. He became king of Denmark six years later, after the death of his older brother, Harold the Idle. Canute pursued a domestic policy of taxes and tithes, by which he began to create a government funded by something besides the king's war booty and to strengthen the church. His foreign policy continued to center on the crown of England, although he also strove to maintain the borders of his country and the Holy Roman Empire. Canute allied himself with Count Robert of Flanders (his brother- or father-in-law) and Olaf III of Norway (his brother). The jarls (earls) resented his taxes and his consolidating power in the monarchy. They rebelled against him in 1085, as he and his allies were preparing to invade England. The rebels killed Canute and several of his train at St. Alban's in Odense. Many miracles were attributed to the intercession of the murdered king, who had established several churches and monasteries in his lifetime. Eric III Evergood of Denmark petitioned Paschal II to canonize Canute in 1099; Canute was officially called a saint two years later. In the late XIII or early XIV Century, St. Alban's was renamed St. Canute's.

Karen Rae Keck

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