Cnut the Great

Date of reign: AD 1016-AD 1035

View all coins recorded by the scheme attributed to Cnut the Great.

Wikipedia derived information

Cnut the Great, more commonly known as Canute, was a king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden.

After the death of his heirs within a decade of his own and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was largely lost to history. Historian Norman F. Cantor has made the paradoxical statement that he was "the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history", despite his not being Anglo-Saxon.

Cnut was of Danish and Slavic descent. His father was Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark (which gave Cnut the patronym Sweynsson, Old Norse Sveinsson). Cnut's mother was the daughter of the first duke of the Polans, Mieszko I; her name may have been Świętosława, but the Oxford DNB article on Cnut states that her name is unknown.

As a prince of Denmark, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. His accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Cnut maintained his power by uniting Danes and Englishmen under cultural bonds of wealth and custom, rather than sheer brutality.

After a decade of conflict with opponents in Scandinavia, Cnut claimed the crown of Norway in Trondheim in 1028. The Swedish city Sigtuna was held by Cnut. He had coins struck which called him king there, but there is no narrative record of his occupation.

The kingship of England lent the Danes an important link to the maritime zone between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, where Cnut, like his father before him, had a strong interest and wielded much influence among the Gall-Ghaedhil. Cnut's possession of England's dioceses and the continental Diocese of Denmark – with a claim laid upon it by the Holy Roman Empire's Archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen – was a source of great leverage within the Church, gaining notable concessions from Pope Benedict VIII, and his successor John XIX, such as one on the price of the pallium of his bishops. Cnut also gained concessions on the tolls his people had to pay on the way to Rome from other magnates of medieval Christendom, at the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor.

After his 1026 victory against Norway and Sweden, and on his way to Rome for this coronation, Cnut, in a letter written for the benefit of his subjects, stated himself "king of all England and Denmark and the Norwegians and of some of the Swedes".

Spouse: Emma of Normandy
Mother: Gunhild of Wenden
Father: Sweyn Forkbeard
Succeeded by: Harold Harefoot
Date of birth: c. 985 – c. 995
Date of death: 12

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 111 examples.

PAS record number: NLM-C34546

Record: NLM-C34546
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver Penny of Cnut (1016-1035), as kindly identified by the finder, moneyer Godric at Lincoln mint, cf. Mossop et al. 1970, plate 43 nos 4-…
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PAS record number: LIN-2DA2B5

Record: LIN-2DA2B5
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A silver early medieval penny of Cnut. Moneyer Beorn of York mint (AD c.1029-1035/6; North 790).
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PAS record number: SUSS-8B8FF4

Record: SUSS-8B8FF4
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: An Early Medieval silver penny of Cnut issued from AD 1029-1036. Mint illegible. "Short Cross" Type. Cf. North 1994, Vol I, p. 168, no. 790.
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PAS record number: SUR-68CBC0

Record: SUR-68CBC0
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A silver penny of King Cnut, 1029-1036, Lincoln mint, Moneyer: WULFRIC. North 790.
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PAS record number: WAW-F18095

Record: WAW-F18095
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Early Medieval coin: penny of King Cnut (1016-1035) minted between circa 1029-1035. Minted by Oslac in Lincoln. North no 790. Diameter: 18…
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Denominations issued

Active Mints

22 coin types issued

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