English History Timeline 1010-1019

Aethelred the Unready Sweyn Forkbeard Edmund Ironside Cnut the Great

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1010 – 1019

The monarchs for this period were:
Aethelred known as the Unready to 1013 & 1014 – 1016
Sweyn Forkbeard 1013 – 1014
Edmund Ironside 1016
Canute from 1016


1010 (during)
The Danish Vikings invaded East Anglia and marched on Ipswich where a battle was fought. The English lost the battle and the Vikings gained control of Ipswich. They then marched towards Cambridge.
1011 (29th September)
The Danish Vikings captured Canterbury and took Archbishop Aelheah prisoner.
1012 (April)
King Aethelred made a Danegeld payment of £48,000 to stop the violence and destruction being caused by the Danish Vikings.
1012 (19th April)
A group of Danish Vikings went on a drunken rage and murdered Archbishop Aelheah who was being held prisoner. The Viking leader Thorkell the Tall tried to stop the murder but was unsuccessful. Thorkell was so angry with his comrades that he defected and joined forces with the Anglo-Saxons.
1013 (during)
Lyfing was appointed as new Archbishop of Canterbury.
1013 (July)
Sweyn Forkbeard returned and was proclaimed King of the Danelaw.
1013 (December)
Sweyn Forkbeard had successfully conquered much of England and proclaimed himself King of England. King Aethelred, his wife Emma and their children fled to Emma’s family in Normandy.
1014 (3rd February)
Sweyn Forkbeard died. He nominated his son Canute to succeed to the English throne.
1014 (Spring)
The English nobles that had supported and approved Sweyn’s Kingship were reluctant to accept his young son, Canute as King and so they asked Aethelred to return. However, the army and the people of Lindsey gave their support to Canute.
1014 (Spring)
Having been denied the kingship of England, Canute returned to Denmark to raise an invasion force.
1014 (Spring)
Aethelred and his family returned to England. King Aethelred made it clear that he was unhappy with the people of Lindsey for supporting Canute.
1015 (Summer)
Eadric of Mercia killed two leading thegns in Lindsey.
1015 (August)
Canute invaded England with a large force. He was determined to take the English throne
1015 (late August)
Edmund, nicknamed Ironside, son of Aethelred by his first wife, married Ealdgyth, a widow of one of the murdered thegns from Lindsey. The marriage was made in defiance of his father who was holding Ealdgyth prisoner having confiscated all the lands owned by her late husband.
1015 (Autumn)
Edmund Ironside raised his own army in revolt against his father. He immediately received the support of the five boroughs of Danelaw (the five main towns of Danish Mercia – Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford)
1016 (early January)
Canute began attacking the Danelaw region. Edmund Ironside summoned an army but the men refused to fight Canute without Aethelred’s support. Edmund sent word to his father to join him. However, when Aethelred arrived at the head of an army he was told that he may be betrayed and so he disbanded his army and returned to London.
1016 (Spring)
Cnut took Northumbria. He created Eric of Hlathir Earl of Northumbria then marched towards his ships intent on sailing for London.
1016 (April)
Edmund Ironside marched to London in anticipation of Cnut’s attack.
1016 (23rd April)
King Aethelred died and his eldest son Edmund Ironside, was proclaimed King Edmund II of England.
1016 (early May)
Canute reached London and lay siege to Greenwich.
1016 (around 9th May)
Battle of Brentford
Edmund Ironside managed to defeat the Danish army led by Canute at Brentford.
1016 (18th October)
Battle of Assandun
This battle fought between Edmund Ironside and Canute saw the Dane victorious and left Edmund in control of only Wessex.
1016 (30th November)
Edmund Ironside died and Canute seized the throne of England.
1016 (early December)
Aethelred’s sons, Edward and Alfred, fled to Normandy.
1017 (during)
Canute divided England into four earldoms – Northumbria, Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia. Canute controlled Wessex, Eadric Streona ruled Mercia, Thorkell the Tall controlled East Anglia and Eric Haakonsson ruled Northumbria.
1017 (2nd July)
King Canute married Aethelred’s widow, Emma of Normandy.
1017 (December)
Eadric Streona was murdered on Canute’s order. Leofric became Earl of Mercia.
1018 (during)
A son, Harthacnut, was born to Canute and Emma of Normandy.
1018 (during)
Cnut inherited the Kingdom of Denmark when his brother, Harald, King of Denmark died. He immediately began making arrangements to go to Denmark to secure the throne.
1018 (during)
Earl Godwin, the most powerful noble, allied himself to Canute by marrying Gytha Thorkelsdottir, Canute’s sister-in-law.
1019 (Summer)
Canute sailed to Denmark with a fleet of nine ships. He left Thorkell the Tall as regent of England.


First published 2016; updated and republished Apr 24 2022 @ 3:50 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1010 – 1019.

Leave a comment