English History Timeline 1040-1049

Harold Harefoot Harthacanute Edward the Confessor

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1040 – 1049

The monarchs for this period were:
Harold I 1040
Harthacnut 1040 – 1042
Edward the Confessor from 1042


1040 (17th March)
King Harold I, known as Harefoot, died at the age of 24, possibly from a congenital illness. Harthacnut, son of King Canute and Emma of Normandy, was now able to return to England and claim the throne.
1040 (18th March)
Harthacnut was proclaimed successor to Harold I.
1040 (17th June)
Harthacnut and his mother, Emma sailed for England and landed at Sandwich in Kent. They brought with them a force of more than 60 warships in case he had to fight for the throne.
1040 (late)
Harthacnut had been horrified by the murder of his half-brother Alfred in 1036 and after hearing from Earl Godwin that he had acted on the order of King Harold, Harthacnut ordered that Harold’s body be disinterred, beheaded and thrown in the Thames.
1041 (during)
Harthacnut imposed a tax on the English people to pay off the Danish army that he had brought with him. This was not well received and made him unpopular with the English people.
1041 (during)
Edward, known as the Confessor, son of Aethelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, returned to England from exile in Normandy. He was nominated as heir to the childless Harthacnut.
1041 (4th May)
Harthacnut sent representatives out to collect the tax he had imposed in 1040. The people of Worcestershire rose up in revolt against the tax and two of the King’s representatives were killed.
1041 (12th November)
Harthacnut ordered the sack of Worcester as a punishment to the people for killing two of his representatives. The destruction lasted for five days.
1042 (8th June)
Harthacnut, King of England and Denmark died. His half-brother, Edward, became King of England. Magnus Olafsson, King of Norway, took the throne of Denmark.
1042 (3rd April)
Edward, known as the Confessor, was crowned King of England at Winchester Cathedral.
1043 (summer)
Edward created Sweyn Godwinson Earl of Hertfordshire. Sweyn was the eldest son of Earl Godwin of Wessex, the most powerful nobleman in England.
1043 (November)
Edward was very critical of the lack of support his mother had given him. It is also thought that Edward was annoyed that she had in her possession jewels that belonged to the crown. As a punishment Edward temporarily confiscated her property in Winchester.
1044 (23rd January)
Having spent very little of his life in England, Edward did not have much support among the nobility. To assure the loyalty of Earl Godwin of Wessex he negotiated a a marriage with the Earl’s daughter, Edith of Wessex.
1045 (during)
Edward’s brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson was made Earl of East Anglia.
1045 (23rd January)
King Edward married Edith Godwinson.
1046 (during)
Eadred, Bishop of Worcester, led an attack on Wales in retaliation for a number of raids on England by the Welsh leaders Gruffydd ap Rhydderch, Rhys ap Rhydderch and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. The attack was unsuccessful.
1046 (during)
Sweyn Godwinson attempted to abduct Eadgifu the Abbess of Leominster. Edward the Confessor was furious and exiled Sweyn.
1047 (10th August)
Battle of Val es Dunes
William, duke of Normandy, supported by Henry I of France defeated rebel forces at Val es Dunes to secure his position as Duke of Normandy.
1047 (25th October)
King Magnus I of Denmark and Norway died. His son Sweyn became King of Denmark and his nephew Harald Hardrada became King of Norway.
1048 (during)
The Viking chieftains, Lothen and Yrling, sailed with 25 ships and made a series of raids along the South-East coast. Sandwich and Thanet were raided.
1049 (during)
Edward allowed the exiled Sweyn Godwinson to return to England.
1049 (during)
The Welsh leader Gruffydd ap Rhydderch of Gwent allied with a band of Irish raiders and made a series of raids along the border with England. Bishop Eadred was unable to ward off the raids.


First published 2016; updated and republished May 4 2022 @ 9:52 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1040 – 1049.

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