- Died: 5 Feb 1037, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
Extract from "The Dukes of Normandy, from the time of Rollo to the expulsion of King John by Philip Augustus of France" by Jonathan Duncan (1839)
Canute died in the same year in which William, seventh Duke of Normandy, succeeded to the ducal crown, expiring on the 12th of November 1035.
By his mistress Alaine, daughter of the Earl of Hampton, he left two sons Harold and Sweyn; by his wife Emma, widow of Ethelred, King of England, and sister of Richard the Second, fourth Duke of Normandy, Hardi-Canute, and a daughter, named Gonilda, who was married to the Emperor, Henry the Third. Between these children, without distinction of legitimacy, he divided his three kingdoms. Sweyn received Norway, Hardi-Canute Denmark, and Harold, England., and arrangement directly violating his marriage-contract with the widow of Ethelred, which stipulated that his children by Emma, and her children by Ethelred, should inherit his dominions, to the exclusion of his offspring not born in wedlock.
Alfred and Edward, the sons of Ethelred and Emma, resided in Normandy, and on the death of Canute, the former, who was of a spirited character, indignant at being despoiled of his inheritance by the Danish princes, embarked at Barfleur for England, where his mother still remained. He was received on his landing by Godwin, Earl of Kent, a wily and ambitious nobleman, who was suspected of having poisoned Canute. By a treachery not uncommon in those days, but which, in this instance, is not clearly specified in the writings of the old chroniclers, Alfred met an untimely death, and the assassins escaped without detection. There is, however, small room to doubt that he was murdered by Godwin, or by his orders.