1005 (16th November)
The Archbishop of Canterbury
, Aelfric of Abingdon, died. He left his best ship to King Aethelred and the rest of his fleet to the people of Kent.
Alfred’s sister, Godgifu, was born to King Aethelred and Emma of Normandy.
King Aethelred appointed Aelheah as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Throughout the reign of his father, England had been subject to repeated attacks by the Vikings
. Their leader, Sweyn Forkbeard
and his Viking force now made a series of raids on Kent and Sussex.
King Aethelred was unable to raise sufficient forces to defeat the Vikings and so was forced to make a Danegeld payment to keep the Vikings away. The sum demanded was £36,000 (12 kg of silver).
The Danes invaded East Anglia. A battle was fought near Ipswich which left the Danes in control of the town.
The Danish Vikings captured Canterbury and took Archbishop Aelheah prisoner.
1012 (19th April)
The Danish Vikings in Canterbury went on a drunken raid and murdered Archbishop Aelheah of Canterbury. The Viking leader, Thorkell the Tall, tried to stop the murder but was unsuccessful. He was so angry at his comrades that he defected and joined Aethelred’s forces.
Aethelred made another Danegeld payment of £48,000 (17 kg of silver) to stop the destruction being caused by the Vikings.
Lyfing was appointed the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
Sweyn Forkbeard returned and took Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria. London alone held out against the Danes.
Having conquered the majority of England, Sweyn Forkbeard proclaimed himself King of England. Alfred, his father, mother, brother and sister fled to Normandy.
Sweyn Forkbeard died. He nominated his son, Canute
to become King but the Witan did not want the young Dane and instead, invited Aethelred to return as King. Aethelred accepted and the family returned to England.
1016 (23rd April)
King Athelred died and Alfred’s elder half-brother, Edmund Ironside
1016 (18th October)
Battle of Assandun
Canute, son of Sweyn Forkbeard, was victorious over the Anglo Saxons
led by King Edmund. In order to maintain peace Edmund agreed to share control of England with Canute.
1016 (30th November)
King Edmund II, died and Canute became King of all England.
Alfred, his elder brother Edward and their sister Godgifu were sent back to their relatives in Normandy by their mother Emma of Normandy.
1017 (2nd July)
Alfred’s mother, Emma of Normandy, married King Canute. It was agreed that the children of their marriage would succeed to the English throne.
Alfred’s half-brother Harthacnut
was born to Emma of Normandy and King Canute.
Alfred’s sister, Godgifu, married Drogo of Mantes.
Alfred’s brother, Edward, now aged 27 years, believed that he should be King of England and that Canute was a usurper. He spent time practising his swordmanship in readiness for the time when he could invade England and take the crown.
Some sources state that Robert, Duke of Normandy
, attempted to invade England in support of Edward’s claim to the English throne, but failed to land when his force was blown off course.
1035 (12th November)
King Canute died and Alfred’s younger half-brother, Harthacnut, was proclaimed King. However, Canute was unable to return to England due to troubles in Denmark. Harold Harefoot
, Canute’s son by his first wife, was appointed regent in the north while Emma of Normandy was regent of Wessex.
1035 (late December)
Alfred and his elder brother, Edward, sailed to England. Edward landed at Southampton and Alfred landed in Kent. It is thought that they had come to take the throne back for their family. Alfred was met by Earl Godwin
near Guildford in Surrey and given lodgings. The following day his men were killed and Alfred was bound and taken by boat to Ely. As they neared the island Alfred was blinded before being taken ashore to the monastery where he was cared for by the monks.
1036 (5th February)
Alfred died from his injuries.