English History 1000 – 1009

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Aethelred the Unready


This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1000 – 1010

The monarch for this period was Aethelred known as the Unready



1000 (Summer)
The Vikings left English waters and Aethelred decided to launch a series of raids on Strathclyde and the Isle of Man
1001 (during)
The Danes returned and made a series of devastating raids along the South coast of England from Kent to Cornwall.
1002 (during)
The Danes were continuing their harassment of the South coast and a large force was camped on the Isle of Wight. Aethelred was forced to make a Danegeld payment of around £24,000 before they would leave.
1002 (February)
Aethelred’s wife Aelfgifu died.
1002 (5th April)
Aethelred needed an ally to help fight off the Viking attacks. He made an alliance with Richard Duke of Normandy and sealed the treaty by marrying Richard’s 18 year old daughter, Emma.
1002 (13th November)
Massacre of St Brice’s Day
Aethelred was worried that there would be further surprise attacks by the Danish Vikings. In order to remove the threat of an attack from within England Aethelred ordered the massacre of all Danes living in England. The massacre was carried out on St Brice’s Day and it is believed that a significant number were killed including many who had sought sanctuary in St Frideswide’s church but died when the doors were locked and it was burned to the ground.
1003 (during)
Sweyn I of Denmark, known as Forkbeard, whose sister was murdered in the St Brice’s Day massacre, invaded England and gained control of land from Exeter to Hampshire.
1003 (during)
A son, Edward, was born to Aethelred and Emma at Islip, Oxfordshire.
1004 (during)
The town of Norwich was destroyed by the forces of Sweyn Forkbeard.
1005 (during)
The Danish force led by Sweyn Forkbeard left England. The country was on the brink of bankruptcy due to the Danegeld payments that had been made. The harvest was also poor and the people were starving.
1005 (16th November)
Aelfric of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, died. He bequeathed a number of ships to the people of Kent and his best ship, which could hold sixty men, to King Aethelred.
1006 (during)
Aelheah was appointed the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
1006 (July)
Sweyn Forkbeard returned and was making raids in Kent and Sussex. Aethelred called out his men from Wessex and Mercia but they were no match for the huge Viking force.
1007 (during)
Aethelred did not have the forces to withstand the continual raids by Sweyn Forkbeard and was forced to make a further Danegeld payment of £36,000 to keep him away.
1008 (during)
Aethelred realised that he could not continue to make ever increasing payments of Danegeld and decided that the money would be better spent on new ships to defend the coast.
1009 (during)
The Danish Vikings returned, this time led by Thorkell the Tall, making a series of devastating attacks and raids on England. Aethelred was unable to use his new fleet of ships because one of his new Captains, Wulfnoth, had made off with 20 boats on a piracy mission. Another Captain, Brihtric, had taken the remaining ships in pursuit of Wulfnoth but a storm had come and many ships were run aground.

990 – 999 <<   >> 1010 – 1019


Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016). English History 1000 – 1009. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/english-history-1000-1009. Last accessed June 16th, 2019


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