Family tree for King Sweyn Forkbeard showing:
Sweyn Forkbeard was born in 960 in Norway and died 3rd February 1014 in England. He was the son of Harald Bluetooth and Gyrid Olafsdottir. Sweyn gained the nickname Forkbeard because he had a long forked beard. Throughout his childhood his father made series raids on England but was unable to conquer the land.
In 985 Sweyn took over as leader of the Vikings, five years later he married Gunhilda, daughter of the Duke of Poland and they had five children including King Canute the great. He divorced Gunhilda around 1000 and married Sigrid and they had a daughter, Estrid.
As leader of the Vikings, Sweyn continued the raids on England. In 1002, Aethelred ordered the massacre of all Damnes living in Britain, Sweyn’s sister was among those murdered. Sweyn was furious and swore revenge on England. He increased the raids on England and negotiated ever increasing payments of Danegeld from King Aethelred the Unready.
By December 1013 Sweyn had conquered most of England and proclaimed himself King. Aethelred and his family fled to Normandy. Sweyn’s reign was shortlived as he died in February 1014. After his death in 1014 the throne returned to Aethelred the Unready because the nobility were unwilling to accept Sweyn’s son, Canute. However, in 1016, Canute invaded and took the throne.
Published Jun 25, 2017 @ 2:46 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2020). King Sweyn Forkbeard 960 – 1014. Available: https://www.treesofblue.com/king-sweyn-forkbeard-960-1014. Last accessed September 30th, 2021