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Harthacnut (c.1019–42), king of England (1040–2), was a son of Cnut by his second wife Emma of Normandy, widow of Æthelred II. At his father's death in 1035 he was in Denmark, but his mother put forward his claim to the throne of England against his half-brother Harold Harefoot. On the latter's death in 1040 Harthacnut succeeded. He was said to have desecrated his brother's grave and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle observed that ‘he never did anything worthy of a king while he reigned’. In 1042, at the wedding-feast of his standard-bearer Tofig the Proud, he ‘died as he stood at his drink and suddenly fell to the ground with a horrible convulsion’. He was succeeded by his half-brother Edward the Confessor.

J. A. Cannon

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