King of England, son of Canute the Great by Emma of Normandy, the widow of Ethelred II. At the time of his father's death (1035) Hardicanute was in Denmark, and the throne of England was given by the witenagemot to Harold, his half-brother by Canute's first wife; Wessex was reserved for Hardicanute, whose claims to the kingdom were upheld by Godwin and Emma. On the death of Harold in 1040 Hardicanute was elected king in his place; but he reigned only two years, dying of apoplexy in 1042. Yet in that short time he provoked the discontent of his subjects by the imposition of a very heavy danegeld.
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