Canute (also Knut, Cnut, Knud) was a Viking king of England and Denmark and parts of Sweden, ruling England from 1016 to his death in 1035. He was buried at Winchester, a town where he was often in residence. He was a very successful king and had substantial achievements to his name, but he is probably best known for the, probably apocryphal, story of him attempting to turn back the tide. This story was first told by the 12th century chronicler Henry of Huntingdon; there is no contemporary attestation. According to one version of the story this encounter with the waves took place at Southampton, traditionally at Canute's Point. Other versions have it at Bosham in West Sussex or near London.

King Canute

Image Unavailable

A 14th century depiction of the king.

Further reading:
History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p23-25. (HS/h)


Browse A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y-Z

Search is temporarily unavailable, we are working to bring it online!

Get Involved

If you wish to

  • suggest additional information for this entry
  • suggest amendments to this entry
  • offer your own research
  • make a comment

then fill in the form on the Contact page.