Harold Harefoot

Harold Harefoot, d. 1040, king of the English (1037–40), illegitimate son of Canute and Ælfgifu of Northampton. On his father's death (1035) he disputed the succession of his half-brother Harthacanute to the English throne. A compromise was reached (1036) by which Harold would be regent while Harthacanute would remain in Denmark, but in 1037 Ælfgifu succeeded in having her son recognized as king. His brief reign was one of bloodshed and confusion, and he died as Harthacanute was preparing to invade England and claim his throne.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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