Harthacanute här´thăkəno͞ot [key], Hardicanute, or Hardecanute both: här´dĭkəno͞ot [key], d. 1042, king of Denmark (1035–42) and of the English (1040–42); son of Canute and Emma. On his father's death (1035) he succeeded to the throne of Denmark, where he was already the effective ruler. In England his illegitimate half-brother, Harold Harefoot , first acted as regent, then as king (1037–40), while Harthacanute in Denmark was reaching a settlement with Magnus I of Norway. Harold's death in 1040 allowed Harthacanute to take over the English throne peaceably, although he arrived in England with 62 warships. His reign was quarrelsome and oppressive, but by indicating as his heir Edward the Confessor he averted a possible dynastic struggle when his own death ended the male line of the royal Danish house in England.
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