Harold I ‘Harefoot’ 1035-1040AD Silver Penny, Thetford


Code: RS850

Harold I ‘Harefoot’ 1035-1040AD Silver Penny, Fleur-de-Lis type, Thetford mint, moneyer Godric.

S1165, 18mm, 0.94g

A sharp and attractive coin, all detail clear.

Harold I ‘Harefoot’ – 1035-1040: The eldest son of Cnut, Harold’s strange nickname derives from his alleged fleetness of foot in hunting. Despite being some years older than his half-brother Harthacnut, Harold was not fêted to be Cnut’s immediate successor, as his mother Ælfgifu was of lesser status. Despite this, Harold took control of England following Cnut’s death – pressuring the nobility to support his claim and taking advantage of the fact that Harthacnut was busy suppressing several rebellions in Scandinavia. Though initially conceding to the division of England between Harthacnut and himself, Harold would go back on his word and declare himself sole ruler after only two years of power-sharing. In 1036 he easily quashed an attempt by the exiled sons of Æthelred II to raise rebellion – brutally executing one in the process. He died suddenly in 1040, an unexpected occurrence given his relatively young age.

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