Harold I

b. c. 1016/1017
d. 17 Mar 1040, Oxford

Title: Rex (king)
Term: after 12 Nov 1035 - 17 Mar 1040
Chronology: after 12 Nov 1035, chosen as king north of the River Thames with regency over all England [1]; not consecrated [?]
  1037, recognized king of all England
  17 Mar 1040, died
Names/titles: Byname: Harefoot
Harold was the son of King Cnut and Ælfgifu, who was considered by contemporaries not quite legitimate as Cnut married the widow of King Æthelred Unræd, Emma, in 1017.

Cnut was concerned that his other son, Harthacnut, succeed him in England in compliance with his pre-marital agreement with Emma. In absence of Harthacnut, who was in Denmark, Harold was recognized as king north of the River Thames. The meeting of Witan at Oxford confirmed Harold's regency over all England, but it took two more years (1037) before he was recognized 'as king everywhere'. Harold was kept responsible for the murder of Ælfred (1036/1037), a younger son of Æthelred Unræd, who was seen as another royal claimant. There was not much recorded of Harold's reign except for a dispute with the church over the ownership of lands at Sandwich.