Robert I, Duke of Normandy was an ally of the French King Henry I and also assisted the two English brothers Edward (to become Edward the Confessor) and Alfred, sons of Aethelred King of the English who was over thrown by Canute in 1016. Robert may had tried to assist Edward and Albert in their attempts to retake the English throne back from Canute. It may have been for this assistance that Edward was to promise Robert's son William (the Conqueror) the future crown of England.
In the eighth year of his life William (the Conqueror) became the Duke of Normandy when his father Robert died on a pilgrimage at Nicea. Robert's death led to a period of instability in Normandy as William was too young to take his father's place and the nobles in the region took the opportunity to settle old feuds and to increase their private wealth.
King Canute died at Shaftesbury leaving the rule of the country in dispute between Harthacnut (the son of Emma) and Harold Harefoot (the son of Aelfgifu). The Earls of Northumbria and Mercia supported Harold's claim while Earl Godwine supported Harthacanute's. Canute's body was taken to Winchester to be buried. Harthacnut was in Denmark at the time of his father's death and was unable to travel to England because of invasion threats.
Both Edward the Confessor and Alfred, his younger brother, came to England at different times during this year to try and take back the English throne. Edward's attempt failed. Some time later Alfred landed in England but his army was met by Earl Godwine and was defeated. Alfred was captured and killed by the Earl.
Harold declared regent of England
With Harthacnut still in Denmark a meeting was held at Oxford that chose Harold to act as regent of England.
Eadsige became Archbishop of Canterbury after the death of Aethelnoth.
Treaty between Norway and Denmark
Magnus, the King of Norway and Harthacnut, the King of Denmark signed a treaty stipulating that if either died without an heir his kingdom must pass to the other. Hathacnut. as son of Canute, was not only King of Denmark but had a claim to the English throne. When Harthacnut died in 1042 Magnus claimed the thrones of Denmark and England.
Stormy weather destroyed crops and diseases killed many cattle during the year.
Truce of God
France had descended into what is now known as the 'Anarchy of Feudalism' . Law had broken down and the Earls and Barons lived in fortified castles. Many of these lords robed from the surrounding land to make themselves rich. It was extremely dangerous to travel even on the main roads. Famines were common and trading had almost stopped. To stop the deterioration the Church introduced the Truce of God. The truce outlawed any kind of fighting from Thursday evening to Monday morning.
Edward the Confessor returns to England
After a long exile at the Norman court Edward the Confessor returned to England. Harthacanute had no wife or heir so had invited Edward to return as Edward had the right to claim the English throne. Edward's right to the throne was not certain and so he enlisted the help of Earl Godwin, who agreed to give his assistance if Edward married his daughter Edith.
Harthacanute dies and Edward the Confessor becomes King
Harthacanute collapsed while attending a party and died shortly afterwards. He died without an heir and so the crown reverted back to the Saxons and Edward the Confessor was crowned King of England at Easter of 1043 at Winchester. After the death of Harthacanute Magnus took control in Denmark.
Leofric and his lady Godgifu found the Abbey on the site of Coventry Cathedral. Godgifu may have been the famous Lady Godiva who rode naked through the streets of Coventry to save the townsfolk from paying high taxes.
Stigand become bishop of Elmham
Shortly after Edward the Confessor became King, Stigand was promoted to the position of bishop.
Edward the Confessor crowned
Edward the Confessor was crowned at Winchester on Easter day.
Edward confiscates Emma's land
Edward learnt that his mother Emma was plotting with Dane Magnus of Norway to take control of the English throne. Edward had no choice and stripped his mother of her land and treasure. Emma was allowed to stay in England until her death.
Crinan, the Abbot of Dunkfeld, led an uprising against Macbeth in an attempt to put his grandson Malcolm (III) on the Scottish throne. Malcolm was living at the court of Edward the Confessor at the time. Crinian was killed and the uprising failed.
Harald Hardrada returns to Norway
After many years in exile Harald Hardrada returned to Norway to claim the Norwegian throne. His nephew Magnus was King of Norway and it was agreed that they should share the country's rule.
Sweyn Godwinson exiled
Sweyn, the son of Earl Godwin, attacked the abbey at Leominster and teh Abbess. For his crimes, Sweyn was exiled to Denmark by King Edward. There he became a pirate and raided the English coast.
Edward the Confessor marries
Edward married Edith, the daughter of Earl Godwine. Godwine was then in an extremely powerful position being related to the King of England.
Sweyn Godwineson attempted to return to England and wanted forgiveness for his earlier crimes. Earl Beorn went to meet Sweyn as part of Sweyn's return, but Sweyn had the Earl murdered. For this new crime Sweyn Godwineson was exiled again from England by Edward the Confessor.
Leo IX becomes Pope
Earthquake in Midlands
A large earthquake was felt in Worcester and Derby and many people were reportedly killed.