Canute the Great (995-1035) is one of the most famous Danish Viking Kings, reigning his great Anglo-Scandinavian kingdom of England (1016-1034), Denmark (1018-1034), Norway (1028-1034) and parts of Sweden at the end of the Viking Era. The son of King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark, Canute was first elected king of England in 1014 by the Danish army, however this was overruled by the English nobility who instead sent for ex-king Ethelred. Canute was forced back to his native Denmark, and it was not until the autumn of 1016, when Ethelred had passed and his son Edmund had succeeded him as King of England, that Canute returned and won the throne. After this victory, Canute spent most of his time as a king residing in England.
The Danegeld famously kept the Vikings from plundering and ravaging the land and eventually became a permanent land-tax. During his reign, King Canute used up the remaining Danegeld in order to pay off 40 ships from his very own Danish invasion fleet.
Legend has it that Canute the Great once placed his throne by the seashore, stating that his feet would not get wet, as he could stop the tide from coming in. It is claimed that his reasoning behind this was to prove to his courtiers that only God had the power to do so, and he was nothing but a humble human. King, but human nonetheless.
Canute the Great died in Shaftesbury, England, on 12 November 1035. His bones now remain in Winchester Cathedral, England. When King Canute passed, his kingdom was split between Harold in England, Harthacnut in Denmark and Magnus Olafsson in Norway. However as they soon passed, it is said that with the death of Canute the Great, so died the Viking Era. The Viking Era came to a final end in the year 1066.