The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Viking Conquest by Cnut in 1016 both had huge impacts on the history of England and yet ‘1066’ has eclipsed ‘1016’ in popular culture. This book challenges that side-lining of Cnut’s conquest by presenting compelling evidence that the Viking Conquest of 1016 was the single most influential cause of 1066. This neglected Viking Conquest of 1016 led to the exiling to Normandy and Hungary of the rightful Anglo-Saxon heirs to the English throne, entangled English politics with those of Normandy and Scandinavia, purged and destabilized the Anglo-Saxon ruling class, caused an English king to look abroad for allies in his conflict with over-mighty subjects and, finally, in 1066 ensured that Harold Godwinson was in the north of England when the Normans landed on the south coast. As if that was not enough, it was the continuation of the Scandinavian connection after 1066 which largely ensured that a Norman victory became a traumatic Norman Conquest.
1018 and 1066 Why the Vikings Caused the Norman Conquest