den Hellige had from nature desire to fight like the heroes of the
Vikings, but at the same time caught by Christianity. He was generous
to the poor, but people of violence were punished hard. Freed thralls
and foreigners, widowers and orphans he took under his protection.
He cleared the Danish waters for pirates (among others Blod-Egil) and
kept the Venders down.
In all matters he tried to lift the church, the bishops received
great gifts. He demanded the ecclesiastical days of fast and
ceremonies thorough kept.
To provide the church a steady income and greater independence he
wanted that the people should pay Tidende (tax to the church). But the
king had no legal power to impose new duties on the people, and not
until much later Tidende was introduced.
Knud was always ready to fight the resistance of the people by tough
means. Especially he cowed the nobilities. However, the worst was,
that he on his own issued laws, which were hated by the people, and
though Knud had great purposes as to the laws, then they were received
as offences of the peoples old rights, and it caused strong
resentments against the king.
The king gathered a large fleet in Limfjorden to conquer England, one
place it says 1000 ships plus 60 ships from Norway, besides would 600
ships join from Flanders, but as he was delayed in South Jutland, for
so long that it became too late in the year, he had to abandon the
Indignant over this disappointment Knud became even more severe in his
way of governing. His bailiffs gave the people the most rude
Then they lost patience, and when Knud traveled to Vendsyssel, the
people living there rebelled against him, so Knud flied to Odense. But
the natives of Funen also rebelled against the king, and Knud escaped
inside St. Albani Church, where his brother Benedikt and his men
blocked the entrance. But they were cut down, and Knud was killed in
front of the alter.
That Knud was made a Saint in 1101 was to a certain degree more due to
church and political interests than actual personal credit.
Buried in St. Knuds Church in Odense.
Knud den Hellige was son of Svend Estridsen.
In 1082 he married Edel of Flanders, daughter of count Robert I. of
De got the children:
married to Margrethe of Clemont. Killed in
Flanders in 1127.
married to the Swedish chief Folke.
(1110-?) married to Erik Jarl of Götaland.
Queen Edel remarried in 1092 to Roger of Apulien and died 1115.