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he came back to Sjælland with only a remnant of the great fleet, the king met him in anger, and ordered him to leave the country and never more set his foot in Denmark; and so ended this last of all Danish attacks upon England.

Svend's Character.-Svend was not a very good man, but he was an able ruler, and learned for the times in which he lived; for he was well acquainted with Church history, and spoke several languages, amongst others Latin, in which he kept up a correspondence with the great Hildebrand, afterwards known as Pope Gregory VII. But although he was a devout churchman and caused several bishops' sees to be founded in Denmark, he would not obey his friend the Pope when he wrote to require that he should hold his kingdom as a dependency on the Court of Rome. Unlike his father, Jarl Ulf, or his uncle, King Knud, Svend Estridsen is said to have been wanting in good-looks and bodily strength, and to have been a great coward; and he seems to have chosen his friends, not amongst the nobles of his court, but among learned churchmen, for whose pursuits he had more taste than for those of the bold knights and warriors of his time. Svend's friendship for the scholarly Adam, canon of the Bremen Cathedral, has proved of great value to later ages, for by the King's favour this churchman was able to write down in his Chronicle1 many things of interest connected with the history of Svend's forefathers, and to inform us of many particulars in regard to the habits and customs of the Danes in those times, which we should not have otherwise known.

Another of Svend's intimate friends was Bishop William, or Vilhelm, as the Danish writers call him, an English monk to whom the King had given the see of Roeskilde, and whose sturdy independence and firmness often put his sovereign's friendship to a severe test, as we shall see from the following account of the manner in which he is known to have behaved to him. It happened that once on a New Year's Eve, when the king's servants had been making merry in the palace

Adam of Bremen wrote down in the Bremen Chronicle for his bishop, all that King Svend told him of Denmark. His account of the kingdom shows the misery to which the pagan pirates had brought the land." In Jutland," he says, “men dare not live near the sea-coasts for fear of searovers; and they only till those lands which lie inland, or far up streams."

hall of Roeskilde, and drinking much more than they ought, some among them forgot the respect they owed to their royal master, and began talking of his bad luck and want of courage in battle. Svend overhearing their words, in which there was a great amount of truth, grew very angry, and on pretence that he had reason to suspect treason gave orders for these unwise jokers to be seized and killed, and in accordance with these commands they were cut down on the New Year's Day, while they were at matins in the same church in which his own father, Jarl Ulf, had been slain.

Somewhat later in the morning, Svend, clothed in his royal robes, came into the church and was about to enter the chancel when Bishop Vilhelm, who was preparing to celebrate high mass, barred his entrance. The king tried to push on, but the prelate thrust him back with the end of his crozier and called him a murderer, unworthy to enter a church which he had stained with the blood of his fellow-creatures. The courtiers on hearing Bishop Vilhelm's angry words rushed upon him with drawn swords; but the king, struck by the truth of his reproaches, left the church, and returning to the palace changed his royal robes for the dress of a penitent. He then re-entered the church porch, where, bare-headed and barefooted, he waited till the bishop came to receive his confession and give him absolution. After this Svend came for the third time to the church door, but on this last occasion he again wore his mantle of state and his crown, and thus clothed was led to the altar, when the Te Deum was sung and the services of the church completed. Three days afterwards Svend, in the presence of a large number of people, rose and drew near the altar of the church in which mass was being performed. Begging that those present would keep silence and listen to his words, he confessed his sin of causing the death of his servants, and as a proof of his penitence, made an offering to the church of half a harde or Hundred of land. This district is said to have included the ground on which stands Copenhagen, the present capital of Denmark, with all its suburbs, and the adjoining little island of Amak. About a hundred years later, these lands were given by Axel, known as Absalon, the warlike bishop of Sjælland of those times, to his king, Valdemar I., and Axelborg, as the place had been called while it had served as a castle for defending the country against the attacks of searobbers, soon became known as the Merchant-haven, or “Kjobenhavn,” which we translate Copenhagen.

Svend's name Estridsen.—Svend, who is known in Danish history as Svend Estridsen, or the son of Estrid, was so called in respect to the higher rank of his mother, who was sister of Knud the Great. If he had followed the usual practice of the Northmen and taken the first name of his father Ulf with the addition of sen, meaning son, he would be known as Svend “ Ulfsen.”] The Jarl Ulf was nearly related to the royal family of Norway, and therefore his son Svend could boast of a very high descent through both his parents. In speaking of the Great Knud's nephew, Svend Estridsen, we must not forget that our Queen, as well as the present King of Denmark, and therefore the Prince of Wales as well as the Princess of Wales, can claim this king as their common ancestor, and through him may trace their descent back to Gorm the Old. Queen Victoria is descended in a direct line from King James I. of England and VI. of Scotland and his Queen, Anne daughter of King Frederick II. of Denmark, and the latter king, like all the other princes of the house of Oldenburg, traced his descent through the female line back to Svend Estridsen, whose mother Estrid was great-grand-daughter of Gorm. Hence in reading the history of Svend Estridsen and his descendants we must bear in mind that we are reading the history of the common ancestors of the royal families of Great Britain and of Denmark. During three hundred years after the death of Svend Estridsen the Danish crown was worn by princes descended from him in the direct male line, but in 1375, when Valdemar III.“ Atterdag ” died, leaving no sons, this long line of descent was broken, although the Danish throne was occupied till the middle of the next century by the sons or grandsons of that king's daughters. In 1448 the princes of the house of Oldenburg, who have since then ruled over Denmark, gained the Danish throne in right of their descent through Princess Rikissa, daughter of King Erik Glipping, and thus Denmark during the thousand years of her history has changed dynasties less frequently than almost any other country of Europe.

1 The Swedes add son instead of sen to the father's name. Thus in Swedish Svend would be known as Ulfsson, Estridsson, and not Ulfsen or Estridsen, as in Danish.

PART II.

SVEND ESTRIDSEN'S SONS.

Harald Hejn, 1076–1080.—When Svend Estridsen died, in 1076, he left as many as fourteen sons, and of these five were in turn kings of Denmark. Their reigns did not add much to the comfort of the Danish people, who had little but want, trouble, and war while these princes ruled over them, and as there is not much that is pleasant to tell of these five kings, we need not linger long over the story of their troubled reigns.

Svend's eldest son Harald, who ruled the kingdom of Denmark only four years, from 1076 to 1080, that is, in the time of William I. of England, was surnamed Hejn, or Whetstone, from his always giving way when he met with things that were hard to bear. From what we read of him we cannot suppose that his subjects were very sorry when he died and was followed on the throne by his next brother, Knud, a quick-tempered, brave and energetic young prince. This king, however, soon lost the affection of his subjects by his harshness in asking for all kinds of labour from the working classes. When they begged that he would spare them so many forced tasks, he threatened to shut up all the oak-tree forests in which the herdsmen had been used to feed their pigs, and to hinder the fishermen from following their trade in any of the Danish waters, on pretence that every fjord, sound, and bay, no less than every piece of woodland in the kingdom, belonged to him to give or withhold as he pleased. He was very severe to pirates, which in these days we should think was only right and proper, and a very good thing for all honest folks. The Danes, however, had not yet learnt to look upon piracy as anything very bad, and they were rather inclined to regard a daring searobber as a very grand kind of adventurer who had nothing in common with a thief on land. Thus it happened that one

o we will pay

winter when the king went over to Bornholm, and caused one of the chief men of the island, called Orgil Ragnarsen, who had been caught in the act of robbing and boarding ships at sea, to be hanged in sight of all the islanders, the Danish people took the matter up as a grievance, and made as much clamour about it as if Knud had taken the life of an honest innocent man.

Many of Knud's acts were however very unjust, and the marked favour which he showed to the bishops, by raising them to the rank of the highest nobles in the land, gave great offence. When he tried to enforce the payment of tithes to the clergy, and threatened if the people refused he would make them give to the crown much larger sums of money, there was a general rising and tumult all over the kingdom.“Give us what fines you please," cried the angry peasants at the great meetings of the nation where the king made this demand; anything rather than leave to our children such a burden as these tithes that you ask of us !"

The king and the bishops were greatly incensed at the spirit shown by the Danish people, who then and for a long time afterwards, were very distrustful of the clergy. The latter acted with such harshness and cruelty to all the poorer and working classes that a revolt broke out, and King Knud on his progress through his kingdom was everywhere followed by cries of hatred and anger. After treating the peasants of Jutland with much severity, he crossed over to the island of Fyen to get out of the way of their complaints; but this did not save him, for a large body of Jutlanders followed him and overtook him just as he was seeking refuge within St. Alban's Church, in the town of Odense.

T'he citizens now joined the angry Jutlanders, and a crowd soon closed round the church, against whose doors they beat with clubs and staves and stones, calling : “Where is Knud, our God-forsaken king? Let him come forth and show himself! He has carried arms long enough against the rights and property of us Danes! It is full time we made an end of this !” After a long and fierce attack the doors burst under the blows aimed at them, and the enraged peasants rushed with noisy shoutings into the church, where King Knud, feeling that his last hour had come, was kneeling before the altar, while his brothers Benedict and Erik, at the head

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