Sweyn (also spelled Sven) Forkbeard became King of Denmark in 986. Throughout much of his reign, he sent ships to raid and demand tribute from England, and was paid off when his ships besieged London, by Ethelred the Unready who was then ruling the island. After the payoff, the raids decreased, until Sweyn's sister was murdered at Ethelred's command, along with many other Danes living in the northern part of England. Sweyn then attacked the island, first sacking and burning Norwich and then over the course of several years (despite a 1005 famine in Denmark) conquered the island. Sweyn became King of England also, and Ethelred fled to France. Unfortunately for Sweyn, though, he only got to enjoy ruling England for six months or so; then he fell from his horse and was injured fatally. After Sweyn died, Ethelred was recalled by the English and ruled for two more years, but Sweyn's son Canute would eventually hold the throne of England.

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