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The Cnut Gospel, Southern England, early 11th century (between 1017-1020).

The Cnut Gospel, Southern England, early 11th century (between 1017-1020).

Owned by Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (d. 1612). Royal 1 D. ix, f. 45

The Christian Monarch

King Cnut as Benefactor of the Church

The inscription on the left-hand page in this book of the Gospels identifies King Cnut as a benefactor of the monastic community at Christ Church, Canterbury. Having established himself king of England by force, Cnut went to great lengths to justify his rule, and it is plausible that he might have donated this rich book to Christ Church, though there is no record of such a gift. The lavishly framed page to the right marks the beginning of the Gospel of Mark.