1040 (The People's Chronology)
A son of Poland's late king Mieszko II gains power as duke of what was briefly a kingdom (see 1034). Now about 25, he will reign until his death in 1058 as Casimir I (the Restorer).
England's Harold Harefoot dies March 17 at Oxford after a reign of less than 3 years. His 21-year-old half brother Hardicanute arrives from Denmark with a large fleet and is crowned king in June to begin a 2-year reign that will antagonize his English subjects. He has Harold's body exhumed and thrown into a marsh, and he sends an army to burn Worcester after two tax collectors have been murdered in that city.
Scottish noblemen invite Macbeth to help them overthrow their king Duncan Canmore, now 33, who has reigned since 1034. Now 35, Macbeth defeats his cousin Duncan's forces August 14 near Elgin on Iona, Duncan is killed at age 56, and Macbeth will reign until his death in 1057 (see 1054).
Lady Godiva rides naked through the streets of Coventry to persuade her husband, Leofric, earl of Mercia, to remit the heavy taxes that oppress the citizens (year approximate). The earl has said that he would grant his wife's request if she would ride naked through the streets, Lady Godiva (Godgifu) has issued a proclamation asking all citizens to remain indoors with their windows shut. She has only her long hair to cover her on the ride. Her husband keeps his word and abolishes the taxes, but a local tailor is reputedly struck blind because he peeped.
Increased planting of oats in the three-crop system of the past 3 centuries has led to an expanded use of horses in Europe and thus to increased trade, larger towns, and more people who do not raise their own food.