AN amateur historian from Yorkshire claims to have discovered a new Viking king of York.

Musician and poet Damian Bullen has developed a theory after reading about the Silverdale Haul, a collection of coins and jewellery found in Lancashire in September, of similar designs to coins from about 900AD.

One of the Medieval coins has a design which has never been seen before, and carried the name Airdeconut, believed to be a derivation of Harthacnut, an early king of England and Denmark.

Damian, who hails from Barnsley but now lives in Edinburgh, said: “I believe that Harthacnut followed on to the throne at some point after Guthfrith. It would make sense; he was of royal stock. His mother was Northumbrian, his father was Viking, and he would have made a perfect choice for the mixed population of York.”

A spokesman from York Archaeological Trust said: “The Trust has found at least one coin of Cnut, a penny which was minted in York 895 to 903 and which was found at the excavations at 16-22 Coppergate, so it is correct that coins of Cnut were minted in York. The Airdeco-nut (or Harthacnut) coin appears to have been minted at about the same time.”