A member of the bodyguard of a Danish or English king or noble.
- With the morale of the English troops shattered by the death of their leader, the battle ended in defeat for the English, although the housecarls and thegns continued to fight to their deaths.
- Harold had kept his bodyguards - the housecarls - with him but they could not stop the onslaught and Harold and his men were slaughtered by the Normans.
- There is no reason to believe that the tasks which Cnut's housecarls were called upon to perform were fundamentally different.
Late Old English hūscarl, from Old Norse húskarl 'manservant', (plural) 'retinue, bodyguard', from hús 'house' + karl 'man'.
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