Chronica Regum Manniae - P. A. Munchs noter
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Krøniken om kongane og biskopane på Man.
P.A. Munch sine noter til Krøniken
Munch sine interessar var som nemnd innleiingsvis særs omfattande. Men hovudtyngda av den vitskaplege produksjonen ligg innanfor ramma av norsk mellomalder, der han kasta lys over ei rekkje sider ved historia - politisk historie, språk, viser og sagn, lov og rett, religion, fortidsminne, geografi og topografi. Det som er viktigast i denne samanhengen er at med Munch byrja den norrøne språkvitskapen i Noreg. Også den sida av verksemda hans hadde på eit vis samanheng med hans medvite arbeid for fedrelandets kulturelle sjølvstende. Han gjekk til åtak på det danske oldskriftselskap for tendensen til å gjera den «islandske» litteraturen til «oldnordisk» felleseige utan å trekkja fram det særlege historiske sambandet til Noreg. Han utdjupa Keysers teori om at nordmennene hadde innvandra frå nord og lagt under seg Sør-Sverige og Danmark, etter å ha sigra i kamp med germanske stammer.
Som kjeldegranskar gjorde Munch eit uvurderleg arbeid. Samanlagt gav han ut fjorten kjeldeskrifter, melom dei Den eldre Edda, Speculum regale (Kongespeilet), Munkelivs jordebok, Historia Norvegiae og Chronica Regum Manniae et Insularum (Krøniken om Man og Øyane), som på den tida var til dels ukjende eller ubrukte kjelder. I åra 1845 til 1854 gjorde han fleire utanlandsreiser, til Normandie og Skottland m.a., der han skreiv av ei rekkje viktige diplomer og handskrifter.
Nemnast må også samlinga av “Norges Gamle Love” i tre band, dei første band av Diplomatarium Norvegicum og ei lang rekkje utgåver av sagaer og andre gamle handskrifter. Munch skreiv av og publiserte ei mengd kjende og ukjende handskrifter. Den viktigaste innsatsen er knytta til arbeidet med å leita opp og skriva av dokument i det pavelege arkiv i Vatikanet, som fylte livet hans under eit opphald i Roma 1859–1861. Dette store kjeldearbeidet resulterte i utallige avskrifter, som kom i pakke etter pakke til Riksarkivet og etter kvart fekk sin plass i Diplomatariet, frå bind 6 (1864).
I mi attgjeving av Krøniken har eg som før nemnd vald å byggja på P.A. Munch si utgåve frå 1860. Det kan vera fleire grunnar til dette, men den viktigaste årsaka er å løfta hans verk fram i lyset, som den klassikar det er. Mi opphavlege tanke var å laga ei digitalisert utgåve av verket frå 1860, med den originale teksten på latin og Munch sine kommentarar (og hans innleiing) på engelsk, men ettersom latin er eit utilgjengeleg språk for dei fleste valde eg derimot å laga mi eiga attgjeving på norsk (nynorsk) og erstatta hans innleiing, som for ein stor del er ei framstilling av norsk historie og om det norrøne riket i vesterveg som er velkjend for dei fleste lesarar i dag, med ei nyskriven innleiing, basert på ny historisk kunnskap, men med Munch sine kommentarar som i hans latinske utgåve frå 1860. Det kan verka pretensiøst, men er det ikkje.
I tillegg til Munch si rike kommentarutgåve har eg nytta meg av ei engelsk omsetjing med hans kommentarar, gjeve ut av Manx Society 1924, samt ei ganske ny utgåve (Broderick, 2004).
The real Chronicles of Man, or the entries belonging to the history of this kingdom only, commence with the year 1066 (1047). The first lines touching the death af King Edward the Confessor, are still due to the Chronica de Mailros, the rest, however, is original. Here, therefore, Camden has also commenced his abridgment. The first King of Man here mentioned, viz. Godred Son of Sytric, is not, however, the first known in history, but it was not the author's plan to carry the history farther up than to Godred Crovan, whom he probably supposed the founder of the reigning dynasty. Perhaps he did not even know of any King of Man previous to Godred the Son of Sigtrygg, although the Icelandic family-sagas, as well as the Irish annals, speak of Kings either in Man or in the Isles for more than a century earlier than the two Godreds here mentioned.
The great Norwegian invasion which lasted from the end of the 8th to the middle of the 9th century, and caused the erection of Norwegian kingdoms in Ireland, comprised also the islands between Ireland and Scotland, and these were even more completely subdued and subjected to the Norwegian rule, than any part of Ireland itself. Indeed, the island of Man and the southermost islands west of Scotland are to be regarded as the centre of the Norwegian settlements in these parts of Europe. From these islands eminently fitted to serve as a stronghold for these hardy Vikings, whose strength consisted almost entirely in their large and well constructed ships, the tide of invasion flowed to the west, to the north, to the east, and passing through Cumberland and the territory of the Strath-Clyde Britons it even reached to the eastern parts of Britain, where it met with another current from the North, that of the Danes, with which it easily coalesced, although traces are not wanting of their early encounters in a manner far from friendly. Man, as well as the rest of the islands, seems for the first period either to have been subjected to the Norwegian kings of Dublin, or to have been ruled by several Chieftains of Vikings, who did not adopt the title of kings. In 852 Olav the white, the Amhlabh of the Irish chronicles, descended from the same family as Harold the fairhaired, afterwards King of Norway, conquered Dublin with the adjacent territory, and founded this, the most renowned, most powerful and most lasting Norwegian kingdom in Ireland. Olav was married to Aude, daughter of the mighty and valiant Norwegian baron Ketil Flatnqf (flatnose) from Sogn. This Ketil, it is said in some Sagas (as the Landnama), was sent by King Harold of Norway to chastise some Vikings, who had taken up their abode in the Isles, although previously expelled by the King himself, and having executed his commission, he made him self independent there; according to another and far more probable version of the story (that of the Laxdæla saga), Ketil emigrated from Norway to the Isles, because he was obnoxious to the king, and could not resist him in his own country. The marriage of his daughter with Olav of Dublin, which must have taken place about 850, as their son was a grown a man in 870, is sufficient to show, that Ketil, although perhaps still chiefly resident in Norway, must have been a man of great consequence in those parts long before the King himself went there to expel the Vikings; perhaps even he helped Olav to make his conquests. All the Sagas, in which these events are mentioned, agree that King Harold Hair~fair made himself a great expedition to the Islands near Scotland and Ireland against the Vikings there settled, who continued to infest the seas occasionally even making attacks upon Norway, their mother country, and that, in this expedition, he conquered Shetland (Hjaltland), the Orkneys, the Sudreys (Hebides) and even Man, killing or expelling the Vikings, who were not strong enough to make any serious resistance. From this expedition upwards, which seems to have taken place in the year 870, the later Norwegian kings derived their right or title to these islands, and as even now some stanzas remain of a poem, in which these events were celebrated by the King's chief court poet, who perhaps accompanied his Master on this expedition, there can be no possible doubt of the thing having really taken place. The colonization of Iceland, beginning about this time, and chiefly being effected by powerful Norwegian families, who did not come directly from Norway, but from the Sudreys, where they had lived for some years after their expatriation, and among whom the very Ketil Flatnef here mentioned occupies a prominent place, makes it almost certain that the immediate reason for the second transmigration of these men with their whole families was no other than King Harold's expedition. And consequently, even that colonization bears a strong evidence as to the truth of the ancient tale.
The Orkneys with Shetland King Harold gave as a hereditary Earldom to Earl Ragnwald (Reginald) of More in Norway, whose son, Turf-Einar, was the founder of the illustrious Orkneyan dynasty, which continued in the unbroken male line for 300 years, when female succession brought the Atholl dynasty in from Scotland in its place, which, again, was followed by the Angus dynasty, and this at last by the family of St. Clair, all subsequent dynasties, however, deriving their right from their relation to the original Norwegian line. The Sudreys including no doubt the Isle of Man, he confided to the care of an Earl, named Tryggvi, and, he having been killed, to another Earl named Asbjørn Skerjablesi. It is, however, obvious that the position of these Earls must have been very precarious and dangerous, as they were from Norway, and exposed to incessant attacks from the Vikings. Both of them came also to an untimely death; Tryggvi was first killed, as stated above, then Asbjorn was attacked by two relations of Ketil Flatnef who killed him, captured his wife and daughter, and sold the latter as a slave. There are no traces of King Harold having sent a third Earl to the Islands. Perhaps even the death of Asbjørn Skerjablesi took place when the King was already grown old and not fit for expeditions like the former.
The immediate successors of King Harold did not, as far as we can see, maintain the suzerainity over the remote Sudreys and Man, and it is most probable, that the latter at least formed a part of the dominions of the successors of Olav the white on the Norwegian throne of Dublin, who were unquestionably now the most powerful rulers on these seas. Olav's and Aude's Son, Thorstein the Red, even conquered a part of Scotland, as the Landnama tells us. We can, namely,trace the power and influence of these kings beyond the sea to the coasts of Cumberland, and across the country to Northumberland; where the Danes had made extensive conquests, and a branch of the royal Danish line, descended from the great conqueror Ragnar Lodbrok, had established its throne at York When this branch was extinguished about 920, and the subordinate Danish Chieftains had submitted to Edward, son of king Alfred, the kingdom of York was given in fief by the English kings to princes from Dublin, belonging to the royal race of Olav the white. This, although not expressly stated, is still evident from various reasons. For when Ragnwald (Reginald) probably a son of Guðroðr son of Hardecnut (T c.894) was dead about 924 there appears as his successor a king named Sigtrygg, who, immediately after the accession of Athelstane to the throne, went to him at Tamworth (Jan. 26, 926) made homage to him as his liege vassal, and was married to Athelstane's sister, but died next year, when Athelstane expelled his two sons (as it would seem by a former marriage, or illegitimate) Olav (Anlaf) and Guðroðr (Gúðred), and made himself master of Northumberland; and the Irish annals show, that in the year of 920, just before the appearance of the Sigtrygg here mentioned at York, Sigtrygg, king of Dublin since 917, was expelled from this place; from this coincidence it is therefore to be inferred, that he went over to Northumberland and profited by the disturbances after the extinction of the royal line, and got possession of this country. Moreover, the name of Sigtrygg, being common and characteristic to the royal line of Dublin but foreign to the Danish line of York, there consequently is no great probability that king Sigtrygg's belonged to it, or, if that were really the case, he must at least have been descended from the Dublin Kings on the maternal side. The well-known ecclesiastical Annalist, Mag. Adam of Bremen, says, it is true, that Gúðréd the son of Hardcenut was succeeded by his three sons, Olav, Sigtrygg and Reginald; but his authority is of no weight, as it is evident, that he has known and used the Chronicon Saxonicum, and, in his uncritical way, believed all those kings, who were next mentioned as kings of York, to have been sons of that Gúðréd.
Olav, the son of Sigtrygg, fled to Ireland, but his brother Gúðréd went to Constantine, king of Scotland, and Eugene, lord of Cumberland, soliciting their assistance. Threatened by emissaries from Athelstane, they dared not comply with the wishes of Gúðréd, and he was compelled to depend upon his own resources, supported only by a faithful friend, Thurfred; they besieged York, but did not succeed, shortly afterwards they were taken prisoners and confined in a castle; they escaped, and went to sea, but Thurfred was drowned, and Gúðréd, having met with many misfortunes, chose to throw himself on the mercy of Athelstane, and repaired to his court, where he indeed got a good reception; but only for four days, could, the old Viking stand this quiet life, and "went back to his ships like a fish to the sea." It seems, that the battle of Vinheid, described at large and very spiritedly in the Egils-Saga, is one of the incidents of the feud here mentioned, (only the Saga-author has probably made a little more of it than it really was) and not, as has been believed, the celebrated battle of Brnnanburg, which took place in 938; at least the Egils-Saga itself says distinctly, that the battle of Vinheid was fought shortly after the accession of Athelstane.
Olav the son of Sigtrygg is not the only king of this name at that time appearing in the English and Irish annals, and making war against Athelstane. There was also another Olav, son of the cruel Gúðréd, king of Dublin, who left Dublin some time after the death of his father (934), either expelled by his subjects, or allured by the hope of getting possessions in Northumberland; but the annals here are so meagre and obscure, that in many cases it is impossible to see, which of the two is meant; perhaps even the annalists themselves did not know it. One of these Olafs was married to the daughter of Constantine, king of Scotland, and tried to get possession of Northumberland through his help; and although Constantine had made homage to Athelstane, he was seduced by Olav to shake off his allegiance already in 934, which caused Athelstane to make a great expedition against Scotland. In this war Athelstane was successful, and compelled Constantine to submit anew and give his son as a hostage for his future obedience. Few years after, however, Constantine, as the annalists tell, prevailed on his son in law to attack England, and it is to be inferred from the greatness of the armament, as well as from the importance, which the entries in the old annals evidently assign to these events, and lastly from the Epinicion composed by the English poets to commemorate the victory of Brunanburgh, (inserted at large in the Chronicon Saxonicum), that all the Danish and Norwegian Chiefs in the north of England and south of Scotland, had formed a league to regain their former position in Northumberland, and that they were supported by their brethren from Ireland and the Isles, as well as by Constantine. Certain it is, that the son in law of Constantine had amongst his auxiliaries even his namesake, the other Olav. With 615 ships he landed in the Humber, accompanied by five Kings besides Constantine, and seven Earls. He was, however, totally defeated by Atheistane in the great battle of Brunanburh (938) and the Norwegians, so says the ancient poem, were driven back to Dublin and Ireland.l The return to Dublin of Olav Son of Gúðréd is even mentioned in the Ulster annals; of the other Olav, however, nothing is heard for the next years, which corroborates the opinion stated above, that it was he, who had married the daughter of Constantine, and therefore did not then go to Ireland, but returned to Scotland, where no annals are left to record his arrival. At the death of Athelstane, the annals proceed to tell us, that the Northumbrians again revolted, and took Olav from Ireland to their King; and that Olav was now successful, being supported even by the Archbishop Wulfstan. Both archbishops, Odo of Canterbury and Wulfstan of York negotiated a treaty between Olav and Eadmund, the successor of Athelstane, by which treaty Eadmund ceded to Olav the ancient Danish kingdom north-east of Wætlingastræt, on condition, that Olav should embrace Christianity. Olav was really christened, and Eadmund himself acted as his godfather. Shortly afterwards, Olav died (943), and Eadmund now, it is said, expelled Reginald, the son of Gúðréd, probably the brother of Olav, who had also been christened, as well as Olav the son of Sigtrygg (944); which shows, that this person had now returned to Northumberland, and that it was not he, but Olav of Dublin, who concluded the treaty with Eadmund. Eadmund died in 946, and was succeeded by his brother Eadréd, who went immediately to Northumberland, and received the homage of the Archbishop and the principal Chiefs. Not long time afterwards, however, they rebelled anew, and took Eric, the son of Harold, to be their King. It is evident, that this Eric is no other, than Eric Blood-axe, the son of Harold Fairhair, King of Norway, who was expelled from his reign in the Year of 934. He is said by the Norwegian sagas to have addressed himself immediately to King Athelstane, and to have received from him the kingdom of Northumberland, where he reigned peaceably till the accession of King Edmund, who, it is said, did not like the Norwegians, and intended to give Northumberland to another King, which caused Eric to go away, join some Viking-Kings in Ireland, and in their company to make an attack somewhere on the south of England, where he was killed. The statement of the English annals, as to the events in Northumberland from the reign of Athelstane to the times of King Eadréd, show that the Norwegian account cannot be accurate, and that Eric did not make his appearance in Northumberland till 948, as above stated, and during the reign of Eadréd. Eric, the English annals say, was expelled by the Northumbrians themselves, terrified by the threats of Eadréd; then came Olav Cwaran from Dublin, who seems to be no other person than the Olav Sigtryggson above mentioned, and was likewise made King and afterwards expelled by the Northumbrians, then Eric again returned, but was killed in a battle on the "Stone-moor" (Stanmor) 950. The particulars of this battle, as given by Matthew of Westnlinster, bear still more witness as to the identity of this Eric, Harolds son, with Eric Bloodaxe son of the Norwegian Conqueror. Since that time, there were no northern Kings in Northumberland, but the King gave it as an hereditary Earldom to the heágeréfa Ósulf, by whose treason the death of Eric is said to have been caused.
We have here dwelled at some length upon the history of the kingdom of Northumberland in its connexion with the kingdom of Dublin, because it is evident, that it must somehow, too, be the history of Man, this island, forming the intermediate step between Dublin and Cumberland, being also necessarily connected with either of the two. This is still more probable, as, since the downfall of the kingdom of York, we begin to meet with independent Kings of Man or of the Isles, still, however, closely connected with those of Dublin; and among the names of these Kings, we find Godréd (Gúðréd), Harold, Sigtrygg, Olav, all of them belonging to the lines of Kings now mentioned, and showing them almost with a certainty to have been their descendants or near relations. Olav Cwaran, being expelled from Northumberland for the last time, seems to have had his chief residence for some years either in Man or in the Isles, while from time to time he made expeditions to Ireland waiting for an opportunity to regain some of his former possessions there. In this, at least, he succeeded, being mentioned by the Ulster annals in the year of 969 as lord of Dublin, after which time he continued in the possession of it till -- having sustained a terrible defeat by the supreme King of Ireland, Melachlin (Malsechnail), and been compelled to deliver all his captives and hostages, as well as to resign the yearly tribute, which he had hitherto levied from the Nial tribe, and to pay a great contribution of cattle and money -- he felt so depressed that he resolved to go to Jona on a pilgrimage, there to do penance for his sins. Perhaps even he abdicated before he went away, meaning to pass the remainder of his life among the holy men; he died, however, in the same year as he came there (980). This resolution of his, after all, shows that there must also have been a connexion of some kind between him and the Isles. About this time, there appears in the ancient annals as Lord of the Isles a King or Chieftain, designed by the odd name of Maccus Son of Harold, which, indeed, seems to be nothing more than a misconstruction of the Irish "Mac Arailt", i.e. "the son of Harold", his real name being consequently unknown. This "Mac Harold" conquered Anglesey, from which conquest, however, he was driven shortly afterwards. In the year of 973, he is named among the eight Kings from the whole island of Britain, who then made their homage to King Eádgár at Chester, and rowed his barge to and from Church. In the next year, he occupied the fair island of Inniscathaig, situated in the mouth of Shannon, where he robbed the tomb of St. Senan, and delivered from captivity the norwegian King of Limerick, named Ivar. On this expedition, it is said, the "Lagmanns" of the Isles went along with him. Now the word "Lagman" ("lögmaðr", "lagmaðr", as. "lahmon") literally signifies "a man of the law", and afterwards in Norway, as in Sweden, was the title of the Chief judges. Here, however, it is used as the peculiar title of some of the chieftains, and perhaps we may conclude from this, that these chieftains were invested with a special judiciary power. It is worth while here to remark, that afterwards, in the very family of the Insular kings, and most probably of this "Mac Harold" himself, the name "Lagman" (Lögmaðr) was used as a noun proper, being the name of one King at least, as we shall see below. This may, perhaps, be explained thus, that the natives of the Isles, hearing the title of "lawman" bestowed upon a Chieftain, fancied it to be his real name, and adopted it as such themselves, whence again it found its way as such back to the Norwegian conquerors, who intermarried with the native Families, and, as usual in Norway, often happened to give to one of their sons the name of his maternal grandfather. There is another instance of the same thing, throwing a very interesting light upon this matter. It is well known, that the Norwegian name "Sumarliðí" was (and is perhaps still, as corrupted into "Somerled") very frequent among the inhabitants of the Western Isles and Shores of Scotland, while in some of the Irish annals, we find the Norwegian vikings or a peculiar kind of them, called "Sumarliðí" ("the Somerleds") as if this were a noun appellative, which is rather adequate in itself, for "Sumarliðí", composed of "Sumar" i. e. summer, and "liðí", (a person who wanders about, from the verb "liða", to wander, As. "líðan") signifies "Summer-Wanderer", a very proper name for a pirate, who went out on his expeditions every summer, spending the winter at home, or in a friendly port. The Norwegians had also and have yet another name parallel to "Sumarlið", viz. "Vetrliði", the first part of which is the word vetr, i. e. Winter; literally translated, it means "Winter-Wanderer", and is used as a noun appellative to design a bear, who has gone to take his winter-sleep. It seems very likely that also Sumarliðí originally has been used in the same manner, to designate the bear, roving about in the summer, and that the skalds or poets have since applied both as proper designations for the Vikings, either wandering about for prey in the summer, or taking to their snug hearths in the winter, but that, as it happened so often in Norway and Iceland, the general denomination became a surname for certain persons, and this surname again in succeeding generations the real and only name of descendants called after them.
From this digression, which may not be superfluous for the better understanding of what follows, we return to the "Mac Harold" above mentioned. For three successive years he maintained himself at Inniscathaig, till, in the year 976, he was attacked and killed along with his two sons, by the celebrated Brian Boroimhe, whose name now begins to appear in the Irish annals. Ivar of Limerick, who showed his gratitude to ,,Mac Harold" by assisting him, however in vain, was defeated and put to flight. As King of Man and the Isles there appears now a Godred (Gudríðr) Son of Harold; which patronymical designation makes it very probable, that he was a brother of the former ,,Mac Harold". Seeing, that the names of Harold and Godred occur very frequently in the royal line of Limerick, and that Ivar of Limerick was so closely connected with "Mac Harold", we think it very likely, that the royal line of Man was a branch of the same. Godred is frequently mentioned in the Sagas, as well as in the Irish and British annals. In 979, he supported the Welsh Prince Constantine the Black against his cousin Howel, but was twice defeated with considerable loss; the third time, however, he came in the opportune hour, when Meredith, the son of Owen, had obtained the dominion after great struggles. Profiting by the state of exhaustion, in which Meredith found himself, he attacked Anglesey, slaughtered 2000 men, captured the brother of Meredith, and had his eyes put out. The terrified Meredith fled to Cardigan, leaving Godred, it would seem, in the possession of Anglesey. His success, however, was not of long duration, a more powerful star having risen on the western horizon. This was Sigurd (Siward), Earl of Orkney and Caithness, son of Earl Hloduer (Lewis) by an Irish princess, and great grandson of the famous Turf-Einar, the third Earl and founder of the dynasty. Sigurd, having succeeded to the Earldom in 980, at his father's demise, aspired, as it seems, to nothing less than the subjugation of all islands, coasts or lands in the West, where the Norwegians had made settlements. Selecting his warriors from different parts of the North, he made every year attacks upon Scotland, the Sudreys, and Ireland, and succeeded, not only in keeping Caithness, which the Maormor of Moray, Finnlaich (the father of the famous Macbeth) strove in vain to take, but ultimately in conquering and possessing for a time Suther land, Ross, Moray and Argyll.
The Isles or Sudreys proper, which, shortly before his accession, are stated to have paid tribute direct to Norway, came very soon under his sway, and were governed by a tributary Earl, called Gilli in the Sagas, who resided in Colonsay, and in 989 married his sister. In 982 Sigurd made a successful attack upon the isle of Man, and extorted from the inhabitants a heavy ransom, to be paid in pure silver, of which, however, only a small part came into his hands, because the collectors, having suffered shipwreck on an uninhabited island near the Irish coast, could not get away otherwise, than by purchasing from an icelandic merchant, coming from Dublin, the boat of his ship for the greater part of the collected silver. That Godred the son of Harold, who pretended to be King of Man and all the Isles, would necessarily sooner or later come into conflict with Sigurd or his vassals, is not surprising. In the year 987, after having fought asuccessful, but very bloody, battle with afleet of Danish pirates, who had attacked Jona on Christmass night, and killed the Abbot with 15 monks, was himself, in his turn, attacked and vanquished by a little fleet, under the command of Earl Sigurd's men. In 989 he was again vanquished by the same warriors, and lost his son Donald in the battle. Shortly afterwards, before the end of the year, he was killed by the dalriadic Scots, according to the Irish annals.
For a long time afterwards Earl Sigurd seems to have been in undisputed possession of the Sudreys, yet, as it is distinctly stated, tributary to the powerful ruler of Norway, Earl Hácon, as long almost as this prince lived. Beyond the annual tribute, however, no other sign or service of vassalage seems to have been enforced, and Sigurd ruled in fact as an independent and powerful monarch. He strengthened himself greatly by marrying a daughter of the Scottish King Malcolm (of the Moray dynasty, nephew of Finnlaich). A little before the death of Earl Hácon, he was unlucky enough, to fall in with King Olav Tryggvason, in the bay of Ronaldsvoe, when on his way from Dublin, to get the Norwegian crown, who now availed himself of the opportunity -- Sigurd being the weaker part -- to take the Earl prisoner, and restored him to liberty only on condition, that he swore him fealty as his liege subject, and embraced Christianity with all his men. Olav, however, did not reign for more than 5 years; after his fall in the battle of Swalder (A. C. 1000), Norway was divided among the victors (the Kings of Sweden and Denmark, and Earl Eric, Son of Earl Hácon), and as there is no mention to be found of Sigurd's having acknowledged the superiority of any of these princes, it is very likely that during this interregnum he ruled as an independent sovereign; his brother in law, the Earl of the Sudreys, continuing on the best terms with him, and, consequently, doubtless paying him tribute every year. The interregnum ended by the accession of Olav, the son of Harold, afterwards St. Olav, to the Norwegian crown in 1015, but shortly before that time, Earl Sigurd fell in the great battle of Clontarf near Dublin (on the 23 of April, 1014), against Brian Boroimhe. He left four sons, three begotten before his marriage with the Scottish princess, now full-grown men; the fourth, Thorfinn, grand-son of the Scottish King, still a child. Those three divided Orkney and Shetland between themselves; but no mention is made, on this occasion, of the Sudreys. It may be, that Earl Gille continued in his allegiance even to the sons of Sigurd; it may also be probable, that King Cnut, who claimed for himself the right to the Norwegian crown, even tried to enforce the obedience of the Sudreys. It is told in a very old abridgment of the Norwegian history, written about 1180, only 166 years after the death of Earl Sigurd, that when King Olav, on his arrival in Norway, captured Earl Hácon, son of Eric, nephew of King Cnut, he made him swear, that he would never return to Norway, and gave him the Sudreys, and assisted him to establish _his power there. The last is not true, as far as regards Olav, but it is not unlikely, that King Cnut may have helped Earl Hácon to get possession of the Isles, especially as it is certain, that Earl Hácon, when he made his last fatal voyage to Norway in the winter 1029-30, went down and was drowned in the Pentland firth, which seems to imply, that he did not come from the eastern parts of England, but from the West.
Be this, however, as it may, there can be no doubt, that Thorfinn, Earl Sigurd's fourth son, who, like his father, became one of the most powerful princes in those parts, extended also his rule to the Sudreys. The Orkneyinga Saga says so expressly. Outliving his elder brothers, he became the Lord of Orkney and Shetland; Caithness was given him by his maternal grand-father, King Malcolm Mac Malbrigid, and after the death of Malcolm in 1029, he sustained a successful war with King Malcolm Mac Kenneth, of the southern dynasty, conquered Sutherland and Ross, and made himself lord of Galloway, in the widest sense of this denomination, viz. from Solway to Carrick, where he resided for long periods, and whence he made successful inroads, sometimes on Cumberland, the English possession of Duncan, King Malcolm's grandson and future successor, sometimes upon Ireland, of which he is said to have conquered a part. As lord of Galloway, it was very convenient for Thorfinn, as it is stated. to make frequent expeditions to Ireland and the Sudreys, and he might easily maintain his superiority over at least a part of the latter. It cannot but have contributed greatly to the power of Thorfinn, that in 1040 the famous Macbeth, son of Finnlaich, established himself on the scottish throne, having killed the above mentioned Duncan in a battle; we might even take it for granted, that Thorfinn lent his aid to his kinsman Macbeth, and was subsequently rewarded with new extensive possessions; indeed, Thorfinn according to the Orkneyinga Saga, possessed, besides the Sudreys and part of Ireland, not less than nine Earldoms in Scotland (most likely Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, Moray, Buchan, Atholl, Lorn, Argyll, Galloway), and it has been all but proved by a modern author who combines a rare extent of knowledge with no less sagacity, that what is called the dominion of Macbeth in Scotland was in reality the sway or influence exercised by Earl Thorfinn and the Norwegians of Orkney. Afterwards when Malcolm Ceanmor, the Son of Duncan, aided by his relation, Earl Sigurd of Northumberland, vanquished Macbeth (1054), and drove him back towards the North, where at last he was killed in the battle of Lumphanan (1057). Thorfinn likewise seems to have met with no inconsiderable reverses, nay, there is even good reason to believe, that he took part in the battle of 1054 (which was fought somewhere in Lothian or Fife), and lost there a son, named Dolgfinn. Seeing, that Malcolm, no doubt by means of continual aid from England, was enabled even to crush Macbeth's successor Lulach of Moray, likewise a relation of Thorfinn, and (1058) to establish himself firmly on the throne, we may infer, that Thorfinn shared the fate of his relatives, and was compelled to yield at least his possessions in the South of Scotland. But how far he lost also the Sudreys, or his part thereof, it is impossible to say with anything like certainty. We learn from the Irish annals, compared with the Welsh and Cornish ones, that in the year 1058 King Harold of Norway sent a fleet under the command of his son Magnus, with men from the Orkneys, Sudreys and Dublin to attack the western part of England, but without success. From this it would appear to, that Thorfinn, feeling himself too weak opposite the united force of Malcolm and the English, applied to his lord paramount, King Harold, for aid; and it would appear, that then, at least, the Sudreys formed still a part of Thorfinn's dominions. The Norwegian prince Magnus, a near relation to Thorfinn's wife lngibjorg, being then only a child, and consequently not fit to command in person, it is to be supposed that be was sent partly because of this very relationship, partly in order to be proclaimed King in the countries which were to be conquered. Although this expedition was not successful, as far as regards England, we must, however, suppose, that the Norwegian superiority was maintained at least in the Isles. The strife between Thorfinn and Malcolm no doubt continued till the death of the former (1064), when his widow Ingebjorg, the mother of his two young Sons and Successors Paul and Erlend, married Malcolm, which evidently indicates, that a peace must have been concluded. That the young Earls continued to keep the Sudreys, seems, therefore, most likely; this, at least, is the most natural way to account for the appearance of Godred Crovan, as we learn hereafter, in the Norwegian army at Stanfordbridge.
Haraldus Harphagre - This is the powerful King Harold just mentioned, who appears under the erroneous surname of "Harfager" in all English chronicles, where he is mentioned, even as early as in the almost contemporary entries in Chronieum Saxonicum. The surname of "hárfagri" (fair-haired) did not belong to him, but to his ancestor, Harold founder of the Norwegian kingdom (853--933) who got the name on account of his beautiful yellow hair. The younger Harold, however, the one here mentioned, was called "harðráði" - the hard ruler - because he ruled with a strong hand. The Angles misled by the similarity of the sound, confounded both appellations. Of Harolds expedition to England and the battle of Stanfordbridge (Sept. 25. 1066) little needs to be said here, the particulars being sufficiently known from English Chronicles as well as from Norwegian Sagas. Among the vassals of Harold, who were obliged to furnish him with auxiliary troops and even to participate in the combat,were the above mentioned young Earls of Orkney, Paul and Erlend.
Godredus cognomento Orowan filius Haraldi nigri de Ysland] Godred, the founder of the royal dynasty of Man, appears here at once, nothing further being said of his ancestors or of his origin than that he was the son of Harold the black "of Ysland". There can, however, be very little doubt, that in aspiring subsequently to the crown of Man, and really making himself king of the Island with its appendages, he vindicated only what he regarded as his hereditary right. If he had not belonged to a royal line, or if his ancestors had not enjoyed the title of King, it would have been almost impossible, according to the feelings or opinions of those days, that he should have ventured to assume it. The title of King, among the northern, nay, generally among the German tribes, was in itself strictly hereditary; it did not even cling to, or rest upon the possession of lands, but was a mere personal distinction; the word in itself, kon-ungr, As. cyn-ing, designates only "a man of family" (kon or kg/n, As. cyn, Got. kuni). Therefore even the powerful Earl Hácon, who ruled over the greater part of Norway, and had 16 Earls under himself, did never presume to decorate himself with the royal title; he belonged to an "Earl's-line", not to a "King's-line", and must accordingly acquiesce in the title of Earl. Taking it, consequently, for granted, that Godred descended from a royal family, and that his ancestors were kings, we think it very probable, nay, almost certain, that his grandfather was no other than the above mentioned Godred son of Harold, who was killed in 989. In those times it was a rule pretty generally observed among the northern tribes, as it is still in many parts of Norway, that the grandson got the name of the grandfather, and this well known fact affords very often a great clue to the determination of genealogies. Now, Godred being son of Harold and having himself a son called Harold, was, likewise no doubt, a grandson of another Godred, son of Harold; and the time, in which this supposed grandfather must have lived, coincides entirely with that just indicated. Munch, p. 56., so that there can be little doubt of their identity. Godred the elder had accordingly, as we believe, two sons, Donald, who was killed in 989, and, having a Gaelic name which was not usual in the family, seems to have been a bastard, born before his father's marriage; and Harold the father of Godred Crovan, no doubt born in wedlock, and heir to his title and estates, but younger. Harold, the father of Godred Crovan, is called "Haraldus niger de Ysland" in the Chronicle. This name, "Ysland", has been construed by some interpreters as being a blunder for "Ireland", which, however, is not very probable, Ireland, being throughout the whole book always styled Ybernia. We will not utterly deny the possibility of perhaps Iceland being meant, as it would in itself be not at all unlikely, that Harold the black, after his father's death, might have retired to Iceland, as so many other Norwegian warriors from those parts did, and that his son Godred, watching every opportunity for regaining the lands of his ancestors, stepped forth to follow King Harold on his expedition. However, seing that the epitheton "de Ysland" stands here evidently as a territorial designation, but not as a mere indication of the country from whence Harold or Godred came, we are rather inclined to think, that it means neither Ireland nor Iceland, but the island of Isla, which in other places of the book is called Yle, but might for once, through a blunder or inconsequence of the writer, have been called "Ysland". It is not to be overlooked, that Godred died in the island of Isla, which may seem to involve, that he generally resided there, and that it was his paternal domain. If this be right, he appeared then, perhaps, among the followers of Harold as a vassal either of the King himself or of the Orkneyan Earls. -- Godred the Son of Sytric (i.e. Sigtryggr), who reigned in Man, when Godred Crovan came there, seems, to judge from his patronymic name, to have belonged to the dynasty of Dublinian kings; perhaps even he was himself King of Dublin. The Irish annals say, that when Diarmid, king of Leinster, (A. Ch. 1052) had vanquished and put to flight the king of Dublin, Eachmargath (in the Sagas called Margaðr), son of Ragnvald (Reginald), he was for some time Lord of Dublin, together with his son Murchad, who made the Island of Man tributary (A. C11. 1060), having defeated "Mac Reginald" (the son of Ragnvald). After the fall of Diarmid, however, in 1072, we find on the royal throne of Dublin one Godred, "grandson of Ragnvald" who died in 1075, and after him another Godred, called "Mananagh" (he of Man), who ruled till 1094, and died in 1095, being, as we shall see, no other person than Godred Crovan. Now it seems scarcely to admit of any doubt, that the first mentioned Godred, grandson of Ragnvald, was no other person, than the Godred son of Sytrie in our Chronicle, and that consequently, the anonymous "Son of Ragnvald" who was defeated by Murchad in 1060, was Sytric or Sigtrygg, the father of Godred. It must be supposed, that Godred, having hereditary right to Dublin, returned thither immediately after the fall of Diarmid, the usurpator. To be sure, the Chr. of Man assign to the death of Godred the year 1051, which, as the battle of Stanfordbridge is said to have taken place in 1047, ought to signify 1070. Yet we have already had instances enough to prove, that the years of Christ given in the earlier part of the Chronicle, are generally erroneous, and must be corrected by comparison with other statements. Now, as Godred Crovan (as will be seen hereafter) died in 1095, and our Chronicle states expressly, that he reigned over Man for 16 years from the time of the conquest, this event must have taken place in 1079 or 1080, not, as our Chronicle has it, in 1074 or 1075 (signified by 1056). Here, therefore, is a miscalculation of four (or rather 23), or five (24) years, and this difference added to 1070 (1051), in which our Chr. place the death of Godred, make exactly 1074 or 1075. Moreover, there exists still a letter, written in A. C. 1074 by Godred "rex Hiberniae" to Archbishop Landfrane of Canterbury, requesting the consecration of Gillepatrick, elected bishop of Dublin after the demise of Duncan, and as this Godred cannot possibly be Godred Crovan, it must have been Godred the son of Sigtrygg, who, accordingly, did still live in 1074. (In the Cronicles of Ulster there is subsequently an entry for the Year 1087, purporting that the "grandsons of Ragnvald", accompanied by the Son of the King of Ulster, went to Man with a fleet, but were killed. These must have been the brothers of Godred, and perhaps even his son, the exiled Fingall, of whom no more is said in our Chronicle, although there is no mention made of his being killed, when Godred Crovan conquered the Island. Very likely, therefore, he retired to Ireland, his proper home, from whence he afterwards made the unsuccessful expedition just mentioned.
All these facts, however, seem sufficiently to prove, that during the interval between the death of Godred the son of Harold, in 989, and the accession of Godred Crovan, in 1079 or 1080, the Island of Man must have been an appendage of the Norwegian kingdom of Dublin, whereas it would appear, that the Isles chiefly belonged to the Earls of Orkney.
As to the tale of the manner, in which Godred Crovan conquered Man, and became the real owner of the soil, it seems very likely, that this is a kind of anachronism, and that tradition, not supported by authentic records, have assigned to the Godred of 1080, what, if, after all, it was a real fact, belonged to another Godred of much earlier times, the hero of popular legends, who was identified with the Godred of later days, because the historical traditions in the Island itself did not reach farther backward. A legendary character pervades the whole narrative. What especially seems to remind us of an age much earlier than 1080, is the account of Godred's having acquired the personal property of the soil, excluding the hereditary rights of the inhabitants. The same tale almost is told of the conqueror of Norway, Harold harfagri, who is said to have appropriated to himself all udal (óðal, hereditary lands), so that henceforth the possessors of lands did not retain them in their own right, but had them only in farm or fief from the King. Something like it is even told of the Conqueror-Kings of Denmark in the 9th century, and of Einar, Earl of Orkney, who lived at the same time; indeed, there can be no doubt that the same or similar legends only with local variations, existed all over the German world, where kingdoms or lordships had been founded by conquest, in which case the property of the soil always, or generally, was allotted to the conqueror. Now, as the conquest of the Isle of Mn by the Norwegians must have taken place in the 9th century, it is also more likely, that the acquisition of the dominium glebæ by the Conqueror must have taken place then, than afterwards. It is even not improbable that the surname of Crovan belonged to that Conqueror, and not to the Godred of 1080, only the Inhabitants of Man, knowing that Godred Crovan was their first Norwegian king, but not remembering any older than Godred son of Harold the black, identified this Godred with the hero of the legend. If we are not mistaken, it is, or has at least been usual in the isle of Man itself, to assign to Godred Crovan some of the oldest pagan monuments without inscriptions,found in the Island, greatly anterior to the times of the Christian Godred here spoken of; and this seems to prove, that the national legends of Man always regarded Godred Crovan asrepresenting the oldest possible times of the Norwegian settlement in the Island. Even what is told of the awe, which he is said to have inspired the Scots, bears evidently a true legendary character. Putting aside, therefore, in this manner, from the history of Godred, as it is told here, what seems to us not strictly historical, we retain as undisputed the fact of his having conquered Man, and the subsequent conquest of Dublin dtc. which is fully confirmed by Irish annals.
The death of Godred the Conqueror is expressly stated in the Irish annals to have taken place in 1095. In the Norwegian saga of King Hacon IV, the accuracy (if which is amply proved, it is said that King Magnus took the Isles from Godred, which shows, that Godred must needs have outlived at least the first expedition of Magnus to the Western Islands, which took place in 1093-94. Consequently, the final conquest of Man by Godred, which is stated in the Chronicle itself to have been effected about 16 years before his death, must have taken place in 1079 or 1080, not in 1075 as the Chronicle has it, that is to say, when the 19 years are added, of which all the numbers, given in the codex from A. C. 1046 downwards till 1093 are shortcoming.
The account here given is neither complete nor accurate. It is obvious, that in the space between 1095, the real death-year of Godred, and 1098, when King Magnus made his great expedition to the West, there can be no place for the seven years of Lagman's reign, and the subsequent, however short, reigns of Donald and Ingemund. The fault must be corrected partly through the Irish annals, partly through the Saga, which likewise being faulty in this point, are in their turn to be rectified by means of the indications contained in those scraps of poems composed by contemporaneous scalds or poets, which, as usually, are quoted in the text itself to corroborate the narrative, but which even the author of the Saga has not understood rightly. The Saga of King Magnus does not speak of any expedition to the West, undertaken by this warlike king previous to that in 1098, while it can be sufficiently proved, that he undertook one already in the latter part of 1093, from which he returned in 1094. In the first instance, one of those poetical fragments just mentioned speak of King Magnus getting hold of Lagman and keeping him for some time in captivity, which was impossible in 1098, Lagman being then dead and gone; nay, the narrative of the text itself, founded upon these poems at large-and verbal traditions, speaks of Godred the father of Lagman in terms implying that he was still living, when Magnus captured his son. This shows, that the first expedition of Magnus at all events took place before 1095. Secondly, Fordun, narrating the events immediately succeeding the death of King Malcolm Ceanmhor in the month of November 1093, says that the brother of Malcolm, Donald Bane, who had resided for a long time in the Isles, was now proclaimed king by a powerful party, and appearing at the head of an army, supported by the Norwegian king, attacked Edinburgh, and got possession of the crown for six mon hs, when he was driven away by Duncan, the son of Malcolm. These particulars, here mentioned by Fordun, must be looked upon as singularly trustworthy, as they are mostly taken from the annals composed by Thurgot, Prior in Durham and bishop of St. Andrews, who was an eye-witness of all these events, and, moreover, had resided for a long time in Norway at the court of King Olav Kyrri, predecessor and father of King Maguus, who therefore must have been personally known to him, and was no doubt always observed by him with an interest excluding all possibility of any mistake. Thus it is evident, that King Magnus was present in Scotland at the head of a fleet or an army immediately after the death of Malcolm, which shows, that his first expedition to the West took place towards the end of 1093. His father having died on the 22 Sept. 1093, it could not have been undertaken before that time. The author of the Saga, however, not being aware of the true series of the events, blends both expeditions, that of 1093 and that of 1098, into one, and quotes the verses illustrating the former promiscuously with others referring to the latter, so that it is even sometimes impossible or at least difficult to tell, what ought to be assigned to the expedition of 1093, and what belongs to that of 1098. So much, however, is sure enough, that whenever we find Lagman or his father mentioned, we may safely refer the particulars therewith connected to the first expedition. This question being thus sufficiently settled, we return to the seven years assigned by our Chronicle to the Reign of Lagman. If this number is not altogethera mistake, it is evident from what we have just seen, that the period of seven years must begin during, the life-time of Godred, and Lagman have been his co-regent or under-king. And indeed, the Saga seems to indicate something of just this very kind. It is said here, that Godred had appointed Lagman his lieutenant in and defender of the northern islands, and that King Magnus, striving to get hold of him, persecuted him from island to island, until he caught him near the Isle of Skye, being on the point to cross over to Ireland, and kept him in chains for a While. Here it is impossible to construe the words as if Godred were already dead; he is evidently understood by the author to be still alive. And indeed, as Godred, according to the Irish annals, was so much occupied with his affairs in Ireland, and no doubt even regarded Dublin as his principal seat, it was quite natural that he should entrust his other kingdom, or at least the northern part thereof, to his eldest son and heir presumptive. It is likewise not to be doubted, that Lagman intended going to Ireland because his father was there. Even some more light may be thrown on these things from other sources. Ordericus Vitalis, who generally is very accurate and trustworthy, says that the reason, why King Magnus made the great expedition in 1098, was this, that having made a treaty with the Irish King Muireertach, and even married his daughter, he found that Muircertach played him false, wherefore he also sent him his daughter back, and afterwards in person went to the West with a powerful fleet.2 Although this certainly was not the sole motive, why Magnus went away, yet there is no reason to question the facts themselves; the treaty here spoken of must accordingly have taken place before 1098, that is to say, during the first expedition in 1093--94. And why was this treaty made? The Irish annals explain it. Muircertach, grandson of Brian Boromy, who had succeeded his father Tirdelvagh in 1080 as King of Munster, was engaged in a fierce war with his rival to the supreme power, Donald O'Lochlan, King of Ulster. In 1094 the war raged in the neighborhood of Dublin, and among the princes who fought on Donald's side was Godred, who had brought no less than 90 ships. Muircertachwas at first completely routed, but afterwards returning, he got the upperhand over Godred, and expelled him from Dublin. Remembering that just at the same time King Magnus was with his fleet near the coasts of Ireland, we are justified in making the combination, that Muircertach sought and obtained his alliance against Godred, and that Magnus took Lagman prisoner chiefly to have a hold upon the father, who might thereby be so much easier compelled to resign his lordship of Dublin to Muircertach. We have, moreover, an authority in the Saga itself for King Magnus having helped Muircertach to take Dublin, forasmuch as it is said, that this was done in 1102, on the last expedition of Magnus to the West. But as it is sure enough, that the capture of Dublin by Muircertach did already take place in 1094, and it has been sufficiently shown, that the author of the Saga sometimes assigns to one of the three expeditions what belongs to another, we are fully entitled to believe, that the same error has been committed here, and that the Author, in speaking of this event, is not mistaken as to the fact, but only as to the time, which was 1094, not 1102. What became of Lagman, the Saga does not tell, but finding him afterwards as King of the Isles, and remembering the statement in the Saga of King Hacon, that King Magnus conquered the Isles from Godred, we must needs guess, that he was given free on condition, that his father not only ceded Dublin to Muircertach, but even, together with Lagman, did homage to the Norwegian King, and acknowledged him as their liege lord. It is said in the annals of Ulster, that Godred died in the year after his expulsion from the plague, or, according to another translation, of a broken heart. If this be the right one, his grief may have been caused partly by his reverses in Ireland, partly by the feuds between his sons. For from what is explained above, it would appear, that the rebellion of Harold against his brother Lagman had begun during the life-time of Godred; the seven years of Lagman's reign being no doubt to be reckoned from 1089 or perhaps even 1088, the very year, when the war broke out between Muircertach and Donald. Lagman's death on his voyage to Jerusalem being known at home in 1096 or 1097 (the year 1075 or 1095 given in the Chronicle cannot possibly be admitted, being the death-year of Godred) he must have left his country early in 1096, and cannot have gone very far, when the death overtook him. It was no doubt his intention to join the Crusaders, now flocking together on their first expedition under Peter of Amiens. The catastrophe with his brother Harold did probably occur in the later part of 1095, immediately after the death of Godred.
The name Tadc, Tadg or Teige is a not uncommon lrish name, and appears especially to have occurred in the O'Brian family. The youngest son of Brian Boromy, who was present at his death, and according to the Njala Saga, lost his hand by the same blow, which cut off the head of his father, was called "Tadg", in the Saga "Taðkr"; and it is not improbable that the Dompnald or Donald, who was sent to Man by Muircertach, himself the grandson of Brian, was a descendant of Tadg, or at least a kinsman of the O'Brians. That the Manxmen should apply to Miurcertach for a governor, seems to prove, that King Magnus must have entrusted him with a kind of plenipotentiary power or lieutenancy during his absence, which trust, however, Muircertach must be supposed not to have kept conscientiously.
Ingemundus. Of this Ingemund not the least is told in the Saga. It is not even possible to guess, who he was, or to what family he belonged.
Fundata est abbatia Sanctæ Mariæ Cystersii. This entry, as well as the next, about the capture of Antiochia and the apparition of the comet, is taken from the Chronicle of Melrose. The rest, however, including the definition of a Comet, is original. The battle here spoken of between the inhabitants of Man seems rather to have been the effect of an attempt on the part of the native Manxmen to shake off the yoke of the Norwegians, than a fighting between northern or southern Islanders, the name of the opposite chiefs, Earl Other or Ottar, and Macmaras, the former being a Norwegian one, the latter a Celtic. The word "Aquilonares" ought perhaps to be translated, not "the inhabitants of North-Man", but "the Northmen".
It is true, that King Magnus made his second Expedition to the West in 1098, and in so far the Chronicle is right, but it errs greatly in speaking of one expedition only, and of the fall of King Magnus, which did not occur till 1103, on his third expedition, as if it happened on his second one. The whole entry comprises accordingly a space of 6 years, from 1098 till 1103 inclusive. Nor is the motive here assigned to his enterprise the true one, as everybody may see, even without farther explanation; it may have been a legend or tradition, current in Man, but even this tradition seems to have been derived from what is told in the Saga of the Grandfather of Magnus, King Harold, that on the eve of his sailing for England in 1066, he had the shrine of St. Olav opened, cut the nails and the hair of the Saint, and having re-closed and locked the shrine threw the key in to the sea; it is expressly added, that the Shrine was not opened for the next 180 years, so that it is impossible that King Magnus could have done it. The real motive, why Magnus issued forth on this expedition, was evidently, as the Saga tells, to secure his power in the Orkneys and the western islands. We learn farther from Ordericus Vitalis, as we have seen, that Muircertach bad broken the treaty; and the troubles in the Isle of Man just mentioned might in themselves alone have afforded sufficient reason for Magnus to revisit that part of his dominions. Moreover, we learn from Fordun, that in 1097, Eadgar, the son of King Malcolm appeared in Scotland with an English army, and made fierce war upon Donald Bane, the protegé of King Magnus, who had reascended the throne in 1095, after the fall of Duncan, and this war, which ended with the captivity of Donald, was not brought to an issue, when Magnus arrived to Scotland in 1098 it is therefore very probable, that Donald Bane had implored the aid of Magnus, and was the chief inducement for the latter to go.
The fleet of King Magnus is stated by Ordericus to have contained 60 shipss, while our Saga gives the number of 160. This is to be explained in this way, that the total number of ships collected in Norway Was 160, but that the effective force, with which he arrived at Man and Anglesey, consisted only of 60. The fleets of the Norwegian kings in those days were formed of two distinct parts, the leidangr ships, i.e. those furnished and manned by the population at large, distributed for this purpose in certain districts, and those belonging to the King himself and his barons; the former being generally of the smaller kind, and the crew not obliged to serve for more than 2 months a year, did not count for much, but the chief and really formidable force consisted of the other part, being large, well built ships, strongly manned by exquisite, well trained warriors, and obliged to serve for an indefinite time. Generally therefore we find, that on expeditions of longer duration the leiðangr-ships soon returned home, leaving the royal and baronial ships alone to fight out the war; and the average number of these ships was exactly sixty. So it therefore must also have been the case with the fleet of King Magnus, that shortly after his arrival to the West the leiðangr part returned, while the main force, being sixty sails strong, remained. The Saga gives us the names of several barons, who accompanied the King, we learn even, that he brought with him his son Sigurd, then only eight years of age, in order to appoint him his lieutenant in those parts. The Chronicle is right in saying that King Magnus subdued the Orkneys, as we learn from the Saga, that at his arrival he took the reigning Earls Paul and Erlend, prisoners, and sent them to Norway, whence they did not return while he carried with him the sons of Erlend, Magnus (afterwards Saint Magnus), and Erling; the Earls must therefore either have shown symptoms of disaffection, or the King simply have wanted these possessions for himself or for his son. In the Saga, Magnus is said next to have attacked and ravaged Lewis, when the inhabitants were either massacred or put to flight, no doubt in retaliation of what was done to Ingemund; even Uist, Skye, Tirce and Mull underwent the same treatment. Jona, however, was left unhurt, because of its sanctity, and the Saga tells, that the King opened the little church of Columkill (now St. Oran's Chapel) and was about to enter, but stopped on the threshold, locked the door, and forbade anybody to enter it afterwards. It is added, that since that time it was not opened, which, however, is only to be understood of the period before 1220, when this account appears to have been written. From Jona he went to Isla, and from there to Cantire, ravaging as well the coasts of Ireland as those of Scotland; perhaps it was at this period, that he sent the Irish princess back to her father. Ordericus says, that he found the coasts of lreland too well defended, to effect any great achievements, the annals of Ulster say even, that three Norwegian ships were taken by the Ultonians, and the men killed.
Cumque applicuisset ad insulam sancti Patricii... nuncupantur'. This seems to imply, that the place named Sandvad (vadum arenosum), where the battle was fought between the inhabitants of Man themselves, was situated in the neighborhood of Holm Peel. That Magnus, as it is stated here, should have chosen Man for his own future residence, is impossible, and only an exaggeration; he destined it probably to be the residence of his son and vassal King Sigurd, and not for himself as the author may have supposed. What, however, is said about the fortresses erected by Magnus seems to be true, firstly, because these fortresses bore still his name, when this part of the chronicle was composed, viz. about 1260, secondly, because we find, that King Magnus erected similar forts at other conquered places, which he desired to secure, for instance at Kvaldensey in the lake of Wener in Sweden, against which he made war in 1100 and 1101. This fortress was chiefly of wood, a kind of block-house; as even those in Man seem to have been, as it is expressly stated, that the Galwc.gians were pressed to cut wood and carry timber for their construction. It is no doubt the same fact, to which Ordericus Vitalis alludes, saying that King Magnus got people to settle on the island, as the population was extremely thinned, and gave them houses and other necessary things, and that likewise he visited some of the other Islands, and arranged large settlements there, occupying himself with these affairs for several years, in order to strengthen his power. It may be that not a few of his warriors, pleased w1th the fertility and amenity of the Island, settled there permanently, and that new colonists from Norway were sent for and encouraged, but the houses here mentioned were no doubt chiefly the fortresses. If quite a new colonization had taken place in the large scale, which Orderic seems to indicate, the Saga would certainly not have been silent about it.
Ad Moiniam insulam &c. This affair, and the combat with the both Hugos, is mentioned also in the Sagas, as well as by most of the English annalists, who narrated the events of these times. The Saga, however, as usual, describes only the fight, without mentioning the motives, which caused it. These we learn chiefly from Caradoc of Lhancarvan and Ordericus Vitalis. There raged at this time a fierce war between the Welsh and Norman Earls of the Marches, the principal of whom was Hugh, Earl of Chester, called "grossus" because of his extreme fatness. In the beginning of A.C. 1098, Hugh, together with his namesake, Hugh of Montgomery Earl of Salop, aided by a traitor among the Welsh themselves, attacked North-Wales with a large army, and penetrated without any obstacle, as far as into Anglesey, the Welsh king Grifiith and his relation Cadogan being unable to make any resistance, proceeded to Ireland to apply for assistance against the invaders. When it would appear, although it is not expressly stated anywhere, that Griffith on his way visited Man, and solicited King Magnus, whose arrival in these parts with a powerful fleet must have been generally known, to help him; or that Magnus, hearing of the doings at Anglesey, resolved to go there on his own accord, and endeavour to gain something for himself. According to Orderic, he came with only six ships, and entered the Menai Straits, carrying a red shield on the mast, the usual sign of peace and commercial intercourse. The Norman warriors, however, would not permit him to land; and assembled in great number under the command of both Hughs; there ensued in consequence vehement fighting or rather exchange of missiles, the Normans being on shore, the Norwegians on board their ships. Hugh of Salop was killed by an arrow, and finally the Normans were put to flight. According to the Saga, it was the King himself, who shot Earl Hugh, or who at least got the credit of having done so; his ship, it is told, being nearest to the shore, he stood on the forecastle shooting arrows from a long-bow at the enemy, and seeing Earl Hugh advancing he persuaded a man from Halogaland (the northernmost part of Norway) who was standing close by, likewise shooting, that they should both at once aim at the Earl; this done, one of the arrows struck the nefbjörg (the piece of iron protecting the nose), and caused it to bend sidewards; the other entered the eye and came out behind, killing the Earl immediately: it was, however, impossible to say, which of the two arrows was shot by the King, yet the man, to flatter the King, gave him the honour of having shot the fatal one. It was, says the Saga, a most singular luck to hit the Earl in this way, as he was clad in armour from head to foot, leaving nothing bare except the eyes. Giraldus Cambrensis, who narrates this event, obviously from local evidences, without knowing a word of the Sagas, strongly corroborates the above narrative, and does not even hesitate in the least to name the commander of the foreign ships, whom he apparently does not know to have been the King of Norway, as the killer of the Earl. When Hugh of Salop, he says, together with the Earl of Chester, had entered by force the church of St. Tefredauc in Anglesey, and left some dogs there, these were found mad in the morning; and a month afterwards he came himself to an untimely end, as there arrived some pirates with ships of war from Orkney, whom he gallantly went to meet into the very sea, bestriding a noble steed; the commander of the enemy's force, however, named Magnus, standing with his bow forward in his ship, let fly an arrow, which, although the Earl was clad in iron armour from head to foot, entered his right eye, and went through the brains, so that he fell dying into the water; when the victor saw him falling, he is said to have exclaimed triumphantly in the Danish tongue "leit loupe", i.e. "let leap", and from this time the English lost their dominion in Anglesey. According to Ordericus, King Magnus, having ascertained that it was the Earl himself whom he had killed, expressed his regret, and offered Earl Hugh of Chester peace and security, saying that he had come to conquer Ireland, not England, nor other foreign lands, and only to maintain his authority in Islands already belonging to his dominions. Here, however, Ordericus must be mistaken, as it is certain, that he appropriated to himself the dominion of Anglesey, and that this Island was for many years reckoned among the Norwegian possessions in the West. Even William of Malmesbury asserts, that Magnus "fiercely assaulted England in attacking Anglesey". Nor is it improbable, that the Welsh of Anglesey, who reaped the sole fruit of the battle which cost Magnus dearly, gratified him with a show of homage, by which, they did not mean to bind themselves very strictly, and which could not in any case have been so burthensome to them as the English yoke. It is told by Caradoc, that Magnus, on his last expedition to the West, in 1102-3, was kindly received in Anglesey, and got the permission of Griflith to cut as much timber there as he wanted. Perhaps this, was construed by the Norwegians as a sign of submission on the side of Griffith and his Welshmen.
It was undoubtedly the intention of Magnus at this time to punish Muircertach, but he was prevented from doing so, either by his severe loss in the battle of Anglesey, or as is probable, by the necessity in which he may have found himself to turn his forces against Scotland. As at this time, it would seem, Eadgar, the son of Malcolm, had captured his rival Donald Bane, and as Donald was the ancient ally of Magnus, it was but natural that the latter should intercede on his behalf, and attempt to effect his delivery. It is even far from improbable that Eadgar, not acknowledging the right of Magnus to the Isles, had expressed his intention to reunite them with the Crown of Scotland, and that Magnus, hearing of this, deemed it necessary to threaten him with an attack. The Saga tells, that the King of the Scots sent a message to Magnus, asking him to abstain from hostilities against Scotland, and offering him the cession of all those western Islands, between which and the mainland the Norwegian king could go in a vessel with rudder, on which condition peace really was concluded. This evidently infers that Magnus had threatened Eadgar with war, and as the thing in itself is very probable, there is all reason to believe the whole transaction to be strictly true. Magnus may have ascertained, that Donald Bane, now being blind and degraded, was past hope of ever recovering the power, and therefore found the best thing he could do, was to make peace with Eadgar on good conditions. It is even most likely, that it was agreed to strengthen the treaty by a marriage between Magnus and Mathilda the sister of Eadgar. For in the Saga there are still three verses preserved, composed by Magnus himself in honour of "Mathilda, the fair maid, who defends her country with the shield", and whom he is most anxious to behold, but fears that he shall not enjoy this happiness. In the Saga this Mathilda is called the daughter of the Emperor, but there was at this time no daughter of the Emperor with the name of Mathilda, nor is it likely, even if such a person existed, that Magnus should have proposed to her. The Saga moreover is mistaken in calling the Scottish king Malcolm instead of Eadgar, no doubt misled by the Scottish denomination "Etgar Mac Malcolm". It is certain the marriage was never effected, Mathilda being given to King Henry of England already in 1100; this, however, explains itself readily from the superiority of King Henry in those parts, and even the substance of the verses themselves indicate the misgivings of the royal author, that the union so much coveted was not to be after all. Certain it is, that from this time the Norwegian kings dated their real possession of the Sudreys, among which they also counted the peninsula of Cantire; because Magnus, imitating the old fabulous sea-king Beite, of whom a similar story is told, had his vessel drawn across the narrow isthmus of Tarbet, while he himself sat at the helm.
It is said in the Saga, that during this expedition King Magnus effected a marriage between his son Sigurd, then only nine years of age, with Biadmuin, the daughter of Muircertach, being only five years old, and that he constituted him king of all Norwegian possessions in the West. That the marriage did not take place till in 1102, on the King's third expedition, is evident from the Irish and Welsh annals, as will be seen bye and bye; and it is most likely, nay, almost certain, that the Saga has likewise misplaced the other event, the proper moment for conferring on the prince the title of King being surely the day of his marriage, especially as Sigurd had then just completed his 12th year, which was the very term for coming of age among the Norwegians in those times. Between Muircertach and Magnus there was apparently no contact at all during this expedition, whatever might have been the cause. That Magnus intended to make war upon him, must be regarded as certain, but no doubt as we have already seen, that the preparations of Muircertach himself, and partly the expeditions of Magnus against Wales and Scotland, averted the blow from Ireland in 1098. He passed, however, the winter either at Man or in the Isles, probably intending to attack Ireland in the spring of 1099, but it is expressly stated in the Saga, that many of his men, wearied by being absent from their home for such a length of time, left him without leave before the winter set in. We might guess therefore, that when spring returned, he did not feel himself strong enough to invade Ireland, with the certainty of effecting anything worth the exertion. Moreover, as soon after his return to Norway we find him engaged in a war with Sweden, it may be, that the news received from those parts induced him to shorten his stay in the West, and to forego for the moment his plans against Ireland, postponing them till better times. This indeed appears to us the simplest way of explaining the matter. Certain it seems, that King Magnus, on his return to Norway in the summer 1099, left his son Sigurd at Orkney.
The Saga remarks expressly, that during this long stay in the West King Magnus and his men adopted the dress usual among the western Islanders, viz. short coats and bare legs, which caused the Norwegians to give him the nickname of "bare-leg" or "bare-foot". This shows, that the characteristic Highland dress was even then, the national one among the inhabitants of western Scotland.
In the years of 1100 and 1101 Magnus was occupied with the Swedish war. In 1102, however, he went forth on his last expedition, which this time was undertaken directly against Ireland. What the Chronicle tells about his sending his shoes to King Muircertach and the unconditional submission of the latter, seems to be a mere fable; yet if something like it took place, it must have been in the winter immediately preceding the expedition. From the Irish and Welsh annals as well as from Orderic we learn how matters stood with Muircertach. His war with Donald O'Lochlan raged more fiercely than ever, and although, in the whole, Muircertach had the upper hand, yet Donald was an obstinate and dangerous foe, against whom he felt the necessity of strengthening himself through alliance with other powerful rulers. Shortly before, King Henry (Beauclerc) had ascended the English throne, excluding, as it is well known, his senior brother Robert Duke of Normandy, with whom he had to sustain a hard feud. Among the Barons, who embraced the party of Robert, were the two brothers of the above mentioned Earl Hugh Montgomery, who was killed by King Magnus, Robert of Belesme, who after the fall of Hugh had purchased his Earldom, having besides many other possessions in England as well as in Normandy, and Arnulf, who had Dyved and Pembroke in Wales. Robert made an alliance with the three Welsh princes, Jorwerth, Cadagan and Meredith, sons of Blethyn, and Arnulf sought the alliance of Muircertach, asking, through ambassadors, his daughter Lafracot in marriage, to which Muircertach immediately gave his consent, promising not only to support Arnulf against the English King, but also to make him his successor. In this manner, a rather strong ligue had been formed against King Henry, and as the allied lords and princes, especially the two Montgomerys, as avengers of their brother, must at the same time have been the enemies of King Magnus, this prince was consequently brought somehow in a friendly relation to the English monarch, notwithstanding that Henry, if the conjecture which we ventured to utter above be right, had married the destined bride of Magnus. Yet it must be remembered, that Magnus himself, during his absence, had married the Swedish princess Margaret, and no doubt given up all enmity, if any such existed, against Henry, while, through the peace concluded in 1098 with Eadgar of Scotland the friend and protégé of the English Kings, a reconciliation between their party and King Magnus may already be said to have been partly effected.
We learn from the Welsh chronicles and the Irish annals, that Magnus before visiting Ireland landed at Man, where he, as it were, established his head quarters, erecting forts as before, and making a personal visit to Anglesey, where prince Griflith received him cordially and, as mentioned above, gave him permission to cut what timber he might require for his fortifications 3. Meanwhile matters had gone wrong with the Hiberno-british ligue. Robert of Montgomery was declared an outlaw, and several of his castles taken; one of the Welsh princes had been induced to embrace the King's part, Arnulf of Montgomery had betaken himself to the court of Muircertaeh, craving assistance, but the latter, far from being able to afford any, on the contrary was expecting aid from Arnulf against Magnus. Under these circumstances Muircertach found it safest first to make peace or truce for a year with Donald O'Loehlan, and then to enter into negoiations with Magnus. In what manner these negoiations were conducted, is nowhere told, we learn only from the Irish annals, that the peace was concluded for a year (no doubt to be renewed at the expiration of this term), and that Muircertach gave his daughter in marriage to Sigurd, the son of Magnus, who was now proclaimed King of the western possessions. It has already been mentioned, that the Saga wrongly speaks of this marriage as having taken place during the former expedition of Magnus, and that it likewise wrongly makes Magnus and Muircertach together conquer Dublin in 1102, this conquest having been effected already during the first expedition of Magnus, in 1093. Yet it would seem, and it must be taken almost for certain, that by the treaty of 1102 Muircertach ceded to Magnus the district of Dublin, which may have been regarded as an appendage of the kingdom of Man, partly because it is not likely that Magnus should have accorded to Muircertach the peace, and moreover, as will be seen, his powerful assistance against Donald O'Lochlan for nothing, partly because Ordericus states expressly, that Magnus established colonies of Northmen even in Ireland, which could not have been done, if he had not got a territory to dispose of. And lastly, if there be any truth at bottom in the anecdote about the shoes, it is to be supposed, that Muircertach acknowledged Magnus as his suzerain, and paid a kind of homage to him as such, not, however, intending to keep any of the given promises longer than necessity compelled him to do so. Ordericus states expressly, that Muircertach acted treacherously towards Magnus, as well as towards Arnulf. It is easy to see from the following facts, that the principal object of Muircertach was to crush his Irish rivals, and that to this end be deemed it necessary to secure the powerful assistance of Magnus, with the hope, perhaps, of having afterwards an opportunity to get rid of him. The treaty was strengthened by giving hostages from both sides. Among the Norwegian hostages was the Icelandic poet Gisl Illugason, from whose poem in honour of King Magnus several fragments are quoted in the Saga, to corroborate the facts there mentioned.
Arriving, then, in Ireland, Magnus was friendly received by Muircertach and no doubt got possession of Dublin with its district, where he effected the settlements spoken of by Orderic, which appear rather to have been castles and strongholds, like those erected in Man and the Isles. In the winter, the Saga tells, Magnus was the guest of Muircertach in his residence of Kinkora, and in the next spring, it is farther told, both Kings went to Ulster, where they fought many battles, and conquered a part of Ulster. This is true in so far as really the hostilities between Muircertach and the northern Irish commenced anew in 1103, no doubt because the truce had expired, and that several battles were fought as we learn from the Irish annals. But as to the conquests in Ulster, it is far from any such thing having taken place as on the contrary Muircertach and his allies were the losing party. The Irish annals say, that Muircertach, having encampcd with his army, consisting of the men from Munster, Leinster, Ossory, Meath, and Connaught, on the plains of Cobha (in the north part of Downshire), he divided his forces, going with one part to Dalaraide (the district on the coast south east of Loughneagh), leaving the rest at Cobha, where during his absence it was attacked and completely routed by Donald O'Lochlan on the 5th of August. Among the number of the killed there were also, according to the Irish annals, "foreigners from Dublin", three of whom are expressly named, viz. "Thorstain mac Eric", "Poll mac Amaind", and "Beollan armuinn", the two former, at least being entirely Scandinavian (Thorstein Erieson and Paul Amundson); maybe these "foreigners" were Norwegians from the army of Magnus, although it is to be supposed that the Norwegian king with his main force was on board his fleet, ravaging the coasts, while Muircertach made war on land, and that the diversion of the latter to Dalaraide was effected in order to meet and operate in conjunction with Magnus. In every case it is evident, that the defeat at Cobha put an end to the operations, as it is expressly stated in the Saga, that the expedition to Ulster having been ended, Muircertach returned to Kinkora, and Magnus prepared to go home; these preparations, however, must have taken place immediately after the battle at Cobha, as the fall of Magnus occurred only 19 days afterwards on the St. Bartholomew's day. This catastrophe is said by Ordericus to have been caused by the treachery of the Irish, who induced him to leave the ships and hazard himself with a small force into the interior of the country, making him believe that they intended to offer their submission, but afterwards suddenly attacking him with immensely superior numbers. This seems very probable in itself, but it ought to be remembered, that the Saga, founded upon traditions from the men who were present at the battle themselves, does not give the least hint of anything like treachery on the part of Muircertach, Magnus, it is said, wanting meat for the support of his army, dispatched men to Muircertach, requesting him to furnish the nessessary number of cattle; which request having been complied with, but the march of the cattle taking longer time than expected, Magnus, growing impatient, went imprudently too far up in the country to see if they did not appear, and was attacked by the Irish. If, at this time, Muircertach had already returned to Kinkora, it seems not likely that Magnus should have sent his men so far; probably, however, Muircertach had not yet left the neighbourhood of Dalaraide, and in this case could not comply otherwise with the request, than compelling the inhabitants, or helping the Norwegian emissaries in compelling them to yield up the prescribed number of cattle, a measure, by which the U1stonians would no doubt feel greatly exasperated, and become eager for revenge, without any instigation from Muircertach, or concerting of treacherous measures with him. Indeed, the annals of Ulster, where the particulars must have been well known, say only that Magnus was attacked and killed by the Ulstonians on a plundering expedition. The particulars of the battle are most circumstantially and forcibly told in the Saga, which however, does not mention, what is only told in the Chronicle of Man, that the body of the king was buried at St. Patrick's Church in Down. Maybe his relics may still be found there. It is evident that he was buried by the Irish, not by his own men, who were obliged to leave the body on the battle-field, and that this must have been in the neighbourhood of Down, his fleet probably still lying on the same spot where it was when the battle was fought at Cobha. At the death of Magnus, his men abandoned all newly acquired possessions in the West, and hastened homewards, taking with them prince Sigurd, who left his bride, the daughter of Muircertach, saying, according to the Saga, that all lords in the West, Scotch as well as Irish were odious to him. This certainly might be construed as indicating that Sigurd himself suspected the Irish of treachery against his father, yet such an interpretation of the words is by no means necessary. After all, however, Muircertach turned out to be really a traitor; immediately alter the fall of Magnus, he courted very submissively the friendship of the English King, took his daughter back from Arnulf, and gave her to another man; nay, he planned even schemes against his life, which also, perhaps, Arnulf might have lost, if he had not been prevented in time, and made his escape to Normandy.
The author of our Chronicle, in assigning six years to the reign of Magnus in the Isles, must needs have meant to begin it with the year of his second expedition, viz. 1098, which being the first, 1103 will be the last. So badly, however, the numbers of the years are added, that the accession of Olav, son of Godred Crovan, is said to have taken place in 1102, although it is expressly stated, that Olav was not made king till after the death of Magnus. That Magnus was killed in 1103, is certain enough, and corroborated by many authorities, especially that of Ordericus Vitalis.
That the year, in which the reign of Olav commenced, was 1103, and not 1102, is already shown. Likewise it is a mistake, arising from the careless way in which the ciphers of the years are added, that Olav is said to have reigned forty years only, he was not killed in 1142 or 1143, as it is said afterwards in the chronicle (and which certainly gives a period of 40 years from 1102 or 1103), but in 1153, the chronicle itself stating expressly, that it was the same year, in which St. Bernard of Clairvaux and King David of Scotland died, viz. 1153. This is rather a remarkable instance of the.author having been misled by his own inaccuracy. Olav is mentioned also in the Orkneyinga Saga, with the curious surname of Bitlingr (the little bit), the cause of which appellation is not explained. That Olav did homage to the Norwegian kings is nowhere mentioned. He may have done it for all we know of it, but it seems more likely, that during his long reign the connexion with Norway was rather loose, it being expressly stated, as we see, that he kept so close a confederacy with the kings of Scotland and Ireland, that nobody dared to disturb his reign as long as he lived.
Among the concubines, as they are styled here, one, however, seems to have been his legitimate second wife, viz. Ingibjörg daughter of Hácon, Earl of Orkney, and sister to Harold, Earl of Orkney, as well as to Margaret, the wife of Madadh Earl of Athole. The Orkn. Saga states expressly, that Ingibjörg was married to King Olav, and indeed, it is not to be supposed, that a lady of such illustrious birth and connexions should degrade herself as to become a concubine even of a king. Ingibjörg, however, being born after the death of King Magnus and the firm establishment of her father in the Orkneys, that is to say about 1105--10, cannot have been married till about 1125, while the marriage of King Olav with Afreca of Galloway no doubt took place shortly after the accession of Olav to the throne.
This Sumarliði or Somerled, the celebrated ruler of Argyll, who is also mentioned in Orkn. Saga, and in the Saga of King Hácon Háconsson as the founder of his dynasty, is styled King or "petty King" only in this Chronicle and the Irish annals. The Sagas do not mention his father, but from a genealogy, preserved, it would seem, among his descendants, the Mac Donalds, and printed in Johnstonc's Antiquitates Celto-Normannicae, p. 152, we learn, that he was son of Gilbrigid, and grandson of Gil-Adomnan. Skene (Highlanders in Scotl. v. II. p. 40,41) informs us from two curious old Gaelic MSS., that Gil-Adomnan was driven out from his possessions in Scotland by the violence of the Lochlans and Fingalls (i.e. the Norwegians), and took refuge in Ireland, and that Gillebridd, as it would appear,made an unsuccessful attempt to recover his paternal lands, which, however, was at last effected by Somerled, who "put himself at the head of the inhabitants of Morven, and by a series of rapid attacks succeeded, after considerable struggle, in expelling the Norwegians, and making himself master of the whole of Morven, Lochaber, and north Argyll", to which he soon afterwards added the southern district of Argyll. Perhaps we may be able to carry the genealogy still farther up than to Gil-Adomnan. In the annals of the Four Masters it is stated, that "Somerled, Son of Gilbrigid, King of Innsie Gall" (i.e. the Sudreys) died in 1083. It seems evident from the repetition of the personal names, that this Somerled was the father of Gil-Adomnan, and that, being originally and properly Lord of Argyll, he had also acquired some of the adjacent isles, as Jura, Mull &c., enough to procure him the title of insular King. We might even be inclined to think that Gil-Adomnan, being, as we presume, his son, was expelled his dominions by Godred of Man, not, as Mr. Skene suggests, by Magnus of Norway, who already found Godred and Lagman fully etablished in the Isles. Indeed, the chief family possessions of Godred being, as demonstrated above, the Island of Isla, which is next to Jura and Argyll, we may guess, that not only in the earlier years of Godred, before he conquered Man, but even in the times of their respective ancestors, there existed constant feuds between both families, such as generally used to rage among neighbouring clans in those days, and that the expulsion of Gil-Adomnan to Ireland was only a continuation of ' ancient conflicts. Seeing farther, that the Norwegian name of Somerled, which appears twice in the dynasty, indicates some connexion with Norwegian families and that the powerful Earl Sigurd, the father of Thorfinn, had really a son -- his first-born ---- named Somerled, while the husband of his sister, the Sudreyan Earl, is called "Gille" (i.e. Gilbrigid, Gilchrist, Giladomnan or another similar name), we find it rather likely, that Somerled the elder was a descendant of Earl ,"Gille" by the sister of Earl Sigurd, and that his name as well as that of Earl Sigurd's son, was derived from the same common ancestor; nay, it is even probable that Somerled of the Isles, who seems to have been born about 1020, was immediately named after the Orkneyan Earl, who died about that time.
This is the Cistercian Abbey of Savigny in Normandy, from which that of Furness, the mother of Russin Abbey at Man, was deducted. Even before the erection of Furness and Russin the monks of Savigny in Normandy seem to have had the right of furnishing Man with bishops, which right was subsequently translated, first to Furness, and then to Russin. We learn from Stubbs, Acta Archiep. Eboracen. p. 1217 as well as from Matth. Paris. (p. 60) and Chron. Nordmann. in the Collection of Duehesne p. 986, that some years before 1114, Wimund, monk of Savigny, and at the same time priest in the Isle of Skye, was ordained bishop of Man by Archbishop Thomas of York, and that, when he went away (we shall see afterwards that he became a pretender to the Scottish crown), John, a monk from the diocese of Seez (probably from the abbey of Savigny) became his successor, being, in his turn, again succeeded by Nicolas, monk from Furness, as we learn from the two letters directed by King Olav to Archbishop Thurstan of York, preserved in the "White Book" at York, and printed in Dugdale's Monasticum Anglicanum.
Fund. ---- Furnes. This is the abbey of Furness in the diocese of York, mother to that of Russin.
This entry is taken from the Chronica de Mailros, but wrongly assigned to the year 1133, while the latter expressly states, that the Abbey of Rivaux was founded in 1132 on a Saturday, which was also the III. non. Martii. The eclipse, however, the mention of which is likewise verbotenus adopted from the Chron. de Mailros happened really on Wednesday the 2th August. The monastery of Mailros was a daughter of Rivaux, thence the entry about the latter.
There can be no doubt, that among the privileges granted to the abbey of Russin was also that of furnishing bishops to the Sec of Man, although, as we shall see presently, this privilege was not compatible with the right asserted by the clergy and people of Man, to elect the bishops themselves. When the Sudreys became a suffragan diocese under the metropolis of Nidaros in Norway, the same privilege became even a matter of dispute between the Archbishops of Nidaros on one side, and those of York with the monks of Furness and Russin, on the other.
The year, here given for both entries, that about the erection of the monastery and the other about the battle of the Standard (i.e. of Northallerton) are both wrong. The Abbey of Melrose was founded on the Easter Monday 1136, and the battle at Northallerton was fought on the 22d of August, 1138.
This is likewise wrong: St. Malachy died A.C. 1148, vid. Chron. de Mailros, and his biography in the works of St. Bernard, ed. 1690, I. 657.
Again the number of the year (1141) is wrong, the entry being taken from Chron. de Mailres, where the erection of the monastery of Holmcultran (in Cumberland) is mentioned to have taken place on the 1st of January, 1150.
That the year assigned to the death of King Olav ought to be 1153, not 1142, is already shown above and needs no farther demonstration. Very likely, however, 1152 was the year in which Godred went to Norway, and 1153 that of his return, as there are two years expressly mentioned in the Chronicle, although indeed the death of King Olav is recorded in both. Moreover, the fact, that in the bull of 28 Nov. 1154, by which Pope Anastasius IV, few days before his death, at the suggestion of Nicolas Brekspere, Cardinal bishop of Albano, erected the metropolitan See of Nidaros in Norway, the bishopric of the Sudreys is expressly named as one of its suffragans, puts it beyond doubt, that the homage of Godred to King Inge must have been made immediately before, or during the stay of the aforesaid Cardinal in Norway, from the 20th of July till about September 1152, when the previous arrangements as to the erection of the See were made, it being rather unlikely, that Man and the Sudreys, whose King so lately, as we have seen, had acknowledged the right of the Archbishop of York to consecrate the bishop thereof, could have been as signed to the province of Nidaros, unless upon such a palpable evidence of their allegiance to Norway, as afforded by the personal presence and homage of Godred. What might have been the reasons, which compelled Olav, no doubt reluctantly, to send his son to Norway, and acknowledge the suzerainty of King Inge (here called Hinge) is difiicult to say. Most likely it was the troubles caused by the above mentioned Exbishop Wimund, in which also Somerled of Argyll took an active part. The pretensions to the Scottish crown, asserted by the Moray dynasty, were inherited from Lulach by Angus Mac Hcth, son of his daughter, and Earl of Moray, who rebelled against King David, but was killed in the battle of Strickathron 1130. Shortly afterwards, however, bishop Wimund declared himself to be the son of Angus, with the real name of Malcolm Mac Heth, assumed the title of Earl of Moray, and demanded even the crown of Scotland. He found a great many followers, and, indeed, his pretensions seem to have been rather Well founded; in the Orkn. Saga he is downright called "Malcolm Earl of Moray", without the least hint as to his being an impostor. The Melrose annals style him "Malcolm Mac Heth". Somerled of Argyll gave him his daughter in marriage, and subsequently the powerful Earl of Orkney, Harold, married his daughter. Assisted by Somerled, he ravaged for a time the western shores of Scotland, until King David succeeded in capturing and confining him in the castle of Roxburgh (1134). His sons, however, fled for refuge to Somerled, who revived the war after the death of David (1153). Meanwhile David seems to have taken his revenge with a strong hand; it is even said, we do not know upon what authority, that about 1135 he conquered the islands of Man, Arran and Bute, which however cannot be right as far as regards Man, the fact being not mentioned in the chronicle; so far, however, we may perhaps infer, that David threatened Man, so that Olav found it advisable to put himself and his kingdom under the protection of the Norwegian kings. At the same time the powerful Welsh prince, Cadwallader, who in 1142 was engaged in a fierce war with his brother, Owen Gwynedd of Monmouth, seems to have infested Man, for while Caradoc tells, that he raised a great force of warriors from Ireland and Scotland (i. e. the Sudreys), the Orkneyinga Saga records, that "a Welsh chieftain" made great ravages in the Sudreys and Man, killing a wealthy and powerful lord, whose widow married the celebrated Orkneyan hero Svein Asleifsson. All these troubles, perhaps even apprehensions from the sons of his brother Harold, might have determined Olav to acknowledge at last a suzerainty, which he seems to have disclaimed for the greater part of his life.
From what is already remarked, it will be easily seen that the year 1144 is to be corrected into 1154. The Chronicle itself assigns to Godred's reign the length of 33 years, and mentions afterwards, rightly, his death in 1187. The events in Dublin here narrated are not alluded to in the Irish annals, and as it is clearly indicated, that Godred did not feel himself firmly seated on the throne, or exhibit any tyrannical tendencies, until after his return from Ireland; while the first naval battle which occurred afterwards with Somerled in the war caused by his tyranny, is stated to have been fought in 1156, it is evident that his war in Ireland cannot have taken place in the third year of his reign, as the Chronicle has it, unless this third year is to be reckoned from his homage to the Norwegian king in the year 1152.
To understand these affairs thoroughly, we subjoin the following exposé. Malcolm Mac Heth being, as we have told above, taken prisoner in 1134, and confined in the castle of Roxburgh, where also his son Donald was put in 1156, he was, nevertheless, released by King Malcolm, who even ceded to him some possessions in Cumberland, evidently fearing his father-in-law, the powerful Somerled. Malcolm Mac Heth, however, exercised such a tyranny towards his subjects, that they revolted, took him prisoner, put his eyes out, besides inflicted other mutilations, and confined him in the monastery of Bellaland in Yorkshire, compelling him to resume the cowl. Nevertheless Somerled continued to make war against the Scottish king, as well as against Godred, who consequently, having enemies in common with the former, could not avoid coming in friendly relationsto him. Immediately, therefore, after his flight from Man, we find him at the court of King Malcolm, where he witnessed the confutation of a document, in 1159 (Anderson Dipl. Scot. No. 25); in the next year we find him at the court of King Inge in Norway, who seems to have confirmed him in his royal rights, as it is said in the Icelandic annals, that in 1160 he got the title of King of the Sudreys. During his stay with King Inge he took a conspicuons part in the battle upon the ice near Oslo on the 4th of February, 1164, where Inge was killed; he commanded even a wing of Inge's army, but declared treacherously for the enemy, King Hácon, and thereby might be said to have been the chief cause of Inge's death. His treason, however, did certainly not bring him the expected fruits, because King Hácon, who no doubt had promised him his assistance, was slain by the partizans of the deceased King already the following year, and the victorious party came again in power under their new King, Magnus Erlingsson. This party, however, either could or would not give Godred any assistance, at least not till 1164, when Magnus, being more firmly established on the throne, and crowned (in the Month of September) had probably taken Godred into grace and received his homage, for till this time it appears that Godred remained in Norway, abandoning his reign entirely to Somerled, nor is it likely, that he had returned even then, if he had not received the welcome news that Somerled was killed in the battle at Renfrew. The division which is said to have been made in 1156 between Godred and Somerled, and to have caused the ruin of the kingdom, ought perhaps more properly to be said to have been effected between Godred and Dubhgal or Dugald, the son of Somerled. The islands, allotted to Dugald through this division, were no doubt those, which lay nearer to Argyll and of which, indeed, we find afterwards the descendants of Dugald in possession.
The same tale is told by Fordun and in the Chronica de Mailros, so that there cannot be any doubt of its being true, although Orkn. Saga makes Swein Asleifsson kill Somerled already in 1159. This, however, must be a complete mistake. Fordun even adds the day, on which the battle took place viz. the 1st of January, and the name of his son, Gillecolum. The entry in our Chronicle is an abridgement from that in Chr. the Mailros, where it is expressly stated, that Somerled had rebelled against king Malcolm for 12 years. By a mistake, however, the death of King Malcolm is mentioned in the same year; Malcolm died in 1165 (Dec. 9) -- and perhaps this number ought to be inserted before "eodem anno". Likewise the entry about the two comets, taken from Chron. de Mailros, belongs to a. d. 1165, not to 1166.
Whence Godred got the "magna multitudo armatorum", which he brought from Norway in 1164, is difficult to say. It is not likely that King Magnus, or rather the father and governor of King Magnus, Erling Skakke, would or could afford to give him much. But the rebellion of "Sigurd Markusfostri" was just put down in Norway, and his troop, consisting chiefly of wild and reckless warriors from the southern borders of Norway, was without employment. Maybe Godred engaged some of these fellows. It is even probable that this was the occasion which brought the Husbac or Uspak (grandson of Somerled) mentioned p. 20, to Norway, it being evident, that in the year 1230, when he was sent to the Sudreys as King, he was very old, while the circumstance of his real birth being for so long time unknown or concealed, shows that he must have been carried away from the Isles while yet a child, no doubt by some of the above mentioned warriors, when they went back to Norway, where they must be supposed all of them, who returned, to have joined the party of the Birkebeins, to which Uspak is expressly stated to have belonged.
The year is wrong, being 1170, as in the Chronicle of Melrose, of which this entry is taken. Our text, however, is in so far more correct than that of the M. Chronicle, as it does not make the coronation day of Young Henry the same as the consecration day, which is the case in Chr. de Melrose, where the words run thus. "Henricus rear Anglia: fecitcoronari Henricum puerum, et in regem apud Lundonias, kalendas Junii in die domim'ca consecrari a Rogero &c." In 1170, the 22th of May was not a Sunday, but a Friday.
This Vivian, Cardinal-priest of St. Stephanus in Monte Coelio, is mentioned in several Chronicles. The Chron. of Melrose mentions his arrival in Scotland in the year 1176, saying of him "conculcans et comminuens omnia quaeque, expeditus capere necimpeditus rapere" -- and states, that returning from Ireland in 1177, he held a council of the Scotch Prelates at Edinburgh. See more over Roger Hoveden (Savile p. 553) and Bromton (Twysden p. 110), where it is expressly stated, that he was sent to visit not only Scotland, Ireland, and the Isles, but also Norway, to which country, however, he never came. Bromton says, that he landed in England the 22th of June 1176 without the consent of the King, who therefore would not allow him to go farther, till he had sworn, not to do anything against him; having complied with the request, he got letters of safe conduct to Scotland, whence, about Christmas, he visited Man where he staid a fortnight, continuing his journey to Ireland, where he encouraged the inhabitants of Downshire to hold out against John de Conray. Afterwards therefore as punishment he was put into prison by John, but released after a short while, held a council at Dublin, and returned to Scotland, where he is said to have created so great disgust by his avarice, that the Pope was obliged to recall him.
Again the number of the year is wrong, this being evidently 1182. Neither the Reginald here spoken of, nor the "Fogolt" Vicecomes Manniæ named in the next entry, are mentioned anywhere else. This is the first time that the title "Vice-Comes" does occur in the chronicle, and it is very uncertain, what the Norwegian term was for this denomination. In 1223 a "vicecomes de Sky" is mentioned, whence it would seem, that each of the greater islands had a "Vicecomes" or governor. Very likely the title existed since in the times of Earls Sigurd and Thorfinn of Orkney, when the Isles were subjected to these Earls, and their substitutes who commanded in their names, really did so "vice Comitum". In the times, however, of King Godred, the substitute governors ought rather to be called viceroys. Perhaps the Norwegians only called these functionaries sy'slumenn (which in Latin is always rendered by ballivi).
As it is expressly stated, that Olav was three years old in 1176, when the solemn wedding took place between his father and mother, he must have attained his 14th, not only his 10th year, at his father's death. From the supplementary narrative p. 16 we learn, that Reginald, if not immediately at his accession, at least some time afterwards assigned to Olav the island of Lewis for maintenance. Very likely he gave him in exchange for the royal power the same appanage or fief, which he had himself hitherto obtained. In the icclandic Saga of the celebrated chief and physician Rafn Sveinbiarnarson it is told rather at length, how this Rafn and the bishop elect Gudmund, sailing from Iceland towards Norway in the year 1202, were driven by storms to Sandey, one of the Sudreys, where they just found King Olav and the Bishop, and were compelled by the former to pay a tax, at first calculated to 50 Marks, but afterwards, as the Icelanders showed fight, abated to 15 Marks.1 Sandey being no doubt Sandera, one of the southernmost of the long series of Islands called Long Island, beginning with Lewis, it is evident that Olav did not get this island only, but even the others, North-Uist, Harris, South--Uist, Benbecula &c. ---- down to the southernmost point. Reginald, the elder brother, was, according to the Orkn. Saga, regarded as one of the most warlike princes in the western parts of Europe at his time; once, it is stated, he passed three entire successive years in the manner of the ancient Sea-kings, always on board his ship, never during the whole period for one single hour living beneath the roof of a house. Our chronicle entirely omits his participation in the Orkneyan affairs, which however is spoken of by Roger Hoveden under the year 1196, and the whole narrative of Hoveden of these events, is again copied by the writer of our Chronicle in a separate article inserted in the same bookl. It is to be observed, that Hoveden mentions under one year, what really took place in three or four. We shall here briefly enumerate the events in the connexion which appear to be just, after duly comparing the Orkn. Saga, the Melrose Chronicle and Forduna. The powerful Orkneyan Earl Harold, Son of Madadh Earl of Atholl, had for a long period been on bad terms with King William of Scotland. It is very probable, that Harold was one of the six Earls, who rebelled against King Malcolm in 1160 in order to place William of Egremont, grandson of Duncan, on the throne, and that he also supported the son of William, Donald Bane, who aspired to the throne, and from 1180--1 187 maintained himself in Moray and Ross, till he was killed in the battle of Macgarvey (July 31. 1187). It is expressly stated, that Harold was instigated to hostilities against the Scottish King by his second wife Hoarflad (Gormlath), daughter of the above mentioned Malcolm Mac Heth, Earl of Moray, alias bishop Wimund. When therefore a rival to the Earldoms of Orkney and Caithness appeared in the person of Harold the younger, (grandson by a daughter of Earl Ragnvald), who had got the title of Earl from the Norwegian King about 1175, King William embraced his interests, and gave him the half of Caithness which, of course, he must have taken from Harold the elder, and although it is not said expressly, yet we may safely infer, that from this time incessant or frequent feuds raged between the two rivals. Harold the elder being a staunch partizan of the Norwegian king Magnus, who was supplanted and at last killed in battle by the celebrated Sverrir (1184), it is evident that Harold the younger must have looked for support to the latter, and declared for him, and this was no doubt the principal reason, why Harold the elder in 1193 permitted the enemies of Sverrir to collect troops and ships in his dominions, and even afforded them considerable support. This force made great mischief in Norway, but was at last totally vanquished by Sverrir in a bloody battle near Bergen (Apr. 3. 1194) And now, Earl Harold was severely punished. He was summoned to Norway, and there compelled to submit to the terms dictated by King Sverrir, who entirely detached Shetland from the Earldom, annexing it to the Crown, and moreover appropriated to himself a great part of the revenues of Orkney. It would even seem, that Sverrir, if not immediately, yet shortly afterwards, assigned to his rival the half of Orkney due to him as the grandson and heir of Earl Ragnvald. Yet though humiliated in this manner, and stripped of a great part of his dominions Harold the elder nevertheless, according to Hoveden, dared to occupy Moray, or perhaps rather to keep it in his possession, the occupation having likely taken place before 1195. Profiting, it would seem, from his present distress, King William made an expedition to Moray, nor did Harold venture to resist him, but fled to his ships, while King William penetrated as far as Thurso in Caithness, where he destroyed the Earl's palace. Harold, prevented by storms from crossing over to Orkney, felt compelled to submit to King William as he had submitted to King Sverrir, but he obtained his forgiveness, and was even permitted to retain the half of Caithness, by promising upon oath, that next time, when the King came to Moray, he should deliver up to him all his enemies, no doubt the Mac Williams, and give his own son Thorfinn as hostage. As soon, h wever, as the King had returned, the peace was broken by Harold himself or his men, who penetrated as far as Inverness, before they were routed by the royal forces. King William, now went back to the north, and overran Sutherland, Caithness, and Moray, while Harold, as it would seem, frightened, and professing to be innocent of the doings of his son, met the King at Lochloy near Nairn, bringing the enemies, as stipulated, but for hostages only his two young nephews, not Thorfinn. And even before seeing the King he suffered the enemies to escape, apologising afterwards to the King in a manner which only tended to exasperate him the more. No wonder Harold was severely punished; the King declared him a felon and breaker of the treaty to have forfeited what he still held of Caithnes, carried him away as prisoner, and had him confined in the castle of Roxburgh, until his son Thorfinn might be delivered up. This was accordingly done, and Harold being exchanged for his son, returned to Orkney, where however he was soon visited with new troubles, as his rival, Harold the younger, just coming from Norway with some forces collected there, requested him to give up the half of Orkney, and, this being denied, attacked him so suddenly and fiercely, that he fled to Man, there to seek for help. Harold the younger, however, followed him, but did not find him at Man as he had already returned to Scotland, with some auxiliary forces. Harold the younger now also returned to Scotland, and waited for his rival at Wick. Nor did it last long before Harold the elder appeared, but with a force much larger than expected; a battle ensued, in which the younger Earl and his men were killed after having given proofs of the most heroical valour (1198). Harold the elder now recaptured Caithness, and as he could excuse himself of being this time the attacked party, he ventured even to repair to the court of King William, requesting to retain the possession of Caithnes for a large sum of money. The King showed himself not indisposed to grant the request, but demanded farther, that Harold should dismiss his wife, the daughter of Malcolm Mac Heath. With this condition, however, Harold could or would not comply, and the negotiations were broken off. King William now addressed himself to King Reginald of Man, offering him the earldom of Caithness for a certain sum of money, and payment of the regular tribute. Reginald accepted the offer, and collected troops, being also supplied with auxiliary forces from Ireland by his brother-in-law, John of Courey; with this army he went to Caithness, and conquered it without any resistance on the part of Harold. In the beginning of the winter, however, he returned home, leaving three lieutenants to defend the conquest; but Harold, profiting by his absence, caused one of the lieutenants to be put to death by an assassin, and shortly after landed himself at Thurso with apowerful fleet, with the intention to retake his ancestral patrimony. He began with attacking and storming the episcopal palace of Scrabustar (Skarabolstaðdr) where bishop John af Caithness just happened to be; and considering this prelate as the principal instigator of the hostilities which he had encountered from the Scotch King, he took a most barbarous revenge ordering him to be blinded and his tongue to be cut out. This done, he made himself master of the whole of Caithness, severely punishing all adherents of King William, and seizing the possessions of those who fled to save themselves. The King of the Isles, it would seem, now entirely gave up the idea or lost the desire of becoming Lord of Caithness, as the above mentioned lieutenants did not betake themselves to him, but to King William, who henceforth sought revenge and punished the wanton earl in his own name. His first act was to let the unhappy Thorfinn, the Earl's son, who still remained as hostage, atone for the trespasses of his father: he was blinded and castrated, and shortly afterwards died in prison. In the spring of 1202, King William with a large force went to the North, and encamped at Esteyndale, which then formed the border between Sutherland and Caithness, preparing an expedition across the Petland firth to Orkney. The Earl, seeing the superior strength of his Suzerain, and despairing of success, again sued for peace, which he obtained, as well as the possession af Caithness, on the condition of paying every fourth penny found in the whole earldom, no doubt as an indemnification to King Reginald of Man, who had paid his money without getting the object. Harold, being unable to procure the money from his own means, induced the inhabitants of Caithness, who were anxious themselves to avoid the horrors of war, to pay what was wanted, and thus a sum of 2000 Marks in Silver was raised, with which the King was satisfied. Thus Earl Harold retained Caithness at the cost of the inhabitants, and it does not appear that King Reginald afterwards aspired to the possession of this remote district
As King William died in 1214, Dec. 4, the time, when King Olav was taken prisoner and sent to William, must have been in the course of the year 1208. It is, therefore, very likely, that an expedition, undertaken from Norway to the Isles in 1210, on which point our Chronicle is entirely silent, but of which the King's Saga and the Icelandic Annals speak, was partly prompted by the friends and adherents of Olav, who had now only to look towards Norway for assistance and revenge, Scotland being the accomplice of Reginald. Again, however, the Norwegian and Icelandic relations make no mention at all of the treacherous conduct of King Reginald. The Saga only tells that when the long civil war between the two political factions, the Birkibeins and the Beglings, was happily brought to an end through the treaty of Hvitingsey in the summer of 1208, several of the warriors on both sides, disgusted with the prospects of peace and tranquillity at home, determined jointly to make a privateering expedition to the Sudreys. The pretext they could or did give for thus attacking a dependency of Norway in the times of peace, is not told: we are therefore left to conjecture, and, indeed nothing is more probable than that the chief or pretended object was the chastisement of Reginald, and, if possible, the deliverance of Olav. In the year 1209, according to the Annals, the preperations were made and twelve ships of war were armed. Among the chiefs four are expressly named as belonging to the party of the Beglings, and three as being Birkibeins; one of these was Uspak, the above mentioned grandson of Somerled, who perhaps intended to try, if he could regain some possessions in right of his descent, and who no doubt was the real director of the whole concern. In the year 1209, as we learn from the Ulster annals, the "Mac Somerleds", i.e. the sons of Reginald, son of Somerled, fought a battle with the men of Skye; this event also must somehow have been in connexion with the expedition from Norway, which, according to the Annals, took place in 1210, or perhaps began in the autumn of 1209, ending in 1210. In the Saga no more is told of the expedition, than that the Norwegians rifled Iona, which had till then been held sacred and left untouched; that afterwards they quarrelled with each other, and separated; that some of them were killed in difierent places, and that those who returned were reprimanded severely by the bishops for having conducted themselves like pirates. It is very singular, and almost inconceivable, that our Chronicle should not say a word of this expedition. It is, however, not unlikely, that the fact mentioned under the year 1210, viz. that Angus, the son of Somerled, being killed with his three sons, is connected therewith, and that he fell in a fight with the Norwegians under his nephew Uspak. It is also probable, that the Norwegians somehow took part in the devastation of Man by King John of England, of which our Chronicle speaks, as happening in the same year (1210). Although the Saga speaks of the expedition from Norway as being of no consequence, yet it seems, that it inspired Reginald with a wholesome awe of the Norwegians, which induced him shortly afterwards to repair to Norway with his son Godred, do homage to King Inge, swear the oath of allegiance, and pay the tribute hitherto withheld. Which all, however, did not prevent him from shortly afterwards, in 1212, doing homage even to King John of England (see his letter dated Lambeth, May 16. 1212, in Rymeri Foed'. I. 1. p. 105), nevertheless suffering his subjects to commit depredations on the coasts of Ireland and England. But after the death of King John, when his son, King Henry III, was at last established on the throne, and his rival, Louis of France, had left the kingdom, Reginald applied for a safe conduct for the time from Jan. 16 to Easter 1218, that he might repair to King Henry, do him homage, and give satisfaction for the committed outrages. The letter was accorded (vid. Rymeri Foedera I. p. 150) yet it is not said, whether Reginald went then to London, or not. Certain it is, however, that he did so the following year, and then not only ofl.ered his services and homage to the King, but also, summoned by the apostolical legate and plenipotentiary Pandolfo, issued a declaration, dated Sept. 1. 1219, in which he professed to hold the Isle of Man as a fief of the Papal See, promised to pay a yearly tribute of 12 marks Sterling, and acknowledged being invested by the Legate with the possession thereof. This curious document, which certainly was in open contradiction with his obligations to Norway, and therefore evidently shows, that he refused to acknowledge the suzerainty of the young Norwegian King Hácon (especially as it is expressly said in the document, that the Isle of Man did belong to himself with hereditary right and without any obligation of feudal service to anybody) -- is not only preserved in the English archives, and printed in Rymeri Foedera I. 1. leti 1, but from another copy, formerly existing in the papal archives, it has also been transcribed in the celebrated collection of documents recording the rights of the See, which was compiled by Cardinal Nicholas of Aragon, and from this compilation again it is given by Raynaldus in the Annales Eccl. ad mm. 1219. No. 44. Raynaldus gives also for the year 1223 (No. 53), a papal letter dated May 23, n23i in which the holy Father accepts of the offer made by Reginald, and takes him and his realm into his protection. As for the homage of Reginald offered to the English King, it may be, however, that it was not meant for Man, but for some Irish fiefs, held by him on the condition to guard the coasts and seas against pirates and enemies, because on the 24th of Septbr. 1219, the King directed a letter to. the Justitiary and Barons of Ireland for the protection of Reginald (Rymer I. 1. p. 157), and from letters, likewise given by Rymer, we learn, that such fiefs were really given to and accepted by his brother and successor Olav, without in the least affecting his fidelity to the crown of Norway. This explains also best the above mentioned words in the Orney. Saga, that Reginald passed three years in the manner of the ancient pirates, not sleeping beneath the roof of a house.
This is the Páll Bálkason thus named in the Saga of King Hácon, Ch. 166. His father's name Bálki was pronounced, it would seem, by the Sudreyans, as it would still be in many parts of Norway, with omission of the "l" , or in a manner analogous with the English pronunciation of "walk", "talk" etc. By a curious mistake, Johnstone (p. 150) believes the "princeps Paulus" mentioned p. 10, about the year 1154, to be the same as Páll Balkason, who must in that case have been 100 years or more of age, when he came to Norway in 1229.
This is the celebrated Alan of Galloway, Constable of Scotland and the most powerful of the Scotch Magnates, married to the King's cousin Margaret of Huntingdon, and possessing large fiefs in Ireland, which he held from King John of England. His brother Thomas, who had become Earl of Atholl through marriage, is mentioned in our Chronicle as "Thomas Comes Etholice" in the year 1228.
It was probably in order to announce this important event to the Suzerain, King Hácon of Norway, that, as we learn from his Saga, bishop Simon of Sudrey and the Abbot of Iona went to Bergen in the summer of 1226, where even Earl John of Orkney appeared and where the King was to have an interview with Earl Skuli, his co-regent, and the Archbishop of Nidaros. (Hak. H. S. Ch. 147). The King, it is told, settled the affairs of the Sudreyan envoys, after a deliberation with Earl Skúli. It would seem that they had been sent on purpose by King Olav. At the same occasion bishop Simon was no doubt consecrated by the Archbishop, as we know for certain that the consecration took place in 1226, and it is not likely that he went to Norway twice in one year.
Before this event, it appears that the English King tried to make peace between the brothers, as, on April 12, 1228, be directed a letter of safe conduct to Olav and his men, for 15 days from Miehaelmass in the same year, to repair to England, where peace was to be made between him and his brother. There is, however, no trace of Olav having accepted the offer of mediation; on the contrary, as it is told in our Chronicle, he returned to Man, expelled the bailiffs of Alan, and recaptured his kingdom.
The arrival of King Olav in Norway did not take place in 1229, as it would appear from our Chronicle, but according to the excellent and trustworthy Saga of King Hácon, in 1230, when the fleet, which the King intended to send to the Isles, was already equipped and ready to sail. The notice, however, of the events and revolutions in the Isles had already reached Norway in the summer of 1229. That summer, it is told in the Saga, reports of great warfare came from the Sudreys (Ch. 162). No doubt the unhappy son of Reginald, Godred Don, was one of the first to carry the news to Norway, as we learn from the Chronicle, that in 1229 (or rather 1230) he came from Norway, whither he probably fled immediately after his father's death, the powerful Alan of Galloway being just then unable to afibrd him any protection, as he was absent in Ireland with his best warriors, in order to marry a daughter of the powerful Hugh de Lacy, and in returning was shipwrecked with the loss of many of his men and danger of his own life. Also Paul Balkason (Pol filius Boke) went to Norway, no doubt sent by King Olav, to report the events to the King and the Earl, and to sue for their assistance against Alan. It would seem, however, that Paul committed the fault of befriending himself more with the Earl than with the King, which was the surest way to lose the trust of the latter, as already for many years there existed between them a rivalry, which ended in open war, and with the fall of Skuli. It is evident, although not expressly told, that either of compassion with Godred, or out of distrust to Paul and King Olav, he recognized the claims of the former, and made a division of the kingdom between both, as we learn, that Olav and Godred arrived together in the Norwegian fleet, and immediately divided the kingdom between themselves. We learn, moreover, as well from the Saga as from the Chronicle, that also the above mentioned Uspak Agmundsson (Osmundi), now found to be really a son of Dugald, the son of Somerled, got a portion with the title of King and the new name of Hácon; yet the part assigned to him seems not to have been taken from the possessions of Olav and Godred; Uspak as son of Dugald, belonged to the Somerled branch, and it is most probable, that the King assigned to him those islands, hitherto held by other members of the same, who had forfeited their right to them through want of fidelity. For it is expressly said in the Saga, that the Kings of the Somerled branch were not to be relied upon, nor was it to be expected, that when the greater part of their possessions were on the main land, they should not generally incline more to the part of the Scotch King than to the King of Norway; their main object, however, was to maintain their own freedom through balancing adroitly between both powers. Yet through all these movements we perceive easily the chief impulse of King Alexander, who, keenly feeling the inconvenience and danger of aloreign power, so strong at sea as Norway was then, extending her dominions almost to the heart of his own kingdom over lands naturally belonging thereto, strove incessantly to gain possession of the Islands, and at last resorted to open war. The movements of the Constable no doubt were greatly influenced by the King's directions. We learn from the Saga (Ch. 166) that Alan (of course when returned from Ireland), made great preparations for a new attack on King Olav and the Norwegians, threatening even to cross over to Norway itself, "as it was no more difficult to go from Scotland to Norway, than vice versa, and there being no less facility of finding ports or shelter for a fleet there than in the firth of Scotland". Indeed, it was these threats, and the imminent danger, which compelled king Olav to flee from Man to Norway, where he appeared unexpectedly when the fleet, as mentioned above, was about to leave. As for the Kings or Chiefs of the Somerled line, we learn, that about this period, two brothers, Duncan and Dugald Skrek, sons of Dugald, the son of Somerled, now were the chief rulers in the Somerled part of the Isles, while their cousin Somerled, no doubt the son of Somerled's eldest son Gillecolum, who fell with his father in the battle at Renfrew 1164, had enjoyed the mainland possessions of Argyll, but had been deprived of it in 1221 by King Alexander as a punishment for having taken the part of Gillescop Mac William, the last of this long line of pretenders. This, however, does not seem to have increased his fidelity to the Norwegian crown; indeed the polities of these Somerledian descendants was to form a balance between Scotland and Norway, always keeping on the side which promised to be the most advantageous to them. Therefore it may have been a wise forethought of King Hácon, to have them supplanted, or at least controlled by a man, on whose fidelity he could rely, and such a man was Uspak, the veteran royal warrior, whom he now promoted to the rank of King, moreover giving him his own name, which sounded more royally than Uspak. The Saga of King Hácon (Ch. 165) relates, that this promotion took place at a "thing" or public meeting, which the King held in the City of Oslo in the spring of 1230, and where he proclaimed, that in the impending summer he would send him to the Sudreys with a sufficient force. According to our Chronicle, the expedition took place in the years 1229-30; the Saga, however, the correctness of whose chronology is beyond all doubt, places it in 1230-1231, and this is moreover confirmed by the Chronicle of Lanercost, and the Icelandic annals, which assign the arrival of Uspak-Hácon to the year 1230. The events of this expedition are related at large in the Saga, while the narrative of our Chronicle is very deficient. From Oslo, we learn, Hácon repaired to Bergen, in order to prepare the armament. The King furnished 8 ships, the Earl 3, the commander of one of these he named Paul Balkason, a certain sign that this chieftain had sought the friendship of the Earl more than that of the King. The commanders named by Hácon appear all of them to have been his "hirðmenn" or sworn followers. When the armament was ready and the fleet about to sail, King Olav, as stated above, came to Bergen unexpectedly, driven from Man by the threats of Earl Alan. His boast, however, that he would make an expedition to Norway, was only announced, as the Saga says, but not executed; and indeed, it seems, that the troubles caused by the remnants of the Mac William party, which were crushed at last in 1230, but not without difficulty, had greatly occupied him, as the Constable of Scotland, prevented his carrying out his menaces that year.
Four days after the arrival of Olav the fleet sailed, and he had nothing to do but to follow, in the ship commanded by Paul Balkason. Previously, however, it must be supposed that King Hácon had effected a kind of reconciliation between him and Godred (whose presence in Norway is not mentioned in the Saga) and had already fixed the terms of the division, on which they afterwards agreed to; as it is not likely, that Olav would have done this from his own good will. The fleet touched at Orkney, where it was reinforced by 9 ships, furnished, it seems, partly by Earl John, partly by the royal bailiffs; King Olav now left Paul Balkason's ship, and took the command of one furnished by Earl John. The fleet sailed first towards Isla-Sound, where the Kings Dugald and Duncan, as well as Somerled of Argyll lay with a considerable force. Meanwhile, however, Balki son of Paul Balkason, and another Sudreyan chieftain Ottar Snaekollsson, went to Skye, where they attacked a chieftain, named in the Saga Thorkel Thormodsson (i.e. Torquill Mac Dermot), who fell with two of his sons; the third, Thormod (Dermot) escaping to Scotland; this achieved, they again joined the mainfleet. The cause of this diversion is not stated in the Saga; maybe it was only the carrying out a private feud between Paul and Torquill. The three Somerledian princes in Islasound, although they could not possibly be amicably disposed towards the Norwegians, whose aim it was to deprive them of their power and independency, did not dare to show fight, but professed friehdly sentiments and invited the Norwegian commanders to a feast, while one of them, Duncan, went on board the ship of Uspak-Hácon, no doubt as a kind of hostage. Nevertheless the Norwegians distrusted them, alleging that the Sudreyans only meant to intoxicate them with strong liquors, that they might safely attack them and easily kill them afterwards. They declined the invitation, and now both parts prepared for a battle. Uspak-Hácon, it seems, tried to avert open hostilities, but without his assent and knowledge the Norwegians made an attack, killed Somerled with many of his men, and captured Dugald. When Uspak-Hácon heard this, he suffered Duncan secretly to escape, and took Dugald, whom the Norwegians had put in irons, on board his own ship. This shows, not only that Uspak-Hácon must have been invested with the chief command of the expedition, but also, that he was a kind-hearted, loyal man, who meant to act as leniently as possible towards his brothers. More reinforcements now increased the fleet to 80 sail, with which the Norwegians sailed round Cantire to Bute, where the castle of Rothsay had got a Scotch garrison, as mentioned above. It was besieged and after three days taken by storm, after a spirited defence; the Norwegians lost 360 men, and, according to our Chronicle, as well as the Chronicle of Lanercost, King Uspak-Hácon was killed by a stone. From the Saga, however, which, strange to say, does not mention his being hurt, but only speaks of his subsequent sickness and death, it is evident, that his death did not follow immediately. The Scotch lost their commander, and the Norwegians got a large booty, together with the sum of 360 Marks of silver, which a Scotch knight, taken prisoner, paid for his ransom; but soon afterwards they had the misfortune, that three of the ships foundered in a storm. It being, moreover, announced that Earl Alan lay with 180 ships near the ness of Galloway, they sailed to the south of Cantire, where they remained for a while, making frequent hostile excursions. Here King Uspak-Hácon died (from his wound), much regretted by his men; they carried his body to Iona and buried it there. Olav, who now got the command of the fleet, directed it southwards eager to retake Man, the principal part of his kingdom, but the winter had already set in, and storms, it would seem, forced the fleet to seek shelter for a while under the isle of Copeland on the Irish coast, near Donaghadec. Yet the same tempest and winter appears also to have driven Earl Alan away, as there is no mention of any danger or hinderance opposed by him, to the further progress of Olav -- if indeed, the story of his great armament was after all true or simply invented to frighten the Norwegians back. When the weather allowed it, Olav crossed over to Man, where a chieftain, named in the Saga Thorkell Njálsson, and afterwards appearing in our Chronicle as Thorquellus filius Nel (Torquill Mac Neil) had the command, although it is not said, whether he was left by Alan as his delegate, or Whether he had profited by the general disturbances to make himself Lord of the island. Torquil had collected a force, and sought to prevent the Norwegians coming on shore, but when the Manx heard that King Olav himself was their commander, the declined fighting against him, and dispersed; Torquill was taken prisoner and put in irons. The Manks, however, had no reason to rejoice at their loyalty, being compelled to contribute 3 pence sterl. for every cow on the Island, and moreover to feed the Norwegian forces during the whole winter. Now, it would seem, the division between Olav and Godred, which is only mentioned in our Chronicle and that of Lanercost, and not in the Saga, was carried into effect.
Olav, it is said, retained Man, and Godred got the "insulanas partee", i.e. the other islands, which did not belong to the Somerledian part. That the Somerledian line retained their insular possessions, is expressly stated in the Chronicle of Lanercost, it being said, that Olav, after the death of Godred, reigned both in Man and the Isles, arceptis his quas filii Sumerledi tenuerunt undecim annis (i.e. all the eleven years of Olav's reign). This seems to show, that after the death of Uspak-Hácon the Norwegians gave up for the moment the plan of reducing the Somerledian possessions to obedience, it being much more important to secure this hold upon Man, and perhaps they even made a truce or treaty with the princes, or at least with Duncan, Dugald of whom no further mention is made, had probably been put to death. At all events, however, sonme hostilities did take place before such a treaty could be concluded. In the spring, namely, the Norwegians again went to Cantire, where they were met by a force of Scots; in the ensuing tight the Scots, it is said, "came and went very loosely" ; many were killed on both sides, and while the Norwegians opposed one division of the enemy, another attacked and killed their servants, and took all their kettles, in which they prepared their meals. The Norwegians landed on several parts of Cantire, and ravaged the circumjacent territories, without, however, occupying any place; here, therefore, they must either have concluded the truce with the Somerledians, or resolved to abandon the plan of fighting them, deeming it impracticable. Before leaving Man, two captains of vessels furnished by Earl Sculi set Thorquill Mac Neil free, to the great discontent of the others, but no doubt according to a secret agreement between King Olav, Paul Baikason and the Earl's partizans; we learn, at least, from our Chronicle, that Thorquill afterwards appeared as the friend of Olav's Son Harold. From Cantire the Norwegians went to the Northern Isles, no doubt to help King Godred in securing his power; in Lewis, they had to fight with the above mentioned Dermot, son of Torquill Mac Dermot, who had returned, but was now compelled to flee, leaving his wife and all his possessions as a prey to the enemy. They then repaired to Orkney. But we learn from the Saga, that few days after they left, Paul Balkason was killed by Godred, and from our Chronicle as well as that of Lanercost, that, about the same time (consequently few days after the death of Paul), Godred was killed in the island of Lewis. This shows, that the withdrawal of the Norwegians must have been the signal of fierce hostilities between the partizans of Olav and those of Godred, and that the recent treaty did not continue of long duration.
In the summer of 1231 the Norwegians returned home, and although it seems to us, that they had rot effected very much, King Hácon thanked them heartily for what they had done. So far, however, they had succeeded, that the Supremacy of Norway in the Isles was revived, King Olav showing himself always as a faithful vassal, although, like his brother, he appeared at the English court, and entered the service of the English king. Here, however, we know exactly the nature of the service, as it is described in a letter from King Henry, still existing; and we learn from this letter, that it contained nothing inconsistent with the duties of Olav to his liege Lord of Norway, being only the defence of the English and Irish coasts on both sides of the St. George's Channel, for which service Olav, like Reginald, was to hold some possessions on the Irish coasts in fief of the English Crown, and to receive certain contributions in corn and wine. This letter is dated July 11th 1235, and the letter of safe conduct accorded by King Henry to King Olav for coming to his court, and transacting this business, the 13th of April 1. Yet it appears, that King Hácon did take some umbrage on hearing this, and that he summoned King Olav to Norway in order to justify himself, as there exists a letter, issued by the English King on May 24th 1236, in which the latter takes the men and possessions etc. of King Olav under his protection, during the absence of the said Olav in Norway at the request of the Norwegian King, and another, dated April 8th 1237, where the protection is renewed, and where King Olav is spoken of as having already begun his journey to Norway 2. The voyage, however, cannot have been completed, as we learn from our Chronicle, that King Olav died already on the 21st of May 1237 in Holm Peel, nor is it mentioned in the Saga, that he was ever in Norway after his short visit in 1230. Probably, therefore, he began the journey in crossing over to England, there to look for a passage to Norway, but feeling himself unwell, returned to Man, where shortly afterwards he died. The Saga gives him the express testimonial of having been scrupulously faithful to the Norwegian king. The Norwegians called him Olav the swarthy (Olafr svarti), no doubt because of his complexion.
Of all the events, told in this narrative as well as in the entries for the years 1238, 1239, 1240, 1242, 1243, not a word is spoken in the Saga, not even of King Harold's long stay from 1239--1242 at the court of King Hácon. Indeed, it would rather seem, that the latter, distrusting Harold as the secret partizan of his father-in-law, Duke Sklili, who coveted the crown, and had at last begun hostilities, summoned him to Norway in order to keep him in strict surveillance, perhaps even in prison, and that he did not release him or confer on him his favour till after the Duke's fall in 1240. The return of Harold in 1242 is also mentioned in the Chron. of Lanercost, but "Godredus" is wrongly written instead of "Haraldus" 1.
This is no doubt the same Gilchrist spoken of in the Saga of King Hácon, (Ch. 102), in 1224, as having then arrived at Bergen from the Isles, accompanied by Ottar Snaekollsson and many other Islanders, bringing many letters about the affairs of their land. An entry about the death of King Olav on the 21 of May 1237 exists in the Chronicle of Lanercost, the name of Olav, however, is corrupted into "Alan", no doubt by a blunder of the scriptor, who read "Olauus" as "Olanus" or "Alanus". He was succeeded, it is added, by his son Harold 14 years of age, who reigned 12 years.
This did not happen, as our Chronicle says, in 1247, but in 1246, see Matth. Paris. (p. 474), who records this even at Easter 1246, as well as the letter of safe conduct, dated Jan. 9 1246, accorded by King Henry to Harold for coming to and returning from England, during the time till Whitsunday. The year 1247, however, is rightly said to be that, in which King Hácon of Norway summoned Harold to his court. The Chronicle of Lanercost, which has the same entry almost verbally agreeing with our Chronicle, adds that Harold was summoned in order to be present at the King's coronation. This, however, cannot be the case, if the summons were not addressed to Harold till immediately ("statim") before his depart, which, as is expressly stated in both Chronicles, happened in the autumn, while the coronation already took place on the day of St. Olav (July 29), the summons to be present at which ought to haw been issued in the spring or early in the summer. Likewise the accurate Saga of King Hácon says, that Harold did not arrive in Bergen till after the depart of King Hácon to Oslo, which happened in September or October, and that he joined him at Oslo, where he passed the winter at his court 2. If then, the summons were not issued to Harold in the spring, which, very likely was the case, the reason cannot have been that the king wished him to be present at the coronation, but it is rather to be supposed, that he had taken some umbrage from the visit of Harold at the English court, and that he requested Harold to personally afford the due explanation and justification. We have seen, that likewise Olav, the father of Harold, was summoned to Norway immediately after a visit of this kind to the English court, and no doubt for the same reasons. Very likely, however, the presence at the coronation was given as a kind of pretext. At all events the suspicion, if there was any, cannot have lasted long, and the explanations given by Harold must have been found sufficient, as we see, that he soon came into the greatest favour with the king, and obtained his daughter in marriage. This daughter was Cecilia, born about 1220 before his marriage, and widow of the most noble Sir Gregory Andresson of Stovreim (T 1246) nephew of King Philip. The betrothal took place at Oslo during the winter, and the wedding was celebrated in the following summer with great splendour in the royal palace at Bergen, few days after the terrible fire, which (on the 4th of July, 1248) devastated the greater part of the city, and no doubt spread a gloom which splendour of the bridal rejoicings, could scarcely disperse, and which most likely gave occasion to serious apprehensions for the future fate of the young couple.
For the whole of this entry, concerning the election of a new bishop of Man after the demise of Simon, we refer to the part of our Chronicle which treats of the bishops especially.
The year is wrong, as the departure of Harold and his Queen from Norway happened in 1248, two months after their marriage, and their death consequently in the following month of October or November. The Saga of King Hácon mentions expressly the departure and death of the young couple, together with the events connected therewith, in 1248, likewise the Icelandic annals, and even our Chronicle, in stating afterwards, that Reginald, the successor of Harold, began his reign on the 6th of May 1249, makes it impossible that Harold could have departed in the same year; this departure must be assigned to the preceding year. However, the Chronicle of Lanercost, which has the same entry with some small variations 3, names likewise the year 1249, and therefore we might perhaps infer, that the news of Harold"s death did not reach Man till after the commencement of 1249, which surmise gains probability by the circumstance, that Reginald did not begin his reign earlier than in the month of May, 1249. To Norway the melancholy news arrived in the beginning of the winter, as it is expressly said in the Saga, that it reached King Hácon in the city of Tunsberg, immediately before he repaired to Oslo, there to spend the main part of the winter season. The circumstances of the tragical event are thus mentioned in the Saga: "the vessel, which carried the royal couple with their suite, was never heard of nor seen, except that some pieces of wreck were thrown on shore by the seas at the southernmost point of Shetland, from which it was inferred that it had perished in Dynröst (Sumburgh Roost between Shetland and Fair Isle, Dynrost still surviving in the name Dunrossnes, i.e. Dynrastarnes, the promontory of Dynrost). It is, therefore, obvious, that by "Jadlandia" in our Chronicle, Shetland (properly Hjaltland, very often Hjatland) is meant. In the Chron. of Lanercost the name is corrupted into "Yselandia".
During the time of Harold's departure from Norway and subsequent death there were also two other Sudreyan princes at the court of King Hácon, of whom, however, our Chronicle makes no mention. These were Eugenius or Eogan of Argyll, whom the Saga calls Jon, our Chronicle (p. 25) Johannes, and Matthew of Paris Oenus or Genus, son of the above mentioned Duncan, grandson of Somerled by Dugald, and Dugald, son of Rory of Cantire, grandson of Somerled by Reginald. They went to the court, it is said, asking for the title of Kings in the northern (or rather eastern) part of the Isles. This shows, that their fathers Duncan and Rory must have died shortly before. Eogan, the Saga says, was a righteous and trustworthy man, which also appears from what is told of his honorable behaviour towards his two suzerains, the Norwegian and the Scottish King, when it was impossible to remain the vassal of the one without being the enemy of the other. When Eogan and Dugald appeared at the court, King Hácon prepared an expedition to the frontier of Sweden, there to meet and treat with the Swedish king about some differences, which had existed for a long time between both kingdoms, and being eager to appear with some splendour, in order to give more weight to his reclamations, he ordered even Eogan and Dugald to follow him in the fleet. Already, however, when anchoring at Eldegjarsund not far from Bergen, he gave Eogan the royal title investing him, it appears, with the Isle of Mull, and permitted him to go back to Bergen, while Dugald must remained with the king. The Saga does not mention, whether Dugald got the title on the same occasion; yet it is very likely that he did get it, at least during the expedition, because henceforth he is styled ,,King Dugald". The meeting, however, did not take place, and Dugald returned to Bergen, it being the plan, that he and Eogan should accompany King Harold on his return to the Isles. Luckily for them that was not done; they remained at Bergen, the Saga does not say why; probably the king, on second thoughts, had deemed it more advisable to retain them for a while. Dugald went back to the king at Tunsberg, to pass the winter with him, Eogan intended to stay at Bergen. But when the news of Harold's decease reached the king, Hácon not wishing that the Isles should be left without any rulers, sent message to Eogan, that he should return immediately to the Sudreys and take charge of the kingdom until the king had time to take proper measures. Eogan, it appears, went away immediately, or at least in the spring of 1249, as it is certain as well from the Saga as Matthew of Paris, that he had returned some time before the death of King Alexander _II. which happened in the month of July 1249 2. Dugald, it is certain, had not yet left Norway in 1253, because it is expressly told, that he took part of the great expedition to the frontier in that year, where also King Magnus of Man was present, as will be seen hereafter; since 1253, he is not mentioned till 1263, when he is spoken of as one of the princes in the Isles, who had remained faithful to King Hácon; in the meantime, therefore, he must have returned to his possessions.
This is also told in the Chronicle of Lanercost, with the slight alteration, that Reginald's assassination is assigned to the 1st of July, and his reign consequently said to have lasted for 27 days. There seems to have been a conspiration between Harold the son of Godred and the Norwegian King the castle of Cairnburgh and three other castles, no doubt the three other situated in Mull, viz. Duart, Arcs and Moy.
We have already mentioned the eagerness of King Alexander to get hold of Man and the Isles. In 1244, we learn from the Saga, he made the first open démarche towards this aim, in sending two bishops (it is not mentioned who they were) to King Hácon, firstly to ascertain, whether he might be inclined to yield up willingly that kingdom in the Isles, which his ancestor King Magnus Barefoot had ,,unjustly" taken from King Edgar (Malcolm, as the Saga has, i. e. Edgar Mac Malcolm, see p. 66), and if this demand was refused, to ask him, if he would sell them for a sum of money. Hácon replied, that when King Magnus established his authority in the Sudreys, they were governed by King Godred, but that Magnus regarded them as his hereditary possessions; at all events the King of Scotland had no right thereto, and afterwards it having been agreed on by a formal treaty between Magnus and Edgar, what Norway should have, there could be consequently no right to them on the part of the Scottish king. As to selling them, he was not in so great want of silver, that he felt obliged to sell his hereditary possessions. This answer the bishops brought back, and now, it appears, new embassies were sent every year to the same purpose, but in vain, wherefore, says the Saga, he determined very unkingly to prepare an armaments, while the negociations were still pending, that he might take the coveted islands by main force, at the same time secretly tampering with the chieftains. He declared in his rage, that he would not rest till he had planted his banner east of Thursasker and conquered all the lands which the Norwegians possessed west of the North Sea, consequently even Orkney and Shetland. The first to feel his resentment was Eogan, who had just returned from Norway, and with whom he was very angry because he had sworn allegiance to the Norwegian king, although being a Scotch subject. He had him summoned to his court, and Eogan obeyed, yet not before he had got a safe conduct guaranteed by four Scotch earls. Alexander now upbraided Eogan with treachery; Eogan replying that he might very well fulfil his duties to both kings. Alexander, however, answered with the words of the gospel, that it was impossible to serve two masters at once; Eogan maintaining, that this could very well be done, when the two masters were not at war with each other. Now, however, when Alexander was on the eve of beginning wa1' with Hácon, it was necessary that Eogan declared himself for one of the two parties; and Alexander even went so far as to demand, that he should yield up to him the whole fief, which he had received from King Hácon (this was, as we have seen, the Isle of Mull), promising him in compensation lands of double the same extent in Scotland, and his friendship to boot. The friends and relatives of Eogan bade him most eagerly to consent; the brave Eogan, however, feeling that, although he might have the right to declare himself for the Scotch king, he could not honourably do so without previously and formally renouncing his allegiance to King Hácon, and that it would be an act of felony to yield up to his enemy the fiefs which he held from his hand; and thinking himself perhaps now doubly bound to King Hácon as he had been entrusted by him with a kind of vice regency, declined to comply with the request, and left the court, repairing for safety to the remote island of Lewis. Alexander prepared to follow him with an armed force, and Eogan, now seriously alarmed, declared himself ready to take his part, if he would only allow him a term for renouncing his services to King Hácon and restoring to him his fief. Of this, however, Alexander would hear nothing, and sailed, but when lying at anchor in Kerrera Sound, died froui a sudden fever on the 8th of July, 1249. The Saga tells, that St. Olav, St. Magnus and St. Columba appeared to him in a dream the night before his death menacing him with evils, if he persisted in his design. Also Matthew of Paris, the friend of King Hácon, represents the proceedings of Alexander as unfair, saying that in the last days of his life he diverged from the path of righteousness, while Fordun, the zealous patriot, in Matthew of Paris does not expressly say, that Eogan went personally to Alexander, the Saga, however, puts it beyond doubt, mentioning his enmity with the Lord of Argyll, praises him, and calls him a hater of iniquity. The death of Alexander saved Eogan from this imminent peril, as the son and successor of Alexander, Alexander III, was a mere boy of seven years. Eogan, it appears, remained yet for a couple of years in his allegiance to the Norwegian crown, and from our Chronicle we learn, that in 1250, when Harold was summoned to Norway, he acted still in the capacity of trustee or vieegerent, with which he had been invested by King Hácon, in bringing the third son of King Olav to Man, supported by a Norwegian force. He wounded, however, the sensibility of the Manks in making use of his royal title, and the Chronicle relates, how the enterprize failed. Since that time, it seems that Eogan resigned the title as well as his allegiance to Norway, because in a letter still preserved, issued by him in the year 1251, he styles himself only "Eogan, knight, son of Duncan of Argyll" and in 1263, he appears as the subject and decided partizan of Alexander III. We learn, however, from the Saga, that not till then he resigned his fiefs.
Of this no mention at all is made in our Saga, neither of the other events commemorated in this and the following year. When Harold was summoned to Norway, he had even opened negotiations with the English king, as appears from a letter of safe conduct issued by king Henry Deebr. 28 1250, "for our beloved and faithful Haraldus King of Man" to repair to England there to consult with the King.
The journey of Magnus to Norway must have taken place in May 1253, as there is a letter of safe conduct for him and his followers, issued by King Henry on Apr. 30, 1253, to go unmolested through England to Norway and likewise back again. The presence of Magnus in Norway is also somehow mentioned in the Saga, Ch. 271; that is to say, by a mistake or forgetfulness of names, John (Eogan) king of the Sudreys is named instead of Magnus. It is said that when Hácon in the month of June went from Bergen with a large fleet, to meet the Swedish Earl and Regent Byrgir at Gullbergseiil (near the present site of Gothenburg), there to concert measures about a war with Denmark, he had three kings among his followers; the one was his son Hácon, already designed as his successor, the other "John King of the Sudreys", the third King Dugald. As for John or Eogan, however, we have seen, that he had already resigned his title of King, and consequently his allegiance to Norway, in 1251, it is therefore impossible that he could have been in Norway, and in the suite of Hácon, in 1253; moreover, when Magnus came to King Hácon in the end of May or beginning of June 1253, it is next to impossible, that he should not follow the king on the expedition, and in this case there had been four kings, if John or Eogan likewise was in the fleet. There can be no objection taken from what our Chronicle relates, that Magnus was not formally confirmed by Hácon in the kingdom till his return in 1254, for he used certainly the title of King, to which he had hereditary right from his being received as King by the Manks in 1252. Of that formal investment in 1254, however, which no doubt took place at Christmas time, as was usual with such solemnities, no mention is made in the Saga.
This visit took place at easter time (about Apr. 16), as we learn from Matthew of Paris (p. 521) and the above mentioned letter of King Henry dated on the 21st of April, in which he orders his men not to receive Harold the son of Godred or Sir Ivar. From this letter, however, it would appear, that Harold then was supposed not to be any more in custody in Norway. We see, likewise, that Magnus felt it his duty to revenge as far as possible his brother's death.
The special motives of King Hácon's expedition are not mentioned in our Chronicle, and Fordun's narrative of this event being very deficient, we shall give shortly the whole account chiefly from the excellent Saga of King Hácon, especially as very wrong ideas of these affairs appear to be prevailing among the Scotch public, although Dillon, in his valuable treatise of the battle of Largs (in the Archaeol. Scot. Vol. II.) has done very much to correct many errors. We might, indeed, acquiesce in what Dillon has done, if it were not that he too had been mistaken in some points. About the events in the Islands between 1249 and 1261 the Saga is utterly silent, nor do we learn much from our Chronicle and the Scotch historians. Where the Saga resumes the narrative of the events in the Isles, the above mentioned Dugald (Dugald Mac Rory) is now generally spoken of as the sole King in his part of the Isles. He is characterized as being firm and unshaken in his fidelity to king Hácon, we find moreover, that one of his sons, named Eric, remained at King Hácon's court, no doubt as a kind of hostage, and this Eric continued to reside in Norway, even after the cession of the Isles to Scotland, as one of the principal barons of Norway. Eogan, although the connexion between him and Norway does not seem to have been formally severed, or at least the hope of King Hácon not quite given up, that he might still be brought back to his allegiance, is nevertheless mentioned as a secondary person. We have seen, that he had dropped the title of King in 1251, perhaps he had sworn allegiance already then to the young King Alexander, although he did not resign his Norwegian fiefs till the arrival of King Hácon himself in 1263. When King Alexander became of age (1262) and even a short time before, he resumed the plan, cherished by his father, of reuniting the Sudreys to the Scottish crown, and sent two envoys to Norway in 1261; an Archdeacon, and a Knight, named Missell, no doubt to negotiate for the cession of the Isles. The King, however, it is said, got to know, that they used only fair words, without sincerity; being, perhaps, aware of his displeasure, they tried to steal secretly away, without asking for passport, contrary to all customs; but they were stopped by express order of the king, who told them, that asa punishment they should stay in Norway the whole winter. King Alexander, on receiving news of this, was much exasperated; he complained to his father-in-law, King Henry of England, who wrote to King Hácon on the 23d of March 1262, about the release of the envoys and other matters; it is even hinted, that the envoys were not treated decently, which, however, appears not to be true, as we find, that Sir Missell f. inst. was present at the coronation of king Magnus on the 14th of September 1261, and, seemingly, in one of the best places in the church. The accusation was also formally denied in a letter from Haeon, in which he bade king Henry to understand, that now he had permitted the envoys to return without any hinderance, solemnly protesting that it had not been his intention to begin war with the king of Scots; the receipt of which letter king Henry acknowledged in another, dated Nov. 15. 1262, expressing his gratitude for the kindness shown by Hácon to the envoys, ofi'ering his mediation, and promising to exert his influence with the king of Scots, in order to induce the latter to repair the damages which king Hácon or his subjects had suffered from himself or his men Meanwhile, however, matters had changed; in the summer of 1262 there came a letter from king Dugald announcing, that earl William of Ross with other Scotch chieftains had madean attack upon the Isle of Skye, and committed the most barbarous cruelties, burning churches and houses, killing men and Women, and staking small children upon spears; it was added, that king Alexander meant to conquer all the Isles. It is, therefore, evident, that the attack was made by his order; we find, moreover, that hostages were taken from Skye, and kept in custody at the cost of the Crown. Hácon being now greatly alarmed, determined, after duly deliberating with his council, to go to war with Scotland, which indeed was unavoidable, the Scotch having already commenced hostilities. This we expressly beg to remark, as Scotch historians, not aware of the real state of things, have taxed Hácon with duplicity for using so fair words, when really making preparations for war. Fordun (X. Ch. 16, 17) speaks with some uncertainty about a rumour, that some of the Scotch Magnates had written secretly to Hácon, promising to aid him against their king, if he came to Scotland; how far this be true, must remain in doubt, because we want more accurate accounts thereof; yet the party-spirit in Scotland in those times is so well known, that there would be no wonder if letters of the above description were really written. In the beginning of 1263 king Hácon issued orders for collecting the forces, which were to assemble at Bergen towards the commencement of the summer. Here the king, who had passed the winter at Throndheim, arrived on the 3d of May, and was shortly afterwards joined by his son, king Magnus. The king, it is said, dispatched two men, both, as it appears, natives of Scotland or the western countries, John (probably grandson, by a daughter, to Earl Harold in Orkney), and Henry Scott, to the Sudreys for the purpose of collecting good pilots for the fleet on its sailing through the intricate sounds and lochs of western Scotland; perhaps they also had to summon earl Magnus of Orkney to Norway, as we learn from the Saga, that he indeed was present there during the summer, and sailed from Bergen with the fleet. Maybe king Hácon thought it rather unsafe to trust him in his double capacity of vassal to the crown of Norway as well as to that of Scotland without exacting from him some extraordinary oaths and securities, especially as we find that king Alexander had forced the men of Caithness to give hostages, as he had those of Skye. Or perhaps Alexander had invested Magnus with war, and that Magnus fled to Hácon for protection. The two above mentioned messengers repaired to king Dugald and told him, that the fleet would arrive. The Scotch, it is said, meant to attack the Isles even this summer, but Dugald now gave out the rumour, that a Norwegian fleet of 40 sail might be expected; this news made the Scotch hesitate in beginning the attack.
When the forces were collected, the king summoned them to a meeting, at which he narrated the outrages committed by the Scotch, and declared his intention to take revenge. The government at home he committed to his son Magnus, with two prudent and expert Barons as councillors. Before leaving Bergen himself, he sent some barons with 8 ships, as it appears, to the assistance of king Magnus of Man; they were, however, detained by contrary winds, so that in reality they did not leave the coasts of Norway till after the main fleet, yet they made it up by sailing so much faster, and some of them did not see land till passing Sou1iskerry; thence they made for Diurnes, where they landed, destroying a castle and burning twenty farms; at last they joined king Magnus of Man. The king, meanwhile, had moved from Bergen to the neighbouring port of Eidsvaag, and from thence to the out-port of Herdluver, whence he sailed directly for Shetland, on the 15th of July. Among the great men who followed him in the fleet, was Earl Magnus of Orkney, as aforesaid, whom he presented with a good ship of war, a sign of the excellent understanding now existing between them, the two bishops, Thorgils of Stavanger and Gilbert of Hamar formerly archdeacon of Shetland, the abbot of Holm, etc. The number of ships forming the fleet is not precisely given in the Saga, which says only that, when complete, it exceeded 120 sail; Fordun states the number of ships with which king Hácon appeared off Ayr, to have been about 160, with a force of 20000 men, and this seems to be, on the whole, not far from the truth. That the reports of the armament, preceding the king's arrival in the western Seas, caused no little alarm in Scotland and even in England, as appears from a letter, written by R. de Neville, to the royal chancellor of England, in order to get the suficcient money for guarding the lands and castles assigned to his care north of Trent, especially Bamborough, as it was said, and believed to be true, that not only the Norwegian but also the Danish king had arrived at the Isles with a large fleet, it not being ascertained, whither they meant to repair. Of the preparations made by the king of Scots, the fragments of "Chamberlains Rolls", quoted by Dillon (Archaeologia Scot. II. 389 --_391) give ample evidences; we see, that the fortifications of Inverness, Ayr, Wigtoun, Stirling, and perhaps other castles, were repaired and the garrisons increased, vessels built etc. Especially the castle of Ayr, where the chief attack must have been expected, appears to have been the centre of the movements. Two chieftains, no doubt of the Somerled branch, Angus Mac Donald of Isla and Murchard, were compelled to yield their sons as hostages. In two days, the greater part of the fleet reached Shetland, where the king remained in Bressa sound for about a fortnight, probable waiting for those vessels which during the passage had been separated from the main fleet. About the 20th of July, the king sailed to the Orkneys, and anchored in Elwick harbour at Shapensey, opposite Kirkwall. Here he held a council of war, declaring his plan of dividing the fleet in two parts, of which the smaller, chiefly consisting of yeomen or the militia troops, was directed to run into Moray firth and ravage the east coast of Scotland, while with the greater, under his own command, he intended to go at once to the Sudreys. This resolution, however, being announced to the men, the yeomen declared that they would go nowhere except under the immediate command of the king, whose authority was not so great, but that he felt obliged to yield. No division, therefore, took place. Immediately after St. Olav's day (July 29), which was celebrated with great solemnity, the king moved from Elwick to Ronaldsvoe, where again he lay for about eleven days, dispatching men to Caithness, there to exact a contribution from the inhabitants, threatening them with immediate attack and ravages, if they did not comply. They obeyed, although, as we have seen, having beforehand given hostage to king Alexander in pledge of their fidelity. During the king's stay at Ronaldsvoe, the Saga relates that, an eclipse of the Sun happened, only a small ring around the Sun being bright. This is a strong proof of the accuracy and trustworthiness of the Saga, as it may be seen from the eclipse tables, that an eclipse really happened on the 5th of August, and, according to special calculation, this eclipse appeared annular precisely at Ronaldsvoe 2. On St. Lawrence day (Aug. 10) the king sailed from Ronaldsvoe, having ascertained, that some ships not yet ready when he left Bergen, had arrived at the Sudreys. The Orkneyans, who where also to furnish ships and troops, had not yet completed their armament, but the Earl was ordered to follow, as soon as he had got ready. However on the same day, the king doubled Cape Wrath, the next he went to Lewis, thence eastward of Skye, to Rona and Raasay, and into the Sound of Skye, where he anchored near a little island, called Kerlingarsteinn or Cailleach-stone. Here he was joined by the king of Man and the barons, who had been sent away beforehand. He then proceeded to the Sound of Mull, falling in with king Dugald, who came in a light craft now acting as a pilotboat, and requested the king to follow as fast as possible. In this manner the fleet was conducted to Kerrera, where the forces gathered in the Isles were already assembled, and. joining the main fleet, brought the total number of ships to the amount already mentioned.
From Kerrera, king Hácon sent 50 ships under the command of king Dugald, king Magnus and some Norwegian barons to the isthmus of Kentire, and 15 ships to Bute, where the castle of Rothsay was held by a Scotch garrison, while he went himself with the rest of the fleet round Kentire to Gigha. His object was evidently first of all to intimidate the above mentioned chieftains, Angus of Isla and Murchard, and this aim seems to have been easily effected. They offered their submission through the medium of king Dugald; and nothwithstanding their having previously given hostages to king Alexander sought audience of king Hácon, throwing themselves upon his mercy, swearing allegiance, and pledging their faith by giving hostages; in return king Hácon promised to have them included in the treaty of peace, if such should be effected. Their possessions in Kentire were taxed to a contribution of 1200 neats. Meanwhile, the frequently mentioned Eogan, who, it seems, although declaring for Alexander, had not yet formally resigned his Norwegian fiefs, appeared, perhaps summoned to do so, in the king's presence. He went on board the ship of bishop Thorgils, no doubt to claim his protection, and bade the king release him from his allegiance, as well as to receive back the above mentioned fiefs, because he had now sworn oaths of fidelity to king Alexander. The king at first desired him to consider the matter, and retained him in the fleet for a while without, however, shaking his purpose. The abbot of Sandal applied personally to the king for a safe conduct to his monastery, which was immediately granted. Shortly afterwards, when the dominican friar, brother Simon, who had been employed by the king in several diplomatic missions, and had now even followed him on this expedition, happened to die while the fleet lay off Gigha, his body was interred in the church of Sandal, and the monks there believed him to be a Saint. The Scotch knight, who had the command of Donaverty castle in Kentire, no doubt terrified at the progress of the king, and at the hostilities already commenced in his neighbourhood, capitulated; the king thereon appointed a Norwegian, Guthorm Bakkakolf, commander of the castle. Kentire being thus reduced, the king sent some light vessels to hasten the reduction of Rothsay castle, but that was now superfluous, the castle having already capitulated on the condition that the garrison should depart unmolested. This condition, however, was violated by one Rory, of whom our Saga relates, that he had been outlawed by king Alexander because asserting the Island of Bute to be his patrimony, and failing to get this claim acknowledged by the Scotch king, had committed many hostilities in Scotland; but that when king Hácon appeared in these parts, he had come to him with his two brothers for protection and sworn him allegiance; at the siege of Rothsay he had commanded a ship, and now, the garrison having departed according to the capitulation, he overtook it and killed nine men, alledging that he personally had not promised them anything. There can hardly be any doubt, that this Rory, whose father and ancestors are not mentioned in the Saga, was a descendant of Somerled. From Buze, the Norwegians and Rory of their own accord made inroads upon the mainland of Scotland, committing many ravages. The mouth ofthe Clyde now lay open to the Norwegian fleet. The wind, that for a time had prevented the king from leaving Gigha, now became favourable; he sailed with the whole fleet round the Moul of Kentire to Arran, and anchored in Lamlash harbour, on tile east side of Arran, opposite the main coast of Scotland. He passed, consequently, the town of Ayr, situated on this coast, where, it appears, as we have seen, the main attack had already been expected by the Scottish king. To this sailing past, or no doubt quite close to, Ayr, Fordun alludes narrating that "Rex Aco Norvegiæ venit apud Novum Caatrum de Are cum piraticis navibus octies vigivzti, habentibus intra se viginti millia hominum belligerorum". Fordun, we remark, does not say that he landed, only that he arrived off Ayr; yet his words have been misinterpreted by Buchanan, who says expressly that Hácon landed at Ayr with 20,000 men. It is, however, an error, when Fordun gives the 1st of August (Petr'i ad vincula, Lammass) as the date of this arrival, which rather must have occurred a month later, as the king had not yet left the Orkneys on the day of the eclipse, which happened on the 5th of August. When king Hácon appeared off Ayr, and anchored at Arran, king Alexander, who appears to have been present himself at Ayr or in the neighbourhood of the town with the greater part of his forces, now opened negotiations, sending several messages by Franciscan or Dominican friars, for the purpose of treating for peace. Nor did king Hácon show himself unwilling to negotiate, and proved this sufficiently by permitting Eogan of Argyll to depart in peace, loading him moreover with presents, on the condition that he should do his best to bring about a reconciliation; Eogan pledging himself, if he did not succeed, to return to king Hácon. Perhaps it was due to the exertions of Eogan, that a truce was concluded, in order to commence negotiations in a more formal manner. King Hácon now dispatched an ambassy, consisting of the two bishops, Gilbert of Hamar and Henry of Orkney, with three barons, to Alexander, whom they found at Ayr; they were well received, but could not get any definite answer, Alexander alleging that before proposing the conditions he must consult with his councillors; this done, he should not fail to let king Hácon know the result. The Norwegian messengers therefore returned to their king, who meanwhile had removed to Bute; the next day, however, messengers arrived from king Alexander, bringing a list of those Isles which he would not resign, viz. Arran, Bute and the Cumreys (that is, generally speaking, the lsles inside Kentire), which implies, that he now offered to renounce his claim to all the others. It is certainly not to be wondered at that he did not like to see those Isles, which commanded the entrance to the Clyde, in the hands of another power. King Hácon, however, had prepared another list containing the names of all those Isles which he claimed for the crown of Norway; and although the exact contents are not known, there can be no doubt that at least Arran and Bute were among the number. The Saga says, that on the whole there was after all no great difference, but that nevertheless no final reconciliation could be obtained, the Scotchmen trying only to protract the nogotiations because the summer was past, and the bad weather had begun. The Scotch messengers at last returned, and king Hácon removed with the fleet to the Cumreys near Largs in the district of Cuningham, no doubt with a view of being either nearer at hand, if the negotiations failed, and a landing was to be effected, or only of intimidating his opponents, and hastening the conclusion of the peace as the roadstead in itself seems to have been far less safe than that of Lamlash or Bute. King Alexander sent indeed several messages, and it was agreed to hold a new congress a little farther up in the country, which shows that king Alexander now had removed from Ayr to a spot nearer Largs, perhaps to Camphill (on the road" from Largs to Kilbirnie), where a local tradition states the king encamped.The Norwegian messengers were as before some bishops and barons; the Scotch commissaries were some knights and monks; the deliberations were long, but still without any result; at last, when the day was declining, a crowd of Scotchmen began to gather, and as it continued to increase the Norwegians not thinking themselves safe, returned without having obtained anything. The Norwegian warriors now demanded earnestly, that the truce should be renounced, because their provisions had begun to be scarce, and they wanted to plunder. King Hácon accordingly sent one of his esquires named Kolbein to king Alexander with the letter, issued by this monarch ordering him to claim back that given by himself and thus declare the truce to be ended, previously, however, proposing that both kings should meet at the head of their respective armies, and try a personal conference before coming to extremities; only if that failed, they might go to battle as the last expedient. King Alexander, however, did not declare his intention plainly, and Kolbein, tired of waiting, delivered up the letter, got that of king Hácon back, and thus rescinded the truce. He was escorted to the ships by two monks. Kolbein when reporting to king Hácon his proceedings, told him that Eogan of Argyll had earnestly tried to dissuade king Alexander from fighting with the Norwegians; it does not seem, however, that Eogan went back to Hácon according to his promise. This monarch now was greatly exasperated, and desired the Scottish monks, when returning, to tell their king, that he would very soon recommence the hostilities and try the issue of a battle.
Accordingly, king Hácon detached king Dugald, Alan Mac Rory his brother, Angus of Isla, Murchard of Kentire, and two Norwegian commanders, with 60 ships to sail into Loch Long and ravage the circumjacent parts, while he prepared to land himself with the main force at Large, and fight the Scotch army. The detachment does not appear to have met with any serious resistance, all the Scotch forces being probably collected near Largs. The banks of Loch Lomond and the whole of Lennox were ravaged, Angus even ventured across the country to the other side, probably near Stirling, killing men and taking a great number of cattle. This done, the troops who had been on shore returned to the ships. Here, however, a terrible storm, which blew for two days (Oct. 1 & 2), wrecked ten vessels, and one of the Norwegian captains was taken sick and died suddenly.
Also the main fleet, off Largs, suffered greatly by the same tempest. It began in the night between Sunday (Sept. 30) and Monday (Oct. 1), accompanied by violent showers; a large transport vessel drifted down on the bow of the royal ship, swept off the gallion and got foul of the cable; it was at last cast loose, and drifted towards the island; but on the royal ship it had been necessary to remove the usual awnings or covers, and in the morning (Oct. 1) when the flood commenced, the wind likewise turned, and the vessel, along with another vessel of transport and a ship of war, was driven on the main beach, where it stuck fast, the royal ship drifting down while with five anchors, and only stopped when the eighth had been let go. The king had found it safest to land in a boat on the Cumrey with the clergy, who celebrated mass, the greater part believing that the tempest had been raised by witchcraft. Soon the other ships began to drift, several had to be cut away the masts; five drifted towards the shore, and three went aground. The men on board these ships were now dangerously situated, because the Scotch, who from their elevated position could see very well what passed in the fleet, sent down detachments against them, while the storm prevented their comrades in the fleet from coming to their aid. They manned, however, the large vessel, which had first drifted on shore, and defended themselves as well as they could against the superior force of the enemy, who began shooting at them. Happily the storm abated a little, and the king was not only able to return on board his ships, but even send them some aid in boats; the Scotch were put to flight, and the Norwegians were able to pass the night on shore. Yet in the dark some Scots found their way to the vessel, and took what they could. In the morning (Tuesday Oct. 2), the king himself with some barons and some troops went on shore in boats, to secure the valuable cargo of the transport, or what was left of it, in which they succeeded; now, however, the main army of the Scots was seen approaching, and the king, who at first meant to remain on shore and head his troops himself, was prevailed upon by his men, who feared lest he should expose himself too much, to return on board his ship. The number of the Norwegians left on shore did not exceed 1000 men, 240 of whom, commanded by the baron Agmund Krokidans, occupied a hillock, the rest were stationed on the beach. The Scotch, it is related in the Saga, had about 600 horsemen in armour, several of whom had Spanish steeds, all covered with mail; they had a great deal of infantry, well armed, especially with bows and Lochaber axes. The Norwegians believed that king Alexander himself was in the army; perhaps this was true; we learn, however, from Fordun, that the real commander was Alexander of Dundonald, the Stewart of Scotland. The Scotch first attacked the knoll with the 240 men, who retired slowly, always facing the enemy and fighting; but in retracing their steps downhill, as they could not avoid accelerating their movement as the impulse increased, those on the beach believed that they were routed, and a sudden panic betook them for a moment, which cost many lives, as the boats were too much crowded they sank with their load; others, who did not reach the boats, fled in a southerly direction, and were pursued by the Scotch, who killed many of them; others sought refuge in the aforesaid stranded vessel; at last they rallied behind one of the stranded ships of war, and an obstinate battle began; the Norwegians, now that the panic was over, fighting desperately. Then it was, that the young and valiant Piers of Curry, of whem even Fordun and Wyntown speak, was killed by the Norwegian baron Andrew Nicholasson, after having twice ridden through the Norwegian ranks. The storm for a while prevented king Hácon from aiding his men, and the Scotch, being tenfold stronger, began to get the upper hand; but at last two barons succeeded in landing with fresh troops, when the Scotch were gradually driven back upon the knoll, and then put to flight towards the hills. This done, the Norwegians returned on board the ships; on the following morning (Oct. 3) they returned on shore to carry away the bodies of the slain, which, it appears, they effected quite unmolested by the enemy; all the bodies were carried to a church, no doubt in Bute, and there buried. The next day (Thursday Oct. 4) the king removed his ship farther out under the Island, and the same day the detachment arrived, which had been sent to Loch Long. The following day (Friday Oct. 5), the weather being fair, the king again sent men on shore to burn the stranded ships, which likewise appears to have been effected without any hinderance from the enemy. On the same day he removed with the whole fleet to Lamlash harbour.
We have not deemed it superfluous to give here at some length these particulars of the celebrated battle of Largs, extracted from the plain narrative of the Saga, with a view of removing at least some of the erroneous and almost ridiculous ideas which have prevailed and still no doubt prevail about it in Scotland and England. We do not intend, however, to waste many words upon the insane belief of so many amateur antiquarians, that the expedition of king Hácon was not more or less than a piratical excursion in the old pagan Viking-style; that "the warlike". king Hácon was ,,the last of the Vikings"; and that his men, who fell in the battle, were buried as pagans, inasmuch as the cairns, cromlechs, and other sepulchral monuments from the pagan times discovered at Largs have been invariably believed to belong to those christian Norwegian warriors, who fought on 1st and 2d of Oct. 1263; an error, the glaring enormity of which indeed even the most superficial knowledge of general history (not to speak of ecclesiastical history) might seem sufficient to expose, not to speak of the facts specially recorded, that the king brought bishops and clergymen with him, and that all the bodies of the slain Norsemen were removed from the spot. Yet apart from this almost unaccountable hallucination, there are still serious errors left. Firstly, the exaggerated description given by Fordun of the ravages, which the Norwegian fleet suffered the storm had given rise to the belief, that king Hácon lost thousands of his men, and that, indeed, his power was entirely broken. Now everybody accustomed to use historical records will perceive at the first glance, that the narrative of the whole afl'air, as given in the Saga, does not admit of any serious doubt; the events being told minutely and candidly, without mincing or exaggerating; and, that it has been evidently written after the relation of eye - witnesses or participators, which, indeed, was very easy, as the author, Sturla Thordson from Iceland, finished the Saga two years afterwards. There was no reason why it should not be stated, if more ships were lost than the six or seven here mentioned, or if more men were killed, than what we may calculate from the fact that at the highest estimation not more than 1500 could have taken part in the fight from first to last, the greater part of whom seem even to have survived. Indeed if the loss had been so great as Fordun intimates, the Saga had bewailed it, according to its wont, in quite other strains; and the movements of the king had been quite different. It is stated in the Saga, that when king Hácon was at anchor near Gigha, previous to his sailing round Kentire to Arran, there came a deputation to him from the Irish, offering him their allegiance if he would help them to throw off the English yoke; and that he so far showed himself favourable to their wish, that he sent a Sudreyan, named Sigurd, back with them to ascertain what inducements they might ofl'er him. Now, during his stay in Lamlash harbour, after the battle, Sigurd returned from Ireland with the officer on the part of the Irish, that they would entertain his host the whole winter, if he would come and help them. And, it is said, he was greatly inclined to do so, but the army was averse to it, and as the wind happened to fail, while provisions began to be scarce, he gave up the plan. He could not, however, have entertained the idea for a single moment, if if he had really felt himself so weak, as must needs have been the case if the relation of Fordun were true. Moreover, we learn that the Scotch army did not prevent his men from removing their dead to the ships, of course, prevented the Norwegians from eifecting any thing more than defending themselves, and repelling the hostile attack, no doubt with a comparatively serious loss, and they certainly compelled Hácon to desist for that season from farther undertakings, which in itself was a disaster; but so much is evident, that even if the ships had not been damaged and the battle had not taken place, the king would neverthe less have been obliged to retreat, as he did, and to put off active hos tilities for the winter. It is, therefore, quite true, what Melrose chronicle quotes as his own words, "that he was driven back, not by human force but by the immediate influence of God".
When it had been determined, that no expedition should be undertaken to Ireland for the time being, the king held a meeting with his men, and declared, that he would return to the other Islands, because provisions were scarce; he gave even some of the troops permission to return home to Norway, of which they were not slow to avail them selves. He left Lamlash about the 9th, passed the first night under Arran, the second under Sandey, the third under Gigha, and came on the 12th to Isla Sound, where he passed two nights, levying a contribution from the islanders of 360 neats, or their value, part of which was to be paid in meal and cheese. On Sunday, the 14th of October, he continued his course, but a violent tempest, accompanied by dense mists, forced him to seek shelter in the harbour of Kerrera. Here fresh negotiations passed between the king and Eogan, but without any effect; Eogan did not even present himself, and it was soon announced, that his men had committed ravages in the Isle of Mull, and killed some men, natives as well as Norwegians. Now, then, Eogan had finally declared himself for king Alexander. King Hácon did not, it appears, attempt to take any revenge, nor is it likely that it had been possible then to do so. From Kerrera the king sailed to the Calve of Mull, where king Dugald and his brother Alan Mac Rory took their leave; the king invested them with the lands formerly held by Eogan; moreover, he assigned to Dugald the castle of Donaverty in Kentire; to Rory be gave Bute, and to Murchard Arran. These were certainly not the acts of a vanquished monarch, and the Saga adds justly then in this expedition king Hácon had regained the territories which king Magnus Barefoot had gained from Scotland and the Sudreys. The king of Man with the other Sudreyans had returned home before this time. After a stay of some few days the king left the Calf of Mull, and proceeded to Rona, whence he took a northerly course, but was compelled by contrary winds to seek shelter for several days in Westernfirth (Loch Snizort) in Skye, whose inhabitants therefore were forced-to contribute provisions. At last he was able to continue his course, and passed Cape Wrath, but off Diurness he was becalmed (Oct. 27), and entered a firth, called "Gjáfjörðr", no doubt Loch Eribal, where seven of his men, who had gone on shore to fetch water, fell into an ambush and were killed. On Monday (Oct. 29), he crossed the Pightland firth to Ronaldsvoe, losing a ship in the Swelchie. When arrived the Orkneys, he found that the greater part of the ships had returned home to Norway, many without leave. He now determined to pass the winter at Orkney with 20 ships and all the barons, giving the rest leave to go home. Accordingly, he had the ships put on shore at Midland harbour and Scalpa in the Mainland, and took his residence in the palace of bishop Henry at Kirkwall. Here he was taken sick from over-exerting himself. We refrain from giving the interesting history of his sickness and death, as not touching the present matter, suffice it to say, that he died on the 15th of December, to the grief of all his subjects. In the following spring, as our chronicle rightly says, his body was carried to Norway, and buried in the Cathedral of Bergen, named Christ Church, or Trinity Church.
During his sickness, king Hácon seems to have reflected seriously upon the expediency of continuing the war, and indeed to have come to the resolution that now, when the military glory of the nation was secured, an honourable and lasting peace was greatly to be preferred to a long and obstinate war. We learn namely from the Saga, that early in the spring the barons and captains, left by him in the Orkneys, sent messengers to king Alexander, "to look about them whether peace might be concluded". Fordun says, that according to one tradition, Hácon before his death sent the letters, which he had got from the malcontents in Scotland, to Alexander, with warnings against the traitors; this, however, the author himself thinks improbable, inclining rather to believe another tradition, that after king Hácon's death the Norwegians wrote to king Alexander a letter under the late king's seal, in which they warned him against certain magnates, hoping that he would punish them and thereby weaken his own power, although they were innocent, and the aspersion was without the least foundation. This version, however, seems no more probable than the former; yet it is not unlikely, that the message, by which this letter was sent, was the same as is spoken of in the Saga, especially as it is told, that the messengers, bishop Henry of Orkney and Ascatine, the royal chancellor, were very badly received; they were threatened, it is said, with death or imprisonment, and the Scots complained, that the Norwegians had ravaged more than a third of Scotland. It is obvious, that something more than the acts of open war must have taken place to exasperate the Scots so terribly; yet this whole afl'air is obscure, nor is it likely that it will ever be sufficiently explained. The messengers returned, and Sir Askatine went soon afterwards to Norway, whither also Sir Agmund Krökidans and Eric Dugaldsson had already repaired with some of the troops, reporting to the king, that the Scots were far from being inclined to peace; whereon the king immediately sent Sir Agmund and Eric back to Orkney, the former to take the chief command of the forces in Orkney, the latter, to proceed with three vessels to the Sudreys. Meanwhile, king Alexander prepared himself for the renewal of the war, and the cities, or some of them at least, furnished loans of money, which were spent not only in armaments, but also in bribes to several inhabitants of the Isles. The armament, it was said, was chiefly directed against king Magnus of Man, who dispairing of success while the Norwegian fleet was not at hand, sued for peace, and requested a safe conduct, that he might treat in person with king Alexander. The safe-conduct was granted, and king Alexander having repaired to Dumfries, Magnus met him there, and submitted entirely to him, declared himself to be his vassal, and tending him the oath of allegiance, on condition, that the Scottish king should protect him, if the king of Norway sought to také revenge for this desertion; he promised, however, to furnish ten ships of war to the service of king Alexander. This is the relation of Fordun, which seems to be very accurate; according to our Saga, the Scots really "went to Man and compelled king Magnus to oaths of submission"; considering, however, the particular circumstances, the difference is very slight, and amounts almost to nothing; from Dumfries to Man there is only a short distance, and if the Scottish fleet was assembled near Dumfries, which it certainly was, it is not unlikely, that some of the ships should have shown themselves off Man, to intimidate Magnus. It is curious, that this whole transaction should not be mentioned by a single word in our chronicle. King Alexander also sent a considerable number of forces, commanded by Earls William of Moray and Alexander of Buchan, as well as by Alan Durward, to reduce the other islands, and as there were none or few Norwegian troops to protect them, this enterprize was successful: Angus of Isla, the Saga says, and many others, who had followed king Hf1con the last year, now submitted to the Scots. Fordun adds, that "those traitors, at whose request king Hácon had come to the Isles, were now killed in battle, expelled, or hanged". Only king Dugald, the Saga relates, kept so well aloof on his ships, that they did not get hold of him. Lastly, king Alexander sent troops to Caithness, whose inhabitants were made to pay a heavy fine for having yielded to_ the necessity, when king Hácon compelled them to give contributions. This movement caused Sir Agmund, who dreaded an attack upon Orkney, to keep back Eric Dugaldson for the whole Winter with the ships and troops intended for the Sudreys, which no doubt greatly accelerated the progress of the enemy there. The Orkneys, however, were not attacked, and when the Scots returned from Caithness, king Dugald attacked them, killed many of them, and took a great deal of goods. In the next spring (1265) he came to Orkney, soliciting aid, when his son Eric accompanied him with three ships, according to the royal order.
Meanwhile, king Magnus, hearing from the Chancellor how matters stood, ordered him to return immediately as ambassador to king Alexander, accompanied by two Franciscan friars, one of whom was brother Maurice, who afterwards was employed in other diplomatic transactions with Scotland. They went to Scotland as soon as possible, and got access to the king; they were even more friendly received than the former messengers, yet they did not get any other answer, than this, that if king Magnus really wished for peace, he ought to send "good messengers" to Scotland next summer. Yet we learn from the Icelandic annals, compared with the Chamberlains Rolls, that Alexander indeed sent two Franciscan friars to Norway in the year 1264, and it is very likely, that these friars accompanied their Norwegian brethren, who arrived, together with Sir Ascatine, at Throndheim, where the king had passed Yule time, in the month of January 1265. The king complied with the request of king Alexander, sufiicient evidence of his eagerness for peace, and sent from Bergen, whither he had repaired after Easter time, bishop Gilbert of Hamar and Sir Ascatine 4, both Scotchmen born, to Scotland, with full power to treat for peace on the conditions which had been rejected by king Hácon the previous year, viz. that the Scottish king should have the Isles inside of Kentire, while all the rest should continue to belong to Norway. The ambassadors took their route through England, where they landed at Lynn, and thence proceeded to York. Here they remained for a while, no doubt prevented from getting farther by the war between the barons and prince Edward. At last they penetrated into Scotland, and came to king Alexander; this monarch, however, who by that time must have pretty well completed the conquest of the Isles, treated their proposals with contempt, and insisted upon having all the lslands. The messengers now returned to Norway, yet king Alexander relaxed his obstinacy, in so far that he adopted a middle course, sending the eloquent Reginald of Roxburgh, monk in Melrose abbey, to Norway with the proposition to the king of selling Man and the Islands for a competent sum of money. This expedient had probably been concerted with the Norwegian ambassadors, who no doubt had likewise prepared their king for it, as it is related in the Melrose chronicle, which here may be assumed as the most authentic record, that Reginald was honourably received, that king Magnus called his magnates together, to consult about the matter, and that he said "quod multum ewpediret pro pace servanda, ut venderentur insulw regi Scottorum", to which some of the magnates objected, but that at last the opinion of the king was agreed to. These transactions, however, must have taken rather a long time, as Reginald did not return till the next year. The treaty, according to the chronicle of Melrose, was already got up and agreed upon in Norway, and carried to Scotland by Chancellor Ascatine, who departed from Norway shortly after Reginald. This, howewer, cannot have been but the preliminary record, as we learn from the final document, of which copies are still preserved, that it was written in Scotland, after the arrival of the Norwegian ambassadors, and that these were, as usually, two, Chancellor Ascatine and Sir Andrew Nicholasson, the same who killed Sir Piers of Curry in the battle of Largs. Of course the main contents of the treaty were already agreed upon in Norway, and the final transaction in Scotland was a mere formality, to obtain the ratification, yet the definitive record, written in duplo, one to be sealed by the Scottish king, and sent to Norway, the other, vice versa, to be sealed by the Norwegian king (the Chancellor had no doubt already brought with him a sealed blank for this purpose) and delivered up to king Alexander, dated at Perth, on Friday after the day of St. Peter & Paul, or July 2d, 1266. As it has been often printed, we do not deem it necessary to give it here at length, referring those who want to peruse it from beginning to end, to Acts of Parliaments of Scotland, Vol. I. p. 78, 101; Torfaei Orcades, p. 198, his Historia Norwegiae IV. p. 343; Peterkin's Rentals of Orkney, Johnstone's Antiq. Celto-Normannicae, p. 52, etc. It is sufficient to say, that king Magnus ceded to king Alexander the Isle of Man and all the Sudreys, but not the Orkneys and Shetland, which were expressly excepted, without depriving the Norwegian Archbishop of his ecclesiastical jurisdiction and metropolitan rights over Man and the Isles; Alexander promising in return, that the crown of Scotland should perpetually pay to the crown of Norway annually 100 Marks Sterling, in the Cathedral of Kirkwall, not later than the 1st of July; and besides, a sum of 4000 Marks Sterling, by four instalments of a thousand each, in the years 1267, 1268, 1269, 1270, at the time and place aforesaid; finally, that a fine of 10000 Mks Sterling was to be paid by the party who violated or did not fulfil the treaty to the other, both submitting to the jurisdiction and ecclesiastical punishment of the apostolic See. Immediately after the conclusion of this treaty, the Norwegian ambassadors, it appears, returned home, as we learn from the Icelandic annals, that king Magnus published the treaty at a public meeting in the Christ-churchyard in Bergen on the day of St. Lawrence (Aug. 10) the same year. In the inventory of the public records existing in the treasury of Edinburgh castle a. d. 1282, published in Acts of Parl. of Scotl. p. I. preface p. 3. we find among "negotia tan gentia Norwagiam" not only "Compositio inter reges Scotiw et Norwagiæ super insulis, duplicata", i.e. the treaty itself, with a copy, but also "Confessio procuratorum missorum a regi Norwagiæ pro dicta compositione facienda", and farther "mandatum regis Norwagiæ quod insulaa faciant homagium regi Scotiæ et ei intendant ut domino"; it appears, then, that king Magnus of Norway, as usual in such cases, had issued a document, in which he released his Sudreyan subjects from their allegiance, and transferred it to the king of Scots; no doubt the ambassadors brought this letter with them fully prepared under his seal 1. When the treaty was concluded, king Magnus ~of Man was already dead, as we see from our chronicle, yet king Alexander did not come into possession of Man -- if, indeed, he ever did---without difficulties. According to Fordun, who, however, wrongly assigns the death of king Magnus to a. d. 1267, king Alexander in this year collected an army against the "rebels" of Man, with the intention of establishing his camp there; yet he altered this plan, and sent only some of his troops with the Galwegians. The result is not mentioned, but there can be no doubt that we have it somehow given in the titles of two letters, mentioned in the aforesaid inventory, viz. a letter to king Alexander from the "Majores" of Man, no doubt a limited and conditional submission, and an obligation of Alexander to the bishop of Man "quod non iret super Manniam ad tempus", evidently the condition, on which the Manx magnates agreed to acknowledge him for their liege Lord. King Alexander probably now exacted oaths of allegiance from the Sudreyans in general, and especially from those magnates who had not yet submitted to him. Among the last to do so, it appears, was Angus of Isla, because from the same inventory we learn, that the barons of Argyll pledged themselves, under the loss of their hereditary domains, to aid the king faithfully against Angus, if he did not obey the king's commands, and that Angus was compelled to issue an obligation, tendering forfeiture of his patrimonial domains, it he failed in his duty towards the king. Afterwards, however, we find him among the Magnates of Scotland, f. inst. at the parliament of Scone 1283 (Acts of Parl. I. p. 82). His descendants, the MacDonalds, were likewise a powerful clan. Whether king Dugald Mac Rory did homage to king Alexander, is not known; from the Icelandic annals we learn, that he died already in 1268, and it is very likely, that he passed these last two years after the cession, in Norway, since his death is noticed by the Icelandic annalist; and since his son, Sir Eric Dugaldson, continued to live in Norway as a baron, till his death in 1287. The brother of Dugald, however, Alan Mac Rory, submitted to the king of Scots; he appears as Alanus filius Roderici among the barons of the parliament of Scone, 1283.
Since the conclusion of this treaty, the Norwegian dominion of Man and the Isles ceased entirely, and no formal attempt was made to gain it back, although it would seem, that the wish was not entirely given up, especially by the son and successor of king Magnus, Eric, who possibly married the daughter of Alexander chiefly for this purpose. Yet we learn from our chronicle, as well as from Fordun, and the title of the above mentioned document, that the dominion of Alexander in the Isle of Man must have been rather loose and much disputed by the natives themselves. Indeed, the Island seems never to have been formally united with Scotland, but only to have been held by Alexander and his successors as a personal possession, which afterwards facilitated its transference to the Crown of England. Of this, however, it is superfluous and beyond our scope to treat here. We learn from the chronicle of Lanercost, although, by a singular mistake, it mentions the cession of Man during a. d. 1256, while the battle of Largs is spoken of during a. d. 1266, that king Alexander really, for a time at least, had bailiffs or lieutenants in Man.
That Magnus of Man was married to a daughter of Eogan of Argyll, and that she afterwards married Malise Earl of Stratherne, has been already mentioned. We can hardly think this connexion with Eogan to have been without influence upon Magnus, in hastening his submission to king Alexander, in 1264, as well, perhaps, in making his fidelity to king Hácon rather shaky already in 1263, when Eogan had declared him self peremptorily for Alexander.
According to the Chronicle of Lanercost, the expedition here mentioned, was caused by a new rebellion of the Manxmen, who had taken Godred, the son of Magnus, for their king. If Godred, as it would seem, was among the slain, the male line of the Godredian dynasty expired in his person. The female line seems to have survived for one generation more. In the year 1293, namely, one Affreca, related to the last king, Magnus, and pretending to be his legal heir, claimed the Isle of Man, as we learn from a letter issued June 15, 1293, by king Edward I. to John Baliol, then king of Scotland, citing him as a vassal of the English crown, to appear before his court, and receive judgment in the same case. It must be added, that the Island had been lately made over by Edward to king John (see letter, dated January 5, 1293, Rymeri foed. I. 9. p. 785), the inhabitants having three years before (Rymer. l. c. p. 740) of their own free will put themselves under the protection of king Edward. This Affreca was no doubt a grand-daughter of her namesake, the daughter of king Godred mentioned heretofore (p. 15. ad ann. 1204) in her marriage with John de Courcy, and named after his grandmother, as she again in her turn was named after her grandmother, Atfreca of Galloway, king Olav's Queen (vid. p. 7 ad ann. 1102). What was the issue of the lawsuit, we do not know, nor do we think it necessary to dwell on the entries in our Chron. for the years 1313 and 1316, as being sufficiently explicit to want any explanation.
- Landnama IV. 1. 3. Droplaugarsuna Saga p. 4.
- Guðriðr (or Guðréd) the son of Hardeenut, king of Denmark and grandson of Lodbrok, was, according to Simeon of Durham and others, elected king of the Danes at York 882, and died 894 (according to Ethelwerd 896, the 25 August); as son of Hardcenut he was the brother of king Germ in Denmark, who, indeed, seems to have been no other, than the well known Gulirum, who made peace with king Alfred in 878, and was baptized with the name of Athelstan, "Gormr", "Gurmr" being a contraction of Goðormr, Guðurmr. The Danish historian Saxo speaks (p. 468) of a Germanglicus, who was first king in England, but went afterwards to Denmark, where he was succeeded by a Harold. and this again by Germ the old, the husband of Thyre Danebot; the annals of Ry monastery (commonly called Chronicon Erici regis) say even, that Gorm anglicus was christened in England (Langebek Scriptt. R. D. I. p. l58). All ancient Sagas do not know of more than one Gorm, viz. Gormr hinn gamli (the old) son of Hardecnut. But as Hardeenut was the grandson of Ragnar Lodbrok, who died about 800, while Gorm the old died 936, having a son, the renowned Harold Blue tooth, who died 986, it is evident, that the men who first wrote down the Sagas must have confounded the two Gorms with each other, and made one of them, thus dropping two links in the line of generations; for it is impossible, that the space of time from 800 till 986 could have been filled with only four generations. Now, as Gudrum Athelstane is said in the Chron. Saxonicum to have died in 891, but in the year 906 a new Guðrum appears, who made with king Edward, Alfred's son, the treaty of Yttingaford (Thorpe's Ancient Laws of England p. 71), and this Guðrum, according to Wallingford, was called from Denmark to England, we have here even the younger Gorm above mentioned. Munch, p. 35.
- William of Malmesbury, ed. Savile
- Also Mag. Adam speaks of Eric, Harold's son, coming to England and being killed there; he calls him Herric or Herring, but he believes him to have been a son of Harold King of Denmark;it is evident, that even here Mag. Adam has taken his statement from English chronicles, and that the descendence assigned to Eric rests only upon his own conjecture. Munch, p. 39.
- He is called "Maccus" - - "plurimarum rear insularum" by Florence of Worcester, Monum. hist. Brit. 1. p. 578. In "Brut y Tywysogion" (ib. p. 849) his name is Marc uab Herald. The Annales Cambriæ have only filius Haraldi, even so the Annals of Innisfallen, calling him Mac Arailt, O' Connor, res. hib. Scr. I. p. 44, 46. The annals of the 4 masters give his name, evidently wrongly Maccnus Mac Arailt; the name Magnus, however, did not exist among the Northmen at that time. In an Anglos. diploma of the year 971, appearing, however, not to be genuine, he calls himself Mascusíus archipirata. Munch, p. 41.
- In this way, we find the great grandson of the powerful Icelandic Chieftain Thord Gellir called only "Gellir", although this was only the nickname of his father, who got it because of his stentorian voice (Gellir i.e. the bellowing). Even so Skafte, the "Lögsögumaðr" of Iceland about 1003, was called after his grandmother's father, whose proper name was Thormod, but who had got the surname of Skafte.Munch, p. 42
- In the Floamanna Saga, which appears to be very trustworthy, it is told, that about the year 980 Earl Hácon sent Thorgils, a high-born Icelander who had entered his service, to the Sudreys, with the commission to exact and collect the tribute "which had been withheld for three successive years." Thorgils and his friend, a Norwegian named Thorstein, went away with two ships, but not many people; having reached the Isles, they demanded the tribute, but got only very little of it; on their return, they were ship wrecked on the coast of Caithness, and lost all their goods; yet they were hospitably received by an Earl, named Olav, who commanded in these parts, and Thorgils had the opportunity of serving the Earl a good turn, by killing, in "holmgang" or judiciary combat, a rcdoubted pirate, who insolently demanded the Earl's sister in marriage. Thorgils, who according to the "holmgang law", inherited the ships and chattels of the Pirate, was rewarded with the hand of the fair damsel, and the Earl's assistance; the next year, therefore, he was able to appear at the Sudreys with greater force, and compel the inhabitants to pay the amount Munch, p. 44.
- . This is evidently only the first half of the Earl's real name. We learn from the Norwegian history, that the King Harold Gilli, who was born and bred up in Ireland, did originally bear the name of Gilchrist, Gillachrist, which afterwards in Norway was shortened into Gilli; in the same manner, the above named Earl may have in reality been called Gillecolum, Gillepatrick, Gillechrist, or by another of these names, being compositions of "Giolla" (a servant) and some Saint's name. Munch, p. 44.
- In the Njála it is called "Koln", and has been believed by others to be Coll; it seems however evident that "Kolns-ey" must be "Colonsay".
- Eyrhyggjasaga c. 29. Thorodd, the Icelander, was henceforth called "Thorodd Skattkaupandi" (the purchaser of the tribute). Munch, p. 44.
- We take it as granted, that the reader is aware of the mistake so common among the historians of Scotland, to confound the two Malcolms here mentioned, and to make one of them, as if one Malcolm only (Malcolm II) reigned from 1004 till 1034. The very trustworthy Tighernach states expressly, that "King Malcolm Mac Malhrigid Mac Ruairi" died in 1029, and "King Malcolm Mac Kenneth" in 1034. They were both heads of the two rival dynasties, who claimed the crown of Scotland, and the representatives of whom for a long period reigned almost alternately; the Croeb or Moray dynasty, and that of Mac Alpin. Even in the Orkney. S. the death of Malcolm, the grandfather of Thorfinn, is said to have taken place between incidents, one of which belongs to A. C. 1028, the other to A. C. 1030. Munch, p. 46
- Orkneyinga Saga p. 54. It is here said that "Earl Thorfinn resided for long periods at Caithness, in the place called Gaddgedlur, where England and Scotland touch each other". Considering the situation of Caithness, and how well the author of the Saga must have known it, it becomes evident, that between "Caithness" and "in the place", an and must have been dropped by the subsequent writer, who, living about 1880, and in Iceland (this part of the Saga existing only in the Codex Flateyensis) might easily have dropped an ok (or the abbreviation thereof) not conscious of the great blunder be committed. "Gaddgedlar" is evidently the Norwegian corruption of "Galwydia", "Galwayth", or a Gaelic form maybe still nearer to it. From a verse, composed by the Icelander Arnor, the court poet of Thorfinn, we learn, that he once made an inroad upon the coast "south of Man" (i.e. east of Man, Ireland being then regarded as situated north of Man), to carry away some cattle (Orkn. Saga p. 58); this expedition to Cumberland cannot have been made from Caithness, but readily from the opposite Galloway shore. Munch, p. 46.
- We continue here to follow the lrish annals compared with Chron. Saxon., Fordun being utterly confuse, telling us, that Malcolm and Sigurd both together vanquished and killed Macbeth at Lumphanan in December 1056, while it is known, that Sigurd was dead already in 1055, and that the battle of Lumphanan was not fought till in August or Septbr. 1057. The battle in which Sigurd, no doubt, together with Malcolm, vanquished (but not killed) Macbeth, was that of 1054 (27 of July), it is not said where, only it must have been south of Dundee.
- The Ulster annals say that in this battle of 1054 fell l500 Saxons (Englishmen) and "Dolfin Son of Finntor". "Finntor" seems to be merely a transposition of "Thorfinn"; Dolfinn or more properly Dolgfinn was a name usual in the Orkneys; there was afterwards an Orkneyan bishop of that name. Munch, p. 48.
- Tighernach says: (1058) a fleet came under the guidance of the son of the King of Lochlan with the Galls of Orkney, Sudrey (innsi Gall and Dublin, to conquer the kingdom of the Saxons lEngland), but God willed otherwise. Brut and Tywysogion: that Magnus, Son of Harold, came to England, and devastated it along with Grifiith, King of Wales. Chron. Saxon.: Earl Elfgar was expelled, but came soon back, aided by Griffith; there came even a fleet from Norway. Florence of Worcester says expressly that the Norwegians aided Ælfgzir and Griffith. Munch, p. 48.
- It is generally said by the Scotch historians, upon the authority of Fordun, that Duncan, the son of Malcolm by Ingebjórg, was a bastard, which infers that there was no regular marriage between his father and mother. However, as Orkney Saga and many others state expressly, that Ingebjórg married Malcolm, and as it is not in the least probable, that she, belonging to one of the highest families in Norway, being herself the daughter of an Earl, the widow of an Earl and the mother of two reigning Earls, should have debased herself so as to become the mistress of anybody, even of a king, the statement of Fordun must be entirely erroneous, and rest perhaps upon the sole fact, that the marriage between Malcolm and Ingebjórg, as all marriages among the Norwegians in those times, was no doubt only a civil one, contracted without any ecclesiastical formalities, but therefore not the less valid, while that which he subsequently celebrated with Margaret of England, was perhaps confirmed by the benediction of the church. After the death of Malcolm, we see also Duncan claim the crown before Eadgar, the Son of Malcolm by Margaret. As the marriage of Malcolm with Margaret took place in 1067. it must be supposed, that Ingebjórg was dead before that time, perhaps in childbed with Duncan. Munch, p. 49.
- When Godred himself lived in the times of Edward Confessor and William the Conqueror, his father must have been the contemporary of Cnut, andhis grandfather of Ebelréd and Edward martyr.
- Fordun here frequently quotes Thurgot, whose words he seems to have downright transcribed without any alterations. The fates of Thurgot are mentioned by his confrater Simeon of Durham (historia Dunnelmensis ecclesim, ap. Twysden, p. 206, 207). Thurgot, being one of the hostages for Lindsey, who were to be delivered to King William, escaped to Norway about 1069, and was very friendly received by King Olav, who took him to his court, and loaded him with honours and presents; it is expressly stated, that Thurgot taught him to chaunt the psalms. After a stay of some years at the Norwegian court, and being richly endowed by the King and his magnates, he returned to England, but suffered shipwreck on the English coast, losing all his wealth; he met, however, with a kind reception from archbishop Walcher of York, at whose recommendation he was received as monk in the monastery of St. Mary at Durham, where in 1086 he succeeded the Prior Aldwine, and having administered the priorate for 20 years, was created bishop of St. Andrews in Scotland (1106), whence, however, he returned afterwards to his cloister and died there 1115, leaving the annals above mentioned, which unhappily have been lost, and are only known from the fragments given by Fordun
- Even in the Saga he is called Hugi digri (i. e. the fat); the same epithet is preserved by Ordericus, calling him ,,dirgane", which is only a wrong spelling of the Norse ,,digran" (ace. sing. of digr).
- Giraldus, Itinerarium Cambriae, p. 867. The "leit loupe" is a slight prevarication of the Norwegian "lát hlaupa". Munch, p.64.
- Orderic. p. 768. As the place, where the battle was fought, he names the rock Dagannoth, where the lieutenant of Earl Hugh of Chester, Robert Marquis of Rhuddlar, had built a castle. Munch, p.64.
- Ordericus seems on the whole not to be thoroughly acquainted with these facts, as he contradicts himself in some points.Munch, p.64
- There is a letter preserved from Muircertach to the celebrated Anselmo, Archbishop of Canterbury (Anselmi epistolw IV. 83.), in which the Irish King thanks the Prelate for the assistance given to his son in law Arnulf. The letter must have been written about this time. Munch, p. 69.)
- The Irish annals, especially those of the Four Masters, where it is expressly stated, that Muircertach gave his daughter to "Siehraid" son of Magnus, with many precious gifts. Caradoc says expressly, that Magnus built castles in the Isle of Man, had his son married with the daughter of Muircertach, and named him King of Man. The name of the Princess has been preserved in the Saga only, it was Biadmynja or Biadhmuin. Munch, p. 69.
- Ordericus, p. 812. "Magnus ---: desertas cum ingenti classe insulas usque in Hiberniam introivit, ibique colonis callide coustitutis, oppida et villas aliarum more gentium construi prsecepit." Munch, p. 69.
- The Saga of the holy bishop John of Hólar in Iceland, Biskupa Sögur I. 227. Here the following curious story is told: With the hostages there was a Norwegian, who boasted of being well versed in the Irish language, and offered to salute King Muireertach in the name of the others, which being allowed, he said "male diarik", which, however, means "damned be thou, o King!" Then another of the Norwegians put in his word, saying: "My Lord, this man is only the slave of the Norwegians"; to which the King replied "algeira ragall", which means "difficult to know is the dark riddle" (gdta) or "road" (gata). Those of our readers, who are acquainted with the Irish language, may perhaps be able to suggest the correct forms of the Irish words here reproduced no doubt in a very bad shape. Munch, p. 70
- This name, more correctly spelled Ceann Caraidh, has been confounded by the author of the Saga with Connaught, Kankaraborg or Kanlcarar having evidently been misread as Kunnaktaborg, Kunnaktir. Munch, p. 70
- Even in the Saga, the year is clearly enough indicated, as the king is said to have been killed on a monday, being also the day of St. Bartholomew. This exactly agrees with the year 1103 p. C.
- Towards the close of his reign, however, his son and future successor Godred, as we see, found it necessary to go to Norway and offer his homage to King Inge.
- Fordun, I. p. 512. Roger Hoveden (ap. Savile) p. 767. Orkneyinga Saga p. 406-418. Sverr. Saga ch. 125. Fordun (VIII. 62) says that the mutilation of the bishop was not so thoroughly executed, as the Earl ordered, and that consequently the bishop retained the power of speaking and the sight of one eye. This is also more probable than the relation of Orkn. Saga, which says, that the bishop was really deprived of his tongue and sight, but got them both back by a miracle of Sta Triduana (in the Saga the Name is corrupted into Trollhæna) to whom he offered his prayers. In the letter directed by Pope Innocent III to the bishop of Orkney, (dat. Subiaco Sept. 1. 1202), in which he prescribes the penitence to be undergone by the man, who had executed the cruel commands of the Earl, there is only mention of the mutilation of the tongue, not of the eyes. Munch, p. 88-89.
- The name Uspakr also written O'spakr, is properly an adjective, i. e. the word "spakr" (prudens, quietus) with the u. or ó privativum (the English) un; Uspakr consequently means "unruly", "fierce". Our Chronicle and that of Lanercost spell incorrectly "Hushac". It is evident, that before the detection of his real birth, he must have been believed to be the son of onen Ögmundr, or Agmund (Owmundus). Munch, p.95
- Dillon, in his valuable treatise of the battle of Largs, in Archaeologia Scot. II. thinks (p. 358, 397) that Bute (Bot) is here named erroneously instead of Cantire, he having not thoroughly understood the words of the Saga, which are clear enough in the best text: "they sailed southwards, past the Mull of Cantire and inn to Bute". He thinks that the Saga gives a southerly direction to the whole course, not being aware of, that the word "southwards" only applies to the Mull, and that the following "inn to Bute" designs a change in the direction. Even our chronicle and that of Lanercost mention Bute. Munch, p. 98
- The island is called the "Kaupmanusey" (merchant's island) in the Saga. It cannot by any other than Copeland Island.
- It is said, namely, by Matthew of Paris (p. 516) that Eogan held "an island between the Orkneys and Scotland" - i.e. on the way from the western coast of Scotland to Orkney; the Saga says, that he held from the Norwegian King the castle of Cairnburgh and three other castles, no doubt the three other situated in Mull, viz. Duart, Arcs and Moy.
- This must have been a rock or skcrry eastward either of Orkney or Shetland, the place of which we have not been able to find.
- Hák. Hák. S. Ch. 265. Matth. Paris. p. 516. Fordun IX. 63. Chron. de Mailros. Kerrera (in our text Kerwaray) is called in the Saga Kjárbarey (Cairbar-island); in the Chr. dc Mailros Geruerei (perhaps misread for Ceruerei) in the edit. of Fordun it is mispriuted Kerneray for Kerueray.
- Kerlingr, in Lowlands Carline (vetula) is the same as Cailleach in Gaelic, so the place has not changed its name. It seems to be a common belief in the west of Scotland that Kyle Haken between Skye and Lochalsh has got its name from king Hácon having anchored there. Nothing can be more absurd. This name, as no doubt most of the other local names, was certainly many centuries older than king Haicon. It is, moreover, very probable, that the greater part of the rude inhabitans did not even know his name. Munch, p. 115
- The Saga does not mention the name of the monastery, but speaks only of an "abbot of a greyn1onk's cloister"; thus, however, the Cistercian were styled, and the monastery of Sandal in Kentire is the only Cistercian monastery of which there could be question. Munch, p. 116.
- Even this castle is not expressly named, but only styled "a castle in the south of Kentire". Munch, p. 116.
- Lamlash is called Mclasey in the Saga, Molassa by Buchanan; it has got its name from the hermit St. Macliosa (Servant of Jesus) or Malise, other wise Molios, to whose cave pilgrimages were made and votive gifts offered. Munch, p. 117.
- We learn even, that king Alexander had taken quarters in Ayr, when negotiations were opened, shortly after the arrival of king Hacon to Arran. Munch, p. 117.
- In the Saga, which. only records these facts, the town where the messengers found king Alexander, is called Noar, which evidently is a corruption of New Ayr (Newton of Ayr). Munch, p. 118.
- There can be no doubt, that during the stay in Lamlash harbour, either this time or when the fleet returned thither in October, many devout Norwegians made visits to St. Maclios Cave, and it is very likely, that it is one of these visitors who has left a short runic inscription, still to be seen, and first discovered and published by Dr. VVilson in his Archaeology of Scotland; viz.: Nikulos a Heene raeist, i. e. Nicholas on Hecn engraved (scil. the runes); Haen seems to be the Norwegian estate of this name in the Raumsdal, and the runes have exactly the character peculiar to those used in Norway in the l3th century. Munch, p. 118.
- This weapon is called sparda in the Saga, i.e. the Irish sparthe, which, indeed, seems to have been nothing more than a lochaber axe, or at least very like it; from the Orkn. Saga and Olafs S. helga Ch. 94, we learn, that it was a kind of axe on a long shaft with a hook. A weapon of this kind in the hands. of the Scotch from Ayrshire and the Highlands must have been Lochaber axes.
- It is afterwards related, that the body of Ivar Holm, the captain who died suddenly on the expedition of the Loch Long squadron, was carried to Bute and buried there, when this squadron returned; hence we may guess, that also the other bodies were buried on the same spot.Munch, p. 122.
- Thus he is styled by Lord Hailes, and we believe even by Sir Walter Scott in his History of Scotland. Hácon, however, although in his younger days he was compelled to some fighting, was by no means a warlike monarch, his mcrits (and he is indisputably the best king Norway ever had) consisted chiefly in pursuits of peace, as legislative improvements, founding of cities, promoting of useful knowledge, of trade etc. Munch, p. 123.
- We quote here the words of Dr. Wilson in his Archaeology p. 325, "A reference to the old and new statistical accounts of the various parishes, along both the Ayrshire and Argyleshire coasts, will suffice to shew that the battle of King Hácon has proved as infallible a source of explanation for the discovery of cists, tumuli, cairns, and sepulchral relies of every kind, as if it were a well authenticated fact that no one had died, from the days of Noah to our own, but at the battle of Largs". Sir Walter Scott is seen to have participated in the same error, when writing his Marmion (Canto III., Not. 4), where the pagan relies found at Largs are attributed to the slain subjects of king Hácon. Munch, p. 123.
- That the bodies were removed, is also expressly stated in the Melrose Chronicle, which, indeed, although making too much of the reverses suffered by the Norwegians in the battle, or rather omitting the fact, that the Scotch were finally driven back, does in the whole not diverge, more from the narrative of the Saga, than the difference of information and national feeling may account for. Munch, p. 123.
- Dillon, in his treatise, taking it for granted that the Norwegians were disconfited, and that the Scots were masters of the field, cannot, of course, nor even, two days afterwards, burning the stranded vessels; an ample proof that they had retired from the place, a fact which, partly at least, must have been due, to the valiant defence and real victory of the Norwegians; partly, perhaps, to the circumstance, that the news of the ravages committed by the other Norse detachment in Lennox etc., which could not have reached the king or the stewart till then, no doubt induced them to send troops to those parts; or perhaps even to hasten thither with the whole army. Lastly, we learn, that king Aleizander did not retake a single island, but that king Hácon, on his return, disposed of Arran, Bnte and even Donaverty without any hinderance. The tempests, reasonably explain how the Norwegians were able to remove their dead, without supposing that a truce or convention for burying the slain had been concluded. Afterwards, he wonders, without being able to give any explanation, how they were allowed to destroy the ships. These facts, however, explain themselves sufficiently from the- narrative in the Saga, without in the least calling for any necessity of supposing a convention to have been made. The fact was, simply, that the Scots had retired, and entirely left the field to the Norwegians. By a miscalculation, Dillon believes the day, when the stranded ships were destroyed, to be the 12th, instead of the 5th, of October: this indeed, must make the impunity with which the destruction was effected, seem still more unaccountable. The miscalcnlation arises from the Icelandic denomination of Thursday "fimtadaginn" i.e. (fifth day, feria quinta), which has caused many similar mistakes. The 3d of October was a Wednesday; on Thursday (Oct. 4), says the Saga, the king removed his ship farther out under the island; "fimtadaginn", is here erroneously construed to be the fifth day after the 3d of October, i.e. the 8th of October; and when the Saga continues "on Friday, the weather being fair, the king sent men to burn the stranded ships", this Friday is consequently believed to be the Friday after the 8th of October, i.e. 12th. Afterwards, the Saga itself says, that on Sunday, the 14th of October, (first in the winter), the king left Islasound, after a stay there of two nights; having previously stopped one night (the 11th) at Gigha, one (the 10th) at Sandey, one (the 9th) under Arran, and "some nights" near Lamlash. -- Although, as we have demonstrated, the Scotch cannot have been near, when the Norwegians removed the slain, and there was therefore nothing to prevent them from burying them near the church of Largs, still we cannot agree with Mr. Dillon in the supposition, that they did bury them there, as it is expressly stated, that the bodies were sent for from the fleet and consequently taken on board the ships, to be buried elsewhere, no doubt, as we have mentioned, in the Island of Bute. Munch, p. 124 ff.
- The Chron. of Melrose speaks also of "mortality" (meaning no doubt diseases) among the troops; very likely it may be right. Munch, p. 126.
- H. H. S. Ch. 326--330. We may add, however, for the benefit of those who speak of the "warlike" king Hácon as of a Viking of the old fashion, whose men were buried under cairns and cromlechs, or in true pagan style, that during his sickness he had the bible and some legends read to him in Latin, until he found it too troublesome to follow the latin text; then the Sagas of his ancestors were read in his own tongue. Munch, p. 127.
- In the Saga it is expressly said, "They went first to England, to Lynn; at that time a great strife broke out in England, and Simon of Montfort was killed; the bishop and the chancellor then went to York, where they remained for a while". Munch, p. 131.
- Here the learned editor of the Bannatyne edition of Chronica de Mailros has made a curious mistake. At the name of "ReginaIdus de Roxburgh" he adds the following note: "The Norwegian account of this expedition, published by Johnstone, says simply, p. 15, that an archdeacon (erkidjakn einn) was sent from Alexander, and gives a different colouring to the whole transaction." Now, these words about the archdeacon belong to the 367 chapter of king Hácon's Saga, where the embassy sent from king Alexander to king Hácon in 1261 is spoken of. The transactions between Alexander and Magnus in 1265-66 have no doubt been related in the Saga of king Magnus, of which fragments only are left, and the part in question wanting. Munch, p. 131.
- It is worth to observe, that in the Saga of king Magnus written about 1270, Dugald is no more styled king, but only Lord Dugald. The title had evidently been antiquated, or dropt. Munch, p. 134.