[Notes from Manx Soc vol 22 Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys]



NOTE I, p. 44.–A uno ob incarncetione–domini M. . . Anno MXXIII.

ALL these entries are entirely taken from the Chronicae de Mailros, as stated in the Preface ; only every date is less by seventeen years than that originally entered in the Chronica. What may have been the cause of this alteration is very difficult to guess, especially as even the writer himself does not keep up the same difference throughout the whole time. In the next entry there is a difference from the right number of 19 years ; which difference is kept up until A.D. 1093 (1073), where a new difference of 20 years begins, and lasts until 1102. From this year to the end we generally find the right number. For these reasons it is obvious that the writer cannot have adopted any peculiar era ; it would seem that he has only committed blunders in reading the ciphers used to indicate the dates in the text he followed.1

1 [See the Chronological Table, Appendix, No. 58. From the text, and note 9, it would seem that the year given in this note as 1102 should be 1098.]

NOTE 2, p. 50.

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 of 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 Crowan, whom he probably supposed to be 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 eighth to the middle of the ninth 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 southernmost 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 or vikings, who did not adopt the title of kings. In 852, Olaf the White, the Ainhlabh of the Irish chronicles, descended from the same family as Harold Harfagri, the Fair-Haired, 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.1 Olaf was married to Aude, daughter of the mighty and valiant Norwegian baron Ketil Flatnef (flat-nose) 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, dthough previously expelled by the king himself, and having executed his commission he made himself independent there; according to another and far more probable version of the story (that of the Laxdoela 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 Olaf of Dublin, which must have taken place about 850, as their son was 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; 2 perhaps even he helped Olaf to make his conquests. All the Sagas, in which these events are mentioned, agree that King Harold Fair-hair made himself a great expedition to the islands near Scotland and lreland 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 (Hebudes), and even Man, killing or expelling the Vikings, who were not strong enough to make any serious resistance. From this expedition onwards, 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 colonisation of Iceland, beginning about this time, and being chiefly 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 colonisation bears a strong evidence as to the truth of the ancient tale.

The Orkneys, with Shetland, King Harold gave as an hereditary earldom to Earl Raguwald (Reginald) of More, in Norway, whose son Turf-Einar,3 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 Asbjorn Skerjablesi. 4 It is, however, obvious that the position of these earls must have been very precarious and dangerous, as they were far off 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 Asbjorn 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 suzerainty 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 Olaf the White on the Norwegian throne of Dublin, who were unquestionably now the most powerful rulers on these seas. Olaf'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 5; where the Danes had made extensive conquests, and a branch of the royal Danish line, descended from the great conqueror Ragnar Lodbrok,6 had established its throne at York.7 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 Olaf the White. This, although not expressly stated, is still evident from various reasons. For when Raguwald (Reginald) probably a son of Guðroðr son of Hardecnut (+ C. 894) was dead about 924,8 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), did 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), Olaf (Anlaf) and Guðroðr (Guðred), and made himself master of Northumberland ; and the Irish annals show that in the year of 920, just before the appearance of the Sigtrygg 9 here mentioned at York, Sigtrygg, King of Dublin since 917, was expelled from this place 10 ; 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 Guðred, the son of Hardecnut, was succeeded by his three sons, Olaf, Sigtrygg, and Reginald 11 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 Guðred.

Olaf, the son of Sigtrygg, fled to Ireland, but his brother Guðred went to Constantine,12 King of Scotland, and Eugene, lord of Cumberland, soliciting their assistance. Threatened by emissaries from Athelstane, they dared not comply with the wishes of Guðred, 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 Guðred, 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." 13 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 Brunanburg, 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.14

15Olaf, 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 Olaf, son of the cruel Guðred 16 King of Dublin, who left Dublin some time after the death of his father, A.D. 934, either expelled by his subjects or allured by the hope of getting possessions in Northumberland 17 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. 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 done homage to Athelstane, he was seduced by Olaf to shake off his allegiance, which caused Athelstane to make a great expedition against Scotland, A,D. 934. In this war Athelstane was successful, and compelled Constantine to submit anew, and give his son as a hostage for his future obedience.18 A 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),19 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 his namesake, the other Olaf.20 With 615 ships he landed in the Humber, accompanied by five kings besides Constantine, and seven earls. He was, however, totally defeated by Athelstane in the great battle of Brunan burgh, A.D. 935 21 and the Norwegians, so says the ancient poem, were driven back to Dublin and Ireland.22 The return to Dublin of Olaf son of Gudred, is even mentioned in the Ulster annals 23 of the other Olaf, 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 Northumbruans again revolted, and took Olaf from Ireland to be their king; 24 and that Olaf was now successful, being supported even by the Archbishop Wulfstrin. Both archbishops, Odo of Canterbury and Wulfstin of York, negotiated a treaty between Olaf and Eadmund, the successor of Athelstane, by which treaty Eadmund ceded to Olaf the ancient Danish kingdom north-east of Waetlingastraet, on condition that Olaf should embrace Christianity.25 Olaf was really christened, and Eadmund himself acted as his godfather.26 Shortly afterwards Olaf died, A.D. 943, and Eadmund now, it is said, expelled Reginald, the son of Gudred, probably the brother of Olaf,27 who had also been christened, as well as Olaf the son of Sigtrygg, 944, which shows that this person had now returned to Northumberland, and that it was not he, but Olaf of Dublin, who concluded the treaty with Eadunund. Eadmund died in 946, and was succeeded by his brother Esidred, 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. 28 It is evident that tlmis Eric is no other than Eric Bloodaxe, the son of Harold Fairhair, King of Norway, who was expelled from his kingdons in the year 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 Northunmberland, where he reigned peaceably till the accession of King Eadmund, 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 Atheistane to the times of King Eadred, show that the Norwegian account cannot be accurate, and that Eric did not make his appearaince in Northumberland till 948, as above stated, and during the reign of Eadred. Eric, the English annals say, was expelled by the Northumbrians themselves, terrified by the threats of Eadred ; them came Olaf Cwaran from Dublin, who seems to be no other person than the Olaf Sigtryggson above mentioned, who 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 29 The particulars of this battle, as given by Matthew of Westminster, bear still more witness as to the identity of this Eric,30 Harold's son, with Eric Bloodaxe, son of the Norwegian Conqueror.31 Since that time there were no northern kings in Northumberland, but the king gave it as an hereditary earldom to the heagerefa Osulf, 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 kingdoms 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 Northumberland, 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 anmong the names of these kings, we find Godred (Guðrüðr), Harold, Sigtrygg, Olaf, 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. Olaf 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),32 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 Iona 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, A.D. 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 "Miac Arailt," i.e., "the son of Harold," his real name being consequently unknown.33 This "Mac Harold" conquered Anglesea, from which conquest, however, he was driven shortly afterwards. In the year 973, he is named among the eight kings, from the whole island of Britain, who then made their homage to King Eadgar 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 the 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 "Lagmanus" of the Isles went along with him.34

Now the word "Lagman" (logmaðr 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 mnay 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 nanme Lagman (Logmaðr) was used as a noun proper, being the name of one kimmg at least, as we shall see further on.35 This may, perhaps, be explained thus, that the natives of the Isles, hearing the title of "lawnman" 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 an other instance of the same thing, throwing a very interesting light upon this matter. It is well known that the Norwegian name Sumarlidi 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 Sumarlidi (the Somerleds), as if this were a noun appellative, which is rather adequate in itself, for "Sumarlidi," composed of Sumar, i.e., summer, and liði, a person who wanders about (from the verb liða to wander, As. lidan) , signifies "Summer-Wanderer," a very proper name for a pirate, who went out on his expeditious every summer, spending the winter at home, or in a friendly port. The Norwegians had also, and have yet, another name parallel to "Sumarliði," viz. Vetrliði, the first part of which is the word vets-, i.e., Winter ; literally translated, it means "Winter-Wanderer," and is used as a noun appellative to designate a bear who has gone to take his winter-sleep. It seems very likely that also Sumarliði 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 denonmination because a surname for certain persons, and this surname again in succeeding generations the real and family name of descendants called after them.36

From this digression, which may not be superflous for the better understanding of what follows, we return to the "Mac Harold" above mentioned. For three successive years he maintained hinmself 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 Limnerick, who showed his gratitude to "Mac Harold" by assisting him, although in vain, was defeated and put to flight.37

As King of Man and the Isles there appears now a Godred (Goðruðr), son of Harold; which patronynical 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.38 Godred is frequently mentioned in the sagas, as well as in the Irish and British annals. 39 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, leavisig 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 Caithuess, son of Earl Hloðver (Lewis), by an Irish princess 40 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 the Sutherland, Ross, Moray, and Argyll.41

The Isles, or Sudreys proper, which, shortly before his accession, are stated to have paid tribute direct to Norway,42 came very soon under his sway, and were governed by a tributary earl called Gilli 43 in the sagas, who resided in Colonsay,44 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 a successful, but very bloody battle with a fleet of Danish pirates, who had attacked Iona on Christmas night, and killed the Abbot with fifteen monks,45 he 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.46 Shortly afterwards, before the end of the year, he was killed by the Dairiadic Scots, according to the Irish annals.d

For a long tinse afterwards Earl Sigurd seenis to have been in undisputed possession of the Sudreys, yet, as it is distinctly stated, tributary to the powerful ruler of Norway, Earl Hacon, 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).6 A little before the death of Earl Hacon, he was unlucky enough to fall in with King Olaf 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! Olaf, however, did not reign for more than five years ; after his fall in the battle of Swalder, A.D. 1000, Norway was divided among the victors, the Kings of Sweden and Denmark, and Earl Eric, son of Earl Hacon, 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 interregnusm 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 Olaf, the son of Harold, afterwards St. Olaf, to the Norwegian crown in 1015 ; - but shortly before that the Earl Sigurd fell in the great battle of Clontarf.; near Dublin (on the 23d of April, 1014), against Brian Boroimhe.a He left four sons, three begotten before his marriage with the Scottish princess, now full-grown men ; the fourth, Thorfiun, grandson of the Scottish king, still a child. These three divided Orkney and Shetlanid 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 claimned 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 Olaf, on his arrival in Norway, captusred Earl Hacon, 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.5 The last is not true, as far as regards Olaf; but it is not unlikely that King Cnut may have helped Earl Hacon to get possession of the Isles, especially as it is certain that Earl Hacon, when he made his last fatal voyage to Norway in the winter of 1029-30, went down and was drowned in the Pentland fith, which seems to imply, that lie 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, because one of the most powerful princes in those parts, extended his rule also to the Subreys. The Orkneyinga saga says so expressly. Outliving his elder bothers, he because the Lord of Orkney and Shretland; Caithness was givems him by his maternal grandfather, King Malcolm Mac Maibrigid, and after the death of Malcolm in 1029,a he sustained a successful war with King Malcolm Mac Kenneth, of the southern dynasty, conquered Sutherland and Ross, and made himself lord of Galloway,5 in the widest sense of this denoomination, viz. from Solway to Carrick, where he resided for long periods, and whence he made successful inroads, sometimes on Cumberland, the English possessioms of Duncan, King Malcolm's grand-son 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 Thorfiun to make, as it is stated, frequent expeditions to Ireland and the Sudreys, and he mght 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, soss of Finnlaich, established himself on the Scottish throne, having killed the above mentioned Duncan in a battle a 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 exteist 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.b

Afterwards, when Malcolm Ceanmor, the son of Duncan, aided by his relation, Earl Sigurd of Northumberland,6 vanquished Macbeth (1054), and drove him back towards the north, where at last he was killed in the battle of Lumuphanan (1057),––Thorfinn likewise seems to have met with no inconsiderable reverses, nay, there is even good reasosin to believe that he took part in the battle of 1054 c (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.c From this it would appear too, that Thorfiun, feeling himself too weak to oppose 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 Ingebjurg, being then only a child, and consequently not fit to command in person, it is to be supposed that he 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 immaintained 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.a 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 Crowan, as we learn hereafter, in the Norwegian army at Stanfordbridge.


1 [The footsteps of Olaf the White are traceable by bloodshed and plunder in the Irish annals. A.n. 853 or 852 he arrived with a prodigious fleet, and assumed the sovereignty of the foreigners of Erinn ; he was descended through the female line from Ragnor Lodbrok. It was by hhn that Conchobar, son of Donchadh, heir- apparent of Tara, was drowned. It was by this fleet that the battle of Cluandaimh was gained over the Desi, Co. Waterford, in which all the nobles of Desi fell. It was by them that the son of Cennfaeladh, King of Muscraighe-Breoghain, was killed, and Muchtighern, son of Rechtalrad, was smothered in a cave. It was by them that Maelguala, son of Dongaile, King of Cashsel, was killed by breaking his back with a stone. In 865 Olaf transferred his depredations to Scotland, plundering all Scotland, and taking hostages. In 868 he returned to Ireland, and burned Armagh with its oratories, after making great havoc, and leaving 1000 men wounded or slain. In 869 he was at the siege and plunder of Dumbarton, capital of the Strath-Clyde Britons. In 870 or 871 he returned to Dublin with 200 ships, and a great number of prisoners, Angles, Britons, and Picts, etc. He was slain somewhere in Ireland about that time, as his name is no more mentioned in the Irish annals.–Todd, pp. 23, 230, 269. Dunham, i. 317.]

2 [Ketil was leader of the Gallgael or Scotch Norsemen when Harfager was an infant, and appears to have succeeded Godfrey MacFergus, whose name betokens a mixed descent, and who died in 853. The Gallgael possessed the islands before the time of Harfager.–Robertson, i. 45 n. Dunham, i. 175.]

3 [Einar is described as conspicuous for excessive ugliness, and the harshness of his features was increased by the loss of an eye, but he succeeded after the failure of his brother Hallad, and successfully asserted his claims to the Orkneys. —Robertson, i. 80. Dunham, i. p. 179.]

4 Landnama IV. 1. 3. Droplangarsuna Saga, p. 4.

5 [The ancient kingdom of Northumbria extended from the river Mersey to the Clyde on the west, and from the Humber to the Firth of Forth on the east.]

6 [For an account of Ragnar Lodbrog’s exploits and death, see Ling. i. 181.]

7 Guðröðr (or ðréd) the son of Hardecnut, 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 Etlielwerd 896, the 25 August) as son of Hardecnut he was the brother of King Gorm in Denmark, who, indeed, seems to have been no other than the well-known Guðrum, who made peace with King Alfred in 875, and was baptized with the name of Athelstan, "Gormr, Gurmr," being a contraction of Goðormr, Guðurmr. [See Lingard, i. 193-204.] The Danish historian Saxo speaks, (p. 468) of a Gorm anglicus who was first king in England, but went afterwards to Denmark, where he was succeeded by a Harold, and he again by Gorm 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. 158). No ancient Sagas know of more than one Gorm, viz. Gormr hinn gamli (the old) son of Hardecnut. But as Hardecnut was the grandson of Ragnar Lodbrok, who died about 800, while Gorm the old died 936, having a son, the renowned Harold Bluetooth, who died 956, 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 Etward, Alfred’s son, the treaty of Yttingaford (Thorpe’s Ancient Laws qf England, p. 71), and this Guðrum, according to Wallingford, was called from Denmark to England, we have here even the younger Gorm above mentioned.

8 Chron. Sax.

9 [A. D. 885, Sitric, called the blind or one-eyed, arrived in Dublin " with a prodigious royal fleet." In 902 or 903 he went to Scotland ; recovered Dublin in 919 after a great battle, in which many Irish chieftains were slain. The next year he was forced to quit Dublin "by divine interposition" . He appears to have landed in England and burned Davenport in Cheshire. In the Saxon Chronicle he is called King of the Northunibrians, and did homage to Athelstaae for the country between the Tees and the Firth of Forth, which was already in his possession. He received the hand of Editha, sister of Atheistane, in marriage, received baptism, and died at the end of twelve months, AD. 927, having abandoned, it was said, both his religion and his wife—Todd, p. 279. Lingard, i. 231-2. Robertson, i. 59.]

10 Annals of Ulster, O’Connor Rer. Hib. Soc. iii. p. 261.

11 Meg. Adamus, i. 41, and ii. 22.

12 [Constantine II. who reigned from AD. 900.943.]

13 William of Malmesbury, ed Savile, p. 50.

14 Egils-Saga, cap. 51-56.

15 [Olave Sitricson, or Olave Cuaran, or Olave of the sandal, or Olave the Red, is the Danish king who had married a daughter of Constantine. See his further history, note c, p. 7 of the Preface.]

16 [Olave, the son of Godfrey or Godred, cousin of Olave Cuaran, succeeded his father in the government of the Irish Norsemen, I.n. 934. He is answerable for a long list of misdeeds. In 929 he plundered Kildare ; in 933 he plundered Armagh ; in 937 he carried off Olave with the scabby bead, of Limerick, with the foreigners who were with him, after breaking their ships. On this occasion he plundered Cloumacuois, and quartered his soldiers there for two nights, a thing, says the annalist, hitherto unheard of. In 938 he was at the battle of Brunanburgh ; in 939 he plundered Kilcullen ; in 941 he is said to have plundered St. Balther’s church, and burnt Tyuiugham in Scotland, and died there. Robertson says that he lost his life in some obscure skirmish near Tyuingham, two years after the death of Athehstaue, who died October 27, 941.—Ling. i. 242. Robert-on, i. 67. Todd, 28.]

17 Annales Ulton. p. 261.

18 [Ling. i. 235. Robertson, i. 61.]

19 [See Appendix, No. 54.]

20 [Olave Sitricson.]

21 [Ling. i. 235-237. Robertson, i. 63. Todd thinks that both Olaves returned to Ireland, p. 282.]

22 Chronicon Saxonicum.

23 Annales Ulton. p. 263.

24 Chron. Sax.

25 Chron. Sax. , and Simeon Duneimensis.

26 [Both Olaves were in the expedition ; but Olave Sitricson was the principal, as Olave Godfreyson, his cousin, was King of Dublin. It was Olave Godfreyson who died in 943. Both Reginald and Olave (Anlaff Sitricson) submitted to Edmund, and embraced Christianity. Edmund stood godfather to Olave at baptism, and to Reginald at confirmation. Both reasserted their independence when Edmund left York, but both were driven out of the country by the united forces of Archbishop Woolstan and the Ealdoman of Mercia.—Ling. i. 246. Todd, 283-285. Robertson, i. 66.]

27 [Reginald was the brother of Olave, for they were both sons of Godfrey, Godred, or Gothibrith, the brother of Sitnic, the father of the other Olave hence, as has been previously stated, these two Olaves were cousins. Godfrey became King of Dublin, and probably of Waterford, in 921. In 927, on Sitric’s death, he succeeded as King of Northumbria, but was expelled after six months by Athelstane. On his death, in 934, Reginald succeeded him as King of Dublin, and apparently in Northumbria. The date of his deaths is not recorded. —Todd, 279, 288.

28 Chronicon Saxonicum.

29 Mattbæus Westmonast. p. 369 ; cfr. Hoveden, ed. Savile, p. 423 ; Mon. Hist. Brit. i. p. 687, note d.

30 [Robertson and Dunham, following the sagas, which are often incorrect about matters happening outside of Norway, allege that Eric was appointed by Athelstane to the kingdom of Northumbnia, on condition that he would hold it against the Olaves ; that, in the hour of invasion, Eric offered no resistance, but sailed. away, and entered upon a course of piracy among the Western Isles ; that he subsequently returned to Northumbria, from which he was driven after two years; that he perished in a skirmish on Stanemoor, slain by Magnus Haraldson, through the treachery of Osulf, who was rewarded with the earldom of Northumbria, whilst Man and the Hebrides fell to the share of Magnus. Lingard, following the English annals, states that Athelstane sent his " foster son " Haco, with a powerful fleet, to obtain possession of the sceptre of Norway, as Eric had lost the affection of his subjects ; that Eric, after wandering about as a pirate, landed in Northumbria, and was saluted king, AD. 946 ; and that in 952 he perished in the wilds of Stanemoor by the treachery of Osulf, and the sword of Macco, the son of Olave. It is not, however, known that Olave had any son of that name. Todd, referring to Hodgson’s Northumberland, i. 151, antI to Lappenburg (Thorpe’s translation), ii. 124, says that this Eric was not Bloodaxe, son of Harold Harfager, but Eric, son of Harold Blaatand, first christian king of Denmark—Robertson, i. 65-82. Dunham, i. 184-188. Ling. i. 249-250. Todd, 267, n. 7.]

31 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 eveis here Meg. Adam has taken his statement from English chronicles, and that the descendence assigned to Eric rests only upon his own conjecture.

32 [This was the famous battle of Tara, gained over Olave Cwaran by Maelsechlainn or Mahachy II,, AD. 980, who afterwards, but in the same year, became King of Ireland.]

33 He is called " Maccus " . . "plurinaruin rex iasulaum," by Florence of Worcester, Monuin. Hst. Brit. i. p. 578. In " Brat y Tywysogiom " (ib. p. 849), his name is Marc uab Herald. The "Annates Cambriae " have only "filius Haraldi," even so the Annals of lnnisfallen calling him "Mac Arailt," O’Connor, Res. Hib. Soc. i. p. 44, 46. The Annals of the Four Masters give his name, evidently wrongly, " Maccitus 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 "Mascusius archipirata." [Ling. calls him Mac Orric of Anglesey and the Isles, i. 270. Robertson says that Magnus Haroldson was King of Man and the Islands, a great grand-son of the Limerick branch of Ivar. His father Aralt was son of the elder Sitric, son of Ivan, and was killed in Connaught in 940, i. 75, n. Todd, 271, a. 4, 272, n. 5.]

34 Annals of the Four Masters.

35 [The Lagmans are spoken of as a tribe of the Norsernen from the Insi Gall, or Western Islands of Scotland. In 962 they came with the fleet of Olave, or Olave’s son, and plundered the coast of Louth, Howth, and Ireland’s Eye. " The fleet of Lagmann " is mentioned amongst many others as consiug to Erinn.—Todd, xxxvi. 41. Robertson (ii. 18, 102), speaks of the Lamond family as clan Lagman, which name, he says, points to a Scoto-Norwegian origin ; their Gaelic name was Mac Erchar.]

36 In this way we find the great grandson of the powerful Icelandic chieftain Thord Gelhir, called only "Gellir", although this was only the nickname of his father, who got it on account of his stentonian 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 Thiormod, but who had got the surname of Skafte.

37 [From Todd it appears that Aralt or Harold, King of the Munster Danes, who was slain by Brian in 978, at the battle of Cathair Cuan, after a prodigious slaughter of the foreigners, was son of Ivar of Limerick, who was grandson of Ivar ; whereas the Aralt, previously mentioiied, was son of Sitric, and was himself grandson of Ivar—271, n. 4, 275, n. 4. Amongst the exactions of this family is noticed a nose tax, in addition to the royal tribute, consisting of an ounce of silver or white bronze, "for every nose," i.e. , for every man, and whoever was unable to pay was sold as a slave—Id. ciii.]

38 [In Todd’s genealogical tables, A : the sons of Ivan (Limerick branch), Magnus, King of Man, who died about 977, and Godfrey, slain in 989, were the sons of Sitric, Lord of Limerick, who was slain in Connaught, in 896, by his own countrymen.]

39 [Godfrey Haroldson is called King of the Insi Gall, or Western Islands of the foreigners. Todd applies to Man what Munch applies to Anglesey, for he cites the Ann. Camb. as recording a great battle at the Isle of Man in 986 by the son of Harold (Mac Arailt), and the Danes, in which 1000 were slain ; and the Ann. Camb., at 978, as recording the devastation of Man (Mon) by Godred (Gothrit) with the black Gentiles, and the capture of 2000 men ; and the Brut of Tywys, AD. 970 and 956 (for there are two entries of the same event), where Man is called Mon or Mona—Todd, 272, n. 6.]

40 [Todd calls his mother Edna, which he supposes to be the Irish Eithne, she was daughter of Cearbhall or Carrol, son of Dungah, lord of Ossory and King of Dublin, p. 302, ii. 13, clxxxv. Robertson calls her Auda, and says she was the daughter of an Irish king, Kerval, i. 84.]

41 [Finlay Mac Rory " marked out a battle-field for Jan Sigurd on Skida Moor." The jarl bore a mystic banner of a flying raven, the work of his Irish mother, which gave victory to those who followed it, but was fatal to him who bore it. —Robertson, i. 94.]

42 In the Flôamanna Saga, which appears to be very trustworthy, it is told, that about the year 980 Earl Hacon 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 shipwrecked on the coast of Caithness, and lost all their goods ; yet they were hospitably received by an earl, named Olaf, 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 redoubted 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.

43 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 nianner, 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. [Robertson says that Gille, Jarl of the Sudreys, was either the nephew or the brother-in-law of Jan Sigurd, or both, as a marriage between an aunt and her nephew occasionally took place in the distant north, i. 162, note.]

44 In the Njála it is called "Kuhn," and has been believed by others to be Coil ; it seems however evident that "Kolns-ey " must be "Colonsay."

45 Eyrbyggjasaga, c. 29. Thorodd, the Jcelander, was henceforth called "Thor-odd Skattkaupandi " (the purchaser of the tribute).

46 Annals of Ulster.

47 Njalssaga, c. 87.

48 Tigherna, by O’Connor, v. ii. p. 267.—Ulster Annals, ib. iv. p. 286.

49 [Malcolm II. gave his daughter in marriage to Sigurd, soon after his victory over the Maormuor Finlay, the father of Macbeth, in order to secure the alliance of the Orkney jarl, as a formidable rival to the hostile family of Moray—Robertson, i. 111.]

50 [His allegiance to Norway sat lightly on the jarl, and ceased with the life of his son Hundi, who had been carried off as a hostage by Olave a few years afterwards ; but as no mention is ever made of a relapse into Paganism, the conversion of the Orkneys dates from this summary proceeding—Robertson, i. 86. Ling. i. 281. Dunham, i. 216 ; ii. 7, 8.]

51 It is therefore called the "Bnians-battle" in the sagas. [Sigurd was nick-named Digri, or the Fat. He is described as performing prodigies at the battle of Clontarf, his fury being that of a robber upon a plain, no pointed or edged weapon being able to touch him. He fell under the sword of Murchadh, the son of Brian, having taken his charmed banner from the staff, for two of his followers having fallen with the banner, they bade him carry his own devil himself ; and so, when it was removed from the staff, and hide under his cloak, the charm was broken—Todd, passim]

52 Agrip, cap. 20. Fornmanna Sigur, x. p. 396.

53 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 Tiglieniach states expressly that " King Malcolm Mac Malbrigid 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. Saga the death of Malcolm, this grandfather of Thorfinn, is said to have taken place between incidents, one of which belongs to AD. 1028, the other to AD. 1030. [Robertson says that Malcolm II. reigned from AD. 1005-34, when he was assassinated at Glammis, in the same province of Angus, which forty years before had proved so fatal to his father. Thorfinn, when a mere child, had been placed by him over Sutherland and Caithmess : In 1030, on the death of his half brother, Brusi, he annexed the Orkneys to his dominions. He is described as "stout and strong, but very ugly ; severe, and cruel, but a very clever man. " Duncan I. , who reigned from AD. 1034-1040, attempted to deprive him of his earldom, but was himself defeated, amid his defeat was followed by his assassination in the "smith’s bothy," near Elgin, at the hands of Macbeth, who succeeded him, and reigned from 1040-58. Thorfinn is said to have held a large Riki in Ireland, and to have extended his kingdom from Thinrso Shcerry to Dublin, and to have exacted tribute and assumed the prerogatives of the earlier kings of Dublin. He died about 1064. His sons were at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, and escaping from the slaughter, led a peaceful and inglorious existence as joint jarls in their northern home. Ingebiorge, the widow of Thiorfinn, married Malcolm III., who reigned from 1058-93.—Robertson, i. 98, 127, and 161-2.]

54 Orkneyinga Saga, p. 54. It is here said that "Earl Thorfinn resided for long periods at Caithness, in the place called Gaddgedlar, 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 1380, and in Iceland (this part of this Saga existing only in the Codex Flateyensis), might easily have dropped an " ole " (or the abbreviation thereof), not conscious of the great blunder be committed. "Gaddgedlar " is evidently the Norwegian corruption of "Gahwydia," "Gaiwaythi, " or a Gaelic form maybe still nearer to it. From a verse, composed by the Icelander Arnor, the court-poet of Thom-finn, we learn that he once made an inroad upon this coast "south of Man" (i. e. , east of Man, Ireland being then regarded as situated north of Man), to carry away some cattle (Orkney. Saga, p. 58) ; this expeditious to Cumberland cannot have been made from Caithness, but readily from the opposite Galloway shore.

55 [Did he not basely murder him ? see addition to note on the preceding page also Ling. i. 345.]

56 Skene, The Highlanders in Scotland, i. p. 113-116. [John Hill Burton referring to this passage, says : " In this revolution it is known that the Norse power in Scotland had great influence, though we cannot get at its sources and character with complete exactness."—Hist. Scot. i. 374.]

57 [Ling. calls him Siward ; he was uncle to the youthful Malcolm, i. 345.]

58 We continue here to follow the Irish annals compared with Chron. Saxon., Fordun being utterly confused, 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 August or September 1057. The battle in which Sigurd, no doubt together with Malcolm, vanquished (but not killed) Macbeth. was that of 1054 (27th of July), it is not said where, only it must have been south of Dundee.

59 [On the 27th of July 1054, Siward, Earl of Northunibenlaud, attacked Macbeth with the whole force of his province. Fifteen hundred of the Anglo-Danes fell in the contest, with the son and nephew of the earl, but Siward gained time day, slew three thousand of the enemy, and carried off a booty unprecedented in the annals of Border warfare—Robertson, i. 122.]

60 The Ulster Annals say that in this battle of 1054 fell 1500 Saxons (Englishmem), and "Dolfin son of Finntor. " "Fimintor " 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.

61Tighernach says : (1058) a fleet camae 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 (England), but God willed otherwise. Brut and Tywysogion : that Magnus, son of Harold, came to England, amid devastated it along with Griffith, King of Wales. Chron. Saxon. : Earl Ælfgår 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 Ælfgdr and Griffith. [On the death of Earl Godwin his earldom was given to Harold ; that of Harold to Alfgar, the son of Leofnic, a rival family. Alfgar was accused of treason and outlawed. He fled to Ireland, purchased the assistance of a northern sea king, was joined by Griffith, Prince of Wales, and poured his Welsh and Norwegian auxiliaries into the county of Hereford. The city was taken and pillaged, the cathedral and principal buildings were burned, and 400 of the inhabitants were slain, AD. 1057. Peace was made and broken, and made again ; and eventually Griffith’s head was sent as a peace-offering to Harold who had pursued the Welsh into the fastnesses of Snowdon, AD. 1063.—Ling. i. 346-348.]


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