Blácaire mac Gofrith

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Blácaire mac Gofrith (died 948), in Old Norse Blákári Guðrøðsson, was King of Dublin. Son of Gofraid ua Ímair, he was a great-grandson of Ímar, ancestor of the Uí Ímair kindred which dominated the Scandinavianised and Norse-Gael regions of the British Isles in the tenth century.

According to the Annals of Clonmacnoise, Blácaire came to rule Dublin when his cousin Amlaíb Cuarán went to Northumbria to assist Blácaire's brother Amlaíb, or Olaf Guthfrithson, King of York in 940. Amlaíb died the following year and Amlaíb Cuarán stayed in England as the next king of York, Blácaire remaining in Ireland. The first report of his activity as king is a raid into the north of Ireland. He fought against Muirchertach mac Néill's forces near Armagh on 26 February 943, defeating and killing Muirchertach. Armagh was pillaged the following day.

In 944 Congalach mac Máel Mithig, King of Knowth, together with the King of Leinster, sacked Dublin. The account of the sack in the Chronicon Scotorum states that "four hundred foreigners fell in the taking of the fortress, and they burned it and brought away its jewels and treasures and prisoners". In the same year Amlaíb Cuarán and Blácaire's brother Ragnall were driven out of York. Amlaíb probably took refuge in the Kingdom of Strathclyde, and he returned to Dublin in 945. Ragnall was killed attempting to retake York.

Amlaíb and his ally Congalach of Knowth were defeated, with heavy loss among the Dubliners, by Ruaidrí ua Canannáin at Slane in 947. This defeat allowed Blácaire to regain control of Dublin.

He was succeeded as king in Dublin by Amlaíb Cuarán's brother Gofraid mac Sitriuc.

References[edit]

  • Downham, Clare (2007), Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland: The Dynasty of Ívarr to A.D. 1014, Edinburgh: Dunedin, ISBN 978-1-903765-89-0 
  • Hudson, Benjamin (2005), Viking Pirates and Christian Princes: Dynasty, Religion, and Empire in the North Atlantic, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-516237-4 
  • Woolf, Alex (2007), From Pictland to Alba, 789–1070, The New Edinburgh History of Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-1234-5