|King of Mann and the Isles and King of Dublin|
|Place of death||Islay (Inner Hebrides)|
|Predecessor||Fingal mac Gofraid|
|Issue||Lagmann, Olaf and Harald|
|Father||possibly Ímar mac Arailt|
Godred Crovan (Old Irish: Gofraid mac meic Arailt, Gofraid Méranech; Guðrøðr; Manx: Gorree Crovan) (died 1095) was a Norse-Gael ruler of Dublin, and King of Mann and the Isles in the second half of the 11th century. Godred's epithet Crovan may mean "white hand" (Middle Irish: crobh bhan). In Manx folklore he is known as King Orry.
Ancestry and early life
The notice of Godred's death in the Annals of Tigernach calls him Gofraid mac meic Aralt or Godred, son of Harald's son. As a result, it has been suggested that Godred was a son, or nephew, of the Norse-Gael king Ímar mac Arailt who ruled Dublin from 1038 to 1046, who was in turn a nephew of Sigtrygg Silkbeard and grandson of Amlaíb Cuarán. This would make Godred a dynast of the Uí Ímair.
The Chronicles of Mann call Godred the son of Harald the Black of Ysland, variously interpreted as Islay, Ireland or Iceland, and make him a survivor of Harald Hardraade's defeat at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066. They say that he took refuge with his kinsman Gofraid mac Sitriuc, then King of the Isles. Irish annals record that this Gofraid was subject to the Irish King of Dublin, Murchad son of Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó of the Uí Cheinnselaig. Gofraid and Murchad both died in 1070 and the rule of the Isle of Man passed to Gofraid's son Fingal.
Invasions of the Isle of Man
|“||In the year 1056 , Godred Crovan collected a number of ships and came to Mann; he gave battle to the natives but was defeated, and forced to fly. Again he assembled an army and a fleet, came to Mann, encountered the Manxmen, was defeated and put to fight. A third time he collected a numerous body of followers, came by night to the port called Ramsey, and concealed 300 men in a wood, on the sloping brow of a hill called Sky Hill. At daylight the men of Mann drew up in order of battle, and, with a mighty rush, encountered Godred. During the heat of the contest the 300 men, rising from the ambuscade in the rear, threw the Manxmen into disorder, and compelled them to fly.||”|
Conquest and loss of Dublin
The Chronicles say, and Irish sources agree, that Godred then took Dublin although the date is unknown. In 1087 the Annals of Ulster record that "the grandsons of Ragnall" were killed on an expedition to the Isle of Man. In 1094 Godred was driven out of Dublin by Muircheartach Ua Briain. He died the following year, "of pestilence" according the Annals of the Four Masters, on Islay.
The remnants of a neolithic chambered long barrow near Laxey in the Isle of Man, is known locally as King Orry's Grave. This name is of comparatively recent origin and the site has no connection with his actual grave.
Issue and legacy
Godred left three known sons, Lagmann, Olaf and Harald. Harald was blinded by Lagmann and disappears from the record, but the descendants of Lagmann and Olaf ruled the Kingdom of the Isles until the rise of Somerled and his sons, who ruled the Isle of Man until the end of the kingdom 1265 and its annexation by Alexander III, King of Scots. Even as late as 1275 Godred son of the last King of Mann tried to seize the island.
|King of Mann and the Isles
Domnall mac Taidc Ua Briain
Énna mac Diarmata
Donnchad mac Domnaill Remair
|King of Dublin
Domnall mac Taidc Ua Briain
- Seán Duffy, 'Godred Crovan (d. 1095)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
- His other epithet, Méranech, means "furious", Crovan might also derive from Irish crúbach, "claw", or Old Norse kruppin, "cripple"; Hudson, p. 173.
- Duffy, Irishmen and Islesmen..., p. 106
- Hudson notes that Ysland in the Manx Chronicle may represent "Ireland"; Hudson, p. 171.
- McDonald 2007 p. 64. See also: Hudson 2005 p. 183. See also: Graham-Campbell; Batey 1998 p. 89. See also: Islay, Carragh Bhan, Canmore, retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Details of barrow known as King Orry's Grave
- Sellar (2000) p. 190
- The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys published by the Manx Society (1874) at A Manx Note Book
- CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork includes the Annals of Ulster, Tigernach and the Four Masters as well as Genealogies, and various Saints' Lives. Most are translated into English, or translations are in progress
- Crawford, Barbara (1987), Scandinavian Scotland, Leicester: Leicester University Press, ISBN 0-7185-1282-0
- Duffy, Seán (1992), "Irishmen and Islesmen in the Kingdom of Dublin and Man 1052–1171", Ériu 43 (43): 93–133, JSTOR 30007421.
- Graham-Campbell, James; Batey, Colleen E. (1998), Vikings in Scotland: an archaeological survey, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 0 7486 0863 X.
- Hudson, Benjamin T. (2005), Viking pirates and Christian princes: dynasty, religion, and empire in the north Atlantic, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-516237-0. – via Google Books
- McDonald, Russell Andrew (2007), Manx kingship in its Irish sea setting, 1187–1229: King Rǫgnvaldr and the Crovan dynasty, Four Courts Press, ISBN 978-1-84682-047-2.
- Sellar, William David Hamilton (2000), "Hebridean sea kings: The successors of Somerled, 1164–1316", in Cowan, Edward J.; McDonald, Russell Andrew, Alba: Celtic Scotland in the middle ages, Tuckwell Press, ISBN 1-86232-151-5