Ragnvald Godredsson

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Not to be confused with Ragnall mac Gofraid.
Rögnvaldr Guðrøðarson
King of the Isles
Image of Rögnvaldr's name as it appears in the Latin Chronicle of Mann.
Rögnvaldr's name as it appears on folio 40r. of the Chronicle of Mann: Reginaldus.[1]
Reign 1187–1226
Predecessor Guðrøðr Óláfsson
Successor Óláfr Guðrøðarson
Issue Guðrøðr
Dynasty Crovan dynasty
Father Guðrøðr Óláfsson
Died 14 February 1229
Tynwald, Isle of Man
Burial St Mary's Abbey, Furness

Rögnvaldr Guðrøðarson[note 1] (died 14 February 1229) ruled as King of the Isles from 1187 to 1226. He was the eldest son of Guðrøðr Óláfsson. Before his death in 1187, Guðrøðr intended that his younger son, Óláfr, would succeed to the kingship. The Manx people instead chose Rögnvaldr, who was likely Óláfr's half-brother. Rögnvaldr went on to rule the Kingdom of the Isles for almost forty years.

Described in one mediaeval saga as "the greatest warrior in the western lands", Rögnvaldr lent military aid to William I, King of Scots against Haraldr Maddaðarson, Earl of Caithness, Earl of Orkney, and occupied Caithness for a short period of time at about the turn of the 13th century. Like his predecessors, Rögnvaldr was closely associated with the rulers of northern Wales. An unnamed daughter of his was betrothed to Rhodri ab Owain, a dynast of the ruling family of Gwynedd. In 1193, Rögnvaldr lent military aid to Rhodri, who regained Anglesey from his rivals. Rögnvaldr was also involved in Irish affairs, as he was the brother-in-law of John de Courcy, one of the most powerful of the incoming Anglo-Normans. With de Courcy's fall from power in the first decade of the 13th century, Rögnvaldr aided the Englishman with one hundred ships, in an unsuccessful attack on Dundrum Castle, then under the control of de Courcy's rivals, the de Lacys.

On numerous occasions from 1205 to 1219, Rögnvaldr bound himself to the rulers of England by rendering homage to John, King of England and his successor, Henry III, King of England. In return for his vassalage, these English rulers promised to assist Rögnvaldr against any threats to his realm; likewise, Rögnvaldr was tasked to protect English interests in the Irish Sea zone. With the strengthening of Norwegian kingship in the first half of the 13th century, the rulers of Norway began to look towards the Isles, and in 1210 the Isles fell prey to a destructive military expedition. In consequence, Rögnvaldr was forced to travel to Norway and render homage to Ingi Bárðarson, King of Norway. The now very-real Norwegian threat may well have been the reason why, in 1223, Rögnvaldr submitted to Pope Honorius III and promised to pay a perpetual tribute for his realm.

Óláfr's allotment in Rögnvaldr's island-kingdom appears to have been Lewis and Harris. When confronted by Óláfr for more lands, in about 1208, Rögnvaldr had him seized and imprisoned by William I, King of Scots, until the latter's death in 1214. On Óláfr's release. Rögnvaldr arranged for him to marry the sister of his own wife. Óláfr was able to have this marriage annulled, sometime after 1217, whereupon he married the daughter of a powerful Scots magnate closely aligned with the reigning King of Scots. Hostilities soon broke out, when Óláfr defeated Rögnvaldr's son, Guðrøðr, in 1223. Óláfr's gains at Rögnvaldr's expense forced the latter to turn to Alan, Lord of Galloway, one of the most powerful magnates of the Irish Sea zone. In 1225, the two undertook unsuccessful military operations in the Hebrides against Óláfr's forces. Shortly afterwards, an unnamed daughter of Rögnvaldr was married to Alan's illegitimate son, Thomas. The marriage further bound Alan to Rögnvaldr's cause, but also gave Alan a stake in the kingship. The prospect of a Gallovidian king prompted the Manx to depose Rögnvaldr in favour of Óláfr, and in 1226, the latter ruled the entire island-kingdom. Two years later, Rögnvaldr, Alan, and Alan's brother Thomas, invaded Mann and ransacked the island before Óláfr was able to regain control.

At the beginning of 1229, Rögnvaldr launched yet another invasion of Mann, and successfully established himself on the southern half of the island. For about a month and a half the island was divided between the half-brothers, until the two led their forces to Tynwald. On 14 February 1229, the opposing forces clashed and Óláfr's troops prevailed. Near contemporary records state that Rögnvaldr fell treacherously, "a victim to the arms of the wicked". His body was conveyed to St Mary's Abbey, Furness and buried.


The main source for Rögnvaldr is the mid 13th century Chronicle of Mann, a Latin chronicle which dictates the history of Rögnvaldr's family, the Crovan dynasty.[12] Although the chronicle is the only indigenous narrative source for the dynasty's sea-realm, it is certainly not without faults. Not only is its chronology suspect in parts, but it may be somewhat biased in favour of one line of the dynasty over another—the line of Rögnvaldr's rival over that of his own.[13] Other important sources are the copies of the surviving royal acta of the dynasty. Of only about twenty examples now in existence, six (all copies) pertain to Rögnvaldr's reign. Numerous sources from outwith the dynasty's domain, such as mediaeval chronicles and annals composed in England, France, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, also shed light on Rögnvaldr and his era. Several sagas also provide useful information, although the historicity of such sources is sometimes debatable. Also important are surviving correspondence between Rögnvaldr and the English royal court, and the Vatican. In addition, certain Welsh genealogies, and a particular late 12th-century or early 13th-century Irish praise-poem composed in Rögnvaldr's honour, are also utilised by scholars concerned with his life.[14]


Map of the Kingdom of the Isles circa 1200.[15] The lands of the Crovan dynasty bordering those of the meic Somairle.

The Crovan dynasty was a line of Norse-Gaelic sea-kings who were seated on the Isle of Man (Mann) from the late 11th century to the last half of the 13th century. Rögnvaldr was the son of Guðrøðr Óláfsson, King of the Isles (d. 1187), who was in turn the son of Óláfr Guðrøðarson, King of the Isles (d. 1153).[note 2] On Óláfr's death, Guðrøðr inherited a vast island-kingdom, the Kingdom of the Isles, which encompassed the Hebrides and Mann (known in Old Norse as the Suðreyjar, the "south isles").[18] In the mid 12th century, Guðrøðr lost control of much of the Inner Hebrides to the emerging Somairle, Lord of Argyll, and was unable to regain these islands on Somairle's death in 1164.[19] Like his predecessors, Guðrøðr is sometimes anachronistically styled "King of Mann" in secondary sources.[20] In fact, Guðrøðr, his sons Rögnvaldr and Óláfr, and his father Óláfr, styled themselves in Latin rex insularum ("King of the Isles"); it was not until the reigns of Guðrøðr's grandsons (Óláfr's sons) that the leading members of the dynasty adopted the Latin title rex mannie et insularum ("King of Mann and the Isles").[21][note 3]


Guðrøðr is known to have been formally married to Finnguala, who was a granddaughter of Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn, High King of Ireland, and more than likely a daughter of Niall Mac Lochlainn, King of Cenél nEógain (d. 1176).[23] The chronicle records that the marriage was formalised by the visiting papal legate, Vivian, Cardinal priest of St Stephen in Celio Monte, during his stay on Mann in 1176.[24] Vivian's visit to Mann is corroborated in several contemporary sources, such as the Chronicle of Hollyrood and Roger of Howden's Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi, which state that he left Galloway for Mann on 24 December 1176, and stayed a fortnight on the island before setting off for Ireland on 6 January.[25]

According to the Chronicle of Mann, Guðrøðr had three sons: Rögnvaldr, Óláfr, and Ívarr.[26][note 4] Before his death on 10 November 1187, the chronicle records that Guðrøðr instructed that his younger son, Óláfr, should succeed to the kingdom, since this son had been born "in lawful wedlock".[28] Since the chronicle contradicts itself in detailing Óláfr's age[note 5] it is uncertain whether he was born during the year of his father's marriage, or a few years before—what is certain is that Rögnvaldr was older than Óláfr.[29]

Because Óláfr was only a child at the time of his father's death, the chronicle relates that the Manxmen chose Rögnvaldr to rule instead, because unlike Óláfr, Rögnvaldr was a hardy young man. After returning from the Isles, where he was living at the time of his father's death, Rögnvaldr was duly proclaimed king and began his reign the following year, in 1188.[28] Although the chronicle indirectly implies that Rögnvaldr was also a son of Finnguala, there is evidence that strongly suggests that he had a different mother. Within a letter from Óláfr to Henry II, King of England (d. 1189), Óláfr describes Rögnvaldr as a bastard.[30] Further evidence is found within a Gaelic praise-poem of Rögnvaldr, which states that he was a son of Sadb,[31] an otherwise unknown Irishwoman who may have been an unrecorded wife or concubine of Guðrøðr. The fact that Rögnvaldr and Óláfr more than likely had different mothers may well explain the intense conflict that took place between them in the years that followed.[32]

Strained relations with Óláfr[edit]

According to the Chronicle of Mann, Rögnvaldr gave Óláfr possession of a certain island called Lewis. The chronicle disparagingly describes Lewis as being mountainous and rocky, completely unsuitable for cultivation, and declares that the island's small population lived mostly by hunting and fishing.[33] In fact, Lewis is the northern part of the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis and Harris; the northern part of this island is rather flat and boggy, while the southern part, Harris, is more mountainous. The chronicle, therefore, seems to have conflated the northern and southern parts.[34] Be that as it may, the chronicle declares that, because of the poverty of his lands, Óláfr was unable to support himself and his followers, and that in consequence he led "a sorry life".[33][note 6]

Óláfr's time in the Isles is confirmed by several Icelandic sources which recount how Guðmundr Arason (d. 1237) attempted to sail from Iceland to Norway in 1202, to become consecrated as the Bishop of Hólar.[36][note 7] These sources state that a severe storm forced Guðmundr and his companions to make landfall in the Hebrides at a certain island which is almost certainly Sanday—a tiny tidal island linked to its larger neighbour Canna, the westernmost of the Small Isles. The Icelanders are then stated to have encountered a Hebridean king named Óláfr, who is undoubtedly Rögnvaldr's half-brother.[37] Whether or not Óláfr, or even the Crovan dynasty, actually ruled the Small Isles at this time is not as certain.[38][note 8]

In consequence of his poverty on Lewis, the chronicle relates that Óláfr went to Rögnvaldr, who was also living in the Hebrides, and confronted him for more land. Rögnvaldr's response was to have Óláfr seized and sent to William I, King of Scots (d. 1214), who kept him imprisoned for almost seven years. The chronicle states that, on the seventh year, William died and that just before his death ordered the release of all his political prisoners.[39] Since William is known to have died on 4 December 1214,[40] this places Óláfr's imprisonment sometime between 1207 and late 1214 (or early 1215).[41] The chronicle relates that upon gaining his freedom, Óláfr met with Rögnvaldr on Mann, and then set out on a pilgrimage with a significant number of noblemen.[39] Óláfr's intended destination is considered to have been the shrine of St James at Santiago de Compostela in Spain.[42][note 9]

Relations with William of Scotland[edit]

Rögnvaldr appears to have enjoyed an amicable alliance with William,[43] a Scots monarch who faced a series of revolts during his reign (r. 1165–1214).[44] In the late 12th century, Haraldr Maddaðarson, Earl of Caithness, Earl of Orkney (d. 1206) set his sights on the Scottish earldom of Ross, and associated himself with the meic Áedha, a kindred who were in open rebellion against the King of Scots. To keep Haraldr in check, William launched the first of two expeditions into Haraldr's mainland territory in 1196, with one reaching deep into Caithness. According to the 14th century chronicler John of Fordun (d. after 1363), William's first military action subdued Caithness and Sutherland.[45] The Orkneyinga saga, likely composed early in the first quarter of the 13th century,[46] records that William tasked Rögnvaldr to intervene into Caithnesss on his behalf. Rögnvaldr duly gathered an armed host from the Isles, Kintyre, and Ireland; he then his troops into Caithness and subdued the region. With the coming of winter, the saga records that Rögnvaldr returned to the Isles, after having left three stewards in Caithness. Haraldr then had one of these stewards murdered, which brought him into direct conflict with William, who forced him into submission.[47] Rögnvaldr's involvement in Caithness is also noted by the contemporary English chronicler Roger of Howden (d. 1201/2), in his Chronica. According to Roger, after two rounds of negotiations between Haraldr and William failed, Rögnvaldr intervened and bought Caithness from William.[48] The precise date of Rögnvaldr's venture is uncertain, although it appears to occurred in about 1200.[49]


The fact that two Hebridean rulers, Rögnvaldr and his first cousin Ragnall mac Somairle (d. between 1192–1227), shared the same personal names, the same grandfather, and (at times) the same title, has perplexed modern scholars and possibly mediaeval chroniclers as well.[50] Although most scholars regard Rögnvaldr as the Hebridean-king who assisted the William against Haraldr, several scholars have suggested that it was actually Ragnall.[51] Until recently,[52] the transcription of Roger's account of the episode has indicated that the Hebridean-king was in fact a son of the Hebridean-king Somairle mac Gilla Brigte (d. 1164).[53] However, a recent re-analysis of the earliest existent version of Roger's chronicle has shown that its original text was altered to include Somairle's name, and that it originally read in Latin Reginaldus filius rex de Man, thereby revealing that Rögnvaldr was indeed the man in question.[52]

Another perplexing point is the fact that the saga makes the erroneous statement that Rögnvaldr was a son of Ingibjörg, daughter of Hákon Pálsson, Earl of Orkney (d. c. 1126).[54][note 10] In fact, Ingibjörg was one of two known wives of Rögnvaldr's paternal-grandfather, Óláfr, and she is much more likely to have been a grandmother of Ragnall, as Rögnvaldr likely descends from Óláfr's other wife, Affraic, daughter of Fergus, Lord of Galloway (d. 1161).[55] Although not descended from previous Earls of Orkney, Rögnvaldr was related to these Norse magnates by right of his grandfather's marriage to Ingibjörg—a relationship which may well have influenced William in using Rögnvaldr against Haraldr.[56] Although it has been suggested that Rögnvaldr may have acted as an Earl of Caithness for a short time, the surviving evidence merely suggests that he was appointed by William to administrate the province.[57]

Surviving evidence indicates that the rulers of Mann held Glenelg, a grant of land on the mainland adjutant to Skye, from the Kings of Scots. Although the actual charter is now non-existent, the grant is mentioned in a surviving inventory of documents at Edinburgh in 1282.[58] Although the circumstances, terms, and dates of the deal are unknown, the grant may well have originated during a period of co-operation between the neighbouring monarchs, sometime in the 12th and 13th centuries.[59]

Welsh connections[edit]

The Kingdom of Gwynedd, and the extent of English dominance in Ireland and Wales, c. 1200.

From its earliest years, the Crovan dynasty forged alliances with the northern Welsh rulers of the Kingdom of Gwynedd.[60] Guðrøðr "Crovan", the dynasty's eponymous founder, is known to have aided Gruffudd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd (d. 1137) in about 1094, as the Historia Gruffud Vab Kenan, a 12th-century account of this Welsh king, records that Guðrøðr supported him with sixty ships in an attack on the English in Gwynedd.[61] In fact, this source indicates that Guðrøðr and Gruffudd were likely kinsmen,[62] as it states that Gruffudd's mother was descended from Óláfr kváran, King of Dublin, King of Northumbria (d. 981),[63] a significant Norse-Gaelic monarch who may well have been Guðrøðr's ancestor.[64] Rögnvaldr also partook in military actions in the north of Wales, during a time of vicious warring between the descendants of Owain ap Gruffydd, King of Gwynedd (d. 1170). The late 13th century Welsh chronicle Brut y Tywysogyon indicates that he militarily supported Rhodri ab Owain (d. 1195), in the latter's successful re-acquisition of Anglesey in 1193.[65] Furthermore, another Welsh text, Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu to King John, refers to the year 1193 as haf y Gwyddyl ("the summer of the Gael"), which likely refers to the participation of Rögnvaldr and his troops.[66]

Rögnvaldr and Rhodri were also bound together by marriage.[67] A papal letter, dated 1199, indicates that an unnamed daughter of Rögnvaldr was betrothed to Rhodri.[68] It is uncertain whether the couple were married before or after the episode of 1193, although Rögnvaldr's support of Rhodri in 1193 is almost certainly related to the marriage. Rhodri died in 1195,[67] and the same papal letter states that his widow was arranged to marry Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Prince of Gwynedd (d. 1240).[68] Although papal approval of the marriage was granted in 1203,[69] it was reversed in 1205 on a technicality;[70][note 11] by then Llywelyn was already married, in a much more politically advantageous match, to Joan (d. 1237), an illegitimate daughter of his extremely powerful neighbour, John, King of England (d. 1216).[67][note 12]

Rögnvaldr's father's name as it appears in one version of Brut y Tywysogyon: "Gothrych".

There may be further evidence of Rögnvaldr's Welsh connections. According to several Welsh genealogical tracts, the mother of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales (d. 1282) was an otherwise unknown daughter of Rögnvaldr named Rhanullt (Old Norse Ragnhildr).[73] Be that as it may, recent research into Llywelyn's parentage has uncovered that contemporary sources reveal that Llywelyn's mother was another woman named Senana, and that the later claims linking the Rögnvaldr cannot be relied upon.[73] In yet another Welsh genealogy, one compiled by the herald and poet Lewys Dwnn (d. in or after 1616), Rögnvaldr is stated have had an otherwise unknown son named Hywel.[74] Although such late genealogical sources are generally considered to be suspect, the earlier evidence of Rögnvaldr's Welsh familial and military alliances may indicate that he had a Welsh wife or concubine.[75] Rögnvaldr may also have been partly responsible for the Welsh translation of mediaeval texts dealing with Charlemagne and Roland, since Reinallt Vrenhin yr Ynyssoed, meaning "Rögnvaldr, King of the Isles", appears in the colophon of several surviving Welsh forms of these texts.[76]

Involvement in Ireland[edit]

Mannequin of Rögnvaldr's sister, Affrica, at Carrickfergus Castle.

Although Rögnvaldr is completely ignored by the Irish annals, other historical sources indicate that he indeed had Irish connections.[77] The Orkneyinga saga, for example, notes that when he travelled to Caithness and lent military support to William, that Rögnvaldr led a large army drawn from Ireland.[78] Also linking Rögnvaldr to Ireland is Henry III's 1218 summons to Rögnvaldr, commanding him to explain the "excesses committed upon the people of our Lord the King, as well in England as in Ireland".[79] Rögnvaldr's Gaelic praise-poem, composed sometime during his reign by an unknown Irishman, is also evidence of his connections with the island. Although the poem undoubtedly exaggerates Rögnvaldr's feats, its claims of devastating raids into Ireland may not be complete fantasy, as evidenced by the English summons of 1218.[77]

Rögnvaldr's predecessors were closely associated with the nearby Norse-Gaelic Kingdom of Dublin.[80] When this somewhat independent kingdom was extinguished by a combined English and Irish force in 1170, the near contemporary Expugnatio Hibernica by Gerald of Wales (d. 1220x23),[81] and a mediaeval French text popularly known as The Song of Dermot and the Earl,[82] record that Rögnvaldr's father participated in unsuccessful later-attempts at ousting the English from Dublin. With the kingdom's collapse, and the ongoing entrenchment of the English in Ireland, the Crovan dynasty found itself surrounded by a threatening, rising power in the Irish Sea zone.[83] The dynasty did not take long to realign itself with the new power in the form of a matrimonial-alliance, between Guðrøðr's daughter, Affrica (d. in or after 1219), and one of the most powerful of the incoming Englishmen—John de Courcy (d. c. 1219).[84]

According to the Gerald, de Courcy led an invasion of Ulaid in 1177 (an area roughly encompassing what is today County Antrim and County Down). He reached Down (modern day Downpatrick), drove off Ruaidrí Mac Duinn Sléibe, King of Ulaid (d. 1201),[85] consolidated his conquest,[86] and thereafter ruled his lands with a certain amount of independence for about a quarter of a century.[87] According to the 18th century Dublin Annals of Inisfallen, the marriage between Affrica and de Courcy took place in 1180. Although scholars regard these annals particularly unreliable,[88] a date of about 1180 may not be far off the mark, considering the time-frame of de Courcy's rapid rise to power.[89] Considering the military resources of the Kingdom of the Isles, and Guðrøðr's matrimonial-alliance with Cenél nEógain, a traditional enemy of the Ulaid, it is possible that de Courcy's matrimonial-alliance attributed to his stunning success. Furthermore, if the bitter past-history between the rulers of Ulaid and those of Mann is taken into account, the Crovan dynasty may well have used de Courcy's achievements as means of settling an old score.[90]

The ruinous late 12th century inner curtain wall, and early 13th century keep, of Dundrum Castle.[91]
Looking south from the castle, across Dundrum Bay.

De Courcy's fall from power occurred in a series of conflicts between 1201 and 1204. By 1205 he was forced from Ireland altogether, and his lands were awarded to Hugh de Lacy (d. 1242). That year de Courcy rose in rebellion, and was aided by Rögnvaldr.[92] The Chronicle of Mann specifies that de Courcy's massive force was reinforced by Rögnvaldr with one hundred ships, and that the two laid siege to what the chronicle describes as "the castle of Rath", before being beaten back with the arrival of Walter de Lacy (d. 1241).[93] The expedition is also recorded in the Annals of Loch Cé, which state that de Courcy brought a fleet from the Isles to battle the de Lacys. Although the expedition ultimately proved a failure, the annals note that the surrounding countryside was plundered and destroyed by the invaders.[94] The identity of the castle noted by the chronicle is almost certainly Dundrum Castle, which was possibly constructed by de Courcy before 1203. The defeat of 1205 marks the downfall of de Courcy, who never regained his Irish-lands.[95]

Relations with John of England[edit]

Rögnvaldr's involvement in Ireland and his connection with John de Courcy may have led to contact with John, King of England, and his son and successor, Henry III, King of England (d. 1272).[96] Rögnvaldr was not the first monarch of the Crovan dynasty to have connections with the English court: his paternal-grandfather was sheltered at the court of Henry I, King of England before taking the kingship of the Isles in early 12th century; his father fled to England following his forced exile from the Isles in the mid 12th century.[97] On 8 February 1205, the same year of the attack on Dundrum, John took Rögnvaldr under his protection.[98] The following year, on 8 February, John issued Rögnvaldr safe conduct for fifteen days to come to England for Easter (22 April 1206).[99] Rögnvaldr is known to have met and rendered homage to John during his Easter sojourn,[100] since the English king ordered the Sheriff of Lancaster, on 28 April, to assign thirty marcates of land to Rögnvaldr.[101][note 13] Accordingly, the Lancashire Pipe Rolls show that the sheriff associated twenty librates of land with Rögnvaldr during the year spanning Michaelmas 1205 and Michaelmas 1206.[103][note 14] Since the rolls do not name any estate associated with Rögnvaldr, he does not appear to have been assigned any lands, but rather a charge upon the ferm of the county.[105] The next day, John ordered his treasurer to pay thirty marks to Rögnvaldr.[106] About a year later, on 17 June 1207, John ordered the sheriff to assign Rögnvaldr with twenty liberates of land,[107] which is again confirmed by the Lancashire Pipe Rolls.[108]

Locations in England and Ireland mentioned in article.

In 1210, the Chronicle of Mann reports that John led five hundred ships to Ireland. While Rögnvaldr and his men were absent from Mann, the chronicle states that part of John's forces landed and ravaged the island in a fortnight, before leaving Mann with certain hostages.[109] Since John and Rögnvaldr were clearly on friendly terms between 1205 and 1207, John's assault on Mann does not appear to connected to Rögnvaldr's campaigning with de Courcy. Instead, the ravaging of Mann may very well be related to John's sour relations with the de Lacys and the de Braoses.[110] Various historical sources relate how William de Braose (d. 1211), his wife and family, fled from John to Ireland, where they were harboured by the de Lacys; and how John's 1210 arrival in Ireland caused the de Braoses to flee towards Scotland, where they were apprehended in Galloway, by Donnchad, Earl of Carrick (d. 1250).[111] The link between the flight of the de Braoses and Rögnvaldr appears in the Histoire des ducs de Normandie et des rois d'Angleterre, a particularly important contemporary source for this period,[112] which states that while en route to Scotland, the de Braoses stayed on Mann for four days.[113] Possibly significant is a report in the Annals of Loch Cé,[114] which records that John sent men to ravage Mann after he attacked Carrickfergus.[115] John himself stated that he learned of the capture of de Braose's wife and children while at Carrickfergus,[116] which may hint that the attack on Mann was punitive in nature.[117]

Although it is impossible to know whether Rögnvaldr sanctioned the arrival of the fleeing de Braoses, their close connection with the de Lacys, and Rögnvaldr's close connection with de Courcy (who had been forced from his Irish lands by the de Lacys) make it somewhat unlikely.[117] English records for the year 1210 reveal that a certain Richard de Muroil was paid to guard John's supply on Mann.[118] One possibility is that, following the island's ravaging, John may have taken advantage of Mann for use as a depot for his Irish operations. However, considering the favourable relations known to have existed between Rögnvaldr and John, it may be more likely that the latter's use of the island was part of an agreed alliance between the two monarchs.[110]

Divided loyalties: England and Norway[edit]

In the years between the death of Magnús berfœttr, King of Norway (d. 1103) and the reign of Hákon Hákonarson, King of Norway (d. 1263), Norwegian presence in the Isles was negligible due to the ongoing civil war in Norway.[119] However, in the mid 12th century during his visit to Norway, Rögnvaldr's father is regarded to have become a vassal of Ingi Haraldsson, King of Norway (d. 1161). What is certain is that the 12th century Norman chronicler Robert of Torigni (d. 1186) noted a meeting between Henry II, William, and the Bishop of the Isles, where it was stated that the Kings of the Isles paid the Kings of Norway ten marks of gold on their accession to the Norwegian throne. Robert also recorded that the King of the Isles was not obliged to render any other tribute until the next Norwegian king succeeded.[120] While still bound to the King of England in 1210, Rögnvaldr appears to have found himself the target of renewed Norwegian hegemony in the Isles.[121]

The Icelandic Annals state that a military expedition from the Norway to the Isles was in preparation in 1209. The following year, the annals laconically report of "warfare" in the Isles, and that Iona was pillaged.[122] These reports are corroborated by Böglunga sögur, an early 13th-century saga which survives in two versions. Both versions note how men of the Birkibeinar and the Baglar—two competing sides of the Norwegian civil war—decided to recoup their financial losses with a certain twelve-ship raiding expedition into the Isles.[123] The longer version of the saga states that Rögnvaldr ("King of Mann and the Isles") and Guðrøðr ("King on Mann") had not paid their taxes due to the Norwegian kings; in consequence, the Isles were ravaged until the two travelled to Norway and reconciled themselves with Ingi Bárðarson, King of Norway (d. 1217), whereupon the two took their lands from Ingi as a fief.[124]

The mentioned kings of Böglunga sögur are regarded to represent Rögnvaldr and his son, Guðrøðr,[125] although it has been suggested that the saga's Rögnvaldr may refer to Rögnvaldr's cousin, Ragnall, and that the Guðrøðr of the saga may simply refer to Rögnvaldr's patronym.[126] The events depicted in the saga appear to show that, in the wake of destructive Norse activity in the Isles, which may have been some sort of officially sanctioned punishment from Norway, Rögnvaldr and his son (or possibly, Rögnvaldr and his cousin) travelled to Norway where they rendered homage to the Norwegian king, and made compensation for unpaid taxes.[127] The fact that Ingi turned his attention to the Isles so soon after peace was brokered between the Birkibeinar and Baglar in 1208, may well indicate the importance that he placed on his relations with Rögnvaldr and his Norse-Gaelic contemporaries.[128] Rögnvaldr's presence in Norway may explain his absence from Mann when it was ravaged by John's troops in the same year. Furthermore, Rögnvaldr's homage to Ingi may explain the English attack, as it may have given the English an incentive to ravage Rögnvaldr's lands because he had bound himself to John only a few years previous.[129]

Enduring links with England[edit]

Mid-13th-century illustration of John, King of England and his successor son, Henry III, King of England.
Mid 13th century depiction of John, King of England (left) and his successor-son, Henry III, King of England (right).

Numerous sources reveal that in the years following the ravaging of Mann and plundering of the Isles, Rögnvaldr bound himself closer to the English crown.[130] These records reveal that not only was Rögnvaldr protected by John, but that he was also obligated to defend John's interests in the Irish Sea region.[131] While at Lambeth on 16 May 1212,[132] during what was likely his second visit to England in six years,[130] Rögnvaldr declared by charter that he was John's liegeman.[132] Rögnvaldr's visit to England is corroborated by the record of the payment of ten marks to a Stephen de Oxford on 20 May, for conducting Rögnvaldr home.[133] Further evidence is provided by John's orders of the release of several of Rögnvaldr's men who had been held in custody at Porchester and Dover.[134] It is unknown under what circumstances these men were detained.[130] In another record, dated 16 May 1212, John ordered his seneschals, governors, and bailiffs in Ireland to come to Rögnvaldr's aid in the event that his territory was threatened by "Wikini or others", since Rögnvaldr had bound himself to do the same against John's own enemies.[135] The reference to the Wikini or Vikings in this order is almost certainly a reference to the raiders who plundered the Isles in 1210.[136] At the same time as this order, in return for the homage and service that he rendered to John, Rögnvaldr and his heirs received a grant from the English king consisting of one knight's fee of land at Carlingford, and one hundred measures of corn to be paid yearly at Drogheda for the service of one knight.[137] The precise location of Rögnvaldr's grant of land is unrecorded and unknown.[138] At about the same time as this grant, several powerful south-western Scots magnates (such as the family of the Lords of Galloway) received (albeit much larger) grants in the north of Ireland. Such grants are interpreted to have been part of a coordinated campaign by the English and Scots monarchs to gain control over outlying territories where their control was limited.[139] Yet another record, dated 3 January 1214, reveals that John prohibited the "mariners of Ireland" from entering Rögnvaldr's territories at his loss, since Rögnvaldr and his possessions were under English protection.[140]

John died in October 1216, and was succeeded by his young son, Henry.[141] On 16 January 1218, the King of the Isles was granted safe passage to England to render homage, and to "amend the excesses" committed upon Henry's men in Ireland and England.[142] Although this record has been interpreted to reveal that Rögnvaldr took advantage of the somewhat fractured English kingdom during Henry's minority by plundering the coasts of England and Ireland, there is no further evidence of any such depredations.[143] Whether Rögnvaldr actually travelled to England or not is unknown;[141] however, on 24 September 1219, he was granted safe passage to and from that kingdom.[144] Evidence of Rögnvaldr's activity in England survives in a further record of his homage to Henry, to which is amended the proviso: "But if our enemies, or his, shall rebel against us, and him, to the loss of our or his land, then you are to be earnest in your help, for the defence of our land and of his, to our safety and convenience, so long as he shall keep himself faithful towards us".[145] Whatever the 'excesses' that Rögnvaldr's men committed against the English, the surviving evidence reveals that by 1219 he was again amicably allied to the English king.[146]

Under the protection of the Pope[edit]

Late 13th century fresco of Pope Honorius III.
Late 13th century depiction of Pope Honorius III.

In the autumn of 1219, while at the Temple Church, London, Rögnvaldr surrendered Mann to the papacy, swore to perform homage for the island, and to pay twelve marks sterling in perpetuity as tribute. On behalf of Pope Honorius III (d. 1227), Rögnvaldr's submission was accepted by the papal legate, Pandulf, Bishop of Norwich (d. 1226).[147] Such a submission by a mediaeval ruler was not unprecedented at the time; significantly, John surrendered his kingdom to the papacy through Pandulf about six years beforehand,[148] while facing not only a crisis from within his own realm, but an imminent invasion of Louis VIII, King of France (d. 1226) from without.[149] The reason behind Rögnvaldr's submission appears to have been the threat of a strengthening Norwegian kingship. Hákon had only acceded to the Norwegian kingship in 1217, and by the early part of his reign the civil warring began to wane.[150] In fact, in November 1220 an order addressed to Henry's administrators in Ireland commanded them to render military aid to Rögnvaldr, since Rögnvaldr had provided evidence that Hákon was planning to invade his island-kingdom.[151] Rögnvaldr's papal submission may have also been linked to his feud with Óláfr.[152] In the last hours of his life, John is known to have appealed to Pope Innocent III (d. 1216) to ensure the succession of his young son, Henry.[153] Although the chronology of Rögnvaldr and Óláfr's feud is not entirely clear, the hostilities which entangled Rögnvaldr's son, Guðrøðr, broke out in the 1220s. Rögnvaldr may have thus attempted to secure, not only his own kingship, but also the future succession of his son.[152] It is unknown how well Rögnvaldr kept his obligations to the papacy. The limited surviving evidence of communications between Mann and Rome appear to show, however, that his commitments were not taken up by his successors.[154] Centuries after his death, Rögnvaldr's deal with the papacy was commemorated within a fresco in the Vatican Archives.[155]


Upon Óláfr's return from his pilgrimage, the Chronicle of Mann records that Rögnvaldr had him marry Lauon, the daughter of a certain nobleman from Kintyre, who was also the sister of his own (unnamed) wife. Rögnvaldr then granted Lewis back to Óláfr, where the newly-weds proceeded to live until the arrival of Reginald, Bishop of the Isles (d. c. 1226). The chronicle declares that the bishop disapproved of the marriage on the grounds that Óláfr had formerly had a concubine who was a cousin of Lauon. A synod was then assembled, and the chronicle records that the marriage was nullified.[156] Although Óláfr's marriage appears to have been doomed for being within a prohibited degree of kinship, there is evidence to suggest that the real reason for its demise was the animosity between the half-brothers. For example, Reginald and Óláfr appear to have been closely associated, as the chronicle notes that Reginald was a son of Óláfr's sister, and that Óláfr was glad when Reginald arrived on Lewis. Furthermore, it was Reginald who instigated the annulment of the marriage that Rögnvaldr had originally arranged for Óláfr. In fact, when the previous Bishop of the Isles died in 1217, Reginald had vied with a rival candidate for the position—a certain Nicholas—and there is evidence which suggests that Reginald was supported by Óláfr, while Rögnvaldr supported the bid of Nicholas.[157] Freed from his arranged marriage, the chronicle states that Óláfr proceeded to marry Christina, daughter of Ferchar mac an t-sagairt (d. c. 1251).[158]

The precise identification of the Rögnvaldr and Óláfr's (first) father-in-law is uncertain, although he may have been a member of the meic Somairle—possibly Rögnvaldr's cousin Ragnall, or Ragnall's son Ruaidrí, who are both styled "Lord of Kintyre" in contemporary sources. It is possible that Lauon and Óláfr's doomed-marriage took place in the 1220s, and that Rögnvaldr may have orchestrated this union in an attempt to improve relations between the meic Somairle and his own kindred.[159] At about this time, Alexander II, King of Scots (d. 1249) began to extend Scottish royal authority into what is today the western coast Scotland, making several expeditions into Argyll. Possibly as a result of Alexander's western incursions, Ruaidrí may have lost his lands in Kintyre, and replaced by his brother, Domnall, a more palatable member of the meic Somairle.[160] It is thus possible that the regime change in Kintyre was connected to the matrimonial-alliance between the two Norse-Gaelic kindreds.[159] Óláfr's second father-in-law emerges from historical obscurity in 1215 and, by the mid 1220s (about the time of, or not long after, the marriage), Ferchar had obtained the Earldom of Ross from Alexander, for his part in defeating the meic Uilleim northern rebellion in 1215.[161] Óláfr's control of Lewis (and possibly Skye), bordering the expansive territory of the meic Somairle, may well have made him a potentially valuable ally in the eyes of Alexander, who wished to reign-in the troublesome meic Somairle. Óláfr's matrimonial-alliance with Alexander's protégé, therefore, may well suggest that Rögnvaldr had lost the support of the Scottish king.[161]

If the chronicle is to be believed, Óláfr's separation from Lauon enraged her sister, who secretly wrote under Rögnvaldr's name to their son, Guðrøðr, ordering him to seize and kill Óláfr. Guðrøðr dutifully gathered a force on Skye and proceeded to Lewis, where the chronicle records that he laid waste to most of the island. Óláfr is said to have only narrowly escaped with a few men, and to have fled to the protection of his father-in-law, on the mainland in Ross.[158] Óláfr was followed into exile by Páll Bálkason, a sheriff on Skye who refused to take up arms against Óláfr. The chronicle then indicates that the two landed on Skye and learned that Guðrøðr was stationed on "the island of St Columba".[158] The precise location of this island is uncertain, although it is generally thought to have been located on Skye.[162] After surrounding the island, the chronicle relates how Óláfr and Páll's forces launched a successful assault on Guðrøðr's men, and put to death everyone who was captured outside the church-enclosure. Guðrøðr, himself, was seized, blinded, and castrated. Although the chronicle claims that Óláfr did not consent to Guðrøðr's brutal mutilation, and that he was unable to prevent it due to Páll,[158] the Icelandic Annals record that Óláfr was indeed responsible for his nephew's punishment and make no mention of Páll.[163] The vicious mutilation and killing of high status kinsmen during power-struggles was not an unknown phenomenon in the peripheral-regions of the British Isles during the High Middle Ages. In fact, in only a century and a half of its existence, at least nine members of the Crovan dynasty perished from mutilation or assassination.[164]

The documented kin-strife of the 1220s largely took place on Lewis and Skye, and may indicate the importance of these islands within the kingdom. In fact, there is evidence which may suggest that northern islands of the kingdom were granted by ruling kings to the heir-apparent.[165][note 15] For example, during the 11th century reign of Godred Crovan, his son Lögmaðr appears to have governed the northern portion of the kingdom. Therefore, Rögnvaldr's grants of Lewis to Óláfr may indicate that Óláfr was regarded as Rögnvaldr's rightful successor. Furthermore, when Rögnvaldr and Óláfr's father died in 1187, Rögnvaldr was residing in the Hebrides while Óláfr was on Mann. This may indicate that, despite what the chronicle's claims, Rögnvaldr was indeed the rightful heir to the kingship of the Isles. Additionally, since Rögnvaldr's son is recorded on Skye, the possibility exists that he resided on that island as heir-apparent, which may mean that portions of the Hebrides were allotted to members of the dynasty who were passed-over for the kingship. In any event, the territorial fragmentation of the Isles severely weakened the island-kingdom.[166]

Alliance with Alan of Galloway[edit]

In 1224, the year following Óláfr and Páll's victory over Guðrøðr, the chronicle states that Óláfr took hostages from leading men of island portion of the kingdom, and with a fleet of thirty-two ships, landed on Mann and confronted Rögnvaldr directly. It was then agreed that the kingdom would be split between the two—with Rögnvaldr keeping Mann itself along with the title of king, and Óláfr retaining the island portions.[167] With his half-brother's rise at his own expense, Rögnvaldr appears to have turned to Alan, Lord of Galloway, a powerful magnate in the Irish Sea zone.[168] Alan and Rögnvaldr appear to have been closely connected: both were great-grandsons of Fergus;[169] both received lands in Ulster at about the same time; and Rögnvaldr's Gallovidian connections may well have led to his alliance with William during the Caithness episode.[170] The following year, the chronicle records that, Rögnvaldr and Alan took part in a military campaign in the Hebrides, in an attempt to take possession of the lands that Rögnvaldr had given Óláfr. However, the expedition came to nothing, as the chronicle notes that the Manx were unwilling to battle against Óláfr and the Hebrideans.[171]

A short time afterwards, the chronicle records that Rögnvaldr collected a tribute of 100 marks from the Manx, under the pretext of travelling to the court of the King of England. The chronicle notes that, Rögnvaldr then travelled to Alan's court and gave his daughter away in marriage to Alan's son.[172] Such a marriage, between Rögnvaldr's daughter and Alan's illegitimate son Thomas, cemented an alliance which would have benefited Alan in his activities in Ulster against the de Lacys.[173] It also gave Alan a stake in the kingship.[174] However, the chronicle indicates that the prospect of a Gallovidian king prompted the Manx to depose Rögnvaldr in favour of Óláfr. By 1226, the chronicle states that Óláfr had taken control of the island-kingdom, and ruled as king for the next two years.[175]

In this low point of his career, Rögnvaldr's appears to have gone into exile at Alan's court in Galloway.[176] In 1228, while Óláfr and his chieftains were absent in Hebrides, the chronicle records of an invasion of Mann by Rögnvaldr, Alan and his brother, Thomas, Earl of Atholl (d. 1231). The southern half of the island was completely devastated, as the chronicle declares that it was almost reduced to a desert.[177][178] In what may have been the price for Gallovidian support,[179] Alan is described by the chronicle to have installed bailiffs who were instructed to collect tribute from Mann and send it back to Galloway.[177] The chronicle does not record Rögnvaldr's role in the takeover.[179] After Alan had left the island for home, Óláfr and his forces appeared and routed the remaining Gallovidians, and thus, the chronicle notes, peace was restored to Mann.[177]

Final confrontation, death[edit]

This mediaeval effigy, found at Furness Abbey, has been dubiously associated with Rögnvaldr.

In what was likely early January 1229,[176] the chronicle records that Rögnvaldr caught the forces of Óláfr unaware, as Rögnvaldr sailed from Galloway with five ships, and launched a nocturnal raid upon the harbour at St Patrick's Isle, near what is today the town of Peel. During this daring assault, the chronicle records that Rögnvaldr had all of the ships of Óláfr and his chieftains destroyed.[180] Although the chronicle alludes that Rögnvaldr still had Gallovidian support, as it states that the expedition originated from Galloway, the fact that he commanded only five ships may suggest that this support was waning.[181] Rögnvaldr followed up on his assault by establishing himself in the southern part of Mann, as the chronicle records that he won over the southerners, some of whom swore to risk their lives until he was in possession of half of the island-kingdom.[182] Meanwhile, the chronicle relates that Óláfr assembled his forces in the north of Mann,[183] and indicates that the island was divided between the two men for much of January and February, before what would become their final confrontation.[184] According to the chronicle, Rögnvaldr and Óláfr led their armies to a place named Tynwald,[183] which may suggest that negotiations were intended, as the place-name is derived from the Old Norse þing-völlr ("assembly field") and thus refers to an assembly place.[185][note 16]. The current Tynwald field is near the centre of the Isle of Man, so makes a good meeting place for people from the North and the South of the Island.

On 14 February, the festival of St Valentine, the chronicle records that Óláfr's forces launched an attack upon Rögnvaldr at Tynwald, where Rögnvaldr's troops were routed and he himself was slain.[183] Surviving sources appear to show that Rögnvaldr's death was due to treachery, as the Chronicle of Lanercost states that Rögnvaldr "fell a victim to the arms of the wicked",[189] while the Chronicle of Mann notes that, although Óláfr was grieved at his half-brother's death, he never exacted vengeance upon Rögnvaldr's killers.[183][note 17] The chronicle states that the monks of Rushen took Rögnvaldr's body to St Mary's Abbey, Furness, where he was buried in a place that he had chosen beforehand.[191][note 18] A particular sandstone effigy of an armed, mail-clad warrior, found in the north aisle of the abbey, has been associated with Rögnvaldr since the first half of the 19th century. Such an association, however, is dubious at best.[193]



  1. ^ Scholars have rendered Rögnvaldr's name variously in recent secondary sources: Raghnall,[2] Ragnall,[3] Ragnvald,[4] Ranald,[5] Reginald,[6] Rognvald,[7] Rögnvaldr,[8] and Rǫgnvaldr.[9] Various forms of his name are recorded in Old Norse, Latin, Gaelic, and Welsh-language primary sources. It is unknown what form he would have felt most comfortable with;[10] although, one Latin charter of St Bees Priory renders his name "Ragdnaldus", an attempt at Latinising the Old Norse form.[11]
  2. ^ The only surviving traditional pedigree of the Crovan dynasty concerns Rögnvaldr; it runs: "Rhanallt m. Gwythryg ap Afloyd m. Gwrthryt mearch m. Harallt ddu m. Ifor gamle m. Afloyd m. Swtrig".[16] The identity and accuracy of the last four persons in the pedigree is uncertain.[17]
  3. ^ In the Orkneyinga saga, Rögnvaldr and his grandfather are accorded the Old Norse title Suðreyjakonungr ("King of the South Isles").[22]
  4. ^ Nothing further is recorded of Ívarr.[27]
  5. ^ For example, the chronicle's entry for the year 1176 states that Óláfr was three years old, which would mean he was born c. 1173, about four years before Guðrøðr and Finnguala's marriage. If he was born in 1173, then he would have been about fourteen in 1187; however, the chronicle's entry for that year states that he was ten, which means that he was born about 1177.[29]
  6. ^ Considering the chronicle's bias against the line of Rögnvaldr and the northern portion of the island-kingdom, recent analysis of the environmental history of the Isles from the 9th to 13th centuries suggests that such a denigrating description the Hebrides may not be entirely accurate.[35]
  7. ^ The various sagas relating to Guðmundr and Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson (d. 1213).[36]
  8. ^ In later times the Small Isles fell under the control of the meic Ruaidrí, who were seated at Moidart, in Garmoran.[38]
  9. ^ For more information on the mediaeval pilgrimage route, see: Way of St. James.
  10. ^ Joseph Anderson's 1874 version of the saga reads that Rögnvaldr's father was the son of Ingibjörg. Finnbogi Guðmundsson's 1965 version, and Hermann Pálsson and Paul Geoffrey Edwards' 1978 version, read that Rögnvaldr was the son of Ingibjörg.
  11. ^ The papal letter states that evidence was brought forth that indicated that Rhodri's marriage had been consummated, while previously it was thought to have been unconsummated.[71]
  12. ^ In 1226, Pope Honorius III (d. 1227) declared Joan legitimate.[72]
  13. ^ A marcate is a piece of land worth one mark of gold or silver yearly.[102]
  14. ^ A librate is a piece of land worth a pound a year.[104]
  15. ^ Examples of similar practices can be found in mediaeval Ireland and France and possibly Scotland. For instance, Strathclyde may have been the allotment for the heir-apparent of the 9th- and 10th-century Scottish kings.[165]
  16. ^ The parliament of Mann is known as the High Court of Tynwald or simply Tynwald. The parliament claims to be over 1,000 years old, and thus the oldest continuous parliament in the world.[186] In 1979, the Manx people celebrated their millennium of the parliament, although there is no evidence that suggests such an assembly was held in 979, or that any such event resembled the modern day court.[187] The chronicle's record of Tynwald during the battle between Rögnvaldr and Óláfr is the earliest record of the name on Mann.[188]
  17. ^ Rögnvaldr's demise is laconically recorded within the Icelandic Annals.[190]
  18. ^ Although it is unknown where Rögnvaldr's paternal-grandfather was buried, his own father is known to have been buried on Iona. Óláfr and two of his sons (who were monarchs in their own right) were buried at Rushen.[192]
  19. ^ Guðrøðr's ancestry is uncertain, although he very well may have been an Uí Ímair dynast.[194] The epithet "crovan" is likely a Latinised form a of a Gaelic or Norse epithet, and may refer to a deformity of the hands.[195]
  20. ^ Óláfr Guðrøðarson (d. 1153) is known to have had at least two wives: Ingibjörg Hákonardóttir and Affraic ingen Fergusa. Ingibjörg was a daughter of Hákon Pálsson, Earl of Orkney (d. c. 1126). Affraic was a daughter of Fergus, Lord of Galloway (d. 1161).[196] Guðrøðr's mother was most likely Affraic.[19]
  21. ^ Fergus' ancestry is uncertain.[197]
  22. ^ Affraic's mother was an unnamed illegitimate daughter of Henry I, King of England (d. 1135).[198]
  23. ^ Henry was the son of William I, King of England, Duke of Normandy (d. 1087), and his wife Matilda (d. 1083), daughter of Baudouin V, Count of Flanders (d. 1067).[200]


  1. ^ Munch; Goss 1874: pp. 78–79.
  2. ^ Clancy 2007.
  3. ^ McDonald 2005. See also: Hudson 2005. See also: Woolf 2004. See also: Thornton 1996.
  4. ^ Duffy 2004a. See also: Duffy 2004b. See also: Duffy 2004c. See also: McNamee 2004. See also: Scott 2004. See also: Oram 2004a. See also: Oram 2004c. See also: Stringer 1998. See also: McDonald 1997. See also: Johnsen 1969.
  5. ^ Sellar 2000.
  6. ^ Power 2005. See also: Broderick 2003. See also: Rejhon 1984.
  7. ^ Forte; Oram; Pedersen 2005. See also: Crawford 2004.
  8. ^ Woolf 2008. See also: Williams 2007.
  9. ^ Beuermann 2011. See also: Beuermann 2010. See also: McDonald 2007.
  10. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 39–40.
  11. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 39–40. See also: Wilson 1915: p. 74.
  12. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 37–38.
  13. ^ Oram; Adderley 2010: p. 128. See also: Woolf 2008: pp. 113–116. See also: McDonald 2007: pp. 37–38.
  14. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 38–39, 117.
  15. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 25.
  16. ^ The ancestry of the MacLeods reconsidered, Associated Clan MacLeod Societies Genealogical Resources Center (www.macleodgenealogy.org), retrieved 15 December 2011 . This webpage is a transcription of: Sellar, William David Hamilton (1997–1998), "The ancestry of the MacLeods reconsidered", Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 60: 233–258 .
  17. ^ Thornton 1996: pp. 94–96.
  18. ^ Williams 2007: p. 130 fn 8.
  19. ^ a b c d Duffy 2004b.
  20. ^ Fleming; Woolf 1992: p. 346.
  21. ^ Sellar 2000: pp. 191–193.
  22. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 164.
  23. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 71.
  24. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 71. See also: Anderson 1922: pp. 296–297. See also: Munch; Goss 1874: pp. 76–77.
  25. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 71, 71 fn 6.
  26. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 70. See also: Anderson 1922: pp. 313–314. See also: Munch; Goss 1874: pp. 78–79.
  27. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 70.
  28. ^ a b McDonald 2007: pp. 70–71. See also: Anderson 1922: pp. 313–314. See also: Munch; Goss 1874: pp. 78–79.
  29. ^ a b McDonald 2007: pp. 71–72.
  30. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 72–73. See also: Keefe 2004.
  31. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 72–73. See also: Skene 1890: pp. 410–427.
  32. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 72–73.
  33. ^ a b Oram; Adderley 2010: p. 128. See also: McDonald 2007: pp. 44, 77. See also: Power 2005: pp. 40–41. See also: McDonald 1997: pp. 85, 151. See also: Anderson 1922: pp. 456–457. See also: Munch; Goss 1874: pp. 82–83.
  34. ^ McDonald 1997: p. 151 fn 86.
  35. ^ Oram; Adderley 2010.
  36. ^ a b McDonald 2007: pp. 77–78, 93. See also: Power 2005: pp. 41–43. See also: Nordal 2001: pp. 164–165, 171–172.
  37. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 77–78, 78 fn 43. See also: Power 2005: pp. 12 fn 8, 41–43. See also: Anderson 1922: pp. 358 fn 2, 358–360.
  38. ^ a b McDonald 2007: p. 78. See also: Power 2005: p. 41.
  39. ^ a b McDonald 2007: p. 78. See also: Power 2005: pp. 40–41. See also: McDonald 1997: p. 85. See also: Anderson 1922: pp. 456–457. See also: Munch; Goss 1874: pp. 82–85.
  40. ^ Scott 2004.
  41. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 78.
  42. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 78. See also: McNamee 2004. See also: McDonald 1997: p. 85. See also: Anderson 1922: p. 457 fn 2. See also: Munch; Goss 1874: p. 85 fn c.
  43. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 78, 114.
  44. ^ Watt 2004.
  45. ^ Crawford 2004. See also: Scott 2004. See also: Watt 2004.
  46. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 108.
  47. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 108. See also: Williams 2007: pp. 146–148. See also: Crawford 2004. See also: Sellar 2000: pp. 196–197. See also: Anderson 1873: pp. 195–200.
  48. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 109. See also: Williams 2007: p. 147. See also: Crawford 2004. See also: Corner 2004. See also: Anderson 1908: pp. 316–318.
  49. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 110.
  50. ^ Williams 2007: pp. 147–148. See also: McDonald 1997: p. 86.
  51. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 110. See also: Sellar 2000: pp. 196–197.
  52. ^ a b Beuermann 2008. See also: McDonald 2007: p. 110.
  53. ^ Sellar 2004. See also: Sellar 2000: pp. 196–197. See also: Anderson 1908: pp. 316–318.
  54. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 72. See also: Crawford 2004.
  55. ^ Duffy 2004b. See also: Oram 2004b. See also: Sellar 2000: pp. 196–198.
  56. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 110–111.
  57. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 111, 111 fn 42.
  58. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 59, 114. See also: Oliver 1861: p. 102. See also: Rymer; Sanderson; Holmes 1739: pt. 2 pp. 210–211.
  59. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 59, 114.
  60. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 101–107.
  61. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 105. See also: Pryce 2004a. See also: Jones 1910: pp. 136–141.
  62. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 105.
  63. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 105. See also: Jones 1910: pp. 102–117.
  64. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 61–62, 105. See also: Hudson 2004.
  65. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 102–103. See also: Carr 2004a. See also: Pryce 2004b. See also: Williams 1860: pp. 238–239.
  66. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 102–103. See also: Rhŷs; Evans 1890: pp. 404–406. See also: Carr 2004a.
  67. ^ a b c McDonald 2007: pp. 103–104. See also: Carr 2004b. See also: Gillingham 2004.
  68. ^ a b McDonald 2007: pp. 103–104. See also: Lloyd 1912: p. 617 fn 29. See also: Bliss 1893: p. 8. See also: Migne 1890: p. 791.
  69. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 103–104. See also: Lloyd 1912: p. 617 fn 29. See also: Bliss 1893: p. 13. See also: Migne 1891: p. 49.
  70. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 103–104. See also: Lloyd 1912: p. 617 fn 29. See also: Bliss 1893: p. 19. See also: Migne 1891: p. 535.
  71. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 103.
  72. ^ Carr 2004b. See also: Cross; Livingstone 1997: pp. 787–788.
  73. ^ a b McDonald 2007: pp. 103–104. See also: Smith 2004.
  74. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 75–76, 103–104. See also: Siddons 2004.
  75. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 103–104.
  76. ^ Rejhon 1984: pp. 29–30, 71–74, 89.
  77. ^ a b McDonald 2007: pp. 118–120.
  78. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 118–120. See also: Anderson 1873: p. 195.
  79. ^ McDonald 2007: pp. 118–120, 142. See also: Johnsen 1969: pp. 24–25. See also: Oliver 1861: p. 40–41. See also: Rymer; Sanderson; Holmes 1739: pt. 1 p. 75.
  80. ^ Downham 2007: pp. 43–44.
  81. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 124. See also: Bartlett 2004. See also: Duffy 1992: pp. 132–133. See also: Wright 1894: p. 221. See also: Dimock 1867: pp. 265–266.
  82. ^ McDonald 2007: p. 124 fn 7–8. See also: Orpen 1892: pp. 164–183.
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Primary sources
Secondary sources

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Guðrøðr Óláfsson
King of the Isles
Succeeded by
Óláfr Guðrøðarson