Sitric Cáech

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Sitric Cáech or Sihtric Cáoch (Old Norse: Sigtryggr; Old Irish: cáoch or cáech means "one-eyed") was a Norse King of Dublin who later reigned as King of York. He was a grandson of Ímar. In 888 he killed his brother Sicfrith.[1] He belonged to the Uí Ímair or House of Ivar.

The Annals of Ulster record the arrival of two viking fleets in Ireland in 917, one led by Ragnall ua Ímair (Old Norse: Rǫgnvaldr) and the other by Sigtryggr, both of the House of Ivar. They fought a battle against Niall Glúndub, High King of Ireland, in which the Irish were routed, and according to the annals Sitric then "entered Áth Cliath", i.e. Dublin, which we must assume means that he took possession of it.[2] Rǫgnvaldr, after occupying Waterford, went on to Scotland,[3] then conquered York and became king there.

Sitric fought several battles with Niall Glundub. Warfare is recorded in 918, and in 919 Niall and several other Irish petty kings were killed in a major battle at Dublin.[4] This was probably the most devastating defeat ever inflicted on the Irish by the Norse, and Sitric's possession of Dublin seemed secure. Sitric however left Dublin already in 920 or 921, the pious annalist claims he left "through the power of God".[5] The truth of it was that Sitric had ambititions elsewhere, and following Ragnall's death he became king of York. His kinsman Gofraid ua Ímair ruled in Dublin.

Sitric attacked Mercia from the Mersey which formed part of the border between Mercia and the Viking Kingdom of York.[6] He also commanded Viking forces in the Battle of Confey and other battles.

In 926 he married King Æthelstan's sister, possibly Edith of Polesworth,[7] in a political move designed by Athelstan to build up his influence in the north of England. Sitric died suddenly only a year later in 927 and Athelstan assumed his throne.[8]

Sitric's son, Amlaíb Cuarán (Old Norse: Óláf Sigtryggsson) later succeeded him both as king of Dublin and of York and married the infamous Gormflaith ingen Murchada, who was later married to Brian Boru, High King of Ireland.

His son Gofraid mac Sitriuc (Old Norse: Guðrøðr Sigtryggsson) ruled Dublin. A third son Harald ruled Limerick and died in 940.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Breeze, Andrew, The Irish Nickname of Sitric Caoch (d. 927) of York, Saga-book of the Viking Society, 25 (1998-2001), p. 86-87.
  2. ^ Annals of Ulster (AU) 917.3,4,5
  3. ^ AU 918.4
  4. ^ AU 918.6, 919.3
  5. ^ AU 920.5
  6. ^ "TimeRef - Sihtric (Norse King of York)". Archived from the original on 2012-05-24. [dead link]
  7. ^ http://homepage.ntlworld.com/greenhall/tht/history/Editha.htm
  8. ^ Higham, Kingdom of Northumbria, pp. 186–190; Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, pp. 339–340.
Sitric Cáech
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ivar (left 902)
King of Dublin
917–921
Succeeded by
Gofraid
Preceded by
Ragnall
King of Jórvík
921–927
Succeeded by
Gofraid
Preceded by
Ragnall
King of the Dark and Fair Foreigners
921–927
Succeeded by
Gofraid