Rǫgnvaldr Óláfsson (fl. 1164)

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Rǫgnvaldr Óláfsson, referred to in some texts as Reginald, was ruler of the Isle of Man for a brief period in 1164.

Rǫgnvaldr's father, Olave the Red was King of Man and the Isles from 1112–1152.[1] Olave's son and Rǫgnvaldr's half-brother Godred the Black succeeded him to the title. However Godred's dictatorial style appears to have made him very unpopular with the Islesmen and the ensuing conflicts were the beginning of the end for Mann and The Isles as a coherent territory under the rule of a single magnate. The powerful barons of the isles began plotting with an emerging and forceful figure - Somerled, the self-styled Lord of Argyle. Somerled's parental origins are obscure, but it is known that he had married Ragnhildis, daughter of Olave the Red and Godred's half-sister. Godred engaged Somerled's forces in a naval battle in 1156. There was no clear victor, but it was subsequently agreed that Godred would remain the ruler of Mann, the northern Inner Hebrides and the Outer Hebrides, whilst Somerled's young sons would nominally control the southern Inner Hebrides, Kintyre and the islands of the Clyde under their father's supervision. Two years later Somerled's invasion of the Isle of Man caused Godred to flee to Norway, leaving the former as undisputed ruler of the entire realm.[2][3]

Somerled met his death in 1164[4] and at this point Godred re-took possession of his pre-1158 territories and the southern isles were distributed amongst Somerled's sons as previously agreed.

According to The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys, Rǫgnvaldr took control of the Isle of Man for a brief time in 1164. However he was overcome by Godred, who resumed his kingship of the isle and the north isles, handing it on to his son Raghnall mac Gofraidh in 1187.[5]

In the same year there was a battle at Ramsey between Reginald, brother of Godred, and the Manxmen, and through the treachery of a certain Viscount the Manxmen were put to flight and Reginald began to reign. On the fourth, day, however, Godred returned from Norway with a large body of troops, and seizing his brother, mutilated, and deprived him of his sight.[5]


  1. ^ Duffy (1992) pp. 125-26
  2. ^ Gregory (1881) pp. 9-17
  3. ^ Woolf (2006) p. 103
  4. ^ Gregory (1881) pp. 15-16
  5. ^ a b The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys (1874) p. 83


Head of State of the Isle of Man
Preceded by
King of Mann
Succeeded by
Godred II Olafsson