Talk:Kingdom of the Isles

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Good article Kingdom of the Isles has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
May 8, 2012 Good article nominee Listed


"To the MacSorleys and Manx kings, as well as to others who plied the western seas in their war-galley, these seaways defined their core; Scotland, Ireland, and England were their periphery." —R. A. McDonald, The Kingdom of the Isles

Removal of list[edit]

I hope the list gets restored in an accurate form, soon. Srnec (talk) 00:12, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Me too. I've I sit down for a few hours some day soon I can get put a more accurate list up for the early period. Atm I don't have the resources to fully cover the earlier ones. The list as it was was just historical fiction temper by one or two confirm-able realities. 22:51, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk)
There's some comments on people associated with the Isle of Man in Molly Miller's "Hiberni reversuri", but so far as I can see it's all surmise (for the early Christian period) or sagaesque (for the Viking Age) until we get to the Haraldssons, if not later. The list that was here was, transcription errors apart, the same as The Handbook of British Chronology from "Ketil Flatnose" onwards. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
That volume 9 of the New History of Ireland has a list ... but it's sadly in the section not included in Google books. Please tell me btw that the Handbook of British Chronology doesn't list "Sven Kennethson" ... Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:06, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Fortunately it does not. I'm sure Fergananim must have a copy of the New History, volume 9, so the next time he pops up we can point him over here. Angus McLellan (Talk) 00:28, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Here's the online text. Maybe it'll appear for you (not sure how it works with exclusions). Well, though it is prolly weak on stuff from the Norse-Gaelic world of that era ... the HBC is respectable enough to use as a starter ... just without the silly numbering. The info can be verified thereafter from more respectable sources if Fergananim is gone for a while. The earliest kings ... not sure what to make of them. Definitely the list derives in part from misusing the Harlein genealogies à la Strathclyde, but there are other not in that. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 01:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually I logged out of my account and got it to display p. 465 & p. 467; p. 466, the meatiest part, is gone. Funnily enough though, it says it is based on the Handbook, so that is kinda pointless! Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 01:17, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, p. 466 is no goldmine either. Ketil and Harald Fairhair, rule from Dublin and the Haraldssons, which is pretty much the same stuff. The list proper starts with Echmarcach. Perhaps we should too. Angus McLellan (Talk) 01:22, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
So you can view it! Frigg. I'll need to open 5 or 6 google accounts so I can read all those books. I just assumed btw that p. 466 was the a goldmine because ... well ... the grass is always greener on the other side. You've got a better handle on the Norse-Gaelic stuff than I do ... if Echmarcach is the first attestable king, then go with that. That kinda ties in with the Sellar article (- 3 titles persons) ... praised by Woolf as the most scholarly article available on the subject of the kings of the isles in this period. I was working out at one point a list derived from that, but Sellar is interested in the Isles rather than the events in Man. For the later kings you've got more than just obits and a few mentions. The Manx chronicle details comings and goings, ejections and restorations, which was putting me off the topic. All those copious notes on who was ruling in Man in what year according to what source, whether they also ruled the northern parts, etc, etc ... I was waiting until I got around to purchasing McDonald's new book, which given the price will be ages yet! :( Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 02:01, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Removing the list entirely was not really appropriate. Undoubtedly, with information of this era, there will be discrepancies and parts that are less clear - and this will tend to get worse the further back you go. Likewise, there are different Anglicisations of the spellings. However, there are other sections that are pretty well established. So, instead of wholesale removal, the particular sections of concern should be addressed. Mauls (talk) 17:58, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Disagree. Users on other projects are copying this list believing it to be accurate. In fact, names like Svein Kennethsson border on WP:HOAX. I will put in a more reliable list ... spellings will likely be addressed as Angus (as he surely will) or someone else goes through each ruler. Another problem that needs addressed is that being ruler of Man doesn't make you ruler of the Isles. That's a different list that coincides a few times, but not enough to merge the two lists. What's more, after Somerled they verifiably have almost nothing to do with each other (save a few invasions). Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 08:14, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I've done a more reliable list in my userspace. But I'm reluctant to add just yet because this article currently doubles up on:

While there is no article on actual rulers of the Isles. "King of Mann and the Isles" was just a title used by some of the late kings of Man to claim overlordship [ineffectively] over other islands. One is tempted to get rid of this article and the King of Man and create a new List of rulers of the Isle of Man and List of rulers in the kingdom of the Isles (or something like that). Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 09:26, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I just redirected King of the Isles here. But reading your comments, it seems like it should be separate. I just did Gofraid Donn, and noticed Sellar calls him 'King of the Isles'. He ruled in the Hebrides for a very short time, while his uncle Olaf the Black ruled Man. I don't know how Gofraid fits into this list. Or someone like Uspak.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:58, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Orkney and Shetland?[edit]

[Restored from previous version of this page - history is at Talk:Kingdom of Man and the Isles]

What are the sources that Orkney and Shetland were ever a part of this kingdom? I have never seen that mentioned anywhere.--Barend (talk) 21:46, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I started to clean up the article a while ago and missed that. No, they weren't. DinDraithou (talk) 22:12, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I read a pretty good book on this a few years ago - I think it was R. Andrew McDonald, "The Kingdom of the Isles". Don't have it now though--Barend (talk) 19:00, 27 October 2010 (UTC).

Primary sources[edit]

Before any more work is done here, editors need to know that most of what exists in this article, including much of the table contents, is going to get thrown out. The sources currently being used are no good. I don't have the time right now, but eventually I or someone will come along with the annals and modern scholarly literature. DinDraithou (talk) 15:34, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Excellent - that is how we improve articles - by adding better sources. I make no pretence of being an historian and I am doing my best at making sense of what is clearly a complex period with the sources I have. I assume you are grumbling about Gregory as the other two I have used so far (Hunter & Thomson) seem more than adequate to me. If there are on-line sources you can recommend, all the better. Ben MacDui 16:54, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

The table is a nice addition and you're definitely improving the article. I just wanted to stop you before Gregory, who I haven't seen myself, took over. For the annals and other sources see CELT and also [1]. The annals are incredibly tedious and take months to get familiar with. The best of us around here barely know the Kingdom of Dublin from start to finish well and "Mann and the Isles" has a much more complex history. No single one of us, and definitely not me, understands it perfectly. Since you've gotten interested, we have lots of scholarly literature you can use. Some time after the holidays we'll get a package of material to you. I'm leaving myself a note on my page to do so. DinDraithou (talk) 18:01, 23 December 2010 (UTC)


Well it's now 2 years, 11 months and 6 days since the original discussion above started. The article is now somewhat longer, although whether it is really closer to the truth is a matter for debate.

1) The real problem with the sources is not dates and names - although they are perplexing enough, it is the almost total lack of information about the geography of the islands displayed by the writers, especially of the Irish chronicles. Given their proximity and the connection to Dalriada it is baffling. At times one suspect that by "the Isles" they mean simply the Isle of Man and its outliers. There are almost no specifics at all until the late 12th century.

2) The contrasting views of the sources make life difficult and I have attempted to address some of these in the "notes"

3) Given the many choices of names (see e.g. Amlaíb Cuarán) I have tried to:

a) Use Gregory's names as a first choice as he is the only author I have come across so far who attempts anything resembling an actual listing, and
b) avoid repeating the same forenames too often - not too easy with the Ui Imair.

4) Arguably the article is too long and could be split into earlier and later. Arguably the title is incorrect. Very few of the rulers had the style "King of Mann and the Isles" and the Manx kings that did were generally not the rulers of the entire territory but it is at least convenient to use the term . "Rulers of the Suðreyjar" might be more accurate, but this a much less common name.

5) A lot of tweaks needed but I don't think there is any point in sorting out the details until it becomes clear the general outline is acceptable.

6) Some details.

It is tempting to imagine Ui Imair dynasts as ruling in the late ninth, early tenth centuries such as Sihtric Cáech or Ragnall ua Ímair but I have come across no evidence of this so far.
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill is a pest. I am tempted to move him to the rulers of Mann section and leave a gap but who knows really?
The Lochlain hypothesis debate is intriguing. I understand why some authors such as Barrett are sceptical about the meanings of the actual word(s). However, given that many modern-day sailors equipped with GPS and access to Met Office reports avoid the Pentland Firth and the North Channel it is not clear to me how tenth century Norwegian sailors would cross 600 kms of sea from Orkney to Mann (including some of the most dangerous tidal races in the world) without having well guarded and permanently manned intermediate bases, whatever the actual territory was called. Surviving place names may hint at this, but I have avoided reference to that in an already crowded article full of caveats.
The intention is that "Mann" is the kingdom and "Man" is the island, although they are sometimes interchangeable. Ben MacDui 14:59, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I think you have created a masterpiece and can't express how impressed I am. I've read it through but will need to do so a few more times before I can say anything else. Also it's amazing how quickly you were able to do this! Etchingham has a new paper on Laithlinn/Lochlainn which I forgot to send you and have not yet read myself,[2] but will do so now. DinDraithou (talk) 22:06, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Well done MacDui. You can tell lot of effort went into this. Now I feel more like fiddling with articles on the Isles! That reminds me, I came across this last week, some stuff on the Norse-Gaelic Hebrides, and place names [3]. Not sure if other have used these as sources or looked at them. I noticed you didn't use this [4], it should be ok as a reference, I've seen it mentioned in a couple recent works. Google Books has Handbook of British chronology which gives a list of rulers. It has Godred Donn's son Harald as the ruler for a little while.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 10:18, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank-you both. I haven't seen the sources above and I'll take a look asap. When I began I wondered where the title would lead, but I think its clear that the Deacon is right (see above) in that the " 'King of Mann and the Isles' was just a title used by some of the late kings of Man". I don't want to start too many extra hares running, but there are lots of pages that link to this article that use the idea of the 'Kingdom of Mann and the Isles' in a much broader context and I sense this is essentially a Wikipedia approach (in the absence of any other target page) rather than one that is current use amongst scholars. There are also a few extra contenders for inclusion. I see that Dubhghall mac Ruaidhri is apparently a King and that Gofraid Donn should be at least mentioned in despatches. Ben MacDui 19:50, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Here is a superior discussion of the ancestry of the kings of Man,[5] who almost certainly were descended from the Uí Ímair in some manner. It is the work of an independent scholar/genealogist but one who is published elsewhere (click his name on the left).[6] I'm unable to tell what is his own but the possibility that instead of the direct Dublin line it could be the Isles-Limerick-Dublin line is attractive. Both are ultimately (most likely) descendants of Sitric Cáech. We really need to get a look at those Welsh Norse pedigrees. DinDraithou (talk) 18:48, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I came across this in search of the red-linked Godred Sitricson. It is certainly useful. Ben MacDui 13:37, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

An alternative table[edit]

There is, I think, an alternate and better way to display what is going on. Unfortunately it is an exercise in OR. If we accept:

a) That the earls of Orkney were in place from an early date, but that this only applies to the "Northern Isles" i.e. the Hebrides north of Ardnamurchan.
b) The Ui Imair hegemony is also partially accepted. This dynasty is effectively the ruler of Mann certainly, and probably Anglesay and Rathlin plus (from time to time) some of the Islands of the Clyde and the southern Hebrides, more or less continuously.
c) There is a zone of conflict or perhaps changing influence with a variable boundary somewhere in the Ardnamurchan area.
d) Either with Godred Crovan, whose origins may well have been "Norse" rather than Ui Imar, or after Magnus's expedition of 1098, the short-lived genuine kingdom of Mann and the Isles emerges which includes the whole shebang.

We have the table below.

This may explain the higher number of Norse place names in the northern Hebrides and the lack of Hebridean place names in the Irish annals. It also avoids silly overlapping dynasties in the ruler lists for the late 10th and the 11th century and deals with the Echmarcach mac Ragnaill problem. Ben MacDui 08:51, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Ui Imair rulers of Mann Dates Norse rulers of the Hebrides Dates
Gofraidh ?-873 Kettil Flatnose 890-900
Ivar 873 Thorstein the Red
Ragnall ua Ímair - 914
Sihtric Cáech ?-927
Aulaf mac Sitric c. 941?–980
Maccus mac Arailt 980–?
Gofraid mac Arailt ?–989 Gilli 990–?
Ragnal mac Gofraid ?–1005 Sigurd the Stout 1005–1014
Unknown 1015–?
Gothfrith ua Ímair pre 927 to?
Olaf Sigtryggsson* ?–1034
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill* 1030s-1061 - NB Thorfinn the Mighty c 1035–c 1064 NB
Murchad mac Diarmata* 1061–1070
Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó 1070–1072 Decreasing Norse influence under Irish pressure 1070-98
Godred Sitricson ? - 1074
Fingal Godredson 1074- ?
Godred Crovan 1079–1094 Godred Crovan 1079–1094
Instability 1095–1098 Instability 1095–1098

Proposed merger[edit]

[Restored from previous version of this page - history is at Talk:Kingdom of Man and the Isles]

I think the title "Kingdom of Mann and the Isles" should be kept as a redirect to Kings of Mann and the Isles (as it is currently titled). The article here adds little except a template, Infobox Former Country and a few "see also"s and there is very little in the way of information available about the nature of the Kingdom itself. The only purpose of keeping it would be if the short Geography section at "Kings" could be expanded in some way here plus a bit of archaeology, but it's hard to see that happening. Ben MacDui 15:44, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I completely agree. Thanks for doing this and nice points. I couldn't think of how to say it myself. DinDraithou (talk) 18:55, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Manx pranks[edit]

My sources for Mann are not extensive and there are a number of issues.

  • Does anyone know why Ragnall I Haraldsson aka Ragnald III of the Isle of Man (a redirect) and apparently the brother of Godred II Olafsson aka Godred the Black, is not Ragnall Olafsson, or who the Harald is supposed to be?
  • I have added the tale of Gofraid Donn, shamelessly stealing text from the main article. However, I don't have the quoted source and but I'd appreciate it if someone who does could check this. Ben MacDui 12:40, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
The bit about Gofraid that you added is referenced from the Manx chronicle in Anderson's book. The link in the "General references" section shoots you to it on hosted on Page 472: "and they (namely Olaf and Godfrey) divided the kingdom of Man and the islands between them. Olaf obtained Man; and Godfrey set out for the island regions, and was slain in the island that is called Lewis. And after [Godfrey's] death, Olaf [held] the kingdom of Man and of the islands until [his] death." Sellar calls Gofraid a "King of the Isles" in "Hebridean Sea Kings: The Successors of Somerled, 1164-1316". I actually scanned this a long time ago, so I can email it to you, or Din if you're interested.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 10:13, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
It might have saved some time if I had said "yes" at the time and wonder if your kind offer is still available. Ben MacDui 18:58, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

A Question about Findabhair[edit]

The Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium of Societas Celtologica Nordica, pp. 13-14 has a comment by Etchingham as follows:

The second poetic reference to Laith- linn, recently publicised, occurs in a verse attached to the Four Masters’ version of the annal-record of a battle in 868 at Cell ua nDaigri—according to Edmund Hogan (1910: 214), Killineer near Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Dos-fail dar Findabhair find
Fiallach grinn dond Laithlind luind
As ar chédaibh rímhter Goill
Do cath fri rígh nÉtair n-uill"
There comes over fair Findabair
a keen host from fierce Laithlinn
the Foreigners are counted in hundreds
to do battle with the king of great Étar’

He gets excited about the mention of Laithlinn, but (and I accept that I speak neither Norse nor Old Irish) isn't this a possible reference to Harald Fairhair? Ben MacDui 20:51, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

That is very interesting. According to my Dictionary of Celtic Mythology (MacKillop), it is a variant of Finnabair/Findabair or "fair eyebrows", beautiful daughter of Queen Medb, and related to the Welsh Guinevere. The article in Wikipedia says "White Fantom", with similar for Guinevere. I haven't found anything yet but it could also have become a placename, or alternatively, and perhaps more likely, we should read this as a Norwegian party set on taking a prey of Irish women. Findabair herself was desired, and Etchingham says this is attached to a battle entry in AFM. But Harald Fairhair should have been alive around then and perhaps of age to go on raids, which is why you've brought this up. Like you my knowledge of Old Irish (any, in my case) is very limited and I can't tell from the construction whether it is possible fair Findabair might be doing the coming over. Harald's epithet is Hárfagri in Old Norse, which conceivably could have appeared in Irish in translation. Also, Findabhair find is like saying Fair Fairwhatever, but this sort of thing might be common in Gaelic verse. DinDraithou (talk) 21:41, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Kind of interesting, kind of on topic[edit]

Just came across this recent BBC story when Googling about: Viking ancestry explored on the Isle of Man by researchers. Here's the link to the project's website [7].--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:53, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Two thoughts[edit]

I've been watching this interesting article for a while, without having much to contribute to it. I see Kingdom of Mann and the Isles was merged to here in January, and really this article is about much more than the Kings of Mann and the Isles. I can't help wondering if Kingdom of Mann and the Isles isn't a better title for the page? My second thought is that this must surely now be better than a Start class article, does anyone disagree with my making it a "C"? Moonraker2 (talk) 21:42, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

No objection to either, especially the latter. I don't think it is too far off GA now and was just about to ask for any input into this. Ben MacDui 08:04, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
GA, without question. I threw you a mass of sources I could not make proper sense of myself and you have managed not only to do so but with pictures. From the second you dropped it I knew this was glorious. The title is not so important. DinDraithou (talk) 08:18, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I have made it up to B-class. Moving it, over the redirect, seems to call for an administrator, so I'll leave that for Ben MacDui to condider doing. Moonraker2 (talk) 11:53, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Will do in the next few days if there are no objections. Ben MacDui 12:15, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Done. I fixed a number of redirects that were going to and fro but it would be helpful if someone else could take a look at the links in case I missed something important. The history of the article that was here prior to January 2011 has been preserved at the redirect Kingdom of Man and the Isles. I will move the small amount of discussion that is still at its talk page here to keep it all in one place. Ben MacDui 08:02, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Kingdom of Man and the Isles?[edit]

Was there even such a thing? It's seemingly a creation of Magnus Barelegs, and that's the only time it seems to exist; and Mann got regarded in the 12th century as some kind of centre for the whole Norwegian diocese of Sodor ("Man and the Isles") because that's where the bishop was, though it's no richer or more populous than islands like Islay and Skye. Man isn't much of a place. All the rulers of any importance prior to MB were primarily rulers of somewhere else (Dublin, Northumbria, Rhinns of Galloway). Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:26, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes and no - see "Overhaul" above - no 4. The Crovan dynasty tended to use this title, the idea seems to go back as far as the whole 9th century Lochlain debate, and is implied in Olaf Sigtryggsson's title. However few rulers actually used this specific title. "Kingdom" or "Rulers of the Suðreyjar" would be more accurate, but probably not acceptable. "Kingdom of the Isles" is arguably more commonly used. Ben MacDui 12:35, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think Suðreyjar is more accurate, merely speculating that it was the diocese that gave Manx kings the idea that they were entitled to (but did not actually) control the Hebrides. First use of the title "King of Mann and the Isles" seems to be Harald I Olafsson. Just not sure that Kingdom of Mann and the Isles was anything more than a 13th-century Manx fiction; Kingdom of the Isles would seem to be what the article is actually about. I mean, none of the Manx kings using the title were ever rulers of the Hebrides. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 12:49, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
It was surely more than a fiction in the time of King Orry and his son and grandson, not to mention Magnus. This thread may be partly my fault for wanting a move away from "Kings of Mann and the Isles" to something more geographical. In the old title, 'Kings' was plural and gave only a hint that there had been a single kingdom which included Man and the Isles throughout the period covered by the article, which perhaps the new title suggests more plainly. As there wasn't a unitary kingdom throughout, might "Kingdoms of Mann and the Isles" be a better name? However, there is a good deal of flexibility in the word "Isles", which does not imply a single kingdom always of exactly the same extent. I can't help wondering whether perhaps the old name was better, after all. Moonraker2 (talk) 13:25, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't meaning Suðreyjar in an ecclesiastical sense. I am guessing that this was how the Norse referred to them throughout much of the period, just as the Gaels tended to use Innse Gall or similar. The number of redirects to the page (about 10) speak of the confusion in English - possibly because the concept died before the language had a use for it. I am not sure what you mean by "the Manx kings using the title" who were not "rulers of the Hebrides". I have attempted to distinguish between the two although the paucity of geographical information is a challenge. Are there any in the "joint" lists who definitely had no Hebridean domains? Ben MacDui 14:28, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Lemme be clear. Suðreyjar is a diocese created in the 12th century and broken up in the 14th. What I was implying when I brought it up is that the diocese is the only reason for associating Mann with the Hebrides. When the title "King of Mann and the Isles" is invented, it is used by Manx kings who think of "the Isles" as something different and who claim to rule "the Isles" but don't ... presumably because of the diocese's extent and shared Norwegian overlordship gives them some kind of moral claim. It's like Moonraker says. The new title implies there was actually a "Kingdom of Mann and the Isles", which the former title didn't. I think the problem could be solved not by moving it back, but either by renaming it Kingdom of the Isles or List of kings in xDeacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:34, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I think "Kingdom of the Isles" should be OK. After all, a number of the kings who were seated on Mann styled themselves that way. Like Moonraker2 said, it's a flexible term.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:04, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Although it seems to me that any English language title is likely to have a flaw of some kind I don't mind "Kingdom of the Isles" at all - although I am not sure I am up for redirecting all the redirects again! I don't dispute the nature of the diocese, but "Sudreys" etc. appears to have a wider usage. I'd still like to know who the Manx kings are "who claim to rule 'the Isles' but don't". More specifically, any sources that provide more geographical detail are welcome... Ben MacDui 09:11, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I didn't want to sidetrack things, but yeah, I'd like Deacon to expand on that a bit too. I'll c/p this about the Norse term from West Over the Sea (pp 131-132 fn 8): "The name Suðreyjar (Southern Isles) is applied in Old Norse to the Western Isles of Scotland, sometimes, but not always, including the Isle of Man. In some references it is unclear whether Man included or not. Given the changing political divisions in this area in the tenth to twelfth centuries, there is not space within this article to explore exactly what is meant in each instance, so I have used the form Suðreyjar throughout, although I have normally given modern forms of other place-names. Same for Innse Gall in some cases. Same for "Isles" too. So "Isles" should be OK, I think.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
@MacDui, according to the Sellar, Harald I Olafsson is the first to call himself "King of Mann and the Isles". By that point Innse Gall was controlled by Mac Somhairle potentates. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 13:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

The southern Hebrides for sure, although there is evidence of ongoing Crovan activity in the "North Isles". However, the main point here is the appearance of the concept "King of Mann and the Isles". The article currently has Godred the Black/Godred Olafsson using the title. This is from Duffy (1992), although on examination it is not clear cut. He refers to an attack on Dublin, apparently in 1162, which he says may refer to "an attempt by the king of Man and the Isles to annex Dublin". But is this just an expression rather than a specific appellation? Lower down on the same page we read that Gofraid is the "king of Man" although on the next page he lets "all the chieftains of the Isles (omnes principes insularum) return home." I'd say not proven, but either way I don't think it has a bearing on the page move, which there seems to be agreement on. Just as well there are no passing post-structuralists (- what do we mean by "king", Mann", "Isles" etc. etc.). Ben MacDui

Some modern historians are more sensitive about these things than others. I'm one of the sensitive ones. @ Kingdom of Man and the Isles Wikipedia is inventing a medieval kingdom that's not in the evidence. At Kingdom of the Isles, we leave it to each's judgement whether or not that includes Mann. Alternatively, some kind of vaguer title (depending on how vague) could allow discussion of rulers of other areas like Islay, Argyll, Kintrye, Cowal, Rhinns, Galloway, Dublin, Limerick and so on. Man is only one of many microrealms in the "Norse-Gaelic" Irish Sea world. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I do see your point, Deacon of Pndapetzim, but I think it's going too far to say "inventing a medieval kingdom that's not in the evidence". The title "king of Man and the Isles" is in the primary sources, and where there is a king of X it seems hard to deny that his domain is the kingdom of X, unless there is good evidence to show otherwise. I think the fundamental question here is whether "King(dom) of Man and the Isles" is a notable subject, which you will be able to say whether you doubt. If it is, then the only remaining question is surely what the correct scope of the article is. Moonraker2 (talk) 17:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
See the Sellar article for the use of titles. Earliest use of "King of Man and the Isles" is 13th century. The article extends a 13th century Manx fiction into the preceding centuries ... this is essentially inventing a kingdom. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:39, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Whilst I don't think the Crovan influence in the Hebrides is invented if you are saying that the fiction relates to prior Manx influence, I am not in a position to disagree and I quite take the point. On balance I am beginning to think that "Kings of Mann and the Isles" is the best title, but as above stated I am quite happy with "Kingdom of the Isles" too - any objections? Ben MacDui 19:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Don't think I made the point clear. There are plenty of kings who happened to rule Mann, the Hebrides, Dublin, the Rhinns, and so on; plenty did so probably at the same time. But there is no evidence that this was ever thought of as the "Kingdom of Man and the Isles". It's quite far from being the best title for this article because only a tiny proportion of this article as it stands relates to a kingdom ever styled such. By contrast contrast there is solid evidence from the 12th, 13th and earlier centuries of a kingship of the Isles, a title also claimed by the Crovan Manx kings (and indeed by the ancestors of Somerled too). The Ui Imair imperium was quite flexible in its extent, large and politically fragmented; its successor is not merely the tiny Angevin client petty kingdom of Mann. :) Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I think I'm persuaded that "Kingdom of the Isles" would be a better name for the present page, and Ben MacDui as the main contributor doesn't object to it. Luckily, as noted above, "The Isles" is a wonderfully flexible term. However, as there were Kings of Mann and the Isles, it may be that an article called that, but with a more limited scope, is worth creating separately. Moonraker2 (talk) 00:36, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
The title is only used by magnates whose kingship is confined to the isle of Mann. So Kingdom of Mann is probably the article you are after in that regard. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 03:07, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
"The title is only used by magnates whose kingship is confined to the isle of Mann." Says who? You mentioned Sellar before, he's got Godred Olafsson's descendants ruling at least Skye and Lewis. (Hebridean Sea-Kings p193). He says that "the division of the kingdom lasted just over one hundred years", meaning from the time Somerled took the Inner Hebrides from Godred's family forever in the mid 12th century, and the time of the family's demise in the mid 13th century.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 04:44, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Says Sellar. To quote myself from a few lines above: There are plenty of kings who happened to rule Mann, the Hebrides, Dublin, the Rhinns, and so on; plenty did so probably at the same time. But there is no evidence that this was ever thought of as the "Kingdom of Man and the Isles". Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 10:32, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Sellar says that Godred Olafsson's descendants, the only ones who called themselves 'King of Mann and the Isles' (rex mannie et insularum), ruled in Lewis and Skye: "The division of the kingdom lasted just over one hundred years, Godfrey's line ruling not only in the Isle of Man, but also in Skye and Lewis; and Somerled's line ruling in Islay and Mull, presumably also in Coll and Tiree, and perhaps in the Uists and Barra" (p.193 Hebridean Sea-Kings). So, I don't understand how you use his name to justify your statements of: "The title is only used by magnates whose kingship is confined to the isle of Mann". You started off by commenting that the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles was "seemingly a creation of Magnus Barelegs"; but after in your reply to MacDui you said that the kingdom was nothing more than a more than "a 13th-century Manx fiction", and you further implied that the term Suðreyjar equates only to a diocese; and now it looks like you're putting words into a noted scholar's mouth, and backing it up by quoting yourself!--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 05:15, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Well it's always good to cite the very best authorities! I'd like to think we can agree that:
a) King of Man and the Isles - and by extension "Kingdom of..." is a late usage and largely or entirely confined to those whose rule did not extend to whole of the Hebrides.
b) That in earlier periods knowledge of the geographical extent of any particular ruler's domain is pretty weak, although clearly there were "Kings of the Isles".
c) That as with so much in modern Britain this is all the fault of the Norse - in this case for not handing in their written homework until several centuries after the due date. Ben MacDui 08:10, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @ MacDui, yes for a and b. @ Brianann, you're a bit confused on several points, so I suggest you read what I've written again and check out Sellar again, the list of styles on table 1. Sellar provides a list of royal styles that show the "King of Mann and the Isles" is only used by two Manx rulers who died in the 1240s. I quoted myself because you made a statement which showed no knowledge of some things I'd previously written, so I draw attention to the relevant passage for you. Ideally people would read what's already been written and there wouldn't be a need for self-quotations. :) Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 10:11, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I think the confusion is re "is confined to the isle of Mann", but no matter. The issue at stake is the article's title and I think we are all moving in the same general direction here. I suggest giving it another few days before doing the deed in case any further complications or suggestions emerge. Ben MacDui 18:12, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
If Harald Olafsson, Ranald Olafsson, or Magnus Olafsson ruled territories beyond Mann as part of their kingdom then that assertion is a factual error on my part. :) Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:03, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Angus son of Somerled[edit]

This is note #31, which is sourced from "Gregory (1881) p. 5".

"The Anecdotes of Olave the Black states that there were 3 Sudreyan kings all existing at one time who were sons of Somerled and who were "very untrue to King Haco".

I don't think that Somerled's son Angus should be listed amongst the kings in the chart. He was killed in 1210, long before Uspak's expedition in c1230. I don't see where Gregory makes him a king, or includes him amongst the three 'untrue kings'. According to Anderson 1922a, pp.lxi-lxii, Johnstone translated and edited parts of Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar in his 1780 Anecdotes of Olave the Black.

Here's Johnstone's 18th century translation of the relevant part p.5:

"But the Sudureyan Kings, they which were Somerleds family, were very untrue to King Haco. These Kings of the Sudreys were Dugal Scrag, and Duncan his Brother the father of John who since was King. They were the sons of Dugal the son of Somerled. A person named Uspac had long been with the Birkebeins. It came out that he was the son of King Dugal, and brother to the other two. A relation of theirs, called Somerled, was then also a King in the Sudreys.

Here's a 20th century translation of the relevant part: Anderson 1922b, pp.464-465:

"But the kings of the Hebrides, who had come of Somerled's race, were very unfaithful to king Hakon. The kings in the Hebrides were Dugald Screech, and his brother Duncan, the father of John was king afterwards. These were the sons of Dungal, Somerled's son. Uspak was the name of a man who had long been with the Birchlegs; it came out that he was a son of Dungal. Somerled was the name of a relative of theirs, who was then another king in the Hebrides".

So the 'three kings' weren't the sons of Somerled, but his descendants. Dugald Screech and Duncan are certainly sons of Somerled's son Dugald; Uspak and the other Somerled could also be sons of Dugald (see Sellar Hebridean Sea-Kings p.202, and the chart on p.194). Here's Sellar on p.195:

"Of Angus nothing is known, save that he fought and defeated his brother Ranald in 1192, and was killed along with his three sons in 1210. His line died out.

--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:33, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

I can't fault your logic and the errors are mine rather than Gregory's. First of all, although the page has a strange rogue "5" printed at the bottom of it, it is in fact page 17. Secondly, the wording is that the three kings were "of the family of Somerled" and I have (no doubt attempting to avoid using Gregory's specific wording) erroneously interpreted them. I will fix asap and thanks for your awareness. Ben MacDui 14:23, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Hopefully now a little clearer. Ben MacDui

Moving list elsewhere[edit]

I asked Malleus Fatuorum for some advice re advancing this article to GA etc. and he replied "I'd definitely spin the embedded tables out into a separate 'list' article; they really intrude on the narrative". Somewhat reluctantly, given the recent stability of the article, I have to agree on the grounds that the embedded tables also diminish the space available for further detail being added about the "kingdom" rather than its rulers. I'll embark on an extraction process in a few days unless I hear contrary opinions. Ben MacDui 19:08, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

The forgotten kingdom reading material[edit]

I just noticed that couple weeks ago there were a few things written about the kingdom at

--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 10:59, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Nice - I will be taking a break soon and will take a look at these. Ben MacDui 15:05, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

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