Godred II Olafsson - Return To The Isles

Return To The Isles

Somerled launched an invasion of mainland Scotland and was slain at the Battle of Renfrew (1164). The continuator of the Annals of Tigernach styles him on his death "King of the Hebrides and Kintyre". The Annals of Ulster state that his force consisted of men from Argyll, Kintyre, the Hebrides, and Dublin. The diverse composition of Somerled's forces appears to confirm that he had usurped the power of the Godred in the Hebrides and possibly on Mann itself. The same year, the Chronicle of Mann records that Godred's younger brother Ragnvald invaded Mann and fought the Manx people at Ramsey. It is uncertain whether the Manx fought on behalf of Somerled or Godred, and the chronicle attributes Ragnvald's victory over the Manx to the treachery of a certain sheriff. The victorious Ragnvald is said to have only reigned as king for four days as on the fourth day Godred arrived on the island with a large army and had Ragnvald seized, emasculated, and blinded.

In about 1182, the Chronicle of Mann states that a man of royal blood—one Ragnvald, son of Echmarcach—landed on Mann with many followers while Godred was absent. Ragnvald's forces easily thwarted a party of Manx coast-watchers, killing about twenty of them. Later the same day during a clash with a large body of Manxmen, Ragnvald and his forces were defeated and he and almost all of his followers were slain.

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