Godred II Olafsson - Son of The King of The Isles

Son of The King of The Isles

The Kings of the Isles of the Crovan dynasty are thought to have paid tribute to the Kings of Norway in recognition of the latter's nominal overlordship. The Chronicle of Mann states that during the reign of his father, Godred sailed to Norway and rendered homage to Inge Haraldsson, King of Norway. The chronicle also records that in the same year, three Dublin-raised sons of Olaf's brother Harald invaded Mann and demanded half of the kingdom for themselves. A meeting between Olaf and the nephews was arranged during which Olaf was axed to death by the second nephew Ragnvald. Not long after Olaf's assassination, the chronicle notes that the nephews undertook an unsuccessful invasion of Galloway. Modern historians have dated these events to the years 1152–1153, as the chronicle also notes that Olaf died the same year as David I, King of Scots. The chronicle continues by detailing that, in the autumn following Olaf's death, Godred returned from Norway in five ships and took control of the kingdom. He seized the three cousins responsible for his father's death, with the chronicle recording that "it was said" he put out the eyes of two and killed the third. One interpretation of Godred's journey to Norway is that it was an attempt to gain Norwegian aid against the rival faction of his cousins, although recent analysis of his stay in Norway has noted that it coincided with that of papal legate Nicholas Breakspeare, who was working to establish the Archbishopric of Nidaros, which would eventually incorporate the domain of the Kingdom of the Isles. Godred may therefore have travelled to Norway because of Breakspeare's presence there, to not only strengthen links with Norway but also to attempt to prevent the spread of influence of the newly established Archbishopric of Dublin into the domain of his island-kingdom. If this was the case, then Olaf's death at the hands of his Dublin-based nephews may be directly related to Godred's journey.

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