[From Manx Soc vol 1 Sacheverell's Survey c.1692]



GODDARD having thus fortunately settled himself and his afairs, endeavoured to secure the civil policy of his new Government, and to compose the minds of his people that were of different nations, languages, and manners; but as the natural aversion which men have for strangers (especially when they come to be their masters) rendered his design difficult, and almost impracticable, he found a foreign war absolutely necessary; whether military discipline renders men more exact in their obedience, or that the employing of the more active spirits abroad in a manner stifles the seeds of factions and divisions at home; or whether men more naturally agree to oppress their neighbours than to live peaceably and amicably among themselves. Wherefore, raising a great army, where all the active and the brave of either party were indifferently preferred, he landed them in Ireland. His first attempt was upon Dublin, which immediately opened her gates; and almost all the whole provinces of Leinster followed the torrent of his good fortune, had not the Western Scots given some check to it. He therefore equipped his fleet, and spread such a terror among them, that they all submitted to his orders -viz., that no Scot should build a boat above three streaks high (says the Manks Tradition), or drive above three nails in them (according to Mr. Cambden). After this, resolving on a progress to settle the whole Kingdom of the Isles, he died in the Isle of Yla. A prince fortunate in war, prudent in peace, and merciful after victory. He left three sons behind him-Lagman, Harrold, and Olave, and was the stem of their third race of Kings of the Izeland, or Norwegian lines.

Lagman, the eldest of his sons, succeeded him in the Government, but with the continual rebellion of his brother Harrold, who probably was favoured by the soldiery; so that he was forced to seize him, and deprive him of his members of generation (a barbarity frequently practised in those ages), of which he died; but immediately repenting this inhuman usage of his brother, he quitted his kingdom, and took the sign of the cross, according to the misguided devotion of those times, and travelled to Jerusalem, where he died, 1075(59). He held the Government but two years, which shows Mr. Cambden greatly mistaken in allowing sixteen to his father, whereas there were but nine from his landing to the death of Lagman.

Olave, the third son of Goddard Crownan, being very young, the nobility and people not agreeing on a proper person to administer the Government, sent to Murcard O'Brian, King of Ireland, desiring him to send them some worthy person of royal extraction to rule during Olave's minority. The King, willing to oblige them, sent Donald, the son of Tade, admonishing him to govern another man's inheritance with gentleness and moderation; but as power often intoxicates weak minds, he quickly forgot the good King's prudent advice, and gave himself to all manner of villanies, till the nobility and people, no longer able to bear them, by universal consent expelled him the Island. About the same time, in the year 1077, the King of Norway sent one Ingremond to take upon him the Government of the Kingdom of the Isles, who came as far as Lodus (now Lewis), and sent to the nobility and people to elect him their King, who, assembling themselves in order to it, were informed he gave himself up to robbing, drunkenness, and violating matrons and virgins; therefore they unanimously agreed in the night to fire the house in which he lodged, with his retinue, and, by a barbarous piece of justice, with fire and sword dispatched him and all his Norwegians at once, and elected one Mac Marus, a person of great prudence, moderation, and justice, who, in the year 1098, laid the first foundation of the Abbey of Rushen(60), in the town of Ballasalley. These monks lived by their labour, with great mortification; wore neither shoes, furs, nor linen; eat no flesh, except on journeys. It consisted of twelve monks and an abbot, of whom the first was called Conanus. I find the Cistertian Order to have its first beginning this very year, though probably they were not planted here until six and thirty years after, by Evan, Abbot of Furness. But while Mac, Marus was employing himself in these works of piety, which rarely secure the best of men from the misfortunes of this. world, the northern men, who were the original natives, formed a conspiracy against him, commanded by Earl Outher. The battle was fought at a place called Stantway, in St. Patrick's Isle (which therefore must be the parish of Jurby), in which both the generals were slain; and Mr. Cambden says the northern men had the victory; but the Manks tradition informs us that the women of the south side came with so much resolution to the assistance of their husbands, that they not only restored the battle, but, as a reward of their virtue and bravery, to this day they enjoy half their husbands' estates during their widowhood; whereas the northern women have but a third(61). But whatever side got the victory, the public had the loss, for the Island was so weakened that it lay exposed to the first that would attempt it. Thus private factions at home too often betray the public liberty to some more potent invader abroad; for about the same time

Magnus, King of Norway, son of Olaus, grandson of Harrold Harfager, being desirous to see whether the body of St. Olave, king and martyr, remained uncorrupted, notwithstanding the opposition of the Bishop and Clergy, by violence opened the coffin, and having seen and handled the body, and finding it entire, ordered it again to be deposited in the shrine. But as it is almost incredible what an influence superstition has over the minds even of the most brutish, the night following he dreamed St. Olave appeared to him, saying, "Choose either to lose thy life and kingdom in thirty days, or else to leave Norway, and never see it more." The King in the morning sent for his princes and elders, and acquainted them with the vision, who advised him with all speed to quit Norway. He therefore ordered 120 sail of ships to be forthwith rigged and manned, and coming to the Oreades, and from thence to the Ebudes, conquering all before him, at last he arrived in the Isle of Man. The Scottish historians say these islands were given him by Donald, King of Scotland, for restoring him to the Crown, which is not improbable. Magnus, after his landing, went to the place where the late battle had been fought three days before, and ordering the bodies to be buried, he viewed the Island round, and found it, in comparison of his own country, fruitful and pleasant, therefore fixed upon it m his own residence, and fortified it carefully. He so awed the men of Galloway that he forced them to cut down timber, and bring it to the shore, towards the erecting of forts in diferent parts of the Island; and having settled his afairs here, he sailed into Anglesey, where he found two Hughs, Earls of Chester and Shrewsbury, of whom he killed one, and drove away the other, and conquered the island. The Welsh nation made him very large presents, so that he carried his armies no further that way, but returned into Man, from whence he sent his shoes to Murchard, King of Ireland, commanding him to carry them on his shoulders through his hall on Christmas-day, which the Irish resenting as a great affront, the King with more temper answered, "I had rather not only carry, but eat, his shoes, than that Magnus should destroy one province of Ireland," therefore he not only fulfilled his commands, but used his ambassadors honourably, and sent considerable presents to himself, and made a league with him. But when Magnus was informed of the pleasantness and fertility of Ireland, he immediately designed the conquest of it; and ordering his navy to follow, with sixteen ships only went before to take a view of the country, but unwarily quitting his fleet, was surrounded by the Irish, and slain, with almost all that were with him. He governed this Island six years, and lies buried in St. Patrick's Church, in Down. As soon as the nobility and people were informed of the death of Magnus, they sent a solemn embassy to

Olave(62), the third son of Goddard Crownan, then in the Court of Henry the First, King of England, and ogered him the Kingdom of the Isles; a Prince then in the flower of his youth, peaceable, just, liberal, but especially to the church, therefore pious, but privately amorous and lewd. He assumed the Government Anno 1102, and had the King of England for his patron, the Kings of Scotland and Ireland for his confederates; so that, having nothing to fear from abroad, he applied himself to public works of mercy and piety at home; first, by reforming his laws and the manners of his subjects; and wisely weighing that religion and good education greatly soften the temper of a brutish ,,pd vicious people, he, Anno 1134, gave the Abbey of Rushen, some years before begun by Mac Marns, to Evan, Abbot of Fumess, which was to serve as a nursery to the church; from hence it is the Abbots of Furness had the approbation of the Abbot of Rushen, and, as some believe, the Abbey had the right of electing the Bishop himself, and was a sort of chapter to his diocese. Olave, having laid thus the groundwork of his establishment, greatly endowed the whole Church of the Isles with large franchises, liberties, and immunities. The revenue was set out after the most ancient and apostolical manner-viz., one-third of all the tithes to the Bishop, for his maintenance; the second to the Abbey, for education of youth and relief of the poor (for those good monks were then the public almoners, and by their own labours rather increased than diminished the public charity) ; the thitd portion of the tithes was given to the parochial priests, for their subsistence(63). Olave having spent nearly forty years in all the calm enjoyments of peace, at last resolves to visit the King of Norway, perhaps to take away all scruples about the succession; and in the year 1142 did homage to Ingo, or Hengo, King of Norway, by whom he was honourably received, and before his departure crowned King, and left his son Goddard to be educated in the Norwegian Court. Not long after his return into Man, he found the long peaceable course of his affairs quite altered, for the three sons of his brother Harrold, who had been educated in Dublin, raised great forces, and demanded one moiety of the Kingdom of the Isles. Olave desired time to consider of it, and on the day appointed to receive his answer the principal persons on both sides met at Ramsey, where both parties being drawn up in lines opposite to each other, Reginald, one of the brothers, standing in the middle as talking to some of the principal persons, at last being called to the King, turned himself on a sudden as if he designed to salute him, but at the same time lifted up his battle-axe, and at one blow cut his head off by a parricide as detestable as it was base and unnatural. The nobility depending on Olave being all dispersed or slain, Reginald divided the country among his own followers. Olave left by his wife Africa, daughter of Fergus, Lord of Galloway, one son, who succeeded him; by his mistresses he had, several, as Reginald, Harrold, and Lagman, and many daughters, of whom one was married to Summerled, Prince of Argile, which was the occasion of great mischiefs, and the dividing the Kingdom of the Isles. The sons of Harrold, flushed with this success, had thoughts of conquering all before them; immediately, therefore, they transported the forces into Galloway; but the people there behaved themselves with that bravery and resolution, that they quickly forced them to return with shame and confusion into Man, where immediately they exercised all the barbarities on the men of Galloway that shame, disappointment, and revenge could invent, or souls equally brutish and cruel execute. But the justice of Heaven would not suffer so many villanies to go long unpunished, for in the year 1143(64)

Goddard, the son of good King Olave, returned out of Norway (the whole Island submitting immediately to him), ordered two of the sons of Harrold to lose their eyes, and the third, who had been his father's murderer, to be executed. Having by this piece of justice cleared his way to the Crown, by the unanimous and hearty consent of the whole people, he assumed the Government. Goddard was then in the flower of his youth, brave, active, generous, with the mien and stature of a hero, and polished with a foreign education; all which, joined to the merit of an excellent father, attracted the hearts and adoration, not only of his own people, but of strangers. All the neighbouring provinces envied or admired the happiness of the Manks nation, and every one wished a King like theirs. The people of Dublin, perhaps not unmindful of the wise conduct of his grandfather, Goddard Crownan, and the fresh memory of the virtue of his father, by the consent of the nobility of the whole province of Leinster, chose him their King, Anno 1147. Murchard, King of Ireland, alarmed with the loss of so fair a province, raised considerable forces, and sent Oselby, his brother by the mother's side, with 3,000 horse, with design to surprize the city of Dublin; but Goddard, being ready to receive him, routed the whole party, slew the general himself, and absolutely settled his new acquired Kingdom. But while princes are making conquests abroad, they often give occasions for factions and discontents at home, for the King's mind began to be corrupted by the flattery and insinuations of his new people, more polite, and of a genius more refined than his own. This first raised aversions and contempt, which by degrees degenerated into violence and tyranny; for the gaining of a crown may sometimes forfeit the virtue which renders a man worthy of it. Goddard, therefore, returning into Man, where he thought by severity to reclaim the discontents of his people; not considering that gentleness and moderation have the strongest and most effectual ascendance over the wills and aireetions of mankind, unadvisedly began with the turning several of the better sort out of their estates. But the violating a people's settlement gives them too fair a pretence of retaliating when they have the power, and generally it proves fatal to the undertakers; for Thorfinus, the son of Otter, was at that time the principal of all the natives, and perhaps the worst used, as being dispossessed of some lands he had a pretence to, sullen, morose, designing, always in the wrong, a friend to nobody, but a most implacable enemy. This man, perceiving the general discontents of the people, by setting up for a patriot, designed to work his own private revenge; he therefore goes into Argile, to Summerled, who had married a daughter of good King Olave, and persuaded him to make his son Dufgall King of the Isles. Summerled, a Prince hot, enterprising, brutish, and ambitious, immediately embraced the proposal; and Thoffinus, by his own influence and persuasion, brought several of the western islands under his obedience. But as yet the majority of the people, whether out of sense of duty, or affection, or tied by employments, the most efficacious obligations, still adhered to their ancient King. Among these, Paul, a person of great loyalty, integrity, and virtue, gave Goddard notice of Thorfinus's projects and Summerled's preparations. He, therefore, equips eighty ships, and in the year 1156 a bloody battle was fought at sea, where, both sides wearied with the slaughter of their adversaries, and the victory still doubtful, the two generals agreed to divide the Kingdom of the Isles, of which all the northern fell to the son of Summerled. But he, not contented with a moiety, in the year 1158 came into Man with fifty-eight ships, and all the people, either weary of the war or the severity and ill conduct of their Prince, immediately submitted to him. So that Goddard, by letting a discontented people slip from him, now found himself no more a King, but forsaken and slighted by all, especially those who had been the ministers of his severity, and found no safer way to make their court to their new master than by exposing the old. For he that will do ill to please his Prince, will certainly do the same against him when it appears his more immediate interest. At last he found means to escape into Norway, there to reserve himself to his better fortune. But Summerled, flushed with these petty victories, now set no bounds to his ambition; therefore, in the year 1164, he raised a great fleet of 160 sail, with a resolution to master all Scotland; but attempting to land his men at a place called Rheinfrin,, was conquered by a few, himself and son slain, with almost all his people. Thus Heaven permits great and ill men to be scourges to the world, and by their temporary successes only makes their punishment more eminent and conspicuous. The people, glad to be thus delivered, by dear-bought experience found a sensible difference betwixt a passionate and misguided Prince and a real tyrant. Everyone began to think of Goddard, their natural King. and the merits of his excellent father; besides, six years' absence, and his own generous qualities, had quite blotted out the errors of his youth. Thus the hearts of the people were all bending towards him, when Reginald, his bastard brother, gathered an armed multitude of rascals of diiterent nations, resolving to carry the Kingdom of the Isles. The Manksmen stoutly defended their King's cause. The battle was fought at Ramsey, and the people lost the day by the treachery of a certain count, who probably apprehended Goddards revengeful temper. So much it is a Prince's interest to have the people believe him of a forgiving nature. But he, duly informed of the Islands good inclinations towards him. the fourth day after the battle landed with a numerous assistance from the King of Norway. The people received him with open arms, all former errors were mutually forgot, and Reginald seized and deprived of his eyes, and all those who might render the succession disputable. From this time Goddard began to settle his affairs with gentleness and moderation. Mac-Lotlen, son of Maccartack, King of Ireland,, gave him his daughter Fingala to wife, by whom he had a son, named Olave; but the marriage having not been celebrated with the accustomed ceremonies of the church, Anno 1171, Viranus, Apostolic Legate, came into Man, and caused it to be canonically performed, Olave being three years old. Sylvanus, the Abbot, married them, to whom the King, in an expiation of his error, gave a piece of land at Mirescoge(65), to build a monastery in, which was afterwards given to the Abbey of Rushen, with the monks belonging to it. Perhaps the place might be Ballamona, in Kirk Christ Lezayre, so uncertain are ancient places that are delivered to us with most certainty. The year following the King took a progress through the Isles, to settle the long discomposed state of affairs. During his absence Eacmarcat, one of the blood royal, attempting some novelty, brought a great multitude, who at first dispersed some few who guarded the coasts, and killed about thirty; but the same day the Manksmen rallied their whole forces, and slew him and all his followers. It is probable the Kings progress took up two years, for Anno 1177 it appears O'Fogalt was Vice-Comes Manniae. Thus he continued composing and settling the alfairs of his Government till the year 1187, in which he died, on the 9th of September, in a good old age. He had tried both extremes; ruined by success and the ill conduct of his youth, until after made wiser by afflictions, he proved a fortunate and happy Prince. The year following his body was translated to the Isle of Hy. He left three sons-Roeginald, Olave, and Ivar, and appointed Olave his successor, because born in lawful wedlock; but Olave being then a minor, the Manksmen sent for the eldest son Reginald, out of the Isles, and made him King, Anno 1188.

Reginald was then of a ripe age, endowed with all the great qualities that could render a wicked soul destructive and pernicious-as wit, courage, and resolution, mixed with craft, dissimulation, and revenge, which, added to the natural injustice to his brother Olave, rendered his reign long and unhappy, as it was bloody and destructive to his people. His first act was the death of one Murchard, jealous of his power in the Kingdom of the Isles, and not consenting to his election: an unhappy omen, where a prince lays the first cement of his throne in blood. And yet the beginning of his reign was peaceable enough, perhaps more than suited with his own inclination; for though in the year 1202 a bloody battle was fought betwixt the sons of Summerled, Reginald and Engus (the living images of a restless and ambitious father) wherein the younger gained the victory, and some years after, another, in which the whole family was extirpated; yet we do not find Reginald concerned himself in these quarrels. But in the year 1204 John Curey(66), who had been dispossessed of his lands in Ulster by Hugh Lacy, came into Man. John had married Africa, daughter of King Goddard, and sister to Reginald, a lady of excellent virtue and piety, who founded the Abbey of St. Mary de Jugo Domini, in which she was burried. Her husband's business was to engage Reginald in the war with Lacy, which he readily embraced, and in the year 1205 entered Ulster, at a port called Strangford, with a hundred sail of ships; but whilst they carelessly sat down 'before the Castle of Ruth, Lacy surprized and routed them; after which Curey never recovered his lands. Reginald, in the 6th of King John, had done homage for the Isle of Man, for which the King granted him a knight's fee in Ireland, and his protection pro feodo and servitio suo, says the record. Whether he had done anything contrary to this homage, or whether the assistance he had given Curey was interpreted in that sense, John, sailing into Ireland, with 500 ships, sent an earl, named Fulke, who grievously spoiled the whole Island; till at last, wearied with so many cruelties, he took hostages of the future fidelity of the people, and returned into Ireland, Reginald and all his principal officers being still absent. But the people, who always impute their own misfortune to the ill conduct of their rulers, began to think of their injustice to Olave, their lawful Prince, then in the vigour of his age, and master of all those refined qualities that render princes agreeable to their people, or men to one another; mild, just, sedate, pious, liberal, to which was added an admirable symmetry of body, which rendered him the darling of the ladies, who, by their influence at home, often make the strongest interest abroad. Reginald, returning into Man with his shattered army, and viewing with indignation the desolation of his country, and (as he was of a subtle and piercing judgment) at the same time perceiving the lost afections of his people, resolved to remove the idol of their hearts; but not finding it safe to do it by open violence, he proposes the granting the Lewis Islands to him, for his better support and maintenance, which he reported to be larger than any of the Ebudes, though, in truth, but thinly inhabited, mountainous, rocky, and almost wholly unarable. Olave, weary of the precarious course of life he then led, Anno 1207, accepted the offer, and went to take possession of those isles, which he found not sufficient for the maintenance of himself and retinue, but for some time led a miserable and solitary life; till, no longer able to bear so wretched a confinement, he resolutely returned into Man, and, with a freedom as natural as it was graceful, presented himself to his brother, and told him the Kingdom of the Isles was his by inheritance, yet, since it had pleased God to place him on the throne, he no ways envied his advancement, but only entreated him to give him some portion of lands on which he might live comfortably, for the Lewis were not sufficient for his support. But nothing grates a tyrant more than to hear a lawful heir demanding his right. He, for that time, promised to consider of it; but the day following ordered him to be seized, and sent him to William, King of Scotland, where he was kept in chains seven years; at the end of which time King William, dying, was succeeded by his son Alexander. who at his coronation ordered all prisoners to be released, and among the rest Olave, who returned immediately into Man, and, well attended by the nobility and good wishes of the people, presented himself to his brother Reginald, who, though troubled at his escape, received him with all seeming satisfaction, and married him to the Lord of Cantyre's daughter, named Lavon, who was sister to his own Queen, but gave them nothing but the Lewis for their subsistence. Necessity compelled Olave to accept of those conditions, since he could get no better; but he was no sooner in the Lewis, but Reginald, Bishop of those isles, called a synod, and divorced him from his new wife, as too near of kin to his former, for he had been married before. The Queen, a woman haughty, ambitious, and revengeful, interpreted this slight of her sister as an affront to herself, especially when she heard Olave had married Christiana, daughter of Ferchard, Earl of Ross. She had a son, named Goddard, who then resided in the Western Islands, to whom she wrote, in the King, his father's name, to murder Olave; but as there are few wicked designs laid so close but there are some informers, Olave just got notice time enough to save himself in a little boat, and escaped to his father-in-law, the Earl of Ross; but Goddard, immediately landing his forces in the Lewis, utterly wasted all before him. At that same time Paul, the son of Boke, was Viscount of Skey, a man very powerful in the Isles, subtle, fierce, designing, an enemy to Reginald rather than a friend to Olave, him likewise they compelled to take shelter with the Earl of Ross, by whose advice Olave, now reduced to the last necessity, was persuaded to endeavour the recovery of his inheritance, of which he had been so many years dispossessed. By the assistance, therefore, of the Earl of Ross and the Viscount of Skey, he resolves to surprize Goddard in the Isle of St. Columbus, where they were informed he was retired with a small retinue, and but five ships with him in the harbour. Therefore, drawing together their friends and dependants, with great numbers of volunteers, they in the night seized the five Ships, and in the morning surrounded the whole island with their own fleet. Goddard and his party were amazed when they saw themselves beset, yet stood resolutely to their arms, but in vain; for, about nine o'clock they attempted the island in several places at once, and slaughtered all before them, without the bounds of the church. Goddard fell into the hands of the Viscount of Skey, who, fearing Olave's gentle temper, immediately ordered him to be deprived of his eyes and genitals, which Olave was far from consenting to, but came too late to hinder. Olave now, urged on by despair, necessity, justice, but more than all by the Viscount, of Skey, resolves to push his good fortune to the utmost; he therefore took hostages of all the great men of the Isles, and in the year 1215 set sail with a fleet of thirty ships, and landed at Rannesway; but the nobility and people interposing, the brothers came to an agreement, and divided the Kingdom of the Isles betwixt them, of which Reginald, besides his moiety, had the Isle of Man allotted to him. Olave, having refreshed his men, returned to his part of the Isles. But Reginald, storming in himself to be so dispossessed of above a hundred islands, of which he had been so long master, sent to Allen, Lord of Galloway, for assistance, and the year following rigged a great fleet, and sailed into the out-isles, with design to dispossess his brother Olave; but the people absolutely refusing to fight against their natural Prince, forced him to retire home without effecting his design. Reginald, restless and impatient with his second disappointment, pretends a necessity of a journey to England. The people cheerfully supply him with 100 marks towards his journey; but instead of going to the Court of England, he carried his daughter into Galloway, and married her to the son of that Lord. But as nothing discontents a people more than the misapplication of public money, especially when they see themselves betrayed to a foreign power; so, considering with indignation the ingratitude of Reginald, and their own injustice to their lawful master, by universal suffrage they sent for Olave, and declared him King, in the year 1216. Reginald, now too late, seeing his error, to retrieve a lost game, resolves in good earnest on a voyage to the Court of King John.

It is certain, as we have above observed, that King John, in the sixth year of his reign, took Reginald, King of Man, into his protection, and granted him one knight's fee in Ireland, pro feodo et servitio suo. He likewise granted him 100 quarters of corn, to be delivered at Droghedah., May the 26th, Anno Regni sui 14, Anno Dom. 1212. Henry the Third, Anno Regni sui 2 do., Anno Dom. 1219, granted to Reginald, King of Man, letters of safe conduct to come into England to do him homage, &c.(67); and in the fifth year of his reign, 1221, the same King writes to his justice in Ireland, the 4th of November, to deliver to Reginald, King of Man, his knight's fee, two tuns of wine, and 120 quarters of corn, granted him every year by the charter of King John, his father.

If it be lawful to compare so small a prince with an English monarch, there never was a nearer resemblance than in the fortunes of these two: both had obtained their government by injustice to the lawful heirs; both lost it by their ill treatment of their people; both of mischievous, designing tempers; and both lived to feel the dreadful effects on their own heads. Only in this they differ: John had offendecl the clergy, Reginald his people. John had some years before made the most infamous submission to the Pope that ever was heard of in story. Reginald, to complete the similitude, must do the like,, either because it was the fashion, or that he could hope for no assistance without it. Into such mean compliances men's interests betray them, when justified by a blind devotion, or a bad example.


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