[from Manx Soc vol XXII, The Chronicle of Man]
THE islands on the West Coast of Scotland and England occupy an important place in the earlier pages of Norwegian history, not only because of their having been, for about 170 years at least, if not for double that time, a part of the Norwegian kingdom, but also, because in the period when Norway itself was consolidated into one monarchy, and numbers of its citizens, disgusted with this new state of things at variance with their ideas of freedom and independence, sought new homes in foreign parts, these islands became, as it were, a kind of first rendezvous or central place, whence afterwards the emigrants themselves or their descendants in the first and the second degree, spread in various directions to form new settlements, never, however, ceasing to feel themselves Norwegians, but carrying with them everywhere the language, manners, and institutions of their original home, and always keeping up a connection with the mother country, which generally, when stronger powers from without did not interfere, sooner or later ended in real dependency or political union. We know this at least to be the case with Iceland, the most important and interesting of all Norwegian settlements, the history and manner of whose colonisation is accurately known from the Landnámabók 1. If we study this remarkable work thoroughly, we shall find, that of the four hundred chief settlers, who divided the whole Island amongst them, the greatest, or most powerful, or those who carried the largest families with them, did not come immediately from Norway, but from the Western Islands, whither they first made sail when emigrating from their ancient udal 2 possessions in the old country. And even as to those, about whose fates during the time between their emigration from Norway and their arrival in Iceland nothing is told expressly, it is still somehow to be guessed that they passed some time in the Western Islands, or in Ireland at least, in the first period of the colonisation.3 We find, thus, that not a few of their slaves had Gaelic names, which shows that they were either Irishmen or Scottish Highlanders 4; some of the settlers themselves were even Irishmen, or inhabitants of the western coasts of Scotland 5 and what is still more remarkable, and, perhaps, gives the best evidence of the state of things here supposed, is, that the rearing and pasturing of sheep, the national and most important branch of livelihood in Iceland, has never, not even in the times of the colonisation, been like to anything in Norway, the mother country, not even as far as regards the nomenclature; while, on the contrary, it has all the chief and characteristic features of the same national occupation in Western Scotland and the Isles. From this circumstance we are indeed justified in concluding, almost to a certainty, that those settlers, who set the first example of rural economy in Iceland, and gave to the whole way of living its chief and lasting features, had lived long enough on the Scottish coasts and the Isles, to become in a great measure nationalised there, and to adopt very much of the manners and customs prevailing among the inhabitants. Nor is it to be forgotten that very likely the greater part of their servants, as already hinted, were natives of these countries, and that no doubt to their care the chief arrangement of the household was confided. To the Icelanders, therefore, the Western Islands of Scotland, as in a certain degree the chief cradle of their race even more than the mother country Norway itself; ought to be of peculiar interest, and should be looked upon by them with a sort of filial piety.
Iceland, however, is not the only Norwegian settlement to which the Western Islands have been, as it were, a kind of stepping stone. As for Ireland, that is to say the Norwegian settlements and kingdoms at Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick, we would affirm this at once as a matter of course, if the proximity of Ireland and the Islands did not make it likely that both of them were visited by our ancestors at the same time, and settlements formed simultaneously on either side of the sea. Yet, as the Islands were situated on the way of the Norwegians to Ireland, and therefore likely to be visited by them before the latter, although it seems to us evident, as shall be shown hereafter more circumstantially, that the Islands did not, at any period, contain large and lasting colonies, but rather an uncertain and fluctuating population of Norsemen, while in Ireland these became stationary for centuries, we think ourselves entitled to regard the Irish colonies as subsequent to, and chiefly issuing from, the first settlements made by Norwegians in the Isles west of Scotland. From both, the Isles as well as Ireland, or perhaps chiefly from the former, the Isle of Man evidently got its Norwegian population, which, however, although strong enough, as we shall see, to leave many traces, even in the local denominations, did never, as in the Orkneys and Shetland, entirely absorb the Gaelic population,6 which shows that this island was likewise more a stepping stone for other settlements on a larger scale, than such a settlement itself. And here it is not difficult to trace the direction which the flood of Norwegian emigrants took after resting for a while on Man. From the middle of the ninth century. the eastern coasts of England,7 from East Anglia to the Scotch border, had been subjected to an incessant visitation by Vikings or emigrants from the Danish countries, belonging, it is true, to the same chief stem of nationality, as the Norwegians, but forming nevertheless a separate branch, with peculiarities characteristic enough to distinguish them from these. We suppose it to be known by every student of English or Northern history, and deem it therefore unnecessary to be dwelt upon at length here, how these Danish emigrants at last succeeded, not only in subjugating a large portion, almost the north-eastern half of England, but also in introducing their language and nationality, and in establishing kingdoms, one of which lasted for a couple of generations, and even after having submitted to the kings of England, continued still for a long time to form a separate part of the empire, with the laws, institutions, and to a great extent even the language imparted to it by the powerful warriors from the shores of the Cattegat and the Belt.8
For a long time no distinction was made between these northern settlers on the east coast of England and the Norsemen in Ireland and Scotland, but they were named indiscriminately Danes or Normans, and were generally looked upon as belonging to one people. The more accurate study and knowledge of the old German dialects, however, begun and carried out by the great scholars of our times, which have led to so many important ethnographical discoveries, unknown to and unlooked for by the linguists and ethnographers of the last century, have sufficiently pointed out the peculiar distinctions, however slight, between the two sister branches just mentioned, the Norsemen and the Danes, in the ninth and tenth century, and have enabled us to trace, in the north-western and more mountainous districts of the Danish settlement in the north of England, an influx of the Norwegian branch, from the shores of the Solway down to the eastern slope. And, indeed, no more than this fact is needed to show, that from the nucleus of Norwegian settlements in the Isles and Ireland, numbers of warriors poured over to the coasts of Cumberland, until at last they met with their Danish brethren, and then, with a nationality almost identical, and having interests in common with them against the former possessors of the soil, easily coalesced with them into one political and national body. It is the merit of Mr. Robert Fergusson to have first pointed out this important fact to English readers, in his valuable book, The Northmen in Cumberland and Westmoreland; while formerly, as just mentioned, no distinction was made between the Norwegian and Danish settlers in England, or if even some names characteristic of Norwegian nationality were pointed out, still the Norwegians were believed to have arrived together with, or from the same direction as, the Danes. Mr. Fergusson has not only given many local names,9 which may be recognised at first glance as exclusively Norwegian, in the north western part of Northumberland and the north of Cumberland, but has also collected a list of words,10 still used in the dialects of those parts, the Norwegian origin of which is not to be mistaken.
This result from merely linguistic researches is also entirely confirmed by historical records, to which in a certain degree it affords the explanations hitherto wanting. Among the Northumbrian kings named in the so-called Chronicon Saxonicum, and by the old English annalists, we find several who are said to have arrived from Ireland, and whom, indeed, we find in the Irish chronicles as kings of Dublin - viz. Olaf Kvaran, one Sigtrygg (Sitric), etc.11 In the celebrated battle of Brunanburgh, Irish warriors are expressly stated to have fought; and in the beautiful old English poem describing it, the beaten warriors from Ireland are said to have returned to Dublin.12 Here, then, it is easy to see that Man has formed the stepping stone, and that the possession of it must have been of the utmost importance to the Norwegian warriors, who came here partly to form new settlements, partly to earn fame and booty by piratical exploits.
Even for Norsemen, who made their final settlements farther from the Scottish islands, these may be traced or at least supposed to have formed a favourite and much frequented haunt in the beginning of their career. It may now be regarded as pretty well ascertained that the chief bulk of northern settlers who occupied Normandy belonged to the Danish branch, but were called Nortmen or Normans, because they issued originally from the southern part of Jutland, while still ruled by kings of Norwegian origin, and even sometimes called Nortmannia. Rollo or Gangu-Rolf, the son of the Norwegian Earl Ragnvald, did not succeed to the command of the whole fleet or union of piratical emigrants till more than a generation after it had for the first time left the shores of the Eider. But as a Norwegian, and a powerful one too, Rollo had no doubt frequented the Scottish isles and shores in his youth, before joining the great Danish fleet from Northmannia. And there is an evidence thereof in the fact, that in the afore said Landnáma, a daughter of the same Rollo is mentioned, named Kathleen, who was, again, married to, or had a daughter by, the Scottish, or perhaps rather Irish king Beolan, at a time when Rollo must have been very young.13 The name Kathleen, and her marriage with Beolan, is enough to prove that she must have been born and lived in Ireland, or somewhere in the Isles, and that it was here Rollo became acquainted with her mother. And Rollo was certainly not the only Norwegian among the Normandy settlers who had begun his emigrating career with an expedition to the Isles of western Scotland.
As for the Orkneys, Shetland and the Faereys, their proximity to Norway makes it more likely that they were peopled immediately from this country than by Norsemen previously settled in the Western Islands. Yet that even there many of the colonists may have belonged to the latter class is probable, at least from the circumstance that the general road to Iceland in the oldest times lay by these different groups of islands, each of them being about a day's sail from the other, and thereby enabling the sailors conveniently to shape their course. It is expressly stated of Aude, daughter of Ketil Flatnef (of whom more anon), head of the noblest and most powerful family who settled in Iceland, that she took this course, leaving one grand-daughter in Orkney, married to the Earl or Maormor of Caithness, 14 another at the Faereys.
In these last-named islands, moreover, we find the same culture of sheep, characteristic of Scottish influence, as in Iceland. We know, even, that the sheep there are, or were, of the Scottish race, as Dicuilus tells us that about thirty years before the Norwegian emigration the islands had been inhabited by some Scoto-Irish Culdees,15 who brought sheep with them, but were compelled to flee through fear of the northern Vikings. These sheep, multiplying to an enormous number, afterwards gave to the Islands their present name, i. e. Sheeps lslands.
The history of the Norwegian settlements in the Western Isles is but shortly and superficially told in our ancient Sagas. When it is said that they were colonised by emigrants, discontented with king Harold's strong rule, this is only partly true, for we learn from the Irish annals that Vikings from the north showed themselves there, and made depredations, as far back as 793 16 Yet it is very probable that the chief in flux of emigrants came in the time of king Harold, especially in the first half of his long reign, when his conquests were newly made, and when, indeed, also the emigration to Iceland became frequent. All the Sagas which mention these events agree in this point, that the discontented emigrants, who had assembled in the Western Islands as well as in the Orkneys and Shetland, did at last feel themselves strong enough to take revenge, running over to Norway and ravaging its coasts, thereby compelling king Harold to make a great expedition personally to the western seas, in which he conquered Orkney, Shetland, the Western Islands, and even Man, thereby establishing for the first time the dominion of Norway in these parts, and leaving an hereditary claim upon them to his descendants. But they do not agree in the particulars. Some of them say that Harold left the powerful Norwegian Ketil Flatnef (flat-beak) as his lieutenant there, but that afterwards Ketil threw off his allegiance 17; others, that Ketil, having emigrated from Norway in disgust with the conquests of Harold, took up his abode in the Sudreys, whither the greatest part of his relations and friends soon repaired, and where he died.18 This is the more likely version of the two, and as the tale that Ketil really exercised some authority in the Islands, does not appear to be unfounded in tradition, it is to be supposed that he established his authority, or succeeded in gaining to himself a lordship there in opposition to king Harold, which supposition is strongly confirmed by the fact that his daughter, the above mentioned Aude, was married to the celebrated Olaf the White (Amh-labh), the first Norwegian king of Dublin (+c. 872).19 The circumstance, however, that nearly all those friends or relations of Ketil left these parts for Iceland, where even his own daughter Aude, after the fall of her son Thorstein the Red, finished with taking up her abode, shows that they could not resist the power of Harold, who, as it is expressly told, appointed an earl as his lieutenant in the Isles, named Tryggvi, and, when Tryggvi was killed, another, named Asbjörn, with the surname of Skerjablesi. This Asbjörn, how ever, was likewise killed, by two relations of Ketil Flatnef, as shall be mentioned hereafter. Whether Asbjörn got a successor or not is not mentioned; we are rather inclined to believe that in the later times of king Harold's reign, when his sons made war among themselves, and still more after his death, the allegiance of the Sudreys became very slight, or was entirely thrown off; there is at least no mention to be found that king Hácon the Good, the son of Harold, although a powerful and enterprising monarch, did ever receive tribute or homage from these islands. Or, if the dependency was enforced, this was rather done by the powerful Earls of Orkney, who, being nearer at hand, might easier do it, and indeed, as will be seen from our Notes to the Chronicle, for some time at least held the islands, or part of them, as an arriere fief For these subsequent events, we refer the reader to our notes; here it was our intention only to show the foundation of the Norwegian power in these parts.
It may, however, convey a clear idea of the manner in which our unruly forefathers visited, dwelt in, and left these Islands during the unsettled times of the emigration, if we trace here in a few fragmentary lines the deeds and wanderings of the most prominent among those warriors who frequented them, as they are told in the Sagas, especially the Landnáma. These tales may also serve for a supplementary addition to our notes affixed, containing the beginning of the earlier history of the Norwegians in the Isles, while the latter contain the continuation.
We begin with the family of the above-mentioned Ketil Flatnef. That he had been in the Sudreys and enjoyed a great reputation long before the expedition of Harold, about A.D. 870, is clear, from the circumstance, that the fall of Thorstein, the Red, the son of his daughter Aude and king Olaf the White, must, according to the best calculations, have taken place about A.D. 874, who, as he then left several children, cannot have been born (and consequently the marriage between his father and mother contracted) later than about 852, when Olaf conquered Dublin 20 at this time, therefore, Ketil Flatnef must already have visited those parts, if, indeed, Olaf did not marry his daughter in Norway. But even if it were so, we may at least conclude from such a fact that a close connection existed for many years between Ketil and the powerful Norwegians in the west. Ketil was a son of the mighty baron Björn Buna, in the province of Sogn, in Norway, and had two brothers, named Hrapp and Helgi. He had two sons, Björn and Helgi Bjóla (a surname adopted, as it seems, in the west), and several daughters, of whom Aude, called the deep-wealthy,21 the wife of king Olaf, has been already mentioned.
Both of Ketil's sons settled finally in Iceland. Helgi went first, it seems directly from Norway, and occupied vast districts in the south-western part of the country. Björn sailed first to the Sudreys or Scotland, where his relations were already established, but finding that they had all embraced Christianity, he felt so annoyed, that he followed the example of his brother, and took up his abode on the large peninsula protruding from the western coast of Iceland. His sister Aude, after the decease of her husband, king Olaf,22 followed her son, Thorstein the Red, to Scotland, where, in company with Sigurd the first Earl of Orkney, he conquered Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, and Moray, and continued to rule for some time, until the Scotchmen rebelled, and killed him about A.D. 874 23 Aude 24 then went with his children and the whole band of his followers to Orkney, where she stayed, as it appears, for a longer time, until the greater part, at least, of her grand-children were grown up. It has been already mentioned that she married one of her daughters, Groa, to Duncan, Earl of Caithness.25 From Orkney she proceeded to the Feroe Islands, where likewise she married one of her grand-daughters, and from there to Iceland. Having suffered shipwreck near the abode of her brother Helgi, she repaired to him, but as he invited her only with the half of her company, she left him, disgusted with what she called his meanness, and went to her other brother, Björn, who met her with his retinue, and invited her with her whole troop. This invitation she accepted joyfully; afterwards she took lands in possession herself of an immense extent, and set up her abode at Hvamm, near the Breidfjord, where Olaf Feilan, the only son of Thorstein, succeeded her at her death, on the very day he was married. She was a Christian, but did not build any church, erecting only some crosses,26 at which she said her prayers, and before her death she expressed a wish to be buried on the part of the beach covered by the sea at flood time, not willing, she said, to rest in unhallowed soil. She, as well as her brothers, were ancestors of powerful and illustrious descendants 27
In the valley of Hvin, in the south-west of Norway, lived a baron, named Grim, to whom a highborn man from Götaland, Björn, applied for reception, as he had been outlawed from his country. Grim received him in his house, but tempted by the immense mass of silver which Björn had carried with him, he planned a scheme to murder him; this, however, did not succeed, and Björn took up his abode with another baron, named Andott, who lived in the same district, and whose daughter he married, when his first wife, left by him in Götaland, was dead. Hither, also, the son of his first marriage, named Eyvind, repaired, and got all his ships of war, he himself being tired of piratical life, which he had carried on for some time during his exile. Eyvind, surnamed Austmaðr, the Man from the East, made sail to the Western Islands, but entered, after the lapse of some time, into a treaty with the Irish king Cerbhal of Ossory, A.D. 858-888, by which he promised to defend his lands, on condition of becoming his son-in-law. Accordingly, he married his daughter Rafarta, and had by her a son, named Helgi, who was sent to be bred up with some people in the Sudreys. Two years afterwards, however, when his father and mother went to see him, they found him so lean and starved, that they could hardly recognise him, upon which they took him to themselves. From this circumstance Helgi got the nickname of magri, the meagre, lean.
Meanwhile Thrond, a son of Björn, Eyvind's father, by the sister of Andott, had grown up to be a warrior like his half- brother, and of course set out on piratical expeditions as soon as possible. He fought in the great battle of Hafrsfjord AD. 872, where king Harold crushed the power of the petty kings in south-western Norway, on the side of the latter, and was obliged, like so many others of the vanquished, to take to flight. He sailed to the Sudreys, accompanied by a renowned Viking, Anund, from Rogaland, near Stavanger, who had fought at his side, and lost a leg in the battle, but nevertheless, when his wound was healed, continuing a staunch warrior on his wooden leg, from which he got the nickname of tréfót, wood-foot. When he was fighting his hardest, it is related that his men used to shove a block of wood to him; resting his maimed leg upon this, he laid about him manfully.
Thrond and Anund became intimate friends, and passed some years in piratical expeditions, chiefly on the Scottish coasts. One summer they went to Ireland, and spent some months in company with the aforesaid Eyvind, who generously made over to his half-brother Thrond all his part of the inheritance which might become due to him at the decease of their father Björn. At the end of the summer Thrond and Anund returned to the Sudreys. Some years afterwards Thrond received news from Norway of his father's death, and that the inheritance had been taken possession of in his name by his uncle Andott, but that the traitor Grim, now lieutenant to the king, claimed it in the name of the latter. Thrond, therefore, although now an outlaw in Norway, lost no time in returning thither, accompanied by his faithful friend Anund, and sailed from the Sudreys in so little time, that afterwards he got the surname of mjoksiglandi the fast-sailing.
They were well received by Andott, who very willingly paid over the inheritance, glad, he said, to see it in the hands of his relation, and not in those of the royal servants, but advised them earnestly to go away as soon as possible in order to avoid the persecutions of Grim. Thrond listened to the advice, and hurried away, with the intention of going to Iceland, which he also carried out, settling on the east coast. Anund, however, remained, saying that he would see his friends and relations in Rogaland. Thither accordingly he went, and passed a part of the winter there, living secretly at different places, and killing the man appointed by the king to superintend the estate which had formerly belonged to himself. Hearing, however, that Grim had killed his kind host, Andott, because he had yielded up the inheritance to his nephew Thrond, he hastened back to Agder, sought and found the young sons of Andott, who had been obliged to abscond, and assisted them not only in killing Grim by setting fire to his house, but also in extorting from the royal Earl in those parts large treasures as wergyld 28 for their father. Afterwards Anund, in company with one of the brothers, went to Iceland, and both of them settled in the north of Iceland. The other brother, who had more difficulty in escaping from the persecution of the Earl's followers, came afterwards to Iceland, and took up his abode near his brother 29
Meanwhile, the son of Eyvind and his Irish princess, Helgi magri, had become a mighty chieftain, and married a daughter of Ketil Flatnef, sister to the aforesaid Queen Aude. This circumstance appears to prove, what is also the most likely in itself, that he had passed the most of his time in the west, and was resident, either in Ireland or in the Sudreys; but that he was also no stranger to Norway, we see from the circumstance, that he had a son settled, and therefore likely born, there. Like his other relations, Helgi migrated with sons and retinue to Iceland, about A.D. 880, where he chose his lands on the north side, in the inner part of the Eyjafjord, and became one of the most powerful Lords. The particulars about his arrival and taking possession of his territories are rather curious. He was, it is told, brought up in Christianity (which is also likely from his having an Irish mother), and believed in Christ, but was nevertheless much "mixed in his faith," using to invoke the aid of Thor, the pagan god, on expeditions at sea and wherever strength and hardihood were needed. When descrying the snow-clad peaks of Iceland far in the horizon, he applied to Thor for an oracular decision about what part of the coast he should land at, and the answer directed him to the Eyjafjord on the north side. Before detecting the opening leading to it, his son Rolf (that aforesaid son, previously settled in Norway) asked, whether it was the intention of Thor to assign the glacial ocean for their winter residence. Soon, however, they found the gap, and Helgi now occupied as his territory the whole district around the long and broad fjord, from the outermost promontories to the inner most recess, calling it Eyjafjord from its islands. He erected his own abode on a place which, being a Christian, he called Christnes, and that name continued, although his sons and descendants for three or four generations were pagans. Then he distributed lands to his followers, and afterwards to other newcomers, among whom were the aforesaid sons of Andott, the brothers-in-law of his father, who no doubt resorted to him on account of this relationship. 30
It is mentioned above that Ketil Flatnef had a brother called Hrapp. That he also had emigrated to the Sudreys, at least for some time, is to be concluded from the circumstance, that his son, Ørlyg, was educated as a Christian by " the holy bishop Patrick" in the Sudreys. When grown up, he resolved to go to Iceland and asked the advice and aid of the bishop. Patrick gave him timber to build a church, a plenarium,31 a bell, a gold coin, and some consecrated earth to put beneath the corner pillars, as no other dedication could be effected; he directed him to consecrate it to St. Columba, and to choose his abode only there, where he saw from without three mountains separated by fjords, and a valley in each of them; he should sail to the southernmost, and build the church, where on an open space he should find three erect stones. Ørlyg sailed, but in approaching Iceland a storm drove him to the north west; he called on the aid of his saint foster-father, promising to give his name to the place where he landed. He came safely to a fjord on the large peninsula, which stretches out to N. W., and called it Patricksfiord, which name it bears still. This place, however, did not answer to the aforesaid description; next year, therefore, he sailed southwards, and found the right spot in the territory of his cousin Helgi Bjola, the son of Ketil Flatnef mentioned above. Helgi gave him lands there, around the mountain in question, which was called Esjuberg, and here Ørlyg built his church and dwelling-house. The bell which had fallen overboard when he sailed in, was afterwards found on the shore covered with sea-weeds. His descendants became great and powerful Lords, and continued Christians although they were not baptised; they believed, it is said, in St. Columba.32
Among the daughters of Ketil Flatnef, one had a son, called Ketil after his grandfather; he was brought up as a Christian, and, migrating, like his relatives, from the Sudreys to Iceland, took his territory on the south-eastern side, at the foot of the immense glaciers of Skaftd and Sida. There was an old tradition, that Papes, i. e., Christian ecclesiastics from Ireland, had formerly resided here. It seems to be beyond doubt, that at several places on the south-eastern side the first Norwegian settlers found traces of these ecclesiastics, such as bells, croziers, Irish books, etc.; and that after them two of these places got their names, the island of Papey and the small district called Papyli. It is greatly confirmed by the indisputable authority of Dicuil,33 who says that some Irish clergymen told him that about A. D. 795 they had passed the time from February to August on an island which they believed to be Thule, where the sun at the summer solstice was but a short time below the horizon, and that it was only a day's sail from the frozen sea.
This description can hardly mean any country but Iceland, and coincides exactly with the unpretending and simple narrative of the Icelandic recorders. The Irish priests and monks, or the Papes, as they called them, had sufficiently learnt to know in Ireland and the Sudreys, as well as in Orkney and Shetland, where islands, called Papey, and districts called Papyli, bear sufficient witness of their existence. According to the oldest Icelandic writer, Ari Frôði,34 the Papes even continued to reside in Iceland till the arrival of the Norwegians, and left it only because they would not live together with pagans. Maybe some of these hermit settlements (for otherwise they cannot be considered) continued in remote or sheltered places down to that time, while generally, as that mentioned by Dicuil, they had been abandoned soon after they had been formed. It is very likely that Ketil really found such an establishment still existing. The tradition was, that pagans could not inhabit the district, but that Ketil, being Christian, found no difficulty, and fixed his residence on the place called kirkjubor (church-town). This name, however, seems to involve that he found already a church there, and maybe also the ecclesiastics, who hitherto might have found means to prevent the pagans from molesting them. According to another tradition, Ketil built a church himself. He got the nickname fiflski (the foolish) perhaps from the pagans, who regarded his Christian zeal as a kind of foolishness.35
The mother of Ketil Flatnef was sister to a great lord, named Vemund gamli (the old), who likewise lived in the province of Sogn in Norway. The son of Vemund, Vedorm, the cousin of Ketil, had a son, called Holmfast, and a nephew, called Grim, who made an expedition together to the Sudreys, probably with the intention to aid or revenge their relatives, and killed the above-mentioned Earl, Asbjörn, carrying away his wife and daughter as captives. This was, perhaps, the cause why his father Vedorm durst not stay any longer in Norway, but fled to the then almost uninhabited district of Jamtaland, east of Throndheim. The captive damsel, called Arneida, continued to live in his family as a slave. Once he was visited by a Norwegian from Verdal in Throndheim, called Ketil, who had already settled in Iceland, but now made a short trip back to his native country. He bought Arneida from. Vedorm, adding a third to the price which the latter demanded, thereby showing how strong a liking he had taken to her. Before leaving Norway with him, she was lucky enough to find a chest filled with silver coins, which had been hidden in the earth; she showed it to Ketil, who in his gratefulness offered her the choice, whether she would follow him as his wife, or be restored by him to her relations. She chose to marry him, and when he had returned to Iceland he honoured her by calling his dwelling place Arneiðarstaðir.36
One of the most powerful chieftains and naval warriors in Norway in the earlier times of King Harold was Geirmund Heljarskinn, descended from the renowned king Half in Hordaland, and enjoying himself the title of king. The Sudreys and Ireland were also the favourite haunt of his expeditions, and he was generally regarded as the principal of all the Vikings residing there. He was privy to the coalition of the petty kings which ended so unluckily for themselves in the battle of Hafrsfiord A.D. 872, but happening to be in the West when the battle was fought, he did not take part in it. The aforesaid Thrond Mjöksiglandi and his friend Anund Trefót exhorted him to return to Norway with them, and try to win back his family estates, which had been sequestered by Harold; but being prudent enough to understand that he could not cope with the latter, he resisted their exhortations, and preferred settling in Iceland, whither, accordingly, he set sail, in company with his third cousin Ulf, who was married to a sister of Helgi magri, and another powerful Viking, Steinulf, whose sister afterwards married the son of Ulf. They settled in the north-west part of the island, where Geirmund occupied vast territories, and, although dropping his royal title, lived in a style more than kingly. Relatives of him and of his partners afterwards settled in his neighbourhood, and he found himself soon the head of a very powerful clan, which continued so even for some generations 37 Another of the temporary Sudreyan settlers, Saemund from Sogn, was in the neighbourhood of Hafrsfjord, when the battle was fought. His ally and sworn brother Ingemund from Raumsdal, who was with him, resolved to fight on king Harold's side; Saemund, however, declined, and thereby exasperated the king so much, that he deemed it safest to settle in Iceland, where he chose his territory on the north side. He was afterwards followed by his friends.38
We have already pointed above to the fact, that in the Western Islands the original population was never entirely absorbed by the Norwegian settlers as in Orkney and perhaps in Shetland. This may, we own it, for a great part be ascribed to the circumstance that the new comers from Norway found a more dense population there than in the latter, if, indeed, Shetland had any inhabitants before the Norwegians; yet still, and chiefly, it must be accounted for by the aforesaid circumstance, that they were more used as a kind of stepping stone to other settlements, or as temporary strongholds, than as places for lasting settlements themselves, and that their Norwegian population, consequently, was generally of a more transient and fluctuating character. In saying this, however, we do not mean to deny that real and lasting Norwegian settlements were made in many parts of the Western Islands, and that the predominant influence was on the side of the Norwegians, but only to assert that the Gaelic population was by far the largest, and that the chief language spoken there was always the Gaelic, although, of course, the Norse must have come to be pretty well understood by most of the inhabitants.
The greater part of the islands have Gaelic names, but some of them, even of the larger, have Norwegian ones, and no Gaelic besides ; that is to say, their original form, still shining through the alteration of later days, is Norwegian. 39 To begin from the North, Lewis is only an alteration of the Norwegian Ljóðhás (the sounding house), wherefore also the island is called Leodus in our chronicle. Northuist, Harris, and Southuist, were called Ivist, which means simply dwelling, habitation, intimating, perhaps, that this was the chief abode of the Norwegians in that quarter of the group. The names Fladda, Sanda, Watersa, Eriska, are no doubt originally Flatey (flat isle), Sandey, Vainsey, Eireksey; Paasa and Rona were called Rauneyjar, the latter consequently Rauney (from raun, experiment) ; Skye was called Skið (piece of board), Ulva, near Mull, seems to have been Ulfey (wolf's isle), Gometra, Gudmundarey (Gudmund's Island), Staffa, Stafey (the island of staves, because of the basaltic pillars), Jura, Diura, perhaps Dýrey (island of deer).
Now it must be owned that our ancestors, like most people in former times, often changed names, belonging to other languages, into forms as similar as possible in their own language, giving a kind of plausible signification (as, indeed, when the Greeks made Hierosolyma of Jerusalem), and that there fore, Ljóðhus, Ivist, Skið etc., may only be substitutes for Gaelic names of a similar sound, but quite different signification; yet this does not alter the fact that the islands mentioned had got Norwegian names, and therefore were probably inhabited by Norwegians; nor is it to be denied that at least the final syllable a or ay, in so many of the names, even in those, the chief part of which are of Gaelic origin, is the Norwegian ey (island), as, besides the aforesaid ones, which are thoroughly Norwegian, Pabba (Papey). Oronsa (Oransey), Colonsa (Kolnsey), etc.; even the name calve (kálfr), calf, always affixed to the name of a larger adjacent island, of which that in question is said to be a calf, is found here in Mýlarkálfr - the Calf of Mull, near Tobermory. Also some Norwegian names of single places are yet existing, and there might on more accurate examination be found to be more than expected, as Cornbust, Kirkbust, in Benbecula, originally Korn bolstaðr or Kornbustaðr, Kirkjubustaðr (corn abode, church abode), of which names a great quantity exists in Norway, generally abridged in quite the same manner.
In Man, likewise, although the language is a dialect of the Gaelic, and the greater part of the population therefore always must have been of Celtic origin, many of the local names are Norwegian, as Snaefell (snow-mountain), the name of the highest peak, Dalby (Dalabaer), Fleshwich (Fleskvik), Wardfell (Varðfell), Perwick (Petrsvik), Strandhall (Strandarholl), Ronaldsway (Ragnvaldsvað), Langnes (Langanes), Laxi (Laxa), Egness (Eggjanes), Kennay (Kinna), Sulby (Sulabaer), Maelar, Ayre (Eyri), Jurby (Jorabyr, Dyrabyr ?), Mirescog (Myraskogr), Ramsay (Hrafnsa), etc. - several places having even double names, or rather having had them in former times, as when, from the record of boundaries, written in the same codex with the Chronicle, we learn that Kirk-Michael was also called villa Thorkel i.e. Þorkelsbaer. 40 The best evidence, however, of the Norwegian population having been tolerably strong at Man, are the numerous runic inscriptions in the Norse language still preserved, but even these show by their numerous grammatical errors, that the language spoken here had lost much of its purity, no doubt owing to the strong mixture of the Norwegians with Celtic elements; and, indeed, of the names occurring in the inscriptions themselves perhaps the one half are Gaelic.41
These circumstances here explained account amply for the less tenacity of the Norwegian language, manners, and institutions in the Isle of Man and the western Islands, than in those north of Scotland, which were entirely Norwegianised, and it is rather to be wondered at, that the connection with and dependence on Norway could be kept up so long, as till A.D. 1266, and in ecclesiastical respects for more than a century longer. It was owing, as it appears to us, partly to the naval strength of Norway in the Middle Ages; partly, and perhaps chiefly, to the spirit of independence, prevailing among the Insular chieftains themselves, which made them prefer an allegiance which, owing to the distance, could scarcely be more than nominal, to the Norwegian kings, rather than to the dominion of the Scottish king, who being always at hand, could exercise it with greater force. It is very likely that in this respect the expedition of King Hácon, had it even been crowned with complete success, would have soon had quite different effects from what might be expected, as the chieftains, seeing that now also the Norwegian king had the mind and power to make their dependency a real, not a nominal one, they would lose their interest in keeping it up against their national sympathies, and therefore sooner or later would have thrown it off.42
Much has been said against king Magnus because he concluded the treaty of Perth, and ceded the Islands to Scotland. To us, however, it appears, on the contrary, a sign of great political prudence in the young king, to perceive, as he evidently did, the impossibility of maintaining a dominion of this precarious character, and to prefer ceding it on honourable conditions while his power was still strong enough to obtain such, rather than to struggle on at the risk of losing it unconditionally. It must nevertheless be owned that the connection, however loose it may have been, and the anomaly of it ever so evident to all and everybody, yet the comparatively short period during which the connection existed, cannot but be to us Norwegians one of peculiar interest and gratification to dwell on, as bearing ample evidence of the conspicuous position among the European powers enjoyed by Norway in its days of past glory.
And very remarkable is the fact, that although so early severed from Norway, and with a population more Gaelic than Norwegian, the Isle of Man has preserved until our days the outward form, at least, of the legislature peculiar to Norway in former times, and organised by the Norwegians wherever they formed settlements. Even the name of the place where the annual meeting is held, the Tynwald, is the old Norwegian denomination of Þingvollr (field of the Thing or Parliament), only slightly modified. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at, that a Norwegian historiographer should look upon the ancient records contained in this small volume as of the greatest interest, and by re-publishing it in a handy form try to make it more accessible, than it has hitherto been, as well as by accompanying it with notes make it more intelligible and useful to his countrymen.
Of our Chronicle only one manuscript codex now exists, nor is it likely that there have at any time been other copies, at least none complete. The codex, given, as we are informed by a notice written inside by Roger Dodsworth, Eboracensis, antiquitatum apprime studiosus, to the library of Sir Robert Cotton A.D. 1620, has since that time belonged to this collection, even after the transferring of the whole library to the British Museum. The codex is signed Julius, A. VII., and in Wanley's Catalogue of the Cottonian Library it is Codex membranaceus in quarto, constans e foliis 132. The size, how ever, might rather be called duodecimo than quarto. Nor is the volume entirely filled up with the Chronicle, on the contrary, this forms only a small part of the whole, for the contents of which (being 18 distinct pieces, most of them having originally nothing to do with each other, and only accidentally bound together,) we refer our readers to the Catalogue itself. Among these pieces our Chronicle is number 3 ;43 and the following, number 4, Limites seu divisiones terrarum monachorum de Russyn insulae Manniae a terris regis, belongs to the same original volume, having been the last part of it, before it was bound together with the other things.
The 44 handwriting in the main part of the Chronicle bears the character common to the latter half of the thirteenth century, and as it finishes with the year 1257, where it is relieved by another, we may safely conclude that the volume has been commenced some time previous to that period, and that the words with which the legend, related p. 102 and 104, concludes - .-Haec sicut ab ore ejus didicimus, scripsimus, are the words of the author himself, not copied by him from another record, and consequently, that the author heard the tale from the very man, who was so wonderfully rescued from the persecution of Harold the son of Godred, about A.D. 1249 or 1250. With the entry for A.D. 1275, a third, more recent, handwriting, with cursive characters like those usual about A.D. 1300, begins; and finally, a fourth, with the entry for A.D. 1313. This shows that the Chronicle has been successively continued from A.D. 1257 by contemporary writers, yet, as will easily be perceived, very languidly, without any pretensions to completeness, only some stray events being entered. The list of the bishops of Man, which follows the Chronicle as a kind of Appendix, is begun by the same hand as that which has written the main part of the former, and carried down to about the same period, finishing with bishop Simon, who died AD. 1247, but mentioning the sexennial vacancy of the see, which shows that the writer has laid down his pen during the episcopate of Richard (from A.D. 1253), yet before his death (1274), as the entry about this bishop is written by another hand. This entry, as that about his successor Marcus, are in one handwriting, consequently posterior to the death of Marcus, about 1300, but anterior to the death of his successor Alan, A.D. 1320, where a new hand commences, which lasts till A.D. 1348, when again another handwriting of a more recent character, begins, and lasts to the end, A.D. 1376. The last words have been obliterated. As to the author or compiler himself, it may be safely stated that he was a monk of Russin Abbey. Not only chronicles like these are generally the works of monks, or rather the annals of one or another monastery, successively continued by their inmates; but several entries in our Chronicle are obviously such as to evince a peculiar interest in all and everything concerning the afore said abbey. Thus, A.D. 1112, the foundation of the abbey of Savigny, the mother of Furness, is recorded; AD. 1126, the foundation of Furness Abbey, the mother of Russin; A.D. 1134, the foundation of Russin itself; A.D. 1176, the foundation of the short-lived monastery of Myraskogr and its translation to Russin; A.D. 1189, the death of Rodulf, abbot of Furness; A.D. 1192, the migration of the abbey to, and re-migration from, Douglas; A.D. 1229,1237, 1240, 1249 and 1265, the burial of illustrious persons at Russin; A.D. 1257, the dedication of the church at Russin; AD. 1316 the spoliation of Russin Abbey; and, above all, the statement about the miraculous event already mentioned, that the man who had fled from the persecutions of Harold A.D. 1249 or 1250, came to Russin, and that the writer had taken the narrative down from his own mouth. Moreover, the records about the boundaries of the land belonging to the monastery show that the book was in its possession at least at the time when this Appendix was written.
As to the manner in which it was originally got up, it is easy to see, from a comparison with the Melrose 45 Chronicle, that this has furnished, what we might style the framework to it, being the source, from which, although not immediately, the principal author compiled the statements of general interest, among which he inserted those stray original records which he had in store about the events in the Isle of Man, the only way in which he was able to give to his work the character of annals, which had otherwise been impossible. The objection might be made, that, as many of the first entries are evidently in the words of Simeon of Durham, the author may have had immediate recourse to a copy of this author; it is, however, to be observed, that also in the Melrose Chronicle Simeon is verbally transcribed in many places, as far as his annals go; that no passage in our Chronicle originally due to Simeon is wanting in the Melrose annals, which shows that at least the author did not need any copy of Simeon to get any of his entries, and finally, that the borrowings from the Melrose Chronicle continue even after the period when the annals of Simeon cease. The most characteristic of these we have pointed out in the notes, and among them we will here only mention some containing the most convincing proofs of our statements, viz. - the entries about the foundation of Melrose Abbey and those connected with it, that of Rievaux, its mother, and that of Holm Cultran, its daughter (pp. 60 and 62). Again, however, that the Melrose Chronicle cannot have been the immediate source of the present work, is evident from the great number of chronological errors occurring in the latter, and being as many divergencies from the most accurate statements in the former. Even the very entry about the foundation of Melrose Abbey is wrongly referred to A.D. 1139, instead of 1136. We are therefore entitled to conclude that our writer, in laying the plan or framework of his chronicle, has used a transcript only, derived through many intermediate copies from the original book of annals at Melrose. That this book was indeed sometimes lent out to other monasteries, no doubt for the purpose of being copied, or rather used as means to form the base upon which the peculiar annals of these monasteries were again to be constructed, appears from the two memoranda inserted in it, and reproduced in the preface to the Bannatyne edition (p. vi), stating that the abbot of Dundrenan borrowed it twice. The new manuscript drawn up at Dundrenan, or any other abbey, might likewise be lent out in its turn to other monasteries, and in this way a series of transcripts, or transcripts of transcripts might be traced, gradually deviating from the mother Codex, until at last errors like those occurring in our Chronicle were engendered. As, in our Chronicle, the foundation of the abbey of Caldra is mentioned, although not spoken of in the Melrose Chronicle, it is not improbable that the copy drawn up in that abbey has been the nearer original of the former. On the other hand, when comparing our Chronicle with that of Lanercost, written at a much later period, we find so many instances of identity (all of them pointed out in our notes) that there can be no doubt about a connection between both, while, again, the frequent divergencies and glaring errors of the latter puts it entirely out of question that the Lanercost compiler can possibly have had immediate recourse to the Chronicon regum Manniae. Indeed, if the annals of all those abbeys which existed on the Scoto-English borders, or in the western part of the Metropolitan Province of York, were still preserved, it might be found on closer examination that they were all of them more or less immediately derived from the Chronicle of Melrose.
An abridged edition of our Chronicle had been already published by Camden, in his Britannia (London, 1587, 8vo), and only in this abridged form was it known by the public for a very long time. That Camden omitted the first part previous to A.D. 1047 (or rather 1066), which contains only repetitions from Simeon of Durham, was no great harm, but it is difficult to guess what might have induced him to omit other passages of great importance, as that concerning the contested election of Bishop Lawrence in 1248. The publication by Camden was afterwards reproduced in several other works, - namely, as an addition to the description of Man, in the Geographia Blaauwiana, and perhaps other works of a similar kind, lastly by the learned Langebek in his Scriptores rerum Danicarum mcdii oevi, vol. iii., accompanied by a vast number of excellent notes. Still, however, a complete edition was wanting, until one appeared in the Antiquitates Celto Normannicae, published at Copenhagen A.D. 1786, by the Rev. James Johnstone. This edition, however, is far from being good or accurate, even in the most moderate meaning of the word. It is evident that the person who copied the manuscript for the press was not at all fit for the task, the errors committed by him being so numerous and even ridiculous.46 All these errors I corrected, carefully comparing the edition with the original MS., during a short stay in London in the month of January 1850; as, however, I did not think then of giving a new edition myself, and as my time was limited, I did not care for the less substantial things, as, e.g., the orthographical peculiarities of the MS., especially as these were not at all different from the general character of manuscripts of that period. Nor did I minutely note down all bibliographical particulars, completely convinced by what I saw at the first glance, that the bulk of the MS. belonged to the beginning of the last half of the 13th century, or the time about 1260.
Afterwards, however, seeing that no new edition was likely to appear for some time to come, and convinced that I could furnish one from my corrected copy of Johnstone which might satisfy all claims of accuracy and usefulness for all merely historical, not exactly bibliographical, purposes, I resolved to avail myself to this end of the opportunity afforded by the liberal and most praiseworthy habit adopted by our University, to publish editions of ancient national authors, or other valuable literary works among the Scripta Academica. I deemed it necessary, however, to accompany the text with historical notes, thereby trying to correct its errors and supply its deficiencies as far as regards the period of time which it comprizes. As for the subsequent times, and even for contemporary matters not closely connected with the history of Man and the Isles proper, I have relinquished the task to more competent authors. Nor do I, on the whole, pretend to any completeness, except in the explanations furnished from our own Sagas or national records; what I may have supplied from Scotch, English, or Irish authors, are merely stray bits, occasionally gathered during the preparation of my chief work on the Norwegian history, and may no doubt receive large additions, if not even corrections, by British historians. As two of these, I venture especially to name Mr. Cumming, whose description of Man I deplore having been unable to get, and Mr. J. F. Skene, whose excellent work, The Highlanders in Scotland, has afforded to me much information, without which I should often have been at a loss how to get on, and to which I refer those of my readers who might like to penetrate farther into the history of the Somerledian descendants, for information.
I rejoice, however, in being able, by the kindness of the learned and distinguished Keeper of the Vatican Archives at Rome, the Rev. Father Theiner, to supply from this peerless collection several interesting and important records concerning Man and the Isles, hitherto entirely unknown, and here for the first time published. These, as well as others, extracted from Rymeri Foedera, and from Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, I give as pieces justificatives in an Appendix, the order being of course strictly chronological. In these documents I have preserved the exact orthography such as it exists in the respective copies from which they are transcribed.47 In the Chronicle itself, however, from the reason stated above, the usual orthography of Latin books is adopted, only the nouns proper are scrupulously copied from the codex, letter by letter; the evident errors being marked by (?), or sometimes corrected, but the erroneous reading in this case always noticed in the notes. I regret only, that when comparing the edition of Johnstone with the original manuscript, I had not the time likewise to compare the records about the boundaries of the Russin lands, which Johnstone has published along with the Chronicle, and which might have furnished an interesting addition to the Appendix 48 They are, however, of more interest to the topographer and the linguist than to the historian, and the want of them may therefore be less felt in an edition like this. Here I perform only the task of the historian, not of the antiquarian bibliographer.
Before taking leave of the reader, it is necessary to say some words about the different ways of spelling and pronouncing the names, especially of places, occurring in the Chronicle, or elsewhere in our notes, or in narratives and records concerning Man and the Isles. They may be divided into two chief classes, those of Gaelic and those of not Gaelic origin, the most numerous among the latter being of course the Norwegian ones. As to the first class, the modern conventional way of spelling them, I suppose after the modern pronunciation, is very different from their spelling in Gaelic, and what must even have been their pronunciation in the mediaeval times, to judge from the way in which they are spelled in the Sagas, and which comes much nearer to the written Gaelic forms; Duncan, written in Gaelic Donnchadh, is written in the Sagas Dungaðr (r being only the masculine suffix); Dugald, in Gaelic Dubhgall, is written in the the Sagas Dufgall; Donald, in Gaelic Domhnall, in the Sagas Dofnaldr; Rory, in Gaelic Ruaidhri, in the Sagas Ruðri; Kenneth, in Gaelic Cionadh, in the Sagas Kynaðr, etc. In our Chronicle, as in most of the Latin records from those times, a middle course is followed between the original Gaelic spelling and the Anglo-Scottish pronunciation; as Duncanus (modern), Dufgaldus (more like the Gaelic), Dompnaldus; Muircertach (in the Sagas Myriartak, Muriartak, or Myrkjartan), in modern spelling Murcard, is written partly Murecardus, Murcardus, partly Murkartac; Angus is written Engus, as in the Sagas. As to the Norwegian names of men, Haraldus, Olavus, Haco are the forms commonly used in Latin records for Haraldr, Olafr, Hakon; Godredus and Reginaldus, sometimes Raignaldus and Reginandus, are the English forms for Gudroðr and Rognvaldr or Ragnvaldr; Sytric, as in the Irish coins, for Sigtryggr. Of Gaelic names of places only very few are found in the Chronicle, and generally more like the forms given to them in the Sagas, than the modern ones, as Galwedia, Galloway, Norw. Gaddgeðlar; Etholica, Atholl, N. Atjoklar; Both, Bute, N. Bot; Yle, Isla, N. Il. As to the Norwegian names of places, they are generally not much altered, as Lodhus, Lodws, Leodus, Lewis, N. Ljoðihus; Ramsa, Ramso, Ramsay in Man, N. Hrafnsa; Santwat, N. Sandvað Sandy-ford ; Mirescog or Mirescohe, N. Myriskogr; Ragnaldswath, Rognalwat, Ranaldwath, N. Rognvaldsvað Reginald's ford; Warchfell (more correct Warthfell), N. Varðfell (the mountain of the beacon).
The Isle of Man is called, as commonly in Latin records, Mannia; the Norwegian form Mön (which is also expressed in the Runic Maun), has only suffered the modification of the vowel indispensable in the nominative singular of feminine words, the original vowel of which is a, which always returns in the genitive, as önd (soul), gen. andar; so also Mön, gen. Manar. The other Islands, comprised under one denomination, are called in the Chronicle Soderenses or Sodorenses. This is a Latinisation of the Norwegian name Suðreyjar, composed of suðr (i.e. south) and eyjar (i.e. islands), and meaning, therefore, properly Southern Islands, in opposition to the Northern Islands of Orkney, Shetland, and Faerey. In Latin, therefore, Insulae Australes had been a more adequate and reasonable translation, Soderenses being almost nonsense, and having no doubt originated from people who did not under stand the meaning of suðr (south), but believed it to be the name of a place, from which they could form a local adjective in the common way by adding the termination -ensis.
To such a belief, at least afterwards, the word Sodorensis has given birth in England, as the Bishop of Man is always styled Bishop of Sodor and Man, the first name being no doubt thought by most people to design a place, while few, or none, dream of its meaning only South, and that the bishop is consequently styled Bishop of the South and Man. As the Islands, the Insulae Sodorenses, from which the name is derived, do not now any more belong to the diocese of Man, the bishop ought indeed entirely to drop this ridiculous addition, or at least change it into a more reasonable form.49 To us the form Sudreys (from Suðreyjar), in analogy with Orkneys from Orkneyjar, seems to be most eligible and suitable to the English tongue; we have therefore ventured to adopt it in our notes, avoiding carefully the very common, but erroneous name of Hebrides, in which the syllable bri is only a misreading of bu in the name Hebudæ, Hæbudæ, Æbudæ, used by the ancient Latin writers.
I owe an explanation to my readers why I have chosen to use the English language, which may seem strange in a work published in Norway, by a Norwegian, and among the Scripta Academica of the Norwegian university. As, however, the liberal statutes of the latter allow the use of any European language generally known, and the subject of the work is the history of provinces now and for many centuries forming a part of the British empire, I thought that the contents might not be without interest to English readers, and being sure that all those of my countrymen who take an interest in these matters are sufficiently familiar with the English language, while, vice versa, our language is very little understood in England, I preferred to use the medium convenient to the greater number of readers. Moreover, the Norwegian history, although affording so much light on that of England, Scotland, and Ireland, in the Middle Ages, is so little known in those countries, and the ideas especially about the relation of the Sudreys, Orkneys, and Shetland, to the mother country of Norway so extremely confused,50 even among English and Scotch scholars, that I thought it might be worth while to use these means, if possible, of correcting some of their views, and perhaps, awakening their interest for further and deeper researches in the same rich and noble field. I am not quite without fear, nay, I am perfectly certain, that although a friend, whose modesty I will not hurt by naming him here, has shown me the kindness of going through my pages and modifying Norwegianisms, my English will yet be found rather foreign by the greater part of my British readers; this consideration, however, ought not, as I thought, to deter me from an attempt which, if successful in other respects, might produce some good results to the study of British as well as of Northern history.
I fear, likewise, that the long distance of my present residence from my own country, which makes it quite out of the question that I should be able to correct the proofs myself, and give the finishing touch to each sheet, may be found to have occasioned some inconveniences, and given rise to some faults or asperities which might otherwise have been avoided. If, nevertheless, they might prove to be less numerous than expected, this is entirely due to the kind of care my friends at home (especially I feel it my duty here to mention the British Consul-general, J. H Crowe, C. B.), who have taken upon themselves the tedious task not only of revising the proof-sheets, but also of filling up the blanks, which from want of the necessary books here in Rome, I have been compelled to make in a great number of quotations, writing only from memory, and especially not remembering the respective numbers of pages. To them, and to all, who have kindly contributed to make the inconvenience of my absence from the place where this book is printed, less felt, I offer my warmest thanks.
P. A. MUNCH
ROME, Oct. 4, 1859.
1 [This book contains an account of the settlement of the Norwegians in Iceland. It was commenced by Aré Thorgilson, surnamed Frode or the Wise, who was born A.D. 1068 and died A.D. 1148. A Latin translation of the original Icelandic was published at Oxford in 1716.]
2 [By udal or odall possessions are meant untaxed freeholds to which the possessor succeeded by hereditary right, or by right of blood.]
3 We distinguish between two chief periods of emigration to Iceland, the first immediately after the conquest of the whole of Norway by Harold Hárfagri, the second in his later days, or in the second or third generation afterwards, when the soil of Iceland had already for the most part been divided between the first settlers, and the more recent comers were obliged to buy their lands. [The naval battle of Hafursiford, fought A.D. 885, was a struggle between monarchy and aristocracy, between the sovereign power and a multitude of independent States. victory, after a hard contest, declared for Harold, and the jarls and native chiefs, who refused to submit, were driven into exile some preferring liberty voluntarily exiled themselves. From this year may be dated the colonisation by Norwegian settlers of the Orkneys, the Hebrides, the Shetlands, the Feroes, and Iceland; the depredations on the coasts of Great Britain, and Ireland, and Spain; the invasion of Russia and Normandy by successful hordes of pirates, who considered a piratical life their proudest calling. - Dunham's Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, vol. i. 173-5. See also Robertson, Scotland under her Early Kings, vol i. pp. 42 and 45.]
4 As Malcolm (Maelkólfr), Duthac (Dufpakr), etc.
5 Among those are named Calman, and his brother Cuilen (Kylen) from the Isles, who settled near Hvita, in the south-western part of the country, where the estate occupied by the former still bears his name - Kalmanstunga. Other names among the settlers, or their first descendants, sufficiently showing the Gaelic origin of the bearers, are Conual (Konall), Nial (Njáil), Becan, Melpatrick, etc.
6 [The Rev. Isaac Taylor (Words and Pieces) says, "that the map of the Island contains about four hundred names, of which about twenty per cent are English ; twenty-one per cent are Norwegian; and fifty-nine per cent are Celtic of the most Erse type."]
7 [AD. 787 the Saxon Chronicle mentions the first appearance of the Danes or Norwegians on the coast of England. In 795 Irish and Welsh annals mention their appearance in the Irish seas. In 798 they invade the Isle of Man. In 807 they appear on the mainland in Ireland, plundering Innis Murray, County Sligo, and Innis-Bofin, County Mayo. The atrocities which they committed in their inroads are beyond description, but the monasteries and churches were the especial objects of their pagan fury. They left nothing that they did not ravish, nor a cave underground that they did not explore. The cruelties they inflicted when opposed may be learned from their treatment of Ælla, who had the misfortune to fall into their hands alive. His ribs were divided from the spine ; his lungs were drawn through the opening, and salt was thrown into the wounds. At Medes [ ] tede the women and children who had sought refuge in the abbey were massacred ; and Ubbo, their chief, with his own hand, slaughtered the abbot and eighty-four monks. The nuns of the convent in the Isle of Ely, who were descended from the noblest of the Saxon families, were sacrificed to their lust and cruelty, and the sacred edifice, with every other building within the range of this devastation, was devoured by the flames. In Ireland they committed similar atrocities, sparing neither the sanctuaries of God nor the abodes of man. A native writer complains that they ravaged her chieftainries, demolished her churches, rent her shrines, and drowned her books, and made sword-land and spoil-land of her provinces. Her people, old and young, men and women, clergy and laity, were alike exposed to indignity, outrage, and oppression. Nay, if there were but one milk-cow in the house, it could not be milked "for an infant of one night, nor for a sick person," but must he kept for the foreigner billeted upon them, who did not hesitate to kill the cow ''for the meal of one night," if his wants could not otherwise be supplied.
Various causes have been assigned for the emigration of the
Northmen. The law of succession, which gave all to the eldest son,
drove the younger sons to seek a livelihood and fortune by piracy,
for which their country, with its rivers, firths, and bays, was
highly favourable. Besides, it was easier and more pleasant to live
by plunder than by work, and the unproductiveness of their own soil
led them to seek a home in the sunnier regions of the south, where
nature was more lavish of her gifts. Until the reign of Harold
Harfager, the excursions of the Northmen had been generally confined
to the passing attacks of adventurers, who, having swept the country
of everything they could lay hands upon, returned home with their
booty at the close of their summer's cruise. But when that King had
changed the proprietary nobles into tributary tenantry by depriving
the Bonders of their odal right, and compelling them to pay land-tax
to the King, the malcontents thronged in multitudes as permanent
settlers, accompanied by their wives and children.
- Robertson, vol. ii. p. 300. Illustrated Hist. Ireland, 149-157. Ling. Hist. Eng., vol. i. pp. 183-187. Todd's Wars of the Gaedhil with the Gaill, pp. 41-43. Dunham's Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, vol. i. pp. 276-320.]
8 For more minute and accurate information about this matter I refer to Mr. Worsaae's Danes and Norwegians in England.
9 Natland, Morland, Birkthwaite, Micklethwaite, Seathwaite, Applethwaite, Rugthwaite, Blea Fell, Dun Fell, Rest Fell, all in the lake district of Cumberland, which are identical with the Norwegian Natland, Morland, Birkethveit, Myklethveit, Siothveit, Eplethveit, Rugthveit, Bleefjeld, Dunfjeld, Hestfjeld.
10 As-amell (amilli), Arrel (erfl-öl), bain (beinn, i.e. straight), battem (batna - to improve, thrive), beel (belja), boun (buinn), fleer (flira, i.e. sneer, laugh), force (fors, i.e. waterfall), gowk (gaukr), gowl (gaula), gowpen (gaupn, i.e. handfull), etc.
11 [Olave Cuaran, or Olave of the Sandal, called also Olave the Red, and Olave Sitrieson, was King of Dublin and Northumbria. he ruled the Irish Norsemen of Dublin for nearly 30 years. In A.D. 941 he was chosen King of Northumbria, and obtained the sovereignty of all the provinces on the north of the Watling Street. In 943 he was baptised, King Edmund acting as godfather; but whatever his faith, his acts were pagan, especially in Ireland, to which he retired. After a vain attempt to reinstate himself in Northumbria, he finally settled in Dublin; but his power was broken at the battle of Tara against Malachy II., and his expulsion from Dublin ended, in the language of the native chronicler, "the Babylonian captivity of Ireland, inferior only to the captivity of hell." Broken in spirit, the aged warrior sought rest in the seclusion of Iona, where, after penance and good conduct, he died A.D. 981. Sitric Silkiskegg, or Silk-beard, his son, succeeded him at Dublin, and practised the lesson of war, bloodshed, and pillage, taught him by his father. He went to Rome in 1028, and returned the same year. He died in 1042, probably in religious retirement. See Robertson, vol. i. pp. 60-74. Todd's Wars of the Gaedhil with the Gaul, appendix D., pp. 280-290.]
12 [The poem is given in Anglo-Saxon and Latin by Johnson, Antiq. Celto-Seandicec, fol. 54; we give in the Appendix 54 the translation from Chron. Sax, edited by B. Thorpe, vol. ii.]
13 Landniisna II. 11. The daughter of Beolan and Kathleen, it is said, was ravished in Scotland by the Icehander Helgi, who married her, and had by her a son, whose daughter Gudrun was born about 980; Kathleen, then, was born about 880.
14 This grand-daughter, married to Duncan Earl of Caithiness, was named Gróa, which name has been rendered Gruach in Gaelic records. It is very probable that from this Gruach, and her husband Duncan, the far-famed Gruach, Macbeth's Queen, was descended, and had got her name. [The wife of Macbeth was the daughter of Boedhe, the son of Kenneth III., who is thought to have come to his death by violence at the hands of Malcolm II., that no rival might exist to his grandson Duncan I. Macbeth through his wife, the Lady Gruach, held a claim to the throne as heir to Kenneth III., and this claim he made good by the assassination of Duncan "in the smith's bothy," near Elgin, and succeeded to the throne of Scotland in 1040. - Robertson, vol. i. pp. 110 and 121.]
15 Dicuilus de meusura orbis terrae, ed. by Letronne, pp. 38, 39. [Dicuil, a pupil of Suibne, was an Irish monk who, in 825, wrote a treatise on the measuresnent of the earth, based on a manuscript containing the measurement of the Roman Empire under Theodosius, with extracts from Sohinus, Orosius, and Isidore, and the verbal recitals of travelled monks whom he had discoursed with. His work was published at Paris in 1807 by Walckenaer, and again in 1814 in a much superior way by M. Letronne. The word Culdee, writes the Right. Rev. Dr. Moran, the learned author of "The Early Relations of Ireland with the Isle of Man," and various works on Irish ecclesiastical history and antiquities, is an equivalent for the Irish word Cèlè a friend or a servant, and De, genitive of Dia, God. It represents the Latin expression servus Dei (servant of God) which was in general use for a person who followed the monastic life. In the early Irish it was used to designate members of the secular as well of the regular clergy. For a full acconnt, see Dr. Reeves "On the Culdees," in The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxiv. 1864.]
16 A.D. 793, it is related in the Ulster annals that the pagans ravaged all the islands of Britain; in 794 (or, according to other Chronicles, in 795) they devastated Rachrin; in A.D. 801 (or, according to others 797, 806) they burned the sacred buildings at Iona.
17 Landnama II.
18. Laxdla Saga.
19 [Olave the White and Ketil the Fair had formerly been rivals. Ketil had established himself in independence amongst thee islands along the western coasts of Scotland belonging to the mixed Scandinavian and Gaelic race. He appears to have succeeded Godfrey MacFergus, who died A.D. 853, without, however, transmitting his power to his descendants ; for his sons settled in Iceland after the expedition of Harfager, when the Isles fell into the hands of Scottish and Irish Vikings. - Robertson, vol. i. pp. 44-56.]
20 [Olaf, says the Saga, was a Viking, who harried on the western lands, and conquered Dublin and Dublinshire, in Ireland, when he became king.]
21 [I have seen the epithet in the Thorfinn Karlsefne Saga, translated Aude, the thoughtful deep-minded.]
22 [Olaf fell in battle in Ireland.]
23 [After a successful career, Thorstein perished by treachery, being betrayed by the Scots, and slain in battle A.D. 875. Jarl Sigurd, his ally, came to his death in a singular way. He had slain, in single combat, Malhvide "with the buck-tooth," and, cutting off his head, hung it in triumph from the saddle-bow, in which position the projecting tooth inflicted so severe an injury on his leg, that he died in consequence, and was buried on the banks of the Oikell, which marks the limits of Sutherland. - Robertson, vol. i. pp. 44-47.]
24 [Aude, his mother, was in Caithness when she heard of her son's death, and she fled to the Orkneys in a ship she had caused secretly to be built in the woods. - Saga cited above.l
25 [A daughter by this marriage, Grelanga, married Thorfin, the skull-cleaver, and son of Einar, Jarl of the Orkneys, and grandson of Rognwald, the companion-in-arms of Harfager. - Robertson, vol. i. p. 82]
26 [The Thorfinn Karlsefne Saga says, "Aude arrived in Iceland, and abode the first winter with her brother Bjorn. And she had a place for prayer on the Cross Hill, whereon she caused to be upraised a cross, for she had been baptized, and was strong in the faith."]
27 Landnama II. 11, 15-19; Eyrbyggia, ch. 1.3; Laxd. Saga, ch. 1-7.
28 [See the tables of Wergilds or compensations in money for blood, instead of the exaction of blood for blood, or eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, in Robertson's Scotland under her Early Kings, vol. ii. Appendix E, p. 275.]
29 Landnama, III. 13, 15. Grettis Saga.
30 Landnama, III. 12, sq.
31 [Plenarium has various meanings, as applied to books used in the church; but most commonly it designated a copy of the Four Gospels, which it was usual to place in the middle of the Episcopal assemblies. Books of the Gospels and books of the Epistles were in use at Church services ; but the Plenarium was a complete or perfect book of the Four Gospels, containing the Life of Our Blessed Lord: and this is no doubt the sense in which it is used in the text. ]
32 Landnama, I. 12. [St. Columba, surnamed Columbkille, from the great number of monastic cells which he founded. He was of noble extraction from Neil, and was born at Gartan in the County of Tyrconnel in A. D 521. In A.D. 565 he went over into Scotland and converted great numbers of the natives from idolatry to Christianity. He died in AD. 597 in the seventy seventh year of his age.]
33 Dicuilus, I. c. p. 38.
34 Islendingabok, ch. I.
35 Landnama, IV. 11.
36 Landnama, IV. 2. 12.
37 Landnama, II. 19, sq.
38 Landnama, III. 6. Vatnsdoela S.
39 It will easily be understood that not all of the Islands are mentioned in our Sagas, and as there exists no separate list of them, the number of those names known in their Norwegian form, is rather small. Here they are Ljóðhás (Lewis), Ivist (Uist), Skið (Skye), Rauneyjar (Rona and Raasa), Mýl (Mull), Mýlarkálfr (Calf of Mull), Eyin helga (the holy Island, i.e., Iona), Tyrvist (Tyree), Koln (Colonsay), Kjarbarey (Kerrera), Il (Isla), Guðey (Gigha), Sandey (Sanda), Hersey (Arran), Bót (Bute), Melasey (Lamlash), Kumreyjar (Cnmrays).
40 In this record, although the names seem to be very badly written, we find more Norwegian forms, as Trollotophtan (Trollotáptir), Ouwath (Uxavaó), Aryeus-ryn (Arosrein), Staynarhaa (Steinehaugr), Mourou (Maura), Rosfial (Hrossfjall), Cornama (Kornhamarr), Totmanby (Þofta ), Oxreiseherad (Uxreisceherað), Corna (Korna), Heringstad (Haeringsteðir), Gryseth (Grjotsetr), Duppolla (Djuppollr).
note #41 corrections tbd
41 Although I have already given an account and explanation of these inscriptions in the Memoires of the Royal Society for the ancient literature of the North, yet, having since that time, through the kind communications of Messrs. G. Cumming of Lichfield, and J. Worsaae of Copenhagen, been furnished with more accurate and correct copies of some of them, as well as with copies of others not known, or at least not transcribed when I wrote that paper, I do not think it superfluous, or at least not uninteresting to the Reader to subjoin here a short list of them, referring to the lithographic table here inserted.
The inscriptions may be divided in two classes, according to the form of the letters, as shown in the table ; the two belonging to Class A being quite distinct from those belonging to Class B, engraved evidently by another man, and perhaps even at a different period.
Class A. 1. Cross at Kirk Michael: MAL LUMCUN RAISTI CRYS ÞANA EFTER MAL MVRV FVSTRA SINA TOTER TVFCALS OS AÞISL ATI.
In the normal orthography Mal Lumkun reisti kross þenna eftir Malmaru fóstra sina dóttir Dufgals es (er) Aðisl atti. Here, however, are several glaring grammatical errors ; if sina, as it must be, is added as adjective to fóstra, which is masculine, and means foster-father, educator, it ought to be sine. not sina, which is the feminine farm ; and again, if the feminine is right, and fóstra means foster-mother, it ought to be "fóstru."
Further, if "dóttir "is apposition to sina, as it seems to be, it ought to be the accusative, dóttur, not the nominative, dóttir. Else, if the nominative be right, it must be the apposition to the subject, Mal Lumkun, and this be the name of a female, which, however, does not seem probable. Supposing, then, what seems the most probable, that Malmuru is the name of a female person, the foster-mother of Mallumkun, the whole aught to sound thus in the normal orthography: "Mal Lumkun reisti kross þenna eftir Malmaru fóstru sina dóttur Dufgals er Aðisl atti." In Latin, Mallumkun erexit cruecem hanc post Malmuran educatricem suam, filliam Dugaldi, quase. Adisluss habuit (i.e., ie. matrimonio).
"Os," we suppose, is badly written, instead of "es," and the last letter of the name AÞISL, which is now only a single vertical line, to have last the small addition which makes it an L. Aþisl or Aþils is a well-known northern name.
A. 2. Fragment of Cross at Kirk Onchian. - . . ITRA ES LAIFA FYSTRA CYPAN SYN ILAN. The last four words are evidently, transposed into normal orthography "f6stra g66an, sun juan," i.e., "edmeatorern ~onum, fihium rnalsemn;" curious words, showing that these inscriptions were not only panegyrics. Whether, however, both epithets refer to one person or to two, is impossible to say, as we have not the whole. Leifa, acens. form of "Leifi," seems to be the name of the person or one of the persons in question. Of "itia es" nothing satisfactory can be made out.
Class B. 3. Cross at Ballaugh PORLIBR PIYTVLB SYNR RAIST CRYS FaNA AIFTIR YB SYN SIN. In normal orthography: "Porleifr Pj6~idfs (l'j6stdlfs) sunr reisti kross henna eftir Ubba (Olf?) sun sinn. Even here we light upon many inaccuracies or errors. In I'IYTYLB the final 5, indicating the genitive, is wanting, because the following word begins ~vith an 5, and the name itself ought to be spelled either PIVPYLB, if it means Pj6~dlfs, or PIYSTYLB, if it means I'jdstdlfs, time latter case being, perhaps, the right one, as in No. 15 we find likewise T written instead of ST (RAITI instead of RAISTI). In RAIST the final I is wanting, raist or reist being the preterite tense of rfsta (to engrave), not of reisa (to raise). If YB means Ubba, accus. of Ubbi, it ought to have been written YBA, if Uhf, accus. of Ulfr, likewise a common namne, the L is wanting, if, indeed, the writer may not be supposed to have pronounced the word like the inhabitants of the Setersdal in Norway, who say L~v for (~lf, Kdv for Kaif, etc.
In Latin: Thorleefus Thiodulfi (Thiostulfi) ft hius erexit erucem hane post Ubbonemn (Ulfurn) fhiumn smum.
4. Cross at Kirk Braddan. YTR RISTI CRYS PaNa AFT FRaCA FAPYR SIN PYRBIAYRN - - - In normal orthography: "Ottarr reisti kross
Fenna eft Frakka fii~ur sinu, en Porbjirn YTR ought to have been written YTAR, if, indeed, the name has not been GAYTE, as in the following, with the two first letters destroyed ; RISTI is wrong, instead of RAISTI. In Latin : Otteerus (Gce~etmes) erexit erucem hauc post Franeonsem patrem susem, sed Thorbjornmes.
5. Cross at Kirk Michael: MAIL BRICTI SYNR APACANS SMIP RAI STI CRYS PANA FYR SALY SINA SIN BRYCYIN CAYT CIRPI PANa AYC ALA IMAYN. In normal orthog. : "Mcelbrig~i sunr ASakans smni~ar reisti kross ~enna fyrir s~ilu sinni (syndugri), Gautr ger~i ~enna ok alla i Mon." MAILBRICTI ought to have been spelled MAILBRICPI; SMIP is a fault, instead of genitive SMIPAR; SINA, accusative, is wrong, instead of SINI, dative; of SIN BRYCYIN we cannot make out anything if it be not a complete miswriting of SWTYCRI or SYNTYCRI (syndugri); CAVT ought to be CAYTR, with the nominative R finale. In Latin: Maelbrigidsesflhius Athaeae.i fabri erexit ersecem hane pro anima sua (peceatrice) ; Geentmes feeit hane (se. erucern) et omnes in Alannia.
6. Cross at Kirk Michael: PANAAF YFAIC FAYPYR SIN IN CAYTR CIRPI SYNR BIARNAR CYBCYLI. In normal orthog. : "
Penna eft ITfeig f6~nr sinn, en Gautr ger~i, snur Bjarnar In AF the final T is wanting. CYB CYLI I cannot explain; may be it is mispelled, or a Gaelic name. In Latin: . . . hane (se. erueesn) post Ufeignm patrern sumem, sed Ga2etus feeit, fihius Bj5rnonis . . . IYfeigr is a very common Norwegian name.
7 and 8. Cross at Kirk Michael: . . . CRYS PAN AFTIR CRIMS INS SYARTA; in normal orthog. : " . . . Kross henna eftir . . . . Grimsins svarta . . ." ; in PAN the final A is omitted because the next word begins with an A. In Latin : Crueese. hane post Grirni nigri.
9. Cross at Kirk Michael: SYAC RAISTI CRYS PAN EFT RYMYN NT; in normal orthog. : .... . Svangr reisti kross ~enna eft Hr6mund da" (g6~an b6nda ?). SYAC wants the final B., because the next word begins with an R; perhaps the first letters of this name are destroyed, though Svangr may very well be used as a name without any addi tion. PAN here likewise instead of PANA. In Latin : . . . Svangns erexit crucem hane post Romundum
10. Cross at Kirk Michael: IYALFIR SYNR PYRYLFS EINS RAYPA RISTI CRYS PANA AFT FRIPY MYPYR SINa. In normal orthog. : "J6dlfr sunr Por6lfs ins rau~a reisti kross ~enna eft Fri~u m6~ur sina." JYALFIR instead of IYALFR, INS instead of INS, RISTI instead of RAISTI. In Latin Joalfzes fihius Thorulfi ruft ere it erucem hane post Frideeme. saatrern suam. At the foot of this cross, the inscription No. 11 is faintly scratched, too faintly to be possibly made anything out of.
12. Cross at Kirk Braddan: R aSCITIL YILTI I TRICY AIPSOARA SIIN. In normal orthog. : ". .. . (e)r .A~sketill vilti i tryggvim, ei~svara sinn ; " aSCITIL, instead of ASCATIL, AIPSOARA instead of AIDS YARA . . In Latin - quesn Aseatilises deeepit in tresega, eonsaeramnentalese. SUUflS.
13. Cross at Kirk Andreas: SaNTVLF EIN LSYARTI RAISTI CRYS ~aNA AFTIR ARIN BIAYRC CYINY SINA. In normal orthog.: "Sandmilfr, (S6ndulfr) inn svarti reisti kross henna eftir Arinbjiirg konu sina." YLF instead of YLFR, EIN instead of IN. In Latin : S nd?elfses niger erexit erueese. kane post Arixb]argam uxorese. ssearn.
14. Cross at Tynwald Hill: . . INaIRYIR RAIST RYNAR PAER AFTIII In normal orthog.: ". . . inervir (?) reist rdnar [n r eftir - . " In Latin . . . (incirvir?) sculpsit hiteras hasce post . . . . The name INaIRYIR, evidently not complete, is perhaps a Gaelic one ; to the Norse language it hardly belongs.
15. Cross at the Vicarage of Jurby: RY SYN IN aNAN RAITI FAIRPYR IAL In normal orthog ru sun, en annan reisti Fnrl6rr U?) Jal RAIT1 is misspelled for RAISTI; FAIRPYR. is rather curious; I have ventured to suggest the form FnrDdrr, which may be called grammatically possible, but never occurs anywhere in books or monuments. Perhaps the name is a Gaelic one, as Ferteth, Ferchad, onhy altered or misspelled. In Latin : - . . . ree fihium, sed aliase. (erseeern) erexit Fceirthurus ,Jcd
16. Cross at Kirk Braddan: ÞYRLABR NEACI RISTI CRYS ÞaNA AFT FIAC SYN IN BRYÞYR SYN IABRS. In normal orthog.: "Þorleifr (Þorlafr) Neaki reisti kross þenna eft Fjak (Fjang?) sun (sinn) en broðursun Jabrs" (Ivars ?). The names NEACI and FIAC seem to be Gaelic; RISTI is misspelled for RAISTI ; after SYN the pron. poss. SIN seems to be wanting. IABRS is either Gaelic, or misspelled for IBARS, IYARS. In Latin: Thorlaves Neaki erexit crucem hanc post Fiac filium (suum) sed fratris filium Jabri.
17. Cross at Kirk Onchan : a) on the top:. . CRYS . -, i.e. kross - crmecern. b) lower down. . : . - ISYCRIST, i.e., Jesu Krist. c) below on the right arm; PYRIP RAIST RYNAR; Pmiri~r reist rminar, i.e., Theerida seseipsit literas. On the other side, d) below on the right arm : - . . SYNR RAISTI AFTIR SYN SINA MYRCIBLY; here it seems likely that the B in MYR CIBLU is turned by a mistake to the wrong side, and ought to have been an a; MYRCIaLY would be Myrgjaln, Myrgjiilu, accusative of a not uncommon feminine Gaelic name, written in ancient records sometimes lIIuriella. SINA (1st. suam) however, and the feminine name Muriehla cannot agree with SYN I might therefore be inclined to think that SYN is totally misspelled by a careless or ignorant engraver, and ought to be CYNY; the whole would then run thus : . . . - sunr reisti (kross) eftir konu sina Myrgjohu - - . . films erexit (erseceas) post uxorem suaar llluriellame.. e) Below, on the left arm YCICAT ASYIR APICRIT AM . -. . NP - This seems to us wholly unintelligible, and is, perhaps, Gaelic. [Compare the reading and translation of these Runes with those given of them by the Rev. J. G. Cumming, in vol. xv. of the Manx Society, pp. 19-38 ; and by Mr. Kneale in his Guide to the Isle of Man, p. 76, and seq. For a more elaborate study of Runic lore, see The old Northern Runic Monuments of Scandinavia and England. By George Stephens, F. S.A., published at Copenhagen 1869, in two vols. folio. ]
42 [There is no doubt that Man and the Isles played fast and loose between Norway and Scotland, yielding homage to the power whose influence they were most likely to feel at the moment, then making light of their oaths of fealty when the pressure was removed. This was more especially the case with the island chieftains who held possessions on the mainland on the north west of Scotland. England occasionally shared the allegiance of Man with Norway, for its knights shifted their allegiance according to what they pre sumed to be for their interest. Thus, in 1212, we find Reginald, King of Man, liegeman to King John of England (see Appendix, No. 7); and again, in 1219, liegeman to King Henry III. (Appendix, No. 10) ; and in the same year Reginald makes over to Pope Honorius III. the Isle of Man, which he declares to be his by hereditary right, and free from all service. (Appendix, Nos. 8 and 13.)]
43 [It is entered as follows : - 3. Chronica regum Manniae et insularum et episcoporum et quorundam regum Angliae, Scotiae, et Norwegiae, a rege Cnuto A°. 1000 usque ad Am 1316 sparsim.]
44 [See a facsimile of the MS., given by Dr. Oliver in the preface to vol. 1. of his Monuments of the isle of Man, Vol. IV. of the Series.]
45 [See the arguments against this opinion, and in favour of this Chronicle being derived from a Chronicle of Furness now lost, stated by Oliver, loc cit]
46 As instances, we may quote - AD. 1015 (i.e. 1032), the abbreviated presbiteris read as probrosis (ejectis probrosis secularibus!) ; AD. 1098 (p. 6, 1. 3, from beneath), verum etiam read as verusnque; A.D. 1143 (p. 9, 1. 7, from above), ipso read as in proximo; A.n. 1144 (1154; p. 10, 1. 3, from above), ad dominum suum. read as ad domum; A. D. 1158 (p. 11, 1. 13, from beneath), misericordiam read as veniam, besides many omissions and misreadings of names. Even the name of the English king, John (Johannes), is substituted by Riccardus, A.D. 1210 (p. 15, last line), a curious blunder for an Englishman to make!
47 [After the example of W. F. Skene, in his recent edition of Fordun's Chronica Gentis Scotorum, and by the advice of Professor Stubbs, the orthography in this edition is adjusted to the standard usually adopted in Latin books, for the convenience of the reader, as the documents are published only in elucidation of the text, and not as original records.]
48 [They are published by Dr. Oliver in the Monumenta de Insula Manniae, vol. i. p. 206, Volume IV. of the Manx Society Series. Also in English, from Johnstone's translation, in Vol. XV. of the Manx Society, p. 53.]
49 [In the confirmation of churches and lands by Thomas, Earl of Derby, to Huan, Bishop of Sodor, 28th March 1505, as given in Vol. XVIII. Manx Society, p. 70, from Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, is the following
"Videlicet ecelesiam cathedralem sancti Germani in Holme Sodor vel Pele vocatam, ecclesiamque sancti Patricii ibidem et locum praefatum in quo prai fatae ecclesiae situ sunt." May not the Isle on which the cathedral stands have been formerly known as Sodor? There has been much controversy on this point, and Professor Munch's remark on the bishop retaining the title of Sodor appears to be rather strong. See Cumming's note on this in Sacheverell's Survey, Vol. I. Manx Society, p. 175. In royal grants it was called Sodor and Man, and what the sovereign grants the subject may surely use.]
50 As an instance of these confused ideas, we need only refer to what is said in the notes about the battle of Largs, which, even by writers of the better class, is sometimes attributed to a Danish king, instead of a Norwegian one, and of which the ancient pagan cairns or cromlechs are believed to be monuments.