Godred Crovan bigraphy, stories - Monarchs

Godred Crovan : biography

- 1095

Godred Crovan ( Guðrøðr;Seán Duffy, ‘Godred Crovan (d. 1095)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 ) (died 1095) was a Norse-Gael ruler of Dublin, and King of Mann and the Isles in the second half of the 11th century. Godred's epithet Crovan may mean "white hand" ().His other epithet, Méranech, means "furious", Crovan might also derive from Irish crúbach, "claw", or Old Norse kruppin, "cripple"; Hudson, p. 173. In Manx folklore he is known as King Orry.


Conquest and loss of Dublin

The Chronicles say, and Irish sources agree, that Godred then took Dublin although the date is unknown. In 1087 the Annals of Ulster record that "the grandsons of Ragnall" were killed on an expedition to the Isle of Man. In 1094 Godred was driven out of Dublin by Muircheartach Ua Briain. He died the following year, "of pestilence" according the Annals of the Four Masters, on Islay. According to tradition a standing stone at Carragh Bhàn just north of Loch Finlaggan marks his grave.Graham-Campbell and Batey (1998) p. 89 An alternative location for his burial is the Clach Goraidh Crobhan stone near Kintra.. Macdonnellofleinster.org. Retrieved 3 April 2012. The remnants of a neolithic chambered long barrow near Laxey in the Isle of Man, is known locally as King Orry's Grave. This name is of comparatively recent origin and the site has no connection with his actual grave.

Ancestry and early life

The notice of Godred's death in the Annals of Tigernach calls him Gofraid mac meic Aralt or Godred, son of Harald's son. As a result, it has been suggested that Godred was a son, or nephew, of the Norse-Gael king Ímar mac Arailt who ruled Dublin from 1038 to 1046, who was in turn a nephew of Sigtrygg Silkbeard and grandson of Amlaíb Cuarán.Duffy, Irishmen and Islesmen..., p. 106 This would make Godred a dynast of the Uí Ímair.

The Chronicles of Mann call Godred the son of Harald the Black of Ysland, variously interpreted as Islay, Ireland or Iceland,Hudson notes that Ysland in the Manx Chronicle may represent "Ireland"; Hudson, p. 171. and make him a survivor of Harald Hardraade's defeat at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066. They say that he took refuge with his kinsman Gofraid mac Sitriuc, then King of the Isles. Irish annals record that this Gofraid was subject to the Irish King of Dublin, Murchad son of Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó of the Uí Cheinnselaig. Gofraid and Murchad both died in 1070 and the rule of the Isle of Man passed to Gofraid's son Fingal.

Invasions of the Isle of Man

In 1079, the Chronicles of Mann say that Godred invaded the Isle of Man three times:

Issue and legacy

Godred left three known sons, Lagmann, Olaf and Harald. Harald was blinded by Lagmann and disappears from the record, but the descendants of Lagmann and Olaf ruled the Kingdom of the Isles until the rise of Somerled and his sons, and ruled the Isle of Man until the end of the kingdom 1265 and its annexation by Alexander III, King of Scots. Even as late as 1275 Godred son of the last King of Mann tried to seize the island.

"King Orry" is remembered in song and he gave his name to the Milky Way, which was known as raad mooar ree Gorry (the great track of King Gorry) in the Manx language.Sellar (2000) p. 190

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Living octopus

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