Includes royal ancestry of colonists Abell and Trowbridge

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  • ID: I35763
  • Name: Erlend Thorfinsson
  • Prefix: joint-Jarl, joint-Earl
  • Given Name: Erlend
  • Surname: Thorfinsson
  • Sex: M
  • _UID: FE3DFC3548014CA0BD101EBDFD0C2A229E3A
  • Change Date: 10 JAN 2012
  • Note:
    THORFINN "the Black", son of SIGURD "Digri" Jarl of Orkney and Caithness & his wife Donada of Scotland ([1009]-[1060/65], bur Birsay, Christchurch). Orkneyinga Saga names ?Earl Thorfinn? as the son of Sigurd and his wife ?the daughter of Malcolm King of Scots?, adding that his father sent him to Scotland ?to be fostered by the King, the boy´s maternal grandfather? when he left for Ireland, and that he was five years old when his father was killed[604]. Snorre names Thorfin as son of "Sigurd the Thick" & his wife, recording that he was five years old when his father was killed[605]. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?his grandfather King Malcolm of Scotland? gave ?Caithness and Sutherland?[with] the title earl? to Thorfinn and ?appointed counsellors to govern with him?[606]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Thorfinn unsuccessfully claimed a share of Orkney from his half-brother Einar after the death of their brother Somerled, but that ?when Earl Thorfinn came of age? he reasserted his claim and a settlement was reached through the intervention of their brother Brusi[607]. Assuming that he came of age when around 15 years old, this event would be dated to [1023/24]. This suggested age of majority appears confirmed by a later passage in Orkneyinga Saga which records that ?at fifteen [Thorfinn] began leading raiding expeditions abroad?[608]. He succeeded [1030] as sole Jarl of Orkney. He disputed the succession of Duncan I King of Scotland in 1034, joined forces with Macbeth Mormaer of Moray, and obtained dominion over the whole of northern Scotland after the latter's accession in 1040[609]. Having given 1/3 of Orkney to his nephew Ragnvald II in 1036, he expelled the latter in 1046 and became sole Jarl once more. Orkneyinga Saga records the death of Thorfinn ?towards the end of the reign of Harald Sigurdarson? (who was killed in 1066) and his burial ?at Christchurch, Birsay? which he had built[610]. His date of death is not consistent with the birth of Duncan II King of Scotland, son of Thorfinn's wife by her second marriage, in 1060, unless Thorfinn repudiated his wife before he died.

    m ([1045/50]) [as her first husband,] INGIBJÖRG Finnsdatter, daughter of FINN Arnesson [later Jarl of Halland in Denmark] & his wife Bergliot Halfdansdatter ([1030/35]-). Orkneyinga Saga names Earl Thorfinn´s wife as ?Ingibjorg, the Earls´-Mother, daughter of Earl Finn Arnason? and niece of Kalf Arnason[611]. Snorre names "Ingebjorg, the earl-mother?a daughter of Fin Arnason" as wife of Earl Thorfin[612]. Morkinskinna records that ?Thorfinn jarl [of] Orkney? was married to ?Kálfr´s sister Ingibjorg Árnasdóttir? at the time Kalf Arnesson fled Norway[613]. The chronology is certainly tight for Ingibjörg to have been Kalf´s niece, if it is correct that she was already married when Kalf fled Norway, which must be dated to [1040/42] from the context in Morkinskinna. Her birth date is estimated on the basis of the estimated birth dates of her mother and her older son, both of which are restricted. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?Ingibjorg the Earls´-Mother? (widow of Thorfinn) married ?Malcolm King of Scots, known as Long-neck? (Malcolm III "Caennmor/Bighead" King of Scotland) and that ?their son was Duncan, King of Scots, father of William?[614]. There must be considerable doubt about whether this can be correct. Ingibjörg's [first] husband died in [1060/65]. King Malcolm's marriage to Queen Margaret is dated to 1070, three years after her arrival at the Scottish court. Although this provides sufficient time after the death of her first husband for the king to have married Ingebjörg, and for Ingebjörg to have died, the chronology for the birth of two sons would be tight. In addition, it is unlikely that either of these sons was born after [1065], as explained in the document SCOTLAND. If the king had really married Ingibjörg during this time, and if she had given birth to two sons, the absence of any reference to her in either Scottish or English sources is all the more surprising. It is possible that King Malcolm's marriage to Ingibjörg (if it did take place) was more Danico, implying concubinage rather than regular marriage, but this does not change the chronological difficulties. The one puzzle which remains, if the Saga is not correct, is why the author would have fabricated this detail.

    Thorfinn & his wife had [three or more] children:

    1. PAUL Thorfinnsson (-in prison Bergen 1098). Orkneyinga Saga names ?Paul and?Erlend? as the two sons of Jarl Thorfinn and his wife who survived childhood[615]. He succeeded his father in [1065] as Joint Jarl of Orkney, jointly with his brother. He may have fought with his father at Stamford Bridge 1066[616]. He was deposed and imprisoned in 1098 by Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway, and died in Bergen according to Snorre[617].

    - see below.

    2. ERLEND Thorfinnsson (-in prison Trondheim [Nidaros] 1098, bur Trondheim). Orkneyinga Saga names ?Paul and?Erlend? as the two sons of Jarl Thorfinn and his wife who survived childhood[618]. He succeeded his father in [1065] as Joint Jarl of Orkney, jointly with his brother. Morkinskinna records that Harald III King of Norway sailed to Orkney en route for his invasion of England in 1066 and ?recruited the aid of Jarl Thorfinn´s sons Páll and Erlendr?[619]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway ?seized the Earls, Paul and Erlend? on his arrival in Orkney, ?sent them east to Norway, and made his own son Sigurd overlord of the islands with regents to govern the earldom?, adding in a later passage that Erlend ?had died and been buried at Trondheim?[620]. He was deposed and imprisoned in 1098 by Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway, and "died of sickness at Nidaros and is buried there" according to Snorre[621]. m THORA, daughter of SOMERLED Uspaksson & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?Earl Erlend Thorfinnson? married ?Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson?, adding that ?the mother of this Ospak was Thordis, daughter of Hall of Sida?[622]. She married secondly Sigurd of Paplay. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?his mother was married?to a man called Sigurd? when her son Magnus returned to Orkney, adding that she and her second husband had a son ?Hakon Karl?[and] a farm at Paplay?[623]. Erlend & his wife had four children:

    a) ERLING (-[Ulster [May] 1103]). Orkneyinga Saga names ?Erling and Magnus? as the two sons of ?Earl Erlend Thorfinnson? and his wife ?Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson?[624]. Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga states that ?according to some people, Erling, the son of Earl Erlend, was killed in the battle of the Menai Straits, but Snorri Sturluson says that he met his death with King Magnus in Ulster?[625].

    b) St MAGNUS Erlendsson (-murdered Egilsay 16 Apr [1117], bur Christchurch at Birsay, transferred to Kirkwall Cathedral). Orkneyinga Saga names ?Erling and Magnus? as the two sons of ?Earl Erlend Thorfinnson? and his wife ?Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson?[626]. He was installed as Jarl of ½ Orkney in Spring 1108 by Eistein I Magnusson Joint King of Norway. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?Earl Magnus? was killed on the orders of his cousin Hakon ?two days after St Tiburtius´ Mass?1091?, after ruling Orkney jointly for seven years, and was buried on ?Mainland?at Christ Church?[627]. He was put to death by his cousin Hakon Paulsson Joint Jarl of Orkney, with whom he had quarrelled. Canonised. m ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?St Magnus Earl of Orkney? married ?a girl from the noblest family there in Scotland? but that they lived together for ten years without consummating the marriage[628].

    c) GUNHILD . Orkneyinga Saga names ?Gunnhild and Cecilia? as the two daughters of ?Earl Erlend Thorfinnson? and his wife ?Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson?[629]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway ?gave Earl Erlend´s daughter Gunnhild in marriage to Kol, son of Kali Sæbjarnarson, in compensation fof the death of his father?, adding that her dowry was ?some property in Orkney including a farm at Paplay? and that the couple ?settled down on his estate at Agder?[630]. m (Spring 1099) KOL Kalisson, son of KALI of Agdir in Norway & his wife ---. Lenderman in Agder. Kol & his wife had two children:

    i) KALI [Rognvald] ([1100]-murdered Force, Calder, Caithness 20 Aug 1158, bur St Magnus Cathedral). Orkneyinga Saga names ?Kali and?Ingirid? as the two children of ?Kol, son of Kali Sæbjarnarson? and his wife[631]. Invested as Jarl, given the name Ragnvald and ½ Orkney in 1129 by Sigurd I Jorsalafari King of Norway. The latter's successor, Magnus IV "the Blind", cancelled the gift in [1130]. Harald "Gilli" King of Norway invested him as Jarl of ½ Orkney in Spring 1135. Jarl Paul refused to give up any territory to him. In revenge Kali-Rognvald seized the Shetlands, but his men were defeated in Yell Sound 27 Jun 1135 by Jarl Paul. He seized the Shetlands again in 1137, and captured and deposed Paul, becoming Jarl of all Orkney and Caithness. He granted ½ Orkney in 1139 to Harald Maddadsson. Leaving Harald in charge of Orkney, he sailed for Palestine in 1151, returning in Dec 1155. He was murdered by Thorbiorn Clerk. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?Earl Rognvald died on the fifth day after the Feast of the Assumption? and was buried ?at St Magnus´ Cathedral?[632]. m ---. The name of Kali-Rognvald´s wife is not known. Kali-Rognvald & his wife had one child:

    (a) INGIGERD . Orkneyinga Saga records the marriage of ?Earl Rognvald?his daughter Ingerid? and ?Eirik Stay-Brails?[633]. m (Sutherland Spring 1156) ERIK Slagbrellir, son of ERIL Streita & his wife Audhild [daughter of Thorliot]. Erik & his wife had six children:

    (1) HARALD Eriksson "Ungi" ([1156]-killed in battle Wick 1198). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) ?Harald the Young, Magnus Mangi and Rognvald? as the three sons of ?Eirik Stay-Brails?, adding that King Magnus Erlingsson gave Harald the title Jarl[634]. Invested with his grandfather's ½ of Orkney by Magnus V Erlingsson King of Norway, although he did not press this claim against Jarl Kali-Ragnvald. He obtained a grant of his grandfather's half of Caithness from William "the Lion" King of Scotland[635]. He asserted his claim to Orkney after this was regranted to him by [Sverre] King of Norway. Jarl Harald Maddadson rejected his claim and defeated him at the battle of Wick in 1198.

    (2) MAGNUS Mangi (-killed in battle near Fimreite on Sognefjord 15 Jun 1184). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) ?Harald the Young, Magnus Mangi and Rognvald? as the three sons of ?Eirik Stay-Brails?, adding that Magnus was killed with Magnus V Erlingsson King of Norway ?at Sogn?[636].

    (3) ROGNVALD . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) ?Harald the Young, Magnus Mangi and Rognvald? as the three sons of ?Eirik Stay-Brails?[637].

    (4) INGEBIORG . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) ?Ingibjorg, Elin and Ragnhild? as the daughters of ?Eirik Stay-Brails?[638]. m GUNNI . Their son Snaekoll Gunnisson murdered John Jarl of Orkney 1231.

    (5) ELIN . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) ?Ingibjorg, Elin and Ragnhild? as the daughters of ?Eirik Stay-Brails?[639]. same person as?? [640]daughter . m as his second wife, GILLBRIDE Earl of Angus, son of --- (-[1187]).

    (6) RAGNHILD . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) ?Ingibjorg, Elin and Ragnhild? as the daughters of ?Eirik Stay-Brails?[641]. Orkneyinga Saga records that ?Ragnhild, the sister of Earl Harald the Young? married ?Lifolf Pate?[642]. m HLIFOLF Skalli of Sutherland. Chief Counsellor of his brother-in-law Jarl Harald III.

    ii) INGIGERD . Orkneyinga Saga names ?Kali and?Ingirid? as the two children of ?Kol, son of Kali Sæbjarnarson? and his wife[643]. m JON Petersson, lenderman in Sogne.

    d) CECILIA . Orkneyinga Saga names ?Gunnhild and Cecilia? as the two daughters of ?Earl Erlend Thorfinnson? and his wife ?Thora, the daughter of Sumarlidi Ospaksson?, adding that Cecilia married ?Isaac? and that they had ?two sons Eindridi and Kol?[644]. m ISAAC, son of ---.

    Erlend had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

    e) JADDVOR . Orkneyinga Saga names ?Jaddvor? as ?natural daughter? of ?Earl Erlend Thorfinnson?, adding that she ?had a son?Borgar?[645]. m ---.

    3. son or sons (-young). Orkneyinga Saga names ?Paul and?Erlend? as the two sons of Jarl Thorfinn and his wife who survived childhood, implying that other sons died young[646].
    ---------
    Sources:

    Sir James Balfour Paul, THE SCOTS PEERAGE: BANFF-CRANSOUN, p 341

    1Cokayne, George Edward, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant (London: St. Catherine Press, 1910.), 2:473, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.721 C682.
    2Cokayne, G., CP, 10: Appendix A.
    3Gray, James, Sutherland and Caithness in Saga-time, or, The Jarls and the Freskyns (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1922.), pp. 47-49, Family History Library, 941.1 H2g

  • Birth: 1048 in Orkney Islands, Orkney, Scotland
  • Title: joint-Jarl of Orkney, joint Earl of Caithness 1065
  • Death: AFT 1098 in in prison, Trondheim [Nidaros]
  • Reference Number: 40629



    Father: Thorfinn II Sigurdsson b: 1009 in Orkney Islands, Orkney, Scotland
    Mother: Ingibjörg Finnsdatter b: 1027 in Yriar, Austratt, Norway

    Marriage 1 Thora Somerledsdottir b: 1050 in Orkney Islands, Orkney, Scotland
    • Married: 1072
    Children
    1. Has No Children Erlend Erlendsson b: 1073 in Orkney Islands, Orkney, Scotland
    2. Has No Children Magnus Erlendsson b: 1075 in Orkney Islands, Orkney, Scotland
    3. Has No Children Gunnhild Erlendsdottir b: 1078 in Orkney Islands, Orkney, Scotland
    4. Has No Children Cecilia Erlendsdottir b: CA 1080 in Orkney Islands, Orkney, Scotland
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