The Vikings invaded the territory around Dublin (Irish: Dubh Linn; "Black Pool") in the ninth century, establishing the Norse Kingdom of Dublin. The first reference to the Vikings comes from the Annals of Ulster. The first entry for 841AD reads: "Pagans still on lough Neagh." It is from this date onwards that we get references to ship fortresses or Longphorts being established in Ireland. It may be safe to assume that the Vikings first over-wintered in AD840/841. The actual location of the longphort of Dubh linn is still a hotly-debated issue.This corresponded to most of present-day County Dublin. Norse Rulers of Dublin were often co-kings, and occasionally also Kings of Jorvik in what is now England. The region was known to the Vikings as Dyflin, pronounced "dyoov-lin" (in either Old Norse or Modern Norwegian). The English later took Old Irish "Dubh Linn" and collapsed it to the modern "Dublin." Manx still uses "Divlyn".
In 988, High King Mael Seachlainn II led the initial Irish conquest of the Norse Kingdom of Dublin. As a result the founding of Dublin is counted by some from the year 988, notwithstanding that a village has existed on the site of Dublin since before the Roman occupation of Great Britain nearly a thousand years earlier.
Mael Seachlainn II was dethroned by Brian Boru, 1002-1014, and the Norse kept fighting back—so the Irish conquest of Dublin was never complete. Irish dominance of Dublin did take hold in the middle of the eleventh century, under the kings of Leinster; but the city still had a Norse king until the Norman invasion of 1171, and native Ireland itself was in the throes of the regnal wars over the high kingship since the death of Mael Seachlainn II in 1022. Though the last Norse king of Dublin was killed by the Normans in 1171, the population of the city retained their distinctiveness based on their origins for some further generations.
Ruler Reign Notes
Thorgest 839 - 845 drowned in Lough
Owel Amlaíb Conung 853–873 brother of Ímar and Auisle
Eystein Olafsson 873–875
Mac Auisle 881–883
Eoloir Jarnknesson ?–?
Sichfrith Ivarsson 883?–888
Sigtrygg (Sitric) Ivarsson 888–893
Sichfrith Jarl 893–894
Sigtrygg (Sitric) Ivarsson 894–896
Ivar 893–902 Dublin abandoned by the Norse from 902 to 917.
Sihtric ua Ímair(akaSihtric Cáech) 917–921 defeated Niall Glundub; also king of Jórvík
Gofraid ua Ímair 921–934 grandson of Ímar
Olaf III Guthfrithson 934–940 son of Gofraid ua Ímair
Blácaire mac Gofrith 940 - 945
Sigtrygg (Sitric) 941–943
Amlaíb Cuarán 945 - 947
Blácaire mac Gofrith 947 - 948 restored
Gofraid mac Sitriuc 948 - 951
Amlaíb Cuarán 952–980 restored
Sigtrygg (Sitric) Silkbeard Olafsson 989–1036
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill 1036–1038
Ivar Haraldsson 1038–1046
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill 1046–1052
Murchad mac Diarmata mac Mael na mBo 1052–1070
Diarmait mac Mail na mBo 1070–1072
Domnall mac Murchada mac Diarmata 1070–1072
Gofraid mac Amlaib mac Ragnaill 1070–1072
Toirdelbach Ua Briain 1072–1074?
Muirchertach Ua Briain 1074–1086
Enna mac Diarmata mac Mael na mBo 1086–1089
Donnchad mac Domnail Remair mac Mael na mBo 1086–1089
Godred Crovan after1091–1094
Domnall mac Muirchertaig ua Briain c.1094–1102
Magnus III of Norway 1102–1103
Domnall mac Muirchertaig ua Briain 1103–???? restored
Donnchad mac Murchada mac Diarmata ????–1115
Diarmat mac Enna 1115–1117
Enna mac Donnchada mac Murchada 1118–1126
Conchobair mac Tiorrdelbach Ua Conchobair 1126–1127
Conchobair Ua Briain 1141–1142
Ragnall Thorgillsson 11??–1146
Brotar Thorgillsson 1146–1160
Hasculf Thorgillsson 1160–1171
(N.B. "Sitric" is the Irish variant of Norwegian "Sigtrygg")
Downham, Clare, Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland: The Dynasty of Ívarr to A.D. 1014. Edinburgh. 2007.
Forte, Angelo, Oram, Richard, & Pedersen, Frederik, Viking Empires. Cambridge. 2005.
Hudson, Benjamin T., Viking Pirates and Christian Princes: Dynasty, Religion, and Empire in the North Atlantic. Oxford. 2005.
Larsen, Anne-Christine (ed.), The Vikings in Ireland. Roskilde: The Viking Ship Museum. 2001. Todd, James Henthorn (ed. and tr.), Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh: The War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill. Longmans. 1867.
Woolf, Alex, "Age of Sea-Kings: 900-1300", in Donald Omand (ed.), The Argyll Book. Edinburgh. 2004. pp. 94-109.
The Norse-Gaels were a people who dominated much of the Irish Sea region and western Scotland for a large part of the Middle Ages; they were of Gaelic and Scandinavian origin and as a whole exhibited a great deal of Gaelic and Norse cultural syncretism. Other modern terms used include Scoto-Norse, Hiberno-Norse and Foreign Gaels.
They are generally known by the Gaelic name which they themselves used, of which "Norse-Gaels" is a translation. This term is subject to a large range of variations depending on chronological and geographical differences in the Gaelic language, i.e. Gall Gaidel, Gall Gaidhel, Gall Gaidheal, Gall Gaedil, Gall Gaedhil, Gall Gaedhel, Gall Goidel, etc, etc.
The Norse-Gaels originated in Viking colonies of Ireland and Scotland, whose inhabitants became subject to the process of Gaelicisation, whereby starting as early as the ninth century, most intermarried with native Gaels (except for the Norse who settled in Cumbria) and adopted the Gaelic language as well as many other Gaelic customs. Many left their original worship of Norse gods and converted to Christianity, and this contributed to the Gaelicisation. Gaelicised Scandinavians dominated the Irish Sea region until the Norman era of the twelfth century, founding long-lasting kingdoms, such as the Kingdoms of Man, Argyll, Dublin, Galloway as well as taking control of the Norse colony at York. The Lords of the Isles, a Lordship which lasted until the sixteenth century, as well as many other Gaelic rulers of Scotland and Ireland, traced their descent from Norse-Gaels. The Norse-Gaels settlement in England was concentrated in the North West.
The Norse are first recorded in Ireland in 795 when they sacked Lambay Island. Sporadic raids then continued until 832, after which they began to build fortified settlements throughout the country. Norse raids continued throughout the tenth century, but resistance to them increased. They suffered several defeats at the hands of Máel Sechnaill II, and in 1014 Brian Boru broke the power of the Norse permanently at Clontarf.
The Norse established independent kingdoms in Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, Cork and Limerick. These kingdoms did not survive the subsequent Norman invasions, but the towns continued to grow and prosper. The Norse became fully absorbed into the religious and political life of Ireland.
Iceland and the Faroes
It is recorded in the Landnamabok that there were papar or culdees in Iceland before the Norse, and this appears to tie in with comments of Dicuil. However, whether or not this is true, the settlement of Iceland and the Faroe islands by the Norse would have included many Norse-Gaels, as well as slaves, servants and wives. They were called "Vestmen", and the name is retained in Vestmanna in the Faroes, and the Vestmannaeyjar off the Icelandic mainland, where it is said that Irish slaves escaped to. ("Vestman" may have referred to the lands and islands "west" of mainland Scandinavia.)
A number of Icelandic personal names are of Gaelic origin, e.g. Njáll Þorgeirsson of Njáls saga had a forename of Gaelic origin - Niall. Patreksfjörður, an Icelandic village also contains the name Padraig. A number of placenames named after the papar, Irish monks, exist on Iceland and the Faroes.
According to some circumstantial evidence, Grímur Kamban, seen as the founder of the Norse Faroes, may have been a Norse Gael.
"According to the Faereyinga Saga... the first settler in the Faroe Islands was a man named Grímur Kamban - Hann bygdi fyrstr Færeyar, it may have been the land taking of Grímur and his followers that cauysed the anchorites to leave... the nickname Kamban is probably Gaelic and one interpretation is that the word refers to some physical handicap (the first part of the name originating in the Old Gaelic camb crooked, as in Campbell Caimbeul Crooked-Mouth and Cameron Camshròn Crooked Nose), another that it may point to his prowess as a sportsman (presumably of camóige / camaige hurley - where the initial syllable also comes from camb). Probably he came as a young man to the Faroe Islands by way of Viking Ireland, and local tradition has it that he settled at Funningur in Ey
Haywood, John (1995). The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. London: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-051328-0.
McDonald, R. Andrew (1997). The Kingdom of the Isles: Scotland's Western Seaboard, c.1100-c.1336. East Linton: Tuckwell Press. ISBN 1-898410-85-2.
Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí (1995). Early Medieval Ireland, 400-1200. London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-01566-9.
Oram, Richard (2000). The Lordship of Galloway. Edinburgh: John Donald. ISBN 0-85976-541-5.
Scholes, Ron (2000). Yorkshire Dales. Derbyshire: Landmark. ISBN 1-901522-41-5.
Ebrauc is the suggested name for a Brythonic kingdom of sub-Roman Britain, based on the city of York. This city was called by the Brythonic name of Caer Ebrauc in Nennius’s Historia Britonum. It is derived from the Roman name, Eboracum. In modern Welsh it is still called Efrog.
At the end of Roman rule, some historians think the city may have briefly flourished as the capital of an independent realm, split off from a great ‘Kingdom of the North’, perhaps in ca 470. The area known to the British as Deifr, meaning ‘waters’ (perhaps referring to its coastal location, or to its many rivers), may have been part of this kingdom. It is better known as the later Anglian kingdom of Deira.
Welsh poetry of this period indicates that the native Britons of what the bards were to call "the old north" or Yr Hen Ogledd were disastrously fractious and were far happier to fight amongst themselves than to confront their common foes. If the historical Northern king, Peredur ab Eliffer, ruled in York (see Peredur), then independence for this kingdom was not to last long.
In 573, this Peredur, and his brother, Gwrgi, went to war with the armies of a Northern king called Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio and were victorious at the Battle of Arfderydd (modern Arthuret in Cumberland, now Cumbria). The original of the Arthurian wizard, Merlin, is supposed to have been one of the few survivors. This was a pyrrhic victory for these Northern princes for, according to the Annales Cambriae, they were killed only seven years later when their weakened forces moved against the Angles of Bernicia. However, it was the Angles of Deira who subsequently took over the region.
Control of Ebrauc was briefly restored to native Britons under King Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd who seized the area and the city after the Battle of Hatfield Chase in October 632 during which his rival, Edwin of Northumbria was killed. Three years later, Cadwallon was ejected by Oswald of Bernicia at the Battle of Heavenfield and Anglian control was restored.
Bromwich, Rachel (1978) Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads Guest, Lady Charlotte (1849)
The Mabinogion Ingram, James (ed.) (1912),
The Annales Cambriae Morris, John (1973) The Age of Arthur