Saturday, April 25, 2009

Harold the Black King of Iceland

Harold the Black King of Iceland?

Chronica regum Manniæ et insularum. The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys, ed ...‎ - Page 51
edited by Peder Andreas Munch - 1860

"Harold, the father of Godred Crowan, is called Haraldus niger de Ysland, in the Chronicle. This name, Ysland, has been construed by some interpreters as being a blunder for Ireland, which however is not very probable, Ireland, being throughout the whole book always styled Ybernia. We will not utterly deny the possibility of perhaps Iceland being meant, as it would in itself be not at all unlikely, that Harold the black, after his father's death, might have retired to Iceland, as so many other Norwegian warriors from those parts did, and that his son Godred, watching every opportunity for regaining the lands of his ancestors, stepped forth to follow King Harold on his expedition. However, seeing that the epitheton, de Ysland, stands here evidently a territorial designation, but not as a mere indication of the country from whence Harold or Godred came, we are rather inclined to think, that it means neither Ireland nor Iceland, but the island of isla, which other places of the book is called Yle, but might for once, through a blunder or inconsequence of the writer, have been called, Ysland. It is not to be overlooked that Godred died in the island of Isla, which may seem to involve, that he generally resideded there, and that it was his paternal domain."

In another place it says, "There can, however, be very little doubt, that in aspiring subsequently to the crown of Man, and really making himself king of the Island with its appendages, he vindicated only what he regarded as his hereditary right. If he had not belonged to a royal line, or if his ancestors had not enjoyed the title of King, it would have been almost impossible, according to the feelings or opinions of those days, that he should have ventured to assume it. The title of King, amont the northern, nay, generally among the German tribes, was in itself strictly hereditary; "

"Taking it, consequently, for granted, that Godred descended from a royal family, and that his ancestors were kings, we think it very probably, nay, almost certain, that hsi grandfather was no other than the above mentioned Godred son of Harold, who was killed in 989." It then states that it was the custom to name a son after his grandfather.

Speaking of this Godred, son of Harold, it says he had two sons, Donald, who was killed in 989, and was probably a bastard, because of his Gaelic name; and Harold the father of Godred Crowan, the heir to the estates and his title.


Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters as translated into Englis by Owen.... by Michael O'Clery 2003, says that Harold the Black of Iceland, was a descendant of the kings of Norway.

Thus we have a Harold, followed by his son Godred, another Harold who in turn was the father of Godred Crovan.


Sources:

Critical Dissertations on the Origin, Antiquities, Language, Government ...‎ - Page 230
by John Macpherson - Celts - 1768 -
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