Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Timeline of Early Orkney History

File:Peter nicolai arbo, olaf tryggvasson king.jpg

3800BC (circa)The Knap of Howar built and occupied on the island of Papa Westray.
3400-3100BC (circa)Earliest structures at the Barnhouse Settlement.
3300-3200BC (circa)Earliest structures built on the Ness of Brodgar site.
3200BC (circa)Early buildings at Skara Brae.
3000-2900BC (circa)Standing Stones o' Stenness constructed.
2900-2750BC (circa)Barnhouse Neolithic settlement abandoned. Work begins on Barnhouse Structure Eight.
2800-2700BC (circa)The chambered tomb Maeshowe constructed
2700BC (circa)[Pyramids in Egypt]
2600-2500BC (circa)Construction of Ring of Brodgar.
2200BC (circa)The village of Skara Brae abandoned

50ADBroch of Gurness in early stages of development.
84 (circa)Agricola's supposed visit to Orkney.
563[Saint Columba in Scotland]
580Cormac's missionary journey to Orkney.
787[First recorded appearance of Vikings in England.]
800 (circa)[First period of Norse colonisation begins.]
841[Rouen taken by the Norsemen.]
850 (circa)Harald Fairhair's legendary voyage to Orkney –earldom established.
853[Norse kingdom established in Dublin.]
871[Alfred the Great King of England.]
874 (circa)Sigurd I is earl.
885[Siege of Paris by the Norsemen.]
890 (circa)Battle with Maelbrigte of Ross (the villainous "Tusker" of Orcadian folklore) – Earl Sigurd's death resulted (see The Ba' Page for more details).

Guttorm, Sigurd's son, is earl
900Battle of Harfursfirth – Second period of Norse colonisation begins.
[Iceland colonised by Norsemen]
907 (circa)Hallad, son of Rognvald, Earl of Moeri, earl
893 (circa)Einar I ("Torf Einar") Rognvaldsson is earl. (Referred to as Torf Einar as he is credited with introducing the tradition of burning peats as fuel to the islands)
912[Rolf or Rollo, Rognvald's son, Duke of Normandy.]
946-976 (circa)Arnkell, Erlend I, and Thorfinn I, Einar's sons, rule as joint earls.
950[King Eric Bloodaxe expelled from Norway.]
954King Eric Bloodaxe and Earls Arnkell and Erlend fall at battle of Stainsmoor.
976-991 (circa)Arnfinn, Havard, Ljot, and Hlodvir, Thorfinn's sons, are joint earls.
980[Discovery of Greenland by the Norsemen.]
986[Possible Discovery of America (Vinland) by the Norsemen.]
991 (circa)Sigurd II Hlodvirsson, is earl.
995Sigurd forced to convert to Christianity by Olaf Trygvesson.
998[Olaf Trygvesson is King of Norway.]
1014Battle of Clontarf - Earl Sigurd is killed, carrying the cursed Raven Banner. 

Sumarlid, Einar II, Brusi, and (later) Thorfinn II, Sigurd's sons, joint-earls.
1030Death of Earl Brusi - Thorfinn II sole earl

Rognvald, Brusi's son, claims a share of the earldom.
1045Battle in the Pentland Firth (south of Orkney) between Rognvald and Thorfinn.
1045Earl Rognvald murdered on the island of Papa Stronsay.
1056[Malcolm Canmore is King of Scotland.]
1057Christ's Kirk in the West Mainland parish of Birsay founded. The exact location of the kirk is still hotly debated today, with some believing it stood within the offshore island settlement known the Brough o' Birsay and others that it stood where Birsay village is now found.
1065Death of Thorfinn; his sons Paul I. and Erlend II are joint-earls
1066Harald Hardradi visits Orkney.
[Harold Godwinsson is King of England]
[Battle of Stamford Bridge]
[The Norman Conquest - Invasion of Duke William of Normandy - Battle of Hastings]
1087[Moorish Empire established in Spain]
1096[First Crusade]
1098Magnus (Barefoot), King of Norway, sends the Orkney earls to Norway, and makes his son Sigurd "King" of Orkney
1103[Death of King Magnus of Norway - Sigurd is made King of Norway]
1105Hakon Paulsson and Magnus Erlendsson are joint-earls.
1117Murder of Earl Magnus (St Magnus) in Egilsay
1123Death of Earl Hakon; his sons Harald I and Paul II joint-earls
1127Death of Harald - Paul sole earl
1129Rognvald II (Kali) appointed joint-earl by King Sigurd of Norway
1135Rognvald's first expedition to claim the earldom
St. Magnus Church, Egilsay, founded
1136Rognvald's second expedition to acquire Earldom- Earl Paul kidnapped by Sweyn Asleifson
1137St Magnus Cathedral founded in Kirkwall
1138Harald II Maddadson joint-earl
1151Norse Crusaders (Jerusalem-farers) returning from the Holy Land winter in Orkney and break intoMaeshowe seeking shelter (see also Maeshowe's Treasure and Maeshowe's Runes)
1151Earl Rognvald's Crusade to Jerusalem
1151Erlend III is made joint-earl
1152-1154The War of the Three Earls - Rognvald, Harald and Erlend fight for possession of the Earldom.
1154Death of Erlend III - killed off the island of Damsay by Rognvald and Harald.
1158Earl Rognvald killed. Harald sole Earl.
Sweyn Asleifson's last cruise and death at Dublin.
[English invasion of Ireland]
1194[Battle of Floravoe in Norway. The defeat of the "island-beardies"]
1196Shetland separated from the Orkney Earldom
1197Harald III becomes joint Earl (grandson of Rognvald)
1198Death of Harald III - killed by Earl Harald Maddadsson.
1206Death of Harald II Maddadson. His sons David and John become joint earls.
1214Death of Earl David
[Alexander II becomes King of Scotland]
1215[Magna Carta granted in England]
1222Bishop Adam burned in Caithness.
1231Death of John; last Earl of the Norse line.
1236 (circa)Magnus II, the first of the Angus line, becomes Earl.
Ship carrying the chief men of the Orkney islands is lost on the voyage between Norway and Orkney.
1239Gilbride (Gilbert) I becomes earl
1249[Alexander III is king of Scotland]
1256Magnus III is made earl.
1263King Hakon of Norway's expedition to his western empire.
The Battle of Largs
Haakon dies in Kirkwall.
1273Magnus IV is earl.
1284Jon II Magnusson is earl.
1286[Death of Alexander III of Scotland. Margaret of Norway becomes heiress to the Scottish Crown]
1292[Death of Margaret - "the Maid of Norway"]
1306[Robert the Bruce is King of Scotland. Local tradition has it that Bruce passed the winter of 1306-07 in Orkney, not in the island of Rathlin]
1310Magnus V is earl.
1312[Treaty of Perth confirmed at Inverness]
1314[Battle of Bannockburn]
1321The death of Magnus V marks the end of the Angus line.
Malise of Stratherne becomes Earl.
1353Erngisl is made earl
1357Death of Erngisl; the end of the Stratherne line.
1379Henry I (St. Clair) is made earl.Shetland restored to the Earldom
[The union of Norway, Sweden and Denmark - the Union of Calmar]

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