Pål of Orkney Thorfinnsson, Jarl of Orkney (c.1049 - 1099) MP

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Nicknames: "Paul /Thorfinnson/", "Paul Thorfinnson /Jarl/"
Birthplace: Orkney, Birsay, Scotland
Death: Died in Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
Occupation: Earl of Orkney, Scotland 1064-1098.
Managed by: Shannon Lowell Dick
Last Updated:

About Pål of Orkney Thorfinnsson, Jarl of Orkney

Paul Thorfinnsson, Earl of Orkney and Caithness.

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

1. PAUL Thorfinnsson, son of [http://www.geni.com/people/Thorfinn-Sigurdsson/6000000001052002306 THORFINN II "the Black" Jarl of Orkney & his wife Ingibjörg Finnsdatter (-in prison Bergen 1098, bur Bergen). Orkneyinga Saga names “Paul and…Erlend” as the two sons of Jarl Thorfinn and his wife who survived childhood[932]. He succeeded his father [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”[933]. He may have fought with his father at Stamford Bridge 1066[934]. 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 Paul “was buried at Bergen”[935]. He was deposed and imprisoned in 1098 by Magnus "Barelegs" King of Norway, and died in Bergen according to Snorre[936]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m --- Haakonsdatter, daughter of HAAKON Ivarsson & his wife Ragnhild Magnusdatter of Norway. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” married “a daughter of Earl Hakon Ivarsson”[937]. (Cawley's Medlands)

Paul & his wife had children:

1. HAKON Paulsson (before [1070]-Orkney [1126]). Orkneyinga Saga names “Hakon” as son of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife[938]. It is extremely unlikely that Hakon was born before [1070], given the estimated birth date of his granddaughter Margaret (see below). Snorre names "Hakon, a son of Earl Paul" when recording that "a year or two after King Magnus's fall…[he] came from Orkney" and was given the earldom of Orkney by Kings Eystein, Sigurd and Olav, before sailing back to Orkney[939]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Hakon left Orkney for Norway where he visited “King Olaf the Peaceful…towards the end of Olaf´s reign” (King Olaf´s death is dated to 1093) before sailing east to Sweden and “King Ingi Steinkelsson”[940]. He was appointed Joint Lieutenant for Sigurd Magnusson King of Orkney and the Isles, when the latter returned to Norway in 1103 on his accession as king. He was installed in [Spring 1105] as Jarl of Orkney by King Sigurd. He ruled as Joint Jarl from Spring 1108, when his cousin Magnus Erlendsson was installed as Jarl of ½ Orkney. He later quarrelled with his cousin, took him prisoner on Egilsay and had him killed. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Hakon Paulsson died in his bed in Orkney”[941]. m ---. The name of Hakon´s wife is not known.

Hakon & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) PAUL (II) Hakonsson "the Silent" (-after 1137). Orkneyinga Saga records that earl Hakon “had another son Paul…the Silent”[943]. He succeeded his father in [1126] as Joint Jarl of Orkney and Caithness, jointly with his half-brother, sole Jarl after the latter's death in [1131]. His second cousin, Kali-Ragnvald, rebelled in 1135 and demanded a half share of Orkney. In revenge for being refused, the latter seized Shetland in 1136, but Paul [II] defeated him in Yell Sound 27 Jun 1136. The following year he again seized the Shetlands, and captured and deposed Paul [II] in 1137.(Cawley's Medlands)

Mistress (1): HELGA, daughter of MODDAN of Dalr in Caithness & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga names “Helga” daughter of “a farmer…Moddan…living in the Dales of Caithness” as “Earl Hakon´s mistress”[942]. Her stepson banished her and her sister Frakok to the latter's estates in Helmsdale, Sutherland after the death of her son [1131]. (Cawley's Medlands)

Hakon had three illegitimate children by Mistress (1):

b) HARALD [I] "Slettmali/Smooth-spoken" (before [1090]-[1131]). Orkneyinga Saga names “Harald…Smooth-Tongue and two daughters…Ingibjorg…Margaret” as the children of Earl Hakon and his mistress Helga[944]. It is unlikely that Harald was born later than [1090] if the estimated birth date of his daughter Margaret is correct. He succeeded his father in [1126] as Joint Jarl of Orkney and Caithness, jointly with his half-brother. Orkneyinga Saga records that he died after trying on a poisoned garment prepared by his mother and intended for his half-brother Paul[945]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m ---. The name of Harald´s wife is not known.

Harald & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) ERLEND Haraldsson (-murdered Damsay Dec 1156). Orkneyinga Saga names “Erlend” as son of “Harald Smooth-Tongue” when recording that he was reared by Frakok, sister of his paternal grandmother[946]. Eystein II King of Norway gave him permission in Autumn 1151 to administer ½ Orkney during the absence of Jarl Kali-Ragnvald, but he was unable to impose his claim. He was recognised as Earl of ½ Caithness by Malcolm IV King of Scotland 24 May 1153, in opposition to his first cousin Harald Maddadsson, during the absence of Jarl Kali-Ragnvald. He was invested as Jarl of Orkney in 1153 by King Eystein II, invaded Orkney and defeated Jarl Harald [II] at Kiarrek-Stadir 28/29 Sep 1154, forcing him to surrender his share of Orkney. He was dispossessed of Orkney by Jarl Kali-Ragnvald in Sep 1156 after the latter's return. After a brief revival as Jarl following his defeat of Jarl Harald [III] 24 Oct 1156, he was once more defeated by Kali-Ragnvald and killed. (Cawley's Medlands)

c) INGIBJÖRG . Orkneyinga Saga names “Harald…Smooth-Tongue and two daughters…Ingibjorg…Margaret” as the children of Earl Hakon and his mistress Helga, adding that Ingibjörg married “Olaf Tit-Bit King of the Hebrides”[947].

m [as his second wife], OLAV Bitling King of Sodor and Man 1097-1098 and 1103-1153, son of ---.

Olav & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) GODROD. His parentage is deduced from the Orkneyinga Saga which records that the mother of “Rognvald Godrodarson, King of the Hebrides” was “Ingibjorg, Earl Hakon Paulsson´s daughter”[948].

m ---. The name of Godrod´s wife is not known.

Godrod & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

(a) RAGNVALD Godradarson . King of Man and the Isles. Orkneyinga Saga records that the mother of “Rognvald Godrodarson, King of the Hebrides” was “Ingibjorg, Earl Hakon Paulsson´s daughter”[949]. William "the Lion" King of Scotland sold Caithness to him after the battle of Wick in 1198. He lost Caithness to Harald [II] Maddadsson Jarl of Orkney in 1200. (Cawley's Medlands)

d) MARGARET (before [1115]-). Orkneyinga Saga names “Harald…Smooth-Tongue and two daughters…Ingibjorg…Margaret” as the children of Earl Hakon and his mistress Helga[950]. It is unlikely that Margaret was born after [1115] if it is correct that her son was born in 1134. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Margaret Hakon´s-Daughter” married “Earl Maddad of Atholl”[951]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Erlend the Young” abducted Margaret from Orkney and took her to Shetland, and that her son eventually granted permission for their marriage[952]. m firstly ([1133]) as his second wife, MADDAD [Madach] Earl of Atholl, son of --- (-[1142/52]). m secondly ERLAND "Ungi/the Young" (-killed 1156). (Cawley's Medlands)

2. THORA Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Thora married “in Norway…Halldor, the son of Brynjolf Camel” and that their son was “Brynjolf, the father of Halldor who married Gudrid Dag´s-Daughter”[953].

m HALLDOR, son of BRYNIOLF Camel & his wife –(Cawley's Medlands)

3. INGRID Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Ingrid married “Einar Vorse-Raven”[954].

m EINAR Vorsa-Krakr. (Cawley's Medlands)

4. HERBJÖRG Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Herbjörg was the mother of “Ingibjorg the High-born, who married Sigurd of Westness, their sons were Hakon Pike-Staff and Brynjolf” and [daughter?] Sigrid, [mother?] of “Hakon the Child and of Herborg whom Kolbein Heap married”[955]. m ---. (Cawley's Medlands)

5. RAGNHILD Paulsdatter . Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Thora…Ingirid…Herbjorg…Ragnhild” as the daughters of “Earl Paul Thorfinnson” and his wife, adding that Ragnhild was mother of “Benedikt, father of Ingibjorg, mother of Erling the archdeacon” and “a daughter… Bergljot, who married Havard Gunnason, and their sons were Magnus, Hakon Claw, Dufniall and Thorstein”[956]. m ---. (Cawley's Medlands)

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Jarl of Orkney and Caithness

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Paul and Erlend Thorfinnsson

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Paul Thorfinnsson (died after 1098) and Erlend Thorfinnsson (died after 1098) were the sons of Thorfinn Sigurdsson and Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, and ruled as together as Earls of Orkney after the death of their father. Their lives and times are recounted in the Orkneyinga Saga.

The first mention of the brothers is when they accompanied the Norwegian king Harald Hardrade and Tostig Godwinson on the ill-fated expedition to England in 1066. Paul and Erlend were with Harald's son Olaf Kyrre, guarding the ships, when the battle of Stamford Bridge was fought. Along with Olaf they were allowed to leave by the English king Harold Godwinson. Olaf overwintered on Orkney with them and left on good terms with the Thorfinssons.

The saga says that Paul and Erlend were on good terms until their children grew to adulthood, after which the disputes between their sons led to a quarrel and open hostility between the brothers. As the disputes between the descendants of Paul and Erlend loomed large in the affairs of 12th century Orkney, the saga goes into some detail on their family relationships.

Earl Paul was married to an unnamed daughter of Norwegian earl Hakon Ivarsson. Two sons and four daughters are named. Of these, Hakon played the greatest part in events. Paul's daughter Gunnhild's was marred to Kol Kalison and Rognvald Kali Kolsson was their son. Earl Erlend married Thora, daughter of one Sumarlidi Ospaksson, and they had two sons and two daughters, while Erlend had a third, illegitimate daughter as well. Erlend's son Magnus appears in the saga as earl, martyr and saint, but the troubles between the earls began with rivalry between Hakon Paulsson and Magnus's brother Erling. Both are described as quarrelsome, arrogant men, and talented too.

-------------------- Thorfinnson, Paul I of Orkney, Earl of Orkney. Acceded: 1057 Died: 1099, Bergen. Father: Sigurdsdon, Thorfinn the Black of Orkney, Jarl of Orkney, b. 1009. Mother: Finnsdottir, Ingibiorg Earls Mother. Married to Hakondottir, Daughter. Child 1: Paulsson, Hakon, Earl of Orkney. Child 2: Pauldottir, Thora. Child 3: Paulson, Brynjolf. Child 4: Pauldottir, Ingirid. Child 5: Pauldottir, Herbjorg. Child 6: Pauldottir, Ragnhild. (Directory of Royal Genealogical Data, Hull, England)

1098 drar Magnus Barfot till Orkneyöarna, som de facto är ett oavhängigt jarladöme nu. Han lyckas infånga två bröder som heter Pål Jarl och Erlend Jarl och skickar dem till Norge. I deras ställe sätter han ett norskt regeringskollegium med sin åttaårige son Sigurd som toppfigur. På Hebriderna och Man härskar en hövding som heter Gudröd Crovan. Magnus Barfot underlägger sig utan svårighet dennes rike. (En nordisk kronologi, sid 92, Alf Henrikson) Bar

http://www.espell.se/saga/p866eb593.html -------------------- Paul Thorfinnsson (died after 1098) and Erlend Thorfinnsson (died after 1098) ruled together as Earls of Orkney.

Paul and Erlend Thorfinnsson were the sons of Thorfinn Sigurdsson and Ingibiorg Finnsdottir. Through Ingibiorg's father Finn Arnesson and his wife, the family was related to the Norwegian Kings Olav II and Harald II.

Their lives and times are recounted in the Orkneyinga Saga. The first mention of the brothers is when they accompanied the Norwegian king Harald Hardrade and Tostig Godwinson on the ill-fated expedition to England in 1066. Paul and Erlend were with Harald's son Olaf Kyrre, guarding the ships, when the battle of Stamford Bridge was fought. Along with Olaf they were allowed to leave by the English king Harold Godwinson. Olaf overwintered on Orkney with them and left on good terms with the Thorfinssons.

The saga says that Paul and Erlend were on good terms until their children grew to adulthood, after which the disputes between their sons led to a quarrel and open hostility between the brothers. As the disputes between the descendants of Paul and Erlend loomed large in the affairs of 12th century Orkney, the saga goes into some detail on their family relationships.

Paul was married to an unnamed daughter of Norwegian earl Hakon Ivarsson. Two sons and four daughters are named. Of these, Hakon played the greatest part in events. Paul's daughter Gunnhild's was marred to Kol Kalison and Rognvald Kali Kolsson was their son.

Erlend married Thora, daughter of one Sumarlidi Ospaksson, and they had two sons and two daughters, while Erlend had a third, illegitimate daughter as well. Erlend's son Magnus appears in the saga as earl, martyr and saint. The troubles between the earls began with rivalry between Hakon Paulsson and Magnus's brother Erling. Both are described as quarrelsome, arrogant men, and talented too.

Magnus III of Norway took possession of the islands in 1098, deposing Erlend and Paul. Paul's son, Haakon Paulsson, then became regent on behalf of the Norwegian prince, the future King Sigurd I of Norway, who made Haakon earl in 1105.

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son of Thorfinn
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Pål of Orkney Thorfinnsson, Jarl of Orkney's Timeline

1049
1049
Orkney, Birsay, Scotland
1070
1070
Age 21
Orkney Islands,Orkney,Scotland
1072
1072
Age 23
Orkney Islands, Scotland
1075
1075
Age 26
Norse Orkney, Scotland
1076
1076
Age 27
Orkney Islands (now part of Great Britain)
1078
1078
Age 29
Orkney Islands, Scotland
1080
1080
Age 31
1099
November 3, 1099
Age 50
Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
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