Thorfinn I Hausakljufer 'Skull Splitter' Einarsson, Orkneyjarl (890 - 976) MP

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Nicknames: "Þorfinnur hausakljúfur", "Hausakliffer", "Hausakljuf", "Skullsplitter", "The /", "Viking Jatl of Orkney"
Birthplace: Orkney Islands, Norse Orkney
Death: Died in Hoxa, Ronaldsey, Orkney
Occupation: Earl of Orkney, Jarl på Orknøyane, Jarl, d'Orkney
Managed by: Bianca May Evelyn Brennan
Last Updated:

About Thorfinn I Hausakljufer 'Skull Splitter' Einarsson, Orkneyjarl

Thorfinn Hausakljuv, sønn av Torf-Einar og hans ukjente frille.

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SCOTTISH%20NOBILITY.htm#EinarIJarlOrkneyB

c) EINAR "Turf-Einar” . Orkneyinga Saga names “Hallad, Hrollaug and the youngest Einar” 797]. Snorre names "Hallad, the second Einar, the third Hrollaug" as the three sons of "Earl Ragnvald" by concubines, adding that they were all "grown men" when their legitimate brothers were still children[798]. Jarl [of Orkney]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Ragnvald sent his “youngest son Einar” to “the islands” after his brother Hallad returned to Norway and that Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway gave “the title of earl”, adding that his mother was “slave-born on each side of her family”, and stating that he killed “Thorir Tree-Beard and Kalf Scurvy” and succeeded in imposing his authority in Orkney where “he was the first man to dig peat for fuel…at Tarbat Ness in Scotland”, and that he “was tall and ugly…and…one-eyed”[799].] Orkneyinga Saga records that “Halfdan Long-Leg and Gudrod Gleam, King Harald´s sons by Snæfrid” attacked “Earl Rognvald of More, killed him and assumed his authority”, that Halfdan left for Orkney and “conquered the islands and set himself up as king over them”, Jarl Einar “fled the islands over to Scotland” but returned “later in the year…[and] came out as victor”, and that Halfdan´s body was found in the sea and mutilated (including graphic details of the mutilation)[810]. Orkneyinga Saga records that the ensuing dispute with King Harald was settled by payment of a tax of “sixty gold marks” to the king, which Einar paid “out of his own pocket on condition that he should hold all the estates [in Orkney] in fee”[811]. It should be noted that there are considerable chronological difficulties with the career of Turf-Einar and his sons, as reported in Orkneyinga Saga. The starting point for the analysis of these problems is the date of the battle in Northumbria in which Turf-Einar´s two oldest sons were killed, which can with reasonable accuracy be placed in the early 950s. If these two sons were at least in their late thirties or forties when they died (a difficult assumption to make considering that they had no reported direct heirs), their births could not be placed before [905/15] at the earliest. The likelihood would then be that their father, Turf-Einar, was not born much earlier than [975/95]. The difficulty is that this date is completely incompatible with (a) the fact that the illegitimate sons of Ragnvald were reported as “grown men” when their legitimate half-brothers were children, and (b) that the date when Ivar, the oldest legitimate son, was killed is estimated to [874] - (see Cawley’s NORWEGIAN NOBILITY for further details concerning the reported events in the lives of Turf-Einar´s ancestors). (Cawley's Medlands)

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

Einar [& his wife] had [three] children:

1. ARNKEL (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954). Orkneyinga Saga names “ArnkelErlend and…Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” as the three sons of Einar[812]. Snorre names "Earls Arnkel and Erlend, the sons of Earl Torfeinar" when recording that they accompanied King Eirik "Blodøks" from Orkney to plunder the Hebrides and Ireland, but were defeated and killed with King Eirik[813]. Joint Jarl of Orkney with his brothers. Snorre records that "Arnkel, Erlend and Thorfin Hausakljufer" succeeded their father but that the first two were killed "in a war expedition"[814]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earls Arnkel and Erlend, the sons of Turf-Einar” joined ex-King Eirik after he was expelled from Northumbria by Edmund King of England and that they sailed to the Hebrides, looted in Ireland and Strathclyde, until they were killed in battle against Olaf King of Northumbria [815].] (Cawley's Medlands)

2. ERLEND (-killed Stainmore, Westmoreland 954). Orkneyinga Saga names “ArnkelErlend and…Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” as the three sons of Einar[816]. Snorre names "Earls Arnkel and Erlend, the sons of Earl Torfeinar" when recording that they accompanied King Eirik "Blodøks" from Orkney to plunder the Hebrides and Ireland, but were defeated and killed with King Eirik[817]. Joint Jarl of Orkney with his brothers. Snorre records that "Arnkel, Erlend and Thorfin Hausakljufer" succeeded their father but that the first two were killed "in a war expedition"[818]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earls Arnkel and Erlend, the sons of Turf-Einar” joined ex-King Eirik after he was expelled from Northumbria by Edmund King of England and that they sailed to the Hebrides, looted in Ireland and Strathclyde, until they were killed in battle against Olaf King of Northumbria [815].] (Cawley's Medlands)

3. THORFINN "Hausakliffer/Skullcleaver" ([910/20]-[soon after 977], bur Hoxa, North Ronaldsway). Orkneyinga Saga names “ArnkelErlend and…Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” as the three sons of Einar[820]. Snorre names "Thorfin Hausakljufer, a son of Torfeinar" when recording that he was Jarl in Orkney when the islands were invaded by the sons of King Eirik "Blodøks" [821]. Joint Jarl of Orkney with his brothers. Sole Jarl of Orkney 954, and 955-976. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Thorfinn Skull-Splitter…died in his bed” and was “laid in a burial mound at Hoxa in North Ronaldsway”[822]. The Complete Peerage estimates Thorfinn´s death to “soon after 977” which appears broadly consistent with the events in which his children are reported as involved[823].

m ([941]) GRELAD of Caithness, daughter of DUNGAD [Duncan] Mormaer of Caithness & his wife Groa. Snorre names "Grelad, a daughter of Earl Dungad of Caithness…[and of] Groa, a daughter of Thorstein Raud" as mother of the five sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[824].]

Thorfinn & [his wife] had [seven] children: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) daughter . If the reports of the plots involving her son are correct, she was probably older than her brothers. m ---. One child:] (Cawley's Medlands)

i) EINAR "Klining/Buttered-Bread" (-murdered). Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter” plotted her second husband´s death with his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” (whom she promised to marry), that she then plotted with “Einar Hardmouth, the son of another of Havard´s sisters” to kill Einar Buttered-Bread[825].] (Cawley's Medlands)

b) daughter. If the reports of the plots involving her son are correct, she was probably older than her brothers. m ---. One child:] (Cawley's Medlands)

i) EINAR "Hardchaft/Hard-Jaw" (-murdered). Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter” plotted her second husband´s death with his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” (whom she promised to marry), that she then plotted with “Einar Hardmouth, the son of another of Havard´s sisters” to kill Einar Buttered-Bread, but that she finally married “Ljot the brother of Arnfinn and Havard” who “had Einar Hard-Mouth put to death”[826].] (Cawley's Medlands)

c) ARNFINN Torfinnsson (-murdered Murkle, Caithness ----). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[827]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild [mother of Ragnhild] and her sons returned to Orkney[828]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[829]. He succeeded his father in [976] as Jarl of Orkney [and Caithness]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother Havard the Fecund who succeeded to the earldom”[830].

m ([954/55]) as her first husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Queen Gunhild Gormsdatter. Orkneyinga Saga records that Gunnhild, widow of ex-King Eirik of Norway, arranged the marriage of their daughter Ragnhild to “Earl Thorfinn Skull-Splitter” before she and her sons left Orkney[831], which can probably be dated to [955] or soon after. Snorre records the marriage of "King Eirik's daughter, Ragnhild" and "Arnfin, a son of Thorfin Hausakljufer" at the time the ex-king's sons left Orkney[832]. She married secondly her brother-in-law, Havard Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother Havard the Fecund who succeeded to the earldom”, but that she plotted her second husband´s death with his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” (whom she promised to marry), that she then plotted with “Einar Hardmouth, the son of another of Havard´s sisters” to kill Einar Buttered-Bread, but that she finally married “Ljot the brother of Arnfinn and Havard”[833]. She married thirdly her brother-in-law, Ljot Jarl of Orkney.] (Cawley's Medlands)

d) HAVARD Torfinnsson "Season-prosperous" (-murdered, bur Stennis, Hrossey). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[834]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[835]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[836]. He succeeded his brother as Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that Havard was killed by his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” at “Stenness on Mainland”[837].

m as her second husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, widow of ARNFINN Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Gunhild Gormsdatter. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother Havard the Fecund who succeeded to the earldom”, but that she plotted her second husband´s death with his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” (whom she promised to marry), that she then plotted with “Einar Hardmouth, the son of another of Havard´s sisters” to kill Einar Buttered-Bread, but that she finally married “Ljot the brother of Arnfinn and Havard”[838]. She married thirdly her brother-in-law, Ljot Jarl of Orkney.] (Cawley's Medlands)

e) LJOT Torfinnsson (-killed in battle). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[839]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[840]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[841]. He succeeded his brother as Jarl of Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that, after the death of “Skuli, Ljot´s brother” whose invasion of Orkney was repelled, “Earl Ljot took over in Caithness” and defeated “Earl Macbeth [who] came north from Scotland with a large army…at Skitten in Caithness” but died from his wounds after returning to Orkney[842]. It is assumed that “Earl Macbeth” was not the future Scottish King Macbeth, who was Mormaer of Moray in the early 1030s, but an earlier earl of the same name who has not yet been identified in other primary sources. Otherwise the chronology of Orkneyinga Saga must be even more shaky than appears, and the family relationships of the Jarls of Orkney as described therein even less likely to be correct.

m as her third husband, RAGNHILD Eiriksdatter, widow firstly of ARNFINN Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney and secondly of HAVARD Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney, daughter of ERIK I "Blodøks/Blood-axe" King of Norway & his wife Gunhild Gormsdatter. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Ragnhild Eirik´s daughter plotted the death of her husband Arnfinn at Murkle in Caithness” before marrying “his brother Havard the Fecund who succeeded to the earldom”, but that she plotted her second husband´s death with his “nephew…Einar Buttered-Bread” (whom she promised to marry), that she then plotted with “Einar Hardmouth, the son of another of Havard´s sisters” to kill Einar Buttered-Bread, but that she finally married “Ljot the brother of Arnfinn and Havard”[843].] (Cawley's Medlands)

f) HLODVIR Torfinnsson ([945/50]-[988], bur Hofn, Caithness). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[844]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[845]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[846]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “after Ljot´s death, Hlodvir took charge of the earldom”, presumably indicating Ljot´s brother but this is not explicitly stated in the text, recording that “he died in his bed” and was buried “in a burial mound at Ham in Caithness”[847].

m EITHNE, daughter of KIARVAL King of Ireland & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Hlodvir” married “Eithne, the daughter of King Kjarval of Ireland”, adding in a later passage that “Sigurd´s mother was a sorceress”[848]. Hlodve´s supposed father-in-law has not been identified among known Irish kings.

Hlodve & his wife had [three] children: (Cawley's Medlands)

i) SIGURD "Digri/the Stout", son of [HLODVIR Torfinnsson Jarl of Orkney & his wife Eithne of Ireland] ([965/70]-killed in battle Clontarf 23 Apr 1014). Orkneyinga Saga names “Sigurd the Stout” as the son of Hlodvir and his wife, adding that he “took over the earldom” after his father died[856]. Snorre names "Sigurd the Thick" as the son of Hlodver[857]. His birth date is estimated from the fact that his older sons were already sufficiently mature in 1014 to be placed in charge of Orkney by their father when he left for war in Ireland. He succeeded his father in [988] as Jarl of Orkney and Caithness. He defeated Findlaech Mormaer of Moray before 995 at the second battle of Skidmoor in Caithness, consolidating his power on the Scottish mainland. Orkneyinga Saga records Sigurd´s battle against “a Scottish earl called Finnleik”[858]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Olaf Tryggvason” pressured Sigurd to accept baptism and returned to Norway with Sigurd´s son as a hostage[859]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd went to Ireland “five years after the Battle of Svoldur” to support “King Sigtrygg Silk-Beard” against “King Brian of Ireland”, and left “his elder sons in charge of the earldom”, but was killed in the battle in which King Brian was killed[860]. Snorre records that "Sigurd the Thick" went to Ireland and fell "in Brian's battle"[861]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m firstly ---. The name of Sigurd´s first wife is not known. Sigurd & his [first wife] had four children:

1. SOMERLED (-[1015/20]). Orkneyinga Saga records that Earl Sigurd had “three other sons…Sumarlidi, Brusi and Einar Wry-Mouth”, adding that he left them “in charge of the earldom” when he left for Ireland and that they divided the earldom between them after he was killed[866]. Snorre names "Sumarlide, Bruse and Einar Rangmund" as "older sons" of "Sigurd the Thick", recording that they succeeded on the death of their father when the country was divided into three parts[867]. He succeeded his father 1014 as Jarl of 1/3 Orkney. Orkneyinga Saga records that Somerled “had the shortest life” of the brothers, “dying in his bed”[868]. (Cawley's Medlands)

2. BRUSI (-[1030/35]). Orkneyinga Saga records that Earl Sigurd had “three other sons…Sumarlidi, Brusi and Einar Wry-Mouth”, adding that he left them “in charge of the earldom” when he left for Ireland and that they divided the earldom between them after he was killed[869]. Snorre names "Sumarlide, Bruse and Einar Rangmund" as "older sons" of "Sigurd the Thick", recording that they succeeded on the death of their father when the country was divided into three parts[870]. He succeeded his father 1014 as Jarl of 1/3 Orkney, and disputed the share of his deceased brother Einar with his half-brother Thorfinn. Orkneyinga Saga records the death of “Brusi”, dated from the context to after the death of Malcolm II King of Scotland[871]. m ---. The name of Brusi´s wife is not known. Brusi & his wife had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) RAGNVALD Brusason ([1010/15]-Dec 1046, bur Papa Westray). Orkneyinga Saga names “Rognvald” as son of Brusi, adding that he was two years old when his father took him to Norway after the death of his brother Einar[872]. A later passage records that Olaf II King of Norway kept Ragnvald in Norway when his father returned to Orkney and that “at an early age he grew to be tall and strong…and he stayed with King Olaf for a long time”[873]. As King Olaf´s reign ended in 1028, this passage is inconsistent with Ragnvald having been two years old when he arrived in Norway. The best estimate that can be made is that Ragnvald must have been at least 15 years old in 1030, so must have been born in [1010/15]. Snorre names Ragnvald son of Earl Bruse when recording that he was given as a hostage to Olav King of Norway in 1021, and accompanied the king into exile in Novgorod[874]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Rognvald Brusason” took part “in the battle of Stiklestad in which King Olaf the Saint was killed” (elsewhere dated to 29 Jul 1030), then travelled to Novgorod “where King Jaroslav gave them a kindly welcome”, before returning to Norway with King Magnus II (who succeeded in 1035), and eventually sailing to Orkney to claim his father´s inheritance[875]. Morkinskinna records “Rognvaldr Brúsason…a very valiant and popular man” as leader of the “Russian defence forces” under “King Yaroslav”[876]. Morkinskinna records that Magnus King of Norway “put Rognvaldr Brúsason in authority to the west in Orkney and gave him the title of jarl” but that “great strife broke out between Rognvaldr jarl and Thorfinnr jarl his uncle”[877]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Ragnvald left Orkney to seek help from Magnus King of Norway after a dispute with his uncle, was defeated when he returned to Orkney, succeeded in expelling Thorfinn after returning with a second invasion fleet, but was murdered by Thorfinn´s forces, and buried at “Papa Westray”[878]. The Complete Peerage dates Ragnvald´s death to Dec 1046 but does not cite the primary source on which this is based[879]. (Cawley's Medlands)

3. EINA "Rangmund/Wrymouth" (-murdered Sandwick [1023/25]). Orkneyinga Saga records that Earl Sigurd had “three other sons…Sumarlidi, Brusi and Einar Wry-Mouth”, adding that he left them “in charge of the earldom” when he left for Ireland and that they divided the earldom between them after he was killed[880]. Snorre names "Sumarlide, Bruse and Einar Rangmund" as "older sons" of "Sigurd the Thick", recording that they succeeded on the death of their father when the country was divided into three parts[881]. He succeeded his father 1014 as Jarl of 1/3 Orkney. 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[882]. Assuming that he came of age when around 15 years old, this event would be dated to [1023/24]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Einar was killed at “Sandwick” by Thorkel Amundsson[883]. It is difficult to date this event precisely, but references in the text to “King Olaf” must indicate Olaf II King of Norway who ruled from 1016 to 1028. (Cawley's Medlands)

4. HUNDI [Hlodvir] ([990]-[996/1000]). Orkneyinga Saga records that “Olaf Tryggvason” pressured Sigurd to accept baptism and returned to Norway with Sigurd´s son “Hvelp or Hundi…baptised…[as] Hlodvir” as a hostage, adding that “Hlodvir didn´t live long” and that his father refused to pay homage to King Olaf after his son died[884]. He was taken to Norway as a hostage by Olaf Tryggvesson [995], baptised as Hlodve, but died there soon after[885]. (Cawley's Medlands)

m ([1005 or after]) --- of Scotland, daughter of MALCOLM II King of Scotland & his wife ---. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Sigurd” married “the daughter of Malcolm King of Scots” (whose succession is recorded in 1005)[862]. Snorre records the marriage of "Sigurd the Thick" and "a daughter of the Scottish king Malcolm"[863]. It appears unlikely that Sigurd´s wife could have been King Malcolm´s daughter Donada (as shown in many secondary sources, including the Complete Peerage[864]) if it is correct that Donada´s recorded husband Findlaech was killed in 1020 and that their son was born in [1005][865]. [Note – It is perfectly possible that Sigurd took Donada from Findlaech, long before Findlaech died – Sharon] (Cawley's Medlands)

Sigurd & his second wife had one child:

5. THORFINN "the Black" ([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[886]. Snorre names Thorfin as son of "Sigurd the Thick" & his wife, recording that he was five years old when his father was killed[887]. He succeeded [1030] as sole Jarl of Orkney. (Cawley's Medlands)

- see below.

ii) SVANLAUG or Nereid.

m (Orkney 990) GILLI Jarl of the Hebrides 988-1014.] (Cawley's Medlands)

iii) daughter.

m HAVARD (-winter 988/89). Steward of Caithness for Jarl Sigurd. Killed by Jarls Melsnati and Hundi, who were defeated when Jarl Sigurd attacked them in revenge.](Cawley's Medlands)

g) SKULI Torfinnsson (-killed in battle). Orkneyinga Saga names (in order) “Arnfinn…Havard the Fecund…Hlodvir…Ljot…Skuli” as the five sons of Thorfinn[851]. Snorre names "the Earls Hlodver, Arnfid, Ljot and Skule, the sons of Thorfin Hausakljufer" as rulers in Orkney when Queen Gunhild and her sons returned to Orkney[852]. In a later saga, Snorre names (in order) "Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot and Skule" as sons of Thorfin "Hausakljufer"[853]. Orkneyinga Saga records that “Skuli, Ljot´s brother” was given “the title earl by the King of Scots”, before going north to Caithness from where he sailed to Orkney to claim the islands, but was defeated and fled “first over to Caithness and then south to Scotland” and later killed[854]. The uncertain chronology of events recorded in Orkneyinga Saga make it difficult to be certain about the identity of the Scottish king in question, although Kenneth II (who ruled from 971 to 995) appears the most likely possibility. It is interesting to note that the text does not specify that Skuli was made “Earl of Caithness” just earl without a territorial epithet, reminiscent of the position in many other European countries at the time where the title was not linked to the landholding.] (Cawley's Medlands)

Einar had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

4. THOR-DIS. Are´s Landnama-book records that "Earl Turf-Einar begat a daughter in his youth…Thor-dis" who married "Thor-gar Cloven-foot, their son was Einar [who] went to the Orkneys to see his kinsmen, but they would not receive him as their kinsman…he sailed to Iceland…", and names their descendants[855].

m Thor-gar THORGAR, son of ---. (Cawley's Medlands)


---------------------

Heimskringla, the saga of St Olav:

It is related that in the days of Harald Harfager, the king of Norway, the islands of Orkney, which before had been only a resort for vikings, were settled . The first earl in the Orkney Islands was called Sigurd, who was a son of Eystein Glumra, and brother of Ragnvald earl of More. After Sigurd his son Guthorm was earl for one year. After him Torf-Einar, a son of Ragnvald, took the earldom, and was long earl, and was a man of great power.

[...]

After Torf-Einar, his sons Arnkel, Erlend, and Thorfin Hausakljufer (1) ruled over these lands. In their days came Eirik Blood-axe from Norway, and subdued these earls. Arnkel and Erlend fell in a war expedition; but Thorfin ruled the country long, and became an old man. His sons were Arnfin, Havard, Hlodver, Liot, and Skule. Their mother was Grelad, a daughter of Earl Dungad of Caithness. Her mother was Groa, a daughter of Thorstein Raud. In the latter days of Earl Thorfin came Eirik Blood-axe's sons, who had fled from Earl Hakon out of Norway, and committed great excesses in Orkney. Earl Thorfin died on a bed of sickness, and his sons after him ruled over the country, and there are many stories concerning them.

Hlodver lived the longest of them, and ruled alone over this country. His son was Sigurd the Thick, who took the earldom after him, and became a powerful man and a great warrior. In his days came Olaf Trygvason from his viking expedition in the western ocean, with his troops, landed in Orkney and took Earl Sigurd prisoner in South Ronaldsha, where he lay with one ship. King Olaf allowed the earl to ransom his life by letting himself be baptized, adopting the true faith, becoming his man, and introducing Christianity into all the Orkney Islands. As a hostage, King Olaf took his son, who was called Hunde or Whelp. Then Olaf went to Norway, and became king; and Hunde was several years with King Olaf in Norway, and died there. After his death Earl Sigurd showed no obedience or fealty to King Olaf. He married a daughter of the Scottish king Malcolm, and their son was called Thorfin. Earl Sigurd had, besides, older sons; namely, Sumarlide, Bruse, and Einar Rangmund. Four or five years after Olaf Tryggvason's fall Earl Sigurd went to Ireland, leaving his eldest sons to rule the country, and sending Thorfin to his mother's father, the Scottish king. On this expedition Earl Sigurd fell in Brian's battle (l). When the news was received in Orkney, the brothers Sumarlide, Bruse, and Einar were chosen earls, and the country was divided into three parts among them.

Thorfin Sigurdson was five years old when Earl Sigurd fell. When the Scottish king heard of the earl's death he gave his relation Thorfin Caithness and Sutherland, with the title of earl, and appointed good men to rule the land for him.

Earl Thorfin was ripe in all ways as soon as he was grown up: he was stout and strong, but ugly; and as soon as he was a grown man it was easy to see that he was a severe and cruel but a very clever man. So says Arnor, the earls' skald: --

"Under the rim of heaven no other,

So young in years as Einar's brother,

In battle had a braver hand,

Or stouter, to defend the land."

ENDNOTES: (1) Hausakljufer -- the splitter of skulls. -- L.

(2) Brian's battle is supposed to have taken place on the 23rd April 1014, at Clontart, near Dublin; and is known in Irish history as the battle of Clontarf, and was one of the bloodiest of the age. It was fought between a viking called Sigtryg and Brian king of Munster, who gained the victory, but lost his life. -- L.

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Earl of Orkney -------------------- Kilde: Fossmo/Berglund - slekta. Birger Nytrøen 1995 -------------------- Thorfinn was the youngest son of Torf-Einar. He may have ruled jointly with his brothers and they were all subject to Erik Bloodaxe of Denmark and later Eric's mother, Gunnhildr. Thorfinn's wife Gredlog was a daughter of Duncan (Dundag), Earl of Caithness and Groa Torsteinsdatter, the daughter of Thorstein the Red, King of Caithness. He had five sons and two daughters. -------------------- Title

The 7th Viking Jarl of Orkney

Source: History of the Norwegian People

Globally unique Identifier

BED328B3E68F22D4C1BC6058757670BEA29D

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Born: Abt 890, Orkney Islands, Scotland Married: 914, Orkney Islands, Scotland Died: After 977 Buried: Burial Mound, Hoxa, Ronaldsay, Scotland

  Another name for Thorfinnr was Torfin MAC ENAR. 906

http://www.celtic-casimir.com/webtree/14/24939.htm

  Ancestral File Number: 91WW-3D.

Spouses/Children: Gruaidh (Grélöd) INGHEN DONNCHAIDH of Caithness Arnfin THORFINSSON Orknøyjarl Hlödver (Lodver, Lodvi) THORFINNSSON Earl of Orkney (Orknøyjarl)+ Skuli THORFINNSSON of Orkney, Mormaer of Caithness

  Events:

1. Alternate Birth; Abt 910.

  Marriage Information:

Thorfinnr married Gruaidh (Grélöd) INGHEN DONNCHAIDH of Caithness, daughter of Donnchad (Dungad), Mormaer of Caithness and Gróa THORSTEINSDÓTTIR, in 914 in Orkney Islands, Scotland. (Gruaidh (Grélöd) INGHEN DONNCHAIDH of Caithness was born about 898 in Caithness, Scotland.)

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Thorfinn I Hausakljufer 'Skull Splitter' Einarsson, Orkneyjarl's Timeline

890
890
Orkney Islands, Norse Orkney
890
Orkney Island Scottland
910
910
Age 20
became Jarl of the Orkneys
914
914
Age 24
Orkney, Scotland
918
918
Age 28
Orkneys - son of Thorfinn Einarsson
922
922
Age 32
Norse Orkney
926
926
Age 36
Norse Orkney
928
928
Age 38
Of, , Orkney, Scotland
930
930
Age 40
940
940
Age 50
Orkney