Magnus III Óláfsson, King of Mann and the Isles

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Magnus III Óláfsson (Ólafsson), King of Mann and the Isles

Birthdate: (38)
Birthplace: Isle of Man, Scotland
Death: Died in Gleneig
Immediate Family:

Son of Olaf II "the Black", King of Isle of Man and Christina MacTaggart, Queen of Mann and the Isles
Husband of Mary (Maire) de Ergadia, Queen of Isle of Man and Mary (Maria) de Ergardia MacDougall, to Lorn and Argyll
Father of Bailiff Guðrøðr Magnússon, King of Mann and the Isles and <private> (Magnusdaughter)
Brother of Harald II Óláfsson, King of Man and the Isles; Reginald IV Olafsson, King of Mann and the Isles; <private> (Olafsson) and doubtfull Maude or Mathilda Olafsdottir, Princess of Isle of Man
Half brother of <private> and Matilda / Maude of Isle of Man {doubtful}

Occupation: King of Mann and the Isles
Last Updated:

About Magnus III Óláfsson, King of Mann and the Isles

Magnus Olafsson, King of Mann and the Isles

His brother Harald I, was the last recognized Norse King of Mann and ascended the throne after interruption by more distant and rival relatives. Magnus's official title in Latin was Rex Manniae et Insularum or King of Mann and the Isles. He married Mary of Argyll, daughter of Eóghan of Argyll, the Lord of the Isles. With his death in 1265 the Norse Manx Dynasty ended and Scottish rule began. His son Godred VI later attempted restoration but failed.

After 1217, Norwegian suzerainty of the Isle of Man became a reality and Norway consequently came into collision with the growing power of Scotland.

Finally, in 1261, Alexander III of Scotland sent envoys to Norway to negotiate for the cession of the isles, but their efforts led to no result. He therefore initiated hostilities which terminated in tactical victory for the Norwegians, but significant strategic victory for the Scots, at the often-overstated skirmish of the Battle of Largs in 1263. The failure of the Norwegians to achieve a major and decisive victory at Largs ended their campaign for that year, and the subsequent death of Haakon IV in Orkney led to the ascension to the throne of his son Magnus VI and the signing of the 1266 Treaty of Perth. The Treaty of Perth ceded the islands, including Mann, to Scotland in consideration of the sum of 4,000 marks (known as merks in Scotland) and an annuity of 100 marks.

However, Scotland's rule over Mann did not become firmly established until 1275, when the Manx under Godred VI suffered defeat in the decisive Battle of Ronaldsway, near Castletown.


Reign 1254–1265 Predecessor Haraldr Guðrøðarson

Died 24 November 1265 Rushen Castle

Burial Abbey of St Mary, Rushen

Spouse Máire Nic Dubhghaill (Maria_de_Ergadia)

Issue Guðrøðr Magnússon

House Crovan dynasty

Father Óláfr Guðrøðarson

Magnús Óláfsson (died 1265) was a King of Mann and the Isles. He was a son of Óláfr Guðrøðarson, King of the Isles, and a member of the Crovan dynasty. Magnús' realm encompassed Mann the parts of the Hebrides. Some leading members of Magnús' family—such as his father—styled themselves "King of the Isles"; other members—such as Magnús and his brothers—styled themselves "King of Mann and the Isles". Although kings in their own right, leading members of the Crovan dynasty paid tribute to the Kings of Norway and generally recognised a nominal Norwegian overlordship of Mann and the Hebrides. In 1237, Óláfr died and was succeeded by his elder son, Haraldr, who later drowned in 1248. The kingship was then taken up by his brother, Rǫgnvaldr Óláfsson. After a reign of only weeks, Rǫgnvaldr was slain and the kingship was taken up by Haraldr Guðrøðarson, a descendant of Óláfr's half-brother and deadly rival, Rǫgnvaldr Guðrøðarson, King of the Isles. After a short reign, this Haraldr was removed from power by his overlord, Hákon Hákonarson, King of Norway. In Haraldr's absence, Magnús and a relation of his, Eóghan Mac Dubhghaill, King in the Isles, unsuccessfully attempted to conquer Mann. A few years later, Magnús successfully made his return to the island and was proclaimed king. In the 1240s, following attempts to purchase the Isles from Hákon, Alexander II, King of Scots resorted to warfare to win the region. His death in 1249 brought an abrupt end to his westward invasion, and it was not until the 1260s that a Scottish king again attempted to impose his authority into the Isles. In 1261, Alexander II's son and successor, Alexander III, attempted to purchase the Isles without success, before Scottish forces raided into the Hebrides. Hákon's response to Scottish aggression was to organise a massive fleet to re-assert Norwegian authority. In the summer of 1263, the fleet sailed down through the Hebrides. Although his forces gained strength as they sailed southwards, the Norwegian king received only lukewarm support from many of his Norse-Gaelic vassals—in fact, Magnús was one of the few who came out whole-heartedly for Hákon. At one point during the campaign, Hákon sent Magnús and some other vassals raiding deep into Lennox. Meanwhile, the main Norwegian force was occupied with the Battle of Largs—a famous, but inconclusive series of skirmishes against the Scots. Following this action, Hákon's demoralised fleet returned home having accomplished little. Not long after Hákon's departure and death, Alexander launched a punitive expedition into the Hebrides, and threatened Mann with the same. Magnús' subsequent submission to the Scottish king, and the homage rendered for his lands, symbolises the failure of Hákon's campaign, and marks the complete collapse of Norwegian influence in the Isles. Magnús, the last reigning king of his dynasty, died at Rushen Castle in 1265, and was buried at the Abbey of St Mary, Rushen. At the time of his death, he was married to Eóghan's daughter Máire. In the year after his death, the Hebrides and Mann were formally ceded by King of Norway to the King of Scots. Ten years after Magnús' death, Guðrøðr, a bastard son of his attempted to establish himself as king on Mann. Guðrøðr's revolt was quickly and brutally crushed by Scottish forces, and the island remained part of the Kingdom of Scotland. By the 1290s, the Hebridean portion of Magnús' former island-kingdom had been incorporated into a newly created Scottish sheriffdom.

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Magnus III Óláfsson, King of Mann and the Isles's Timeline

Isle of Man, Scotland
Age 33
November 24, 1265
Age 38