Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal Updated 10 May 2024 Date of 'update' refers to the whole section update, not to every individual file.
, Gillebride
(About 1080-)
Somerled (Somhairlidh) Lord of Argyll, Kintyre and Lorne
(About 1110-1164)


Family Links

1. Ragnhildis Princess of Man and the Isles

Somerled (Somhairlidh) Lord of Argyll, Kintyre and Lorne 1

  • Born: About 1110
  • Marriage (1): Ragnhildis Princess of Man and the Isles in 1140 1
  • Died: 1164, Battle of Renfrew, Scotland 1

   User ID: C417.

  General Notes:

"The MacVurichs, whose line of bards and historians to the Island Family go back almost to the time of Somerled himself, agree with the others in their account of his first appearance on the stage of history. When first referred to, he is living a quiet life in the district of Morven with his father Gillebride. Somewhat earlier than the middle of the twelfth century, it appears that a strenuous effort was made by the native tribes of Argyll to free themselves from the Scandinavian yoke under which they had so long chafed. What part Somerled played in the early part of this struggle does not appear, but finally the tribes made choice of him as their leader. After a series of skirmishes, the Scandinavians were driven to their galleys and retired in utter confusion from the mainland of Argyll to the Isles." (page 28)

"Somerled had another son, Gillicallum, killed at Renfrew, who may have been by a former wife. Other sons are said to have been Olave, and Gall Macsgillin, progenitor of the Clan Gall of the Glens. He had also a daughter, Beatrice, who was Prioress of lona." (page 31)

from Scots Peerage (vol 5) 1

Somerled married Ragnhildis Princess of Man and the Isles, daughter of Olave King of Man and the Isles and Unknown, in 1140.1 (Ragnhildis Princess of Man and the Isles was born about 1122.)

  Marriage Notes:

"Somerled having gained possession of the mainland territory of his family, assumed the title of Thane or Regulus of Argyll. But he was not satisfied with the conquest of Argyll. It became his settled policy to subdue the Kingdom of Man and the Isles as well. Meanwhile a temporary friendship was effected between him and Olave, King of Man and the Isles, through the marriage of Somerled and Ragnhildis, the daughter of Olave. This marriage, which took place in 1140, was, according to the author of the Chronicles of Man, the cause of the ultimate ruin of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Isles." (page 29)

"Somerled married Ragnhildis, daughter of Olave, King of Man and the Isles, and had (issue)" (page 30)

from Scots Peerage (vol 5) 1


1 e-books, The Scots Peerage ed. Sir James Balfour Paul vol. 5 (1908).

Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal

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