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Godred Crovan (d. 1095)

King of Mann and the Isles

Defeated the Manx at the battle of Skyhill and became the King of Mann and the Isles. Also known in folklore as King Orry.
Little is known of the early life of Godred, son of Harald the Black. He is thought to have been born into the great Norse-Gael Irish Sea dynasty, the Uí Ímair. According to the Chronicle of Mann, he spent some of his childhood in the Isle of Man. His sobriquet, Crovan, is thought to derive from the Gaelic for ‘white-handed’, crobh-bhán, perhaps referring to something remarkable or strange about one or both of his hands.godred-crovan.jpg
Godred is said to have fought at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, after which he fled to the Isle of Man.  Some years later, around 1079, he assembled men and ships and made three attempts to conquer the Island, finding success on his last attempt at the battle of Skyhill near Ramsey.  He divided the island in two, giving the southern part to his followers and the northern part to the surviving Manxmen.  By 1091 he was also king of Dublin.  

Godred ruled until his death in Islay in 1095, having formed Man and the Isles into a united kingdom with considerable legal, ecclesiastical and administrative advances.  It is likely that Godred set up the council from which the Manx legislative body developed.  His significance is reflected in the fact that he has passed into folk memory as King Orry, a figure associated with the introduction of the Island’s legal system. 

 One of Godred’s lasting achievements was the founding of the Crovan dynasty: his descendants ruled over the Kingdom of Man and the Isles until 1264. ​ 

Founded the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles