Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

with his Ostmen, though at times with varying fortune, against several Irish kings and chiefs, but we further behold the Ostmen displaying a very remarkable degree of strength and independence in various places in Ireland.

About five-and-twenty years after the battle of Clontarf (say the Irish chroniclers themselves), Sigtryg, king of the Ostmen in Dublin, and Donat (Dunan), their bishop, built, in the middle of that city, the church of the Holy Trinity, also called Christ Church. That the Ostmen should then have founded one of the principal churches of Dublin, which even lay without their own town (Ostmantown), in the very heart of ancient Dublin, is highly significant. After the church was built, Bishop Donat presented several relics to it, amongst which are mentioned “pieces of the clothes of King Olaf the Saint.” The great respect in which the name of the Norwegian Saint Olaf was held in Dublin is also manifest from the circumstance that a church consecrated to St. Olave, or, as the Irish common people gradually corrupted the name, to “ Tulloch" (compare the name of Tooley Street in London, corrupted from St. Olave Street), was to be found there till at least far into the sixteenth century. This church adjoined the northern end of Fishshamble Street, near Wood-Quay; but originally, perhaps, it was just outside the city.

In the same year (1038) that Christ Church was, partly through the exertions of Bishop Donat, erected in Dublin, he likewise built the chapel of St. Michael. Half a century later (1095) another “Ostman ”built Saint Michan's Church in the “ Ostmen’s” town in Dublin; and about the same time the cathedral in Waterford, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was founded and erected by the Ostmen there.

The “ Ostmen” in Ireland thus possessed not only their own churches, but likewise, as the Irish records also mention, their own bishops, who were consecrated in England by the archbishop of Canterbury; whilst the Irish bishops were consecrated in Ireland itself by the Irish archbishop of Armagh. The Dublin - Ostmen's first bishop Donat, or Dunan, died in the year 1074, and was buried in Christ Church, to the erection of which he had himself so considerably contributed. After him, by desire of the Dublin king Godred, or Godfred, another “ Ostman," Patrick, was chosen bishop of the Ostmen in Dublin, but perished by shipwreck on his voyage home from Canterbury (1084). He was succeeded by the “ Ostman” Donat O'Haingly (+1095); whose cousin, Samuel O'Haingly, previously a monk in the content of St. Alban's in England, afterwards filled the see of the “Ostmen" in Dublin until the year 1121. His successor, Gregorius, was the first of these Ostmen's bishops in Dublin who was made archbishop. This probably arose from the circumstance of the “ Ostmen” in the other Irish towns having in the meantime obtained bishops, who were now to have a common superior in the Archbishop of Dublin. In the year 1096 the “ Ostmen” in Waterford are said to have obtamed a bishop, Malchus, who is stated to have been a native of Ireland. In the year 1136 Waterford bad an * Ostman" named Toste (Tuistius, or Tostius) for its bishop. A few years later (1140) Gille, or Gilbert, the “ Ostmen's” bishop of Limerick, died; after whom the “ Ostmen” chose a certain Patrick. In the year 1151 the * Ostman” Harald, bishop of Limeriek, died, and was succeeded by his countryman Thorgils (“ Thorgesius "). Twenty years previously (1131) the death of the “Ostman" Everard, or Eberhard, abbot of the convent of St. Mary, near Dublin, is mentioned; which confirms, what is indeed almost a matter of course, that the Ostmen, who had their own churches and bishops, must also have had their own convents partly filled with Scandinavian monks and abbots. At length, in the year 1161, Gregorius, archbishop of Dublin, died; and from his time until the present Dublin has constantly been the seat of one of Ireland's principal archbishops. But precisely because this archbishopric was originally founded by Ostmen, or foreigners, the archbishop of Dublin did not afterwards become the primate of all Ireland, as, from the importance of Dublin, we might otherwise have expected. That dignity, on the contrary, has constantly been reserved for the genuine old Irish archbishopric of Armagh, in the north-east of Ireland. Even Gregorius' successor in the archiepiscopal see is said to have been consecrated in Dublin by the archbishop of Armagh. It has lately been discovered (compare P. Chalmers in the Journal of the Brit. Archæol. Assoc., Oct., 1850, p. 323, &c.) that these archbishops of Dublin not only administered their own diocese, but, at least at times, acted as superintendents of the Norwegian bishoprics in the Isle of Man and the Sudreyjar. There is a letter of Pope Honorius of the beginning of the thirteenth century, from which it appears that the archbishop of Dublin at that time consecrated a bishop of Man and the Sudreyjar, a privilege which in more ancient times belonged to the archbishops of York, and afterwards (from 1181 to 1334) to the archbishops of Trondhjem. It is quite certain that this was a result of the lively intercourse which undoubtedly took place between the successors of the Ostmen in Ireland and their near kinsmen in the Norwegian kingdoms in Man and the Sudreyjar.

It was, above all, a very fortunate circumstance for the independence of the Irish Ostmen that such powerful Norwegian kingdoms continued to exist on the west coast of Scotland. From these they could usually obtain assistance in their battles with the Irish; and by means of them they also kept up a constant connection with their Norwegian fatherland. That they were able to maintain their peculiar independent position in Ireland for more than a century after the Danish dominion in England bad ceased to exist, was clearly not so much owing to their military skill and compact force, in comparison with the internal dissensions and perfect want of union among the Irish, as to the considerable wealth and power which they constantly derived from their extensive trade and navigation, and the influence which by such means they must pecessarily have exerrised in Ireland. The Irish ehronieles and perdigrees teach us that friendly connections and potiorical marriages increased more and more between the Irish and the Ostmen, both in Ireland and Norway, so that the Irish aristocracy became mixed in a considerable degree with Vorwegian biood. We also leam from the sange doaments that the (Istmen and their kings constantly comtinded to ally themselves with Irish princes, whose power they often essentially contributed to support. The Irish king Konofogr gained a naval battle in Ulfreksfjord against Einar, jarl of Orkney, because, as it is stated, the Norwegian Viking, Eyvind Crarhorn, had joined the former with his ships. When King Magnus Barfod of Norway undertook his expedition to Ireland, he concluded an alliance with Myrjartak, King of Connaught (0. N., “ Kunnáktir"), whose danghter, Biadmaynja, was married to Magnus Barfod's son Sigurd. But when Magnus fell in Ulster (in 1103), Sigurd abandoned Biadmynja. Yet the connections formed in Ireland by Magnus through this expedition produced important results for Norway. An Irishman named Harald Gille came forward and passed himself off for a son of that monarch by an Irishwoman; and after proving his descent by walking over red-hot iron, actually became king of Norway, and left its throne as an inheritance to his family.

The Ostmen settled in Dublin and other places in Ireland were more and more induced to form connections with native Irish princes, pay, even sometimes to submit to them, as the support which they derived from their own country continually decreased during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Shortly after the battle of Clontarf, Christianity was introduced into the Scandinavian North, and thus an end was put to the Vikings' expeditions, which had hitherto incessantly brought colonists and Auxiliary forces into Ireland. Even the reinforcements which the Ostmen were able to obtain from their country

men in Man, the Sudreyjar, and the Orkneys, were naturally not so important as before ; since on these islands also Christianity gradually annihilated the bold Viking spirit of the people.

Under such circumstances it is surprising that Godfred (or Godred) Merenagh, king of the Ostmen in Dublin, had in the year 1095 a naval force of not fewer than ninety ships in the harbour of Dublin; and that the land forces of the Ostmen in that city were proportionately powerful. The Irish chronicles mention many battles in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in which the Dublin Ostmen brought numerous warriors into the field, and in which they often suffered very considerable loss, without, however, being entirely annihilated or driven out of the town. Even in the year 1167, and consequently a hundred and fifty years after the battle of Clontarf, a great meeting of the Irish people was held by Athboy of Tlactga, at which, the Irish themselves say, thousands of the first Ostmen in Dublin were present.

That this account is not exaggerated, and that the number of Ostmen in Dublin, as well as in the other Irish cities, was really very considerable at the close of the twelfth century, is clearly shown by the notorious fact, that when the English, under Earl Strongbow and Miles de Cogan, obtained, in the years 1170 and 1171, a firm footing in Ireland, the Ostmen in Dublin, Limerick, and Cork, were able to offer a very powerful resistance. Respecting the conquest of Dublin by the English we find the following statement in the “ Dublin Annals" (by O'Donovan):

“ The year 1170. The Danes of Dublin were treacherously slaughtered in their own garrison by Mac Morough and the English ; and they carried away their cattle and their riches. Asgal, the son of Reginald, king of the Danes in Dublin, fled from them.

“1171. A battle was fought at Dublin, between Miles de Cogan and Asgal, son of Reginald, king of the Danes

« НазадПродовжити »