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of Dublin. Many fell on both sides, both of the English archers and of the Danes; among whom was Asgal himself, and Hoan, a Dane from the Orkney Isles."
On this occasion Asgal, or “ Hasculph,” is said to have returned to the city with sixty ships. His warriors, say the chronicles, were accoutred, according to the usual custom of the Danes, in armour and coats of mail, and had red circular shields bound with iron. But though these men were “just as steeled in soul as in arms” (homines tam animis ferrei quam armis), and though, as well as their brethren in Limerick and Cork, they fought the fight of desperation in defence of their property and liberties, yet they were not able to withstand the English. Thus these new conquerors succeeded in annihilating the dominion of the Ostmen in Ireland, or rather in the most important cities of that country, after it had lasted above three hundred years.
Nevertheless we must not believe that the Ostmen were even now wholly expelled from Ireland, or that their influence there was entirely at an end. After the taking of Dublin by the English, so many Ostmen still remained in the city that “the Galls of Dublin" continued to have their own separate army, which even seems to have acted pretty independently of the English conquerors. An Irish chronicle (Annals of the Four Masters) states that Mulrony O'Keary, Lord of Carbury, was treacherously slain by the “ Dublin Ostmen” in the year 1174, and consequently some years after the taking of Dublin. In the same year the English themselves were forced to obtain the assistance of the “ Dublin Ostmen” against the Irish; and it is expressly stated that in a subsequent attack of the Irish on this united Anglo-Norwegian army not far from Dublin, there fell no fewer than “four hundred Ostmen.” The contemporary author, Giraldus Cambrensis, to whom we owe this account, also speaks of the Ostmen, after the conquest of Ireland, as a peculiar and
decidedly separate people, who carried on trade and navigation (“gens igitur hæc, quæ nunc Ostmannica gens vocatur,” &c).
Even more than a century afterwards we can still trace many Ostmen in the chief cities of Ireland, where, it seems, they continued to preserve those Scandinavian characteristics which distinguished them from the Irish and English. In the year 1201 a verdict was pronounced by twelve Irishmen, twelve Englishmen, and twelve Ostmen in Limerick, concerning the lands, churches, and other property belonging to the church of Limerick; which shows that the Ostmen were sufficiently numerous there to be placed on an equal footing with the English and Irish. There is in the Tower of London a document of the year 1283, issued by the English king Edward I., ordering that the Ostmen in Waterford (“Custumanni," Oustumanni, Austumanni ?) should, pursuant to King Henry the Second's ordinance, have, and be judged by, the same laws as the English settled in Ireland, which clearly indicates that the Ostmen at that time still formed a distinct and separate people. We might almost believe that the Ostmen in Waterford had even refused to observe the English laws, or that at least there was a doubt how far these laws could be applied to them; since King Edward found it necessary to enforce Henry the Second's ordinance, and to enjoin his chief justice and magistrates in Ireland that the three men named in the document should, “ like other Ostmen in Waterford,” be judged, and as far as possible (“ quantum in vobis est "), punished, according to the laws in force for Englishmen in Ireland. (See the Latin document in the Appendix.) The striking historical account that in the year 1263 the Irish applied to the Norwegian king Hakon Hakonsön, then lying with his fleet on the south-west coast of Scotland, for assistance against the English, will now no longer be inexplicable or improbable ; for it is placed beyond all doubt that amongst the Irish who thus in vain implored King Hakon for help, there must have been a number of the Ostmen still living in Ireland, who naturally continued to maintain a connection with their countrymen in the Norwegian kingdoms on the south-west coast of Scotland, until these kingdoms also were destroyed in the middle ages.
But from this time forward the “Ostmen” do not play any prominent part in the history of Ireland. Their political independence was annihilated ; and their national characteristics were not sufficiently supported by fresh arrivals from the mother-country, to enable them in the long run to maintain a distinct position in face of the rapidly advancing English nationality. Their descendants continued, nevertheless, to dwell in Ireland ; where they gradually became amalgamated partly with the English conquerors and partly with the native Irish. The Irish chronicles point out various clans in Ireland which were either of Norwegian descent, or at all events had been much mixed with Norwegian blood. In the annals and pedigrees of the middle ages we also meet with both laymen and clergy in Ireland bearing Scandinavian names. For instance, in Christ Church in Dublin, built by the Norwegians, canons and monks are spoken of in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries called “ Harrold,” “ Olof,” “ Siwird” (Sivard), “Regenald,” (Ragnvald) “Iwyr,” &c., names entirely unknown in Ireland previously to the arrival of the Norwegians. The often-mentioned Irish chronicler makes use of a highly-remarkable expression. In stating that most of the merchants' families in Dublin in his time (about the year 1650) were descendants of the Norwegian-Irish king Olaf Kvaran, by Brian Boroihma's (Boru's) daughter Save, he adds: “and the descendants of that Amlave Cuaran are still in Dublin opposing the Gadelians of Erinn:” whence we clearly see that national distinctions and national disputes between the descendants of the Irish and of the Norwegians, were still very prominent only two hundred years ago, or full six hundred years after the battle of Clontarf (1014).
Even to the present day we can follow, particularly in Leinster, the last traces of the Ostmen through a similar series of peculiar family names, which are by no means Irish, but clearly original Norwegian names; for instance, Mac Hitteric or Shiteric (son of Sigtryg), O'Bruadair (son of Broder), Mac Ragnall (son of Ragnvald), Roailb (Rolf), Auleev (Olaf), Mánus (Magnus), and others. It is even asserted that among the families of the Dublin merchants are still to be found descendants of the old Norwegian merchants formerly so numerous in that city. The names of families adduced in confirmation of this, as Harrold (Harald), Iver (Ivar), Cotter or Mac Otter (Ottar), and others, which are genuine Norwegian names, corroborate the assertion that Norwegian families appear to have propagated themselves uninterruptedly in Dublin down to our times, as living evidences of the dominion which their forefathers once exercised there.
It is thus satisfactorily proved, by notorious facts of the most various kinds, that for more than three hundred years the Norwegians lived according to their own manners and customs, and under their own bishops and kings, in the most important towns of Ireland, which they in part ruled, down to the time of the English conquest (1170); that they were the first who minted coins, and carried on any considerable trade and navigation in Ireland ; and lastly, that great numbers of their descendants continued to reside in that country even after it had long been conquered by the English. No impartial person, therefore, will be able any longer to deny that the settlements of the Ostmen, although commenced by the frequent demolition of churches and convents, were ultimately in the most essential matters particularly fortunate for Ireland ; since, by introducing trade and navigation to an extent before unknown, they opened for that sequestered country channels of animated communication and intercourse with the rest of Europe and its continually advancing civilization. The Irish towns occupied by the Ostmen, which have continued to be the principal depots for foreign merchandise, and consequently also the central points of intercourse with foreign countries, may with justice be said to be indebted chiefly to that people for their present greatness, wealth, and power. .
Nor, on a larger historical survey, will it appear less evident that, as the Norwegians first opened the way for peaceful connections between Ireland and the rest of Europe, so they also facilitated the English conquest. In consequence both of their frequent wars, and of their frequent alliances with Irish kings, party feeling had rather increased than diminished among the Irish chiefs ; whilst numerous Irish families, even the greatest in the land, had by degrees become so much mixed with Norwegian Llood, that the strength of the Irish as a nation was not a little weakened and divided. This was particularly the case in those districts of the east coast of Ireland where the English or Norman power afterwards obtained its chief seat. Add to this that the Irish, through the long dominion of the Norwegians in their chief towns, and the advantages which they reaped from it, had become more and more accustomed to behold with indifference the sway of strangers in their country; a circumstance which contributed to the powerful support given to the English on their first invasion of Ireland by several of the native chiefs.
It may possibly be said that the Norwegians in Ireland, by thus preparing the way for the Norman or English conquest, rendered a far greater service to England than to subjugated Ireland. But all the chronicles, it must be recollected, bear witness that the Irish were neither strong enough to govern their own country independently, nor capable of keeping pace with the advance of European civilization by means of an active commerce. We have seen that even in later times the same baleful and sanguinary spirit of dissension which weakened Ireland in ancient days is yet scarcely extinct among the original Irish race. It is manifest, therefore, that Ireland, which would other