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C has invariably the sound of k (with which, indeed, it is frequently interchanged). The names of Cetel, Oscytel, &c, are to be pronounced Ketel, Oskytel. Where c or k precedes another consonant, it retains, as in German, its distinct and proper power. In order to represent this power, Latin and English writers have sometimes substituted the syllable ca for the initial c or k; as, for instance, in the name of Canute (Dan., Cnut or Kmid). This has led to the very common error of pronouncing the name as if it consisted of two syllables, with an accent upon the first; as Can-ute, instead of Canute.

J has the sound of the English y; as in Jarl (Yarl, earl), Jorvik (Yor-vik, York).

The consonants th (the Icelandic Jj*) are pronounced like a single t. The word Thing (assizes, &c.), which the reader will so frequently meet, is sounded like Ting. The proper pronunciation is preserved in the word Urn-ting, but by altering the spelling. Thus, Thor, Thorkil, &c, must be pronounced Tor, Torkil.

Lastly, the Vikings (Isl., Vikingr, a sea-rover, pirate), who played so great a part during the Danish conquests, were not Vi-kings, but Vik-ings (Veek-ings); so called either from the Icelandic Vik (Dan., Vig), a bay of the sea, or from Vig, battle, slaughter.

London, Dec. 15th, 1851.

* The letter $ has the power of dh, or dth.


In the spring of 1846, his late Majesty Christian VIII. of Denmark determined that an inquiry should be made respecting the monuments and memorials of the Danes and Norwegians which might be still extant in Scotland and the British Islands. His Majesty was the more confirmed in this design as two distinguished British noblemen, his Grace the Duke of Sutherland, and his brother Lord Francis Egerton (now Earl of Ellesmere), had repeatedly stated in their letters to the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries that, if a Danish archseologist visited Scotland, he should receive all possible assistance, especially in Sutherland, a district so rich in Scandinavian antiquities.

His Majesty did me the honour to intrust this task to me; and the President of the Royal Society of Northerti Antiquaries, and of the Royal Committee for the preservation of the national monuments—our present most gracious sovereign Frederick VII.—having, with a lively zeal for the promotion of the inquiry, furnished me with several letters of introduction, I travelled during a twelvemonth (1846-1847) in Scotland, Ireland, and England; where, partly through the personal kindness of the Duke of Sutherland and of the Earl of Ellesmere, and partly by means of their influential names, I invariably met with the best reception and the most valuable assistance in my researches.

The present work contains, part of the results of that journey. My aim in it has been to convey a juster and less prejudiced notion than prevails at present respecting the Danish and Norwegian conquests; which, though of such special importance to England, Scotland, and Ireland, have hitherto been constantly viewed in an utterly false and partial light. Whilst writing the work in Denmark, I have but too frequently felt the want of constant access to the well-stored libraries of England; although those literary gentlemen in Great Britain to whom I have written for information, have received my applications with their usual readiness and friendship*.

However, as my work contains the first fully detailed examination of the subject from the Danish side, I hope that, notwithstanding all its deficiencies and faults, it may prove of some interest in England, and serve to excite further investigation, which would doubtless throw a clearer light upon a very remote, but not on that account less remarkable, period in the history of England and the North.


Copenhagen, April, 1851.

* Amongst the many gentlemen to whom I owe my thanks, I must particularly name: Sir H. Dryden, Bart., of Canons Ashby; C. Roach Smith, Esq., F.S.A., London; E. Hawkins, Esq., British Museum; J. M. Kemble, Esq.; Professor Cosmo Innes, Edinburgh; Dr. Traill, ibid.; C. Neaves, Esq., ibid.; R. Chalmers, Esq., of Auldbar Castle; Rev. J. H. Todd, D.D., Trinity College, Dublin; Professor C. Graves; and Dr. G. Petrie, likewise of Dublin.

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