Thorfinn Sigurdsson

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Thorfinn Sigurdsson the Mighty (Skand .: Torfinn Sigurdsson Rike ; norrøn: Þorfinnur Sigurðarson ) (* around 1009 , † 1065 ) was Jarl of Orkney .

He is considered to be the most energetic Jarl in Orkney history. He was the son of Orkneyjarl Sigurd Lodvesson , who died in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 , and a daughter of the Scottish King Malcolm II. However , she is nowhere mentioned for sure. He was married to Ingeborg Finnsdatter from Austrått in the municipality of Ørland in Sør-Trøndelag , (Norway) the daughter of the local chief and liegeman Finn Arnesson . With her he had the sons Pål and Erlend and was the grandfather of Orkneyjarl Magnus Erlendsson , the patron saint of the Orkneys.

According to the Orkneyinga saga , after the death of his father, he received from his grandfather Malcolm Caithness (Katanes) as Jarl's rule. Orkney was divided as a Jarltum between Thorfinn's half-brothers Sumarlide, Einar Vrangmunn and Bruse. According to Nordic inheritance law, Thorfinn was entitled to part of the Orkney Jarltum in addition to his half-brothers. When Sumarlinde died in 1018, Thorfinn took over his third. That led to war with the two remaining half-brothers. Einar Vrangmunn was eliminated in 1020 and Bruse died in 1034. The son Bruses Røgnvald Bruseson then ruled with him as Jarl, but was killed by him in 1046. Thorfinn became the sole Jarl. As early as 1040 he had defeated the Scottish King Duncan I at Burghead together with Macbeth . Thorfinn ruled from "Tussaskjær (on Shetland ) to Dublin " (see Kingdom of the Islands ), according to the words of the Icelandic skald Arnor Jarleskalds (Isl .: Arnórr Þórðarson jarlaskáld 1022 - approx. 1070 ).

Since King Olav the Saint of Norway had made temporary peace between him and his half-brother Bruse, he had increased his grip on the Jarltum of Orkney and the other islands. Thorfinn had two masters to whom he was obliged: the Norwegian and the Scottish kings.

Thorfinnur visited Norway in 1047 when Harald Hardråde became king. According to the Orkeyinga saga, he traveled via Denmark across Europe to Rome in 1049/1050, where he met Pope Leo IX. should have visited. He is said to have been less of an army king than a lawgiver.

On the Brough of Birsay on Mainland , he probably had a church built after his trip to Rome and built a bishopric in Birsay. According to archaeological findings, today's church there is not the episcopal church, but only a chapel.

See also


  • Narve Bjørgo: Torfinn Sigurdsson Rike. In: Norsk biografisk leksikon. Volume 9: Sundt - Wikborg. Kunnskapsforlag, Oslo 2005, ISBN 82-573-1011-5 .
predecessor Office successor
Madadhan Jarl / Mormaer of Caithness
after 1124–1165
Pål Thorfinnsson
Erlend Thorfinnsson
Bruse Sigurdsson Jarl of Orkney
(1025-1031 with Bruse Sigurdsson, 1036-1046 with Røgnvald Bruseson)
around 1025-1065
Pål Thorfinnsson
Erlend Thorfinnsson