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Somerled, lord of the Isles

Somerled, lord of the Isles (d.1164). Somerled claimed descent from Gofraid mac Fherghusa, son of the founder of the kingdom of Dalriada. He established his position in Argyll and Kintyre at the expense of the Norse and fought for David I at the battle of the Standard in 1138. About 1140 he married a daughter of Olaf, king of Man, and in the 1150s began a campaign to make himself master of Man and of the Isles. After a naval victory, he forced Gofraid of Man in 1158 to take refuge in Norway. Somerled was at peace with Malcolm IV, David's successor, in 1160, but four years later they clashed and Somerled took an expedition to Renfrew, where he was killed. The Isles were then divided between his remaining sons.

J. A. Cannon

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