Name: Thorfinn "Skull Cleaver" EINARSSON , Jarl Orkney 1
ALIA: 09th Jarl of /Orkney/, Thorfinn Einarsson
Birth: ABT 900 in Orkney Islands, Scotland
Death: AFT 977 in Burial Mound, Hoxa, Ronaldsay, Scotland 1
NORSE PREDECESSORS of the EARLS of ORKNEY - subject to King of Norway until after 1379
Arnkel, Erlend I and Thorfinn I on the death of their father Jarl Turf-Einar succeeded as co-Jarls of Orkney. Arnkel and Erlend were old enough to be taken into western piracy by King Eric Bloodaxe 939, and Thorfinnís son Arnfinn was of an age to marry a woman of perhaps twenty-seven in 954 or 955.
Thorfinn I Hausakliffer (Skull-cleaver) became sole Jarl of Orkney in 954 and again 955 until 976, when Gunnhild and her surviving sons Ragnfred and Gudred came to Orkney with their adherents after the defeat and death of King Harald II Greyfell at Limfiord. They departed again in 977 and Jarl Thorfinn seems to have died soon, afterwards. He m., 941, Grelod, dau. of Dungad or Duncan, Mormaer of Caithness, by Groa, dau. of Thorstein the Red (e), and had issue, Arnfinn, Havard, Hlodve, Lint and Skuli. Although Heimskringla in one place suggests that the brothers were "Jarls there" simultaneously, the Orkneyinga Saga, and Heimskringla in another place make it clear that four of them ruled in succession each as sole Jarl. [Complete Peerage, X:Appendix A:6]
(e) Thorstein the Red m. Thorida, daughter of Eyvind Austmann, the Easterling, by Rafertach, daughter of Cearbhall MacDunghal, King of Ossory 842 to 888 and King of Dublin 873 to 888.
Note: By the statement concerning Arnfinn's marrying a 27 year old in 954/955 (she was born c927, which makes Arnfinn probably born well before 941), CP seems to put serious doubt as to the marriage date of "941" for Thorfinn & Grelod.
Note: I assume that Arnkel & Erlend were the 7th & 8th Jarl of Orkney, respectively.
Curt Hofemann, curt_hofemann AT yahoo.com, added the following speculations concerning the marriage/birth dates:
Pure speculation on my part, but maybe there was a politically arranged marriage agreement made when Arnfinn was very young & that he wasnít of marriageable age (13) until 954/5. 955 - 13 = DOB of 942 which would fit perfectly for his parents to have married in 941. Note also that 954 was when Ragnhildís father, Eric Bloodaxe, was killed with Arnfinnís 2 uncles & Ericís wife & family fled back to Orkney. Perhaps it was a win-win for both families. Ranghild (now without land/title) married the future Jarl of Orkney & Caithness & Arnfinn married the dau of the former king of Norway, former king of Northumberland & grand dau of the kings of Denmark & Norway. Then again, Ragnhild had Arnfinn murdered, so I guess she didnít think it was such a win-win ;>(
Father: Einar I "Turf" ROGNVALDSSON , Jarl of Orkney b: ABT 858 in Maer, Nord-Trondelag, Norway
Grelod of CAITHNESS b: ABT 905 in Caithness, Scotland
- Arnfinn THORFINNSSON , Jarl of Orkney b: ABT 928 in Orkney Islands, Scotland
- Havard THORFINNSSON , Jarl of Orkney b: ABT 930 in Orkney Islands, Scotland
- Hlodve THORFINNSSON , Jarl of Orkney b: ABT 942 in Orkney, Orkney Islands, Scotland
- Liot THORFINNSSON , Jarl of Orkney b: ABT 944 in Orkney Islands, Scotland
- Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000