Icelandic Sagas Vol. 3
FROM PETER CLAUSON UNDAL'S TRANSLATION OF THE LOST "INGA SAGA"; ALSO CALLED THE CROZIERMENS' SAGA.
There arose a great noise both among the Birchshanks and the Croziermen, for that there were many famous men who had lost all their goods and money in that feud. Then that plan was devised that the summer after they should set off west into the Southern isles a sea roving, and get them goods and money again. And they fitted out ships on both sides. Peter Steypir and Reider the messenger who had to wife Margaret daughter of king Magnus, Erling's son, became brothers in arms that they might sail out to Jerusalem the next coming summer, and with that they parted. (12)
Sometime after this atonement many asked leave on both sides; some went home to their houses and farms, and some on trading voyages, and the next spring after then both Birchshanks and Croziermen sailed with twelve ships a sea roving in the Western lands and harried on the Southern isles, and the neighbouring isles, for the kings in those isles had domestic feud with one another. They plundered the Holy Island (Iona) which the Northmen have always held sacred. After that they fell out among one another and parted, and so were beaten in various places. And they who came back to Norway were sharply spoken to by the bishops for their plunderings.
That summer Peter Steypir and Reider the messenger left the land with two big ships and much folk, and their wives Ingibjorg and Margaret king Magnus' daughter followed with them. Of their journey much is told. Peter Steypir and his wife died on the journey, but Reider got to Jerusalem and went back again to the Emperor in Constantinople, and served him long and died there.
In king Sverrir's time, Torald (!) the son of earl Maddad in Orkney with many more there in the isles had risen up against him, and called themselves the Island lads. And when the earl became reconciled again to king Sverrir, then all the land tax and fines in suits from Orkney and Shetland were to fall to the king in Norway; and the king set his bailiff by name Arni Löria with the earl in Orkney, and earl Harold durst not say a word against him so long as king Sverrir lived; but straightway after his death he caused Arni Löria to be treacherously slain, and laid Orkney and Shetland under him again, with all scatts and dues just as he had them before; and he died two years after king Ingi was made king in Norway. After that his sons John and David became earls in Orkney, and they held the lands like their father so long as there was domestic feud in Norway; but when they heard that the kings were reconciled they sent bishop Björn to Norway. He found king Ingi and earl Hacon in Bergen, and made known to them the earls' errand that they desired to be reconciled to them; and it got so far that he took leave on their behalf from the king and the earl, that the earls should come to them the summer after and be reconciled to them.
That summer when the vikings, that is Norse sea rovers, fared west over the sea, and after the kings' atonement, then the king's officers fared with him (the bishop) to Orkney and Shetland; and the next summer after the earls and the bishop came with them to Norway to be reconciled with the king and the earl; and they left the whole business to the good pleasure of the king and earl. They doomed them to pay a large sum of money, and besides they had to give them pledges and hostages, and swear to them faithfulness and obedience; but at last king Ingi made them his earls over Orkney and Shetland with such conditions as were afterwards kept until their deathday.
King Rognvald of Man in the Southern isles and Godred king of Man had not for a long time paid the kings of Norway taxes. Now when the Norse vikings had swarmed about among the isles and plundered and burnt, and the kings learnt that peace was made in Norway, then they were afraid and set off to Norway, and were reconciled with king Ingi and earl Hacon, and paid the taxes which were owing, and swore faith and obedience to them, and took their lands as fiefs of the king of Norway, and so sailed home again.
There was a man called Erling
in Froe, he gave himself out as king Sverrir's son; his mother was Astrid
the daughter of Roi. He set out with some followers for the isles and wrought
great wrong and strife. He had seven children, and afterwards he sailed to Norway
on board Einar the steward's ship, and betook himself to Philip and the Lady Christine.
She received him well and owned him for her brother; and some years afterwards
he died of bleeding after he had let himself be bled.
12. The Icelandic text to this first paragraph is preserved in the abridged Ingi's Saga in Eirspennil (Unger's Ed., p. 235). The following is a translation of the passage: --- "Then arose a noise in either band from those men who had lost their money and yet had titles to rank. Then that counsel was taken that afterwards in the spring they should harry in the Southern isles and get them money. Then men were chosen for this out of each band. Then too they, Peter Steypir and Reider the messenger, also took counsel; he, Reidar, had to wife Margaret, a daughter of king Magnus. They proposed to fare out to Jerusalem. Then they parted, having made this agreement." And in another passage it is said: --- "That summer they fared on a Viking voyage into the Southern isles, Thormod thasram and Thormod foal-leg, and Ospak the southislander. These were of the Birchshanks. But of the Croziermen was Eric Tofi's son and Erlend pike, Berg muncher, and Nicholas gilly. They had twelve ships. One winter later they fared away out of the land, Peter Steypir (the stouper, cup bearer?) and Reider, and had two ships. And neither of them came back." See Munch. N. H. III. 539-544. [Back]