The grounds for this annulment were that Olaf (II den Svarte, 1173-1237) had previously kept a first cousin of his wife as a concubine and was therefore, technically, committing incest. This seems an extremely nice distinction for mediaval Gaeldom, and the requel to this story probably explains the real motive. On being released from his first marriage to Lauon, a daughter of a nobleman in Kintyre, Olaf married Christina the daughter of Ferchar Earl of Ross. Lauons father is nowhere named in our sources, but it is likely that he was Ruaídrí son of Rognvald son of Somerled who ruled Kintyre in the early thirteenth century. Ruaídrí appears to have lost his lands, and perhaps his life, in the course of the Scottish king Alexander II:s expedition(s) to the west in 1221 and/or 1222. Following its account of Olaf's marriage to Christina, the Chronicle tells us that Laons sister, queen to king Rognvald, provoked Rognvalds son Godred into attacking his uncle Olaf. Despite initial discomfiture, Olaf, with the helf of Earl Ferchar, overcame his nephew. This incident is dated to the year 1223. The dating would suggest that it was the collapse of Ruaídrís position in Kintyre that led Olaf, now based in the North, to seek a more appropriate ally in Ferchar. If this interpretation of events is correct then we should see bishop Rognvald as the tool of Olafs policy rather than as an officious reformer. It would be interesting to know whether the Mac Ruaídrís owed their later position of strength in Garmoran and the Long Island to Olaf's patronage. (May Teistevoll, Norge)
Karta över Skottland.