Niall Gl ndub mac edo : Death: 14 Sep 919
Note: �ed Findliath From Wikipedia �ed Findliath High King of Ireland Reign 862\endash 879 Died 879 Place of death Druim Inasclainn, County Westmeath Buried Armagh? Predecessor M�el Sechnaill mac M�ele Ruanaid Successor Flann Sinna Consort M�el Muire ingen Cin�eda Royal House Cen�l nE�gain Father Niall Caille Mother Gormflaith ingen Donnchada �ed mac Ne�ll (died 879), called �ed Findliath (�ed the Fair Warrior) to distinguish him from his paternal grandfather �ed Oirdnide, was king of Ailech and High King of Ireland. A member of the northern U� N�ill kindred of the Cen�l nE�gain, �ed was the son of Niall Caille. Background Main articles: Early Medieval Ireland 800\endash 1166 and Viking Age From the death of �ed All�n in 743 until the overthrow of M�el Sechnaill mac Domnaill by Brian Boru in 1002, the succession to the High Kingship of Ireland century alternated between northern and southern branches of the U� N�ill with the north represented by members of the Cen�l n�ogain, �ed's paternal kindred, and the south by the Clann Cholm�in, his mother's kin. Francis John Byrne describes this as "a fragile convention, marked by watchful jealousy rather than friendly accord." During the reign of M�el Sechnaill mac Ma�l Ruanaid, who succeeded �ed's father as High King, the balance of power between north and south which had ensured the alternating succession appeared to be tipping in favour of the southern Clann Cholm�in kindred. The weakness of the Kings of Munster following the death of the powerful Feidlimid mac Crimthainn in 847 led to repeated attacks on Munster by M�el Sechnaill in the 850s and a submission by the kings of Munster in 858. In 859, Osraige was made subject to the U� N�ill, and this led to open warfare between M�el Sechnaill and �ed. Origins and family �ed was the son of Niall Caille and Gormlaith. His mother, Gormflaith ingen Donncadha, is called "Gormlaith of the dazzling white complexion" by the Banshenchas. His maternal grandfather was Donnchad Midi, his paternal grandfather �ed Oirdnide. His father, his mother's brother, Conchobar mac Donnchada, and both of his grandfathers had been counted as High Kings of Ireland. The names of three of �ed's wives are recorded, although the order of his marriages is perhaps uncertain. His first wife may have been Gormlaith Rapach, "the harsh", daughter of Muiredach mac Eochada, king of Ulster. The Banshenchas say that Domnall mac �eda was her son, and Eithne, who married Flann Sinna, may have been her daughter. �ed's second wife, Lann ingen mac D�nlainge (sister of Cerball mac D�nlainge, king of Osraige) was the widow of his predecessor as High King, M�el Sechnaill mac M�ele Ruanaid, a grandson of Donnchad Midi. His third known wife was M�el Muire, probably the daughter of Cin�ed mac Ailp�n, the king of the Picts in Britain. She was the mother of Niall Gl�ndub. On �ed's death she married his successor Flann Sinna. Other children of �ed included Domnall Dabaill (ancestor of Domnall Ua Lochlainn); a son named M�el Dub, reputed a saint; and M�el D�in, who ruled Ailech as �ed's deputy until his early death in 867. Early years Following the death of Neill Caille in 845, �ed's uncle M�el D�in mac �eda assumed the kingship of Ailech. When �ed succeeded him is not recorded, but it might have been in 855. �ed is mentioned for the first time in the annals this year, as the Annals of Ulster records that he made a foray against the Ulaid, and he left behind dead Coinnec�n son of Colm�n and Flaithbertach son of Niall, and a large number besides Presumably Flaithbertach was his own brother, and this foray was made to secure �ed's position as king of Ailech. �ed came into power at a critical period in the history of Ireland. Raids by Norse Vikings had taken place for half a century, and the Norse settlements now seemed to have become permanent establishments more than just bases for raids. They also now had an effective leadership under Amla�b Conung and �mar. At this time, both the contemporary annalists as well as modern historians refer to them not just as Vikings, foreigners or pagans, but also Norse-Irish or Norse-Gaels. �ed Findliath has been described as one of the Irish high-kings who most effectively fought the Norse expansion in Ireland. He did indeed win some crucial battles against the Norse-gaels; the first recorded victory is in 856, at the battle of Glenn Foichle, six years prior to him becoming high-king. The reigning High-King at the time, Mael Sechnaill, seemed more concerned with the internal Irish power struggle, particularly in Munster, than with engaging the Norse. There is however one reference in 856 to him fighting against "pagans" (Vikings) with the support of the Norse-Gaels. This could probably be interpreted as an alliance between the Norse settlers and the established Irish society against marauders. In 858, M�el Sechnaill finally managed to establish control over Munster, and in 859 he also made a peace settlement with Cerball mac D�nlainge king of Osraige (forced upon him by Cerball, who had allied himself with Amla�b and �mar and ravaged M�de). M�el Sechnaill now turned his attention to the north, where the growing power of �ed Findliath had become a threat against him as head of U� N�ill. In 860 he brought an army consisting of forces from all of the southern part of Ireland to Armagh. While they were camped there, �ed Findliath attacked. The outcome of the battle seem to have been some sort of draw. By now it was �ed Findliath who sought an alliance with the Norse Dublin. In 861 as well as 862 he plundered M�de in cooperation with Norse forces, in 862 he also had the support of Flann mac Conaing, king of Brega. King of Tara M�el Sechnaill mac M�ele Ruanaid died 20 November 862, and he was on that occasion described in the Annals of Ulster as ri h-Erenn uile, king of all Ireland. That was a title that would never be used about �ed Findliath, even though he assumed the kingship of Tara following M�el Sechnaill's death, and has also been counted in the lists of High Kings of Ireland. His kingship was disputed throughout his 17 year long reign, and he did not even have support from the southern clans of U� N�ill. The annals show that the Taillten Fair on was not held in six of those 17 years, which is a strong indication of strife and unrest. The Norse Dublin had, by the beginning of �ed's reign, become an important, if not very trustworthy, ally in the struggle for power in M�de. M�el Sechnaill's successor as head of Clann Cholmain and king of M�de, Lorc�n mac Cathail, allied himself with Amlaib, �mar and Auisle against Flann of Brega. Flann was a former ally of Dublin, and still �ed's most important ally in the central part of Ireland. Lorc�n and his Norse allies plundered Brega in 863, and in 864 Conchobar mac Donnchada, king of Lagore (southern Brega) and presumably an ally of Flann against Lorc�n, was captured and drowned near Clonard on Amlaibhs order. �ed led an host to M�de, captured Lorc�n and blinded him. �ed now had some notable victories against the Norse, but the main reason for his success was probably neither that he was a military genius or a particularly gifted politician. He defeated the Vikings at Lough Foyle in 866 and uprooted their settlements. In 866 Amla�b and Auslie left Ireland with the larger part of the Norse forces, and in cooperation with the Norse-gaels from present day Scotland they attacked the picts. �ed seized this opportunity, plundering and burning all the Norse bases (longphorts) in the northern part of Ireland. In 868 �ed again was confronted by a coalition of his Irish rivals and the Norse-Gaels. According to the Annals of Ulster he defeated "the U� Ne�ll of Brega, and the Laigin, and a large force of the foreigners" in a battle at a place called Cell Ua nDaigri. Flann of Brega was killed in this battle. This battle has later been presented as a decisive victory over the Norse. Amlaibh and �mar was, however, very active in Ireland during the following years and did not in any way seem to be seriously weakened, neither in ambition nor in strength. It is probably more accurately to regard this battle as a victory over the southern U� Ne�ll and Leinster. In 870 �ed followed up his victory from 868 by invading Leinster with the support of his new ally Cerball of Osraige. He again invaded Leinster in 874. �ed Findliath died on 20 November 879, at Druim Inasclainn in the territory of Conaille. On that occasion he was described as "king of Tara" (rex Temorie), even if he in a poem referred by the annalist also is called "over-king of the Irish" (airdri Gaidhel)  He was buried at Armagh. Notes 1. Byrne, p. 265, appendix 1, list 1 & appendix 2, tables 2, 3 & 5. The single exception to this system was the reign of Congalach Cnogba. 2. Byrne, p. 265. 3. Byrne, pp. 263\endash 266; Charles-Edwards. 4. Lalor, Brian (ed) (2003). The Encyclopaedia of Ireland. Dublin, Ireland: Gill & Macmillan. p. 9. ISBN 0-7171-3000-2. 5. Annals of Ulster 855.3 6. AU 856.5 Gall-Gaeidhelu here translated Norse-gael. Gall literally denotes stranger or foreigner, but is used in the annalistic records of this period only in the meaning of Norse foreigners. Viking raiders are generally referred to as pagans or heathens 7. AU 856.2 Against Gennti supported by Gall-Ghoidhelaib 8. AU 858.4, 859.2-3 og 860.1 9. AU 861.1 862.2 Neither Amla�b nor �mar is mentioned on these occasions, but the annalistic entry of 862 reads "the Norse kings": riga Gall. 10. AU 866.1 Gallaib Erenn & Alban 11. AU 866.4 the Norse bases are referred as Longportu Gall 12. AU 868.4, 870.2, 874.3 13. AU 879.1 References "The Annals of Ulster, volume 1". CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts. http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100001A/index.html. Retrieved 2007-02-10. "Fragmentary Annals of Ireland". CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts. http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100017/index.html. Retrieved 2007-02-10. Byrne, Francis John, Irish Kings and High-Kings. Batsford, London, 1973. ISBN 0-7134-5882-8 Hudson, Benjamin T. (2004). "�ed mac N�ill (d. 879)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/50072. Retrieved 2007-02-15. � Corrain, Donnchad. "The Vikings in Scotland and Ireland in the Ninth Century". Peritia, vol 12. CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts. � Cr�in�n, D�ibh�, Early Medieval Ireland: 400\endash 1200. Longman, London, 1995. ISBN 0-582-01565-0
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