The Angus Line (c1236-c1325)
In 1231, Earl Jon Haraldsson was killed in a drunken
brawl in Caithness on the Scottish mainland.
The events that followed
the Earl's demise sent the Orkney Earldom into chaos and brought
the Norse line of earls to an end.
The resultant feud between the murdered Earl's
kinsmen and the murderer, Hanef Ungi of Wyre,
was brought to King Hakon of Norway to settle. But returning from
Norway in the autumn of 1232, the earl's supporters perished when
their ship was lost at sea.
This catastrophic event not only wiped out the
dead Earl's kin but also saw the heads of a number of prominent
Orcadian families lost. It is debatable whether the ship held the
Earl's immediate heir, but regardless, the Earldom was left without
After a five year gap, the Earldom passed to the
Angus line of Scotland, although the family connection that connected
Earl John to the Angus line remains unclear today.
In chronological order, these earls were:
son of Gilbride, Earl of Angus
||c1236 - 1239
||1239 - ?
son of Gilbride (but it has been suggested that this entry is
a scribal error and there was only one Earl Gilbert)
Son of Gilbride II
||1256 - 1273
|Magnus IV Magnusson
||1273 - 1284
|Jon II Magnusson
||1284 - c1300
|Magnus V Jonsson
||c 1310 - 1321
With the death of Magnus V, around 1321, the earldom eventually
passed to Malise, Earl of Strathearn. Malise was the great-grandson
of Matilda, daughter of Earl Gilbert.