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  The Earls of Orkney

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 an successor.

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:

Magnus II, son of Gilbride, Earl of Angus c1236 - 1239
Gilbert I 1239 - ?
Gilbert II, son of Gilbride (but it has been suggested that this entry is a scribal error and there was only one Earl Gilbert) 1256
Magnus III, 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.