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Battle of Clairdon (Clardon)


1196

A battle between two Norse Earls which took place at Clardon in Caithness in 1196. Harald the Younger, grandson of Earl Ronald who was one of the founders of Kirkwall Cathedral on Orkney, had tried to reclaim lands in Caithness from Harald Maddadsson (Harald the Elder), the powerful and cruel Earl of Orkney and Mormaer of Caithness. The land had been removed from the rebellious elder Harald by King William I (1143 - 1214) and granted to the younger. Although Harald the Younger was cut down early in the fight (later to be buried nearby, at a site now marked by Harold's Tower), his forces continued to fight strongly under his lieutenants (Murt and Lifolf). On the point of victory they were both slain and it was the other side which were to triumph, and Harald Maddadsson brought a terrible revenge on his enemies and the local people who had helped them.


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