Today in Celtic History
October 1, 1263

Bishop's Palace, Kirkwall.

October 1, 1263


Invasion of Scotland by Hakon King of Norway attacked on beaches by gathering Scottish forces beginning the Battle of the Largs.


In 1263, the Norwegian King Haakon the Old used Kirkwall as a base for his fruitless attempt to maintain Norse rule over the Western Isles. Hakon IV (1204-December 15, 1263), also called Haakon the Old, was declared to be the son of Hakon III of Norway, the leader of the Birkebeiner, who had seized control over large parts of Norway in 1202. A dispute with the Scottish king concerning the Hebrides, a Norwegian possession, induced Haakon to undertake an expedition to the west of Scotland. A division of his army seems to have repulsed a large Scottish force at Largs on October 2, 1263 (though the later Scottish accounts claim this battle as a victory), but won back the Norwegian possessions in Scotland. Haakon was wintering in the Orkney Islands, when he was ill and died on December 15, 1263. A great part of his fleet had been scattered and destroyed by storms. The most important event in his reign was his forcing the submission of the Icelandic Commonwealth. Worn out by internal strife fostered by Haakon's emissaries, the Icelandic chiefs acknowledged the Norwegian king as overlord in 1262. Their example was followed by the colony of Greenland.

What else happened today on October 1

October 1, 1568
The Bannatyne Manuscript, the most extensive collection of early Scottish poetry in existence, was published by George Bannatyne, an Edinburgh merchant.
October 1, 1600
Robert Grave, Church of Ireland Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, and his family drown in Dublin Bay on their way home to Wexford by sea
October 1, 1751
Cornelius Bolton, politician, Volunteer and improving landlord is born
October 1, 1761
In the climate of sectarian tension created partly by the Mathew-Maude controversy, the Whiteboys, a violent agrarian protest movement, begins in Tipperary and spreads through Munster and West Leinster
October 1, 1763
Contract to construct the North Bridge, Edinburgh, signed.
October 1, 1796
The Royal College of St. Patrick. a Catholic seminary, is opened in Maynooth, Co. Kildare
October 1, 1911
Statue of Charles Stewart Parnell is unveiled in Dublin
October 1, 1930
Actor Richard Harris is born in Limerick