Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sihtric (d.1042)

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SIHTRIC or SIGTRYGGR (d. 1042), surnamed Silki-skegg [Silk-beard], was son of Olaf Sitricson (d. 981) [q. v.], known as Olaf or Anlaf Cuaran. His mother was Gormflaith or Kormlada (d. 1030), daughter of Murchadh, and sister of Maelmordha, king of Leinster. Sihtric (d. 927) [q. v.] was his grandfather. Driven from Dublin in 995 by Imhar of Waterford, he was restored in 996 (Four Masters). In that year he and his ally and kinsman, Mael-mordha, took prisoner Donchadh, son of the king of Leinster; but in 1000, in alliance with the men of Leinster, he was heavily defeated by Brian Boroimhe [q. v.] at Glen-Mama, losing his brother Harold, so that, after vainly endeavouring to get help in Ulster, he was forced to come to terms with his conqueror. The treaty was clenched by the marriage of his sister Maelmuire to Maelsechlain II [q. v.], and his own marriage to Brian's daughter.

In 1014 Sihtric held Dublin, though he had been active in getting troops for the alliance against Brian, and it is owing to him that Brodor and Sigurd Hlodwersson were present at the battle of Clontarf, though he himself did not stand in arms that day (Nial's Saga, citing the Saga of Brian). In 1015 Maelsechlain attacked Dublin, burnt the faubourg, and laid waste Kinsale. In 1018 Sihtric took and blinded his cousin Braen, son of Mael-mordha, who went abroad, being shut out from the succession, and died in a monastery at Cologne in 1052 (Ann. Ult.; Four Masters). In 1019 Sihtric plundered Kells, but the year after was defeated with great loss at Dergne Mogorog (Delgany, Wicklow) by Uagaire, son of the king of Leinster, a check followed by defeats on land by king Maelsechlain, and at sea by Niall (d. 1062) [q. v.] of Ulster in 1022 (Four Masters). With Donnchadh, king of Bray, he made an unsuccessful foray into Meath in 1027, and in 1028 (following the custom of the day) he went on a pilgrimage to Rome (Ann. Tigernach; Four Masters). In 1031 Ragnal, grandson of Imhar of Waterford, was slain at Dublin by treachery (possibly at Sihtric's instigation), and the Dublin king plundered Ardbreccan (Ann. Tigernach). In 1032 he defeated the Conaille of Louth, the Ui Tortain of Meath, the Ui Meith of Monaghan, at the Boyne mouth (Four Masters). In 1035 he left his kingdom (probably to go into religious retirement), and passed over sea, leaving his nephew, Eachmarcach Ragnallsson, to rule in his place, and died in 1042 (Ann. Tigernach; Four Masters). The ‘Annals of Loch Cé’ ascribe his death to the Saxons ‘as he went to Rome’ for a second time. He was a patron of the Icelander Gunnlaug Snakestongue, rewarding the poet handsomely for an encomium, of which a fragment only has reached us (Gunnlaug's Saga. c. viii.). He is, upon later tradition, reported the founder of Holy Trinity Church, Dublin (now Christ Church), and patron of Donatus, first bishop of Dublin. His son predeceased him, and his daughter Finen, the nun, died in the same year as her father.

[Four Masters; Annals of Tigernach; Annales Ultonienses; Cogadh Gaedhael re Gallaibh, with Todd's introduction and notes; A.-S. Chron.; Brut y Tywysogion; Nial's Saga; Gunnlaug's Saga; Chron. Scotorum; Steenstrup's Normannerne, vol. iii.]

F. Y. P.