2013 SMUHA Guizer Jarl - Dale Smith
Rognvald “The Wise” Eysteinsson
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Although Rognvald was Harold Finehair’s cousin he was banished by the King for raiding in a prohibited area, earning himself another nickname, “Wolf” meaning outlaw. The King needed to control his fighting men and maintain his leadership over this loose federation of Jarls. Harald would one day die in battle at sea but, for now, the Sea King would exert his authority by banishing one of his leading warriors.

With his banishment finally rescinded, the strong-willed, yet diplomatic Rognvald was the obvious choice for Harald to command his raiders heading west on expeditions to Scotland, Ireland and the Orcadian archipelago. On one of these expeditions Rognvald’s son Ivarr was killed so, to recompense, Harald granted the Jarldom of Orkney and Shetland to Rognvald.

Jarl Rognvald chose to leave the Northern Isles to his brother Sigurd and returned to Norway, taking up the position of Counsellor to Harald who by then had become the first king of a united Norway. This prompted a change in Harald’s nickname to Fairhair as Rognvald reminded him of his earlier vow not to have his hair cut until he became ruler of all Norway. Harald knew better than to argue and allowed Rognvald to cut his hair.
The Guizer Jarl Dale Smith represented his great (x35) grandfather (according to some genealogy websites) Rognvald “The Wise” Eysteinsson, Jarl of More who was born around 830 in the small township of Maer, Nord Trondelag, Norway.

Little is known of his early days but, as the son of Jarl Eystein Ivarsson, he would have been brought up in the ways of the warrior learning how to command in battle and acquire great proficiency in the weaponry of the time. He grew into a strong, imposing figure readily earning the respect of his troops who would willingly give their all in his honour.
With his raiding days behind him Rognvald and his wife then settled to enjoy a peaceful life in Stjøve – close to the port of Husvik where fishing and whale hunting was usually well rewarded. He planned to spend his retirement visiting friends in places like Hamar and Gjøvik as well as coaching young warriors in the ways of battle, even asking Tomas, his most favoured carpenter to produce replica wooden axes for the young warriors to practise with. Tomas produced axes of great beauty for the youngsters which pleased Rognvald greatly.

His two surviving sons set out to make their own way in the world – Einar in Orkney and Hrólfr who followed in his father’s footsteps by being banished by the king, eventually ending up in northern France. Rognvald’s desire for a quiet life was short-lived, unfortunately, as Harald’s son Halfdan surprised him in his great hall and burnt the hall to the ground, killing all those inside.

Einar, now known as Turf-Einar on account of his expertise in using peat as a fuel, avenged his father’s death by killing Halfdan and taking over the earldom of Orkney.

Hrólfr prospered in northern France eventually acquiring the dukedom of Normandy and numbering amongst his descendants William the Conqueror and subsequent Scottish and English monarchs.
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