The King Orry of Man legend is Godred Crovan, a Viking of uncertain origin who is supposed to have fought on the losing side at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.
It was not until 1079 and after three attempts that Orry conquered Man and brought it under his rule. Legend tells us that Orry’s 300 men attacked the Manx army from the rear, who fled and were cut off by the incoming tide. Defeated, they appealed for mercy and Orry called off his men.
The land was divided between Orry’s men in the south, and the Manx men in the north, on condition that it remained the property of the king and his heirs.
King Orry reigned for 16 years, extending his power to Dublin and the east coast of Ireland. He dominated the Irish Sea until his death in an outbreak of plague in 1095, after which Scandinavian powers ruled the island for almost 200 years. He is remembered as a wise and powerful ruler, and the father of Manx law.