Born c.1113 in Morvern, Argyll, Somerled was half-Norse through his
mother. His father's lineage was reputedly of royal blood. Forced
into exile in Ireland his family convinced the Colla clan to help
them reclaim their Argyll lands, but his father was killed in the
attempt. Growing up and living as a warrior hermit, Somerled led
the inhabitants of Morvern against the Norse and regained his
family's lands thus becoming master of large tracts of northern
Argyll. Soon after, he took control of the south of Argyll and
pronounced himself Thane of Argyll. At the same time, King David I
was waging war against the Norwegians and Somerled's stature and
currency rose with the king accordingly.
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