24 August 1103: Magnus ‘Bare Legs’, King of Norway, was killed by the Irish in a battle on this day.
Having formed an alliance in 1102 with Muirchertach O'Brien, King of Ireland (1086 - 1119), the arrangement being formalised by the marriage of Siguard the 12 year old son of Magnus to O'Briens' 5 year old daughter, Biadmaynia. The deal was for Magnus to supply man power to O'Brien to assist him in his on going local wars, and in return Magnus was to receive cattle, to provide much needed provisions for his homeward to Norway.
Some of the Vikings made it back to their boats, leaving King Magnus and a few of his loyal guard to fight to the death. The Norse King receiving a javelin thrust through his leg and then struck in the neck with an axe, he died. However his famous sword 'Legbiter,' was retrieved and brought home to Norway, but the remains of its Loyal Master, and those of his loyal guard lie in a common grave on the marshes of Down. King Magnus Barefoot, nicknamed 'Barelegs,' said, "That Kings are made for honour not for long life," - and he was right in his own case for he was not thirty years of age when he died.