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History of the Faroe Islands

The early history of the Faroe Islands is not clear. It appears that about the beginning of the 9th century Grim Kamban[?], a Norwegian emigrant who had left his country to escape the tyranny of Harold Haarfager[?], settled in the islands. It is said that a small colony of Irish and Scottish monks were found in Suduroy[?] and dispersed by him. The Faeroes then already bore their name of Sheep Islands, as these animals had been found to flourish here exceedingly. Early in the 11th century Sigmund or Sigismund Bresterson[?], whose family had flourished in the southern islands but had been almost exterminated by invaders from the northern, was sent from Norway, whither he had escaped, to take possession of the islands for Olaf Trygvason[?], king of Norway. He introduced Christianity, and, though he was subsequently murdered, Norwegian supremacy was upheld, and continued till 1386, when the islands became part of the double monarchy Denmark/Norway[?]. English adventurers gave great trouble to the inhabitants in the 16th century, and the name of Magnus Heineson[?], a native of Streymoy[?], who was sent by Frederick II to clear the seas, is still celebrated in many songs and stories. There was formerly a bishopric at Kirkebö, south of Tórshavn, where remains of the cathedral may be seen; but it was abolished at the introduction of Protestantism by Christian III[?]. Denmark retained possession of the Faeroes at the Peace of Kiel[?] in 1815. A high degree of self-government was attained in 1948.



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