HAROLD IV., king of Norway, surnamed Gille, - said to be the short form of Gylle Kirst, that is, Servant of Christ, - came about the year 11'27 to Norway with his mother, an Irishwoman, and claimed to be recognized as • the son of King Magnus Barefoot and half-brother of the reigning Sigurd. Sigurd consented to acknowledge the relationship on condition that Harold did not claim any share in the government during his lifetime or that of his son Magnus. This agreement Harold honourably kept during the lifetime of Sigurd, but after his death in 1130 he got himself chosen king of the half of the country, and after several battles took Magnus prisoner, put out his eyes, and confined him in a convent. Harold now reigned as sole king till 1136, when he was murdered in his sleep by Slembi-diakn, another bastard son of Magnus Barefoot.
For the Norwegian Harolds, see the Heimskringla of Snorro Sturleson, translated into English by Samuel Laing, London, 1844; Sheri-Iowa Saga, 2 vols., Oxford, 1878 ; Carlyle's Early Kings of Norway, London, 1875 ; and also, for Harold Hardrada, Freeman's Norman Conquest, vols. ii. and iii.