EIRIKR (Eric) upsi GNUPSSON, bishop; fl. 1121.
Almost nothing is known of this man. Icelandic annals s.a. 1113 record “Voyage of Bishop Eric” and s.a. 1121 “Bishop Eric from Greenland went to look for Vinland.” Claus C. Lyschander (1558–1624), not a very trustworthy source, says that he went to Vinland and there planted both the faith and a colony which still exist. Beyond this nothing is known of Bishop Eric except his genealogy and Lyschander says that he was buried at Gardar in Greenland in 1146. This paucity of information has, however, not prevented much writing and speculation: that Eric was bishop of Greenland and Vinland; that knowledge of the location of Vinland had been lost and Eric went to find it; that Vinland was an old colony and Eric was making a visitation to part of his diocese; that he was seeking to convert pagans to Christianity or regain apostates for the faith; that vestiges of the Christian faith supposedly found in the 16th century among the Indians of Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces stem from Eric’s work. Yet all that is known is that Eric went in search of Vinland, wheresoever it may have been.
Hennig, Terrae incognitae, III, passim. C. C. Lyschander, Dend Gr
pnlanske chronica (K pbenhavn, 1726). Oleson, Early voyages, 100. P. de Roo, History of America before Columbus according to documents and approved authors (2v., London, 1900).