Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Scottish King: Duncan II

DUNCAN II
Donnchad mac Máel Coluim (Modern Gaelic: Donnchadh mac Mhaoil Chaluim;[a] anglicised as Duncan II; c. 1060 – 12 November 1094) was king of Scots.
Duncan II
 He was son of Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) and his first wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, widow of Thorfinn Sigurdsson.

The identity of Duncan's mother is given by the Orkneyinga saga, which records the marriage of Malcolm and Ingibiorg, and then mentions "their son was Duncan, King of Scots, father of William".

Duncan II got his name from that of his grandfather, Duncan I of Scotland. However Ingibiorg is never mentioned by primary sources written by Scottish and English chroniclers. She might have been a concubine or have a marriage not recognized by the church.

William of Malmesbury calls Duncan an illegitimate son of Malcolm III. This account influenced a number of Medieval commentators, who also dismissed Duncan as an illegitimate son. But this claim is propaganda reflecting the need of Malcolm's descendants by Margaret to undermine the claims of Duncan's descendants, the Meic Uilleim. There is no primary source which would indicate that Duncan was ever excluded from the royal succession.

Donald III had been unable to gain the support of certain landowners and church officials of the Scottish Lowlands, who had ties to the regime of his predecessor. Duncan took advantage, negotiating alliances with these disgruntled supporters of his father's and gaining essential military and financial support for his cause.
William of Malmesbury
 While William II himself had no intention to join in the campaign, he lent part of the Norman army to the new "warrior-prince". Duncan was able to recruit further levies from local barons and towns of England. He bought support with promises of land and privilege, estates and title.

By 1094, Duncan was leading a sizeable army, consisting of mercenary knights, and infantry. Many of these soldiers probably came from Northumbria, reflecting the familial association of Duncan to Gospatrick. In the early summer, Duncan led his army in an invasion of Scotland.

Donald III mobilized his own supporters and troops in response. The early phase of the war took place in June, resulting in victory for Duncan. Donald III was forced to retreat towards the Scottish Highlands. Duncan II was crowned king at Scone, but his support and authority probably did not extend north of the River Forth. His continued power was reliant on the presence of his Anglo-Norman allies.

The continued presence of a foreign occupation army was naturally resented by much of the local population. Duncan II himself had spent most of his life abroad, granting him outsider status. Months into his reign, landowners and prelates rose against the Normans. The occupation army fared poorly against a series of ongoing raids. Duncan II was only able to maintain the throne by negotiating with the rebels. He agreed to their terms, sending most of his foreign supporters back to William II.

Sending away his support troops soon backfired. The Lowland rebels seem to have ceased their activities. But Donald III had spent the intervening months rebuilding his army and political support. In November 1094, Donald led his army to the Lowlands and confronted his nephew.
William II coin
 On 12 November, Duncan II was ambushed and killed in battle, having reigned for less than seven months. Primary sources are unclear about the exact manner of his death.

The Annals of Inisfallen report that "Donnchadh [Duncan] son of Mael Coluim [Malcolm], king of Alba, was slain by Domnall [Donald], son of Donnchadh [Duncan]. That same Domnall, moreover, afterwards took the kingship of Alba." The Annals of Ulster report that "Donnchad son of Mael Coluim, king of Scotland, was treacherously killed by his own brothers Domnall and Edmond". As Duncan had no brothers by those names, the text probably points to his uncle Donald III and half-brother Edmund of Scotland, though later texts identify a noble by the name of Máel Petair of Mearns as the actual murderer.
Donald III

William of Malmesbury later reported that " "murdered by the wickedness of his uncle Donald". Florence of Worcester reported that Duncan was killed, but never states who killed him.

In Chronicle of the Picts and Scots (1867), there is a 13th-century entry recording that Duncan was killed by Malpeder [Máel Petair], through the treachery of Donald. John of Fordun (14th century) finally recorded the better known account of the event, that Duncan II was "slain at Monthechin by the Earl of Mernys...through the wiles of his uncle Donald".

There are two, contradictory accounts about the burial place of Duncan II. One reports him buried at Dunfermline Abbey, the other at the isle of Iona.



Monday, 27 February 2017

Scottish Kings: Duncan I, Macbeth

DUNCAN I (1034 - 1040)
Donnchad mac Crinain (Modern Gaelic: Donnchadh mac Crìonain; anglicised as Duncan I, and nicknamed An t-Ilgarach, "the Diseased" or "the Sick"; ca. 1001 – 14 August 1040) was king of Scotland (Alba) from 1034 to 1040. He is the historical basis of the "King Duncan" in Shakespeare's play Macbeth. He was son of Crínán, hereditary lay abbot of Dunkeld, and Bethóc, daughter of king Máel Coluim mac Cináeda (Malcolm II).

Unlike the "King Duncan" of Shakespeare's Macbeth, the historical Duncan appears to have been a young man. He followed his grandfather Malcolm as king after the latter's death on 25 November 1034, without apparent opposition. He may have been Malcolm's acknowledged successor or Tànaiste as the succession appears to have been uneventful. Earlier histories, following John of Fordun, supposed that Duncan had been king of Strathclyde in his grandfather's lifetime, between 1018 and 1034, ruling the former Kingdom of Strathclyde as an appanage. Modern historians discount this idea.
Duncan I

An earlier source, a variant of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba (CK-I), gives Duncan's wife the Gaelic name Suthen. Whatever his wife's name may have been, Duncan had at least two sons. The eldest, Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) was king from 1058 to 1093, the second Donald III (Domnall Bán, or "Donalbane") was king afterwards. Máel Muire, Earl of Atholl is a possible third son of Duncan, although this is uncertain.

The early period of Duncan's reign was apparently uneventful, perhaps a consequence of his youth. Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findláich) is recorded as having been his dux, today rendered as "duke" and meaning nothing more than the rank between prince and marquess, but then still having the Roman meaning of "war leader". In context — "dukes of Francia" had half a century before replaced the Carolingian kings of the Franks and in England the over-mighty Godwin of Wessex was called a dux — this suggests that Macbeth may have been the power behind the throne.

In 1039, Duncan led a large Scots army south to besiege Durham, but the expedition ended in disaster. Duncan survived, but the following year he led an army north into Moray, Macbeth's domain, apparently on a punitive expedition against Moray. There he was killed in action, at Bothnagowan, now Pitgaveny, near Elgin, by the men of Moray led by Macbeth, probably on 14 August 1040. He is thought to have been buried at Elgin before later relocation to the Isle of Iona.

Duncan is depicted as an elderly King in Macbeth by William Shakespeare. He is killed in his sleep by the protagonist, Macbeth. In the historical novel Macbeth the King by Nigel Tranter, Duncan is portrayed as a schemer who is fearful of Macbeth as a possible rival for the throne. He tries to assassinate Macbeth by poisoning and then when this fails, attacks his home with an army. In self-defence Macbeth meets him in battle and kills him in personal combat.
Malcolm III

In the animated television series Gargoyles he is depicted as a weak and conniving king who assassinates those who he believes threaten his rule. He even tries to assassinate Macbeth. However like in actual history he is killed in battle.
1034 - Duncan I succeeds to the Scottish throne
1040 - Duncan is killed in a civil war. His cousin, Macbeth, succeeds

MACBETH
Mac Bethad mac Findlaích (Modern Gaelic: MacBheatha mac Fhionnlaigh; Medieval Gaelic: Mac Bethad mac Findlaích; anglicised as Macbeth MacFin[d]lay or Macbeth MacFinley, and nicknamed Rí Deircc, "the Red King"; born c. 1005 - died 15 August 1057) was King of the Scots (also known as the King of Alba, and earlier as King of Moray and King of Fortriu) from 1040 until his death. Evidence indicates that he spent much of his time in and around the Forres area of Moray, defeating his cousin Duncan, then king of Moray, in battle at nearby Pitgaveny.

Macbeth is best known as the subject of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth and the many works it has inspired. Shakespeare's play is based mainly upon Holinshed's Chronicles (1577), and is not historically accurate.
Sigurd Rognvald
 On Duncan's death, Macbeth became king. No resistance is known at that time, but it would have been entirely normal if his reign were not universally accepted. In 1045, Duncan's father Crínán of Dunkeld (a scion of the Scottish branch of the Cenel Conaill and Hereditary Abbot of Iona) was killed in a battle between two Scottish armies.

John of Fordun wrote that Duncan's wife fled Scotland, taking her children, including the future kings Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) and Donald III (Domnall Bán mac Donnchada, or Donalbane) with her. On the basis of the author's beliefs as to whom Duncan married, various places of exile, Northumbria and Orkney among them, have been proposed. However, E. William Robertson proposes the safest place for Duncan's widow and her children would be with her or Duncan's kin and supporters in Atholl. After the defeat of Crínán, Macbeth was evidently unchallenged. Marianus Scotus tells how the king made a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050, where, Marianus says, he gave money to the poor as if it were seed.

The Orkneyinga Saga says that a dispute between Thorfinn Sigurdsson, Earl of Orkney, and Karl Hundason began when Karl Hundason became "King of Scots" and claimed Caithness. The identity of Karl Hundason, unknown to Scots and Irish sources, has long been a matter of dispute, and it is far from clear that the matter is settled. The most common assumption is that Karl Hundason was an insulting byname (Old Norse for "Churl, son of a Dog") given to Macbeth by his enemies. William Forbes Skene's suggestion that he was Duncan I of Scotland has been revived in recent years. Lastly, the idea that the whole affair is a poetic invention has been raised.

According to the Orkneyinga Saga, in the war which followed, Thorfinn defeated Karl in a sea-battle off Deerness at the east end of the Orkney Mainland. Then Karl's nephew Mutatan or Muddan, appointed to rule Caithness for him, was killed at Thurso by Thorkel the Fosterer. Finally, a great battle at Tarbat Ness on the south side of the Dornoch Firth ended with Karl defeated and fugitive or dead. Thorfinn, the saga says, then marched south through Scotland as far as Fife, burning and plundering as he passed. A later note in the saga claims that Thorfinn won nine Scottish earldoms.

Whoever Karl Hundason may have been, it appears that the saga is reporting a local conflict with a Scots ruler of Moray or Ross: he whole narrative is consistent with the idea that the struggle of Thorfinn and Karl is a continuation of that which had been waged since the ninth century by the Orkney earls, notably Sigurd Rognvald's son, Ljot, and Sigurd the Stout, against the princes or mormaers of Moray, Sutherland, Ross, and Argyll, and that, in fine, Malcolm and Karl were mormaers of one of these four provinces.



Sunday, 26 February 2017

Scottish Negroid King & Queen: Malcolm III, St Margaret

MALCOLM III
Malcolm (Gaelic: Máel Coluim; c. 26 March 1031 – 13 November 1093) was King of Scots from 1058 to 1093. He was later nicknamed "Canmore"("ceann mòr", Gaelic for "Great Chief": "ceann" denotes "leader", "head" (of state) and "mòr" denotes "pre-eminent", "great", and "big").  Malcolm's long reign of 35 years preceded the beginning of the Scoto-Norman age. He is the historical equivalent of the character of the same name in William Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Late medieval depiction of Malcolm III with MacDuff, from an MS (Corpus Christi MS 171), Walter Bower's Scotichronicon
Malcolm's kingdom did not extend over the full territory of modern Scotland: the north and west of Scotland remained under Scandinavian, Norse-Gael, and Gaelic rule, and the territories under the rule of the Kings of Scots did not extend much beyond the limits established by Malcolm II until the 12th century. Malcolm III fought a series of wars against the Kingdom of England, which may have had as it's objective the conquest of the English earldom of Northumbria.
St Margaret of Scotland wife of Malcolm III
These wars did not result in any significant advances southward. Malcolm's primary achievement was to continue a lineage that ruled Scotland for many years, although his role as founder of a dynasty has more to do with the propaganda of his youngest son David I and his descendants than with history. Malcolm's second wife, St. Margaret of Scotland, is Scotland's only royal saint. Malcolm himself had no reputation for piety; with the notable exception of Dunfermline Abbey in Fife he is not definitely associated with major religious establishments or ecclesiastical reforms.

The Orkneyinga saga reports that Malcolm married the widow of Thorfinn Sigurdsson, Ingibiorg, a daughter of Finn Arnesson. Although Ingibiorg is generally assumed to have died shortly before 1070, it is possible that she died much earlier, around 1058.
Malcolm III
The Orkneyinga Saga records that Malcolm and Ingibiorg had a son, Duncan II (Donnchad mac Maíl Coluim), who was later king. Some Medieval commentators, following William of Malmesbury, claimed that Duncan was illegitimate, but this claim is propaganda reflecting the need of Malcolm's descendants by Margaret to undermine the claims of Duncan's descendants, the Meic Uilleim. Malcolm's son Domnall, whose death is reported in 1085, is not mentioned by the author of the Orkneyinga Saga. He is assumed to have been born to Ingibiorg.

When William Rufus became king of England after his father's death, Malcolm did not intervene in the rebellions by supporters of Robert Curthose which followed. In 1091, William Rufus confiscated Edgar Ætheling's lands in England, and Edgar fled north to Scotland. In May, Malcolm marched south, not to raid and take slaves and plunder, but to besiege Newcastle, built by Robert Curthose in 1080.
William Rufus the Red

This appears to have been an attempt to advance the frontier south from the River Tweed to the River Tees. The threat was enough to bring the English king back from Normandy, where he had been fighting Robert Curthose. In September, learning of William Rufus's approaching army, Malcolm withdrew north and the English followed. Unlike in 1072, Malcolm was prepared to fight, but a peace was arranged by Edgar Ætheling and Robert Curthose whereby Malcolm again acknowledged the overlordship of the English king.

In 1092, the peace began to break down. Based on the idea that the Scots controlled much of modern Cumbria, it had been supposed that William Rufus's new castle at Carlisle and his settlement of English peasants in the surrounds was the cause. It is unlikely that Malcolm controlled Cumbria, and the dispute instead concerned the estates granted to Malcolm by William Rufus's father in 1072 for his maintenance when visiting England. Malcolm sent messengers to discuss the question and William Rufus agreed to a meeting. Malcolm travelled south to Gloucester, stopping at Wilton Abbey to visit his daughter Edith and sister-in-law Cristina. Malcolm arrived there on 24 August 1093 to find that William Rufus refused to negotiate, insisting that the dispute be judged by the English barons. This Malcolm refused to accept, and returned immediately to Scotland.

It does not appear that William Rufus intended to provoke a war, but, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports, war came: For this reason therefore they parted with great dissatisfaction, and the King Malcolm returned to Scotland. And soon after he came home, he gathered his army, and came harrowing into England with more hostility than behoved him ....
Malcolm and Margaret as depicted in a 16th-century armorial

Malcolm was accompanied by Edward, his eldest son by Margaret and probable heir-designate (or tánaiste), and by Edgar. Even by the standards of the time, the ravaging of Northumbria by the Scots was seen as harsh.

While marching north again, Malcolm was ambushed by Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria, whose lands he had devastated, near Alnwick on 13 November 1093. There he was killed by Arkil Morel, steward of Bamburgh Castle.

The conflict became known as the Battle of Alnwick. Edward was mortally wounded in the same fight. Margaret, it is said, died soon after receiving the news of their deaths from Edgar. The Annals of Ulster say:

Mael Coluim son of Donnchad, over-king of Scotland, and Edward his son, were killed by the French [i.e. Normans] in Inber Alda in England. His queen, Margaret, moreover, died of sorrow for him within nine days. Malcolm's body was taken to Tynemouth Priory for burial. The king's body was sent north for reburial, in the reign of his son Alexander, at Dunfermline Abbey, or possibly Iona. On 19 June 1250, following the canonisation of Malcolm's wife Margaret by Pope Innocent IV, Margaret's remains were disinterred and placed in a reliquary. Tradition has it that as the reliquary was carried to the high altar of Dunfermline Abbey, past Malcolm's grave, it became too heavy to move. As a result, Malcolm's remains were also disinterred, and buried next to Margaret beside the altar.



Saturday, 25 February 2017

Scottish King: Malcolm II

MALCOLM II
Malcolm II ( 954 - 1034 AD)
Malcolm (Gaelic: Máel Coluim; c. 954 - 25 November 1034) was King of the Scots from 1005 until his death. He was a son of King Kenneth II; the Prophecy of Berchán says that his mother was a woman of Leinster and refers to him as Forranach, "the Destroyer". To the Irish annals which recorded his death, Malcolm was ard rí Alban, High King of Scotland. In the same way that Brian Bóruma, High King of Ireland, was not the only king in Ireland, Malcolm was one of several kings within the geographical boundaries of modern Scotland:

his fellow kings included the king of Strathclyde, who ruled much of the south-west, various Norse-Gael kings on the western coast and the Hebrides and, nearest and most dangerous rivals, the kings or Mormaers of Moray. To the south, in the Kingdom of England, the Earls of Bernicia and Northumbria, whose predecessors as kings of Northumbria had once ruled most of southern Scotland, still controlled large parts of the southeast.

Malcolm II was born to Kenneth II of Scotland. He was grandson of Malcolm I of Scotland. In 997, the killer of Constantine is credited as being Kenneth, son of Malcolm. Since there is no known and relevant Kenneth alive at that time (King Kenneth having died in 995), it is considered an error for either Kenneth III, who succeeded Constantine, or, possibly, Malcolm himself, the son of Kenneth II. Whether Malcolm killed Constantine or not, there is no doubt that in 1005 he killed Constantine's successor Kenneth III in battle at Monzievaird in Strathearn. John of Fordun writes that Malcolm defeated a Norwegian army "in almost the first days after his coronation", but this is not reported elsewhere. Fordun says that the Bishopric of Mortlach (later moved to Aberdeen) was founded in thanks for this victory over the Norwegians.

Malcolm died in 1034, Marianus Scotus giving the date as 25 November 1034. The king lists say that he died at Glamis, variously describing him as a "most glorious" or "most victorious" king. The Annals of Tigernach report that "Malcolm mac Cináeda, king of Scotland, the honour of all the west of Europe, died." The Prophecy of Berchán, perhaps the inspiration for John of Fordun and Andrew of Wyntoun's accounts where Malcolm is killed fighting bandits, says that he died by violence, fighting "the parricides", suggested to be the sons of Máel Brigte of Moray.

Perhaps the most notable feature of Malcolm's death is the account of Marianus, matched by the silence of the Irish annals, which tells us that Duncan I became king and ruled for five years and nine months. Given that his death in 1040 is described as being "at an immature age" in the Annals of Tigernach, he must have been a young man in 1034. The absence of any opposition suggests that Malcolm had dealt thoroughly with any likely opposition in his own lifetime.

Tradition, dating from Fordun's time if not earlier, knew the Pictish stone now called "Glamis 2" as "King Malcolm's grave stone". The stone is a Class II stone, apparently formed by re-using a Bronze Age standing stone. Its dating is uncertain, with dates from the 8th century onwards having been proposed. While an earlier date is favoured, an association with accounts of Malcolm's has been proposed on the basis of the iconography of the carvings.

On the question of Malcolm's putative pilgrimage, pilgrimages to Rome, or other long-distance journeys, were far from unusual. Thorfinn Sigurdsson, Cnut and Mac Bethad have already been mentioned. Rognvald Kali Kolsson is known to have gone crusading in the Mediterranean in the 12th century. Nearer in time, Dyfnwal of Strathclyde died on pilgrimage to Rome in 975 as did Máel Ruanaid uá Máele Doraid, King of the Cenél Conaill, in 1025.

Not a great deal is known of Malcolm's activities beyond the wars and killings. The Book of Deer records that Malcolm "gave a king's dues in Biffie and in Pett Meic-Gobraig, and two davochs" to the monastery of Old Deer. He was also probably not the founder of the Bishopric of Mortlach-Aberdeen. John of Fordun has a peculiar tale to tell, related to the supposed "Laws of Malcolm MacKenneth", saying that Malcolm gave away all of Scotland, except for the Moot Hill at Scone, which is unlikely to have any basis in fact. 1018 - Malcolm II defeats a force of English and Vikings at Carham, and extends Scottish rule into Lothian and Northumbria.


Friday, 24 February 2017

Scottish King: Kenneth III

KENNETH III (997 - 1005 AD)
Cináed mac Duib (Modern Gaelic: Coinneach mac Dhuibh) anglicised as Kenneth III, and nicknamed An Donn, "the Chief" or "the Brown", (c. 966–25 March 1005) was King of Scots from 997 to 1005. He was the son of Dub (Dub mac Maíl Coluim). Many of the Scots sources refer to him as Giric son of Kenneth son of Dub, which is taken to be an error. An alternate explanation is that Kenneth had a son, Giric, who ruled jointly with his father.

The primary sources concerning the life and "reign" of Giric include chronicle entries dating to the years 1251 and 1317. They can be found in The Chronicles of the Picts and Scots of William Forbes Skene. The chronicle of John of Fordun (14th century) mentions Giric as "Grim" or "Gryme", reporting him killed by Malcolm II of Scotland.
Kenneth III
Charles Cawley, a modern genealogist, cautions about the late date of these sources. Giric is not mentioned by earlier sources, which would make his existence questionable.John Bannerman theorised that mac Duib, the Gaelic patronymic of Kenneth III, evolved to the surnames Duff and MacDuff. And that Kenneth III could be a direct ancestor to Clan MacDuff, which produced all Mormaers and Earls of Fife from the 11th to the mid-14th century. Noting that Giric could be the actual founder of the house, following a pattern of several Scottish clans seemingly founded by grandsons of their eponym.

The only event reported in Kenneth's reign is the killing of Dúngal mac Cináeda by Gille Coemgáin mac Cináeda, by the Annals of the Four Masters s.a. 999. It is not certain that this refers to events in Scotland, and whether one or both were sons of this Kenneth, or of Kenneth II of Scotland, or some other person or persons, is not known. A "Gilla Caemgein son of Cinaed" also appears in the Annals of Ulster. An entry from the year 1035 reports that his unnamed granddaughter and her husband Cathal, son of Amalgaid, were both killed by Cellach, son of Dúnchad. This Cathal was reportedly king to the Western Laigin, possibly connected to the Kings of Leinster. The context is unclear but it is likely that this is the same Gille Coemgáin, connected to Kenneth III.

Kenneth III was killed in battle at Monzievaird in Strathearn by Malcolm II (Máel Coluim mac Cináeda) in 1005. Whether Boite mac Cináeda was a son of this Kenneth, or of Kenneth II, is uncertain, although most propose this Kenneth. A son, or grandson of Boite, was reported to be killed by Malcolm II in 1032 in the Annals of Ulster. The relevant entry has been translated as: "The grandson of Baete son of Cinaed was killed by Mael Coluim son of Cinaed."

Kenneth's granddaughter, Gruoch daughter of Boite (Gruoch ingen Boite meic Cináeda) — William Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth — was wife firstly of Gille Coemgáin, Mormaer of Moray, and secondly of King Macbeth; her son by Gille Coemgáin, Lulach (Lulach mac Gille Coemgáin), would briefly succeed Macbeth as King of Scotland. The meic Uilleim, descendants of William fitz Duncan by his first marriage, were probably descended from Kenneth; and the Clann Mac Aoidh or Clan Mackay claim descent from Kenneth III through Lulach's daughter.
Alexander III
The theory that Clan MacDuff were descendants of Kenneth III was based on their close connection to royalty. Andrew of Wyntoun reported that Malcolm III of Scotland (reigned 1058–1093) had granted to a "MacDuff, thane of Fife" the privilege of enthroning the kings of Scots at their inauguration. While John of Fordun has Malcolm III promise this same unnamed MacDuff that he will be the first man of the kingdom, second only to the king. This unnamed MacDuff appears frequently in stories connected to the rise of Malcolm III to the throne, and was later immortalised in the Shakespearean character Macduff.

The status of the successive heads of this clan as the "senior inaugural official" seems confirmed by records of the inauguration ceremonies of Alexander II (reigned 1214–1249) and Alexander III (reigned 1249–1286). While earlier heads of this house "witnessed royal documents far more more frequently" than other members of the nobility. Their names often listed first among the lay witnesses, ahead of both the native Scottish nobility and the Anglo-Norman nobles. A number of 12th-century heads of house served as Justiciars of Scotia.

Their leaders were named Donnchadh (Duncan), Mael-Coluim (Malcolm), and Causantin (Constantine), names shared by the royal family. Making a close relation to the reigning royal house likely. Bannerman suggests that the MacDuffs had their own, legitimate claim to the Scottish throne. A claim which they declined to pursue, compensated with privileges by Malcolm III and his descendants.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Scottish King: Constantine III

CONSTANTINE III (995 - 997 AD)
Constantine, son of Cuilén (Mediaeval Gaelic: Causantín mac Cuiléin; Modern Gaelic: Còiseam mac Chailein), known in most modern regnal lists as Constantine III, (born c. 970–997) was king of Scots from 995 to 997.
Constantine III
 He was the son of Cuilén, King of Scotland (Cuilén mac Iduilb). John of Fordun calls him, in Latin, Constantinus Calvus, which translates to Constantine the Bald. Benjamin Hudson notes that insular authors from Ireland and Scotland typically identified rulers by sobriquets. Noting for example the similarly named Eugenius Calvus (Owen the Bald), an 11th-century King of Strathclyde.

The Scottish monarchy of this period based its succession system on the rule of tanistry. All adult male descendants of previous monarchs were eligible for the throne. The kingship regularly switched from one line of royal descendants to another, though they were all closely related. Constantine was able to rise to the throne, despite his cousin and predecessor having a son of his own. The next two kings (Kenneth III, Malcolm II) were his cousins, and killed their respective predecessor to gain the throne. The succession rule had the benefit of ensuring that there would always be an adult king on the throne, avoiding the usual problems of minority reigns.

The various kings had their lands and power bases in different areas of Scotland, preventing any single region from claiming full domination of the others. This may have helped the country avoid significant secession movements. The downside was that any single king had to face adult rivals for the throne. His kinsmen had their own ambitions and would not wait for his death from natural causes to achieve them. The succession was often decided through acts of warfare and murder, resulting in early deaths and high casualty rates in the extended royal family.
Constantine III vs Snoop Dog

The Annals of Tigernach report that Constantine was killed in a battle between the Scots in 997: "A battle between the Scots, in which fell Constantine son of Culannan, king of Scotland, and many others." Another entry of the same year reports the death of Máel Coluim I of Strathclyde, though it is unclear if the two deaths were connected. A Chronicle of the Scots and Picts entry adds a number of details. Constantine, son of Culen was killed by Kenneth, son of Malcolm (see above) at Rathinveramon. Constantine's body was transported for burial to Iona. An entry in the Chronicle of Melrose describes "King Constantine, Culen's son, ... slain by the sword" at the mouth of Almond in Tegalere. Again the killer is reported as Kenneth, son of Malcolm.

John of Fordun's narrative is more verbose. According to it, Constantine and Kenneth, son of Malcolm met one day in Laudonia (Lothian), by the banks of the River Almond. They engaged in battle, resulting in great slaughter on both sides and the death of both leaders. The guards of Constantine fled to Gryme (Kenneth III), "colleague" of their leader, allowing him to win the throne. However, news of the battle and its results reached Malcolm (II) in Cumbria. He learned of the death of his "uncle and the rest of his faithful friends", and returned to gather reinforcements for his cause—though he was defeated in his initial conflict against Gryme.

The stanzas of The Prophecy of Berchán covering Constantine III give him a mostly negative assessment: "A king will take [the sovereignty], who will not be king; after him, Scotland will be nothing. It will be the weak following the strong; though true is what my lips relate. A king with reproach above his head; alas for Scotland during his short time! Feeble men will be about him, in the region of Scone, of melodious shields.
Snoop Dog

A year and a half (a bright space), that will be his whole reign; from taking Gaels (hostages?) he will go to death; he falls, his people fall. He will fight great battles in Scotland; by the disgrace of his head he will destroy colours. He will be in communion of battle, from Stirling to Abertay. " Anderson suggested that this would be the area from Stirling to Tentsmuir (Abertay Sands), the traditional Scottish boundary with "Danish Northumbria"(Jórvík).

Constantine is not known to have any descendants and he was the last of the line of Áed (Áed mac Cináeda) to have been king. With his death, the rivalry between descendants of Causantin and Áed gave way to a rivalry between two new royal lines, both descended from Causantin. One line descended from Kenneth II and was represented by his son Malcolm II. The other line descended from his brother Dub, King of Scotland (reigned 962-967) and was represented by Kenneth III.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Scottish King: Kenneth II

KENNETH II (971 - 995 AD)
Cináed mac Maíl Coluim (Modern Gaelic: Coinneach mac Mhaoil Chaluim anglicised as Kenneth II, and nicknamed An Fionnghalach, "The Fratricide"; died 995) was King of Scots (Alba).
Kenneth II
 The son of Malcolm I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill), he succeeded King Cuilén (Cuilén mac Iduilb) on the latter's death at the hands of Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal in 971.

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba was compiled in Kenneth's reign, but many of the place names mentioned are entirely corrupt, if not fictitious. Whatever the reality, the Chronicle states that "[h]e immediately plundered [Strathclyde] in part. Kenneth's infantry were slain with very great slaughter in Moin Uacoruar."

The Chronicle further states that Kenneth plundered Northumbria three times, first as far as Stainmore, then to Cluiam and lastly to the River Dee by Chester. These raids may belong to around 980, when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records attacks on Cheshire.

In 973, the Chronicle of Melrose reports that Kenneth, with Máel Coluim I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill), the King of Strathclyde, "Maccus, king of very many islands" (i.e. Magnus Haraldsson (Maccus mac Arailt), King of Mann and the Isles) and other kings, Welsh and Norse, came to Chester to acknowledge the overlordship of the English king Edgar the Peaceable.
Magnus Haraldsson
 It may be that Edgar here regulated the frontier between the southern lands of the kingdom of Alba and the northern lands of his English kingdom. Cumbria was English, the western frontier lay on the Solway. In the east, the frontier lay somewhere in later Lothian, south of Edinburgh.

The Annals of Tigernach, in an aside, name three of the Mormaers of Alba in Kenneth's reign in entry in 976: Cellach mac Fíndgaine, Cellach mac Baireda and Donnchad mac Morgaínd. The third of these, if not an error for Domnall mac Morgaínd, is very likely a brother of Domnall, and thus the Mormaer of Moray.

The Mormaerdoms or kingdoms ruled by the two Cellachs cannot be identified. The feud which had persisted since the death of King Indulf (Idulb mac Causantín) between his descendants and Kenneth's family persisted. In 977 the Annals of Ulster report that "Amlaíb mac Iduilb [Amlaíb, son of Indulf], King of Scotland, was killed by Cináed mac Domnaill." The Annals of Tigernach give the correct name of Amlaíb's killer: Cináed mac Maíl Coluim, or Kenneth II.

Thus, even if only for a short time, Kenneth had been overthrown by the brother of the previous king. Adam of Bremen tells that Sweyn Forkbeard found exile in Scotland at this time, but whether this was with Kenneth, or one of the other kings in Scotland, is unknown. Also at this time, Njal's Saga, the Orkneyinga Saga and other sources recount wars between "the Scots" and the Northmen, but these are more probably wars between Sigurd Hlodvisson, Earl of Orkney, and the Mormaers, or Kings, of Moray. The Chronicle says that Kenneth founded a great monastery at Brechin.

Kenneth was killed in 995, the Annals of Ulster say "by deceit" and the Annals of Tigernach say "by his subjects". Some later sources, such as the Chronicle of Melrose, John of Fordun and Andrew of Wyntoun provide more details, accurately or not. The simplest account is that he was killed by his own men in Fettercairn, through the treachery of Finnguala (also called Fimberhele or Fenella), daughter of Cuncar, Mormaer of Angus, in revenge for the killing of her only son. The Prophecy of Berchán adds little to our knowledge, except that it names Kenneth "the kinslayer", and states he died in Strathmore.

According to John of Fordun (14th century), Kenneth II of Scotland (reigned 971-995) attempted to change the succession rules, allowing "the nearest survivor in blood to the deceased king to succeed", thus securing the throne for his own descendants. He reportedly did so to specifically exclude Constantine (III) and Kenneth (III), called Gryme in this source. The two men then jointly conspired against him, convincing Finnguala, daughter of Cuncar, Mormaer of Angus, to kill the king. She reportedly did so to achieve personal revenge, as Kenneth II had killed her own son. Entries in the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, collected by William Forbes Skene, provide the account of Finnguala killing Kenneth II in revenge, but not her affiliation to Constantine or his cousins.
 King Edgar's coin

These entries date to the 12th and 13th centuries. The Annals of Ulster simply record "Cinaed son of Mael Coluim [Kenneth, son of Malcolm], king of Scotland, was deceitfully killed", with no indication of who killed him. In the account of John of Fordun, Constantine the Bald, son of King Cullen and Gryme were "plotting unceasingly the death of the king and his son". One day, Kenneth II and his companions went hunting into the woods, "at no great distance from his own abode". The hunt took him to Fettercairn, where Finella resided. She approached him to proclaim her loyalty and invited him to visit her residence, whispering into his ear that she had information about a conspiracy plot.

She managed to lure him to "an out-of-the-way little cottage", where a booby trap was hidden. Inside the cottage was a statue, connected by strings to a number of crossbows. If anyone touched or moved the statue, he would trigger the crossbows and fall victim to their arrows. Kenneth II gently touched the statue and "was shot though by arrows sped from all sides, and fell without uttering another word." Finella escaped through the woods and managed to join her abettors, Constantine III and Gryme. The hunting companions soon discovered the bloody king. They were unable to locate Finella, but burned Fettercairn to the ground. Smyth dismisses the elaborate plotting and the mechanical contraption as mere fables, but accepts the basic details of the story, that the succession plans of Kenneth II caused his assassination. Alan Orr Anderson raised his own doubts concerning the story of Finella, which he considered "semi-mythical".

He noted that the feminine name Finnguala or Findguala means "white shoulders", but suggested it derived from "find-ela" (white swan). The name figures in toponyms such as Finella Hill (near Fordoun) and Finella Den (near St Cyrus), while local tradition in The Mearns (Kincardineshire) has Finella walking atop the treetops from one location to the other. Anderson thus theorized that Finella could be a mythical figure, suggesting she was a local stream-goddess. A later passage of John of Fordun mentions Finele as mother of Macbeth, King of Scotland (reigned 1040–1057), but this is probably an error based on the similarity of names. Macbeth was son of Findláech of Moray, not of a woman called Finella.


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Scottish Kings: Indulf, Dub mac Maíl Coluim

INDULF (954 - 962 AD)
Ildulb mac Causantín, anglicised as Indulf, nicknamed An Ionsaighthigh, "the Aggressor" (born c. 910 - died 962) was king of Scots from 954. He was the son of Constantine II (Causantín mac Áeda); his mother may have been a daughter of Earl Eadulf I of Bernicia, who was an exile in Scotland. John of Fordun and others supposed that Indulf had been king of Strathclyde in the reign of his predecessor, based on their understanding that the kingdom of Strathclyde had become a part of the kingdom of Alba in the 940s. This, however, is no longer accepted.
King Indulf

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says: "In his time oppidum Eden", usually identified as Edinburgh, "was evacuated, and abandoned to the Scots until the present day." This has been read as indicating that Lothian or some large part of it, fell to Indulf at this time. However, the conquest of Lothian is likely to have been a process rather than a single event, and the frontier between the lands of the kings of Alba and Bernicia may have lain south and east of Edinburgh many years before Indulf's reign.

Indulf's death is reported by the Chronicon Scotorum in 962, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba adding that he was killed fighting Vikings near Cullen, at the Battle of Bauds. The Prophecy of Berchán, however, claims that he died "in the house of the same holy apostle, where his father [died]", that is at the céli dé monastery of St Andrews. He was buried on Iona. Indulf was succeeded by Dub (Dub mac Maíl Coluim), son of his predecessor. His sons Cuilén and Amlaíb were later kings. Eochaid, a third son, was killed with Cuilén by the men of Strathclyde in 971.
954 - Indulf captures Edinburgh from Northumbria.

DUB KING OF SCOTLAND 962 - 967 AD
Dub mac Maíl Coluim (Modern Gaelic: Dubh mac Mhaoil Chaluim), sometimes anglicised as Duff MacMalcolm, called Dén, "the Vehement" and Niger, "the Black" (born c. 928 - died 967) was king of Alba. He was son of Malcolm I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill) and succeeded to the throne when Indulf (Ildulb mac Causantín) was killed in 962.
The history and legends of Scotland confirm the existence of "purely Black people." We see one of them in the person of Kenneth the Niger. During the tenth century Kenneth the Niger ruled over three provinces in the Scottish Highlands.

The archeologist and writer David McRitchie declared that the Moors dominated Scotland as late as the time of the Saxon Kings: He stated with scholarly authority: So late as the tenth century three of these provinces [of Scotland] were wholly black and the supreme ruler of these became for a time the paramount king of transmarine Scotland.

We see one of the black people ­- the Moors of the Romans - in the person of a King of Alban of the tenth century. History knows him as Kenneth, sometimes as Dubh and as Niger. We know as a historic fact that a Niger Val Dubh has lived and reigned over certain black divisions of our islands and probably white divisions also, and that a race known as the "Sons of the Black" succeeded him in history.

While later chroniclers such as John of Fordun supplied a great deal of information on Dub's life and reign, including tales of witchcraft and treason, almost all of them are rejected by modern historians. There are very few sources for the reign of Dub, of which the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and a single entry in the Annals of Ulster are the closest to contemporary.

The Chronicle records that during Dub's reign bishop Fothach, most likely bishop of St Andrews or of Dunkeld, died. The remaining report is of a battle between Dub and Cuilén, son of king Ildulb. Dub won the battle, fought "upon the ridge of Crup", in which Duchad, abbot of Dunkeld, sometimes supposed to be an ancestor of Crínán of Dunkeld, and Dubdon, the mormaer of Atholl, died.

The various accounts differ on what happened afterwards. The Chronicle claims that Dub was driven out of the kingdom. The Latin material interpolated in Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykl states that he was murdered at Forres, and links this to an eclipse of the sun which can be dated to 20 July 966. The Annals of Ulster report only: "Dub mac Maíl Coluim, king of Alba, was killed by the Scots themselves"; the usual way of reporting a death in internal strife, and place the death in 967. It has been suggested that Sueno's Stone, near Forres, may be a monument to Dub, erected by his brother Kenneth II (Cináed mac Maíl Coluim).

It is presumed that Dub was killed or driven out by Cuilén, who became king after Dub's death, or by his supporters. It is related that his body was hidden under the bridge of Kinloss, and the sun did not shine till it was found and buried. An eclipse on 10 July 967 may have originated or confirmed this story. Dub left at least one son, Kenneth III (Cináed mac Dub). Although his descendants did not compete successfully for the kingship of Alba after Cináed was killed in 1005, they did hold the mormaerdom of Fife. The MacDuib (or MacDuff) held the mormaerdom, and later earldom, until 1371.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Scottish King: Malcolm I

MALCOLM I (943 - 954 AD)
943 - Malcolm I becomes king: Máel Coluim mac Domnaill (anglicised Malcolm I) (c. 895–954) was king of Scots (before 943 – 954), becoming king when his cousin Causantín mac Áeda abdicated to become a monk. He was the son of Domnall mac Causantín. Since his father was known to have died in the year 900, Malcolm must have been born no later than 901. By the 940s, he was no longer a young man, and may have become impatient in awaiting the throne. Willingly or not—the 11th-century Prophecy of Berchán, a verse history in the form of a supposed prophecy, states that it was not a voluntary decision that Constantine II abdicated in 943 and entered a monastery, leaving the kingdom to Malcolm. Seven years later, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says:
Malcolm I

[Malcolm I] plundered the English as far as the River Tees, and he seized a multitude of people and many herds of cattle: and the Scots called this the raid of Albidosorum, that is, Nainndisi. But others say that Constantine made this raid, asking of the king, Malcolm, that the kingship should be given to him for a week's time, so that he could visit the English. In fact, it was Malcolm who made the raid, but Constantine incited him, as I have said. Woolf suggests that the association of Constantine with the raid is a late addition, one derived from a now-lost saga or poem. He died in the shield wall next to his men.

In 945, Edmund I of England, having expelled Amlaíb Cuaran (Olaf Sihtricsson) from Northumbria, devastated Cumbria and blinded two sons of Domnall mac Eógain, king of Strathclyde. It is said that he then "let" or "commended" Strathclyde to Máel Coluim in return for an alliance. What is to be understood by "let" or "commended" is unclear, but it may well mean that Máel Coluim had been the overlord of Strathclyde and that Edmund recognised this while taking lands in southern Cumbria for himself. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says that Máel Coluim took an army into Moray "and slew Cellach". Cellach is not named in the surviving genealogies of the rulers of Moray, and his identity is unknown.
King Edmund

Máel Coluim appears to have kept his agreement with the late English king, which may have been renewed with the new king, Edmund having been murdered in 946 and succeeded by his brother Edred. Eric Bloodaxe took York in 948, before being driven out by Edred, and when Amlaíb Cuaran again took York in 949–950, Máel Coluim raided Northumbria as far south as the Tees taking "a multitude of people and many herds of cattle" according to the Chronicle. The Annals of Ulster for 952 report a battle between "the men of Alba and the Britons [of Strathclyde] and the English" against the foreigners, i.e. the Northmen or the Norse-Gaels.

This battle is not reported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and it is unclear whether it should be related to the expulsion of Amlaíb Cuaran from York or the return of Eric Bloodaxe. The Annals of Ulster report that Máel Coluim was killed in 954. Other sources place this most probably in the Mearns, either at Fetteresso following the Chronicle, or at Dunnottar following the Prophecy of Berchán. He was buried on Iona. Máel Coluim's sons Dub and Cináed were later kings.
954 - Malcolm I killed by men of Moray


Sunday, 19 February 2017

Scottish Kings: Donald II, Constantine II

DONALD II (889 - 900 AD)
Domnall mac Causantín (Modern Gaelic: Dòmhnall mac Chòiseim), anglicised as Donald II (born c. 860 - died 900) was King of the Picts or King of Scotland (Alba) in the late 9th century. He was the son of Constantine I (Causantín mac Cináeda). Donald is given the epithet Dásachtach, "the Madman", by the Prophecy of Berchán. Donald became king on the death or deposition of Giric (Giric mac Dúngail), the date of which is not certainly known but usually placed in 889. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba reports:
Donald II

Doniualdus son of Constantini held the kingdom for 11 years [889–900]. The Northmen wasted Pictland at this time. In his reign a battle occurred between Danes and Scots at Innisibsolian where the Scots had victory. He was killed at Opidum Fother [modern Dunnottar] by the Gentiles. It has been suggested that the attack on Dunnottar, rather than being a small raid by a handful of pirates, may be associated with the ravaging of Scotland attributed to Harald Fairhair in the Heimskringla. The Prophecy of Berchán places Donald's death at Dunnottar, but appears to attribute it to Gaels rather than Norsemen; other sources report he died at Forres.

Donald's death is dated to 900 by the Annals of Ulster and the Chronicon Scotorum, where he is called king of Alba, rather than king of the Picts. He was buried on Iona. The change from king of the Picts to king of Alba is seen as indicating a step towards the kingdom of the Scots, but historians, while divided as to when this change should be placed, do not generally attribute it to Donald in view of his epithet. The consensus view is that the key changes occurred in the reign of Constantine II (Causantín mac Áeda), but the reign of Giric has also been proposed.

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba has Donald succeeded by his cousin Constantine II. Donald's son Malcolm (Máel Coluim mac Domnall) was later king as Malcolm I. The Prophecy of Berchán appears to suggest that another king reigned for a short while between Donald II and Constantine II, saying "half a day will he take sovereignty". Possible confirmation of this exists in the Chronicon Scotorum, where the death of "Ead, king of the Picts" in battle against the Uí Ímair is reported in 904. This, however, is thought to be an error, referring perhaps to Ædwulf, the ruler of Bernicia, whose death is reported in 913 by the other Irish annals.
890 - Exodus of the Strathclyde Britons to Gwynedd (in Wales).

CONSTANTINE II (900 - 943 AD)
Constantine II
900 - Constantine II succeeds Donald II
904 - Constantine's forces defeat Vikings at the Battle of Strathearn
937 - Battle of Brunanburh: Alliance of Scots, Celts, Danes, and Vikings, defeated by Aethelstan of England who takes the title of King of all Britain
943 - King Edmund of England extends his rule into southern Scotland,
943 - Abdication of Constantine II

Constantine, son of Áed (Medieval Gaelic: Constantín mac Áeda; Modern Gaelic: Còiseam mac Aoidh, known in most modern regnal lists as Constantine II; died 952) was an early King of Scotland, known then by the Gaelic name Alba. The Kingdom of Alba, a name which first appears in Constantine's lifetime, was in northern Great Britain. The core of the kingdom was formed by the lands around the River Tay. Its southern limit was the River Forth, northwards it extended towards the Moray Firth and perhaps to Caithness, while its western limits are uncertain. Constantine's grandfather Kenneth I of Scotland (Cináed mac Ailpín, died 858) was the first of the family recorded as a king, but as king of the Picts. This change of title, from king of the Picts to king of Alba, is part of a broader transformation of Pictland and the origins of the Kingdom of Alba are traced to Constantine's lifetime.

His reign, like those of his predecessors, was dominated by the actions of Viking rulers in the British Isles, particularly the Uí Ímair ("the grandsons of Ímar", or Ivar the Boneless). During Constantine's reign the rulers of the southern kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, later the Kingdom of England, extended their authority northwards into the disputed kingdoms of Northumbria. At first allied with the southern rulers against the Vikings, Constantine in time came into conflict with them. King Æthelstan was successful in securing Constantine's submission in 927 and 934, but the two again fought when Constantine, allied with the Strathclyde Britons and the Viking king of Dublin, invaded Æthelstan's kingdom in 937, only to be defeated at the great battle of Brunanburh.

Æthelstan or Athelstan (Old English: Æþelstan[a], Æðelstān[b], meaning "noble stone"; c. 894 – 27 October 939) was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 and King of the English from 927 to 939.[c] He was the son of King Edward the Elder and his first wife, Ecgwynn. Modern historians regard him as the first King of England and one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon kings. He never married, and was succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund. In 943 Constantine abdicated the throne and retired to the Céli Dé (Culdee) monastery of St Andrews where he died in 952. He was succeeded by his predecessor's son Malcolm I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill).
Left: King Æþelstan

Constantine's reign of 43 years, exceeded in Scotland only by that of King William the Lion before the Union of the Crowns in 1603, is believed to have played a defining part in the gaelicisation of Pictland, in which his patronage of the Irish Céli Dé monastic reformers was a significant factor. During his reign the words "Scots" and "Scotland" (Old English: Scottas, Scotland) are first used to mean part of what is now Scotland. The earliest evidence for the ecclesiastical and administrative institutions which would last until the Davidian Revolution also appears at this time.

By the early 940s Constantine was an old man, perhaps more than 70 years of age. The kingdom of Alba was too new to be said to have a customary rule of succession, but Pictish and Irish precedents favoured an adult successor descended from Kenneth MacAlpin. Constantine's surviving son Indulf, probably baptised in 927, would have been too young to be a serious candidate for the kingship in the early 940s, and the obvious heir was Constantine's nephew, Malcolm I. As Malcolm was born no later than 901, by the 940s he was no longer a young man, and may have been impatient. Willingly or not—the 11th-century Prophecy of Berchán, a verse history in the form of a supposed prophecy, states that it was not a voluntary decision—Constantine abdicated in 943 and entered a monastery, leaving the kingdom to Malcolm.

Although his retirement may have been involuntary, the Life of Cathróe of Metz and the Prophecy of Berchán portray Constantine as a devout king. The monastery which Constantine retired to, and where he is said to have been abbot, was probably that of St Andrews. This had been refounded in his reign and given to the reforming Céli Dé (Culdee) movement. The Céli Dé were subsequently to be entrusted with many monasteries throughout the kingdom of Alba until replaced in the 12th century by new orders imported from France. Seven years later the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says:
Edward the Elder's coin

[Malcolm I] plundered the English as far as the river Tees, and he seized a multitude of people and many herds of cattle: and the Scots called this the raid of Albidosorum, that is, Nainndisi. But others say that Constantine made this raid, asking of the king, Malcolm, that the kingship should be given to him for a week's time, so that he could visit the English. In fact, it was Malcolm who made the raid, but Constantine incited him, as I have said. Woolf suggests that the association of Constantine with the raid is a late addition, one derived from a now-lost saga or poem.

Constantine's death in 952 is recorded by the Irish annals, who enter it among ecclesiastics. His son Indulf would become king on Malcolm's death. The last of Constantine's certain descendants to be king in Alba was a great-grandson, Constantine III (Constantín mac Cuiléin). Another son had died at Brunanburh, and, according to John of Worcester, Amlaíb mac Gofraid was married to a daughter of Constantine. It is possible that Constantine had other children, but like the name of his wife, or wives, this has not been recorded.

The form of kingdom which appeared in Constantine's reign continued in much the same way until the Davidian Revolution in the 12th century. As with his ecclesiastical reforms, his political legacy was the creation of a new form of Scottish kingship that lasted for two centuries after his death.


Scottish Kings: Constantine I, Áed mac Cináeda, Eochaid

Constantine I ( 863 - 877 )
870 - Alt Clut, Dumbarton Rock, captured by the Norse-Gael or Viking leaders Amlaíb Conung and Ímar after six month's of siege.
Constantine I
AEDH (877 - 878 AD)
Áed mac Cináeda (born c. 840 - died 878) was a son of Cináed mac Ailpín ("Kenneth MacAlpin"). He became king of the Picts in 877, when he succeeded his brother Constantine I. He was nicknamed Áed of the White Flowers, the wing-footed (Latin: alipes) or the white-foot (Latin: albipes).
The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says of Áed: "Edus [Áed] held the same [i.e. the kingdom] for one year. The shortness of his reign has bequeathed nothing memorable to history. He was slain in the civitas of Nrurim." Nrurim is unidentified.

The Annals of Ulster say that in 878: "Áed mac Cináeda, king of the Picts, was killed by his associates." Tradition, reported by George Chalmers in his Caledonia (1807), and by the New Statistical Account (1834–1845), has it that the early-historic mound of the Cunninghillock by Inverurie is the burial place of Áed. This is based on reading Nrurim as Inruriu.

A longer account is interpolated in Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland. This says that Áed reigned one year and was killed by his successor Giric in Strathallan and other king lists have the same report. It is uncertain which, if any, of the Prophecy of Berchán's kings should be taken to be Áed. William Forbes Skene presumed that the following verses referred to Áed:
Áed mac Cináeda or Donald I

129. Another king will take [sovereignty]; small is the profit that he does not divide. Alas for Scotland thenceforward. His name will be the Furious.
130. He will be but a short time over Scotland. The will be no [word uncertain] unplundered. Alas for Scotland, through the youth; alas for their books, alas for their bequests.
131. He will be nine years in the kingdom. I shall tell you—it will be a tale of truth—he dies without bell, with communion, at evening, in a fatal pass.

Áed's son, Constantín mac Áeda, became king in 900. The idea that Domnall II of Strathclyde was a son of Áed, based on a confusing entry in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, is contested.

EOCHAID ( 879 - 889 )
Eochaid mac Run, (born c. 860 – died after 889) known in English simply as Eochaid, may have been king of the Picts from 878 to 889. He was a son of Run, King of Strathclyde, and his mother may have been a daughter of Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín). His kingship is usually portrayed as some form of joint rule with Giric. The evidence for Eochaid's rule as king of the Picts rests on the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, where it is written:

And Eochodius son of Run king of the Britons, grandson of Kenneth by his daughter, reigned for 11 years; although others say that Ciricium (Giric) son of another reigned at this time, because he became Eochaid's foster-father and guardian. And in his second year Aed son of Niall [Aed Finliath] died. And in his ninth year, on the very day of St. Cirici (Cyrus), an eclipse of the sun occurred. Eochaid and his foster father was now expelled from the kingdom.

This is the record of Eochaid's reign, such as it is. The death of Aed Finliath son of Niall Caille is dated to 20 November 879, and the solar eclipse to 16 June 885. The chronicler's "although others say" shows that the confusion concerning Eochaid is nothing new.

Some variants of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba king lists do not include Eochaid. The Duan Albanach omits both Eochaid and Giric, jumping from "Aodh, of the white flowers" (King Áed mac Cináeda) to "Domhnal, son of Cusaintin the fair" (Donald II, son of Constantine I (Domnall mac Causantín)). The Duan also omits earlier kings, such as Selbach mac Ferchair, although whether these omissions are by accident or design is unknowable. David Dumville's suggestion that the surviving record may be corrupted by cases of damnatio memoriae is unprovable, but should be borne in mind. Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykl of Scotland (c. 1420) and George Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum Historia (1579) know of Giric, but not of Eochaid.

American Celticist Benjamin Hudson, relying on the Prophecy of Berchán in his 1996 book of the same name, is confident that Eochaid can be identified and that he was indeed a Scottish or Pictish king. The Prophecy is not without its critics, and the entry which is assumed to identify Eochaid, calling him the Briton of the Clyde, refers to his mother as "the woman of Dún Guaire (Bamburgh)", which raises unanswered questions.

David Dumville, relying on the Chronicle alone, appears to accept that Eochaid was king, while Archie Duncan, arguing from the same source, flatly rejects the idea that Eochaid was king and attributes the supposed joint reign to Giric, and to Giric alone. There is evidence independent of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and the related king lists which may argue for Giric's kingship, but none for Eochaid. The quoted Chronicle entry could have Eochaid removed, and still be readable, whereas it would not remain so without Giric, whose name day is mentioned as the date of the solar eclipse. In short, there is no consensus as to whether Eochaid was king of the Picts or king of Strathclyde or no king at all.
889 - Death of Eochaid; Donald II grandson of Kenneth becomes king.


Saturday, 18 February 2017

Sottish Kings: Alpín MacEchdach, Kenneth MacAlpin

Alpín MacEchdach ( 825 - 834 AD)
831 AD - Diarmait of Iona goes to Ireland with relics of St Columba
834 AD - Alpín MacEchdach killed in Galloway. His son Kenneth succeeds him.
St Columba
ALPIN MACECHDACH
Alpín mac Echdach was a supposed king of Dál Riata included in a pedigree created in the 10th century to connect the kings of Alba to legendary Dál Riatan and Irish ancestors.

In this pedigree Alpín's father is Eochaid, an Irish name, yet he becomes the father of Cináed i.e. Kenneth MacAlpin. Cináed and Alpín are the names of Pictish kings in the 8th century: the brothers Ciniod and Elphin who ruled from 763 to 780. Alpín's alleged father Eochaid IV is not mentioned in any contemporary source. Alpín's mother was Fergusa, daughter of Fergus of Dalriada.

KENNETH MACAlPIN ( 834 - 859  AD)
Cináed mac Ailpín (Modern Gaelic: Coinneach mac Ailpein), commonly anglicised as Kenneth MacAlpin and known in most modern regnal lists as Kenneth I (810 – 13 February 858), was a king of the Picts who, according to national myth, was the first king of Scots. He was thus later known by the posthumous nickname of An Ferbasach, "The Conqueror". The dynasty that ruled Scotland for much of the medieval period claimed descent from him. Compared with the many questions on his origins, Kenneth's ascent to power and subsequent reign can be dealt with simply.

Kenneth's rise can be placed in the context of the recent end of the previous dynasty, which had dominated Fortriu for two or four generations. This followed the death of king Uen son of Óengus of Fortriu, his brother Bran, Áed mac Boanta "and others almost innumerable" in battle against the Vikings in 839. The resulting succession crisis seems, if the Pictish Chronicle king-lists have any validity, to have resulted in at least four would-be kings warring for supreme power.
St Columba

Kenneth's reign is dated from 843, but it was probably not until 848 that he defeated the last of his rivals for power. The Pictish Chronicle claims that he was king in Dál Riata for two years before becoming Pictish king in 843, but this is not generally accepted. In 849, Kenneth had relics of Columba, which may have included the Monymusk Reliquary, transferred from Iona to Dunkeld. Other than these bare facts, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba reports that he invaded Saxonia six times, captured Melrose and burnt Dunbar, and also that Vikings laid waste to Pictland, reaching far into the interior. The Annals of the Four Masters, not generally a good source on Scottish matters, do make mention of Kenneth, although what should be made of the report is unclear:

Gofraid mac Fergusa, chief of Airgíalla, went to Alba, to strengthen the Dal Riata, at the request of Kenneth MacAlpin. The reign of Kenneth also saw an increased degree of Norse settlement in the outlying areas of modern Scotland. Shetland, Orkney, Caithness, Sutherland, the Western Isles and the Isle of Man, and part of Ross were settled; the links between Kenneth's kingdom and Ireland were weakened, those with southern England and the continent almost broken. In the face of this, Kenneth and his successors were forced to consolidate their position in their kingdom, and the union between the Picts and the Gaels, already progressing for several centuries, began to strengthen. By the time of Donald II, the kings would be called kings neither of the Gaels or the Scots but of Alba.

Kenneth died from a tumour on 13 February 858 at the palace of Cinnbelachoir, perhaps near Scone. The annals report the death as that of the "king of the Picts", not the "king of Alba". The title "king of Alba" is not used until the time of Kenneth's grandsons, Donald II (Domnall mac Causantín) and Constantine II (Constantín mac Áeda). The Fragmentary Annals of Ireland quote a verse lamenting Kenneth's death: Because Cináed with many troops lives no longer, there is weeping in every house; there is no king of his worth under heaven, as far as the borders of Rome.

Kenneth left at least two sons, Constantine and Áed, who were later kings, and at least two daughters. One daughter married Run, king of Strathclyde, Eochaid being the result of this marriage. Kenneth's daughter Máel Muire married two important Irish kings of the Uí Néill. Her first husband was Aed Finliath of the Cenél nEógain. Niall Glúndub, ancestor of the O'Neill, was the son of this marriage. Her second husband was Flann Sinna of Clann Cholmáin. As the wife and mother of kings, when Máel Muire died in 913, her death was reported by the Annals of Ulster, an unusual thing for the male-centred chronicles of the age.
Eochaid & Giric

834 - Kenneth succeeds his father Alpin MacEchdach
839 - Eóganan mac Óengusa and his brother Bran killed in battle with Vikings end of dominance of Fortriu.
844 - Kenneth MacAlpin becomes the dominant king of the lands of Dál Riata and of the Picts which would become known as Scotia,
849 - Kenneth MacAlpin moves St Columba's relics to Dunkeld making it an important Christian Centre
858 - Death of Kenneth MacAlpin

Eochaid mac Run was the son of a daughter of Kenneth MacAlpin, whose name has gone unrecorded by history and Run Macarthuragail, King of Strathclyde. His paternal grandfather was Artgal, King of Strathclyde, who had died at the hand of Aodh, the brother of Constantine I. The evidence for Eochaid's rule as king of the Picts rests on the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, which records :-

'And Eochodius son of Run king of the Britons, grandson of Kenneth by his daughter, reigned for 11 years; although others say that Ciricium (Giric) son of another reigned at this time, because he became Eochaid's foster-father and guardian. And in his second year Aed son of Niall [Aed Finliath] died. And in his ninth year, on the very day of St. Cirici (Cyrus), an eclipse of the sun occurred. Eochaid and his foster father was now expelled from the kingdom.

He ruled jointly with Giric or Grig, (Gaelic - Griogair mac Dhunghail) the murderer of his uncle and Scotland's previous King, Aodh 'Swiftfoot'. Giric was probably of Pictish descent. Very little is actually known about either of them. It is thought that Eochaid was a minor for whom Giric may have acted in a capacity as Protector or Regent.


Friday, 17 February 2017

Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian II

MAXIMILIAN II
Maximilian II (31 July 1527 – 12 October 1576), a member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death. He was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague on 14 May 1562 and elected King of Germany (King of the Romans) on 24 November 1562. On 8 September 1563 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia in the Hungarian capital Pressburg (Pozsony in Hungarian; now Bratislava, Slovakia). On 25 July 1564 he succeeded his father Ferdinand I as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

Maximilian's rule was shaped by the confessionalization process after the 1555 Peace of Augsburg. Though a Habsburg and a Catholic, he approached the Lutheran Imperial estates with a view to overcome the denominational schism, which ultimately failed. He also was faced with the ongoing Ottoman–Habsburg wars and rising conflicts with his Habsburg Spain cousins. According to Fichtner, he failed to achieve his three major aims: rationalizing the government structure, unifying Christianity, and evicting the Turks from Hungary.
Maximilian II coin
Born in Vienna, Austria, he was the eldest son of the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand I, younger brother of Emperor Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the Jagiellonian princess Anne of Bohemia and Hungary (1503–1547). He was named after his great-grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I. At the time of his birth, his father Ferdinand succeeded his brother-in-law King Louis II in the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Kingdom of Hungary, laying the grounds for the global Habsburg Monarchy.

Having spent his childhood years at his fathers's court in Innsbruck, Tyrol, he was educated principally in Italy. Among his teachers were humanist scholars like Kaspar Ursinus Velius and Georg Tannstetter. Maximilian also came in contact with the Lutheran teaching and early on corresponded with the Protestant prince Augustus of Saxony, suspiciously eyed by his Habsburg relatives. From the age of 17, he gained some experience of warfare during the Italian War campaign of his uncle Charles V against King Francis I of France in 1544, and also during the Schmalkaldic War. Upon Charles' victory in the 1547 Battle of Mühlberg, Maximilian put in a good word for the Schmalkaldic leaders Elector John Frederick I of Saxony and Landgrave Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, and soon began to take part in Imperial business.
Maximilian II coin
On 13 September 1548 Emperor Charles V married Maximilian to Charles's daughter (Maximilian's cousin) Mary of Spain in the Castile residence of Valladolid. By the marriage his uncle intended to strengthen the ties with the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs, but also to consolidate his nephew's Catholic faith. Maximilian temporarily acted as the emperor's representative in Spain, however not as stadtholder of the Habsburg Netherlands as he had hoped for. To his indignation, King Ferdinand appointed his younger brother Ferdinand II administrator in the Kingdom of Bohemia, nevertheless Maximilian's right of succession as the future king was recognised in 1549. He returned to Germany in December 1550 in order to take part in the discussion over the Imperial succession.

Maximilian's relations with his uncle worsened, as Charles V, again embattled by rebellious Protestant princes led by Elector Maurice of Saxony, wished his son Philip II of Spain to succeed him as emperor. However, Charles' brother Ferdinand, who had already been designated as the next occupant of the imperial throne, and his son Maximilian objected to this proposal. Maximilian sought the support of the German princes such as Duke Albert V of Bavaria and even contacted Protestant leaders like Maurice of Saxony and Duke Christoph of Württemberg.

At length a compromise was reached: Philip was to succeed Ferdinand, but during the former's reign Maximilian, as King of the Romans, was to govern Germany. This arrangement was not carried out, and is only important because the insistence of the emperor seriously disturbed the harmonious relations which had hitherto existed between the two branches of the Habsburg family; an illness which befell Maximilian in 1552 was attributed to poison given to him in the interests of his cousin and brother-in-law, Philip II of Spain.
Maximilian II and his younger brothers Ferdinand II and John, painting by Jakob Seisenegger, 1539
The religious demands of the Protestants were still unsatisfied, while the policy of toleration had failed to give peace to Austria. Maximilian's power was very limited; it was inability rather than unwillingness that prevented him from yielding to the entreaties of Pope Pius V to join in an attack on the Turks both before and after the victory of Lepanto in 1571; and he remained inert while the authority of the empire in north-eastern Europe was threatened.

In 1575, Maximilian was elected by the part of Polish and Lithuanian magnates to be the King of Poland in opposition to Stephan IV Bathory, but he did not manage to become widely accepted there and was forced to leave Poland. Maximilian died on 12 October 1576 in Regensburg while preparing to invade Poland. On his deathbed he refused to receive the last sacraments of the Church. He is buried in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

By his wife Maria he had a family of nine sons and six daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Rudolf, who had been chosen king of the Romans in October 1575. Another of his sons, Matthias, also became emperor; three others, Ernest, Albert and Maximilian, took some part in the government of the Habsburg territories or of the Netherlands, and a daughter, Elizabeth, married Charles IX of France.