Monday, May 8, 2023

King Malcolm III Canmore

 The husband of St. Margaret. From Undiscovered Scotland:

In 1053 Malcolm received military support from King Edward the Confessor of England and invaded southern Scotland, where he received considerable support from nobles in Lothian. On 15 August 1057 Malcolm met Macbeth at the Battle of Lumphanan, in Aberdeenshire, and Macbeth was killed. Macbeth was succeeded by his step son Lulach, a great grandson of Kenneth III. On 17 March 1058 Malcolm caught up with and killed Lulach, becoming Malcolm III in the process. His coronation took place on the Stone of Scone at Scone on 25 April 1058.

Malcolm's first wife was Ingibjörg, the daughter of Thorfinn Sigurdsson, the Earl of Orkney, and they had three sons before her death: Donnchad (Duncan); Domnall (Donald); and Máel Coluim (Malcolm). In 1070 Malcolm, by now a widower, married Margaret, the great-niece of Edward the Confessor. She had fled to Scotland with her brother Edgar the Atheling, the Anglo-Saxon heir to the English throne, after William I excluded him from the English succession.

Margaret's impact was dramatic. She favoured the Roman Catholic church to the Celtic Church and brought Benedictine monks to establish an abbey at Dunfermline. To allow her to feel more at home, Malcolm decreed that the language used at court should be Anglo-Saxon rather than Gaelic. As a result Malcolm III was the first to be called "King of Scotland" in his own time. Margaret also had built what is today called St Margaret's Chapel, in the highest part of Edinburgh Castle.

Malcolm and Margaret had eight children: Edward; Edmund; Ethelred; Edgar; Alexander; David; Edith or Matilda; and Mary. The extend of Margaret's influence on the future direction of the Scottish crown and of Scotland more widely can be seen by comparing the Gaelic names of the three children from Malcolm's first marriage and the absence of any Gaelic names among the eight from his second. (Read more.)


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