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 Macbeth - King of Scotland

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Melisende
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PostSubject: Macbeth - King of Scotland   Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:19 pm

Macbeth
(1005 - 1057)
King of Scotland (1040 - 1057)

The son of Doada, second daughter of King Malcolm II of Scotland, and Findlaoch mac Ruaridh Mormaer of Moray.

As a youth, Macbeth was sent out into fosterage - as was the custom of the time. And it was during his youth that the hereditary power struggle between Moray and Atholl was at its peak. Macbeth's father was killed by the nephews Gillecomgain and Malcolm (1020). Malcolm was then elected Mormaer (dc.1029) and was succeeded by Gillecomgain who married Gruoch, granddaughter of King Kenneth III.

At this time, Macbeth was presumably under protection of Malcolm II. However, Gillecomgain's reign as Mormaer did not last long, when he and 50 of his men burned to death (1032) - Gruoch and her son Lulach escaped, though her brother Malcolm mac Bodhe was killed later (1033).

Macbeth was elected Mormaer of Moray (1033) - he married Gruach and adopted her son Lulach. His election was opposed by Atholl, as Macbeth was considered as a potential candidate for High Kingship of Alba (Scotland).

Following the death of Malcolm II (25/11/1034), Duncan mac Crinan succeeds - he is the eldest grandson and a member of House of Atholl - he is also a cousin of Macbeth and Thorfinn, grandson of Malcolm II, ruler of Orkneys, Hebrides, Caithness and Sutherland (1035).

Duncan is considered vicious tyrant, poor ruler and military leader by his own countrymen. He attacked lands of Thorfinn but was defeated at sea and escaped. An army was assembled and Thorfinn was confronted by Duncan (14/8/1040). During the course of the battle, Duncan was defeated and killed at Bothgowan (now Pitgaveny near Elgin).

Macbeth is crowned High King at Scone (1040). During his reign he institutes many legal reforms - statutory support for orphans and women, inheritance for daughters, control over itinerant and unemployed, and he upheld laws deriving from ancient tradition. In addition, Macbeth patronized the Celtic Church - the official Church in Scotland.

Thorfinn invades England (1041 - 1042) and defeats his nephew Ragnvald (1045), asserting his independence from Norway. Crinan, father of Duncan and Abbot of Dunkeld revolted - and is killed with 180 men.

Feeling secure in his Kingdom, Macbeth undertakes pilgrimage to Rome (1050) and gives support to pope. His generosity is noted by those in Rome.

Malcolm, son of Duncan gets support from Edward the Confessor, King of England and invades Scotland (1054). Malcolm is forced to withdraw but is made King of Cumbria, as consolation. The Earl of Northumberland, Tostig Godwinsson, gives support to Malcolm for a renewed invasion.

Malcolm invades Scotland (1057). Macbeth killed in or near ancient stone circle called Peel Ring near Lumphanon in Mar, and buried on Iona (the official burial place for Scottish royalty). His stepson and tanist (designated heir) Lulach is elected High King - he reigned for seven months until killed (17/3/1058), and is also buried on Iona, as was mother Gruoch.

Malcolm succeeds as Malcolm III.
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