- Malcolm Canmore (King Malcolm III) (1031-1093)
Malcolm "Canmore" ('ceann' means head or chief and 'mor' means great) was the son of King Duncan I and went into exile in Northumberland when his father was killed by Macbeth> (in 1040 in Forres, Morayshire). With the support of the English King, Edward the Confessor, and his uncle Earl Siward of Northumbria, he defeated and killed Macbeth at Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire in 1057. Lulach, Macbeth's stepson, took over the throne but Malcolm killed him also in the following year.
Malcolm founded the dynasty of the House of Canmore> which lasted 200 years until the House of Stewart. By his first marriage to Ingebjørg he had two sons, Duncan II (who became king after Malcolm) and Donald. Ingebjørg was thee daughter of the norwegian earl Finn Arnesson at Austrått in Trøndelag. Her mother's father was a brother of the norwegian kings St. Olav (Olav Haraldsson) and Harald Hardråde (Harold Hardrada).
Following Ingebjørg's death, around 1069, he married Margaret>, the sister of Edgar Atheling. Edgar would have become King of England if William the Conqueror> from Normandy had not over-run the country. By this marriage there were six sons, three of whom (Edgar, Alexander and David) would become king.
Margaret introduced English customs and language into the Scottish court and church procedures but she never learned Gaelic, which was spoken by a substantial number of Scots at that time. Her son, King David I, built a small church within Edinburgh Castle> dedicated to her memory. St Margaret's Chapel (pictured here) is now the oldest building in the castle.
The large number of English exiles who had gathered in the court and raids by Malcolm into Northumbria and Cumbria became a concern to the English King William who marched north. Malcolm was forced to submit and sign the Treaty of Abernethy in 1071 and agree to his son Duncan becoming a hostage in England.
Even so, Malcolm made two more raids into England in 1079 and 1091, and again he lost and had to submit to the English king. After the English had driven out the Scots from their hold on Cumbria, Malcolm led a final incursion in 1093. This led to his defeat and death at Alnwick. His son and heir Edward died in the same battle and Queen Margaret died in Edinburgh Castle, four days later. Margaret was later canonised for her patronage of the church.
Return to the Index of Famous Scots>
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>