Donald III

(d. c. 1100) king of Scots

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B. c.1033, 2nd s. of Duncan I; acc. 13 Nov. 1093, dep. May 1094, rest. 12 Nov. 1094, dep. Oct. 1097; issue: Bethoc; d. Rescobie(?); bur. Dunkeld, rebur. Iona.

The younger brother of Malcolm III, Donald Bane (‘the Fair’) lived quietly in the Hebrides during Macbeth's and his brother's reigns, but emerged to claim the Scottish kingship through the custom of tanistry when Malcolm and his son Edward were slain in Northumberland. Later described as ‘an old Celtic reactionary’, Donald immediately expelled the English followers at the Scots court, pleasing those who resented their country's increasing anglicization but annoying William ‘Rufus’. With the English king's aid, Malcolm's eldest son Duncan (II) ousted his uncle in May 1094, but was killed a few months later, so enabling Donald to resume the throne; it is thought that he shared government with Edmund, another of Malcolm's sons. In 1097, further military support from William ‘Rufus’ led to Donald's defeat by Edgar (second son of Malcolm and Margaret). Donald was imprisoned, said to have been later blinded, and died in prison.

Subjects: British History.

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