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Malcolm III

(c. 1031—1093) king of Scots


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(d. 1093),

king of ‘Scotland’ (1058–93). Malcolm ‘Canmore’ (‘big head’ or ‘great leader’) was the son of Duncan I and was still a child when his father was killed by Macbeth in 1040. Malcolm found refuge in England, and was backed by Siward, the Anglo‐Danish earl of Northumbria, who led an army into Scotland in 1054 defeating Macbeth at Dunsinnan (north of Perth). On 15 August 1057 Malcolm killed Macbeth at Lumphanan (west of Aberdeen), but Lulach, Macbeth's stepson and cousin, won the kingship. After only eighteen weeks Lulach was killed ‘by treachery’ by Malcolm at Essie (west of Aberdeen). Malcolm's grip on the kingship was only secure, however, after he defeated Lulach's son Mael Snechta, king of Moray, in 1078.

Malcolm's struggle against Mael Snechta made him an ally of Moray's traditional foe, the earl of Orkney, whose close relative Ingibiorg he married. Malcolm was already a widower, however, when the Anglo‐Saxon royal family fled to Scotland in 1070, and he took Edgar Atheling's sister Margaret as his second wife. His attention now focused on Northumbria, which he raided repeatedly despite submitting to William the Conqueror in 1072 at Abernethy (south‐east of Perth). In August 1093 he laid the foundation stone of Durham cathedral; two months later he was killed on a raid at Alnwick.

Subjects: British History.


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