B. 20 Mar. 1142, s. of Henry, earl of Northumbria and Huntingdon, and Ada, da. of William de Warenne, earl of Surrey; acc. 24 May 1153; d. Jedburgh, 9 Dec. 1165; bur. Dunfermline.
The death of earl Henry in 1152 left Scotland with a boy-king the following year, and the earldom of Northumbria in his younger brother's hands. Malcolm's slender affinity with his Celtic subjects, and continued trust in foreign incomers and their Normanizing policies, resulted in rebelliousness amongst the native earls in areas formerly held quiescent. Henry II of England, newly enthroned, power-hungry, and sensing a vulnerability absent under David I, moved quickly and, in a treaty at Chester (1157), reclaimed northern England, settling the Scottish border on the line of the Solway and Tweed. In return, the honour of Huntingdon (removed from earl Henry by Stephen in 1141) was restored to Malcolm, and the lordship of Tynedale bestowed upon his brother William. After they had assisted Henry in bringing the count of Toulouse to heel, in Aquitaine (1159), Malcolm was knighted by his cousin; this suggestion of vassaldom so annoyed six of the Scottish earls that they besieged Malcolm, unsuccessfully, at Perth castle. Resistance in Ross, Argyll, Moray, and Galloway failed to unseat him, and Somerled, ‘lord of the Isles’, was slain when invading Renfrew in 1164. Malcolm's power advanced into Clydesdale (where a Flemish colony was installed), Kyle, and Renfrew, where the Stewart dynasty was built up; a single kingdom—the ‘kingdom of Scotland’—was emerging out of a single kingship. Known from the fifteenth century as ‘the Maiden’ for his chastity, Malcolm continued many of his grandfather's innovative practices, founding Cupar Angus abbey in 1162, but died unmarried three years later.
Subjects: British History.