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House of Alpin and Dunkeld 843-1058

The Alpin and Dunkeld Line

The House of Alpin, with their harsh rule, forged the path that became Scotland. Kenneth MacAlpin was the first in the line of Scottish Monarchs. Kenneth, although never truly crowned a King of Scotland was more responsible for the creation of Scotland by uniting the Scots and the Picts. Kenneth I died of cancer in 858, leaving his new Scottish Kingdom to his Brother Donald I.

Donald's short rule was not in vain, and before his suspicious death in 862, he managed to further Kenneth's attempts at law and helped secure further rule across the land. Despite his attempts, no less than ten of the fourteen kings who ruled during the period 943-1097 were murdered, and only then was the birth right of rule accepted.

The title of last of the Alpin rulers' fell to Malcolm II, and thankfully for Scotland Malcolm II had more on his mind than blood and war, and by 1034 a true and well-defined Scottish Kingdom had emerged.

On the death of Malcolm II, the House of Alpin failed in the male line. Malcolm had two daughters, and the only surviving descendant of his cousin and immediate predecessor Kenneth III, was a granddaughter. King Malcolm's grandsons and King Kenneth's grand-daughter were the leading characters in the drama with which the history of the new dynasty opened.

Duncan was the first of the royal House of Dunkeld. He added Strathclyde to his grandfather's, Malcolm II, kingdom, thereby being the first monarch of a united Scotland. The hereditary right to the throne of his two sons, Malcolm Canmore and Donald Ban was threatened by his cousin Macbeth who claimed the kingdom on the grounds of tanistry. The matter was settled in 1040 near Elgin when Macbeth killed Duncan in battle.

Macbeth was another grandson of Malcolm II and had as good a claim to the throne as Duncan. Shakespeare, using poetic license, has distorted the historical facts, by showing that Macbeth ruled Scotland for 17 years quite successfully. He was married to Kenneth Ill's granddaughter Gruoch, who had a son, Lulach, by a previous marriage, which strengthened his claim to the throne. In 1045 Macbeth defeated and killed Duncan's father Crinan at Dunkeld. His reign was peaceful for the most part and he was generous to the Church. He was defeated in 1054 by Malcolm Canmore at Scone and killed by Malcolm Canmore in 1057.

Lulach 'the Fool' was the final ruler in the Dunkeld reign. He was Macbeth's step-son, and after a few months of rule he was also killed by Malcolm Canmore



 
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