House of Dunkeld

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The so-called House of Dunkeld is a historiographical and genealogical construct to illustrate the clear succession of Scottish kings from 1034 to 1040 and from 1058 to 1290.

It is dynastically sort of a continuation to Cenél nGabráin, "race of Fergus", as "house" an originally Celtic concept to express one of the two rivalling leader clans of early medieval Scotland, whose founding father is king Fergus Mor of Dalriada. This Ferguside royal clan had rivalled the crown (of Dalriada, then that of Alba) against the Cenél Loairn, the later House of Moray for the preceding four or more centuries. The Cenél nGabráin were represented by the so-called House of Alpin before Dunkeld.

Genealogically Dunkeld dynasty is based on Donnchad I of Scotland being of a different agnatic clan than his predecessor and maternal grandfather Máel Coluim II of Scotland. However, sociohistorically seen a more essential point to start has been regarded to been the reign of Donnchad's son Máel Coluim III of Scotland which happens to coincide with the start of the centuries-long period of strong influence from the southern neighbor, the Kingdom of England.

[edit] Time and features

During the time of the so-called House of Dunkeld, succession to the Scottish throne evolved towards primogeniture instead of the Irish-Celtic tradition of tanistry and the Pictish traditions, were they matrilineal or not. Although the contemporaries did not have a common name for these monarchs, they were a family who formed a hereditary kingship.

Distinctive characteristics of the developments of society during this dynasty:

  • Scotland was more influenced by outlanders than it had been earlier, or was to be under the kings of the House of Bruce and House of Stuart. The kingdom was between two established powers: the Kingdom of England and Norway. Quite a many Scottish king was to do homage to English monarch, and on other hand, Vikings controlled the Hebrides, Caithness, the Isle of Man and the Orkney Islands. The common goal uniting the usual policies of kings of this dynasty was to balance between the two neighbors, sometimes allying to have some outside support (France in the Middle Ages). Wars were fought in both fronts, but also alliances and treaties were made with both.
  • Many Norman lords and institutions were brought to Scotland, especially after the Norman conquest of England; by the end of the period, both had been in Scotland for centuries. The tribal polity evolved to a medieval feudal society, adopting legal traditions from Rome, and the elite mutated to much "Frankish", also by immigration of Anglosaxons, Normans and French.

The so-called Dunkeld dynasty rose to rule in a time when the kingdom was fragmentary, under increasing outside threats, and some monarchs started to initiate more centralized government.

The dynasty ended at a time when immigrant-originated feudal families had reached material level almost as high as the kings and the benefitters of feudal system desired to better guarantee their positions, rights and properties. Even at cost of national independence.

Following the end of the Dunkelds, Scotland fell in the First Scottish War of Independence against England.

[edit] Kings of the House of Dunkeld


ImageSize = width:300 height:960 PlotArea = left:50 right:0 bottom:10 top:10

DateFormat = yyyy Period = from:1030 till:1290 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:5 start:1030


 color:blue mark:(line,white) align:left fontsize:S 
 shift:(25,-5) # shift text to right side of bar
 # there is no automatic collision detection,
 # so shift texts up or down manually to avoid overlap
 from: 1034 till: 1040 text:Duncan I
 from: 1058 till: 1093 text:Malcolm III Canmore
 from: 1093 till: 1097 shift:(25,0) text:Donald III
 at: 1094  shift:(100,-5) text:Duncan II (1094 only)
 from: 1097 till: 1107 text:Edgar
 from: 1107 till: 1124 text:Alexander I
 from: 1124 till: 1153 text:David I
 from: 1153 till: 1165 text:Malcolm IV
 from: 1165 till: 1214 text:William I
 from: 1214 till: 1249 text:Alexander II
 from: 1249 till: 1286 text:Alexander III


On Alexander III's death his granddaughter Margaret was recognised as "right heir", as had been agreed in Alexander's lifetime, but she was never inaugurated as Queen of Scots.

See also: History of Scotland - Scottish monarchs family treede:Haus Dunkeld no:Huset Dunkeld

House of Dunkeld

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