Malcolm I of Scotland

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Malcolm I of Scotland

Máel Coluim mac Domnaill (anglicised Malcolm I) (before 900–954) was king of Scots, becoming king when his cousin Causantín mac Áeda abdicated to become a monk. He was the son of Domnall mac Causantín.

In 945 Edmund of Wessex, having expelled Amlaíb Cuaran (Olaf Sihtricsson) from Northumbria, devastated Cumbria and blinded two sons of Domnall mac Eógain, king of Strathclyde. It is said that he then "let" or "commended" Strathclyde to Máel Coluim in return for an alliance.<ref>Early Sources, pp. 449–450.</ref> What is to be understood by "let" or "commended" is unclear, but it may well mean that Máel Coluim had been the overlord of Strathclyde and that Edmund recognised this while taking lands in southern Cumbria for himself.<ref>ASC Ms. A, s.a. 946; Duncan, pp. 23–24; but see also Smyth, pp. 222–223 for an alternative reading.</ref>

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says that Máel Coluim took an army into Moray "and slew Cellach". Cellach is not named in the surviving genealogies of the rulers of Moray, and his indentity is unknown.<ref>It may be that Cellach was related to Cuncar, Mormaer of Angus, and that this event is connected with the apparent feud that led to the death of Máel Coluim's son Cináedin 977.</ref>

Máel Coluim appears to have kept his agreement with the late English king, which may have been renewed with the new king, Edmund having been murdered in 946 and succeeded by his brother Edred. Eric Bloodaxe took York in 948, before being driven out by Edred, and when Amlaíb Cuaran again took York in 949–950, Máel Coluim raided Northumbria as far south as the Tees taking "a multitude of people and many herds of cattle" according to the Chronicle.<ref>Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Ms. D, s.a. 948, Ms. B, s.a. 946; Duncan, p. 24.</ref> The Annals of Ulster for 952 report a battle between "the men of Alba and the Britons [of Strathclyde] and the English" against the foreigners, i.e. the Northmen or the Norse-Gaels. This battle is not reported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and it is unclear whether it should be related to the expulsion of Amlaíb Cuaran from York or the return of Eric Bloodaxe.<ref>Early Sources, p. 451. The corresponding entry in the Annals of the Four Masters, s.a. 950, states that the Northmen were the victors, which would suggest that it should be associated with Eric.</ref>

The Annals of Ulster report that Máel Coluim was killed in 954. Other sources place this most probably in the Mearns, either at Fetteresso following the Chronicle, or at Dunnottar following the Prophecy of Berchán. He was buried on Iona.<ref>Early Sources, pp. 452–454. Some versions of the Chronicle, and the Chronicle of Melrose, are read as placing Máel Coluim's death at Blervie, near Forres.</ref> Máel Coluim's sons Dub and Cináed were later kings.

[edit] Notes

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[edit] References

For primary sources see also External links below.

  • Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History A.D 500–1286, volume 1. Reprinted with corrections. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990. ISBN 1-871615-03-8
  • Duncan, A.A.M., The Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8
  • Smyth, Alfred P. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1000. Reprinted, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7

[edit] External links

Preceded by:
Causantín mac Áeda
King of Scots
943–954
Succeeded by:
Idulb mac Causantín
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