Domnall mac Ailpín

Last updated
Domnall mac Ailpín
King of the Picts
Reign85813 April 862
Predecessor Kenneth I
Successor Constantine I
Born812
Died13 April 862
Cinnbelachoir?, Rathinveralmond?
Burial
Issue Giric?
House House of Alpin
Father Alpín mac Echdach

Domnall mac Ailpín (Modern Gaelic: Dòmhnall mac Ailpein, [1] anglicised sometimes as Donald MacAlpin, known in most modern regnal lists as Donald I); (812 13 April 862) was King of the Picts from 858 to 862. He followed his brother Kenneth I to the Pictish throne.

Picts ancient and medieval tribal confederation in northern Britain

The Picts were a confederation of peoples who lived in what is today eastern and northern Scotland during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods. Where they lived and what their culture was like can be inferred from the geographical distribution of Brittonic place name elements and Pictish stones. The name Picts appears in written records from Late Antiquity to the 10th century, when they are thought to have merged with the Gaels. They lived to the north of the rivers Forth and Clyde, and spoke the Pictish language, which was closely related to the Celtic Brittonic language spoken by the Britons who lived to the south of them.

Contents

Reign

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says that Domnall reigned for four years, matching the notices in the Annals of Ulster of his brother's death in February 858 and his own in April 862. [2] The Chronicle notes:

The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, or Scottish Chronicle, is a short written chronicle of the Kings of Alba, covering the period from the time of Kenneth MacAlpin until the reign of Kenneth II. W.F. Skene called it the Chronicle of the Kings of Scots, and some have called it the Older Scottish Chronicle, but Chronicle of the Kings of Alba is emerging as the standard scholarly name.

<i>Annals of Ulster</i> chronicle of Irish history

The Annals of Ulster are annals of medieval Ireland. The entries span the years from A.D. 431 to A.D. 1540. The entries up to A.D. 1489 were compiled in the late 15th century by the scribe Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, under his patron Cathal Óg Mac Maghnusa on the island of Belle Isle on Lough Erne in the kingdom of Fermanagh. Later entries were added by others.

In his time the Gaels with their king made the rights and laws of the kingdom, [that are called the laws] of Aed, Eochaid's son, in Forteviot. [3]

Áed Find, or Áed mac Echdach, was king of Dál Riata. Áed was the son of Eochaid mac Echdach, a descendant of Domnall Brecc in the main line of Cenél nGabráin kings.

Forteviot village in United Kingdom

Forteviot is a village in Strathearn, Scotland on the south bank of the River Earn between Dunning and Perth. It lies in the council area of Perth and Kinross. The population in 1991 was 160.

The laws of Áed Find are entirely lost, but it has been assumed that, like the laws attributed to Giric and Constantine II (Causantín mac Áeda), these related to the church and in particular to granting the privileges and immunities common elsewhere. [4] The significance of Forteviot as the site of this law-making, along with Kenneth's death there and Constantine's later gathering at nearby Scone, may point to this as being the heartland of the sons of Alpín's support.

Constantine, son of Áed was an early King of Scotland, known then by the Gaelic name Alba. The Kingdom of Alba, a name which first appears in Constantine's lifetime, was situated in modern-day Scotland. The core of the kingdom was formed by the lands around the River Tay. Its southern limit was the River Forth, northwards it extended towards the Moray Firth and perhaps to Caithness, while its western limits are uncertain. Constantine's grandfather Kenneth I of Scotland was the first of the family recorded as a king, but as king of the Picts. This change of title, from king of the Picts to king of Alba, is part of a broader transformation of Pictland and the origins of the Kingdom of Alba are traced to Constantine's lifetime.

The Chronicle of Melrose says of Domnall, "in war he was a vigorous soldier ... he is said to have been assassinated at Scone." [5] No other source reports Domnall's death by violence.

The Chronicle of Melrose is a medieval chronicle from the Cottonian Manuscript, Faustina B. ix within the British Museum. It was written by unknown authors, though evidence in the writing shows that it most likely was written by the monks at Melrose Abbey. The chronicle begins on the year 735 and ends in 1270, consisting of two separate segments.

The Prophecy of Berchán may refer to Domnall in stanzas 123124:

Evil will be Scotland's lot because of [the death of Kenneth MacAlpin]; long will it be till his like will come. A long while till the king takes [sovereignty], the wanton son of the foreign wife (?). He will be three years in the kingdom, and three months (although thou countest them). His tomb-stone will be above Loch Awe. He dies of disease. [6]

Although Domnall is generally supposed to have been childless, it has been suggested that Giric was a son of Domnall, reading his patronym as mac Domnaill rather than the commonly supposed mac Dúngail. [7] This, however, is not widely accepted. [8]

Domnall died, either at the palace of Cinnbelachoir (location unknown), or at Rathinveralmond (also unknown, and may be the same place, presumed to be near the junction of the Almond and the Tay, near Scone). [9] He was buried on Iona.

Notes

  1. Domnall mac Ailpín is the Mediaeval Gaelic form.
  2. Annals of Ulster, s.a. 858 & 862.
  3. Anderson, ESSH, p. 291, citing Skene.
  4. Smyth, p. 188.
  5. Anderson, ESSH, p. 291.
  6. Anderson, ESSH, p. 292, citing Skene.
  7. Smyth, p. 187.
  8. Compare Duncan, p. 11ff.
  9. Anderson, ESSH, p. 291; Duncan, pp. 1011.

See also

Related Research Articles

Áed mac Cináeda was a son of Cináed mac Ailpín. He became king of the Picts in 877, when he succeeded his brother Constantín mac Cináeda. He was nicknamed Áed of the White Flowers, the wing-footed or the white-foot.

Causantín or Constantín mac Cináeda was a king of the Picts. He is often known as Constantine I in reference to his place in modern lists of kings of Scots, but contemporary sources described Causantín only as a Pictish king. A son of Cináed mac Ailpín, he succeeded his uncle Domnall mac Ailpín as Pictish king following the latter's death on 13 April 862. It is likely that Causantín's reign witnessed increased activity by Vikings, based in Ireland, Northumbria and northern Britain. He died fighting one such invasion.

Kenneth MacAlpin, known in most modern regnal lists as Kenneth I, was a king of the Picts who, according to national myth, was the first king of Scots. He was thus later known by the posthumous nickname of An Ferbasach, "The Conqueror". He became the apex and eponym of a dynasty—sometimes called Clann Chináeda—that ruled Scotland from the ninth- to the early eleventh-century.

Cináed mac Maíl Coluim was King of Scots (Alba). The son of Malcolm I, he succeeded King Cuilén on the latter's death at the hands of Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal in 971.

Cináed mac Duib anglicised as Kenneth III, and nicknamed An Donn, "the Chief" or "the Brown", was King of Scots from 997 to 1005. He was the son of Dub. Many of the Scots sources refer to him as Giric son of Kenneth son of Dub, which is taken to be an error. An alternate explanation is that Kenneth had a son, Giric, who ruled jointly with his father

Constantine, son of Cuilén, known in most modern regnal lists as Constantine III, was king of Scots from 995 to 997. He was the son of King Cuilén. John of Fordun calls him, in Latin, Constantinus Calvus, which translates to Constantine the Bald. Benjamin Hudson notes that insular authors from Ireland and Scotland typically identified rulers by sobriquets. Noting for example the similarly named Eugenius Calvus, an 11th-century King of Strathclyde.

Cuilén was an early King of Alba (Scotland). He was a son of Illulb mac Custantín, King of Alba, after whom he is known by the patronymic mac Illuilb of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda, a branch of the Alpínid dynasty. During the 10th century, the Alpínids rotated the kingship of Alba between two main dynastic branches. Dub mac Maíl Choluim, a member of a rival branch of the kindred, seems to have succeeded after Illulb's death in 962. Cuilén soon after challenged him but was defeated in 965. Dub was eventually expelled and slain in 966/967. Whether Cuilén was responsible for his death is uncertain.

Ildulb mac Causantín, anglicised as Indulf or Indulph, nicknamed An Ionsaighthigh, "the Aggressor" was king of Alba from 954. He was the son of Constantine II; his mother may have been a daughter of Earl Eadulf I of Bernicia, who was an exile in Scotland.

Domnall mac Causantín, anglicised as Donald II was King of the Picts or King of Alba in the late 9th century. He was the son of Constantine I. Donald is given the epithet Dásachtach, "the Madman", by The Prophecy of Berchán.

Eochaid, son of Rhun King of Strathclyde; and/or King of the Picts

Eochaid was a ninth-century Briton who may have ruled as King of Strathclyde and/or King of the Picts. He was a son of Rhun ab Arthgal, King of Strathclyde, and descended from a long line of British kings. Eochaid's mother is recorded to have been a daughter of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts. This maternal descent from the royal Alpínid dynasty may well account for the record of Eochaid reigning over the Pictish realm after the death of Cináed's son, Áed, in 878. According to various sources, Áed was slain by Giric, a man of uncertain ancestry, who is also accorded kingship after Áed's demise.

Causantín mac Fergusa King of Picts

Causantín or Constantín mac Fergusa was king of the Picts, in modern Scotland, from 789 until 820. He was until the Victorian era sometimes counted as Constantine I of Scotland; the title is now generally given to Causantín mac Cináeda. He is credited with having founded the church at Dunkeld which later received relics of St Columba from Iona.

Giric mac Dúngail (Modern Gaelic: Griogair mac Dhunghail, known in English simply as Giric, and nicknamed Mac Rath, ; was a king of the Picts or the king of Alba. The Irish annals record nothing of Giric's reign, nor do Anglo-Saxon writings add anything, and the meagre information which survives is contradictory. Modern historians disagree as to whether Giric was sole king or ruled jointly with Eochaid, on his ancestry, and if he should be considered a Pictish king or the first king of Alba.

The House of Alpin, also known as the Alpínid dynasty, Clann Chináeda, and Clann Chinaeda meic Ailpín, was the kin-group which ruled in Pictland and then the kingdom of Alba from the advent of Kenneth MacAlpin in the 840s until the death of Malcolm II in 1034.

Uuen (Wen) or Eogán in Gaelic was king of the Picts 837-839.

Conall mac Taidg was a king of the Picts from 785 until 789. Very little is recorded of Conall. He is mentioned twice by the Irish annals, the most reliable source for the history of northern Britain in the years around 800. He also appears in later king lists.

Domnall mac Áeda, also known as Domnall Dabaill, was a King of Ailech. He was a son of Áed Findliath mac Néill, High King of Ireland. Domnall was a half-brother of Niall Glúndub mac Áeda, a man with whom he shared the kingship of Ailech.

References

Domnall mac Ailpín
 Died: 13 April 862
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Kenneth I
King of the Picts
858862
Succeeded by
Constantine I