Donald III of Scotland

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Donald III
King of Alba
Reign1093 – May 1094
Predecessor Malcolm III
Successor Duncan II
King of Alba
Reign12 November 1094 – 1097
Predecessor Duncan II
Successor Edgar
Bornc. 1032
Died1099
Rescobie, Angus, Scotland
Burial
Dunfermline Abbey, later removed to Iona
IssueBethóc; Ladhmann?
House House of Dunkeld
Father Duncan I of Scotland
MotherSuthen

Donald III (Medieval Gaelic: Domnall mac Donnchada; Modern Gaelic: Dòmhnall mac Dhonnchaidh), [1] and nicknamed "Donald the Fair" or "Donald the White" (Medieval Gaelic:"Domnall Bán", anglicised as Donald Bane/Bain or Donalbane/Donalbain), (c. 1032–1099) was King of Scots from 1093–1094 and 1094–1097. [2]

Contents

Life

Donald was born in 1032, during the reign of his great-grandfather King Malcolm II. He was the second known son of the King's grandson, Duncan. Malcolm died when Donald was a baby, at age 80, and Donald's father became king. King Duncan I however, perished in 1040 when Donald was still a boy, killed by Thane Macbeth, yet another grandson of King Malcolm II, who usurped his place as king.

Malcolm II was King of the Scots from 1005 until his death. He was a son of King Kenneth II; the Prophecy of Berchán says that his mother was a woman of Leinster and refers to him as Forranach, "the Destroyer".

Donnchad mac Crinain was king of Scotland (Alba) from 1034 to 1040. He is the historical basis of the "King Duncan" in Shakespeare's play Macbeth.

Following his father's death, Donald went into hiding in Ireland for 17 years, for fear that he would be killed by Macbeth. His elder brother, Malcolm, went to England. It was during this time that Malcolm's grandfather, Crinan of Dunkeld, who was married to Malcolm II's daughter, was killed fighting Macbeth. When Malcolm grew to manhood, he overthrew Macbeth and became the new king. Donald was 25 years old at that time.

Donald's activities during the reign of his elder brother Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) are not recorded. It appears that he was not his brother's chosen heir, contrary to earlier custom, but that Malcolm had designated Edward, his eldest son by Margaret of Wessex, as the king to come. [3] If this was Malcolm's intent, his death and that of Edward on campaign in Northumbria in November 1093 (see Battle of Alnwick (1093)) confounded his plans. These deaths were followed very soon afterwards by that of Queen Margaret.

Malcolm III was King of Scots from 1058 to 1093. He was later nicknamed "Canmore". Malcolm's long reign of 35 years preceded the beginning of the Scoto-Norman age. Henry I of England and Eustace III of Boulogne were his sons-in-law, making him the maternal grandfather of Empress Matilda, William Adelin and Matilda of Boulogne. All three of them were prominent in English politics during the 12th century.

Saint Margaret of Scotland Queen of Scotland

Saint Margaret of Scotland, also known as Margaret of Wessex, was an English princess and a Scottish queen. Margaret was sometimes called "The Pearl of Scotland". Born in exile in the Kingdom of Hungary, she was the sister of Edgar Ætheling, the shortly reigned and uncrowned Anglo-Saxon King of England. Margaret and her family returned to the Kingdom of England in 1057, but fled to the Kingdom of Scotland following the Norman conquest of England in 1066. By the end of 1070, Margaret had married King Malcolm III of Scotland, becoming Queen of Scots.

The Battle of Alnwick is one of two battles fought near the town of Alnwick, in Northumberland, England. In the battle, which occurred on 13 November 1093, Malcolm III of Scotland, also known as Malcolm Canmore, was killed together with his son Edward, by an army of knights led by Robert de Mowbray.

John of Fordun reports that Donald invaded the kingdom after Margaret's death "at the head of a numerous band", and laid siege to Edinburgh with Malcolm's sons by Margaret inside. Fordun has Edgar Ætheling, concerned for his nephews' well-being, take the sons of Malcolm and Margaret to England. [4] Andrew of Wyntoun's much simpler account has Donald become king and banish his nephews. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records only that Donald was chosen as king and expelled the English from the court. [5]

John of Fordun was a Scottish chronicler. It is generally stated that he was born at Fordoun, Mearns. It is certain that he was a secular priest, and that he composed his history in the latter part of the 14th century; and it is probable that he was a chaplain in St Machar's Cathedral of Aberdeen.

Edinburgh Capital city in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.

Edgar Ætheling 11th-century claimant to the throne of England

Edgar Ætheling or Edgar II was the last male member of the royal house of Cerdic of Wessex. He was elected King of England by the Witenagemot in 1066, but never crowned.

In May 1094, Donald's nephew Duncan (Donnchad mac Maíl Coluim), son of Malcolm and his first wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, invaded at the head of an army of Anglo-Normans and Northumbrians, aided by his half-brother Edmund and his father-in-law Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria. This invasion succeeded in placing Duncan on the throne as Duncan II, but an uprising defeated his allies and he was compelled to send away his foreign troops. Duncan was then killed on 12 November 1094 by Máel Petair, Mormaer of Mearns. [6] The Annals of Ulster say that Duncan was killed on the orders of Donald (incorrectly called his brother) and Edmund. [7]

Duncan II of Scotland King of Scots

Donnchad mac Máel Coluim was king of Scots. He was son of Malcolm III and his first wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, widow of Thorfinn Sigurdsson.

Ingibiorg Finnsdottir was a daughter of Earl Finn Arnesson and Bergljot Halvdansdottir. She was also a niece of the Norwegian Kings Saint Olaf and Harald Hardraade. She is also known as Ingibiorg, the Earls'-Mother. The dates of her life are not known with certainty.

Edmund or Etmond mac Maíl Coluim was a son of Malcolm III of Scotland and his second wife, Margaret of Wessex. He may be found on some lists of Scottish kings, but there is no evidence that he was king. Although Edmund was probably Malcolm and Margaret's second son, he was passed over in subsequent successions as a result of betraying his siblings by siding with their uncle, Donald III.

Donald resumed power, probably with Edmund as his designated heir. [8] Donald was an elderly man by then, at around 62 years old, and without any known sons, so that an heir was clearly required. William of Malmesbury says that Edmund bargained "for half the kingdom", suggesting that Donald granted his nephew an appanage to rule. [9]

William of Malmesbury was the foremost English historian of the 12th century. He has been ranked among the most talented English historians since Bede. Modern historian C. Warren Hollister described him as "a gifted historical scholar and an omnivorous reader, impressively well versed in the literature of classical, patristic and earlier medieval times as well as in the writings of his own contemporaries. Indeed William may well have been the most learned man in twelfth-century Western Europe."

An appanage or apanage or French: apanage is the grant of an estate, title, office, or other thing of value to a younger male child of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture. It was common in much of Europe.

Edgar, eldest surviving son of Malcolm and Margaret, obtained the support of William Rufus, although other matters delayed Edgar's return on the coat-tails of an English army led by his uncle Edgar Ætheling. [10] Donald's fate is not entirely clear. William of Malmesbury tells us that he was "slain by the craftiness of David [the later David I] ... and by the strength of William [Rufus]". [11] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says of Donald that he was expelled, [11] while the Annals of Tigernach have him blinded by his brother. [12] John of Fordun, following the king-lists, writes that Donald was "blinded, and doomed to eternal imprisonment" by Edgar. The place of his imprisonment was said to be Rescobie, by Forfar, in Angus. [13] The old ex-king would die at the age of 67 in 1099, in prison. The sources differ as to whether Donald was first buried at Dunfermline Abbey or Dunkeld Cathedral, but agree that his remains were later moved to Iona.

Descendants

Donald left one daughter but no sons. His daughter Bethoc married Uctred (or Hadrian) de Tyndale, Lord of Tyndale. [14] Bethoc's daughter, Hextilda, married Richard Comyn, Justiciar of Lothian. The claims of John II Comyn, Lord of Badenoch to the crown in the Great Cause came from Donald through Bethóc and Hextilda. [15] Ladhmann son of Domnall, "grandson of the King of Scots" who died in 1116, might have been a son of Donald. [16] He may equally have been a son of Domnall, son of Máel Coluim who died in 1085, who may in turn have been a son of Malcolm III or of Máel Coluim mac Maíl Brigti, Mormaer of Moray.

Bethoc's second husband was Radulf of Nithsdale.

Fictional depictions

The minor character of Donalbain in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth represents Donald III.

Notes

  1. Domnall mac Donnchada is the Mediaeval form
  2. Donald's elder brother Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) is presumed to have been between two and ten years of age in 1040; Duncan, p. 42. Walter Bower's Scotichronicon says that Donald passed his exile during the reign of Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findlaích) in the Hebrides, but this is unlikely given his age; McDonald, p. 104.
  3. Scottish Annals, p. 112, quoting Symeon of Durham; Duncan, p. 54; Oram, David I, p. 39.
  4. Fordun, V, xxi.
  5. Scottish Annals, pp.117–118; Oram, David I, pp. 40–41.
  6. Oram, David I, pp. 42–44.
  7. Annals of Ulster, s.a. 1094.
  8. Duncan, pp. 55–56; Oram, David I, pp. 44–45.
  9. Anderson, SAEC, pp. 118–119.
  10. Oram, David I, p. 45.
  11. 1 2 Anderson, SAEC, p. 119.
  12. Annals of Tigernach, s.a. 1097.
  13. Fordun, V, xxvi; Duncan, pp. 57–58; Oram, David I, pp. 47–48.
  14. Young, Alan, Robert the Bruce's Rivals: The Comyns, 1213–1314, (East Linton, 1997), pp15 -
  15. Duncan, pp. 241, 270, & 348–349.
  16. Annals of Ulster, s.a. 1116; McDonald, p. 23.

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References

Donald III of Scotland
Born: c. 1032 Died: c. 1099
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Malcolm III
King of Scots
1093–1094
Succeeded by
Duncan II
Preceded by
Duncan II
King of Scots
1094–1097
Succeeded by
Edgar