|King of Alba|
|Predecessor||Cuilén or Amlaíb|
|Issue|| Malcolm II, King of Alba|
Boite mac Cináeda?
|Father||Malcolm I, King of Alba|
Cináed mac Maíl Coluim (Modern Scottish Gaelic : Coinneach mac Mhaoil Chaluim anglicised as Kenneth II, and nicknamed An Fionnghalach, "The Fratricide"; died 995) was King of Scots ( Alba ). The son of Malcolm I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill), he succeeded King Cuilén (Cuilén mac Iduilb) on the latter's death at the hands of Rhydderch ap Dyfnwal in 971.
The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba was compiled in Kenneth's reign, but many of the place names mentioned are entirely corrupt, if not fictitious. [ Strathclyde ] in part. Kenneth's infantry were slain with very great slaughter in Moin Uacoruar." The Chronicle further states that Kenneth plundered Northumbria three times, first as far as Stainmore, then to Cluiam and lastly to the River Dee by Chester. These raids may belong to around 980, when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records attacks on Cheshire.Whatever the reality, the Chronicle states that "[h]e immediately plundered
In 973, the Chronicle of Melrose reports that Kenneth, with Máel Coluim I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill), the King of Strathclyde, "Maccus, king of very many islands" (i.e. Magnus Haraldsson (Maccus mac Arailt), King of Mann and the Isles) and other kings, Welsh and Norse, came to Chester to acknowledge the overlordship of the English king Edgar the Peaceableat a council in Chester. It may be that Edgar here regulated the frontier between the southern lands of the kingdom of Alba and the northern lands of his English kingdom. Cumbria was English, the western frontier lay on the Solway. In the east, the frontier lay somewhere in later Lothian, south of Edinburgh.
The Annals of Tigernach , in an aside, name three of the Mormaers of Alba in Kenneth's reign in entry in 976: Cellach mac Fíndgaine, Cellach mac Baireda and Donnchad mac Morgaínd. The third of these, if not an error for Domnall mac Morgaínd, is very likely a brother of Domnall, and thus the Mormaer of Moray. The Mormaerdoms or kingdoms ruled by the two Cellachs cannot be identified.
The feud which had persisted since the death of King Indulf (Idulb mac Causantín) between his descendants and Kenneth's family persisted. In 977 the Annals of Ulster report that "Amlaíb mac Iduilb [ Amlaíb, son of Indulf], King of Scotland, was killed by Cináed mac Domnaill." The Annals of Tigernach give the correct name of Amlaíb's killer: Cináed mac Maíl Coluim, or Kenneth II. Thus, even if only for a short time, Kenneth had been overthrown by the brother of the previous king.
Adam of Bremen tells that Sweyn Forkbeard found exile in Scotland at this time, but whether this was with Kenneth, or one of the other kings in Scotland, is unknown. Also at this time, Njal's Saga , the Orkneyinga Saga and other sources recount wars between "the Scots" and the Northmen, but these are more probably wars between Sigurd Hlodvisson, Earl of Orkney, and the Mormaers, or Kings, of Moray.
The Chronicle says that Kenneth founded a great monastery at Brechin.
Kenneth was killed in 995, the Annals of Ulster say "by deceit" and the Annals of Tigernach say "by his subjects". Some later sources, such as the Chronicle of Melrose , John of Fordun and Andrew of Wyntoun provide more details, accurately or not. The simplest account is that he was killed by his own men in Fettercairn, through the treachery of Finnguala (also called Fimberhele or Fenella), daughter of Cuncar, Mormaer of Angus, in revenge for the killing of her only son.
The Prophecy of Berchán adds little to our knowledge, except that it names Kenneth "the kinslayer", and states he died in Strathmore.
Kenneth's son Malcolm II (Máel Coluim mac Cináeda) was later king of Alba. Kenneth may have had a second son, named either Dúngal or Gille Coemgáin.Sources differ as to whether Boite mac Cináeda should be counted a son of Kenneth II or of Kenneth III (Cináed mac Duib). Another son of Kenneth may have been Suibne mac Cináeda, a king of the Gall Gaidheil who died in 1034.
Kenneth's rival Amlaíb, King of Scotland is omitted by the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and later Scottish king-lists. The Irish Annals of Tigernach appear to better reflect contemporary events. Amlaíb could be a direct predecessor of Kenneth who suffered damnatio memoriae, or the rival king recognized in parts of Scotland. A period of divided kingship appears likely.
Amlaíb was the heir of his brother Cuilén, who was killed in a hall-burning. He might have served as a regent north of the River Forth, during the absence of his brother. Kenneth was brother to the deceased Dub, King of Scotland and was most likely an exile. He could claim the throne due to the support of friends and maternal kin. He was likely older and more experienced than his rival king.Amlaíb is the Gaelic form of Óláfr, suggesting maternal descent from Norsemen. He could possibly claim descent from the Uí Ímair dynasty. Alex Woolf suggests he was a grandson of Amlaíb Cuarán, King of Dublin or his cousin Olaf Guthfrithson, which suggests his own group of supporters.
According to John of Fordun (14th century), Kenneth II of Scotland (reigned 971-995) attempted to change the succession rules, allowing "the nearest survivor in blood to the deceased king to succeed", thus securing the throne for his own descendants. He reportedly did so to specifically exclude Constantine (III) and Kenneth (III), called Gryme in this source. The two men then jointly conspired against him, convincing Lady Finella, daughter of Cuncar, Mormaer of Angus, to kill the king. She reportedly did so to achieve personal revenge, as Kenneth II had killed her own son. Entries in the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, collected by William Forbes Skene, provide the account of Finnela killing Kenneth II in revenge, but not her affiliation to Constantine or his cousins. These entries date to the 12th and 13th centuries.The Annals of Ulster simply record "Cinaed son of Mael Coluim [Kenneth, son of Malcolm], king of Scotland, was deceitfully killed", with no indication of who killed him.
In the account of John of Fordun, Constantine III and Gryme were "plotting unceasingly the death of the king and his son". One day, Kenneth II and his companions went hunting into the woods, "at no great distance from his own abode". The hunt took him to Fettercairn, where Finella resided. She approached him to proclaim her loyalty and invited him to visit her residence, whispering into his ear that she had information about a conspiracy plot. She managed to lure him to "an out-of-the-way little cottage", where a booby trap was hidden. Inside the cottage was a statue, connected by strings to a number of crossbows. If anyone touched or moved the statue, he would trigger the crossbows and fall victim to their arrows. Kenneth II gently touched the statue and "was shot through by arrows sped from all sides, and fell without uttering another word." Finella escaped through the woods and managed to join her abettors, Constantine III and Gryme. The hunting companions soon discovered the bloody king. They were unable to locate Finella, but burned Fettercairn to the ground.Smyth dismisses the elaborate plotting and the mechanical contraption as mere fables, but accepts the basic details of the story, that the succession plans of Kenneth II caused his assassination. Alan Orr Anderson raised his own doubts concerning the story of Finella, which he considered "semi-mythical". He noted that the feminine name Finnguala or Findguala means "white shoulders", but suggested it derived from "find-ela" (white swan). The name figures in toponyms such as Finella Hill (near Fordoun) and Finella Den (near St Cyrus), while local tradition in The Mearns (Kincardineshire) has Finella walking atop the treetops from one location to the other. Anderson thus theorized that Finella could be a mythical figure, suggesting she was a local stream-goddess. A later passage of John of Fordun mentions Finele as mother of Macbeth, King of Scotland (reigned 1040–1057), but this is probably an error based on the similarity of names. Macbeth was son of Findláech of Moray, not of a woman called Finella.
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.
Macbeth was King of Scots from 1040 until his death. He ruled over only a portion of present-day Scotland.
Máel Coluim mac Domnaill was king of Alba, becoming king when his cousin Constantine II abdicated to become a monk. He was the son of Donald II.
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.
Dub mac Maíl Coluim, sometimes anglicised as Duff MacMalcolm, called Dén, "the Vehement" and Niger, "the Black" was king of Alba. He was son of Malcolm I and succeeded to the throne when Indulf was killed in 962.
Donald III, and nicknamed "Donald the Fair" or "Donald the White", was King of Scots from 1093–1094 and 1094–1097.
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".
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.
Suibne mac Cináeda was an eleventh-century ruler of the Gall Gaidheil, a population of mixed Scandinavian and Gaelic ethnicity. There is little known of Suibne as he is only attested in three sources that record the year of his death. He seems to have ruled in a region where Gall Gaidheil are known to have dwelt: either the Hebrides, the Firth of Clyde region, or somewhere along the south-western coast of Scotland from the Firth of Clyde southwards into Galloway.
Causantín or Constantine of Fife is the first man known for certain to have been Mormaer of Fife.
Cuncar of Angus was Mormaer of Angus somewhere in the mid or later 10th century, which makes it quite possible that he was the successor of Dubacan. One divergent source calls him thanus, but otherwise he is comes. The tradition called by Anderson the Chronicle of the Kings of Scotland records in several manuscripts that Cuncar's daughter Lady Finella was responsible for the death of king Cináed II, because the aforementioned King of Scots had put her son to death. Otherwise, Cuncar is obscure. Even the name "Cuncar" is obscure, and may not be authentic, representing either the Gaelic name Conchobar or the Brythonic name Cincar. John of Fordun calls him Cruchne, which is clearly equivalent to Cruithne, as in Fordun's period, owing to French influence, cs often replace ts. Cruithne was the Gaelic word for a Pict, but why Fordun gives Cuncar this name is even more obscure than Cuncar himself.
The origins of the Kingdom of Alba pertain to the origins of the Kingdom of Alba, or the Gaelic Kingdom of Scotland, either as a mythological event or a historical process, during the Early Middle Ages.
The MacHeths were a Celtic kindred who raised several rebellions against the Scotto-Norman kings of Scotland in the 12th and 13th centuries. Their origins have long been debated.
Amlaíb mac Illuilb was a tenth-century King of Alba. He was one of three sons of Illulb mac Custantín, King of Alba, and a member of Clann Áeda meic Cináeda, a branch of the Alpínid dynasty. Amlaíb's paternal grandfather possessed strong connections with the Scandinavian dynasty of Dublin, and there is evidence to suggest that Illulb and Amlaíb bore names of Old Norse origin. If Amlaí
Karl Hundason, also Karl Hundisson, is a personage in the Orkneyinga Saga. The saga recounts a war between Thorfinn Sigurdsson, Earl of Orkney, and Karl, whom it calls king of Scots. The question of his identity and historicity has been debated by historians of Scotland and the Northern Isles for more than a century. However a literal translation suggests that the name may simply be an insult.
Lady Finella was a noblewoman and Scottish assassin who killed King Kenneth II out of revenge, based on chronicles from the 14th century.
For primary sources see also External linksbelow.
Kenneth II of ScotlandDied: 995
Amlaíb mac Illuilb
| King of Alba |