Scottish Royal House of Dunkeld (Monarchs of Scotland) (1058–1286)
The so-called House of Dunkeld, in Scottish Gaelic Dùn Chailleann (meaning Fort of the Caledonii or of the Caledonians), is a historiographical and genealogical construct to illustrate the clear succession of Scottish kings from 1034 to 1040 and from 1058 to 1290. The line is also variously referred to by historians as "The Canmores", and "MacMalcolm".
It is dynastically sort of a continuation to Cenél nGabráin of Dál Riata, "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.
Sir Iain Moncreiffe made the case that Crínán of Dunkeld actually belonged to a Scottish sept of Irish Cenél Conaill royal dynasty, a branch of the Uí Néill. This of course would not exclude his descendants from also being a (female line) continuation of the Cenél nGabráin through Bethóc.
Genealogically the Dunkeld dynasty is based on Duncan I of Scotland being of a different agnatic clan to his predecessor and maternal grandfather Malcolm II of Scotland. However, sociohistorically, the reign of Duncan's son Malcolm III of Scotland, which happens to coincide with the start of the centuries-long period of strong influence from the southern neighbour, the Kingdom of England, has been seen as a more important place to start.
Duncan Of Scotland CANMORE ... 
son of Thane Crinan Mormær of Atholl Lay Abbot of Dunkeld, Governor of the Scots Islands and Bethoc of Scotland.
Crowned King of Scots in 1034
murdered by MacBeth
Children of Duncan I "MacCrinan" King of Scots and Sibyl of Northumbria (daughter of Seward of Northumbria)
Donald III Bane King of Scots(abt 1039 - 1096)
Mælmuir Earl of Atholl (abt 1045-)
Malcolm III "Canmore" King of the Scots (1031 - 13 Nov 1093)
Burial: Iona, Scotland
About Donnchad "the Gracious" mac Crínáin, Rí na h'Alba
Donnchad mac Crínáin (Modern Gaelic: Donnchadh mac Crìonain) anglicised as Duncan I, and nicknamed An t-Ilgarach, "the Diseased" or "the Sick" (died 14 August 1040) was king of Scotland (Alba).
Duncan I became king of Scotland in succession to his maternal grandfather Malcolm II in 1034, having previously ruled as rex Cumbrorum in the Kingdom of Strathclyde. His accession is said to be "the first example of inheritance of the Scottish throne in the direct line", as opposed to the previous tanistry system.
Duncan was known as Duncan The Gracious, a title that was not entirely complimentary. His uncaring approach to matters of state made him unpopular both with his subjects and the nobility. Not a strong ruler, he is chiefly known today through his connection with King Macbeth, which has been immortalized by William Shakespeare. The feud between these two when princes originated probably in a dispute over the succession to the throne; its details, however, are obscure, and the only fact which can be stated with any certainty is that Duncan was slain in battle by Macbeth, near Elgin, Moray, on August 15, 1040.
In 1039, Duncan marched south to besiege Durham, Northumbria, England, but was defeated with heavy losses. He also attempted to seize control of Moray, but was twice defeated by the Earl of Orkney's son, Thorfinn, before being killed in battle. He was killed at Bothnguane and buried at Iona.
Details of Duncan's marital life are a matter of debate among historians. The Scottish Regnal List I calls his wife Suthen, and John of Fordun calls her a kinswoman of Siward Biornsson, Earl of Northumbria. The United Kingdom's official history of the monarchy states that she was Siward's cousin.
Ruled 1034 - 1040
Duncan I (d. Aug. 1, 1040, near Elgin, Moray, Scot.), king of the Scots from 1034 to 1040. Duncan was the grandson of King Malcolm II (ruled 1005-34), who irregularly made him ruler of Strathclyde when that region was absorbed into the Scottish kingdom (probably shortly before 1034). Malcolm violated the established system of succession whereby the kingship alternated between two branches of the royal family. Upon Malcolm's death, Duncan succeeded peacefully, but he soon faced the rivalryof Macbeth, Mormaor (subking) of Moray, who probably had a better claim to the throne. Duncan besieged Durham unsuccessfully in 1039 and in the following year was murdered by Macbeth. Duncan's elder son later killed Macbeth and ruled as King Malcolm III Canmore (1058-93).
1034-1040: King of Scots [Ref: Tapsell p180, Weis AR7 170:20] King of Scots [Ref: Moncreiffe p20] 1018-1034: King of Strathclyde [Ref: Paget p153] 1034: King of Scots [Ref: Paget p153] 1034: Duncan, the son of Crinan, abbot of Dunkeld, and Bethoc,daughter of Malcolm, the son of Kenneth, reigned six years [Ref: Weis AR 170:20]
1038 or 1039: Ealdred, Earl of Northumbria, invaded Strathclyde, perhaps in an attempt to wrest it from the Scots. Duncan responded in 1040 with an attack on Durham. Like his grandfather's attack in 1006, it ended in disaster, with Scottish forcesfleeing, and Scottish heads decorating the Durham marketplace. This defeat seems to hae weakened his authority so severely that Macbeth of the Cenel Loairn was able to defeat and kill him in battle near Elgin [Ref: Davidson 1995]
Duncan I (c. 1010-1040). King of Scots (1034-40), succeeding his grandfather Malcolm II. At his accession Duncan was already king of Stratyclyde, which thus became united to Scotia. In 1040 Duncan unsuccessfully besieged Durham and was twice defeated by Thorfinn, earl of Orkney, before being killed by Macbeth. [Ref: Dict of Brit History] Duncan, who was not a good old king but a headstrong young one, succeeded in 1034, but, having prejudiced his position by a failure against Durham (1039)was killed by his rival in 1040. [A History of Scotland by J.D. Mackie] Malcolm II's grandson Duncan became King of Strathclyde, as one of a line of Scottish sub-Kings of the small neighboring kingdom. When Malcolm died in 1034, Duncan succeeded him, and thus the kingdoms of Scotia, Lothian and Strathclyde were at last united. .Duncan was quite young, probably about thirty-three, when he succeeded his grandfather. At the time of his death in 1040 his two sons, Malcolm and Donald Ban (or Donaldbain), were small children.
biographical and/or anecdotal:
Macbeth siezed the throne of Scotland in 1040 after defeating and killing *Duncan I near Elgin.
He based his claim to the crown on his wife's royal descent (Duncan's former wife Sibyl).
Malcolm III, (son of Duncan I), and Earl Siward of Northumberland defeated Macbeth at
Dunsinane in 1054, but they did not dethrone him. Three years later, Malcolm III killed
Macbeth at Lumphanan. Macbeth's stepson Lulach reigned for a few months,
and then Malcolm III succeeded him as king.
William Shakespeare based his play, Macbeth, one of his greatest tragedies,
upon a distorted version of these events which he found in
Raphael Holinshed's 'Chronicle of Scottish History.'
The only kernel of historical truth in the play is Duncan's death at the hand of Macbeth.
From this fact, Shakespeare drew his portrait of ambition leading to a violent and tragic end.
House of Dunkeld, 1034-1286
Duncan succeeded to the throne as the maternal grandson of Malcolm II. After an unsuccessful reign, Duncan was killed in battle by Macbeth, who had a long and relatively successful reign. In a series of battles between 1057 and 1058, Duncan's son Malcolm III defeated and killed Macbeth and Macbeth's stepson and heir Lulach, and claimed the throne. The dynastic feuds did not end there: on Malcolm's death in battle, his brother Donald Ban claimed the throne, expelling Malcolm's sons from Scotland; a civil war in the family ensued, with Donald Ban and Malcolm's son Edmund opposed by Malcolm's English-backed sons, led first by Duncan II and then by Edgar. Edgar triumphed, sending his uncle and brother to monasteries. After the reign of David I, the Scottish throne was passed according to rules of primogeniture, moving from father to son, or where not possible, brother to brother.
Executive summary: King of Scotland, 1034-40
Duncan I, a son of Crinan or Cronan, lay abbot of Dunkeld, and became king of the Scots in succession to his maternal grandfather, Malcolm II, in 1034, having previously as rex Cumbrorum ruled in Strathclyde. His accession was the first example of inheritance of the Scottish throne in the direct line. Duncan is chiefly known through his connection with Macbeth, which has been immortalized by William Shakespeare. The feud between these two princes originated probably in a dispute over the succession to the throne; its details, however, are obscure, and the only fact which can be ascertained with any certainty is that Duncan was slain by Macbeth in 1040. Two of Duncan's sons, Malcolm III Canmore and Donald V Bane, were afterwards kings of the Scots.
1) Richard Glanville-Brown, online <e-mail address>, Richard Glanville-Brown (RR 2, Milton, Ontario, Canada), downloaded 17 August 2005.
2) Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 179. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
3) Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family, page 180.
4) Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family, page 181.
5) Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 13. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.
King Duncan the 1st of Scotland (r. 1030 -1040)
Duncan was the son of Malcolm II's eldest daughter Bethoc and her husband Crinan, Lay Abbot of Dunkeld. He was about 33 when he succeeded his grandfather. Married to a cousin of Siward, Earl of Northumberland, he may have favoured southern ways and this is perhaps why he became unpopular with his subjects.
He was not the best tactician and in 1038 he marched south to besiege Durham but he was beaten off, with heavy losses. Duncan attempted to impose his over lordship over Moray (an independent dynasty) by military force. He was then twice defeated by the Earl of Orkney's son, Thorfinn, before being killed in battle by Macbeth, one of his commanders, near Elgin, Morayshire on 14 August 1040 and is at rest with other Scottish in Iona.
William Shakespeare based his play, Macbeth, one of his greatest tragedies, upon a distorted version of these events which he found in Raphael Holinshed's 'Chronicle of Scottish History.' The only kernel of historical truth in the play is Duncan's death at the hand of Macbeth. From this fact, Shakespeare drew his portrait of ambition leading to a violent and tragic end.
by John A. Duncan of Sketraw, KCN, FSA Scot.
Duncan I 'the Gracious', King of Scotland was born circa 1001. He was the son of Crinan of Atholl, Mormaer of Atholl and Bethoc of Scotland.
He married Sybilla (?), daughter of Siward Digera, Earl of Northumberland and Elfleda (?), circa 1030.
He died on 14 August 1040 at Pitgaveny, Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland, killed by a blow from Macbeth.
He was also reported to have died on 14 October 1043 at Bothnagowan. He was buried at Isle of Iona, Argyllshire, Scotland.
Duncan I 'the Gracious', King of Scotland gained the title of King Duncan of Strathclyde in 1018. He succeeded to the title of King Duncan I of Scotland on 25 November 1034.
Children of Duncan I 'the Gracious', King of Scotland and Sybilla (?)
* Malcolm III 'Caennmor', King of Scotland+ b. c 1031, d. 13 Nov 1093
* Donald III 'Donald bane', King of Scotland+ b. c 1033, d. 1099
* Melmare (?)+ b. c 1035
3. Malcolm III 'Canmore', King of Scotland, b. Abt 1031
4. Donald III Bane, King of Scotland, b. Abt 1033
1 - Duncan was a haemophiliac who bled to death after fighting with MacBeth.
In 1034 Malcolm's grandson Duncan I succeeded him, but in 1040 he was
killed by Macbeth, who contrary to Shakespearian legend ruled well and wisely tor seventeen years, extending Scotland's connections with England and the Continent, until defeated and killed by Duncan's son, Malcolm III, known as Malcolm Canmore.
2 - Duncan's reign was short and unsuccessful. He was killed, probably in battle at Pitgaveny near Elgin, by a rival claimant and cousin MacBeth.
3 - On Malcolm's death in 1034, Duncan became king, the second to rule all Scotland. He was a weaker man than his grandfather, Malcolm II, with less understanding of the vulnerability of his position. The northern Scots, ever on the watch to snatch the throne, took advantage of this weakness. Macbeth, chief of this powerful race, harboured a claim to the throne through his mother. He fought tenaciously, and finally managed to kill Duncan in 1040 becoming King of Scotland in his place.
[ An Illustrated History of Scotland by Elisabeth Fraser pub. 1997 ]
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