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Duncan (Dunkeld) of Scotland (1007 - 1040)

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Duncan (Duncan I) "Donnchad mac Crínáin, King of Strathclyde, King of the Scots" of Scotland formerly Dunkeld
Born in Scotlandmap
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Died in Elgin, Scotlandmap
Dunkeld-8 created 10 Mar 2011 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 10,866 times.

Categories: House of Dunkeld.

badges This person was a member of royalty, nobility or aristocracy in the British Isles. If you are interested in this profile, see our British Isles Royals and Aristocrats 742-1499 Project.
Preceded by
Owen the Bald
King of Strathclyde
c1018 - 1034
Succeeded by
Malcolm III
Preceded by
Malcolm II
King of Scots
25 November 1034 - 14 August 1040
Succeeded by



Duncan did not possess political or military acumen.[1] This made him unpopular with subjects and nobility. Killed by Macbeth on August 15, 1040,[1], he is chiefly remembered for Shakespeare's depiction.

The feud between these two might relate to a dispute over succession, but details are obscure. The only certainty is that MacBeth killed Duncan in battle near Elgin, Moray.[2]


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"[citation needed]
b. c.1001[citation needed]
d. 15 Aug 1040 Pitgaveny;[1] or 14 Oct 1043 Bothnagowan.[3]
bur. Iona[1]


  • 1018 - 1034: Duncan of Strathclyde[1]
  • 25 Nov 1034 - 15 Aug 1040: Duncan I 'the Gracious', King of Scotland[1]
  • Duncan Of Scotland CANMORE
  • Governor of Scots Islands and Bethoc of Scotland


Crinan of Atholl, Mormaer of Atholl m.1000 Bethoc of Scotland.[1][4]

Marriage and Issue

m. Suthen or Sybilla (?) circa 1030.[1] Issue:[5]
  • Malcolm III 'Caennmor' (Canmore), King of Scotland (b. c 1031, d. 13 Nov 1093)
  • Donald III 'Donald bane', King of Scotland+ b. c 1033, d. 1099 or (abt 1039 - 1096)
  • Mælmuir Earl of Atholl (?)+ b. c 1035 or (abt 1045-)


1018-1034: King of Strathclyde[6]

before 1034: ruled as rex Cumbrorum in the Kingdom of Strathclyde[citation needed]

1034-1040: King of Scots[7]. succeeds maternal grandfather, Malcolm III. ... "first example of inheritance of the Scottish throne in the direct line", as opposed to previous tanistry system.[citation needed]

1038: attacked by Eadulf of Berncia;[1]Ealdred, Earl of Northumbria, invaded Strathclyde, perhaps in an attempt to wrest it from the Scots.

1039/40: attacked Durham but defeated. Retreated to Moray,[1] but twice defeated by Earl of Orkney's son, Thorfinn, before being killed in battle. He died at Bothnguane.[citation needed][8]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Ashley, 2008
  2. Malcolm violated system of succession where kingship alternated between two branches of the royal family. Duncan succeeded peacefully, but soon faced rivalry of Macbeth, Mormaor (subking) of Moray, who probably had a better claim. Duncan sieged 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).[citation needed]
  3. murdered by MacBeth (Ashley, 2008).
  5. p. unknown. She has been referred to in connection with Siward of Northumbria ... as a cousin, sister, or daughter. ... (Scottish Regnal List I calls his wife Suthen; John of Fordun calls her kinswoman of Siward Biornsson, Earl of Northumbria; UK's monarch history states she was Siward's cousin).
  6. Paget, n.d., pp153
  7. Tapsell, n.d. pp.180, Weis AR7 170:20; Paget pp.153; Moncreiffe pp.20
  8. 1040: 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 (Davidson 1995[citation needed]


Ashley, M. (2008). A Brief History of British Kings and Queens, (pp.106-107). Philadelphia, PA: Running Press Book Publishers. Print.

The Queen Mother (n.d.). N.p.[citation needed]

Steel, T. (n.d.). Scotlands Story. N.p.

Maclean, F. (n.d.). Scotland, a Concise History. N.p.

Weir, A. (1999). Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy, (pp.179-181). London: The Bodley Head.

Mosley, C. (1999). Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, (106th ed, Vol. 1, pp.13). Crans, SW: Genealogical Books Ltd.

Wikipedia: Duncan I of Scotland

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No known carriers of Duncan I's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 2
Duncan Of Scotland
Duncan Of Scotland

Duncan I King of Scotland
Duncan I King of Scotland


On 29 Sep 2015 at 06:14 GMT Marty Ormond wrote:

Gospatric Northumberland-35 mistakenly appeared as a son of Bethoc (no father) and is a faulty profile. Should not be a brother of Duncan, and should be merged Dunbar-27 to eliminate the bogus profile. unsourced and in error on parents, family

On 19 Aug 2015 at 23:13 GMT Eugene Quigley wrote:

According to Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (FMG) Duncan and his wife had three children: Malcolm, Donald and Mælmuir. Is ther real evidence to suggest these other children are his?

On 1 Oct 2014 at 23:10 GMT Unknown Unknown wrote:

Note: Duncan's wife is Sybill or Suthen. Her parents are UNKNOWN but she is often said to be somehow related to Siward of Northumbria... either as a cousin, sister, or daughter. Please do not connect her with Siward.

On 27 Jul 2014 at 18:02 GMT Darlene (Athey) Athey-Hill wrote:

Please unlock this profile by entering a date. He lived over 1,000 years ago. This profile needs to be merged into Dunkeld-8. Thank you.

On 27 Jul 2014 at 18:00 GMT Darlene (Athey) Athey-Hill wrote:

King of Scotland-46 and Dunkeld-8 appear to represent the same person because: Same person; please merge. Once done, I've proposed merges as well for son and grandson. This one needs to be done first.

Duncan I is 28 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 35 degrees from Bob Dylan, 29 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 29 degrees from Michael Phelps and 23 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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