A Short History of Scotland

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The world will always believe Shakespeare's version of these events, and suppose the gracious Duncan to have been a venerable old man, and Macbeth an ambitious Thane, with a bloodthirsty wife, he himself being urged on by the predictions of witches. He was, in fact, Mormaor of Murray, and upheld the claims of his stepson Lulach, who was son of a daughter of the wrongfully extruded House of Aodh.

Malcolm Canmore, Duncan's grandson, on the other hand, represented the European custom of direct lineal succession against the ancient Scots' mode.

CHAPTER IV. MALCOLM CANMORE--NORMAN CONQUEST.

The reign of Malcolm Canmore (1057-1093) brought Scotland into closer connection with western Europe and western Christianity. The Norman Conquest (1066) increased the tendency of the English-speaking people of Lothian to acquiesce in the rule of a Celtic king, rather than in that of the adventurers who followed William of Normandy. Norman operations did not at first reach Cumberland, which Malcolm held; and, on the death of his Norse wife, the widow of Duncan's foe, Thorfinn (she left a son, Duncan), Malcolm allied himself with the English Royal House by marrying Margaret, sister of Eadgar AEtheling, then engaged in the hopeless effort to rescue northern England from the Normans. The dates are confused: Malcolm may have won the beautiful sister of Edgar, rightful king of England, in 1068, or at the time (1070) of his raid, said to have been of savage ferocity, into Northumberland, and his yet more cruel reprisals for Gospatric's harrying of Cumberland. In either case, St Margaret's biographer, who had lived at her Court, whether or not he was her Confessor, Turgot, represents the Saint as subduing the savagery of Malcolm, who passed wakeful nights in weeping for his sins. A lover of books, which Malcolm could not read, an expert in "the delicate, and gracious, and bright works of women," Margaret brought her own gentleness and courtesy among a rude people, built the abbey church of Dunfermline, and presented the churches with many beautiful golden reliquaries and fine sacramental plate.

In 1072, to avenge a raid of Malcolm (1070), the Conqueror, with an army and a fleet, came to Abernethy on Tay, where Malcolm, in exchange for English manors, "became his man" _for them_, and handed over his son Duncan as a hostage for peace. The English view is that Malcolm became William's "man for all that he had"--or for all south of Tay.

After various raidings of northern England, and after the death of the Conqueror, Malcolm renewed, in Lothian, the treaty of Abernethy, being secured in his twelve English manors (1091). William Rufus then took and fortified Carlisle, seized part of Malcolm's lands in Cumberland, and summoned him to Gloucester, where the two Kings, after all, quarrelled and did not meet. No sooner had Malcolm returned home than he led an army into Northumberland, where he was defeated and slain, near Alnwick (Nov. 13, 1093). His son Edward fell with him, and his wife, St Margaret, died in Edinburgh Castle: her body, under cloud of night, was carried through the host of rebel Celts and buried at Dunfermline.

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