Scotlands History

David I (c.1083-1153)

David I was the sixth son of Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret. His reign, from 1124 until his death, began when he claimed the throne of Alba (with the backing of Henry I of England) following the death of his brother Alexander. 

David is known for founding burghs and monasteries. During David I’s reign Scotland benefited from a silver boom and became a wealthy nation. He spent so much of the nation’s wealth on church building and supporting religious orders that he became known as ‘Ane Sair Sanct for the Crown.’ David brought religious orders including the Cistercians and the Knights Templar to Scotland, and had to be dissuaded from joining a Crusade to Jerusalem.

He reformed the way Scotland was governed and supported immigrant French and Anglo-French knights.

His marriage to Matilda, Countess in Huntingdon, produced one son, Henry, Earl of Northumberland. Unfortunately Henry died in 1152, from what is thought to have been a long term illness. This forced David, in the last year of his life, to name his grandson Malcolm as his successor.

David I was buried at Dunfermline Abbey.

  • Photo of a metal cast of a seal showign a man on horseback carrying a lance with a flag
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Very small cartoon figures cluster at the north and south ends of a map of Scotland

Gaels and Anglo-Normans

Become a time-travelling news reporter and discover what the tribes of Scotland really thought of each other in the time of David I.