Scotlands History

Malcolm Canmore (d. 1093)

The eldest son of King Duncan I, Malcolm III was later nicknamed Canmore, which means big head, or long neck, depending on the accepted source. It is not clear when he was born, but he reigned as King of the Scots from 1058 AD till his death in 1093.

After his father’s death, Malcolm and his younger brother Domnall Bán were sent away for safety. One source claims Malcolm grew up in the English court of Edward the Confessor, while another asserts that their mother took both sons to Thorfinn Sigurdsson’s Court.

Malcolm married Ingebjorg, Countess of Orkney, a daughter of Finn Arnesson, which secured him peace in the north and west of Scotland. They had a son, Duncan II who was later king. Ingebjorg may have died as early as 1058.

In 1068 AD, Malcolm granted asylum to some English exiles, including Edgar Aethling and his sister Margaret, who he later married. Margaret was the future St Margaret of Scotland. They had six sons and two daughters together: Edward, Edmund, Ethelred, Edgar, Alexander, David, Edith and Mary.

In 1072 AD, Malcolm handed his eldest son Duncan to William of Normandy and accepted his authority. This was fairly normal practice as a method of securing peace.

Malcolm was killed in the Battle of Alnwick in November of 1093. Alexander I had his body laid to rest in Dunfermline Abbey, by his wife Margaret’s remains.

  • Photo of a silver coin showing a crowned head

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