Scotlands History

Malcolm the Maiden (1141-1165) and William the Lion (c.1142-1214)

Malcolm IV King of Scotland (1141-1165) was the eldest son of Henry, Earl of Huntingdon and Ada de Warenne. He reigned from 1153 until his death. The very young king was initially accompanied by Donnchad, Mormaer of Fife, and a large army.

Malcolm faced rebellion from within his own kingdom. He was a pious young man who was ill for much of his short life and died unmarried (hence the nickname ‘Maiden’) at the age of 24.

After his brother’s death, William I (c.1142-1214) assumed the throne. In contrast to Malcolm’s frailty, the 22-year-old William was strong in body and mind. William I’s flag became the famed Lion Rampant, the Royal Standard of Scotland. He would rule for 49 years.

William was captured at the Battle of Alnwick and only won his freedom by acknowledging Henry II of England as his superior. This agreement was formalised in the Treaty of Falaise, which also gave Henry II the right to choose William’s bride.

Thus, William married Ermengarde de Beaumont, a granddaughter of Henry I. The dowry was Edinburgh Castle. The union did eventually produce some children: Margaret, Isabella, Alexander II and Marjorie. William died in Stirling and was buried in Arbroath Abbey in 1214.

  • Ornate letter M from the Kelso Charter showing two kings sitting side by side

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