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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007, 09:45 PM
House of Kenneth


THE HOUSE of Kenneth McAlpin lasted just over a century, from the ascession of Constantine I to the throne in 900 until the death of Kenneth III in battle in 1005 . It was a period when the strength of the monarchy lay chiefly north of the River Tay. As such, their concerns were equally divided between the depredations of the Vikings from the north and the threat of invasion from England to the south. Like many Scots monarchical houses before and after, the House of Kenneth was ravaged by violence: assassination and murder abounds.

http://images.scotsman.com/2005/02/08/kenneth.gif There is some dispute as to some of the dates and names of the earlier kings of Scotland.
View full diagram of all Scottish Monarchs 834-1290 (http://heritage.scotsman.com/timelines.cfm?cid=1&id=41862005)

Constantine II
Constantine's reign saw many struggles against Viking invaders. He eventually gained success against the Norsemen in both the north and south of Scotland, but, unusually, he decided to abdicate the throne to follow the life of a monk.

Malcolm I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill)
Malcolm became ruler of Scotland after King Constantine II abdicated the throne for life as a monk in St. Andrews.
Malcolm's own period as monarch is recorded as being a well-ordered and intelligent one. He made a mutual defence pact with English monarch Edmund I to protect territories in northern England and Scotland against Viking attacks, clearly recognising that they represented the greater threat.
Like many medieval kings, Malcolm had to deal with numerous rebellions and insurrections. In the process of dealing with one such problem - the revolt of the 'Moray Men' and their chief, Cellach - Malcolm was killed. It is recorded that he was slain by a kinsman of Cellach's after Malcolm had himself killed the chief.
Malcolm was succeeded by Constantine's own son, Indulf.

Indulf's reign was, once again, studded with battles against Viking invaders, particulary in the North of Scotland. Like Constantine II, Indulf appeared to want to abdicate and become a monk. However, he is recorded as having been killed in battle against the Vikings instead of dying peacefully in a monastery.

Dubh ('The Black')
A monarch who took a strong line on law and order in his kingdom. Needless to say in the Middle Ages, this did not go down well with those who disagreed with his concept of justice. Dubh therefore became the victim of assassins, who, after murdering him, covered up their crime by burying his body in a streambed. Unfortunately for them, the crime was uncovered and Dubh was instead borne to Iona for a proper royal funeral. His killer's fate we can imagine.

Cuilean (Cuilén mac Illuilb)
Cuilean's life and times epitomise the violent and perilous world that Scottish kings lived in during the Middle Ages. He became monarch after the previous king was assassinated (as he would be in turn). It is suspected Cuilean was actually responsible for his predecessor's premature demise.

Kenneth II (Cináed mac Máel Coluim)
Along with many a Scots king, Kenneth III spent a great deal of his reign making war on his southerly neighbours in Northumbria as well as with Vikings in the northern part of Scotland. Said to have been murdered by his own subjects, he had two sons and a daughter. One of his sons would become King Malcolm II.

Constantine III (Causantín mac Cuilén)
Constantine's reign was short and, not unsurprisingly, violent. The son of Culen, he was said to have been childless before his murder in 997.

Kenneth III
Kenneth was the last king chosen through the Tanistry system. This system had seen the king choose a successor from one of two family lines and had understandably been a cause for a huge amount of disagreement and assassination. After Kenneth was killed in battle, his successor Malcolm II disbanded the system by the gruesome method of killing all of Kenneth's male heirs. One of his female heirs, a grand-daughter called Gruoch, went on to become the infamous (in the play at least) Lady Macbeth.

Source (http://heritage.scotsman.com/timelines.cfm?cid=1&id=41712005)