Donald II of Scotland
Domnall mac Causantín, anglicised as Donald II was King of the Picts or King of Alba in the late 9th century. He was the son of Constantine I. Donald is given the epithet Dásachtach, "the Madman", by The Prophecy of Berchán. Donald became king on the death or deposition of Giric, the date of, not known but placed in 889; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba reports: Doniualdus son of Constantini held the kingdom for 11 years. The Northmen wasted Pictland at this time. In his reign a battle occurred between Scots at Innisibsolian where the Scots had victory, he was killed at Opidum Fother by the Gentiles. It has been suggested that the attack on Dunnottar, rather than being a small raid by a handful of pirates, may be associated with the ravaging of Scotland attributed to Harald Fairhair in the Heimskringla; the Prophecy of Berchán places Donald's death at Dunnottar, but appears to attribute it to Gaels rather than Norsemen. Donald's death is dated to 900 by the Annals of Ulster and the Chronicon Scotorum, where he is called king of Alba, rather than king of the Picts.
He was buried on Iona. Like his father, Constantine, he died a violent death at a premature age; the change from king of the Picts to king of Alba is seen as indicating a step towards the kingdom of the Scots, but historians, while divided as to when this change should be placed, do not attribute it to Donald in view of his epithet. The consensus view is that the key changes occurred in the reign of Constantine II, but the reign of Giric has been proposed; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba has Donald succeeded by his cousin Constantine II. Donald's son Malcolm was king as Malcolm I; the Prophecy of Berchán appears to suggest that another king reigned for a short while between Donald II and Constantine II, saying "half a day will he take sovereignty". Possible confirmation of this exists in the Chronicon Scotorum, where the death of "Ead, king of the Picts" in battle against the Uí Ímair is reported in 904. This, however, is thought to be an error, referring to Ædwulf, the ruler of Bernicia, whose death is reported in 913 by the other Irish annals.
Kingdom of Alba Origins of the Kingdom of Alba CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork includes the Annals of Ulster, the Four Masters and Innisfallen, the Chronicon Scotorum, the Lebor Bretnach and various Saints' Lives. Most are translated into English; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba
King Bridei III was king of the Picts from 672 until 693. Bridei may have been born as early as 616, but no than the year 628, he was the son of King of Alt Clut. His claim to the Fortrean Kingship came through King Nechtan of the Picts. Nennius' Historia Brittonum tells us that Bridei was King Ecgfrith's fratruelis, i.e. maternal first cousin. Bridei's mother was a daughter of King Edwin of Deira. Bridei was one of the more active of Fortrean monarchs, he attacked Dunnottar in 680/681, campaigned against the Orcadian sub-kingdom in 682, a campaign so violent that the Annals of Ulster said that the Orkney Islands were "destroyed" by Bridei. It is recorded that, in the following year, in 683, War broke out between the Scots of Dál Riata under Máel Dúin mac Conaill and Bridei's Picts; the Scots attacked Dundurn in Strathearn. Dundurn was Bridei's main powerbase in a great ` nuclear' hilltop fortress; the Scots did not take Dundurn, Bridei backed up with an attack on Dunadd, the capital of Dal Riata.
We do not know if Bridei took Dunadd, but the presence of Pictish-style carvings of that time period in Dunadd may mean that he took and occupied Dunadd. The lack of reputable contemporary sources of this conflict means that not much is known about the Scottish-Pict war of 683, but it is clear that, from his base in Fortriu, Bridei was establishing his overlordship of the lands to the north, those to the south putting himself in a position to attack the Anglian possessions which existed in the far south. It is possible that Bridei was regarded by Ecgfrith as his sub-king; the traditional interpretation is that Bridei severed this relationship, causing the invervention of Ecgfrith. This led to the famous Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685, in which the Anglo-Saxon army of Ecgfrith was annihilated. One Irish source reports that Bridei was "fighting for his grandfather's inheritance", suggesting that either Ecgfrith was challenging Bridei's kingship, or more given Bridei's earlier campaigns, that Bridei was seeking to recover the territories ruled by his grandfather in Fife and Circinn, but since taken by the English.
The consequences of this battle were the expulsion of Northumbrians from southern Pictland and permanent Fortrean domination of the southern Pictish zone. Bridei's death is recorded by both the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of Tigernach under the year 693. Traditions attributed a surviving lament for Bridei's death to Saint Adomnán, abbot of Iona. Annals of Tigernach Annals of Ulster Historia Brittonum
Causantín mac Cináeda
Causantín or Constantín mac Cináeda was a king of the Picts. He is known as Constantine I in reference to his place in modern lists of kings of Scots, but contemporary sources described Causantín only as a Pictish king. A son of Cináed mac Ailpín, he succeeded his uncle Domnall mac Ailpín as Pictish king following the latter's death on 13 April 862, it is that Causantín's reign witnessed increased activity by Vikings, based in Ireland and northern Britain. He died fighting one such invasion. Few records of ninth century events in northern Britain survive; the main local source from the period is the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, a list of kings from Cináed mac Ailpín to Cináed mac Maíl Coluim. The list survives in a thirteenth-century compilation. A list of kings with reign lengths, the other details contained in the Poppleton Manuscript version were added from the tenth century onwards. In addition to this king lists survive; the earliest genealogical records of the descendants of Cináed mac Ailpín may date from the end of the tenth century, but their value lies more in their context, the information they provide about the interests of those for whom they were compiled, than in the unreliable claims they contain.
The Pictish king-lists ended with this Causantín, reckoned the seventieth and last king of the Picts. For narrative history the principal sources are the Irish annals. While Scandinavian sagas describe events in 9th century Britain, their value as sources of historical narrative, rather than documents of social history, is disputed. If the sources for north-eastern Britain, the lands of the kingdom of Northumbria and the former Pictland, are limited and late, those for the areas on the Irish Sea and Atlantic coasts—the modern regions of north-west England and all of northern and western Scotland—are non-existent, archaeology and toponymy are of primary importance. Writing a century before Causantín was born, Bede recorded five languages in Britain. Latin, the common language of the church. By the ninth century a sixth language, Old Norse, had arrived with the Vikings. Viking activity in northern Britain appears to have reached a peak during Causantín's reign. Viking armies were led by a small group of men.
Among those noted by the Irish annals, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle are Ívarr—Ímar in Irish sources—who was active from East Anglia to Ireland, Halfdán—Albdann in Irish, Healfdene in Old English— and Amlaíb or Óláfr. As well as these leaders, various others related to them appear in the surviving record. Viking activity in Britain increased in 865 when the Great Heathen Army a part of the forces, active in Francia, landed in East Anglia; the following year, having obtained tribute from the East Anglian King Edmund, the Great Army moved north, seizing York, chief city of the Northumbrians. The Great Army defeated an attack on York by the two rivals for the Northumbrian throne, Osberht and Ælla, who had put aside their differences in the face of a common enemy. Both would-be kings were killed in the failed assault on 21 March 867. Following this, the leaders of the Great Army are said to have installed one Ecgberht as king of the Northumbrians, their next target was Mercia where King Burgred, aided by his brother-in-law King Æthelred of Wessex, drove them off.
While the kingdoms of East Anglia and Northumbria were under attack, other Viking armies were active in the far north. Amlaíb and Auisle, said to be his brother, brought an army to Fortriu and obtained tribute and hostages in 866. Historians disagree as to whether the army returned to Ireland in 866, 867 or in 869. Late sources of uncertain reliability state that Auisle was killed by Amlaíb in 867 in a dispute over Amlaíb's wife, the daughter of Cináed, it is unclear whether, if accurate, this woman should be identified as a daughter of Cináed mac Ailpín, thus Causantín's sister, or as a daughter of Cináed mac Conaing, king of Brega. While Amlaíb and Auisle were in north Britain, the Annals of Ulster record that Áed Findliath, High King of Ireland, took advantage of their absence to destroy the longphorts along the northern coasts of Ireland. Áed Findliath was married to Causantín's sister Máel Muire. She married Áed's successor Flann Sinna, her death is recorded in 913. In 870, Amlaíb and Ívarr attacked Dumbarton Rock, where the River Leven meets the River Clyde, the chief place of the kingdom of Alt Clut, south-western neighbour of Pictland.
The siege lasted four months before the fortress fell to the Vikings who returned to Ireland with many prisoners, "Angles and Picts", in 871. Archaeological evidence suggests that Dumbarton Rock was abandoned and that Govan replaced it as the chief place of the kingdom of Strathclyde, as Alt Clut was known. King Artgal of Alt Clut did not long survive these events, being killed "at the instigation" of Causantín son of Cináed two years later. Artgal's son and successor Run was married to a sister of Causantín. Amlaíb disappears from Irish annals after his return to Ireland in 871. According to the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba he was killed by Causantín either in 871 or 872 when he returned to Pictland to collect further tribute, his ally Ívarr died in 873. In 875, the Chronicle and the Annals of Ulster again report a Viking army in Pictland. A bat
Áed mac Cináeda
Áed mac Cináeda was a son of Cináed mac Ailpín. He became king of the Picts in 877, he was nicknamed Áed of the wing-footed or the white-foot. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says of Áed: "Edus held the same for one year; the shortness of his reign has bequeathed nothing memorable to history. He was slain in the civitas of Nrurim." Nrurim is unidentified. The Annals of Ulster say that in 878: "Áed mac Cináeda, king of the Picts, was killed by his associates." Tradition, reported by George Chalmers in his Caledonia, by the New Statistical Account, has it that the early-historic mound of the Cunninghillock by Inverurie is the burial place of Áed. This is based on reading Nrurim as Inruriu. A longer account is interpolated in Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland; this says that Áed reigned one year and was killed by his successor Giric in Strathallan and other king lists have the same report. It is uncertain. William Forbes Skene presumed that the following verses referred to Áed:129.
Another king will take. Alas for Scotland thenceforward, his name will be the Furious.130. He will be but a short time over Scotland; the will be no unplundered. Alas for Scotland, through the youth, he will be nine years in the kingdom. I shall tell you—it will be a tale of truth—he dies without bell, with communion, at evening, in a fatal pass. Áed's son, Constantín mac Áeda, became king in 900. Kingdom of Alba Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History A. D 500–1286, volume 1. Reprinted with corrections. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990. ISBN 1-871615-03-8 Anderson, Marjorie Ogilvie and Kingship in Early Scotland. Scottish Academic Press, revised edition 1980. ISBN 0-7011-1604-8 Duncan, A. A. M; the Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8 Smyth, Alfred P. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80–1000. E. J. Arnold, London, 1984. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7 The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba Friends of Grampian Stones - history of Inverurie Second Statistical Account
Bridei I known as Bridei, son of Maelchon, was king of the Picts from 554 to 584. Sources are vague or contradictory regarding him, but it is believed that his court was near Loch Ness and that he may have been a Christian. There were contemporaries claiming the title "king of the Picts", he died in the mid-580s in battle, was succeeded by Gartnait son of Domelch. Bridei son of Maelchon, was king of the Picts until his death around 584–586. Other forms of his name include Brude son of Melcho and, in Irish sources, Bruide son of Maelchú and Bruidhe son of Maelchon, he was first mentioned in the Irish annals from 558–560, where the Annals of Ulster report "the migration before Máelchú's son, king Bruide". An earlier entry, reporting the death of "Bruide son of Máelchú" in the Annals of Ulster for 505 is presumed to be an error; the Ulster annalist does not say who fled, but the Annals of Tigernach refers to "the flight of the Scots before Bruide son of Máelchú" in 558. This uncertainty has provoked considerable speculation.
Bridei is suggested to have been the son of Maelgwn Gwynedd by John Morris in his Age of Arthur, where he is referred to in passing as "... Bridei, son of Maelgwn, the mighty king of north Wales...". Though the book has been a commercial success, it is disparaged by historians as an unreliable source of "misleading and misguided" information. Bridei's death was reported in the 580's in battle against Pictish rivals in Circinn, an area thought to correspond with the Mearns; the lists of kings in the Pictish Chronicle agree that Bridei was followed by Gartnait son of Domelch. Bridei appears in Adomnán's Life of Saint Columba as a contemporary, as one of the chief kings in Scotland. Adomnán's account of Bridei is problematic as it does not mention whether Bridei was a Christian, if not, whether Columba converted him; the archaeological discoveries at Portmahomack, showing that there was a monastic community there from around 550, provide some support for the idea that Bridei was either a Christian, at least in name, or was converted by Columba.
Bridei was not the only "king of the Picts" during his lifetime. The death of Galam — called "Cennalath, king of the Picts" — is recorded in 580 in the Annals of Ulster, four years before Bridei's death. In addition, Adomnán mentions the presence of the "under-king of Orkney" at Bridei's court; the Annals of Ulster report two expeditions to Orkney during Bridei's reign, in 580 and 581. The location of the court of Bridei's kingdom is not certain. Adomnán's account states that after leaving the royal court, Columba came to the River Ness and that the court was located atop a steep rock. Accordingly, it is supposed that Bridei's chief residence was at Craig Phadrig, to the west of the modern city of Inverness and overlooks the Beauly Firth. Bridei’s kingdom may have corresponded with what would become Fortriu. Juliet Marillier's trilogy The Bridei Chronicles is written as a combination of history and informed guesswork regarding this king's rise to power and rule, her novels describe events in the life of Bridei III.
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork includes the Annals of Ulster, the Four Masters and Innisfallen, the Chronicon Scotorum, the Lebor Bretnach and various Saints' Lives. Most are translated into English. Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Continuation of Bede, at CCEL, translated by A. M. Sellar. Tarbat Discovery Programme with reports on excavations at Portmahomack. List of Kings of the Picts
Malcolm I of Scotland
Máel Coluim mac Domnaill was king of Alba, becoming king when his cousin Constantine II abdicated to become a monk. He was the son of Donald II. Máel Coluim was born during his father's reign. By the 940s, he was no longer a young man, may have become impatient in awaiting the throne. Willingly or not—the 11th-century Prophecy of Berchán, a verse history in the form of a supposed prophecy, states that it was not a voluntary decision that Constantine II abdicated in 943 and entered a monastery, leaving the kingdom to Máel Coluim. Seven years the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says: plundered the English as far as the River Tees, he seized a multitude of people and many herds of cattle: and the Scots called this the raid of Albidosorum, that is, Nainndisi, but others say that Constantine made this raid, asking of the king, that the kingship should be given to him for a week's time, so that he could visit the English. In fact, it was Malcolm who made the raid. Woolf suggests that the association of Constantine with the raid is a late addition, one derived from a now-lost saga or poem.
He died in the shield wall next to his men. Máel Coluim would be the third in his immediate family to die violently, his father Donald II and grandfather Constantine I both having met similar fates 54 years earlier in 900 and 77 years earlier in 877 respectively. In 945, Edmund I of England, having expelled Amlaíb Cuaran from Northumbria, devastated Cumbria and blinded two sons of Domnall mac Eógain, king of Strathclyde, it is said that he "let" or "commended" Strathclyde to Máel Coluim in return for an alliance. What is to be understood by "let" or "commended" is unclear, but it may well mean that Máel Coluim had been the overlord of Strathclyde and that Edmund recognised this while taking lands in southern Cumbria for himself; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says that Máel Coluim took an army into Moray "and slew Cellach". Cellach is not named in the surviving genealogies of the rulers of Moray, his identity is unknown. Máel Coluim appears to have kept his agreement with the late English king, which may have been renewed with the new king, Edmund having been murdered in 946 and succeeded by his brother Edred.
Eric Bloodaxe, son to King Harald Hairfair of Norway, took York in 948, before being driven out by Edred, when Amlaíb Cuaran again took York in 949–950, Máel Coluim raided Northumbria as far south as the Tees taking "a multitude of people and many herds of cattle" according to the Chronicle. The Annals of Ulster for 952 report a battle between "the men of Alba and the Britons and the English" against the foreigners, i.e. the Northmen or the Norse-Gaels. This battle is not reported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it is unclear whether it should be related to the expulsion of Amlaíb Cuaran from York or the return of Eric Bloodaxe; the Annals of Ulster report that Máel Coluim was killed in 954. Other sources place this most in the Mearns, either at Fetteresso following the Chronicle, or at Dunnottar following the Prophecy of Berchán, he was buried on Iona. Máel Coluim's sons Dub and Cináed were kings. For primary sources see External links below. Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History A.
D 500–1286, volume 1. Reprinted with corrections. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990. ISBN 1-871615-03-8 Duncan, A. A. M; the Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8 Smyth, Alfred P. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1000. Reprinted, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7 CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork includes the Annals of Ulster, the Four Masters and Innisfallen, the Chronicon Scotorum, the Lebor Bretnach and various Saints' Lives. Most are translated into English; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle XML Edition by Tony Jebson and translated at the Medieval and Classical Literature Library
Ildulb mac Causantín, anglicised as Indulf or Indulph, nicknamed An Ionsaighthigh, "the Aggressor" was king of Alba from 954. He was the son of Constantine II. John of Fordun and others supposed that Indulf had been king of Strathclyde in the reign of his predecessor, based on their understanding that the kingdom of Strathclyde had become a part of the kingdom of Alba in the 940s. This, however, is no longer accepted; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba says: "In his time oppidum Eden" identified as Edinburgh, "was evacuated, abandoned to the Scots until the present day." This has been read as indicating that some large part of it, fell to Indulf at this time. However, the conquest of Lothian is to have been a process rather than a single event, the frontier between the lands of the kings of Alba and Bernicia may have lain south and east of Edinburgh many years before Indulf's reign. Indulf's death is reported by the Chronicon Scotorum in 962, the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba adding that he was killed fighting Vikings near Cullen, at the Battle of Bauds.
The Prophecy of Berchán, claims that he died "in the house of the same holy apostle, where his father ", at the céli dé monastery of St Andrews. He was buried on Iona. Indulf was succeeded by son of his predecessor, his sons Cuilén and Amlaíb were kings. Eochaid, a third son, was killed with Cuilén by the men of Strathclyde in 971. Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History AD 500–1286, volume 1. Reprinted with corrections. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1990. ISBN 1-871615-03-8 Duncan, A. A. M; the Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8 Smyth, Alfred P. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1000. Reprinted, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1998. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7 Walker, Ian W. Lords of Alba: The Making of Scotland. Sutton, Stroud, 2006. ISBN 0-7509-3492-1 CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts at University College Cork includes the Annals of Ulster, the Four Masters and Innisfallen, the Chronicon Scotorum, the Lebor Bretnach and various Saints' Lives.
Most are translated into English. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba Indulf at Find a Grave