Máel Coluim II, Earl of Fife
Máel Coluim II, was a 13th-century Mormaer of Fife who ruled the mormaerdom or earldom of Fife between 1228 and 1266. He was the nephew of Máel Coluim I, the previous mormaer, the son of Máel Coluim I's brother Donnchadh, son of Donnchadh II, he is one of the Scottish magnates whose name occurred as a guarantor in the Treaty of York on 25 September 1237. He participated in the famous inauguration of King Alexander III of Scotland at Scone on 13 July 1249, where the mormaers of Fife had a traditional senior role in the coronation, he played a role during the minority of Alexander III of Scotland, being appointed one of the guardians in the king on 20 September 1255. He appears to have had a close relationship with Henry III of England, both during the minority and after, in Scotland may have been allied with Alan Durward, he was fined in Northumberland on 24 April 1256, for not appearing before royal justices on the first day of their session, as ordered. He disappears from the records after the coup against the minority administration in 1256-57, but reappears a few years when he is recorded swearing an oath to Henry to promise to maintain the position of the young king and queen when the latter, Henry III's daughter Margaret, went to England in 1260.
Máel Coluim II died in 1266. He had married Elen ferch Llywelyn, who after Máel Coluim's death married the Mormaer of Mar, Domhnall, he had two sons. The elder was Colbán. Chieftaincy of Clann Meic Duibh went to another son, whose name however is unknown as he was only referred to by his title MacDuibh. Máel Coluim appears from records to have granted lands to this younger son, which were dispossessed by William Wishart, Bishop of St Andrews backed by King John de Balliol, against whom MacDuibh appealed to King Edward I of England. Bannerman, John, "MacDuff of Fife", in A. Grant & K. Stringer Medieval Scotland: Crown and Community, Essays Presented to G. W. S. Barrow, pp. 20–38 McDonald, Andrew, "Macduff family, earls of Fife", in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 8 Aug 2007 Paul, James Balfour, The Scots Peerage, Vol. IV
Malcolm II of Scotland
Malcolm II was King of the Scots from 1005 until his death. He was a son of King Kenneth II. To the Irish annals which recorded his death, Malcolm was High King of Scotland. In the same way that Brian Bóruma, High King of Ireland, was not the only king in Ireland, Malcolm was one of several kings within the geographical boundaries of modern Scotland: his fellow kings included the king of Strathclyde, who ruled much of the south-west, various Norse-Gael kings on the western coast and the Hebrides and and most dangerous rivals, the kings or Mormaers of Moray. To the south, in the Kingdom of England, the Earls of Bernicia and Northumbria, whose predecessors as kings of Northumbria had once ruled most of southern Scotland, still controlled large parts of the southeast. Malcolm II was born to Kenneth II of Scotland, he was grandson of Malcolm I of Scotland. In 997, the killer of Constantine is credited as being son of Malcolm. Since there is no known and relevant Kenneth alive at that time, it is considered an error for either Kenneth III, who succeeded Constantine, or Malcolm himself, the son of Kenneth II.
Whether Malcolm killed Constantine or not, there is no doubt that in 1005 he killed Constantine's successor Kenneth III in battle at Monzievaird in Strathearn. John of Fordun writes that Malcolm defeated a Norwegian army "in the first days after his coronation", but this is not reported elsewhere. Fordun says that the Bishopric of Mortlach was founded in thanks for this victory over the Norwegians. Malcolm demonstrated a rare ability to survive among early Scottish kings by reigning for twenty-nine years, he was a ambitious man. Brehon tradition provided that the successor to Malcolm was to be selected by him from among the descendants of King Aedh, with the consent of Malcolm's ministers and of the church. Ostensibly in an attempt to end the devastating feuds in the north of Scotland, but influenced by the Norman feudal model, Malcolm ignored tradition and determined to retain the succession within his own line, but since Malcolm had no son of his own, he undertook to negotiate a series of dynastic marriages of his three daughters to men who might otherwise be his rivals, while securing the loyalty of the principal chiefs, their relatives.
First he married his daughter Bethoc to Crinan, Thane of The Isles, head of the house of Atholl and secular Abbot of Dunkeld. His middle daughter, was married to Finlay, Earl of Moray, Thane of Ross and Cromarty and a descendant of Loarn of Dalriada; this was risky business under the rules of succession of the Gael, but he thereby secured his rear and, taking advantage of the renewal of Viking attacks on England, marched south to fight the English. He defeated the Angles at Carham in 1018 and installed his grandson, son of the Abbot of Dunkeld and his choice as Tanist, in Carlisle as King of Cumbria that same year; the first reliable report of Malcolm II's reign is of an invasion of Bernicia in 1006 the customary crech ríg, which involved a siege of Durham. This appears to have resulted in a heavy defeat by the Northumbrians, led by Uhtred of Bamburgh Earl of Bernicia, reported by the Annals of Ulster. A second war in Bernicia in 1018, was more successful; the Battle of Carham, by the River Tweed, was a victory for the Scots led by Malcolm II and the men of Strathclyde led by their king, Owen the Bald.
By this time Earl Uchtred may have been dead, Eiríkr Hákonarson was appointed Earl of Northumbria by his brother-in-law Cnut the Great, although his authority seems to have been limited to the south, the former kingdom of Deira, he took no action against the Scots so far as is known. The work De obsessione Dunelmi claims that Uchtred's brother Eadwulf Cudel surrendered Lothian to Malcolm II in the aftermath of the defeat at Carham; this is to have been the lands between Dunbar and the Tweed as other parts of Lothian had been under Scots control before this time. It has been suggested that Cnut received tribute from the Scots for Lothian, but as he had received none from the Bernician Earls this is not probable. Cnut, reports the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, led an army into Scotland on his return from pilgrimage to Rome; the Chronicle dates this to 1031, but there are reasons to suppose that it should be dated to 1027. Burgundian chronicler Rodulfus Glaber recounts the expedition soon afterwards, describing Malcolm as "powerful in resources and arms … Christian in faith and deed."
Ralph claims that peace was made between Malcolm and Cnut through the intervention of Richard, Duke of Normandy, brother of Cnut's wife Emma. Richard died in about 1027 and Rodulfus wrote close in time to the events, it has been suggested that the root of the quarrel between Cnut and Malcolm lies in Cnut's pilgrimage to Rome, the coronation of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II, where Cnut and Rudolph III, King of Burgundy had the place of honour. If Malcolm were present, the repeated mentions of his piety in the annals make it quite possible that he made a pilgrimage to Rome, as did Mac Bethad mac Findláich in times the coronation would have allowed Malcolm to publicly snub Cnut's claims to overlordship. Cnut obtained rather less than previous English kings, a promise of peace and friendship rather than the promise of aid on land and sea that Edgar and others had obtained; the sourc