House of Alpin
833-c. 40 Alpin
King of Dál Riata (Dalriada) - ALPIN is the first tribal leader on
record to be styled King of Dál Riata, which then comprised Kintyre
with a few territories on mainland Northern Ireland. From the evidence
that exists, he appears to have died in a battle against the Picts in
Galloway. However, the same legend has it that he had married a Pict
princess and this allowed his son Kenneth to unite the two kingdoms
through the Celtic tradition of inheritance through the female
The Merger of
the Pictish and Celtic Thrones
843- 60 Kenneth
IT was this Kenneth who formally united the Kingdom of Dál Riata with
that of the Picts, allegedly by killing his rival the Pict King Drust,
nephew of Ōengus II. In the event, he ruled for only for a further
three years and was buried on the Isle of Iona.
660-63 Donald I
DONALD succeeded his brother Kenneth as King of Picts and Scots under
the rules of Tanistry, which inevitably caused jealousies among members
of his own family. His reign was brief and only lasted for three years.
THE eldest son of Kenneth I, Constantine succeeded his uncle. As with
his predecessors, much of his reign was preoccupied with defending
Scotland against the Vikings who invaded in force under the warlord
Olaf the White in 870. Olaf attacked Dumbarton, the Capital of the
Strathclyde Britons. Although the castle was forced to surrender,
Artgal, King of the Britons, managed to escape. He was later
assassinated by Aedh, on the instructions of Constantine who determined
to acquire Strathclyde for himself. Soon afterwards, Constantine
himself was killed and beheaded in another battle against the Vikings
at Inverdorat, in Angus. He was buried on the Isle of Iona.
BROTHER of Constantine, Aedh was known as “Swift Foot” but, with his
nephew Eochaidh plotting against him, his reign lasted barely one year.
He was killed by his cousin Giric at Strathallan.
EOCHAID was Kenneth I's grandson, the son of Run, King of Strathclyde,
and grandson of Artgal, King of the Britons, who had been murdered by
Aedh. He ruled jointly with his cousin Giric, who probably was acting
as Regent. Giric was certainly a powerful administrator, adding the
Cumbrian district to Strathclyde and freeing Galloway from the Angles.
Giric was killed in a battle at Dundern in Perthshire, and it is
thought that after this Eochaid was sent into exile.
889 -900 Donald
- “The Madman”
IN the Chronicles of the Kings of Alba, Donald, eldest son of
Constantine I, appears to have passed the reign of his father's
murderers in Ireland where his aunt was the wife of two Irish High
Kings. At this stage, the old Kingdom of Dalriada was increasingly
being merged with its acquired territories and being referred to as
Alba. While this was going on, however, the King of Norway, Harold
Fairhair, was busy consolidating his hold over the Shetlands, Orkney,
Hebrides and Caithness. After only one year on the throne, Donald died
in battle at Dunottar, but implications from surviving texts suggest
that it was at the hands of Gaels, not Vikings.
900 -42 Constantine
SON of Aedh, who led invasions into England which provoked fierce
retaliation from the Northumbrian King Athelstane, he was eventually
defeated at Brunanburgh and abdicated to become a monk in St Andrews.
942-50 Malcolm I
SON of Donald II, he succeeded his uncle Constantine II. Forging an
alliance with Edmund of Wessex, he appears to have acquired the region
of Strathclyde, and, after Edmund's murder, raided
Northumbria. Acclaimed as a law-bringer who sought to rid the
north of Viking colonisation, he was nevertheless killed in a battle
with the Men of Moray at Kincardine
INDULF was the son of Constantine II, and the Kingdom of Scots during
his reign was extended south to encompass Edinburgh and some of the
Lothians. He was allegedly killed by Norse invaders at Cullen, although
another account has his death taking place at St Andrews.
DUBH succeeded to the throne on the death of Indulf. He appears to have
been unpopular from the start and was eventually murdered at Forres by
followers of his cousin Colin, who succeeded him.
SON of King Indulf, Colin was assassinated by Riderch, a ruler of
Strathclyde, allegedly in vengeance for murdering his brother and the
rape of his daughter.
(Kromneus, or “Crook Nose”)
BROTHER of Colin who briefly occupied the throne before he himself was
A brother of Dubh, and cousin of Colin and Eochaid II, who paid tribute
to Edgar of England as his Overlord, thereby creating the precedent for
generations to follow. He was killed near Fettercairn in
Kincardineshire, allegedly betrayed to his enemies by Fenella, daughter
of the Mormaer of Angus and wife of the Mormaer of the Mearns.
995- 97 Constantine
SON of Colin (Cuilean), Constantine, said to be the last of the line of
Aedh, succeeded Kenneth II and was killed in battle eighteen months
later, possibly by his successor.
THE son of Dubh and a grandson of Malcolm I acquired the throne, but
was killed himself at Monzievaird by the future Malcolm II.
SON of Kenneth II, whose succession was challenged by various rivals
following his father's death. He consolidated his position in 1005, and
the following year laid siege to the Northmbrian-held town of Durham.
His victory in 1018 at Carham secured him control over Lothian.