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Scottish Kings and Queens - Alpin to Malcolm II

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 line.

The Merger of the Pictish and Celtic Thrones

843- 60 Kenneth I
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.

863-77 Constantine I
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.

877-78 Aedh
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.

878-89 Eochaid and Giric
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 II - “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 II
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

950-62 Indulf
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.

962-67 Dubh, possibly Duff
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.

967-71 Colin or Cuilean
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.

971-71 Eochaid II (Kromneus, or “Crook Nose”)
BROTHER of Colin who briefly occupied the throne before he himself was murdered.

971-95 Kenneth II
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 III
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.

997-1005 Kenneth III
THE son of Dubh and a grandson of Malcolm I acquired the throne, but was killed himself at Monzievaird by the future Malcolm II.

1005-34 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.


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