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Malcolm III of Scotland

King Malcolm III of Scotland, (1031? - November 13, 1093) also known as Malcolm Canmore (Malcolm with the large head), was the eldest son of King Duncan I of Scotland.

In 1040 his father was killed in battle by his cousin Macbeth I of Scotland who became the new king. Malcolm found refuge in England under the protection of King Hardicanute of Denmark and England. In 1042 Hardicanute died and was succeeded to the throne of England by his cousin King Edward the Confessor. In 1053 Edward finally agreed to help Malcolm gain the throne of Scotland by offering him an army. Malcolm's invasion of Scotland started in the same year. Malcolm found support from the nobles of Southern Scotland. He managed to kill first Macbeth in 1057 and then his successor King Lulach I of Scotland in 1058. He then succeeded Lulach as king. He was crowned at Scone Abbey, Perthshire, on April 25, 1058.

He agreed on an alliance with England, sealed by his (second) marriage to Saint Margaret, Edgar Atheling's sister. Malcolm had several sons by Margaret - these became known as the Margaretsons. Margaret herself promoted the Romish (or Catholic) Church in Scotland throughout Malcolm's reign. At that time, Christianity did exist in Scotland in the form of the Celtic Church, but it took the form of converted sun-worship pagan rituals.

During his reign Scotland fell under the influence of England. The Lowlands of Scotland started speaking a Middle English dialect and adopting Anglo-Saxon habits. Malcolm unsuccessfully tried to stop this influence by having wars with the Norman kings of England after 1066. In 1072 he was forced to give on oath of subservience to William I of England.

His war against William II of England in 1093 only led to the loss of Scottish territory to England. Malcolm died on November of the same year in an ambush during a battle against William's army. His eldest Margaretson son, Edward, also died in that ambush. Malcolm was succeeded by his brother Donald III of Scotland.

Malcolm established the Dunkeld dynasty which ruled Scotland from 1058 until 1286. Four of his sons (Duncan II, Edgar, Alexander I, and David I) later became kings of Scotland, whilst a fifth (Edmund) ruled as co-ruler of Scotland with his uncle Donald III. His daughter Edith married Henry I of England in 1100. She became known as Matilda after her marriage.

Preceded by:
List of British monarchs Succeeded by:
Donald III