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Malcolm II

Malcolm II (d. 1034), king of ‘Scotland’ (1005–34). Son of Kenneth II, Malcolm was known to later generations as ‘the most victorious’, and at his death was described by an Irish chronicler as ‘the honour of all the west of Europe’. His career was not always so, however. He became king in 1005 by killing his first cousin Kenneth III at Monzievaird (west of Perth), and in the following year invaded northern England as far as Durham, but was thoroughly defeated. Despite this reverse he successfully re-established control over Lothian by a famous victory at Carham (west of Berwick) in 1018 which proved decisive in bringing Northumbria as far south as the Tweed under the rule of the king of Scots. He apparently controlled the kingdom of Strathclyde after the death of its king in 1018, and possibly appointed his grandson Duncan (I) to rule over it. He could not escape the power of Cnut, however, and submitted to him in 1031/2. His last year saw more dynastic violence, killing another cousin in 1033, before himself dying in old age (perhaps assassinated). He was the last direct male descendant of Kenneth I to hold the kingship.

Dauvit Broun

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