Kenneth II

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Kenneth II (d. 995), king of ‘Scotland’ (971–95). His father was Malcolm I and his brother King Dub. He succeeded Cuilén to the kingship, but faced competition from Cuilén's brother Olaf, whom he killed in 977. His reign was untypically long and, like his father's, characterized by aggression beyond the kingdom's borders. He repeatedly raided northern England and attacked the Britons of Strathclyde, who defeated him at ‘Moin Uacornar’ (unidentified). His rule over Lothian was recognized c.975 by Edgar, king of England. It is likely, however, that Lothian was lost to the earls of Northumbria in the last year of his reign. He met his end at Fettercairn (30 miles south of Aberdeen), assassinated by the daughter of the earl of Angus in revenge for killing her only son. It is possible that his wife was a daughter of one of the Uí Dúnlainge kings of Leinster. He founded (or refounded) a monastery at Brechin, probably the community of céli Dé (‘clients of God’) attested in later record. In some accounts Kenneth is included among the British kings who submitted to King Edgar at Chester in 973, but this is not corroborated by other sources which are more contemporary.

Dauvit Broun

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Kenneth II

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