Malcolm IV

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Malcolm IV (c.1141–65), king of Scots (1153–65), later known as ‘the Maiden’. Grandson and successor of David I, his uncontested enthronement in 1153 at the age of 12 reflects the contemporary strength and prestige of the Scottish monarchy. He and his advisers continued to implement David I's Normanizing policies, despite mounting native opposition led by Fergus of Galloway and Somerled of Argyll. Whether interpreted as a conservative Celtic reaction against modernization or viewed merely as hostility to the spread of royal power, this resistance had been contained by 1164— a fact of crucial importance for Scotland's future development. In other respects, Malcolm was less successful. After the crisis of Stephen's reign, Henry II swiftly restored English royal might, and at Chester in 1157 Malcolm had to surrender the northern English counties in return for the earldom of Huntingdon. Another indication that the balance of power had shifted back in England's favour was his presence on Henry's expedition to Toulouse in 1159, when Henry knighted him. The epithet ‘the Maiden’ was first applied in the 15th cent., in recognition of Malcolm's well-attested reputation for chastity.

Keith J. Stringer

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