Duncan II of Scotland

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Donnchad mac Maíl Coluim (Modern Gaelic: Donnchadh mac Mhaoil Chaluim;[1] anglicised as Duncan II; before c. 1060 – 12 November 1094) was king of Scots. He was son of Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) and his first wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, widow of Thorfinn Sigurdsson.


Early life

Duncan was given into the keeping of William I of England in 1072 as a hostage, and spent many years at court, where he was exposed to the newly arrived Norman culture. His father, who had many sons, appears to have made no effort to obtain Duncan's return. By the reign of William II, Duncan was probably a member of the Norman court rather than a hostage, and he was knighted by the English King.

His father's chosen successor was Duncan's half-brother Edward, who died in the same combat during the invasion of Northumbria in 1093 as did Malcolm III. Malcolm was succeeded by his brother Donalbane (Domnall Bán mac Donnchada), who reigned as Donald III, and Malcolm's other sons joined their half-brother Duncan in England.


Duncan received William II's tacit support for the Scottish kingship, but the English king did not extend direct support, as he planned a campaign in Normandy. It is probably in the period 1093–1094 that Duncan married Uchtreda of Northumbria, daughter of Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar and Northumbria, although an earlier betrothal has been proposed. Accompanied by his Anglo-Norman followers, and perhaps by the elder of his half-brothers, Duncan easily defeated Donalbane in the early summer of 1094, but appears to have had little support north of the Forth, being reliant on his Northumbrian, English and Norman allies.


A revolt later in 1094 was directed against Duncan's followers rather than the new king, but many of the Normans were killed and the rest sent away in order to settle the revolt. Donalbane's supporters appear to have rallied again, and Duncan was murdered late in 1094 by Máel Petair, Mormaer of Mearns. He was buried at Dunfermline Abbey.


His son by Uchtreda, William fitz Duncan, was a prominent figure during the reigns of Duncan's half-brothers Alexander and David.

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