Malcolm III of Scotland

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Máel Coluim mac Donnchada (Modern Gaelic: Maol Chaluim mac Dhonnchaidh,[1] called in most Anglicised regnal lists Malcolm III, and in later centuries nicknamed Canmore, "Big Head"[2][3] or Long-neck [4]; died 13 November 1093), was King of Scots. It has also been argued recently that the real "Malcolm Canmore" was this Malcolm's great-grandson Malcolm IV, who is given this name in the contemporary notice of his death.[5] He was the eldest son of King Duncan I (Donnchad mac Crínáin). Malcolm's long reign, lasting 35 years, preceded the beginning of the Scoto-Norman age.

Malcolm's Kingdom did not extend over the full territory of modern Scotland: the north and west of Scotland remained in Scandinavian, Norse-Gael and Gaelic control, and the areas under the control of the Kings of Scots would not advance much beyond the limits set by Malcolm II (Máel Coluim mac Cináeda) until the 12th century. Malcolm III fought a succession of wars against the Kingdom of England, which may have had as their goal the conquest of the English earldom of Northumbria. However, these wars did not result in any significant advances southwards. Malcolm's main achievement is to have continued a line which would rule Scotland for many years,[6] although his role as "founder of a dynasty" has more to do with the propaganda of his youngest son David, and his descendants, than with any historical reality.[7]

Malcolm's second wife, Saint Margaret of Scotland, was later beatified and is Scotland's only royal saint. However, Malcolm himself gained no reputation for piety. With the notable exception of Dunfermline Abbey he is not definitely associated with major religious establishments or ecclesiastical reforms.


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