Malcolm IV of Scotland

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Malcolm IV (Mediaeval Gaelic: Máel Coluim mac Eanric; Modern Gaelic: Maol Chaluim mac Eanraig), nicknamed Virgo, "the Maiden" (between 23 April and 24 May 1141 – 9 December 1165), King of Scots, was the eldest son of Earl Henry (died 1152) and Ada de Warenne. The original Malcolm Canmore, a name now associated with his great-grandfather Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada), he succeeded his grandfather David I, and shared David's Anglo-Norman tastes.

Called Malcolm the Maiden by later chroniclers, a name which may incorrectly suggest weakness or effeminacy to modern readers, he was noted for his religious zeal and interest in knighthood and warfare. For much of his reign he was in poor health and died unmarried at the age of twenty-four.


Heir Apparent

Earl Henry, possibly seriously ill in the 1140s, died unexpectedly at Newcastle or Roxburgh on 12 June 1152, in a Northumbrian domain which David I and he attached to the Scots crown in the English weakness after the death of Henry I of England. Unlike the death of William Adelin in the White Ship, which had left Henry I without male heirs, Earl Henry had three sons. Thus, although his death damaged David's plans, and made disorder after his death more likely, it was not a disaster.[2]

Malcolm, the eldest of Earl Henry's sons though only eleven years old, was sent by his grandfather on a circuit of the kingdom, accompanied by Donnchad, Mormaer of Fife. Donnchad had been styled rector, perhaps indicating that he was to hold the regency for Malcolm on David's death. Donnchad and Malcolm were accompanied by a large army.[3] Donnchad did not outlive David for long, holding the regency for a year before his death in 1154.[citation needed]

Rivals and neighbours

Malcolm's grandfather died at Carlisle on 24 May 1153, and Malcolm was inaugurated as king on 27 May 1153 at Scone at age twelve.[4] The coronation took place before the old king was buried, which might appear hasty, but Malcolm was not without rivals for the kingship.

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