Duncan I.

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17th century painting of King Duncan I - However, there is no evidence whatsoever to the authenticity of the depiction

Duncan I (Anglicized form; in modern Gaelic Donnchad mac Crínáin; ) (* 1001 ; † 14 August 1040 ) was King of Scotland from 1034 to 1040 and from 1018 to 1040 King of Strathclyde .

He was the eldest son of Crínán, the lay abbot of Dunkeld , and of Princess Bethóc, daughter of Máel Coluim mac Cináeda ( Malcolm II ), and succeeded his maternal grandfather to the throne in 1034, after having ruled Strathclyde for 16 years. Since Malcolm had abolished the Tanistry system, Duncan was able to convert the Scottish monarchy into an hereditary kingship.

His nickname was "the benevolent", which was not always meant as a compliment. His ruthless manner of governance made him unpopular with both the people and the nobility. His rule was marked by the conflict with his cousin Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findláich), who thanks to William Shakespeare has become part of world literature. The exact circumstances of the conflict are not known. All that is known is that Duncan was killed by Macbeth in the battle near Elgin .

Duncan was married to a princess of Northumberland who had four sons. Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) and Donald III. (Domnall Bán) later also became Kings of Scotland. A possible third son (not confirmed) was Máel Muire, Earl of Atholl , whose grandson Harald Maddadson was to rule Orkney .

In an early version of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, his wife's name is given as Suthen, so it can be speculated whether it might have been the Gaelic name for Sybil, sister of Sigurd of Northumberland. Its origin is often traced back to Styrbjörn the Strong and Tyra Haraldsdotter . The basis for this is very poor, however, as the assumption is based solely on the fact that Sigurd is said to have been a son of the Viking Björn. Due to the frequency of the name at that time, other Jarls with the name Björn would also be considered.

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predecessor Office successor
Malcolm II King of Scotland
Eogan II King of Strathclyde
Máel Coluim II.