List of rulers of Scotland

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The list of rulers of Scotland includes the sovereign heads of state of the Kingdom of Scotland (Alba) from its unification in the 9th century to 1707 when the Act of Union made it part of the Kingdom of Great Britain .

The King of the Scots from Dalriada (Dál Riata) , Kenneth MacAlpin , is traditionally at the top of the list of kings in Scotland. Through his coronation as King of the Picts in Scone around 843, he united their kingdom with that of the Gaelic Scots and thus founded the Kingdom of the Scots (Gaelic: Alba). The succession to the throne under the House of Alpin corresponded to the traditional royal election ( Tanistry ) of the Scots , which was replaced under the House of Dunkeld by the primogeniture .

Since the late 11th century, the Scottish kings were in a vassal relationship to the southern Kingdom of England . At the end of the 13th century, this led to the country being almost annexed by England, which, however, was averted by the victory of the Scots in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. In 1603, the Scottish royal family was able to ascend the English throne instead, establishing a personal union between the two countries and the Kingdom of Ireland that lasted more than a hundred years . This was finally replaced in 1707 by a Realunion under the name Kingdom of Great Britain .

List of the Kings of Scotland

House Alpin

image Name
Old Gaelic
New Gaelic
(life dates)
Reign relationship Remarks
History-kenneth.jpg Kenneth I.
Cináed mac Alpín
Coinneach mac Ailpein
(* around 810; † 858)
841-859 Son of King Alpin II. King of the Scots by Dál Riata . Was 843 in Scone for king of the united Picts and Scots crowned and founded the Kingdom of Alba .
Donald I.
Domnall mac Alpín
Dòmhnall mac Ailpein
(* 812; † 862)
859-862 Brother of the predecessor
Constantine I.
Causantín mac Cináed
Còiseam mac Coinneach
(* 836; † 877)
862-877 Son of Kenneth I.
Aedh Weißfuß
Áed mac Cináed
Aodh mac Coinneach
(† 878)
877-878 Brother of the predecessor
Eochaid mac Run
Eochaid mac Run
(† after 889)
878-889 Kenneth I.'s maternal grandson King of Strathclyde. Ruled in Alba with Giric.
Giric mac Dúngail
Griogair mac Dhunghail
(† after 889)
878-889 maybe son of Donald I. Ruled with Eochaid
Donald II.
Domnall mac Causantín
Dòmhnall mac Chòiseam
(† 900)
889-900 Son of Constantine I.
Constantine II.
Causantín mac Áeda
Còiseam mac Aoidh
(* around 875; † 952)
900-943 Son of Aedh
Malcolm I.
Máel Coluim mac Domnaill
Maol Chaluim mac Dhòmhnaill
(† 954)
943-954 Son of Donald II.
Ildulb mac Causantín
(† 962)
954-962 Son of Constantine II. Recaptured Edinburgh from the Anglo-Saxons
Dub mac Maíl Choluim
Dubh mac Mhaoil ​​Chaluim
(† 967)
962-967 Son of Malcolm I. King of Strathclyde
Cuilén mac Ilduilb
(† 971)
967-971 Son of Indulf
Kenneth II.
Cináed mac Maíl Choluim
Coinneach mac Mhaoil ​​Chaluim
(† 995)
971-995 Son of Malcolm I.
Constantine III
Causantín mac Cuilén
Còiseam mac Chailein
(† 997)
995-997 Son of Culen
Kenneth III.
Cináed mac Duib
Coinneach mac Dhuibh
(† 1005)
997-1005 Son of Dubh
Malcolm II.
Máel Coluim mac Cináeda
Maol Chaluim mac Choinnich
(† 1034)
1005-1034 Son of Kenneth II. Abolished the tanistry system

House Dunkeld

image Name
Old Gaelic
New Gaelic
(life dates)
Reign relationship Remarks
Duncan I.
Donnachad mac Crínáin
Donnchadh mac Crìonain
(* 1001; † 1040)
1034-1040 Maternal grandson of Malcolm II. Son of the Abbot of Dunkeld . Killed fighting Macbeth.
Mac Bethad mac Findláich
MacBheatha mac Fhionnlaigh
(* 1005; † 1057)
1040-1057 Maternal grandson of Malcolm II. Son of Findláech, Mormaer from Morey. Fell fighting Malcolm, son of Duncan.
Lulach mac Gille Comgaín
Lughlach mac Gille Chomghain
(* around 1029; † 1058)
1057-1058 Great-grandson of Kenneth III. and stepson of Macbeth Son of Gilla Coemgáin, Mormaer of Moray. Fell fighting Malcolm.
Malcolm III and Queen Margaret from the Seton Armorial, 1591.jpg Malcolm III Canmore
Máel Coluim mac Donnchada
Maol Chaluim mac Dhonnchaidh
(† 1093)
1058-1093 Son of Duncan I. Fought for the throne of the Scots from England. Turned against the Norman invaders on Britain from 1066, but was repeatedly forced to submit.
Donald III
Domnall mac Donnchada
Dòmhnall mac Dhonnchaidh
(* 1033; † 1099)
1093-1094 Brother of the predecessor
Duncan2.jpg Duncan
II.Donnchad mac Maìl Choluim
Donnchadh mac Mhaoil ​​Chaluim
(* 1060; † 1094)
1094 Son of Malcolm III. Revolted against his uncle with English help and briefly took power. Was killed fighting his uncle.
Donald III
Domnall mac Donnchada
Dòmhnall mac Dhonnchaidh
(* 1033; † 1099)
Edgar of Scotland.jpg Edgar
Étgar mac Maìl Choluim
Eagar mac Mhaoil ​​Chaluim
(* 1074; † 1107)
1097-1107 Son of Malcolm III.
Alexandr1.jpg Alexander I.
Alaxandair mac Maìl Choluim
Alasdair mac Mhaoil ​​Chaluim
(* 1078; † 1124)
1107-1124 Brother of the predecessor
DavidIofScotland.jpg David I.
Dabíd mac Maìl Choluim
Dàibhidh mac Mhaoil ​​Chaluim
(* 1080; † 1153)
1124-1153 Brother of the predecessor Supported Matilda's side against Stephan in the English Civil War (the Anarchy) and defeated in 1138 in the standard battle . Promoted the settlement of Anglo-Norman and Bretons in the Lowlands (including the Bruce and Steward families).
Malcolm iv.jpg Malcolm IV.
Máel Coluim mac Eanric
Maol Chaluim mac Eanraig
(* 1142; † 1165)
1153-1165 Grandson of the predecessor
Vilém Lev.jpg Wilhelm I the lion
Uilliam mac Eanric
Uilleam mac Eanraig
(* 1143; † 1214)
1165-1214 Brother of the predecessor
Alexander II (Alba) i.JPG Alexander II.
Alaxandair mac Uilliam
Alasdair mac Uilleim
(* 1198; † 1249)
1214-1249 Son of the predecessor
Alasdair III.jpg Alexander III
Alaxandair mac Alaxandair
Alasdair mac Alasdair
(* 1241; † 1286)
1249-1286 Son of the predecessor
Margaret, Maid of Norway imaginary.jpg Margarete
(* 1283; † 1290)
1286-1290 Granddaughter of the predecessor (on maternal side), daughter of King Erik II of Norway. The “Maid of Norway” died during her crossing from Norway to Scotland.

Interregnum and struggle for independence

With the extinction of the House of Dunkeld, there was a vacancy in the succession to the Scottish throne, as several pretenders made a claim to the crown. King Edward I of England , who was called on as arbitrator, decided in 1292, following the principle of primogeniture, for the pretender of the Balliol family as the oldest relative of the old royal family.

image Name
Old Gaelic
New Gaelic
(life dates)
Reign relationship Remarks
John Balliol.jpg John Balliol
(† 1313)
1292-1296 Great-great-great-grandson of David I. Founded the Auld Alliance directed against England with France .

After King John had not proven to be the reliable vassal for King Edward I, the latter ordered the deposition of the King of Scotland. After the English victory in the Battle of Dunbar , John surrendered and abdicated. Scotland was then placed under direct English administration, which provoked the Scots' independence struggle .

Bruce House

image Name
Old Gaelic
New Gaelic
(life dates)
Reign relationship Remarks
Stirling Castle 20080505 Robert the Bruce.jpg Robert I. the Bruce
Roibert a Briuis
Raibeart Bruis
(* 1274; † 1329)
1306-1329 Great-great-great-great-grandchildren of David I. Was crowned king in 1306. Defeated the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and decided the War of Independence.
Daibhidh.jpg David II.
Daibhidh a Briuis
Dàibhidh Bruis
(* 1324; † 1371)
1329-1333 Son of the predecessor In 1332 Eduard Balliol was crowned the opposing king against him. Had to flee to France after the defeat at Halidon Hill (1333) .
Eduard Balliol
(* 1283; † 1367)
1332-1336 Son of Johann Balliol Was able to ascend the Scottish throne with English support after the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333. Was expelled in 1338, but fought for the throne from England for a few years until he finally renounced it in 1356.
Daibhidh.jpg David II.
Daibhidh a Briuis
Dàibhidh Bruis
(* 1324; † 1371)
1336-1371 Returned from exile in 1341 and was again recognized as a legitimate king. Supported France in the Hundred Years War against England. After the defeat of Neville's Cross (1346) fell into English captivity, from which he was released in 1357.

Stewart / Stuart house

image Name
Old Gaelic
New Gaelic
(life dates)
Reign relationship Remarks
Robert2 of Scotland.jpg Robert II.
Robert Stewart
(* 1316; † 1390)
1371-1390 Maternal grandson of Robert I.
Robert3 of Scotland.jpg Robert III
(* 1337; † 1406)
1390-1406 Son of the predecessor
King James I of Scotland.jpg Jacob I
(* 1394; † 1437)
1406-1437 Son of the predecessor Renewed the Auld Alliance with France. Was murdered by relatives.
James II of Scotland.jpg Jacob II
(* 1430; † 1460)
1437-1460 Son of the predecessor
James III of Scotland.jpg Jacob III
(* 1451; † 1488)
1460-1488 Son of the predecessor
James IV of Scotland.jpg Jacob IV
(* 1473; † 1513)
1488-1513 Son of the predecessor
James V of Scotland2.jpg Jacob V
(* 1512; † 1542)
1513-1542 Son of the predecessor
MaryStuartbyClouet.jpg Maria I.
Mary Stuart
(* 1542; † 1587)
1542-1567 Daughter of the predecessor Widowed Queen of France. Forced to abdicate in favor of her son. Fled to England, where she was arrested. Executed after participating in a conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth I.
Heinrich Stuart
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (* 1545; † 1567)
1565-1567 Husband of Maria and also a Stuart on his father's side Proclaimed King of Scots after his wedding, but not crowned. Murdered by political intrigue in unknown circumstances.
JamesIEngland.jpg Jacob VI
(* 1566- † 1625)
1567-1625 Son of the predecessor Crowned king after his mother was deposed. As heir to the Tudor, he also ascended the English throne as James I in 1603, thus establishing the Anglo-Scottish personal union. Under his rule, the first English settlement in North America was established ( Jamestown ). Was in conflict with parliament.
Charles I by Daniel Mytens.jpg Charles I
(* 1600; † 1649)
1625-1649 Son of the predecessor King of England too. Ruled eleven years without parliament. The conflict with the Puritan- dominated House of Commons led to civil war . His supporters were beaten by the parliamentary army under Oliver Cromwell , he himself convicted of high treason and beheaded. Then England became a republic.
Charles II 1680 by Thomas Hawker.jpeg Charles II
(* 1630; † 1685)
1649-1651 Son of the predecessor Was crowned King of Scotland in 1651 but had to flee to France after the defeat of Worcester by Oliver Cromwell.

Scotland in the Commonwealth of England

image Name
Old Gaelic
New Gaelic
(life dates)
Reign relationship Remarks
Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper.jpg Oliver Cromwell
(* 1599; † 1658)
1651-1658 As lord protector de facto ruler of republican England. Subjugated Scotland and Ireland to English rule and emerged victorious from the first Anglo-Dutch War .
RichardCromwell.jpeg Richard Cromwell
(* 1626; † 1712)
1658-1659 Son of the predecessor Gave up the office of Lord Protector. The ensuing anarchy made the restoration of the Stuart kingdom possible.

House of Stuart

image Name
Old Gaelic
New Gaelic
(life dates)
Reign relationship Remarks
Charles II 1680 by Thomas Hawker.jpeg Charles II
(* 1630; † 1685)
1660-1685 The anarchy that followed Richard Cromwell's resignation from office was ended in 1660 with the restoration of parliament and monarchy. The conflict between the king and parliament continued to smolder during Charles's reign. Was defeated in the second Anglo-Dutch War , but was able to win the colony of Nieuw Amsterdam (later New York ).
King James II by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg Jacob VII
(* 1633; † 1701)
1685-1688 Brother of the predecessor As James II also King of England. His Catholic creed and absolutist style of rule ultimately led to his dismissal in the Glorious Revolution .
William III of England.jpg 1662 Mary II.jpg Wilhelm II.
Wilhelm of Orange
(* November 14, 1650 - † March 19, 1702)


Maria II.
(* 1662; † 1694)
1689-1702 Nephew and son-in-law of his predecessor Elevated to the throne of Scotland, England and Ireland by the Glorious Revolution, they recognized the freedoms customary in England in the Bill of Rights , with which the state took on a constitutional form. William asserted himself against Jacobite uprisings in Scotland and Ireland ( Battle of the Boyne , 1690). After the death of Mary he continued to rule alone. In the Act of Settlement 1701, Catholics were excluded from the line of succession. Formed the great alliance against France with Habsburg .
1689-1694 Daughter of Jacob VII
Dahl, Michael - Queen Anne - NPG6187.jpg Anne
(* 1665; † 1714)
1702-1707 Daughter of Jacob VII Last Queen of Stuart. Under her reign, England stood in the War of the Spanish Succession against France. Became the first Queen of Great Britain in 1707.
By the Act of Union on May 1, 1707, the personal union between Scotland and England, which had existed for a century, was dissolved and replaced by a real union . The Kingdom of Great Britain , to which Scotland has belonged since then, was established, which remained united with Ireland in personal union.

See also

Web links

Commons : Rulers of Scotland  - collection of images, videos and audio files