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Information about reign: King Malcolm III

CountryScotland
From17 March 1058
To13 November 1093
Personal InformationKing Malcolm III of Scotland (1031 - 1093)
Description

Malcolm (Gaelic: Máel Coluim) was King of Scots from 1058 to 1093. He was later nicknamed Canmore (ceann mòr) in Scottish Gaelic, "Great Chief". (Ceann = leader, "head" [of state]. Mòr = pre-eminent, great, "big") Malcolm's long reign, lasting 35 years, preceded the beginning of the Scoto-Norman age. He is the historical equivalent of the character of the same name in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

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 did not advance much beyond the limits set by Malcolm II 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. 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, 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.

Malcolm's second wife, Margaret of Wessex, was eventually canonized and is Scotland's only royal saint. 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.