Part 2: MacBeth
MacBeth returned to rule for seven more years!
In 1052, when the
English king, Edward the Confessor, was expelling his Norman retainers,
two of them fled north to seek sanctuary at the court of MacBeth. Pious in
the way that Fulk Nerra was pious, more acquainted with the world beyond
the Tweed than any of his predecessors, MacBeth found himself assailed
from within and without.
Duncan's father Crinan, lay abbot of Dunkeld, attacked MacBeth from
within – resulting in Crinan's defeat and death in 1045 – and Siward of
Northumbria attacked him from without, momentarily defeating the king in
A temporary setback
MacBeth was perhaps only expelled from Lothian, which he soon
recovered. (MacBeth is mentioned prominently in the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle in its account of
Siward's invasion, to which the closely contemporary evidence of Florent
of Worcester can add no more than accounts of MacBeth's generosity and
hospitality, one of these confirmed by the Irish chronicler, Marianus
In July 1054 a second Northumbrian expedition again succeeded in
expelling MacBeth from part of his kingdom (again perhaps Lothian and
Strathclyde?), and set up Malcolm III, Duncan's elder son, as king. In
1057 MacBeth was defeated and killed at Lumphanon and a year later his
stepson, Lulach, whom some had rallied to was slain at Essie by Malcolm
MacBeth's success can be seen as a native, or Celtic, reaction against
the new southern ways, and it is significant of the prevailing distrust of
those ways that he was able to rule for such a lengthy and uninterrupted
period of time. He was generally acknowledged as a worthy ruler and his
reign was characterised by peace and tranquillity.
sources record the reign of MacBeth as a time of great abundance. The
Chronicle of Melrose states:
MacBeth became king of Scotland for seventeen years; and
in his reign there were fruitful seasons...
In addition, Wyntoun's Cronykil, drawing upon earlier sources,