August 19, 2022

Scottish Towns-Cities. (Glasgow.)

Glasgow (/ˈɡlæzɡoʊ/, also UK: /ˈɡlɑːzɡoʊ, ˈɡlɑːsɡoʊ/,  US: /ˈɡlæsɡoʊ, ˈɡlæskoʊ/ Scots: Glesga [ˈɡlezɡə]; Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu [ˈkl̪ˠas̪əxu]) is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth most visited city in the UK.

Inhabitants of the city are referred to as “Glaswegians” or, informally, as “Weegies”. Glasgow is also known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.

Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland and tenth-largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From the eighteenth century onwards, the city also grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded rapidly to become one of the world’s pre-eminent centres of chemicals, textiles and engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels. Glasgow was the “Second City of the British Empire” for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow’s population grew rapidly, reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938.  Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s resulted in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns, such as Cumbernauld, Livingston, East Kilbride and peripheral suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes. This process reduced the population of the City of Glasgow council area to an estimated 615,070, with 1,209,143 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area.  The wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland’s population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2.

Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018; and is also well known in the sporting world for football (particularly the Old Firm rivalry between Celtic and Rangers), rugby, athletics, tennis, golf and swimming.

Today, Glasgow has a diverse architectural scene, one of the key factors leading visitors to the city. From the city centre sprawling with grand Victorian buildings, to the many glass and metal edifices in the International Financial Services District to the serpentine terraces of blonde and red sandstone in the fashionable west end and the imposing mansions which make up Pollokshields, on the south side. The banks of the River Clyde are also dotted with a plethora of futuristic-looking buildings which include Riverside Museum, Glasgow Science Centre, the SSE Hydro and the SEC Armadillo.


The origin of the name ‘Glasgow’ is disputed.  The name is most likely Cumbric,  with a first element being glas, meaning “grey-green, grey-blue”, and the second *cöü, “hollow” (c.f. Welsh glas-cau),  giving a meaning of “green-hollow” or “(dear) green place”. The settlement probably had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures; the modern name appears for the first time in the Gaelic period (1116), as Glasgu. It is also recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern (also known as Saint Mungo), and procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years, Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn where Glasgow Cathedral now stands, and making many converts. A large community developed around him and became known as Glasgu (often glossed as “the dear Green” or “dear green place”).


Origins and development.

The area around Glasgow has hosted communities for millennia, with the River Clyde providing a natural location for fishing. The Romans later built outposts in the area and, to keep Roman Britannia separate from the Celtic and Pictish Caledonia, constructed the Antonine Wall. Items from the wall, such as altars from Roman forts like Balmuildy, can be found at the Hunterian Museum today.

Glasgow itself was reputed to have been founded by the Christian missionary Saint Mungo in the 6th century. He established a church on the Molendinar Burn, where the present Glasgow Cathedral stands, and in the following years, Glasgow became a religious centre. Glasgow grew over the following centuries. The Glasgow Fair reportedly began in the year 1190.  The first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross. The founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to become the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1492 increased the town’s religious and educational status and landed wealth. Its early trade was in agriculture, brewing and fishing, with cured salmon and herring being exported to Europe and the Mediterranean.

Following the European Protestant Reformation and with the encouragement of the Convention of Royal Burghs, the 14 incorporated trade crafts federated as the Trades House in 1605 to match the power and influence in the town council of the earlier Merchants’ Guilds who established their Merchants House in the same year. Glasgow was subsequently raised to the status of Royal Burgh in 1611. Glasgow’s substantial fortunes came from international trade, manufacturing and invention, starting in the 17th century with sugar, followed by tobacco, and then cotton and linen, products of the Atlantic triangular slave trade.

Daniel Defoe visited the city in the early 18th century and famously opined in his book A tour thro’ the whole island of Great Britain, that Glasgow was “the cleanest and beautifullest, and best-built city in Britain, London excepted”. At that time the city’s population was about 12,000, and the city was yet to undergo the massive expansionary changes to its economy and urban fabric, brought about by the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

Trading port.

After the Acts of Union in 1707, Scotland gained further access to the vast markets of the new British Empire, and Glasgow became prominent as a hub of international trade to and from the Americas, especially in sugar, tobacco, cotton, and manufactured goods. The city’s Tobacco Lords created a deep water port at Port Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde, as the river within the city itself was then too shallow.  By the late 18th century more than half of the British tobacco trade was concentrated on Glasgow’s River Clyde, with over 47,000,000 lb (21,000 t) of tobacco being imported each year at its peak. At the time, Glasgow held a commercial importance as the city participated in the trade of sugar, tobacco and later cotton.


Shipping on the Clyde, Atkinson Grimshaw, 1881

The opening of the Monkland Canal and basin linking to the Forth and Clyde Canal at Port Dundas in 1795, facilitated access to the extensive iron-ore and coal mines in Lanarkshire. After extensive river engineering projects to dredge and deepen the River Clyde as far as Glasgow, shipbuilding became a major industry on the upper stretches of the river, pioneered by industrialists such as Robert Napier, John Elder, George Thomson, Sir William Pearce and Sir Alfred Yarrow.

The River Clyde also became an important source of inspiration for artists, such as John Atkinson Grimshaw, John Knox, James Kay, Sir Muirhead Bone, Robert Eadie, Stanley Spencer and L.S. Lowry, willing to depict the new industrial era and the modern world.

The University of Glasgow in the 1890s

Glasgow Bridge in the 1890s

Glasgow’s population had surpassed that of Edinburgh by 1821. The development of civic institutions included the City of Glasgow Police in 1800, one of the first municipal police forces in the world. Despite the crisis caused by the City of Glasgow Bank’s collapse in 1878, growth continued and by the end of the 19th century, it was one of the cities known as the “Second City of the Empire” and was producing more than half Britain’s tonnage of shipping and a quarter of all locomotives in the world.  In addition to its pre-eminence in shipbuilding, engineering, industrial machinery, bridge building, chemicals, explosives, coal and oil industries it developed as a major centre in textiles, garment-making, carpet manufacturing, leather processing, furniture-making, pottery, food, drink and cigarette making; printing and publishing. Shipping, banking, insurance and professional services expanded at the same time.

Glasgow became one of the first cities in Europe to reach a population of one million. The city’s new trades and sciences attracted new residents from across the Lowlands and the Highlands of Scotland, from Ireland and other parts of Britain and from Continental Europe.

During this period, the construction of many of the city’s greatest architectural masterpieces and most ambitious civil engineering projects, such as the Milngavie water treatment works, Glasgow Subway, Glasgow Corporation Tramways, City Chambers, Mitchell Library and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum were being funded by its wealth. The city also held a series of International Exhibitions at Kelvingrove Park, in 1888, 1901 and 1911, with Britain’s last major International Exhibition, the Empire Exhibition, being subsequently held in 1938 at Bellahouston Park, which drew 13 million visitors.

George Square in 1966

The 20th century witnessed both decline and renewal in the city. After World War I, the city suffered from the impact of the Post–World War I recession and from the later Great Depression, this also led to a rise of radical socialism and the “Red Clydeside” movement. The city had recovered by the outbreak of World War II. The city saw aerial bombardment by the Luftwaffe, during the Clydebank Blitz, during the war, then grew through the post-war boom that lasted through the 1950s. By the 1960s, growth of the industry in countries like Japan and West Germany weakened the once pre-eminent position of many of the city’s industries.

As a result of this, Glasgow entered a lengthy period of relative economic decline and rapid de-industrialisation, leading to high unemployment, urban decay, population decline, welfare dependency and poor health for the city’s inhabitants. There were active attempts at the regeneration of the city when the Glasgow Corporation published its controversial Bruce Report, which set out a comprehensive series of initiatives aimed at turning around the decline of the city. The report led to a huge and radical programme of rebuilding and regeneration efforts that started in the mid-1950s and lasted into the late 1970s. This involved the mass demolition of the city’s infamous slums and their replacement with large suburban housing estates and tower blocks.


The city invested heavily in roads infrastructure, with an extensive system of arterial roads and motorways that bisected the central area. There are also accusations that the Scottish Office had deliberately attempted to undermine Glasgow’s economic and political influence in post-war Scotland by diverting inward investment in new industries to other regions during the Silicon Glen boom and creating the new towns of Cumbernauld, Glenrothes, Irvine, Livingston and East Kilbride, dispersed across the Scottish Lowlands to halve the city’s population base.

By the late 1980s, there had been a significant resurgence in Glasgow’s economic fortunes. The “Glasgow’s miles better” campaign, launched in 1983, and opening of the Burrell Collection in 1983 and Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in 1985 facilitated Glasgow’s new role as a European centre for business services and finance and promoted an increase in tourism and inward investment. The latter continues to be bolstered by the legacy of the city’s Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988, it’s status as European City of Culture in 1990, and concerted attempts to diversify the city’s economy. However, it is the industrial heritage that serves as a key tourism enabler. Wider economic revival has persisted and the ongoing regeneration of inner-city areas, including the large-scale Clyde Waterfront Regeneration, has led to more affluent people moving back to live in the centre of Glasgow, fuelling allegations of gentrification. In 2008, the city was listed by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top 10 tourist cities.

Despite Glasgow’s economic renaissance, the East End of the city remains the focus of social deprivation. A Glasgow Economic Audit report published in 2007 stated that the gap between prosperous and deprived areas of the city is widening. In 2006, 47% of Glasgow’s population lived in the most deprived 15% of areas in Scotland, while the Centre for Social Justice reported 29.4% of the city’s working-age residents to be “economically inactive”. Although marginally behind the UK average, Glasgow still has a higher employment rate than Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

In 2008 the city was ranked at 43 for Personal Safety in the Mercer index of top 50 safest cities in the world. The Mercer report was specifically looking at Quality of Living, yet by 2011 within Glasgow, certain areas were (still) “failing to meet the Scottish Air Quality Objective levels for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10)”.


With the population growing, the first scheme to provide a public water supply was by the Glasgow Company in 1806. A second company was formed in 1812, and the two merged in 1838, but there was some dissatisfaction with the quality of the water supplied. The Gorbals Gravitation Water Company began supplying water to residents living to the south of the River Clyde in 1846, obtained from reservoirs, which gave 75,000 people a constant water supply, but others were not so fortunate, and some 4,000 died in an outbreak of cholera in 1848/1849. This led to the development of the Glasgow Corporation Water Works, with a project to raise the level of Loch Katrine and to convey clean water by gravity along a 26-mile (42 km) aqueduct to a holding reservoir at Milngavie, and then by pipes into the city. The project cost £980,000 and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1859.

The engineer for the project was John Frederick Bateman while James Morris Gale became the resident engineer for the city section of the project, and subsequently became Engineer in Chief for Glasgow Water Commissioners. He oversaw several improvements during his tenure, including a second aqueduct and further raising of water levels in Loch Katrine. Additional supplies were provided by Loch Arklet in 1902, by impounding the water and creating a tunnel to allow water to flow into Loch Katrine. A similar scheme to create a reservoir in Glen Finglas was authorised in 1903, but was deferred, and was not completed until 1965. Following the 2002 Glasgow floods, the waterborne parasite cryptosporidium was found in the reservoir at Milngavie, and so the new Milngavie water treatment works were built. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth in 2007, and won the 2007 Utility Industry Achievement Award, having been completed ahead of its time schedule and for £10 million below its budgeted cost.

Good health requires both clean water and effective removal of sewage. The Caledonian Railway rebuilt many of the sewers, as part of a deal to allow them to tunnel under the city, and sewage treatment works were opened at Dalmarnoch in 1894, Dalmuir in 1904 and Sheildhall in 1910. The works experimented to find better ways to treat sewage, and a number of experimental filters were constructed until a full activated sludge plant was built between 1962 and 1968 at a cost of £4 million. Treated sludge was dumped at sea, and Glasgow Corporation owned six sludge ships between 1904 and 1998 when the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive ended the practice. The sewerage infrastructure was improved significantly in 2017, with the completion of a tunnel 3.1 miles (5.0 km) long, which provides 20 million imperial gallons (90 Ml) of stormwater storage. It will reduce the risk of flooding and the likelihood that sewage will overflow into the Clyde during storms. Since 2002, clean water provision and sewerage have been the responsibility of Scottish Water.


The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow

Adopted 1866
Crest Saint Mungo
Supporters Two salmon, bearing rings
Motto Let Glasgow Flourish by the preaching of Your word, and the praising of Your name.

The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow was granted to the royal burgh by Lord Lyon on 25 October 1866. It incorporates a number of symbols and emblems associated with the life of Glasgow’s patron saint, Mungo, which had been used on official seals prior to that date. The emblems represent miracles supposed to have been performed by Mungo and are listed in the traditional rhyme:

Here’s the bird that never flew

Here’s the tree that never grew

Here’s the bell that never rang

Here’s the fish that never swam

St Mungo is also said to have preached a sermon containing the words Lord, Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word and the praising of thy name. This was abbreviated to “Let Glasgow Flourish” and adopted as the city’s motto.

In 1450, John Stewart, the first Lord Provost of Glasgow, left an endowment so that a “St Mungo’s Bell” could be made and tolled throughout the city so that the citizens would pray for his soul. A new bell was purchased by the magistrates in 1641 and that bell is still on display in the People’s Palace Museum, near Glasgow Green.

The supporters are two salmon-bearing rings, and the crest is a half-length figure of Saint Mungo. He wears a bishop’s mitre and liturgical vestments and has his hand raised in “the act of benediction”. The original 1866 grant placed the crest atop a helm, but this was removed in subsequent grants. The current version (1996) has a gold mural crown between the shield and the crest. This form of coronet, resembling an embattled city wall, was allowed to the four area councils with city status.

The arms were re-matriculated by the City of Glasgow District Council on 6 February 1975, and by the present area council on 25 March 1996. The only change made on each occasion was in the type of coronet over the arms.

Thank you for Sharing me.

Kings-Queens of Scotland part 1

Hi folks, here is some more History of Scotland with the KINGS AND QUEENS.




This page covers all the kings and queens of Scotland in sequence up to the end of the 13th century. Part 2 covers from Robert the Bruce to Union of the Parliaments in 1707. The dates shown beside each entry relate to the years in which they reigned (although in the early years historians are sometimes uncertain of the precise dates). There is also a further page showing a chronology of all the kings and queens of Scotland, England, United Kingdom and France.

Following the final withdrawal of the Romans from Scotland in the 4th century, there were a number of tribal groupings whose boundaries changed over the centuries. In the north, the Picts covered the Highlands and parts of the Lowlands as far as Angus, Fife and Stirling. Although little is known of the Picts and apart from late lists of kings written in Latin, they left no written record. The earliest king who is more than just a name on a list is Bridei in the 6th century who was a son of the Welsh king Maelcon. Bridei won a victory over Gabran, the most powerful of the Scots in Dalriada which was roughly where Argyllshire is now. Bridei was the first Pictish king to show an interest in Christianity and he met St Columba at his power base near Inverness. South of the Picts and Scots was the kingdom of Strathclyde, centred on Dumbarton Rock. To the east, in Lothian and around present-day Edinburgh were the Gododdin, who spoke a form of early Welsh language. They were eventually overwhelmed by the Northumbrians. In the south-west was the kingdom of Rheged on both sides of the Solway Firth.
Kenneth mac Alpin was the first king to unite the kingdoms of Dalriada in the west and the Picts and as such is regarded as the first king of Scotland.

Kenneth I (843-858)


Kenneth mac Alpin or Kenneth, son of Alpin, was 35th king of Dalriada. By inheritance (his grandmother was a Pict) and by conquest, he also became king of the Picts in 843 and by 858 ruled as far as the river Tweed (near the current English border). One of his daughters married the King of Strathclyde and their son became King Eochaid (below). On his death in 858, Kenneth’s brother became King Donald I and his cousins later became Kings Constantine I and King Aed.

Also a son of Alpin, Donald was described at the time as “the wanton son of the foreign woman”. He extended Dalriadic law into Pictland and died of natural causes near Scone, Perthshire.

Possibly a son of King Kenneth I, Constantine faced a number of Viking invasions and was killed in a battle fighting the Danes.

Another son of Kenneth I and brother of Constantine I, he was killed by Giric, a son of Donald I.

Grandson of Kenneth I, whose daughter married Run, King of Strathclyde and gave birth to Eochaid, thus eventually extending further the kingdom of Alba. He was deposed shortly before his death.



Donald II (889-900

Donald II was the first monarch to be called “Ri Albain” or “King of Scotland” despite the fact that much of northern Scotland as far as Moray was held by the Norse Earl Sigurd from Orkney. Donald was a son of Constantine I and was described as rough and cunning. He was killed by men from the Mearns near Dunottar and, like most of the early kings of Scotland, was buried on Iona.

Constantine II (900-942)

Son of Aedh. After an unsuccessful invasion of Northumbria, Constantine had to submit to the Saxon King Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great. Constantine was also defeated in a later battle against Athelstan, Edward’s son, at Brunanburgh. He renounced the throne in favour of his cousin, Malcolm I and became a monk at St Andrews. He died in 952.

Malcolm I (942-954)

Malcolm I was a son of Donald II. He was killed in battle with the men of Moray and was buried at Iona.

Indulph (954-962)

King Indulph (also spelt Indulf) was a son of Constantine II. He defeated the Danish King Eric of the Bloody Axe at the Battle of the Bauds on the Muir of Findochty (pronounced Finechty), in present day Banffshire, in 961. Like his father, he abdicated and entered a monastery.

Dubh/Duff (962-966)

Son of Malcolm I, and father of Kenneth III. Died in battle.

Culen/Cuilean/Colin (966-971)

Another great-great-grandson of Kenneth I, and a son of Indulf, he was killed by a treacherous booby-trap at Fettercairn, set by the daughter of the Thane of Angus.

Kenneth II (971-995)

Kenneth II was the son of Malcolm I and therefore a great-great-grandson of Kenneth I.

Constantine III (995-997)

Son of King Culen and grandson of Constantine II. He may have succeeded to the throne by killing Kenneth II and may in turn have been killed by Kenneth III.

Kenneth III (997-1005)

Son of King Dubh, he was nicknamed “Donn” or brown-haired. He was defeated and killed at Monzievaird by his cousin, Malcolm II. None of his sons became king.

Malcolm II (1005-1034)

Malcolm II was son of Kenneth II but, due to disputed succession, he did not come to the throne until ten years after his father’s death, having killed his cousin Kenneth III. The last of the House of Alpin, he did not have any sons to succeed him so he arranged good marriages for his daughters. His daughter Bethoc married the Abbot of Dunkeld and their son became Duncan I. Another daughter married Earl Sigurd of Orkney and their son Thorfinn brought the lands of Caithness and Sutherland under the control of the King of Alba. Malcolm made an alliance with the King Owen the Bald of Strathclyde and together they defeated King Canute at the Battle of Carham in 1018. When King Owen died without an heir, Malcolm claimed Strathclyde for his grandson, Duncan. His enemies disliked this and murdered him at Glamis in 1034.

Duncan I (1034-1040)


Grandson of Malcolm II, Duncan I first became King of Strathclyde and then Scotland on the death of his grandfather. He married the cousin of the Earl of Northumberland and his two sons, Malcolm III and Donald III, eventually also became king. He was defeated in battle by his cousin Thorfinn, Earl of Orkney and failed in an unsuccessful siege of Durham in the north of England. He was defeated and killed by Macbeth near Forres in Morayshire.

Macbeth (1040-1057


Macbeth’s origins are obscure – his mother was a daughter of Kenneth II or III or possibly Malcolm II and his father was Finlay McRory, Mormaer of Atholl and lay abbot of Dunkeld. He killed Duncan I but unlike the Shakespearean Macbeth, he was a powerful and successful monarch. His Queen, Gruoch, was a grand-daughter of Kenneth II. Macbeth was defeated by Malcolm Canmore, with an English army, at Dunsinane in 1054. A second invasion in 1057 saw his defeat and death at Lumphanan, near Aberdeen by Malcolm and his English allies led by Earl Siward of Northumbria.

Lulach (1057-1058

Stepson of Macbeth, nicknamed “The Fool”, Lulach became king on his stepfather’s death. He was the first recorded monarch to have been crowned at Scone but was defeated and killed by Malcolm Canmore less than a year later.

Malcolm III (1058-1093)

Malcolm “Canmore” (‘ceann’ means head or chief and ‘mor’ means great) was the son of Duncan I and went into exile in Northumberland when his father was killed by Macbeth. With English support, he defeated and killed Macbeth at Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire in 1057 and Lulach, Macbeth’s stepson, the following year. He founded the dynasty of the House of Canmore which lasted until the House of Stewart. By his first marriage to Ingibiorg (daughter of Thorfinn of Orkney), he had two sons, Duncan II (see below) and Donald. Following Ingibiorg’s death, he married Margaret, the sister of Edgar Atheling, who would have become King of England if William the Conqueror from Normandy had not overrun the country. By this marriage there were six sons, four of whom (Duncan, Edgar, Alexander and David) would become king. Malcolm made raids into Northumbria and Cumbria but William marched north and Malcolm was forced to submit and sign the Treaty of Abernethy in 1071. A final incursion in 1093 led to his defeat and death at Alnwick. His son and heir, Edward, died in the same battle and Queen Margaret died four days later.

Donald III (1093-1094)

Donald Bane “the Fair” was a son of Duncan I and a brother of Malcolm III. He claimed the throne when Malcolm III and his son were killed on the same day. During his short reign, in a Celtic backlash, he expelled all the English courtiers brought in by Malcolm and his wife Margaret.

Duncan II (May to November, 1094)

Son of Malcolm III by his first marriage, Duncan grew up in Normandy (he had been handed over as a hostage to William the Conqueror) and ousted his uncle Donald III with the support of the English King William Rufus. However, Donald fought back and Duncan was killed at Dunnottar by his half-brother Edmund (who supported Donald). Duncan’s descendants through William, the Earl of Moray, were a thorn in the side of the King of Scotland until the end of the 13th century.

Donald III (1094-1097)

Having resumed his reign, Donald Bane did not last much longer and was captured, blinded and imprisoned by Edgar, one of the sons of Malcolm III. Donald died in captivity 1099 in Forfar and was buried in Iona.

Edgar (1097-1107)

The fourth son of Malcolm III, Edgar was aged 19 at the death of his father in 1093. He was given shelter by the English (Saxon) King William (Rufus) and in 1097, with the assistance of English troops, he defeated his uncle, Donald III. During his reign, the King of Norway, Magnus Barelegs, forced Edgar to give up “all islands around which a ship could sail” and promptly dragged his galley overland at Tarbert, Loch Fyne to seize a chunk of the mainland Mull of Kintyre too. Edgar (whose Saxon name was noted with disapproval at the time) died peacefully in 1107 and was buried in Dunfermline Abbey. His next brother, Alexander I, became king.

Alexander I (1107-1124)

Alexander I was the fifth son of Malcolm Canmore. Although King of Scotland, he only ruled north of the Forth and Clyde as his younger brother David had been made Earl of Strathclyde, Lothian and the Borders. North of the river Spey and the Western Isles were under Norwegian control. He died in Stirling in 1124 and was buried in Dunfermline.

David I (1124-1153)


The last son of four of the sons of Malcolm Canmore to become King of Scotland, David I was sent to the English court of Henry I at the age of nine and spent many years there. When his brother Edgar died, David became Earl of southern Scotland and then King of Scotland in 1124 when his other brother Alexander I died also. David brought many knights and courtiers from England and and established a feudal system in Scotland. He introduced many novel ideas such as silver coinage, promoting education and giving audiences to rich and poor alike. During a long and peaceful reign he enacted many good laws and died peacefully in Carlisle in 1153 at the age of 69.

Malcolm IV (1153-1165)

Grandson of David I, Malcolm IV came to the throne at the age of 12 (his father had predeceased him) and was nicknamed “the Maiden”. He had to cope with rebellions by Somerled, in Argyll and the Isles and others in Moray and Galloway. Henry II of England also reclaimed Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland which had been ceded to Scotland during the reign of David I. After fighting in France on behalf of King Henry of England he returned and defeated Somerled who was attempting to advance eastwards, but not before the town of Glasgow had been sacked . But he never had good health and died in Jedburgh at the age of 23, succeeded by his brother William.

William (1165-1214)

William “The Lion” was also the grandson of David I. The nickname “The Lion” was accorded to him after his death and may have been due either to his valour and strength or to the heraldic symbol which he adopted – the lion rampant. He attempted to recover land in Northumberland in 1174 but was defeated and captured at the Battle of Alnwick. William was forced to swear allegiance to King Henry II of England which lasted until Henry’s death in 1189. He failed to assert his authority over the south-west of Scotland and over MacDougall Lords of Lorne or Macdonald Lords of the Isles. He married Ermengarde de Beaumont who bore him a son (Alexander II) and three daughters (all of whom married English nobles).



Alexander II (1214-1249)

Alexander II was the son of William the Lion and came to the throne at the age of 16. He has a reputation as a wise and well-loved monarch, more of a politician than a fighter, although he did support the English barons in their fight against King John. His first marriage was to the sister of King Henry III of England (son of King John). Following her death, he married the daughter of a French nobleman by whom he had one son – who became Alexander III. He founded a number of monasteries and the castles at Kildrummy and Eilean Donan. Alexander died on Kerrara, off Oban on 8 July 1249 while attempting to recover the Hebrides from King Haakon IV of Norway. He was buried at Kelso Abbey.

Alexander III (1249-1286)

Alexander III was crowned king at Scone when he was eight years old. He successfully defeated an invasion by King Haakon of Norway at the Battle of Largs in 1263. Married to Margaret, daughter of King Henry III of England, his daughter married Haakon’s grandson, Eric II – their daughter Margaret later became Queen of Scotland. He had three children but they all predeceased him. Alexander married a second time in order to produce a direct heir but within six months of his marriage his horse stumbled in the dark in Fife as he was returning to his wife and he died at the foot of the cliff.

Margaret (1286-1290)

Grand-daughter of Alexander III, Margaret “Maid of Norway” became Queen of Scotland at the age of three. She was the last of the direct line of the House of Canmore. She left Norway to come to Orkney in 1290 but died on the voyage before reaching Scotland. Prior to this, by the Treaty of Birgham in 1290, King Edward I had guaranteed the survival of Scotland “separate, apart and free without subjection to the English nation” as a result of the six-year-old Margaret marrying the five-year-old future king of England, Edward II. The arrangement was invalidated by Margaret’s death.

Interregnum (1290-1292)

There were thirteen competitors for the throne of Scotland at this point, the main ones being John Balliol and Robert Bruce, Earl of Annandale. It was decided to ask the Edward I, King of England to adjudicate. Edward used the situation to his advantage, insisting that the King of Scotland should be subservient to the King of England (contrary to the principles set out in the Treaty of Birgham – see above). Edward eventually appointed John Balliol – at the same time demanding custody of many of the important Scottish castles.

John (1292-1296)

John Balliol, who owned estates in both Scotland and England, was crowned at Scone in 1292. However, Edward’s demands, including Scottish soldiers for his war in France, became increasingly intolerable. John attempted to renew the “Auld Alliance” with France but Edward invaded Scotland and routed the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296. John fled but was forced to make an abject surrender. His royal insignia was stripped from him (giving rise to his nickname “Toom Tabard” – empty coat). After a spell imprisoned in the Tower of London, he was released and spent the rest of his life in France.

Interregnum (1296-1306)

With John Balliol out of the way, King Edward effectively ruled Scotland for the next ten years. William Wallace defeated Edward at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297 and governed Scotland briefly but was defeated the following year at the Battle of Falkirk. Wallace continued a geurilla campaign but was captured and executed in 1305. It was not until Robert the Bruce emerged and was crowned at Scone in 1306 that Scotland regained her own monarch.

The story of Scotland’s Monarchs continues in Part 2 which covers from Robert the Bruce to the Union of the Parliaments in 1707 when Queen Anne was monarch of both Scotland and England.


Thank you for Sharing me.
%d bloggers like this: