Clan Fraser
Duck Soup

The History of the Royal Lineage of Scotland

-800 Ancients     Celts move into England

Contrary to the traditional idea that Britain originally possessed a 'Celtic' uniformity which first Roman, then Saxon and other invaders disrupted, in reality Britain has always been home to multiple peoples; and while its population has shown strong biological continuity over millennia, the identities the islanders have chosen to adopt have undergone some remarkable changes, due to contacts and conflicts across the seas, not least as the result of episodic, but often very modest, arrivals of newcomers. (BBC)

60 Iceni Revolt   60-61 Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, revolts

After her husband died, the Romans not only took his property but raped his daughters. Queen Boudicca led a revolt that burned multiple towns including London. Her forces were massacred by the Romans and she is said to have taken poison rather than die at their hands.

400 Early History   383-436 Romans leave England

The Roman conquest, which started in AD 43, illustrates the profound cultural and political impact that small numbers of people can have, for the Romans did not colonise the island to any significant degree. To a population of around three million, their army, administration, and carpet-baggers added only a few per cent. The future Scotland remained beyond Roman government, although the nearby presence of the empire had major effects. (BBC)

      400-600 Angles, Saxons, Jutes invade from Germany

As the Roman hold on Britain got progressively weaker, England was subject to a fresh influx of settlers from the area of modern Germany. These settlers, tribes of Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians, may have first come to England as mercenaries in the Roman army.

      400-613 Celts pushed into Scotland and Wales

When the Romans left Britain, there was a renaissance of Celtic culture.

The most famous of the Celtic princes was Vortigern, who ruled over eastern Britain. To fight against the Pictish invasions, he sent across the channel to get help from the Saxons, a Germanic tribe that had begun emigrating into western Europe in the fifth century. The Saxon mercenaries, however, grew in number as more and more Saxons came to Britain. Whether or not the story of Vortigern is true, Britain fell prey to the same Germanic emigrations and invasions that spread across Gaul, Spain, and Italy. The Saxon emigration began in eastern England until they spread entirely across lowland England. The mountainous areas to the west (Wales) and the north (Scotland), however, remained Celtic, as did Ireland. By the end of the fifth century AD, only Wales, Scotland, and Ireland remained of the great Celtic tribal kingdoms that had dominated the face of Europe.

      626 Edwin of Northumbria founds Edinburgh

Saint Edwin (alternately Eadwine or Aeduini) (c. 586 to October 12, 632/633) was the King of Deira and Bernicia - which would later become known as Northumbria - from about 616 until his death. He converted to Christianity and was baptised in 627; after he fell at the Battle of Hatfield Chase, he was venerated as a saint.

560 The Four Kingdoms    

The Four Kingdoms of Scotland were:

  1. West - Dalriada (Scots from Ireland)
  2. North - Pictish kingdom
  3. Southwest - Strathclyde
  4. East - Bernicia (Lothian)

See Kenneth MacAlpin for more information.

In 685, in the Battle of Nechtansmere, the Picts defeat the Northumbrians.

The Battle of Nechtansmere took place in Dunnichen, a small village located near the town of Forfar, Angus on May 20th, 685 AD. The participants were the Angles and the Picts in what was a simple battle over territory. The consequences, however, would be much more dramatic, and effect the history of England and Scotland to a great degree over the next millennia and a half.

574 Aidanus Son of Gabran   Father of King Arthur of Camelot

Crowned King of Dalraida by Saint Columba on Iona in 574, he died in 606.

607 Cinead Cerr     King of Dalraida

Killed in battle.

608 Arthurius Son of Aidanus   King Arthur of Camelot

His legends may well have been written in more different ways than any ruler in history. He is thought to have died in battle in 632.

632 Domnall Breac     King of Dalraida

Killed in battle at Strathcarron in 642.

646 Fearchar Fada     Chief of the clan Baedan
664 Malduinus      
684 Eugenius    

King of the Strathclyde Scots

He killed Domnall Breac in battle in 642.

697 Ainbhceallach Son of Fearchar Fada  

Killed by Sealbhach, his brother, in 724

732 Muredach    

May have been King of Dalraida for a time

767 Sealbhach Son of Fearchar Fada  

Killed his brother, Ainbhceallach, in 724.

      787 First Viking raids begin

The three kingdoms of Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex, not only were competing between themselves, but they were also under sustained attack from Viking raids. The Viking incursions culminated with a "Great Army" landing in East Anglia in 865 AD. It made wide territorial gains, and by 875 the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria had succumbed. Only Wessex remained as Anglo Saxon.

The Vikings attacked Wessex in 878, and the Saxon king, Alfred, had to flee to the Somerset marshes. However he was able to regroup and counter attack. His efforts and those later of his son and grandsons, gradually pushed the Vikings northwards and eventually into the sea.

      843 Scots defeat Picts

Militarily, the Picts appear well organized and equipped. They outnumbered the Scots by more than nine to one and with such organization it is baffling how they could have been defeated in four centuries.

843 Kenneth MacAlpin     The first King of Scotland

There is some dispute as to whether Kenneth MacAlpin was ever actually a King of Scotland. His place in history comes from uniting the Scots and the Picts and this came after defeating the Picts in battle in 843. The key point is that there were no further battles after that.

However, given that the Pictish culture quickly disappeared after the unification, it's arguable that the battle didn't so much unify Scotland as it reserved Scotland exclusively for the Scots.

(The second reference is fairly heavily-laden with hyperbole but it is true that the Pictish culture disappeared in this period and a case is made that Kenneth MacAlpin was the reason for that.)

859 Donald I Brother of Kenneth    
863 Constantine I Son of Kenneth 877

Constantine I is killed in a battle with the Danes.

877 Aedh Son of Kenneth    
878 Eocha Grandson of Kenneth    
889 Donald II Son of Constantine I  

Donald II took the throne of Scotland in battle as an act of revenge. King Giric of Scotland (who ruled jointly with Donald II's predecessor, Eochaid) had murdered Donald II's uncle, Aedh, in 878. Upon Giric's death, Donald II expelled Eochaid from the country, thereby taking rulership of Scotland for himself.

900 Constantine II Son of Aedh  

His reign is the third longest in Scottish history, exceeded only by James VI and William the Lion.

The Battle of Brunanbuh takes place in 937. Constantine II and the Danes are defeated by Aethelstan of England.

943 Malcolm I Son of Donald II 950

Malcolm I, the son of Donald II of Scotland, became the King of Scotland in 943 after his cousin King Constantine II of Scotland abdicated and became a monk.

Malcolm I was a prince of great abilities and prudence, and Edmund I of England (939�946) courted his alliance by ceding Cumbria, then consisting of Cumberland and part of Westmorland, to him in the year 945, on condition that he would defend that northern county, and become an ally of Edmund I. This required Scotland to send military support if England was attacked by either the Danes of Northumbria or the Norwegians of Ireland. The alliance between England and Scotland remained after the death of both Kings.

954 Indulf Son of Constantine II 959

Indulf left one lasting contribution beyond his battles with the Norsemen. His father, Constantine II, fleeing before Athelstan, had abandoned the Lothians to the English. In a decisive victory over Northumbria, Indulf recaptured the fortress in Edinburgh, Dun Eden.

962 Dubh (Duff) Son of Malcolm I 967

Dubh is murdered.

967 Cuilean Son of Indulf    
971 Kenneth II Son of Dubh 979

Little is known of Kenneth II but it is said he was killed by some act of treachery.

995 Constantine III Son of Cuilean 997

Constantine III is murdered

997 Kenneth III Son of Dubh 1005 Kenneth III is killed in a civil war.
1005 Malcolm II Son of Kenneth II 1013

The Danes control England

The Battle of Carham, in which Malcolm II is victorious against a large army of English and Vikings, united Scotland and Lothian. Shortly after that, Strathclyde joined.

      1018 The Unification of Scotland is complete
1034 Duncan I Grandson of Malcolm II 1040

Duncan I invades England but accomplishes nothing and is killed in civil strife shortly afterward.

1040 Macbeth Cousin of Duncan I 1050 The Normans penetrate England

Macbeth is killed in the Battle of Lumphanan by Malcolm, son of Duncan I. As king, Malcolm becomes Malcolm III.

1057 Malcolm III Son of Duncan I 1070

William the Conqueror (crowned William I in 1066) invades Scotland, compelling Malcolm III to swear allegiance.

      1093 Malcolm invades England but loses the battle and his life.
1093 Donald II (Donald Bane) Son of Duncan I 1094

Donald Bane is first driven out by Duncan. Duncan is killed shortly later and Donald Bane returns. Donald Bane is driven out again by Edgar.

1094 Duncan II Son of Malcolm III 1094

Duncan II is killed a few months after driving out Donald Bane.

1094 Donald II (Donald Bane) Son of Duncan I 1096

The First Crusade begins

1097 Edgar Half-brother of Duncan II 1099

Crusaders take Jerusalem

1107 Alexander I Brother of Edgar    
1124 David I Brother of Alexander I 1138 David I invades England but is defeated.

This period is interesting because it saw strong Norman families moving into Scotland. Robert the Bruce (de Brus) will play a prominent role in the future history of Scotland.


The Second Crusade begins.


The Second Crusade fails in Asia Minor.

1154 Malcolm IV Grandson of David I    
1165 William the Lyon Brother of Malcolm IV 1173

After being defeated and captured in battle, William the Lyon yields the independence of Scotland.


Richard I of England restores the independence of Scotland in exchange for cash to support the Third Crusade.


The Third Crusade begins


The Fourth Crusade begins

      1209 John invades Scotland

The Children's Crusade begins

1214 Alexander II Son of William the Lyon 1228

The Sixth Crusade begins

      1240 Border fixed between Scotland and England

The Seventh Crusade begins

1249 Alexander III Son of Alexander II 1274 Edward I of England
1286 Margaret Granddaughter of Alexander III  

Margeret or the Maid of Norway is only four when she rises to the throne but dies soon after.

1292 John Balliol Great-great-great-grandson of David I  

The background story is that John Balliol was chosen as King of Scotland by Edward of England. Edward was given the right to choose because the lords of Scotland could not decide among themselves. Balliol was a weak ruler who did whatever Edward wanted until requested to help in an invasion of France. Balliol instead signed a treaty with France. Edward invaded Scotland shortly thereafter and took over control.

      1295 Scotland signs a treaty with France, beginning the "Auld Alliance."

Edward I of England defeats Balliol. He presented little resistance to the English as he was not able to unite his people and England won easily. Scottish nobles were divided in their loyalties because of their land ownership in Scotland and England. Balliol's reign ended in disgrace when he submitted himself as a vassal to a representative of Edward 1 of England.

Edward took to London the Stone of Scone or Stone of Destiny, on which Scottish Kings were crowned, and it remains there to this day. Edward also made those who had land in Scotland sign a list of names to show that they recognized him as their king. If they refused their lands were confiscated. This list of names is called "The Ragman's Roll" and still exists. It has about two thousand names one of which is Robert Bruce.

      1297 The Scots under William Wallace defeat the English at Stirling Bridge

Any notion Edward I may have had regarding subjugation of the Scots disappeared quickly as resistance from Wallace began almost as soon as Edward returned to England.

      1298 William Wallace is defeated at Falkirk
      1300 Edward I invades Scotland
      1305 William Wallace captured and executed
1306 Robert I    

Robert I (Robert the Bruce) is at first driven into hiding because Scotland is still occupied by Edward's forces.

The Stuart Kings were direct descendants of King Robert the Bruce. So is the present Royal Family, who are descended from the daughter of King James V1 of Scotland (James 1 of England).

      1307 The drive to force the English out of Scotland culminates in the siege of Stirling Castle. The Scots route the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn.
      1328 The English recognize Scottish independence through the Treaty of Edinburgh.
1329 David II Son of Robert I    
1332 Edward Balliol   1332

Edward Balliol, son of John Balliol, invades Scotland and deposes David II.


David II returns to reclaim the crown.

1341 David II Son of Robert I 1346

David II assists France against the English but is captured and taken to the Tower of London.


In 1355, the Scots defeat the English at Nesbit

1371 Robert II Nephew of David II 1385 The Anglo-Scot war is renewed
      1388 The Scots defeat the English at the Battle of Otterburn.
1390 Robert III Son of Robert II  

Robert III dies when he is told his son, James I, has been captured by pirates between France and Scotland.

1406 James I Son of Robert III 1406

James I imprisoned by English and learns of his succession while confined in the Tower of London. It will be eighteen years before he is released.


The English release James I to return to Scotland.

      1436 The Scots defeat the English near Berwick.

James I is assassinated.

1437 James II Son of James I 1438

Nine years truce with England

      1448 The Anglo-Scot war is renewed.

James II is killed when a cannon explodes.

1460 James III Son of James II 1464

Peace between Scotland and England

1488 James IV Son of James III 1491 The Truce of Coldstream between Scotland and England

James IV invades Northumberland


James IV marries Margaret, daughter of Henry VII

1513 James V Infant son of James IV  

James V is only an infant when he rises to the throne and it will be fifteen years before he can rule for himself.

1542 Mary, Queen of Scots Daughter of James V 1548

Mary is betrothed to Dauphin


Mary, Queen of Scots, marries the Dauphin

      1578 Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned by Elizabeth I
1578 James VI Son of Mary 1586

The focus of a long series of Roman Catholic plots against Elizabeth, culminating in the Babington Plot to assassinate the English queen, led to Elizabeth's ministers demanding Mary's execution: 'so long as there is life in her, there is hope; so as they live in hope, we live in fear'.

Mary was finally executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire on 8 February 1587, at the age of 44.   She was buried in Peterborough Cathedral.

1603 James VI Son of Mary   Succeeds Elizabeth I as James I of England, Scotland and Ireland.

James VI had Mary's body exhumed and placed in the vault of King Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey.

1625 Charles I Son of James VI 1633 Charles I crowned King of Scotland
1649 Charles II Son of Charles I 1649 England declared a Commonwealth

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