Voyages in Time - The Family Vault
The Hastings Legacy
Saint Margaret - Saxon Princess
St. Margaret - c.1045 - 1093
King Malcolm III of Scotland married Margaret, (Saint Margaret) a Saxon Princess descended from the line of King, Egbert. She became his bride on arriving in Scotland with other Saxon refugees after the Norman Conquest. Her daughter, Matilda, married King Henry I of England, the third son of King William (the Conqueror).

Malcolm III (Canmore) c.1031-1093
King of Scotland d. 1093

Son of Duncan I, he was a child when his father was slain by Macbeth in 1040. He spent his youth in Northumbria under the protection of his uncle, the Earl Siward who established him as Overlord in Cumbria and Lothian. After Macbeth himself was killed, Malcolm became king of all Scotland. He was called Canmore from the Gaelic ceann mor which means "large head" which may refer to a high forehead which is typical of the Celts. Around 1060 he married his first wife, Ingibjorg, who was the widow of Thorfill, the Earl of Orkney. After her death in 1069, he married Margaret, the sister of Edgar the Aethling whose legitimate claim to the English throne at the death of Edward the Confessor in 1066, was passed over in favour of Harold Godwinsson. Margaret was canonised in 1251 and remains the only Scottish Royal saint. Malcolm invaded England five times in support of Edgar's claim to the throne. He was defeated by William the Conqueror in 1072 and again by William Rufus in 1091. He was killed at Alnwick in Northumberland during his last incursion in 1093. He left five sons of whom four succeeded him to the Scottish throne.

The following detail is extracted from: Agnes Strickland's, "Lives of the Queens of Scotland" published in 8 volumes, 1850-59.

"St. Margaret introduced (to Scotland) the Use of the Roman Church, fostered English and Norman influence and reformed manners and customs, founding many Augustinian monasteries. This influence shows in the architecture of Dunfermline which closely resembles that of Durham.

She made the Scottish court more dignified, introducing a uniform and more orderly set of procedures, insisting that payment should be made for goods consumed as the court moved from place to place. Her chaplain, Turgot, wrote (about) her life at the request of her daughter Matilda, Queen of Henry 1.

Her softening influence on the King by her example of piety seemed miraculous. 'Hence also the books which she used either in her devotions or for reading, he, though unable to read, used often to handle and examine, and when he heard from her that one of them was dearer to her than the others, this he also regarded with kindlier affection, and would kiss and often fondle it. Sometimes also he would send for the goldsmith, and instruct him to adorn the volume with gold and precious stones, and when finished he would carry it to the Queen as proof of his devotion'. One of her favourite volumes is still to be seen in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. It is one which was accidentally dropped into a river, but when it was found again and brought to her it was found to be miraculously undamaged.

'The Queen on the other hand, herself the noblest gem of a royal race, made the splendour of her husband's royal magnificence much more splendid, and contributed much glory and honour to all the nobility of the kingdom and their retainers. For she brought it to pass that merchants who came by land and sea from divers lands, brought with them for sale many precious kinds of merchandise which in Scotland were before unknown, among which, at the instigation of the Queen, the people bought garments of various colours, and different kinds of personal ornaments; so that from that time they went about clothed in new costumes of different fashions'. The palace 'was made resplendent with gold and silver; for the vessels in which the King and nobles of the kingdom were served with food and drink, were either of gold or silver, or gold or silver plated. And this the Queen did, not because the honour of the world delighted her, but because she felt compelled to do what the royal dignity required of her'.

Malcolm was slain when raiding England by Robert Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, and Margaret died soon after of grief. William of Malmesbury describes her devotion and says 'departing from the church, she used to feed the poor; first three, then nine, then twenty-four, at last three hundred: herself standing by with the King, and pouring water on their hands.' Three of her sons were kings, Edgar (1097- 1107), Alexander I (the Fierce) (I107-24) and David I (I124-53). Malcolm used to interpret Gaelic for Margaret, but some Celts disliked her policy and a temporary anti-foreign reaction followed her death."

King David I (I124-53) of Scotland - son of Malcolm Canmore and St. Margaret - heads the ancestry of the late Queen Mother and thus also the present Queen of England, her children and grandchildren.

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