David I Canmore (King of Scotland),

Male 1084 - 1153  (69 years)


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  • Name David I Canmore (King of Scotland),  
    Suffix  
    Born 1084  Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 24 May 1153  Carlisle, Cumberland, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Dunfermline Abbey Cemetery (Holy Trinity Church) Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I243  King of Scots
    Last Modified 10 Feb 2009 

    Father Malcolm III Canmore (King of Scotland), ,   b. 1031, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Nov 1093, Alnwick, Northumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Mother Margaret of Atheling (Queen of Scotland),   b. 1045, Southern Transdanubia, Hungary Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Nov 1093, Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years) 
    Married Abt 1069  Dunfermline Abbey (Holy Trinity Church) Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F104  Group Sheet

    Family Matilda of Waltheof (Countess of Huntingdon),   b. 1074,   d. 1130  (Age 56 years) 
    Children 
    +1. Henry Canmore,   b. 1114, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jun 1152  (Age 38 years)
    Last Modified 26 Jan 2009 
    Family ID F108  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1084 - Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 May 1153 - Carlisle, Cumberland, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Dunfermline Abbey Cemetery (Holy Trinity Church) Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

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    David Canmore
    David Canmore
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  • Notes 
    • David I or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim (Modern: Daibhidh I mac [Mhaoil] Chaluim;[1] 1083 x 1085 ? 24 May 1153) was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians (1113?1124) and later King of the Scots (1124?1153). The youngest son of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada and Margaret, David spent most of his childhood in Scotland, but was exiled to England temporarily in 1093. Perhaps after 1100, he became a dependent at the court of King Henry I. There he was influenced by the Norman and Anglo-French culture of the court.

      When David's brother Alexander I of Scotland died in 1124, David chose, with the backing of Henry I, to take the Kingdom of Scotland (Alba) for himself. He was forced to engage in warfare against his rival and nephew, Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair. Subduing the latter seems to have taken David ten years, a struggle that involved the destruction of Óengus, Mormaer of Moray. David's victory allowed expansion of control over more distant regions theoretically part of his Kingdom. After the death of his former patron Henry I, David supported the claims of Henry's daughter and his own niece, the former Empress-consort, Matilda, to the throne of England. In the process, he came into conflict with King Stephen and was able to expand his power in northern England, despite his defeat at the Battle of the Standard in 1138.

      The term "Davidian Revolution" is used by many scholars to summarise the changes which took place in the Kingdom of Scotland during his reign. These included his foundation of burghs, implementation of the ideals of Gregorian Reform, foundation of monasteries, Normanisation of the Scottish government, and the introduction of feudalism through immigrant French and Anglo-French knights.

      Early years
      The early years of David I are the most obscure of his life. Because there is little documented evidence, historians can only guess at most of David's activities in this period.

      Childhood and flight to England
      David was born at an unknown point between 1083 and 1085.[2] He was probably the eighth son of King Malcolm III, and certainly the sixth and youngest produced by Malcolm's second marriage to Queen Margaret.[3]

      In 1093 King Malcolm and David's brother Edward were killed at the river Aln during an invasion of Northumberland.[4] David and his two brothers Alexander and Edgar, both future kings of Scotland, were probably present when their mother died shortly afterwards.[5] According to later medieval tradition, the three brothers were in Edinburgh when they were besieged by their uncle, Domnall Bán.[6]

      Domnall became King of Scotland.[7] It is not certain what happened next, but an insertion in the Chronicle of Melrose states that Domnall forced his three nephews into exile, though Domnall was allied with another of his nephews, Edmund.[8] John of Fordun wrote, centuries later, that an escort into England was arranged for them by their maternal uncle Edgar Ætheling.[9]

      Intervention of William Rufus and English exile
      William Rufus, King of the English, opposed Domnall's accession to the northerly kingdom. He sent the eldest son of King Máel Coluim, David's half-brother Donnchad, into Scotland with an army. Donnchad was killed within the year,[10] and so in 1097 William sent Donnchad's half-brother Edgar into Scotland. The latter was more successful, and was crowned King by the end of 1097.[11]

      During the power struggle of 1093?97, David was in England. In 1093, he may have been about nine years old.[12] From 1093 until 1103 David's presence cannot be accounted for in detail, but he appears to have been in Scotland for the remainder of the 1090s. When William Rufus was killed, his brother Henry Beauclerc seized power and married David's sister, Matilda. The marriage made David the brother-in-law of the ruler of England. From that point onwards, David was probably an important figure at the English court.[13] Despite his Gaelic background, by the end of his stay in England, David had become a full-fledged Normanised prince. William of Malmesbury wrote that it was in this period that David "rubbed off all tarnish of Scottish barbarity through being polished by intercourse and friendship with us".[14]

      Prince of the Cumbrians, 1113?1124
      David's time as Prince of the Cumbrians marks the beginning of his life as a great territorial lord. The year of these beginnings was probably 1113, when Henry I arranged David's marriage to Matilda, Countess in Huntingdon, who was the heiress to the Huntingdon?Northampton lordship. As her husband David used the title of Earl , and there was the prospect that David's children by her would inherit all the honours borne by Matilda's father Waltheof. 1113 is the year when David, for the first time, can be found in possession of territory in what is now Scotland.


      Obtaining the inheritance
      David's brother, King Edgar, had visited William Rufus in May 1099 and bequeathed to David extensive territory to the south of the river Forth.[15] On 8 January 1107, Edgar died. It has been assumed that David took control of his inheritance, the southern lands bequeathed by Edgar, soon after the latter's death.[16] However, it cannot be shown that he possessed his inheritance until his foundation of Selkirk Abbey late in 1113.[17] According to Richard Oram, it was only in 1113, when Henry returned to England from Normandy, that David was at last in a position to claim his inheritance in southern "Scotland".[18]

      King Henry's backing seems to have been enough to force King Alexander to recognise his younger brother's claims. This probably occurred without bloodshed, but through threat of force nonetheless.[19] David's aggression seems to have inspired resentment amongst some native Scots. A Gaelic quatrain from this period complains that:

      Olc a ndearna mac Mael Colaim, It's bad what Máel Coluim's son has done;,
      ar cosaid re hAlaxandir, dividing us from Alexander;
      do-ní le gach mac rígh romhaind, he causes, like each king's son before;
      foghail ar faras Albain. the plunder of stable Alba. [20]

      If "divided from" is anything to go by, this quatrain may have been written in David's new territories in southern "Scotland".[21]

      The lands in question consisted of the pre-1975 counties of Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire, Berwickshire, Peeblesshire and Lanarkshire. David, moreover, gained the title princeps Cumbrensis, "Prince of the Cumbrians", as attested in David's charters from this era.[22] Although this was a large slice of Scotland south of the river Forth, the region of Galloway-proper was entirely outside David's control.[23]

      David may perhaps have had varying degrees of overlordship in parts of Dumfriesshire, Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.[24] In the lands between Galloway and the Principality of Cumbria, David eventually set up large-scale marcher lordships, such as Annandale for Robert de Brus, Cunningham for Hugh de Morville, and possibly Strathgryfe for Walter Fitzalan.[25]

      Government and feudalism
      The widespread enfeoffment of foreign knights and the processes by which land ownership was converted from customary tenures into feudal, or otherwise legally-defined relationships, would revolutionise the way the Kingdom of Scotland was governed, as did the dispersal and installation of royal agents in the new mottes that were proliferating throughout the realm to staff newly-created sheriffdoms and judiciaries for the twin purposes of law enforcement and taxation, bringing Scotland further into the "European" model.[106]

      Scotland in this period experienced innovations in governmental practices and the importation of foreign, mostly French, knights. It is to David's reign that the beginnings of feudalism are generally assigned. This is defined as "castle-building, the regular use of professional cavalry, the knight's fee" as well as "homage and fealty".[107] David established large scale feudal lordships in the west of his Cumbrian principality for the leading members of the French military entourage who kept him in power. Additionally, many smaller scale feudal lordships were created.[108]

      Steps were taken during David's reign to make the government of that part of Scotland he administered more like the government of Anglo-Norman England. New sheriffdoms enabled the King to effectively administer royal demesne land. During his reign, royal sheriffs were established in the king's core personal territories; namely, in rough chronological order, at Roxburgh, Scone, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Stirling and Perth.[109] The Justiciarship too was created in David's reign. Although this institution had Anglo-Norman origins, in Scotland north of the Forth at least, it represented some form of continuity with an older office.[110]


      Economy
      The revenue of his English earldom and the proceeds of the silver mines at Alston allowed David to produce Scotland's first coinage. These altered the nature of trade and transformed his political image.[111]

      David was a great town builder. As Prince of the Cumbrians, David founded the first two burghs of "Scotland", at Roxburgh and Berwick.[112] Burghs were settlements with defined boundaries and guaranteed trading rights, locations where the king could collect and sell the products of his cain and conveth (a payment made in lieu of providing the king hospitality).[113] David founded around 15 burghs.[114]


      The modern ruins of Melrose Abbey. Founded in 1137, this Cistercian monastery became one of David's greatest legacies.Perhaps nothing in David's reign compares in importance to burghs. While they could not, at first, have amounted to much more than the nucleus of an immigrant merchant class, nothing would do more to reshape the long-term economic and ethnic shape of Scotland than the burgh. These planned towns were or became English in culture and language; William of Newburgh wrote in the reign of King William the Lion, that "the towns and burghs of the Scottish realm are known to be inhabited by English";[115] as well as transforming the economy, the failure of these towns to go native would in the long term undermine the position of the native Scottish language and give birth to the idea of the Scottish Lowlands.[116]

      Monastic patronage
      David was one of medieval Scotland's greatest monastic patrons. In 1113, in perhaps David's first act as Prince of the Cumbrians, he founded Selkirk Abbey for the Tironensians.[117] David founded more than a dozen new monasteries in his reign, patronising various new monastic orders.[118]

      Not only were such monasteries an expression of David's undoubted piety, but they also functioned to transform Scottish society. Monasteries became centres of foreign influence,, and provided sources of literate men, able to serve the crown's growing administrative needs.[119] These new monasteries, and the Cistercian ones in particular, introduced new agricultural practices.[120] Cistercian labour, for instance, transformed southern Scotland into one of northern Europe's most important sources of sheep wool.[121]



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