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THE HISTORY OF SCOTLAND, BOOK XII
FTER Malcolm’s death, Duncan, his grandson by his daughter Beatrice, was created king. Malcolm had had two daughters, one married to the very noble Crinin, thane of the islands and the eastern tract of Scotland, from which marriage issued Duncan. The other was Doada, whom he bestowed on Sinel Thane of Glamis, from whom was born Macbeth, a very energetic man, who, had nature not given him a streak of considerable cruelty along with his fortitude, might have seemed born do to great things. These were certainly men of two very different natures. For Duncan was mild and merciful, and I do not know if he leaned that way to an excessive degree, to the extent that he showed himself unreasonably lax in correcting vices and over-indulgent of criminality. But to the degree that he was overly merciful and indulgent, so was Malcolm severe to the point of cruelty. This is why it was commonly wished that each of them would be tempered a little by an admixture of the other’s nature, so that Duncan would be an ideal king in peacetime, and Macbeth an excellent commander in war.
2. The beginnings of Duncan’s reign were tranquil and flawless. Those whom Malcolm had appointed to manage the kingdom displayed the same deference towards him as they had towards his grandfather. No harm was done to the peasantry, since those magistrates took great pains to prevent that. But when it was perceived that the king was behindhand in punishing evildoers, a manifold evil immediately enveloped the kingdom. For seditions and outrages began to occur, and the Danish war was renewed. The seditions arose as follows. While Banquo, the royal thane of Lochaber, a member of that very noble clan of Stewart, a long line that has produced our kin g today, was collecting the king’s taxes and punishing delinquents and cheats, he was attacked by some of the locals. Stripped of the tax-money and all of his possessions, he was wounded and barely got away alive. Ss soon as his wounds healed and he was able move about, he went to the king, and delivered a speech in the presence of his nobles complaining of the affront he had been given, and at long length obtained from the king that a herald would be sent to hale those responsible for the insult into court, so his craving for revenge was somewhat mollified. But they heaped crime upon crime by killing the herald for doing his duty, after assaulting him with abuse. After this felony had been committed, when no man had any doubt that a royal army would soon be sent to punish this outrage, Macdonald, joined by those those friends and relatives, whom he had egged on against the king by drumming it into their ears that his dull and sluggish nature would dare nothing by way of retaliation, undertook to resist the king by force. He said many things by way of insults, calling him a soft man, more fit for presiding over a gang of months than governing the Scots, the most warlike of all nations.
3. So at the earliest moment he scraped together what forces he could, compelling some by force and inducing others by largesse. He also brought the Hebridians, who had played no part in his crime, into his alliance, and even enticed some Irishmen by holding out hopes for plunder. Therefore they received those sent by the king with great force and drove them out of Lochaber with great slaughter. After the battle had been won, they executed their leader Malcolm, whom they had taken alive. The news of that massacre greatly frightened the king, since he was inexperienced at war and ignorant of things of that kind, nor was he sufficiently patient in the face of turmoil. He therefore hastened to convene a parliament of his elders and consulted about how to put down Macdonald’s violence. Those among the elders gave various advice, in proportion to their individual intelligence, and Macbeth greatly inveighed against the king’s softness and sluggishness in meting out punishment. He requested that the responsibility be assigned to himself and Banquo, promising that he would quickly bring it about that no trace of Macdonald would remain. Nor did the outcome give the lie to his promises. For as soon as he entered Lochaber and had ravaged a portion of that district, word of the man reached his enemies, and a part of Macdonald’s forces lost the hope which had previously inspired their undertaking and abandoned him. Obliged by necessity, Macdonald and the remnants of his spirited army came to blows with his enemy, in which all his stoutest men were killed. Macdonald and a few others retired into a castle, but since Macdonald saw he was powerless to withstand a siege, he sent a herald humbly begging pardon for himself, his wife, and children. When he failed to obtained this and no hope remained, he first killed his wife and children, lest they be left alive to be butchered by his enemy to their shame, and committed suicide. When Macbeth broke open the castle gates and saw Macdonald lying over the bodies of his family, his cruel disposition remained unrelenting. He cut of the man’s head, affixed it to a pole, and bade it be sent to Perth, where the king was, and hung his headless body from a very high gallows. The Hebridians obtained pardon for their misdeed, but he imposed a heavy fine on them. But when some of them who had joined Macdonald in Lochaber were later apprehended, he had them hanged. For this reason the Hebridians, aroused by the punishment of their own men, hurled insults at Macbeth, calling him a cruel oath-breaker, a bloodthirsty man who exercised his savagery on those whom the royal clemency had spared. Macbeth was furious at those words, and enlisted forces in preparation to moving against the Hebrides to take revenge for their outspokenness. But he subsided, overcome by his friends’ entreaties, and his wrath was somewhat mollified by the receipt of gifts from the Hebridians.
4. Now the rule of law had been restored almost everywhere, thanks to Macbeth, when it was suddenly announced that Sweyn was warring against them with all his strength. But so that it might better be understood who this man was, I shall describe his origins in greater detail. The Sweyn who was the first of the Danish nation to establish a kingdom in England had three sons, Harald, Sweyn, and Cnut. Before his death he made the first of these king of England, the second king of Norway, and the third king of Denmark. Three years after his father’s death Aethelred (whom his father Sweyn had driven out of his kingdom to Normandy, as has been related above) killed Harald and seized his kingdom. But he did not hold it for long. For King Cnut of Denmark invaded England with a strong army, killed Aethelred in revenge for his brother’s death, and regained the kingdom. To avenge his father’s death, Aethelred’s son Edmund recovered his strength, assembled all the forces he could, and marched against his enemy with high spirits. But when both battle-lines stood ready awaiting the signal to fight, Edmund, trusting in his personal strength, came forth from his battle-line and, as its commander, challenged the opposing commander to single combat, saying it was an excellent thing for the commanders to take all the risk on the terms that he who prevailed would gain the kingdom, rather than pay the price of so many men’s lives. The outcome of this trial by arms would quickly show which of them would rule, for it was reasonable that the worthier be preferred to the less deserving, and he who was stronger would be the worthier. Cnut, no whit inferior to the other in age and hot-bloodedness, liked the suggestion, since he could manage the affair with less risk to his army. Therefore they both came out before their battle-lines, spurred their horses, and tilted their lances against each other. For a while they fought with no less skill than might, providing a fine spectacle for both their armies. When they had exhausted their horses they paused their fight for a minute, and Cnut said, “Edmund, the gods have let you test my strength without receiving any harm. I think they also want you to have a kingdom. Come, I invite you to have a share of one. If you agree to my suggestion, we’ll divide the kingdom on equal terms.”
5. Edmund gladly agreed to his proposal, preferring to rest content with half a kingdom rather than endure such efforts and perils in exchange for an uncertain outcome. For, unbeknownst to Cnut, he had been wounded, and he also had a presentiment that the time would come when he could recover his entire realm. Therefore they both eagerly dismounted, transformed from deadly enemies into close friends, and quickly divided the kingdom. The part nearest to France was assigned to Cnut, and Edmund took the rest. Meanwhile Emma fled into Normandy with the sons she had borne Aethelred, Alfred and Edward. King Sweyn of Norway saw that by his own effort his brother had placed England under Danish rule, and thought this was no time for hesitation, since he was the elder of the two, if he desired to equal his brother in glory and power. So he sailed against Scotland with a mighty army, saying by way of a pretext that he had come to take revenge for the death of his kinsman Camus and his comrades at Barry, Crudan Bay, and Carham. He landed his fleet in Fife, but was by no match for his brother in either greatness of spirit or skill at war. For he worked cruel and piteous slaughter on innocent children, women, and infants, to a degree previously unheard-of. When King Duncan heard of this and the wailing of babes all but came to his ears, he was obliged to shake off his softness of mind and turn his attention to war. For sometimes necessity transforms an idle sluggard into a ready and forsightful man. He immediately enlisted great forces, and divided them into three parts. The first line he assigned to Macbeth, the second to Banquo, and he himself commanded the third, keeping the greater part of the nobility with him. The two sides met at Culross, not far from the place where there is now a notable abbey of the same name, belonging to the Cistercian Order. Both sides fought with great might, doing much killing. But in the end the Scots were overcome and took to their heels at a rush, and the beginning of their flight marked the end of the killing, since the Norwegians were so exhausted after the flight that the had neither the strength nor the will for a pursuit.
6. They spent the following night on the battlefield, not yet assured they had gained the day, and did not gather up the spoils before daybreak. When the day dawned and they realized the enemy were quite gone, they were allowed to roam around gathering plunder, but Sweyn forbade them to kill any unarmed person, hoping to win over the Scots. Then he took his entire army and followed after Duncan. Learning from deserters that he had gone off to Bertha, and that Macbeth had crossed over the mountains to repair his forces, he likewise headed for Bertha, bent on setting siege to it. When Duncan realized he was surrounded and had been pent in for a week now, he took the advice of Banquo, a very prudent man, he sent a secret message to Macbeth, who he had heard was approaching with a fresh army, to halt at Tuline until he was told otherwise. At the same time, he sent a herald to Sweyn requesting free egress for his nobility and all his family, together with all their fortunes. If Sweyn would give hostages as a guarantee of this, he would quickly surrender the town. He made this request knowing full it well it would be refused, so that the unsuspecting Sweyn would imagine he could be gradually be led to agree to a general surrender (as he was pretending). So he sent another ambassador inviting Sweyn to send a herald to the city, so that they might negotiate for a surrender. When the herald came, Duncan pretended that he had neither the ability or the will to resist Sweyn any longer, and stated that he was ready to surrender. And yet, so as to lessen Sweyn’s anger against himself somewhat, although he could have withstood the siege for a longer time because he had a good supply of provisions, he would furnish Sweyn and his army with a store of food of all kinds, wine, beer, and grain. He also claimed he had more than a sufficiency of meat from his estates, and, if they had none, he was ready to furnish it. When these words reported to Sweyn upon the herald’s return, they were welcome, not just to him, but also to his entire army. For, having brought nothing with themselves, the were suffering from extreme hunger: the landscape had previously been devastated by the Scots themselves, they kept their herds in safe places night and day, and the grain had already been harvested. Meanwhile the Scots mixed into wine and beer nightshade (this is a plant which grows in great quantity in Scotland; the berries concealed under its leaves are purple, or rather black, when fully ripe, and have a quality of inducing sleep or even of driving you out of your mind, if you consume them in quantity), and carried these to the army with great enthusiasm, bringing them through the open gates of their camp.
7. The Danish soldiers were happy with this supply and gulped it down greedily, challenging each other to drinking-contests. Nor was their commander a man accustomed to abstinence, so he did no differently than his soldiers, and he joined them in indiscriminately drinking the wine and beer, until he had drunk his fill and fell asleep. The Scots also brought a great store of baked bread, so that nothing would be wanting to whet the Danes’ appetites and they could eat their fill. They did exactly what the townsmen hoped they would: imagining the war to be over, they consumed as much as their bellies could hold. And so that they would harbor no suspicion, those who brought this stuff toasted their enemies, and generously bade them drink. Meanwhile Duncan sent a trusty messenger to Macbeth, telling him to come quickly with his army, since what he had in mind was now accomplished. So, as secretly as he could, Macbeth brought his army to Bertha, crossing the Tay by a wooden bridge. Then he came out the gate on the other side of the city, the one facing the Norwegians’ lookout-posts, and came to the enemy camp under Banquo’s guidance. They set up a great shout to discover whether any sober watchmen chanced to remain on duty, and then inflicted a great slaughter, killing some men abed, who were so overcome by the drug that neither such a great clamor, nor death itself, could rouse them. Others were driven so mad that they had no idea of what was happening or what they should do. Some, who had been suspicious of their enemies’ gifts, and so had abstained from the drug and remained sober, went a-running to the king, calling him by name, shook him, slapped him, doing everything they could to wake him from his slumber, but he could not be aroused since the poison had sapped his strength. In the end they lifted him up as if he were a dead man, this one taking his head, that one his feet, others this arms, and some supporting his torso, and floated him down to Taymouth, where his fleet was stationed, on a fishing boat. But not even the sailors on their ships had been able to restrain themselves when they heard there was an abundance of drink in the camp. So the few who remained on individual ship,s seeing what had happened, took what necessities they could find and boarded a single vessel, setting sail for Norway together with their king. Nobody at all escaped save those who had rescued the king and those sailors. As even they admit, the slaughter of the Norwegians was very great. For henceforth whenever a man was knighted he swore an oath that he would do his best to avenge this Scottish insult. Three days later, the ships riding empty at harbor where swept into the estuary by a hard-blowing easterly, crashed into each other, and sank atop a sandbank, which created a great danger for those sailing in and out. They are hidden at high tide, but become visible at low tide, and this obstruction is called Drumlaw Sands, that is, “The Sunken Mountains.”
8. Throughout the kingdom, the Scots thanked heaven for their victory and the great plunder they had obtained, they decreed supplications, they did everything which the grateful mind loves to see happen. But while they were preoccupied with these things, behold, it was reported that a Danish fleet had arrived bearing an army, sent by Cnut in aid of his brother, and that it had landed at Kinghorn: their soldiers, set ashore, were plundering the coastal region around about. Macbeth and Banquo marched against them with a fine company of young men and, fired by their recent victory, overcame them without difficulty, killing some of their nobles and driving the rest back to their ships. Those who fled to the ships obtained from Macbeth, in exchange for a great sum of money, that the nobles who had died in the fight be buried in consecrated ground on St. Colme’s Inch. Even in our time very visible monuments of the Danes remain, with their coats of arms inscribed on the stones. In addition, it was required that the Danes swear upon their oath to invade Scotland no more.
9. Thus far, Duncan had waged foreign wars for seven years, possessing his reign with a certain degree of success. Not much later, a strange and wonderful thing which disturbed the condition of the realm. For as Macbeth and Banquo were traveling to Forres, where the king was then living, for their recreation they strayed among the fields and forests. In the middle of a field three apparitions of a womanly appearance, clad in weird dress, met them. When they stood silent, watching them approached in wonderment, the first said, “Hail, Macbeth, Thane of Glamis.” The second said, “Hail, Thane of Cawdor,” and the third, “Hail Macbeth, the future king of Scotland.” Banquo replied, “You don’t seem very well-disposed towards me, because you promise him fine appointments, and the crown as well, but nothing at all for me.” The first of them replied, “No, we forecast far greater things for you than for him. For he will reign, but will die an ill death, leaving none of his posterity to be rightfully numbered among our kings. You, on the other hand, will not come to the throne, but a long line of your descendants will rule over Scotland.” These things having been said, they vanished from their sight. These things struck Macbeth and Banquo as meaningless, and as a joke Banquo saluted Macbeth as king, and Macbeth responded by hailing Banquo as a father of many kings. But, thanks to the sequel, it was commonly said that these women were the Fates or some prophetic nymphs inspired by the Devil’s cunning, when they had said turned out be true.
10. For a little while later the Thane of Cawdor stood his trial at Forres and was executed for treason and, his land and office were bestowed on Macbeth by the royal bounty. When they were at dinner, happily joking and railing at each other, Banquo said, “Macbeth, you have gained the things that two of those sisters foretold, there only remains for you to accomplish what the third predicted.” When he brooded over this thing, Macbeth began to think seriously about gaining the throne. But he needed to wait for an opportunity, at a time, as he supposed, destined by heaven. For he believed that, just as heaven had brought the first two predictions to pass, so it would the third. Nor was it long before Duncan offered him a chance. For he bestowed Cumbria on Malcolm, one of the sons his daughter had presented to Earl Siwerd of Northumbria, as if he were indicating that Malcolm was his chosen successor. Macbeth took this amiss, thinking it stood in the way of his attempt (for there was an ancient custom that, should the destined heir of the realm were unqualified to govern by reason of his youth, his next of kin, should he be a prudent man, would govern the realm), and thought he had a worthy reason for hating Duncan. So he began to take counsel how he might seize the throne. He was encouraged by what he had learned from those goddesses, as he imagined them to be. For two of their predictions had turned out true, and he thought it would not be difficult to gain the third, with heaven’s help. His wife also egged him on, for she was eager to possess a royal name, very impatient of delay, and, just as the female sex is quick to conceive an idea, so it is excessively enthusiastic about gaining what it has conceived. Therefore she used her sharp tongue to incite her husband, who was scarcely a sluggard and had a mind already fired by the royal insult. She called him a timid coward for not daring such a excellent, noble thing although heaven and the Fates had guaranteed it with its prophecies and predictions: many men had been inspired by the greatness of the royal title to attempt the thing, although they had no other hope, thinking that artificial title to be worth their life, trading their enjoyment of the light of day for a brief enjoyment of the royal name.
11. He therefore communicated his plans to his intimates, and particularly to Banquo. When they had all promised their support, he took advantage of an opportunity to murder the king, now having reigned for seven years, at Inverness (some say it was at Bothnagowan, the modern Pitgaveny). Accompanied by a number of other men, bribed for the purpose, and relying on his retinue, he made himself king and soon went to Scone, where he was hailed as king by common consent. The dead king’s body was borne to Elgin by a small escort, tended there in royal style, and afterwards taken to Iona and buried, in the year of Man’s Savior 1047, which was the fourteenth year of Cnut’s reign over the Danes and English. Malcolm Canmore and Donald Bane, the sons of the murdered Duncan, hastily retired to Cumbria until Eldred’s son Edward (the one who was later canonized) had recovered the English kingdom in Albion from the Danes, at which time Malcolm went to Edward and received a royal welcome. Donald went off to the Hebrides, and later to Ireland. To cement by kindness a government gained by crime, Macbeth distributed his royal revenues among the more powerful of his subject, paying them to acquiesce to his felony. Since he had no fear of any neighboring king (rather, his neighbors feared him if they even set foot outside their realms, and would not even meet each other eyes so that one of them could read the other’s mind — I am speaking of Cnut and Edmund), he was free to turn his mind to the administration of the commonwealth. Everything was filled with the violence of freebooters, who had erupted in every manner of license thanks to Duncan’s slowness to punish and quickness to forgive. He thought it in the republic’s best interest to remove these men. But if he should attempt this openly, since they existed in such great numbers, he feared they would unite under some man he counted among his enemies and foment some uprising. So this canny men devised a cunning scheme to deal with them.
12. By the agency of certain trusty friends, he arranged that the neighbors of those who were openly infamous were bribed into challenging them to single combat, to be decided in a public court, and that all of these should be fought on one and the selfsame day. Therefore when they all had come to the courts, they were placed under arrest by armed royal henchmen concealed for the purpose. Afterwards the innocent were let go, and the rest were hoisted up on to gallows, providing a spectacle of his victory no less useful than pleasant to behold, a victory in which all the guilty men, and only them, were overcome. Henceforth no man dared take up the freebooting trade, since men for a surety that they would no more evade the king’s clutches, if they had done anything amiss, than those whom he had just taken in such great numbers, and these had been about two thousand. Then he made a progress through all the districts of Scotland and visited all the Hebrides for the sake of administering justice, and he was regarded as a very energetic champion of the poor and innocent, and as a most diligent avenger of wrongs done to the peasantry, the priesthood, and merchants. He was also intent (and this was not done amiss) that young men, the future hope of the commonwealth, be imbued with excellent morals, and begged his bishops to attend to their sacred responsibilities with diligence, lest sin spring up at the point where their authority failed. He cashiered certain nobles, the Thanes of Caithness, Sutherland, Strathearne, and Ross, because the common people had suffered great loss thanks to their quarreling and they had not been able to resolve them. He twice defeated in battle MacGill, the tyrant of Galloway, who had twice spurned his royal authority, as vested in his heralds, and afterwards took him prisoner and beheaded him, and restored that district to profound peace. But his most conspicuous achievement was his legislation for the good of the commonwealth. Had he obtained his crown in a lawful manner, he would have been considered second to no other king. Since they are virtually unknown, I think it useful to add here those which I regard as most advantageous.
13. ✤ You shall not hale a consecrated priest before a secular judge. If he makes his appearance, the judge shall not judge him, but you shall remand him to the holy bishops.
✤ You shall make a free donation of the crops of the earth to the pastors of churches, and worship God with all customary prayers and offerings.
✤ He who has a scorned a bishop’s authority for an entire year, and has not made his reconciliation in the meantime, shall be deemed an enemy of the commonwealth; he who has persisted in his contumacy for two years shall be fined of all his fortune.
✤ When a man is created a knight, he shall swear to protect widows, orphans, and the peasantry. When a man is hailed as king, he shall do the same.
✤ A firstborn female shall succeed to an inheritance no less than men, but she shall marry no landed lord or lord of a manor; if she should so so, she shall forfeit her heritage.
✤ No man shall possess a farm, estate, tract of land, or a magistracy by any authority than that of the king, nor shall any man possess a magistracy otherwise than by serving at the king’s pleasure.
✤ No man shall presume to sit as judge over secular matters save for him appointed by royal authority, and he shall administrate all justice, convene assemblies, and convoke councils in the king’s name. It shall be a capital crime to swear fealty, or vow his service, or make promise to war against anyone, to any man other than the king.
✤ If someone should assemble a force against someone else, both he who summons them and those who join with him shall be liable to capital punishment
✤ If someone accompanies another man to a public meeting or a fair in a market-place other than the man who supplies his daily meat and fee, as his armed henchman, he shall be guilty of a capital crime.
14. ✤ A horse maintained by a farmer for any other purpose than rural work shall be confiscate.
✤ Stage-actors, minstrels, mimes, and the rest of that tribe of idlers, shall be compelled to practice some trade, unless they are given permission by special royal favor. If they refuse to this, unless they are unfit because of some illness or mutilation, they shall be hitched to a plow or wagon to pull it, after the manner of draft-animals
✤ If a son succeeds to his inheritance in his father’s lifetime, even with royal consent, and if his father subsequently commits treasonable act, his heir shall nonetheless be disinherited.
✤ If a woman marries the lord of an estate, and if he begets no children on her, she shall rest content with one third of the land, with the rest passing to the heirs of the deceased.
✤ Lords of districts who create an affinity between themselves by contracting marriages shall forfeit their heads.
✤ A man who wears armor at any time other than when going off to war shall forfeit his armor and be fined in proportion to size of his estate.
✤ If a man is governing some territory and buys land therein during the time of his office, he shall forfeit both the land and the price he paid for it.
✤ If a man is governing some territory and bestows either his son or his daughter on someone dwelling in the cities or countryside within his jurisdiction, he shall resign his office, and henceforth it will be forbidden for either himself or his son to occupy that same office.
15. Macbeth was quite punctual in his observance of these laws and the others then in force, and for ten full years he administered the realm as well as any other king. But thus far he was playing the part of another man, in order to curry favor with the people. Soon he reverted to his former self and exchanged mildness for cruelty. For he was troubled by Furies (as happens to tyrants who have criminally usurped their commonwealths), who did not leave him free of the constant fear that somebody would do to him what he himself had done to someone else. Then too, there remained the prophecy of those women who had predicted his reign, which promised the kingdom to the descendants of Banquo. Therefore he invited Banquo, who was thinking of nothing of the kind, and his son to a banquet, in other words to their murder. And yet, because he did not wish his own house of hospitality to be stained by the man’s blood, and also to be able to disown the guilt, if he were ever to be accused of it, he stationed some men ready to do the deed outside his palace, and bade them wait until Banquo came out. Then, as if they were rioting, they should attack him together with his son Fleance and cut them down. But, by God’s singular help, the son escaped the clutches of his murderers in the murk of night, since the Fates were reserving him for a better fortune. Advised by certain friends that his life was the object of Macbeth’s scheming as well as that of his father, he went into exile in Wales.
16. I do not think I shall be acting beside the point, if at this place I insert, as briefly as I can, the origin of the kings descended from Banquo, since my subject appears to require that readers be informed in a single place of the origins of the clan which has produced a long line of kings and continues in its possession of the realm. This Fleance, as has been said, fled into exile in Wales. Because if his quickness of wit, he was soon counted among the familiars of the lord of that nation. Because of their frequent conversation, he became smitten with love for that man’s daughter, and she was not averse to that handsome, noble young man. He impregnated her, and when her father found out about this, he killed Fleance, condemned his daughter to the basest form of slavery, and banished to the countryside the son to whom she had given birth, whose name was Walter. When he was twenty years old, you could call him a more high-spirited lad than normal for those reared in the hinterland. He left the countryside and went to his grandfather, who received him, but treated him like a slave. Nevertheless he retained a proud and ever-aspiring mind. Before long, when a comrade rebuked him for being a thoroughly ignoble bastard, he took the insult amiss and killed his critic. Then he escaped his grandfather and hurried to Scotland, bent on begging the aid of his kinsmen. When he came to the royal court, he was soon taken into the friendship of Englishmen living with Margaret Queen of Scots (she who was subsequently canonized), and by his punctual politeness he soon gained the friendship and favor of one and all. Later he was made commander of no mean army and went to Galloway, and then to the Hebrides, where he defeated and put to death some tyrants and settled all the disturbances they had created. Distinguished by these accomplishments and became a royal favorite. When the king realized that he was born of Scottish blood, he made him his steward or seneschal, that is the chief supervisor of royal incomes, and bestowed on him estates and lands in Kyle and Renfrewshire, as well as Stewart Island.
17. Alan Stewart was born of Walter Stewart who, in the company of the Duke of Lorraine and Robert, the bastard son of the King of England, accomplished fine deeds in recovering the Holy Land, in about the year of Christ’s birth 1099. Alexander Stewart was born of Alan, who founded the very famous abbey of Paisley, from its beginning owned by members of the Benedictine Order, noteworthy for their sanctity. His son Walter of Dundonald distinguished himself in the battle fought at Largis under Alexander III King of Scots. Born of Walter were Alexander, who likewise fought with distinction in the same battle, and a second son, Robert, who was given by his father lands at Tarbolton and married the daughter and heiress of Robert Cruix of Cruixton, from which marriage descended the knights and Barons of Darnley and eventually the Earls of Lennox. James and John, as well as several other sons, were born to Alexander, who took new surnames from their estates. After the death of James while still in his minority, John married the virgin heiress of Bonkill, and fathered Walter Stewart, who when his farther had been killed at Falkirk, succeeded him as heir to Bonkill, Renfrew, Rothesay, Bute, Kyle, and Stewarton. After the kingdom had been restored and matters had been rendered more settled, he married Marjorie, the daughter of King Robert Bruce, and by her he fathered King Robert Stewart, who in turn was the father of King Robert III. James I was born of Robert, and he sired Robert II, the father of James III, from whom issued Robert IV. At this time, his son James V, a young man in his fifteenth year, happily possesses the throne of Scotland, a lad who promises great hope for prosperity, in this year after our Redeemer was seen on this earth 1526.
18. I must return to Macbeth, from whom my discourse has strayed. After he committed his crime against Banquo in the manner I have described, nothing went well for him. For when it became clear that Banquo had been murdered, every man feared for himself, and the nobles made their appearances at court rarely and against their will. And this in turn brought about a greater evil. For when Macbeth perceived he was a terror to one and all and that they feared him, he in turn began to fear everybody, and so an ineradicable mutual loathing arose. Then he killed some of them on false charges of having held his new laws, and others as well, in contempt, and confiscated all their property. Having reaped a great profit from the murder of others, he now began to act with greater license, feeling he was making a double profit. For those he feared were put to the sword, and he used their goods to hire a great number of henchmen to protect him from the harm he dreaded. He also built a castle atop the hill of Dunsany, very well defended both by its position and its fortifications. This is a hill in Gowrie, ten miles away from Perth, very lofty with a good view of the fields far and wide, from which nearly all of Angus, Fife, Stermond and Ernedale. The work itself was very arduous, for because the hill was so steep that the stones, cement, and other building materials could not be brought up without great effort and huge expense. And yet he did not abandon the project. For he required every one of his regional thanes to take his turn at the work, and defray the construction at his own expense. They all obeyed his mandate, and gone almost all the way around the circle, when it came to the turn of Macduff, the Thane of Fife. When he could not participate himself, he sent his materials and workmen and commanded each to do his duty as diligently as he could, lest his absence provoke the royal anger. For he feared falling under the tyrant’s power, for every man trusted him at his own risk.
19. And so when the king came to the castle to inspect the work and failed to find Macduff, he was troubled (for even the slightest offence often provokes great wrath in suspicious minds), and said, “It is clear, I think, that, in the manner of wild horses, this man will never be obedient if I do not put a bridle on him.” Thereafter he could never look upon him with friendly eyes, either because he feared his considerable power, or because he had learned from soothsayers (in whom he greatly trusted at that time, because of the true prophecy he had once obtained from the nymphs, as he thought) that he should beware of Macduff, who was plotting against his life. He would have already done away with Macduff, but his held back by a certain prophetic old dame who deceived him with her obscure forecasts, which served to relieve him of all his fears, saying that it was inscribed in the book of fate that he could not be defeated by his enemies until the Birnam Wood had been brought to the fields lying around Dunsany, and that he was fated never to die by the hand of a woman born of man. Thanks to these kindnessess of heaven, as he considered them to be, Macbeth was careless concerning all conspiracies against himself and did all things with yet greater license, fearing no man. For thanks to the first prophecy he fancied he was invisible, and the second led him to imagine he would never die.
20. But these lying delusions of demons placed him in great jeopardy, as he henceforth feared nobody, and was swept headlong into murdering all and sundry. For in order to escape the tyrant’s bloodstained hands, the Thane of Fife prepared to flee to England, in order to bring back Malcolm Canmore. Nor could his plan escape Macbeth’s notice. For there is truth in the proverb that kings need the eyes of a lynx and the ears of a Midas, so as to see clearly even those who are farthest distant, and hear them most distinctly. In all men’s households, especially those of the most powerful men, whom he could pay to sniff out and speedily report to him any possible source of fear. Therefore he very quickly learned each man’s thoughts, and oppressed them before they could sufficiently make their plans for a rebellion. His all-encompassing fear, which gave him no rest by day or night as the crimes he had committed worked upon his conscience, made him devise these things. For conscience is a great avenger of the crimes one has committed, never ever feeling good about itself. And so, when he had heard of Macduff’s intentions, he quickly assembled certain forces and went to Fife, although no uprising had occurred, and threw a siege around the castle in which imagined Macduff to be. He took it with no great trouble, since its defenders had been expecting nothing of the kind and did not possess sufficient provisions to withstand a protracted siege. So they lost heart at the very outset, but Macbeth exercised no less cruelty on them after they surrendered. He killed them down to the last man, including Macduff’s children, wife, and all the servants that could be found. He auctioned off all of Macduff’s goods, and declared him an enemy throughout the entire kingdom of Scotland.
21. But he had already come to Malcolm in England, hot to gain revenge for the recent massacre of his household. When he came to him, he explained his need and the wretchedness of his family: their murder, the immeasurable and hateful destructiveness of the savage tyrant, the great insolence with which he had raged against the persons of all the nobility, as he was even now continuing to do, so that if he merely sensed that a man feared him, he dragged him to doom as if he had committed a capital offence, putting him to many tortures and in the end scarcely permitting him to breathe his last. He was not only hateful to those he could fear, but even condemned innocent wives and children to the same fate. He not only wanted to destroy powerful men, but also steal their goods both to share them out among his henchmen and to hire more so that, thanks to their protection, he could remove all the nobility from the kingdom. When Malcolm had sighed over these things, Macduff said, “How long will you let that unspeakable butchery of your family go unavenged, the undeserved murder of your father and his friends by a tyrant who is so near to you in kin and most indebted to you for your benefits? When will be satisfied with seeing your native land subjected to punishments? When you were an exile it oppressed you rather than defending you, and how much have we suffered in the interim! You were not of an age where you could contend against such a wild beast. Nor did an Edward rule England to help you in your endeavor. Our people is often foolish and delights in innovations, and it had not yet had experience of that man’s cruelty, something of which it has now learned to its own cost. And how often it groans and sighs! How often it condemns its own sloth! How often does it seek for you with its ardent wishes, thinking that in you resides its only hope for better things! With what sighs it wishes that you would sometime be guided by heaven to agree to free itself and its nation from this very savage cruelty!
22. “And so, if you are not a coward, taking pleasure in your nation’s afflictions, and if the constant endurance of this most undeserved exile is not to your liking, you must someday undertake to free our commonwealth and wretched homeland from its woes, as is in your power to do. Out of his kindness and deep affection towards yourself, Edward will furnish all the forces you desire, for he too has had the experience of seeing his nation oppressed by very savage and powerful kings, yet thanks to his martial virtue and God’s help he rescued it from their very brutal clutches. All the nobility of Scotland regards Macbeth with profound hatred, and are inspired by the evils they have personally suffered no less than by the public catastrophe. Even those who have thus far suffered no evil at the hands of that Phalaris (to call him by a suitable name), expect his knife at their throats at any hour. His malice cannot be overcome by good men, it is only provoked the more. For those who submit to his more than Manlius-like commands with the best will in the world only arouse his suspicion by their obsequiousness. But those who do not immediately obey him are visited with instant evil. What man, even if possessed with great prudence, can satisfy his very contradictory whims, so as not somehow to give offense? If you are not already aware of the public disposition towards yourself, you can easily grasp it from what I say. They are being indiscriminately killed in droves: they are not even singled out as men of our social order, but are universally butchered whenever it enters that human maelstrom’s head to do it. So have you any doubt whether their thoughts towards yourself will be favorable or unfavorable, friendly or unfriendly? Even if everything does not openly display itself, these catastrophes of our nation, which are by no means to be neglected, are nothing to lament in a womanish way, but rather something to be avenged by yourself and by us: I mean the undeserved murder of your father, that best and gentlest of men, and your own perils, which you escaped with the help of your friends, for which they have also suffered the utmost; not to mention the fact that you escaped that danger with the assistance of heaven. And indeed it is by God’s help that you have been preserved until today so you might succor your people, who are suffering in their extremity.”
23. When Macduff had said these things by way of encouraging Malcolm, he was quite moved by the bitterness of the thing. And yet at first he dissimulated everything, so as to sound out the man’s mind and discover whether he was sincere or (as Macbeth had frequently done in the past) sent to test his mind and deceitfully endanger him, so as to hand him over to Macbeth for the killing. So his answer was that his nation was dear to his heart, and that he regretted its misfortune for being, as he said, troubled by a most cruel tyrant. However, there was no hope in himself and he was unfit to rule. He claimed he was addicted to many vices, of which he was aware but of which he could not break himself, so much so that, were he to inherit a well-regulated kingdom from others, because of those vices he would be incapable of protecting it, and most especially because of that worst of all vices, the source of all others, his immoderate lust. For, although it was wicked and pernicious, he could nonetheless keep it contained within the walls of his own house, and not see others being infected by it as long as it was his own personal malady. “For,” he said, “if I were to gain power and receive that license granted to kings to do whatever I chose, perhaps you would discover that this lack of self-control would go much harder on my subjects than you could keep it away from your doors, and it would rage through your wives, daughters, through the honorable and the dishonorable, more wantonly than Macbeth’s bloody sword does now. And furthermore,” he said, “here is something very abhorrent to royal dignity, which often leads a people into moral depravity: I so greatly rejoice in lying, I take such delight in my devious mind, that in any business, no matter how serious, I delight in being cheated and deceived, and in cheating and deceiving others. And so, since nothing is more becoming in a king than reliability, truth-telling, justice, and that entire beautiful choir of the virtues, and since truthfulness by itself embraces them all, whereas falsehood subverts them, you see how unsuitable I am for the responsibility you wish me to assume, and how ill-advised you are to invite me to sit on your necks. So take my advice and remember the fable they tell about the fox oppressed by a swarm of blood-sucking flies. Asked by a passer-by how he intended to shoo them off, he replied that they were so full of his blood that they had no interest in alighting on his body; if he were to drive them away, new hungry ones would come a-flying and drink up all the blood their predecessors had left behind. So leave me as I am, lest your wishes, which you now press on me so urgently, change into their opposite, and later you shamefully throw out with indignation and insult the man you are now so eager to invite in.”
24. Macduff replied that he should at least be willing concede this to his nation: he should appoint himself leader of the effort to free their nation, and he and his friends would attend to the rest. When Malcolm refused this too (for he was testing Macduff to see what he would do if pushed to the limit and whether he would remain steadfast, for he still unconvinced that he was not acting deceitfully), Macduff said, “If you are not moved by patriotism or pity for the unspeakable evils your fellow-countrymen are suffering, and cannot be swayed by any entreaties, then I hope that God someday give you a better mind, or else that He will not allow you to continue living, to the detriment of your nation. As far as I am concerned, since I am abandoned by everybody, so as not to witness the collapse of my nation, I shall hasten to foreign parts as far away as I can, and the service I cannot do my country I shall perform for Christianity, which is like a great nation that embraces us all. I shall oppose the enemies of our religion with his poor body of mine, as long as these eyes can see the light of day.” He was now ready to make his indignant departure, when Malcolm, now assured that he was acting with honesty, and that his words and deeds were sincere, took him by his sleeve and said, “I shall do as you want, Macduff. Be of good cheer. I turned my back on you because experience has taught me to do that: Macbeth has often set his traps for me with words of this kind. Just as I was slow in promising what you asked, so I shall be quick in doing it with care and attention.” Then they clasped hands and swore mutual faith and deliberated together about how to accomplish the business. When they had made their arrangements, Macduff returned to the border of the kingdom and sent trusty messengers to the leading nobles bearing letters informing them of the association formed against Macbeth, and urging them to rebel: Macbeth was to be deposed and Malcolm received as the true heir to the realm.
25. Meanwhile Malcolm obtained from King Edward of England the support of ten thousand soldiers under the command of Earl Siward of Northumbria. Report of these things reached Scotland before he had completed his necessary arrangements and started his march, which had the effect of dividing the nation into two factions, Malcolm’s supporters and those of Macbeth. They encamped next to each other and fought several light skirmishes, since Malcolm’s adherents refused to cast Fortune’s dice in full force before these had arrived from England. And when they did, Macbeth was terrified to see his enemies enhanced by such numbers, while his own were shrinking daily. So he went to Fife and headed for Bertha, bent on increasing his forces. Soon he encamped at Dunsany, having made up his mind to await his enemy there. For he thought it would be a disgrace to quit the throne without having fought a battle. But some of his friends urged him either to make peace with Malcolm on acceptable conditions, or to take the royal treasury and beat a retreat to the Hebrides, where he could hire mercenaries more reliable than the men who were draining away from him every day. But the Fates hurried the man onwards, for he was convinced that he was unconquerable until Birnam Wood had been brought there, so that death was not threatening him, since the soothsayers had predicted that he was not going to be killed by a man born of woman.
26. Malcolm followed Macbeth as quickly as he could, and on the day before he gained his victory he and his army halted next to Birnam Wood. When they had rested a while and attended to their bodily needs, he ordered them all to go into the forest , and for each man to cut of as large a branch as he could carry. Then he began his march during the first watch of the night. Crossing the Tay, at dawn they came in sight of their enemies, holding up their branches. When Macbeth saw this, he was frightened by the strange sight, thinking this was an ill omen for himself and his destiny. Nevertheless he led his soldiers out to fight, although his mind was foreboding nothing good. But scarcely had the branches been cast aside and the armies come together when Macbeth took to his heels and abandoned his army. When his soldiers saw this, they declined to give their lives for an unhappy coward, and so they made their submission to Malcolm. Motivated by his personal hatred for Macbeth, Macduff gave chase, and now Macbeth had come to Lunfannin, with Macduff hanging on his back. Dismounting, Macbeth said, “Why are you following me in vain, you unlucky man? I cannot be killed by man born of woman. Come then, and I’ll give you reward for such great effort.” Macduff got off his horse quicker than the telling, and replied, “No, today at this place you will atone for all your crimes against everybody, and be cut down by my hand. I was not born from my mother’s open womb, but was cut out of her belly.” Saying this, he took his sword and beheaded Macbeth. He fixed the head on a pole and brought it to Malcolm as a welcome sight for all the men who had been afflicted by the tyrant. This was the end of Macbeth, in the sixteenth year of his realm. He had done many good things for the commonwealth, but had dishonored and befouled them all by his various acts of cruelty, having been deluded by the trickery of demons. He was killed in the year of Man’s Salvation 1061, which was the tenth year of Malcolm’s exile and the eighth of the reign of King Edward of England.
27. I must relate in a little greater detail how rule over England was wrested from the Danes and restored to the true heirs of the realm and to Edward. After Cnut and Edward had changed from enemies into friends and divided the kingdom between themselves, for four years everything remained quiet in England, for the peace endured and each was prevented from creating a disturbance by fear of the other. It is nonetheless well agreed that neither of them liked the other to possess his kingdom, preferring it to be his own. For this reason, a certain scurvy English villain hatched a criminal scheme for ingratiating himself with one of the two kings. He thought that Cnut was the likelier to approve of his misdeed, since Edmund was less powerful and had no possessions outside the island, and so was more vulnerable, and hoped to gain a large reward. And so this Eadric (for such was his name) kept his eye out for every opportunity, and secretly bored a hole in the latrine where Edmund used to go to empty his bowels. Through this, he introduced an iron spit and lethally wounded him in the groin. Quickly stealing away, he went a-running to Cnut, hailing him as king of all England. Cnut was astonished by the strangeness of this thing and thought he was was being mocked Well aware that kingdoms were not in the habit of being conferred by men of his stripe, he could scarcely contain his rage. But when the man persisted, he finally asked what had been done. Then the man related his deed, saying he had done something he had had in mind for a long time, boasted that he had killed Edmund with his own hand, and asked Cnut for his reward for such a great achievement. Even though Cnut did not wholeheartedly regret his rival’s death, he preferred to pay the man a proper and just reward for his crime rather than thanking him. So he set up a gallows in the middle of the market-place and hanged the fellow, forcing him to pay the proper price for his temerity.
28. By this deed Cnut diverted all suspicion of the murder for himself, which he could never have avoided, had the man survived. And by this punishment he won over the rest of the Englishman, and gained rule over all England with their great approval. For a little later a parliament of the whole realm was convened, and the nobles who had lived within the borders of Edmund’s kingdom offered him both the tutelage of Edmund’s sons Edward and Edwin and also the throne. After having kept them in a very honorable condition for a while, Cnut had a change of mine, and in order to cement the rule for himself and his posterity, he schemed for the boy’s murder and later sent them to King Valgarus of Sweden with a letter bearing instructions that they should be put to death. But that lord recognized the boys’ nobility and had regard for their innocent age, and so was moved by pity for them, and sent them to King Salomon of Hungary for protection, and pretended that he had performed his mandate. Then Cnut died and was succeeded by his son Harald Harefoot, so-called because of his fleetness of foot. He ruled for no more than two years, and was replaced by his brother Hardicanute, the most arrogant and hostile towards the English nation of all men living, and a man deeply steeped in crime. He did not even allow his brother’s shade to rest in peace. For he dug up his body and, as they say, and beheaded it (just as he liked to do with the living for having insulted himself and his mother. Then he affixed his head on a pole at a conspicuous place in London as a mockery, and bade the headless body be thrown into the river Thames. He also passed a law that whatever Englishman should chance to meet a Dane must uncover his head, bow, and salute him as his master, and if an Englishman and a Dane crossed a bridge at the same time, the Englishman should wait at the end of the bridge until the Dane had crossed over.
29. The English were indignant over this mistreatment, as was only reasonable. First, throughout all their cities they roared that such a high-handed and insulting tyranny was intolerable. Over and over, they said that this very shameful reproach would stain even their posterity, and in all their cities they entered into a compact that on one and the same day they would invite the Danish garrisons (which were parceled out among various towns to facilitate their food-supply) to a formal feast and kill them when they were in their cups, thus freeing England of the Danes’ savage tyranny on a single night. When Hardicanute had heard that his entire garrison had been put to the sword and the English were coming for him, bawling that the time had come to cast off that harsh yoke, lest he survive as a captive to the disgrace of his predecessors, who had so bravely acquired a kingdom, or pay the penalty for his haughtiness by suffering the worst of tortures, at the first English onslaught he committed suicide, inflicting a deserved punishment on himself. Thus died the fourth of the Danish kings who had ruled the English for so many years, and the helm of state reverted to men of English blood. Having taken back their kingdom from Danish tyranny, the English sent Godwin, the most powerful man in England (for he had married Cnut’s daughter) to Normandy, in order to fetch the two sons of King Aethelred, whom I have reported their mother Emma to have snatched out of the Danes’ hands and taken with her as she fled there. They were to be invited to rule the kingdom. But Godwin harbored ambitions for his own son, the grandson of Cnut by his daughter, and when he had arrived in Normandy he prepared to poison the boys. Alfred was exposed to the injury and killed. But by God’s help his brother Edward escaped the trap and soon arrived in England, where he was declared king. After failing in his attempt, Godwin went into a voluntary exile. Edward was a a man possessed of a gentle and pious nature, ready to forget insults, very sympathetic to the poor, and a model of every virtue. And so, a few years later, not only he did he forgive Godwin when he begged for pardon. and restored to him his land, but he even created his son Harald Duke of Oxford. But heaven does not let an evildoer’s crimes go unpunished. For one day he was performing his service at the royal table when someone happened to mention Alfred and the company were deploring his death, the conscience-stricken Godwin tried to avert the guilt from himself. He took a piece of bread, saying, “If I poisoned Arthur, may God choke me with this bread,” and, quicker than you can describe it, he fell to the ground, dead. The king and bystanders were amazed by this miracle, cursed God’s treacherous mind, and praised God as an excellent Avenger of wrongs. His dead body was buried in unconsecrated ground beneath a gallows.
30. And so (to resume this narration at the point I digressed) by the help of this English king Edward, in the eighth year of his reign Malcolm recovered his father’s kingdom. He received the traditional coronation at Scone on April 25, 1061 A. D. Then he proclaimed a general parliament at Forfar, where bestowed ample rewards on his noble adherents and the sons of those killed by Macbeth, passing out lands and magistracies, and restoring them to the dignities formerly possessed by themselves or their fathers. It was his will that, after the manner of other nations, they would take their clan names from their estates, something previously not done. Some of these he made earls, and others either barons or knights. He created Macduff, the Thane of Fife, an earl, and made other leading men Earls of Monteith, Athol, Lenox, Moray, Caithness, Ross, and Angus, so that few thanes remained. These were the first earls recorded by our annals. Many Scottish families then assumed new surnames: the families of Calder, Lockhart, Gordon, Seton, Wawain, Lauder, Melgum, Shaw, Learmonth, Liberton, Strachan, Cargill, Katra, Dundas, Cockburn, Mar, Mirton, Menzies, Abercrombie, Lesby, and many other took theirs from the names of manors given as royal grants to brave men. Certain inherited offices supplied others, such as Stewart, Dureward, Bannerman, Ferman. Some Christian names, too, henceforth were used as surnames of noble familes, such as Kenneth, Graham, Hay, and others. Both then and in later times new surnames replaced old ones, but it would be unneccessary and superfluous to list them all.
31. In that same parliament, the King announced many civil and religious ordinances to promote the glory and worship of our immortal God, as well as the advantage and glory of the realm. Afterwards he praised Macduff before the parliament for having been the original inspiration of the kingdom’s restoration and for striving to bring it about, and he bestowed three privileges on his family: first, that the Earl of Fife, whoever he might be, would have the exclusive responsibility and duty of seating the king on the throne and crowning him; second, that whenever the king went to war, command of the first rank should be given to the Earl of Fife; third, that Clan Macduff should be a so-called royal one in perpetuity. They call this the royal privilege, that the clan chief has the power of creating any man he choose a magistrate within his clan and sits in judgment on all legal actions save trials for treason. He also has the power that, if a member of his tribe, wherever he may be, is haled into court, he can retrieve him to be tried by is own judge. By that same parliament it was ordained that barons should have the power to dig trenches in which to bury condemned women alive, and set up gallows to hang the guilty. And all the laws of Macbeth I have recounted above were abrogated.
32. While Malcolm was preoccupied with these matters, it was reported that certain men of Macbeth’s faction, together with Lugthac (called the Fool, whom say was his son, and others his kinsmen) had come to Scone, where they hailed him as king. Macduff was sent against them, and did not rest until he had caught up with Lugthac at Esse, a town of Bothwell, and killed him together with all his confederates. His body was borne to the island of Iona together with that of his father, and buried in royal style. Peace and quiet prevailed in the kingdom for about four years, when suddenly news was brought that a great band of robbers had assembled at Coburnspeth and was committing its robberies throughout Laudon and Merch. Patrick Dunbar attacked them by royal command, and subdued them, albeit not without trouble, killed their leader, and brought his head to the king. He lost four hundred of his followers, captured eight hundred enemies (hanging them all), and killed six hundred. Lest his virtue languish in obscurity, in recognition of that victory Malcolm created Patrick Earl of Merch and gave him land in Coburnspeth, on condition that he keep Laudon and Merch free of robbers and bear on his standard the picture of a bloody head. A little later, the king was the intended victim of a conspiracy, but found out about beforehand. When he went out on the hunt and those conspiring for his death had assembled, he took its leader alone into a valley surrounded on all sides by forest, and there he rebuked him for having imagined the death of a man to who whom he owed the utmost affection because of the benefits he had received. Then he challenged the man to a single combat, where the business would not be done underhandedly, but in which the man of greater virtue would emerge the victor. When the man heard this, he fell to his knees and begged pardon for his offence. This he easily obtained from the mild-mannered king, on condition that he join no more conspiracies.
33. While Scottish affairs stood in this condition, King Edward of England, being childless, sent messengers to recall his nephews by his brother Edmund, whom I have described as having fled to Hungary. Edwin had succumbed to the Fates a long time ago, but Edward had married Agatha, the daughter of the king of Hungary, and fathered a single son named Edgar Aetheling, and two daughters, Margaret and Christana. When the traveler had disclosed his mandate, Edward obtained permission to depart from his father-in-law, and returned to England with his wife and children, where he was received with great honor by King Edward. Edward wished to create his like-named nephew king upon his first arrival, so that after his death no man could insinuate himself into the palace and ambitiously usurp the throne, passing over him. But he nephew replied that he would never accept the crown while his uncle still lived. It represented, to be sure, a great and praiseworthy example of self-control for posterity, for him exercise such moderation of mind in refusing the offer of something for which other men are willing to gain by steel and fire, turning everything topsy-turvy. Nevertheless the English realm did not long flourish under such kings. For not long thereafter the younger Edward died his uncle did not long survive him, and their deaths served as a bugle-call to signal tumultuous times. For a formal parliament of nobles was convened to choose a king, and immediately quarrels erupted concerning the crown. When nearly all of their minds were inclined towards King Edward’s nephew Edgar and it seemed that he would be designated the king, some troublemakers made their intervention, saying that it was advantageous to their commonwealth for Godwin’s son Harald to be preferred to him, because of the fear of a Danish war that seemed to be imminent. They swayed everyone to their way of thinking and created Harald king. Some say that this was a false sentiment and that the aforementioned nobles had been bribed to introduce it into the debate and then, allowing a little time to pass, had won the others to their side with gold.
34. Having accepted the helm of state, at the beginning of his reign Harald administered everything well, and did not begin his rule with murder, as do nearly all kings who arrive at such a pinnacle of success by deceit. He granted Edgar, his mother and sisters the liberty of London, where they lived, and, as if disdainful of Fortune, allowed the true heir to the kingdom to live safe and sound in his kingdom, something rarely seen elsewhere. But Agatha was fearful for her son and took him into her lodging, keeping him under close watch. It came to pass that, as if there was nothing for him to do at home, Harald wanted to cross over to Flanders for the sake of his recreation. But as he was in mid-ocean a great storm suddenly blew up and his ships were driven to the hostile land of Normandy. But by his shrewd counsel he changed everything for the better. Since he feared his enemy William the Bastard, because his father had once murdered the man’s nephew and he was anxious lest William seize the opportunity to take his revenge, he volunteered to the locals the information that he had chosen to come and pay the duke a visit, for there was some business he wished to conduct with him. Therefore he hired horses, sent a herald to the duke, and quickly came to Rouen. The Bastard was stirred by the arrival of so great a king, commanded that his people show him all honor, and gave him as honorable a reception as he could. On the following day he came to the king to ask him why he had come. Harald (who had by now a fully-developed plan) said that he had not desired to act as kings usually do, by negotiating through heralds, but had wanted to come and deal with him in person, and the business could be easier and more gracefully arranged in a face-to-face meeting such he was conducting. For he had come to ask for William’s daughter in marriage, and for him to enter into a lasting peace and treaty. William, not suspecting any fraud and thinking what the man said to be the truth, was cheered by the idea of kinship with such a great king and replied he would gladly agree to Harald’s requests. And so, without delay, the solemn marriage-rites were celebrated, to the great joy of the duke and his people. When this all had been accomplished, Harald returned to England with his new wife, escorted by a large company of Norman nobles. When he had got away safely, he immediately published an edict forbidding any Norman to remain in England longer than three days, on pain of death. He very shamefully prostituted his bride to his camp-followers, cropped her nose and ears, and, having mistreated her foully, sent her home on a fishing-boat.
35. I am reporting this on the authority of old writers, both English and our own. But more recent ones say that matters did not go beyond the betrothal, and that Harald failed to abide by this. Whatever the truth may be, William the Bastard was outraged by this insult and declared war on Harald. In a battle fought near Tonbridge he both despoiled him of his life and claimed for himself the royal title. Down to this very day his posterity holds the helm of state. William the Bastard was crowned on December 25, 1066. Seeing the kingship falling to Normandy and appreciating that henceforth he was bereft of any hope of gaining the throne, Edgar decided to take his mother and sisters and return to Hungary, lest any danger hang over his head. And so he readied a ship and set sail. But he was storm-tossed for a while, and carried by adverse winds to the Firth of Forth, where his fleet landed in a bay that even within our memory has been called St. Margaret’s after his sister. When their arrival was reported to King Malcolm, who was staying at Dumfermline, he sent messengers to them to discover their family and nation, and the purpose of their arrival. When he learned that they were of the royal blood and English by nation, not unmindful of the benefits he had lately received from Edward, he came to their ship with a band of young noblemen in the prime of their lives. When Edgar learned that the king was coming to him, he went out to meet Malcolm together with his mother and sisters, presenting as elegant an appearance as he could, and they all enjoyed a very kindly reception by the king and were escorted to his royal. palace with the great cheering of one and all. After a few days, Malcolm had had a chance to experience Margaret’s uprightness and excellent manners, and was entranced by the maiden’s virtues, so he asked her mother for her hand in marriage. The mother, knowing full well that, if she rejected him, she would never find his like for virtues or wealth in all the world, did not refuse. Therefore, with the great festivity and pomp of all the nation’s nobility, their marriage was celebrated eight days after Easter in the year of Christ 1067, and Margaret was formally crowned queen.
36. When William the Bastard, the King of England, learned what had transpired in Scotland, he was afraid lest this mean some evil for himself, since many of Edgar’s friends were still living in England. So, lest they become seditious and rebel against himself, he proscribed them all, and a large number of them came to Malcolm in Scotland, where they received estates from the king and remained there in perpetuity. Hence the clan surnames Lindsey, Waugh, Ramsey, Lovell, Towers, Preston, Sandilands, Bissart, Soulis, Wardlaw, Maxwell, and many others. And some came out of Hungary with Margaret, who also bequeathed their names to posterity: Creighton, Fotringam, Giffart, Melville, and Borthwick. Other families arrived at various times from France, such as Frazier, Sinclar, Boswell, Monteith, Montgomery, Campell, Boas, Bethune, Tolliver, and Bothwell, as well as others possessed of distinguished surnames. These and a very few others, which I will mention as it seems convenient, were received into our nation in the times of various kings, but since our annals clearly record under which kings’ reigns they were taken in, I cannot mention list them all in their proper places. And at the time, from England Edgar received much gold and silver plate, artfully chased, and also the relics of saints, of which the most valuable was that black cross which King David subsequently bestowed on a monastery in Lothian out of his own expenses, so that it possesses the name of Holyrood Abbey.
green 37. A little after this proscription , King William sent a herald to King Malcolm requesting the return of Edgar: if he did not, William threatened to recover him by force of arms, to Malcolm’s great discomfort. Even though he had made no preparations for waging a serious war, he nevertheless thought it shameful to hand over an innocent guest, particularly at the demand of an enemy; it would likewise be unworthy for him to hand over his brother-in-law to a tyrant, and perhaps to his death, because had married Edward’s sister Margaret a little while ago. He therefore replied that this was an unjust request. And so, when the herald returned to the king with his mission unaccomplished, the English declared war on the king of Scots. For the sake of their Earl Siward, from whose sister Malcolm was descended, the Northumbrians defected the English and sided with Malcolm. And so a certain Roger of Normandy assembled an army and invaded Northumbria. But his army was defeated and put to rout, and the Scots and Northumbrians won the day. This Roger, the commander of the army, was killed by the treachery of his own men. But the Bastard remained undaunted by this reversal and once more sent Richard Earl of Gloucester to invade Cumbria with a strong army. But Patrick Earl of Merch and the Earl of Monteith were sent against him, and, inasmuch as they could do so with safety, prevented the enemy from making depredations. Nor was it to William’s liking when they achieved nothing. So he enlisted yet a greater army and set in charge of it his brother Odo Bishop of Bayeux, whom he had made Earl of Kent. He ravaged Northumbria and killed quite a number, partly Scotsmen and partly Northumbrians, and was preparing to lead his army home safe and sound. But Malcolm, with a lightly-armed company of Scotsmen and Siward’s allied forces, attacked him as he was departing, visited great slaughter on him, and stripped him of all his plunder. Then, rejoicing in his victory, he went back to Scotland. William, who had not had his fill of war, sent his son Robert against the Northumbrians with greater forces than ever, but he encamped alongside the Tyne and accomplished nothing memorable beyond rebuilding Newcastle, which had been sacked by his enemy, and went home. At length a peace was arranged between the kings on these terms, that Malcolm should possess that part of Northumbria that lies between Stainmore and the Tweed and also Cumbria, and swear his fealty to the king of England for those lands. A stone cross was set up at Stainmore with the effigies of the two kings on its sides, one to mark the boundary of English rule, and the other that of Scotland. this was called Rey Cross, or “The Cross of the Kings.” And Voldiosus, the son of Earl Siward of Northumbria, married William’s granddaughter, and was granted twenty years’ immunity from taxation.
38. This peace between the kings was followed by domestic troubles. First the men of Galloway, and then the Hebridians invaded their nearby territories in any way they could, and inflicted much damage and even more fear. Fleance’s son Walter (who, as I said, after coming to Malcolm’s court, was created a general for his excellent military skill) was given an army by the king, and first restored the men of Galloway to their obedience to the king, killing their ringleader Macglave. Then he did the same to the Hebridians, visiting great slaughter. For these successes the king created him seneschal of the realm and from this royal office he took the name of Stewart. With this tumult put down, there occurred another one, which was more dangerous. For the men of Moray, having induced the men of Ross and Caithness and their neighbors to rebel, killed the king’s agents and openly displayed their desire to cast off the royal yoke and be free men. Having elected Macduncan their leader, they wasted royal lands, and inflicted unheard-of damage and far more terror. So Macduff collected a large army and prepared to march on Mar. The fearful men of Mar tried to buy him off and avert the harm. But the king himself came long in good time with his army and, encamping near the village of Monimusc, he learned that nearly all the northern part of Scotland, and also the Hebrides, were sympathetic with the Moray men. The king grew anxious and asked his tax-collector whether there was any royal property in that district, and when he learned that the barony of Monimusc was a crown holding, he immediately vowed it to St. Andrew in Fife, praying that the sainted apostle condescend to bestow the victory on himself and his followers. And when he came to the river Spey and his army, and saw his enemy drawn upon the opposite bank with their armor a-gleaming, in such numbers as he had scarcely imagined to exist in all of Scotland, his standard-bearer was terrified, so that his banner did advance as quickly as it had before. So he snatched the banner and gave it to be carried by Alexander Carron, in exchange for a perpetual grant of lands. This office has remained in that clan down to this day, although they have changed their surname from Carron to Scrimger. When he had crossed the Spey, and when the armies were drawn up and there was no doubt they were about to fight a bloody battle, the conflict was avoided by the intervention of bishops and pious men who had assembled to resolve the quarrel and restore the peace, and peace was made on condition that the enemy soldiers immediately go home. Their nobles came into the king’s power. Their lives were spared, but many of them were deprived of their property and imprisoned in strongholds for the remainder of their lives.
39. After these things, at the urging of his wife, that most pious woman, Malcolm devoted himself to the virtues wholeheartedly, attending to almsgiving and other pious good works. He soon made such progress that in all of Albion there was no man of holy orders who could be deemed his equal for sanctity of living. He did all of this, as I say, by the advice and inspiration of his wife, for he took delight in her counsel and pious exhortations and did whatever she urged. And she gave him no advice not recommended by her piety. Their reverence for God and pity for mankind set an example that inspired many men to live the pious life, and they engaged in a very beautiful and wholesome competition in their mutual charity and piety towards God. Margaret’s mother and her sister Christiana were moved by their example, and they removed themselves from the commotion of the royal court, retired into a private life more suitable for their habits, and wholly devoted themselves to Christ. They say that, once peace had been made between the Scots and the English, Edward went back to King William of England, and was granted some estate, but never allowed to leave the king’s side and find some opportunity to rebel, and that he spent the remainder of his life suffering no adversity. Then, always at the instigation of his wife Margaret (who can never be sufficiently praised), Malcolm decided to make it his chief business that religion, to a large extent destroyed by neglect, be restored and promoted by great augmentation, to that piety would more easily spread through his people. Until this time there had been four Scottish bishops, those of St. Andrews and Murthlac, which still existed in their erstwhile vigor, and two others, Whithorn, which had lapsed into desuetude almost since the days of Kentigern and Ninian. He first restored these, by recruiting from all over Scotland men who excelled for their virtue and learning, and added two more, Moray and Caithness, over which, like the others, he placed right distinguished men, and enclosed each diocese within its own boundaries.
40. Among certain men the habit had advanced so far that, when English luxury had begun to creep into Scotland along with their language, a desire for searching out exotic foodstuffs and enhancing their table had insinuated itself. Men came to the king to lodge their complaint about this moral depravity and the fact that the old parsimony of the kingdom had all but lapsed into disuse. They begged the king that, before it could gain strength and become more widespread in the younger generation, he would restrain this growing evil. For Scotsmen had been accustomed to take only one meal a day, and eat only as much as nature’s necessity required, and not to hunt for exquisite delicacies, nor spoil rather than enhance them by the addition of spices fetched with great expense and extreme danger from nearly all over the world, but rather rest content with the flavor nature has given them. Back then, the best way to add flavor to food was to exercise the body with hard work, and not to eat before one was hungry. This is why our men produced in antiquity were so brave and possessed of such bodily size, gigantic in their tallness,. Like lions, they hurled themselves with great force against their enemies, wreaking destruction wherever they ranged, fearless of any human power, since they themselves surpassed all human strength. Malcolm strove with great effort and vigilance to forbid and root out this plague infecting Scotland, that seemed as if it would soon be all-consuming. But mankind’ s unhappy nature is more prone to embrace and cling to evils than the good things. For although our forefathers had once existed ignorant of the pleasures, our forefathers lived very self-controlled lives, content with temperance and thrift, once those evils had been imported and tasted, men fell so head-over-heels in love with them that no force could restrain them. Not that the English manners imported at that time were very reprehensible, in comparison with what they are nowadays (unless that differed considerably from our ancient self-control and sobriety), and perhaps nature was not much harmed by them. For they ate twice a day, and complained that those who consumed more had introduced an intolerable degree of moral laxity. If they could see what is happening nowadays, and how we have departed from those ancient matters, so that, while they were men highly commendable for their sobriety, these ones in their gluttony leave nothing on earth, sea, or heaven untasted, as if that part of us we have in common with wolves is our most praiseworthy one, what do you imagine they would say? What do you not imagine they would cry out? But I waste my words in complaining of these things, since this evil has penetrated so far that it cannot be cured by any purgation, surgery, or cautery. For it dwells deep within our bowels. Quicker you can eradicate our entire nation than banish that vice.
41. After these things, William the Bastard King of England ended his life in the twentieth year of his reign and the year of our Salvation 1086, leaving three sons: Robert, whom on his deathbed at Rouen he made Duke of Normandy, William Rufus, who succeeded his father as king of England, and Henry Beauclerc, to whom he bequeathed his treasure and furniture. In the same year Malcolm demolished the old cathedral at Durham and laid the foundation of a new one for the benefit of William, the bishop of that holy see, and the prior Turgot, who a little later was made Bishop of St. Andrews and wrote the lives of St. Margaret and King Malcolm in the vernacular language, with no less elegance than piety and truth, for he was a very close familiar of theirs in their lifetimes and survived to bear excellent witness to their virtues. Likewise Turgot, after having very fruitfully held office for some time, and his body was taken for burial to Durham, where he had previously been the prior. At the urging of this same Turgot, Malcolm built the Church of the Holy Trinity at Dumfermline, and decreed that henceforth this would bthe common burial-ground for our kings. How pious towards God Malcolm and St. Margaret were, how holy were their dealings with men, and with what energy they strove to improve their subjects’ morality can easily be understood by anybody who troubles himself to read Turgot’s book abouttheir lives. And, among their other accomplishments, I would regard this as not undeserving of record, their abrogation of that terrible, pestilent custom once introduced by the pagan tyrant Evenus, according to which lords of manors and governors had the ius primae noctae over all brides within their territories, by permitting the redemption of the bride’s virginity by the payment of a half mark, what is commonly called the merchet of women, a custom still in force at present. A similar custom is to be found in a village not far distant from Louvain, where the bridegroom redeems the chastity of his bride by a payment to the governor of the place. No more unspeakable form of servitude has ever been heard of.
42. When William Rufus first came to the throne of England, he began his reign with all manner of unspeakable crimes, sacrilegiously committing many outrages against Christ’s Church and appropriating all its income. He demolished monasteries, saying they interfered with his hunting, and killed those who opposed his enterprises, partly by stealth and partly by public execution. Because Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury dared rebuke him somewhat, he banished him to Rome, being intolerant of anyone who would abuse him for his soul’s sake. And, being unable to stomach the fact that the Scots were in possession of Cumbria and a portion of Northumbria, he waged an undeclared war against them, seizing the castle of Alwick and killing off its garrison. Having sought reparations in vain and wanting to nip his enterprise in the bud, Malcolm took a great army, came into Northumbria, and besieged Alwick in full strength. The siege had almost been brought to its conclusion, since the inmates of the castle had been reduced to their extremities by a dearth of all necessities, when a certain bold English soldier devised a great but dangerous plan. Wearing no armor, he mounted a very swift horse and carried only a lance with the castle keys dangling from its point, as if intending to surrender. When he approached the enemy camp and the Scottish watchmen saw him, all came happily a-running, shouting joyfully, since (as they imagined) their long labor was at an end, and they brought him to the king. The king was roused by the shouting and came out of his tent to see what strange thing was afoot. The Englishmen lowered his lance and offered the king the keys, and, while all men’s attention were fixed on them, he ran the king through in the left eye. Then he suddenly spurred his horse and got away to a nearby forest. The king collapsed in the arms of his attendants and quickly died. They say that when Rufus heard of that man’s deed, he summoned him to himself in Northumbria, and bestowed on him certain royal estates together with the surname Percy, which means “Pierce-Eye,” still the family surname of the Earls of Northumbria, several centuries later.
43. After King Malcolm had been killed, the Scots broke off the siege of the castle, dispersed, and went home. He was buried in the English abbey of Tynemouth, and they say that some years later he was exhumed by his son Alexander, brought in royal estate to the Church of the Holy Trinity at Dumfermline, and buried there. At the same time Scotland suffered a second hurt. For Malcolm’s firstborn son died of a wound suffered while skirmishing with the English not far from Alwick, and was the first of the royal family to be buried at Dumfermline. When Margaret was staying in the castle at Edinburgh, where she was suffering from a lengthy wasting disease, and heard the news that her husband and son were died, she pined away and died a blessed death four days later. Malcolm died in the year of Redemption 1097, on October 15. In that same year Albion was terrified by many grave prodigies. For many villages, castles, towns, and great forests were overwhelmed by a flood of the German Sea, both in Scotland and in England. When this storm abated, the land of Godwin, whom I have mentioned above, not far from the mouth of the river Thames, was covered with sand, and even in our day is called Goodwin Sands. Since this was his property, it was commonly given a religious interpretation: it was a divine punishment visited on his posterity for his poisoning of Alfred, that innocent and excellent young man. For they all perished in the flood. At the same time the land of Moray suffered no small devastation by the sea, with castles being wrenched off their foundations, certain cities destroyed, and a dearth created because the soil was rendered unfit for farming by the sand washed up by the sea. The lightning was so great, and accompanied by such monstrous thunderclaps, that many men and animals were stricken in their fields and perished. Church steeples were also laid low by their violence. In Lothian, Fife, and Angus, trees and crops spontaneously burst into flames.
44. In Malcolm’s lifetime, a general council was held at Clermont, where Pope Urban II instituted the observance of the so-called Hours of the Virgin, and gave instruction that the people should particularly adore her on Saturdays. Likewise during his lifetime the relics of St. Nicholas were brought to Barre, after Lycia had been destroyed by the Saracens. By St. Margaret, Malcolm had six sons, Edward (whom I have just said to have been killed), Aethelred (who died in early youth and was buried at Dumfermline), Edmund (it is said that he abandoned human affairs and the hurly-burly of the royal court, went off to England, and devoted himself wholeheartedly to the worship of our heavenly King), Edgar, Alexander, and David. Some say that Edmund was taken by his uncle Donald when he usurped the throne, and killed in prison, so that Eldred became the heir to the throne. Malcolm’s brother Donald, whom I have said to have fled to the Hebrides out of fear of Macbeth, heard of his brother’s death and obtained the aid of the king of Norway in exchange for a pledge to give him the Hebrides should his undertaking succeed, crossed over to Scotland with an army, and with almost no trouble seized the throne. For many men, to whom the old ways and ancestral moderation were dear, nursed a grudge against kings who did not strive wholeheartedly to extirpate new manners introduced by the English. They told each other that Donald had never been accustomed to English luxury and always been accustomed to the Hebridians’ austerity for all these years. Therefore he would easily restore the ancient habits and the self-control inherited from their forefathers. Margaret’s brother Edgar feared for the lives of his nephews and sent a secret message summoning them to England. Three of them, Edgar, Alexander, and David did come, together with their sisters, whom he happily received and brought up as secretly as he could. But the could not keep the matter concealed. For a certain soldier named Organus, hoping to gain a fine reward for slander, denounced Edgar to the king as being treasonous for having called the nephews he was secretly maintaining the legitimate heirs of the realm. But he quickly paid the deserved price for his greed, being defeated and killed by a certain knight who championed Edgar’s cause and undertook to fight a single combat to defend the truth of the matter.
45. Having seized the throne of Scotland, Donald went to Scone and was declared king, although the nobility did not approve of what had been done, because the memory of Malcolm and Margaret was fresh in their minds and compelled them to favor his sons. But a hot-headed and tyrannical statement by Donald produced a quick change of mind. While he was deeply in his cups together with this friends and toadies, he began to threaten their lives if they did not immediately pledge their allegiance to him. And this struck deeper in their minds than even he would have believed. Malcolm’s bastard son Sir Duncan, a very skillful warrior, borrowed soldiers from William Rufus in order to dethrone his uncle Donald, and when he came to the place where battle was to be joined, Donald’s soldiers deserted and went over to his nephew, while he himself fled to the Hebrides and got away free. This Duncan went to Scone, where he was declared king. But this man had always been in France, engaged in fighting England’s wars, and had learned nothing at all about how to govern a republic. He imagined that equity and justice were to be managed in a military way. So Scotland quickly blazed forth in seditions, and this did not escape the notice of Donald, lurking in the Hebrides. He bribed Earl Macpendir of Merne and planned to kill Duncan by treachery. Macpendir awaited his main chance day and night, and finally murdered the king one night at Menteith. Nobody gave pursuit to his murderer or mourned his killing, for he was a man much disliked by his subjects. After the murder of Duncan the Bastard, his uncle Donald was restored to the throne, mostly by Macpendir’s doing. He had ruled for six months prior to the arrival of the Bastard, and the Bastard for a year and a half.
46. And now, having gained the crown again, Donald did not rule for more than three years, surrounded by great uprisings and internal seditions. For the nobles were as averse to his rule as ever, and once more kept an eye out for an opportunity to remove him. Meanwhile the Hebridians made some light raids, which were also continually staged by the English, although nothing noteworthy occurred. In the end, King Magnus of Norway sailed about the Hebrides with an army, capturing strongholds and manning them with his garrisons, returning them to his control. He appointed laws for them, which they continue to use in our day. The nobles took it hard that the Norwegians had wrested away the Hebrides, and with many entreaties demanded that Edgar come and recover his father’s throne, promising they would help him with all their strength and enterprise. Edgar thought he should first deal by means of ambassadors, if words could achieve anything, and demanded the kingdom from Donald, promising he would give him the fairest land in Lothian if he complied with this request. But Donald was so far removed from satisfying his demands that he did not even keep his violent hands off the ambassadors: he gave them a foul thrashing and threw them in prison, and a little later, so as to make his crime all the worse, he put them to death. Then Edgar, at the advice of his like-named uncle, obtained auxiliaries from William Rufus, and other English nobles came to his aid, and he launched an invasion of Scotland. When he had come to Durham, he was advised by a heaven-sent dream that if he carried the banner of St. Cuthbert, he would gain an undoubted victory. When he awoke in the morning he went to the abbey and, having performed holy offices in honor of God and St. Cuthbert, he took the saint’s banner and displayed it in his expedition. Donald came to meet Edgar with a great host, but when the banner of St. Cuthbert as well as the royal one came into sight, he was immediately abandoned by his followers and took to his heels in headlong flight. About to cross over to the Hebrides, he was captured by the locals and brought to Edgar, who imprisoned him, and there he died a little later. Having gained a bloodless victory, Edgar immediately went to Edinburgh and visited the tomb of his mother and brother. There he did them reverence and in a parliament of nobles received the helm of state. Not long thereafter he was anointed by Bishop Godric of St. Andrews. For during her life St. Margaret had obtained from Pope Urban that henceforth kings should be anointed, and Edward was the first king to receive this sanctification, in the year after the Advent of the Redeemer 1101. This was later confirmed by Pope John XXII.
47. About two years before Edgar came to the throne of Scotland, while Donald was still ruling, the first Christian expedition against the Holy Land was made, under the command of Duke Robert of Normandy, Duke Godfrey of Loraine, the Count of Blois, the Count of Flanders, and other princes of France and other nations. Such a multitude came a-flocking from all nations to offer their services in waging such a pious war, that never before had been seen such a large and well-equipped army. They first made their way through Greece to Constantinople, and then, crossing the Hellespont, traversing Asia Minor, and going over the Taurus Mountains, they set siege to Antioch in Syria. There, thanks to a revelation made by St. Andrew in a dream, at the Church of St. Peter they excavated the lance which had pierced Christ’s side. Then, having done many noble deeds, storming castles and neighboring cities, they finally besieged and captured Jerusalem, the capital city of Judea, in the year of Salvation 1099. When the Holy Land had been recovered, frequent supplications here held, and thanksgivings were offered to the Everliving God for this happy success. After conquering Judea by such great universal effort, they began to debate about who should be made its king and protect it, now it had been gained. They all refused this honor, thinking themselves unworthy of such a high position. The matter was then put to a vote, and all voices called out the name of Robert, for he had pawned his very prosperous kingdom in order to fight for Christ. But Robert had heard that his brother William Rufus had died childless (for he was roaming the New Forest, which I have said to have been enlarged by him by the destruction of four hundred monasteries, hunting after game, and carelessly stepped before a thrown missile, thereby paying the price for his desecration of religion), and he preferred to rule England and his own Normandy. And so he gave the nobles his warm thanks and transferred the kingdom to Godfrey, and they all went home. Robert’s brother Henry Beauclerc heard the rumor that Robert had been made King of Jerusalem, and so he himself was unanimously chosen king, and Robert was cheated out of both kingdoms, refusing the one because of its far distance and forestalled by his brother in the other.
48. In the second year of his reign, Edgar King of Scots bestowed his sister Maud (who later earned the nickname The Good because of her virtues) on King Henry of England, and other, named Mary, on Count Eustace of Boulogne. By her Eustace had only a single daughter, the heiress to his domain, who grew up to marry Stephen, Earl of the Marches in England and Count of Mortain, Henry Beauclerc’s nephew by his sister, and subsequently the king. And from Maud and Henry were born four children, William, Richard, Euphemia, and Maud. To thank Cuthbert for his kindness as best he could, Edgar donated lands in Coldingame to the monks of Durham, and the town of Berwick to Bishop Rannulph of Durham. But, inasmuch as he subsequently dared conspire against Edgar’s life, he was deprived of this benefice and Berwick reverted to the king. After being crowned queen, Maud the Good always walked in her mother’s footsteps and showed herself as a fine example for imitation by one and all. During the time of his reign, Edgar waged no war, being more venerable to his subjects for his probity than terrible because of the fear of his great power. He died at Dundee, and was buried in Dumfermling, in the year of Christ 1109, the ninth of his reign.
49. After his brother died without issue, Alexander the Fierce (so called because of his virtue putting down robbers) succeeded him. At the start of his reign, the men of Moray and Ross, observing him to haunt altars and chapels, as had his parents, imagined that he would be slow and tardy in the correction of misdemeanors, and so with great boldness they dashed about each other’s fields committing great rapine. They reached such a pitch of greed that, like lunatics, they heeded no man as they committed their casual murders. Their fury did not visit itself only on women and children, but even on babes who in thir innocence smiled at their murderers, as they renewed ancient feuds. Alexander took a moderate-sized band of soldiers and went to those regions, where he captured the leaders and chief men of those upheavals and punished them with death. And as he was returning through Merne a weeping woman fell at his knees, complaining of an undeserved wrong done her by the son of the Earl of Merne, saying that her husband and son had been killed for suing him over a debt. Alexander was moved by the woman’s suffering and the atrocity of the thing, so he suddenly dismounted and did not sit his horse again until he saw the author of the deed hanging from a gallows. Returning to Gowrie, the king decided to complete the construction of a castle started by Edgar, since a great band of freebooters used to range the surrounding forest. Even in our day the remains of that castle can be seen, and it has the same old name, being called Baledgar. He had been given certain lands by the Earl of Gowrie at his baptism, and since they lay handy to that castle, he donated them to its use.
50. While he was intent on this work, some robbers, thinking that he had wronged them since they could no longer do their work with impunity, conspired against Alexander and corrupted his royal chamberlain by gifts and promises. They were secretly introduced into the castle at night, by means of a sewer, and attacked him when they imagined he was deep asleep. But, thanks to divine providence, they scarcely avoided his notice. So he quickly snatched up a sword hanging by his head, and spiritedly sprang from his bed, flying first at the chamberlain, and then at the six others who had penetrated into his bedchamber, and killed them with a brave and fearless spirit. The others, terrified and afraid lest they be attacked from behind, struggled to escape. But his servants were aroused by the commotion, so they were taken and brought bound to the king. Put to the question, they disclosed the conspiracy. Learning the conspirators’ identities, the king immediately chased them into Merne, and then into Moray. But when they had gathered their forces and were attempting to prevent him from crossing the Spey, he sent across his standard-bearer Alexander Carron, the son of the earlier Alexander, a very capable man, together with part of his forces. The enemy were frightened by his arrival and turned to flee. But most of them were caught and subjected to various kinds of punishment. Nor did the king rest before the ringleaders had paid their forfeits. Then, having made himself a source of fear to robbers, he spent the rest of his reign in greater tranquility. Because of his singular display of martial virtue in the sight of the king (for he cut down a number of men with his curved sword, the most common kind in those days), Alexander Carron won his great gratitude and approval, and so he granted him estates and named him Scrimger, that is, “Sharp Fighter.” And he received a coat of arms appropriate for that surname, namely a rampant lion holding a sword. But some say he won that surname for fighting an Englishman in single combat and cutting of his hand. Nevertheless, just as the former explanation of the lion is more probable, since it is supported by many authorities, so it is more honorable. And I believe that surname is used by his clan down to this very day. And the man easily identifiable as the head of that clan in our own times, the Constable of Dundee, employs a banner showing a sword curved like a hook when he goes to war.
51. Having done these things, Alexander laid the foundations of an abbey belonging to the so-called Canons Regular at Scone, to make the place more honorable, and dedicated it to the Holy Trinity and the Archangel Michael, from which have issued men distinguished for their learning and piety, and it exists at this day. Not much later, the king was crossing the Firth of Forth when a storm blew up and drove him to the island of St. Colmes Inch, where he discovered a chapel of St. Columba and a hermit. For three days he was compelled to remain there, living on the small amount of food which he could find at the house of the hermit, who was the chapel custodian, although this by no means sufficed for his retinue. So when he had escaped that danger he vowed a church to St. Columba. Nor was he long bound by that vow, for a little later he built an abbey for Canons Regular of the Augustine Order, and bestowed lands and revenues for their support. He also increased the resources of the Cathedral of St. Andrew with new estates, including that tract of land called The Boar’s Chase because of a boar of great size who often killed both men and livestock, and could not be warded off until he was hunted down by a large number of men, at their great cost, and run through as he fled over this land. There remain relics of this monstrous beast at St. Andrews: tusks they say came from its jaw, of admirable size, for they are sixteen inches long and four wide, and are attached by chains to the choir stalls of the cathedral. He completed the abbey begun by his father at Dumfermline, and enriched it with an income and other ornaments.
52. While Alexander was busied with these things, his brother david continued to live in England with his sister Maud, and married Maud, the daughter of Waltheof Earl of Huntingdon and Northumbria and Judith, the niece of William the Bastard. For this reason he became Earl of Huntingdon and Northumbria, and from this marriage was born a son, Henry, who was worthy of his parents. At the same time Henry Beauclerc’s daughter Maud was married to The Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. After these marriages had been made, Maud the Good did not long survive. She died at London was buried at Westminster, in the year of Man’s Salvation 1120. Three years later died Maud’s sister Mary Countess of Boulogne, a woman possessed of singular piety towards God and mercy towards men. This is proclaimed by still-extant verses on her tomb at the abbey of St. Saviour at London. After her death, Henry waged continual war against King Louis of France for about three years, and after they he fought frequent battles with varying fortune, he got back to England safe and sound, having composed with the French for peace by a treaty. But his children, Richard, William, and Euphemia Countess of Perch followed after their returning father with a large train of noblemen, and their ship was capsized in mid-sea in a gale and no sailor or passenger got away, so storm-tossed was the sea. Being bereft of his children, with the exception of a single daughter, whom I have said to have been married to the Emperor, Henry passed the rest of his life in mourning, allowing his court no consolation, no entertainment, nor anything of happiness or joy after this loss. All his courtiers were as griefstricken as their master, they were all equally gripped by sorrow, and silence served as their consolation. Thenceforth he governed his realm with great austerity, and no banquets or sports could banish the grief from his mind. He took no delight in the hunt, did not join in dancing, or indulge his mind with the usual pleasures, but rather dressed himself in sad colors and went about in gloom, and they say that for the rest of his life he refused to smile or accept any consolation.
53. Meanwhile Alexander also died, and he too was childless. He was carried to Dumfermline in great estate and buried near his father’s tomb, which he himself had built when he transferred his body from Tynemouth, in the seventeenth year of his realm, which was the year of our Salvation 1125. During this king’s reign the clan of Cummings or Comyn began to gain distinction, when the young nobleman John Comyn was granted a small amount of land for his outstanding virtue and loyalty to the king. But from such humble beginnings the clan grew to such power that it suffered from its own size and subsequently was primarily responsible for its own downfall as it invited its ruination. In the days of this same king, the sacred order of knights of Jerusalem was founded, and its members were called Knights of Rhodes, and likewise the order of monks of the Premonstratensian Rite founded by St. Norbert, which has many monasteries to be seen among the Scots, filled with very religious men. And at about this same time Hugh of St. Victor, famed for his great erudition, the many noble monuments of whose thought continue to be read everywhere, died in the monastery of St. Victor in a Paris suburb, where he was buried. At the same time, St. Bernard came forth as an ornament of the Cistercian Order, because of the wonderful sanctity of his life and his incomparable learning, which he bequeathed to posterity in his writings. This order had its start a few years before Bernard, having been founded by St. Robert in the year of Christ’s Birth 1085. After serving as abbot of the monastery of Clairvaux with great glory and no less profit, he paid his debt to nature in the year of the Virgin Birth in about the year 1150. He was buried in the same monastery together with St. Murdach, a man of conspicuous sanctity, and a Scotsman by birth.
54. Alexander’s brother David went to Scone, where he was anointed and seated on the marble seat as his brother’s successor on the throne. He immediately devoted himself to his royal duties, and in all respects painstakingly observed the piety he had inherited from his parents. Nor did any foreign war disturb his peace, as long as Henry governed England. Therefore, after the custom of his ancestors, David made a progress throughout his kingdom for the sake of administering justice, and himself heard the pleas of the poor with great sympathy, while referring nobles’ pleas to other judges. If a man had been harmed by another judge, he promptly made good his loss. Therefore in his first years he made many innovations for the betterment of his realm. He banished pastry-chefs and taverners from his realm, since he understood that as long as they remained they would have great power to hinder good morals, promote softness of sprit, and render bodily strength effeminate. He erected fifteen monasteries, some at the beginning of his reign and some when the war he waged against the English had been settled, and endowed them with great incomes, derived both from the Church and from secular sources. These were the abbeys of Kelso, Jedburgh, Melrose, Newbattle, Eynhallow, Dundrennan, Holyrood at Edinburgh, Cambus Kenneth, Kinloss, Dumfermline, and Holme in Cumbria, as well as two nunneries, one at Carlile and the other at Berwick, and likewise two monasteries at Newcastle, one of Norbertines and the others of Benedicitnes. He established four new bishoprics, those of Ross, Brechin, Dunkeld, and Dunblane, and endowed them with ample revenues. For a fifth, he transferred the see of Mortlach to Aberdeen. I shall describe how many bishops have ruled there and how they performed their duties when I come to James IV, for the sake of William Elphinstone, the greatest of them all.
55. Meanwhile David’s son Henry, whom he had fathered on his wife Maud, a young man who resembled his father in piety no less than physical appearance, married Ada, the daughter of Earl William de Warenne, a woman of noble French and English blood, by whom he later had three sons, Malcolm, William, and David, and the like number of daughters, Ada, Margaret, and Maud, of whom I shall speak later. A little before these things happened, the royal household was plunged into mourning by the death of the queen, who was still flourishing in her years, and who abounded in those great ornaments of a woman, beauty and chastity, things in which she easily surpassed all her contemporaries. As had been her wish in life, she was buried at Scone, in the year after the Incarnation of the Word 1132, the seventh year of David’s reign. David greatly grieved over the death of his well-beloved wife, and henceforth refused to remarry, but rather abided in his original fidelity to his wife until death. While Scottish affairs were in that condition, Maud, the daughter of King Henry Beauclerc of England returned to England after the death of her husband the Roman Emperor Henry IV. When she arrived, her father King Henry convened a general parliament and compelled all his nobility to swear their allegiance to his daughter. And so as to get grandchildren as soon as possible, he decided to marry her to somebody. No Englishman was to her liking, and, so that she and himself would be at constant loggerheads, he betrothed her to Geoffrey Plantagenet, the right noble Count of Anjou. And soon thereafter she conceived a son, Henry, commonly called the Empress’ Son, who was later made King of England.
56. In these same days Duke Robert of Normandy died without issue, and so rule over Normandy passed to his brother Henry Beauclerc, who did not long survive his brother, being taken with a high fever. He died in the year of Christian Salvation 1134, and all of England was immediately thrown into turmoil. For at this time the empress was detained in Anjou by the grave illness of her husband Geoffrey, at a time when their son was scarcely two years old. Therefore Count Stephen of Blois, Henry Beauclerc’s nephew by his sister, seeing the throne to be vacant (for Robert, the appointed regent of the realm, had also died), assembled an army and crossed over to usurp the realm as quickly as he could. And, so as to begin his attack on the throne by digging mines, he only demanded to rule England as regent until the royal boy attained to manhood. This request struck the nobility as reasonable, and he obtained it without their objection. And so, having received certain castles into his protection, he manned them with his garrisons and a few days later, with the support of some followers, he assumed the title of king. Then he convened a parliament, and when all the nobles had assembled, he compelled them to swear fealty to himself. And so that nothing would be lacking in his show of royal authority, he sent a delegation to King David in Scotland, requiring him to make his appearance at his earliest convenience to swear for the honors of Cumbria, Northumbria, and Huntingdonshire: if he should refuse, he would immediately declare war on him.
57. David was steadfast in keeping his word, once given, and he replied that he had already sworn his oath to Maud, and it would be unjust to violate it and swear a new one to Stephen, and he preferred to abide by his previous one than encourage new usurpers. When the ambassadors brought back these words to Stephen, the English immediately invaded Northumbria, which belonged to Scotland at the time, befouling everything with their arson and depredations. The Scots did not swallow those insults or tolerate them as if they were helpless, but rather worked similar harm on the English. In the following year a Scottish army burst into England under the command of the Earls of Merch, Menteith, and Angus. The Earl of Gloucester came to meet them with great forces. It is said that they fought a great battle at Allerton with great losses on both sides, but that the English lost more and that a goodly part of them were taken prisoner. Stephen did not think he could defend his realm if he did not redeem those captives, and so he renounced forever all fealty owed the English crown by the king of Scots for Cumbria and Northumbria and took back his men. But, just as he had gained his crown by force, so he could not be persuaded to possess it without doing wrong. For a little later he regretted his action and once more assembled as large a force as he could, and sought to recover Northumbria. The Scots sought to defend it with a hastily-assembled army, and fought and lost a battle. Their losses, however , were not great, and by small encounters they were able to ward off great injury, and evicted the English from part of Northumbria, which they had occupied immediately after their victory. In order to make an end to this war as quickly as possible, David thought it best either to come in full force and expel the English from all of Northumbria, or to die with honor, and lose it all, and so he commanded that soldiers be enlisted throughout Scotland and for a very large army to be assembled.
58. But not long thereafter Thurstan Archbishop of York came to Marchenium (the present Roxburgh) to sue the king for peace, so he delayed that attack, granting a three months’ true on condition that the English cede Northumbria to his son Henry. When David realized the English were not abiding by their word, he suddenly invaded that portion of Northumbria they occupied, inflicting great slaughter, and he came as far as Roxburgh. But when he heard that his nobles were not in full agreement, he turned back, having accomplished nothing noteworthy. In the following year, serious discussions about peace began to be held, when the Archbishops of Canterbury and York dealt with the bishops of Glasgow, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews. David confined himself to to Newcastle, together with the Scottish nobility, while Stephen and his peers awaited the outcome at Durham. A peace was finally made, thanks especially to Maud, the daughter of Count Eustace of Boulogne, Queen of England and David’s niece by his sister Mary. It was arranged on these terms, that Northumbria and Huntingdonshire would fall to David’s son Henry by maternal rite, as the just heir, and Henry would swear for these to the king of England.
59. When peace had been thus established, Stephen went off to Kent, and David to Cumbria, where he fortified Carlisle with new walls and a very stout castle. These things were done during Steven’s three years, and then in the fourth the empress Maud (for she retained that title) assembled great forces, partly composed of Frenchmen and partly of those Englishmen who favored her, left behind her still-immature son with his ailing father Geoffrey in Anjou, and crossed over to England to reclaim the kingdom bequeathed her by her father. At her first arrival, Earl Ralph of Chester and Earl Robert of Gloucester came to Maud with their dependents, while all other Englishmen sided with Stephen. They fought a long war, not without various vicissitudes for them both, which dragged on for fourteen years. Meanwhile Maud’s son Henry grew to manhood and married Eleanor, daughter of Count William, the heiress of Poitiers, Mans, and the duchy of Tours, and, summoned by his mother, he brought his forces to England. Now English affairs appeared headed towards a national collapse, as its inhabitants contended might and main for their mutual destruction, when certain prudent men, foreseeing that evil, arranged a peace on this condition, that Henry immediately be granted a share of the kingdom and would receive it all upon the death of Stephen. Before Henry wed her, Eleanor had been married to the younger Louis, king of France, but their marriage had been annulled because of their over-close kinship. After her marriage to Henry, she soon produced, among other children, Richard, who some years later received his father’s heritage of the kingdom of England, the dukedom of Normandy, and the counties of Anjou and Gascony, and from his mother he inherited Poitiers, Mans, and Tours.
60. While these things were a-doing in England, King David’s single son Henry died, to the greatest possible sorrow of all men, having left, as I said above, three sons still in their minority. He was buried in the abbey of Kelso, built by his father, in the year of Christ’s Incarnation 1152. There were well-tested signs of virtue in that man, so he was missed by the English no less than by the Scots. For he had furnished all nations with high hopes that, when he had received the throne, he would show himself to be a most moderate king. And so it was commonly thought that David would bear this misfortune with no less troubled a mind than Henry Beauclerc had the loss of his sons. But, besides the fact that that man’s catastrophe was far more bitter, since he had lost so many children at one time in a sea-storm and had no hope for posterity remaining (for untal that day the empress Maud had never borne a child), David was far more strong of mind and had more experience of human affairs, having been excellently raised by his parents. For he was aware and thoroughly convinced in his mind that whatever happened by God’s will was not only no evil, but even something designed for the good by divine Providence. His son Henry had left behind three sons and the same number of daughters, who could easily supply his posterity. His friends gathered from all over Scotland, for by his extremely adroit manners he had won their affection no less than if they were his brothers, and the nobility revered him like the best of fathers. When Henry’s death was first announced, they all came to him, eager to offer him consolation and relieve him of the sorrow which (as is reasonable to believe) they imagined him to be feeling. But his speech to them contained more consolation than they intended to give him.
61. And so, appreciating their gesture of dutifulness, David received them all at a most magnificent banquet, showing no sign of grief, and when they had satisfied their hunger, at the time when men customarily indulge in good cheer with their happy conversation, he gestured for silence and sought to console them with words such as these: “Even if I had previously had experience of your loyalty towards myself, and how much you are touched with concern for me, today I have tasted of this fruit far more than before. For now I have seen deep into your minds, since you are mourning as if you had lost a son of your own, and you have come to take great pains in consoling me, since you imagine me to be troubled by the untimely death of my most obedient son. But (if I may defer my expression of gratitude for this thing until another time, when I can deal with you more fitly and opportunely), let it suffice for now for me to admit that whatever lands I possess, whatever I am in mind or body, I owe to yourselves. And hear a few words touching this thing for the sake of which you have all freely come here displaying your kindness towards myself. From my earliest boyhood, my parents (whom I regard as saints, and am confident to have attained heaven, thanks to their virtue, where they are now reaping the fairest profit for their labors) have taught me to adore God, the wisest Creator of everything we see around us and their most provident Governor, with the utmost veneration, and not to think that anything done by Him is done in vain, or not intended and ordained for some good use in accordance with His great and inscrutable plan. And so, as I remember and ponder my parent’s precepts by day and night, with a grateful mind I embrace and take in good part whatever comes along, be it adverse or favorable, happy, and prosperous. Thus these things befall me more easily than they are wont to occur to others, and are less troublesome. Since I am strengthened by this habitual way of thinking and strengthened against all adversities, when they occur to me they are not just deprived of their gravity, but are even pleasant things and desirable.
67. “Nor does it befall me to be foolishly distressed over these matters. I have seen my father to have been dearer to myself than the light of day, and no less useful than beloved to all his people, and yet neither the love of his people nor his kinsmen could save him from that fatal necessity. Not to speak of myself, I have understood that my mother, conspicuous throughout the world for her singular probity, willingly went this same fatal way. Was it not necessary for all my brothers, who loved me most dearly and who were most sweet in my sight, and my wife, by the dearest to me of all mankind, to succumb to death and, as they say, to bear its harsh yoke? This indeed is the way it is, that thus far no man has been able to avoid its onslaught when it attacks. We all owe it our lives, but we should accept this with a grateful mind, because this life has been bestowed on us by God’s benevolence in such a way that we would all have been immortals, had we not condemned ourselves to eternal death by our vices, which corrupt us like so many diseases. And so I concluded that I ought rather rejoice because God’s singular favor bestowed such a son on me, who was regarded as a worthy man in all men’s opinion, whom we loved in his presence and now long for in his absence. Is is greatly to be mourned and taken amiss, that He to Whom my son belonged and Who lent him to us should take him back and taken what is His own? For what’s the injury for me to regain something of mine why you have possessed as my favor, if I ask for its return when I see fit? And I hope I shall not long live without them, if things go as I wish and divine mercy shows its favor. For I am confident that I shall be summoned by command of our heavenly King, and shall fly up to that heavenly company to rejoin my parents, my brothers, my son and wife, where I shall discover that they have been made far different than they were in this life. And so, since I shall be allowed to see him, I greatly rejoice that I have received this heavenly grace concerning my son, that I can assuredly believe he has arrived at that place where we all so earnestly hope to go, for which we strive all our might, so that, when it comes time for our souls to be freed from our poor little bodies as if from a prison, they will be found worthy of joining that company which we piously believe him now to be blessedly enjoying — unless someone fancies we are such envious that we are grieving because we are we are so bogged down in this sordid mire, so hedged about with thorns, while he has made his escape from all these cares. Rather, we follow in his footsteps, and those of all the saints, in being vigilant by day and night so that, with heaven’s good favor, we may arrive at that place we piously think he has attained thanks to divine aid and his own virtue.” When he had said these things and solemnly thanked God for His generosity, the banquet was ended, and all the guests , amazed by the king’s great wisdom, went each to his own home.
68. Then Henry’s oldest son Malcolm, was led all over Scotland, and was declared prince of the realm by Earl Duncan of Fife and other leading noblemen, and all men swore fealty to him. William, his next son in order, was taken to Northumbria by this same escort, where he was named earl of that district by its nobles then present. Afterwards King David went to Carlile, where Henry also came at the urging of his mother the Empress Maud, where he was knighted by David, having sworn his oath never to attempt the recovery of Northumbria, Cumbria, and Huntingdonshire. These things happened a little before Henry was made the joint ruler of England. And not long thereafter David was taken with a grave malady which continued to the end of his life. Therefore, seeing his end to be near, he devoted himself entirely to piety. For, thinking himself unworthy to have Chris’ts body brought to him while he could still go to church, he attended a service, going with great humbleness of heart as he was propped up by two priests. And when he had come to church and while Mass was being said, he conversed with bystanders about piety towards God: how kindly and wholesome He was towards those His worshippers and their households, not only bestowing generous rewards on them in this lifetime, but also giving them the assured hope of things surpassing all human understanding in the afterlife. Having done so, he fell to his knees and, after addressing his ardent prayers to Christ our Lord for a while, received His body with wholehearted faith and sincere devotion. Then he was escorted back to his bedchamber and called his nobles to himself. In his extremity he commended his grandchildren to them, kissed each one, and begged him always to defend the public advantage. Then, having commended his soul to God, he soon fell silent and blessedly departed this life. he was buried at Dumfermlin in the royal tomb of his parents, with his own gravestone added, in the twenty-ninth year after he had received the crown, which was the year of human Salvation 1153.
69. I should prefer to pass over in silence how great a man he was, and how much he was decorated by all the virtues, rather than to speak of these things in only a few words. For when only a little is said, the rest can appear have been omitted by the fault of the writer. But, above and beyond all his virtues and his singular pity for the poor, I cannot keep silent about this one thing, that, thanks to his wonderful prudence, he so governed his court that he took something which in all nations is most corrupt and rife with all the vices, and by his own example not only cleansed it and freed it of all manifest vices, but also exercised it in every manner of virtue. There no unclean word was heard on any man’s lips, there was no wanton motions of anyone’s eyes, there were no drinking-bouts or banqueting by besotted gluttons, no corruption was ever admitted into his household, no outrageous fellow could ever loiter there. Every man’s speech was chaste and pure, they never discussed anything but piety, save for their familiar conversation. Their manner of life was sober and self-controlled, there was never any quarreling or complaint, they dealt with each other with the mutual affection of brothers, they mutually deferred to each other with affability. Therefore no abbey is so full of concord and sanctity as was that royal household, bound together by the bonds of charity and all the other virtues. But at this point I have nothing to say about the other vices, such as pride, arrogance, and contempt, and their opposites, humility, obedience, and others of that kind, since without mutual charity and concord no virtues can exist, while, on the other hand, where they thrive there is no place for any of the vices. Let others who have undertaken to write individual biographies of illustrious men concern themselves with describing each of their virtues individually. It suffices for me, and I think it to be my business, to describe our kings’ actions, and merely to sketch their manners, whatever they may have been, for other writers to copy.
70. During David’s reign, a number of men shone with their erudition. I believe that the works and learning of Richard of St. Victor, a Scottish monk belonging to the Augustine Order at Paris, where he is buried, are too well-known to require any praise here. Likewise Peter Lombard, the author of the Sententiae, whose book is read by everyone and attests his comprehensive understanding of Scripture. Some men assign to this period Gratian, who collected in a single volume the Decretals of the Fathers.