Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Malcolm IV

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MALCOLM IV (The Maiden) (1141–1165), king of Scotland, born in 1141, was son, by his wife Ada de Warenne, of Henry, the only son of David I [q. v.], king of Scotland. Malcolm was thus great-grandson of Malcolm III, Canmore [q. v.] He succeeded at the age of eleven to the throne by the death of his grandfather, David, in 1153, having already lost his father on 12 June 1152. He is the first king whose coronation at Scone is recorded by a contemporary (John of Hexham, Chronicle); but before the death of David, the young prince had been sent through Scotland in charge of Duncan, fifth earl of Fife, to receive the acknowledgment of his right of succession, and David himself took oaths and hostages from the Northumbrian barons to the same effect. It was necessary to strengthen the position of the minor king, for immediately after his accession in 1153 the chiefs of the Gaelic and Norwegian districts, Argyll and the Isles, Moray, and Galloway, revolted. Somerled of Argyll, with his nephews, sons of Malcolm MacHeth, were the first to rise, and a desultory war of three years was only brought to a close by a compromise, under which the eldest of these nephews, who had been taken prisoner at Whithorn, was liberated, and the earldom of Ross conferred on him. In 1159 Somerled also made peace in consideration, apparently, of an acknowledgment of his title to the lordship of the isles. Henry II of England, taking advantage of the minority and the disturbed state of Scotland on its western and northern borders, demanded from Malcolm the restoration of all the fiefs his grandfather David had held of Matilda, the empress, daughter of Henry I, whose cause he had supported against Stephen. Malcolm met Henry in 1157 at Chester, and surrendered Northumberland and Cumberland,with the castles of New Castle, Bamborough, and Carlisle. As some compensation or excuse for this surrender he received the honor of Huntingdon, a more distant and precarious fief, on the same terms as David had held it from Henry I. Next year the two kings again met at Carlisle, where a dispute arose as to the form of homage due by Malcolm, which seems to have been ended or waived in 1159, when the young Scottish king served as an English baron in the expedition against Toulouse, and received the honour of knighthood at Tours. His absence and its cause created dissatisfaction in Scotland, and led to the revolt of Ferquhard, earl of Strathearn, Gillanders Ergemawcht, and five other 'mayster men' (Wyntoun), perhaps earls, in 1160. They attempted to take Malcolm by surprise at Perth, but were repulsed, and the king was able to reduce Galloway after three expeditions, which led to the establishment of peace in that unruly province, whose chief, Fergus, retired and was sent to the monastery of Holyrood. According to Fordun, he also repressed a rebellion in Moray, where he planted men of his own, one of whom was Bervald the Fleming, in the district between the Spey and the Findhorn. The early civilisation of Moray is generally ascribed to this settlement. In 1164 he was again engaged with a new rising in the west, led by Somerled, with a large force of Irish and islanders in a fleet of 160 vessels, who were defeated at Renfrew, where Somerled and his son Gillecolm were slain. After this victory Malcolm's health failed, his brother William became warden of the kingdom, and on 9 Dec. 1165 Malcolm died at Jedburgh. He is styled in the `Annals of Ulster' Malcolm, `Can Mor the best Christian that was to the Gael on the east side of the sea for almsgiving fasting and devotion,' but neither this encomium nor the more usual epithet of `The Maiden' is easily explained by the facts of his reign, which show him to have been an active and warlike monarch. He was unmarried, but left an illegitimate child. His successor was his brother William the Lion [q.v.]

[The Scottish Chronicles of Melrose and Holyrood, Wyntoun, and the Chronicle of Man, and the English Annalists, Hoveden, Wendover, and William of Newburgh, are the chief sources of an early date for this reign; Skene and Robertson are the best modern authorities.]

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