The House Of Dunkeld
Alexander I 'the Fierce'
Abbot Ailred of Rievaulx recorded of Alexander I that he was 'beyond measure terrible, a man of great heart, applying himself in all things beyond his strength.' Alexander or Alasdair mac Mael Choluim, was born around 1078, the fifth son of Malcolm Canmore and the Saxon St. Margaret. He was named in honour of Pope Alexander II and his pious mother paid close attention to his education, particularly in matters of religion.
Alexander continued the Normanization of Scotland which had been begun by his elder brother Edgar. The Celtic lords of the north objected to the changes and rebelled in favour of one of the descendants of Lulach. The rebellion was put down with ferocity.
A further alliance with England was forged by the King's marriage to Sybilla, the illegitimate daughter of his brother-in-law, Henry I. The marriage failed to produce issue. Sybilla died at Eilean nam Ban (the Island of the Women) on Loch Tay in July 1122.
Like all the sons of St. Margaret, Alexander was both devout and scholarly. He supported the Scottish church and resisted English attempts to place it under the authority of the Archbishopric of York. He brought Augustinian canons to Scone and after sheltering from a storm on the Isle of Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth, established an Augustinian friary there.
The chronicler Fordun described Alexander as ' A lettered and goodly man, very humble and amiable towards the clerics and regulars, but terrible beyond measure to the rest of his subjects.'
King Alexander I died on 23rd April, 1124, at Stirling and was buried at Dunfermline Abbey. He was suceeded by his brother, David I.