The House of Dunkeld

The Duncan Clan

House of Dunkeld

At the dawn of the Middle Ages the House of Dunkeld, in the person of Duncan I (1001-1040) replaced the line of Gaelic kings known as the MacAplin dynasty which had ruled Scotland since the ninth century. Succession to the throne of Scotland gradually changed towards the system of primogeniture (descent of the eldest son) which replaced the Irish-Celtic tradition of tanistry.

The family produced such varying characters as the warlike Malcolm III 'Canmore' (1057-1093), the devout David I (1124-1153) and Alexander I (1107-1024), known as 'the Fierce'. The Dunkeld family could also boast a real saint in its midst in the person of Margaret, wife of Malcolm III 'Canmore' and a descendant of the Saxon House of Wessex.

The House of Dunkeld became extinct in 1286, when Alexander III (1249-1286) died as a result of an accident, leaving only a young granddaughter, Margaret of Norway, to succeed him. Margaret, known as the 'Maid of Norway', died on the journey to Scotland to take up the throne, leaving several claimants to dispute their right to Scotland's crown.

Monarchs of the House of Dunkeld

Duncan I

1001, son of Bethoc daughter of Malcolm II & Crinan, Abbot of Dunkeld 1001-1040 Aelflaed of Northumbria

Malcolm III 'Canmore'

1031, son of Duncan I and Aelflaed of Northumbria 1057- 93 (i) Ingeborg of Halland (ii) St. Margaret

Donald III

circa 1033, son of Duncan I 1093-1097 (deposed 1094)

Duncan II

son of Malcolm III and Ingeborg of Halland 1094 Ethelreda of Dunbar


circa 1074, son of Malcolm III 'Canmore' and St. Margaret 1097-1107

Alexander I

circa 1078, son of Malcolm III 'Canmore' and St. Margaret 1107-1124 Sybilla, daughter of Henry I.

David I

circa 1080, son of Malcolm III 'Canmore' and St. Margaret 1124-1153

Maud of HuntingdonMalcolm IV 'the Maiden'

circa 1141, son of Prince Henry of Scotland and Ada de Warrene 1153-65

William the Lion

circa 1143, son of Henry of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon and Ada de Warrene

1165-1214 Ermengarde of Beaumont-le-Maine

Alexander II

1198, son of William the Lion and Ermengarde of Beaumont 1214-1249 (i) Joanna of England (ii) Marie de Coucy

Alexander III

1241, son of Alexander II and Marie de Coucy 1249-1286 (i) Margaret of England (ii) Yvette de Dreux

Margaret 'Maid of Norway'

1283, daughter of Eric II of Norway and Margaret of Scotland 1286-1290

Additional Information on the era

The Battle of Alnwick

Henry, Earl of Huntingdon

The Battle of the Standard

David, Earl of Huntingdon

Somerled, King of the Isles

The Battle of Largs

St. Margaret