Day in History 25 November – Malcolm II King of Scots

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17th Century depiction of Malcolm II

On this day in 1034, King of Scots from 1005 to 1034, Máel Coluim mac Cináeda (Modern Gaelic: Maol Chaluim mac Choinnich), Malcolm II, died at Glamis, a small village in Angus, Scotland (the location of Glamis Castle, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother).  The son of Kenneth II King of Scots.  He was succeeded by his grandson Donnchad mac Crínáin, Duncan I.

19th Century engraving of King Malcolm II’s grave stone

The Final Footprint – Malcolm II is interred in what is now the ancient burial ground, the Rèilig Odhrain (Oran’s burial place or cemetery) of Iona Abbey.  None of the graves are now identifiable; their inscriptions reportedly had worn away by the end of the 17th century.  Iona rose to prominence in Scotland following the establishment of the Kingdom of Alba, Gaelic for Scotland, in the later 9th century.  The ruling dynasty of Alba traced its origin to Iona, and the island thus became an important spiritual centre of the new kingdom, with many of its early kings buried there.  Tradition knew the Pictish stone now called “Glamis 2” as “King Malcolm’s grave stone”.  The stone is a Class II stone, apparently formed by re-using a Bronze Age standing stone.  Its dating is uncertain, with dates from the 8th century onwards having been proposed. While an earlier date is favoured, an association with accounts of Máel Coluim’s has been proposed on the basis of the iconography of the carvings.

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