Alexander I of Scotland

1077-1124

Alexander I was the son of Malcolm III of Scotland and his second wife, Margaret. Alexander came to the throne on the death of his brother Edgar in 1107. Edgar saw the end coming, and arranged to split his realm into a lowland area, under his youngest brother, David, and the northern, Highland region, under Alexander.

Alexander forged a tenuous alliance with England by marrying Sybilla (Sibylla), an illegitimate daughter of Henry I. Unfortunately, Alexander and Sybilla had no children to become heirs, which was to cause trouble (though Alexander did have illegitimate children). He was known as 'The Fierce', after his brutal suppression of a revolt in Moray. He encouraged monastic foundation in the subdued territory, effectively using the church as a tool to exert control over the region. He also founded an Augustinian monastery at Scone, with monks drawn from England.

Alexander was notably pious, and encouraged the foundation of monasteries and the accelleration of religious reform. He also strongly opposed efforts by the English archbishops to assert control over the church in Scotland.

When Alexander died without an heir in 1124, his brother David assumed the throne as David I, thus unifying Lowland and Highland Scotland under one ruler.

Time period(s): Medieval

Tags: Alexander I of Scotland   Alexander I   Malcolm III   Henry I   Scone   David I  


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