Dub, King of Scotland

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Dub
King of Alba
Reign 962–967
Predecessor Indulf
Successor Cuilén
Issue Kenneth III, King of Alba
House Alpin
Father Malcolm I, King of Alba
Died 967?
Forres

Dub mac Maíl Coluim (Modern Gaelic: Dubh mac Mhaoil Chaluim),[1] sometimes anglicised as Duff MacMalcolm,[2] called Dén, "the Vehement"[3] and Niger, "the Black"[4] (died 967) was king of Alba. He was son of Malcolm I (Máel Coluim mac Domnaill) and succeeded to the throne when Indulf (Ildulb mac Causantín) was killed in 962.

While later chroniclers such as John of Fordun supplied a great deal of information on Dub's life and reign, including tales of witchcraft and treason, almost all of which are rejected by modern historians. There are very few sources for the reign of Dub, of which the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and a single entry in the Annals of Ulster are the closest to contemporary.

The Chronicle records that during Dub's reign bishop Fothach, most likely bishop of St Andrews or of Dunkeld, died. The remaining report is of a battle between Dub and Cuilén, son of king Ildulb. Dub won the battle, fought "upon the ridge of Crup", in which Duchad, abbot of Dunkeld, sometimes supposed to be an ancestor of Crínán of Dunkeld, and Dubdon, the mormaer of Atholl, died.

The various accounts differ on what happened afterwards. The Chronicle claims that Dub was driven out of the kingdom. The Latin material interpolated in Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykl states that he was murdered at Forres, and links this to an eclipse of the sun which can be dated to 20 July 966. The Annals of Ulster report only: "Dub mac Maíl Coluim, king of Alba, was killed by the Scots themselves"; the usual way of reporting a death in internal strife, and place the death in 967. It has been suggested that Sueno's Stone, near Forres, may be a monument to Dub, erected by his brother Kenneth II (Cináed mac Maíl Coluim). It is presumed that Dub was killed or driven out by Cuilén, who became king after Dub's death, or by his supporters.

It is related that his body was hidden under the bridge of Kinloss, and the sun did not shine till it was found and buried. An eclipse on 10 July 967 may have originated or confirmed this story.[5]

Dub left at least one son, Kenneth III (Cináed mac Dub). Although his descendants did not compete successfully for the kingship of Alba after Cináed was killed in 1005, they did hold the mormaerdom of Fife. The MacDuib (or MacDuff) held the mormaerdom, and later earldom, until 1371.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dub mac Maíl Coluim is the Mediaeval Gaelic form. The modern form, Dubh, has the sense of "dark" or "black", especially in reference to hair colour
  2. ^ This form was used in older histories, but is not commonly used today
  3. ^ Duan Albanach, 23 here
  4. ^ Chronicle of the Kings of Alba and related Scoto-Latin texts. Niger is a literal Latin translation of the Gaelic Dub, which may itself have been an epithet rather than a given name: the Duan Albanach refers to him as Dubhoda dén, Dubod the vehement or impetuous
  5. ^  Aeneas James George Mackay (1888). "Duff (d.967)". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 16. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

References[edit]

  • Duncan, A.A.M., The Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8
  • Smyth, Alfred P., Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80–1000. Edinburgh UP, Edinburgh, 1984. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7

External links[edit]

Dub, King of Scotland
Died: 967
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Indulf (Ildulb)
King of Scots
962–967
Succeeded by
Cuilén