Findláech of Moray

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Finlay of Moray (Gaelic: Findláech) was the king or earl of Moray, ruling from the late 10th century until his murder in 1020.

In the Annals of Ulster and in the Book of Leinster, Finlay is called king of Alban, i.e. Scotland north of the Forth. He is also referred to as the son of Ruari, though the identity of Ruari is unknown. He had a brother, Maelbrighde, with whom he may have shared the kingship.

Upon the accession of Sigurd the Stout as Earl of Orkney in 991, Finlay took the opportunity to try and wrest some of his territories from him by challenging him to a battle at Skitten in Caithness. However Finlay was defeated, and Sigurd took control of Sutherland, Ross, Moray, and parts of Caithness, thus firmly fixing Norse overrule in northern Scotland. Finlay appears to have submitted to Sigurd, before he was killed at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Finlay himself would be killed in 1020 by his nephews Malcolm and Gillecomgan, the sons of Maelbrighde. The reason for this is not known for certain, but it would be logical to conclude they desired to take the throne of Moray, which they later did.

Finlay married Donada, daughter of Malcolm, King of Scots. By her he had Macbeth, who would succeed him as king of Alban, and would later be made famous by the William Shakespeare play.


  • Paul, Sir James, The Scots Peerage, (Edinburgh, 1909)
  • Anderson, Alan, Early Sources of Scottish History: AD 500-1286, 2 vols., (Edinburgh, 1922)
  • Hudson, Benjamin, Kings of Celtic Scotland, (Westport, 1994)
Preceded by
Mormaer of Moray
before 1014-1020
Succeeded by

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