Gruoch of Scotland

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Gruoch
Queen of Alba
Spouse Gille Coemgáin, Mormaer of Moray
Macbeth, King of Alba
Issue Lulach, King of Alba
Father Boite mac Cináeda

Gruoch ingen Boite (fl. 1020–1054) was the daughter of Boite mac Cináeda, son of Cináed III.[1] She is most famous for being the wife and queen of MacBethad mac Findlaích (Macbeth). The dates of her life are not certainly known.

Before 1032 Gruoch was married to Gille Coemgáin mac Maíl Brigti, Mormaer of Moray, with whom she had at least one son, Lulach mac Gille Coemgáin, later King of Scots. Gille Coemgáin was killed in 1032, burned in a hall with fifty of his men.[2] The next year one of her male relatives, probably her only brother, was murdered by Malcolm II.[3]

Gruoch is named with Boite and also with MacBethad in charters endowing the Culdee monastery at Loch Leven. The date of her death is not known.

In fiction[edit]

  • Gruoch is the model for the character Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth.
  • She appears, named Groa, as a major character in Dorothy Dunnett's 1982 novel of Macbeth, King Hereafter, which topped the New York Times bestseller list.
  • Susan Fraser King wrote Lady Macbeth, a 1982 historical novel about Gruach. King asserts that the book is as deeply rooted in fact as possible.
  • Gruoch also appears as the wife of Macbeth, King of Scotland and the mother of Lulach in Jackie French's children's novel,Macbeth and Son, published in 2006.
  • Gloria Carreño's 2009 play A Season Before the Tragedy of Macbeth premiered by British Touring Shakespeare 2010, also sheds new light on the central character, Gruach Macduff. The play considers events up to the opening of the letter from the three witches in Shakespeare's tragedy.
  • David Greig's 2010 play Dunsinane, in which she is known as Gruach and outlives Macbeth.

Ancestry[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It is not entirely certain that the Cináed father of Boite was Cináed mac Duib rather than Kenneth II. Both possibilities are admitted by Duncan, p. 345, table A, although most sources, e.g. Woolf, favour Cináed mac Duib.
  2. ^ Annals of Ulster, s.a. 1032.
  3. ^ Marshall, Rosalind K. (2003). Scottish Queens, 1034-1714. Tuckwell Press. p. 4. 

References[edit]

Preceded by
Suthen
Queen consort of Alba
c. 1040 – 1057
Succeeded by
Ingibiorg Finnsdottir