MacBeth / Kings and Queens
- Name : MacBeth
- Born : c.1005
- Died : 1057
- Category : Kings and Queens
- Finest Moment : Roman Holiday, 1050
This is the Macbeth as immortalised by Shakespeare. He was the son of a ruler of Moray, while his mother was the daughter of either Kenneth II or III. He married Gruoch, granddaughter of Kenneth II.
He succeeded his father as chief in Moray about 1031, and became King in 1040 when he defeated his cousin King Duncan I in battle near Elgin, on 14 August (this was not quite dramatic enough for Shakespeare of course, who had his Macbeth murdering Duncan in bed).
MacBeth won another victory, this time over a rebel army, near Dunkeld, in 1045. As Dunkeld is close to Birnam Wood, Shakespeare may have woven this into his play. Another attempt to overthrow MacBeth took place in 1046, when Siward, Earl of Northumbria supported Malcolm Canmore, eldest son of Duncan I.
In 1050 MacBeth made a pilgrimage to Rome, "scattering alms like seed-corn". He was by now a powerful and prosperous king. Four years later however, Malcolm III "Canmore" invaded with an English army, defeating MacBeth at Dunsinane. In a second invasion, in 1057, MacBeth was killed at Lumphanan, on 15 August 1057.
He was buried at Iona, for long the resting place of lawful kings.