Malcolm 2

Kenneth II, his father, had died in about 995, but argy-bargy about the inheritance kept Malcolm from the throne until 1005 when he lost patience and bumped off his cousin Kenneth III. As Malcolm had no son to carry on the line, he arranged political weddings for his daughters. This worked out quite well; one daughter, Bethoc, he married off to Crinan Abbot of Dunkeld (their son would become Duncan I), the other daughter he married off to Earl Sigurd of Orkney. (On Sigurd's death in battle, his son ' Malcolm's grandson, Thorfinn, became Scotland's vassal, with his lands in Sutherland and Caithness coming under Malcolm's wing.)

Malcolm's eyes now turned south, towards Northumbria. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1006, he allied himself with Owen, King of Strathclyde, and together they defeated the English King Canute at Carham (c.1016). His territories now extended as far south as the Tweed. That left Strathclyde.

Owen died in 1018, childless, and Malcolm then claimed Strathclyde for his grandson Duncan. This was not following the normal rules of inheritance however, and his enemies had him murdered later that year at Glamis.