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King Macbeth of Scotland (1040 - 1057)

Name: King Macbeth of Scotland
Father: Finlay MacRory, Mormaer of Moray
Mother: Donalda, daughter of Malcolm II
Relation to Charles III: 4th cousin 28 time removed
House of: Dunkeld
Born: c. 1005
Ascended to the throne: August 14, 1040
Married: Gruoch, daughter of Beoedh, son of Kenneth III , 1034
Children: one stepson Lulach
Died: August 15, 1057, killed at the Battle of Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire by Malcolm III
Buried at: Isle of Iona
Succeeded by: his stepson Lulach

Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findlaích) was the son of Finlay of Moray, and Donalda daughter of Malcolm II. He was king of Moray and became king of the Scots when Duncan was killed in 1040. Duncan’s father Crinan was killed at Dunkeld in1045. Macbeth married Guroch (Lady Macbeth) granddaughter of Malcolm II who had a son Lulach by her previous marriage.

Macbeth was immortalised in the play by William Shakespeare although the play is historically inaccurate. In Shakespeare's play, Macbeth is portrayed as a good-hearted general when he was ruler of Moray to King Duncan, but is manipulated by his wife Lady Macbeth and three witches into becoming a villainous, depressive maniac haunted by the murder of Duncan. In fact Macbeth had as much right as Duncan to the throne and ruled successfully for 17 years. He was generous friend of the church and reported to have made a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050 where he gave money to the poor.

In 1054 Macbeth’s forces were defeated at Dunsinane by a combined army of English, Norse and lowland Scots under Siward, Earl of Northumberland. Malcolm eldest son of Duncan was installed as ruler of Perth and Fife. In 1057 Macbeth was killed by Malcolm in battle at Lumphanan in Mar, Aberdeenshire. His stepson Lulach became briefly king.

Timeline for King Macbeth of Scotland

Year Event
1040Macbeth becomes king
1050Macbeth goes on a pilgrimage to Rome
1054Macbeth’s forces defeated at Dunsinane by a combined army of English, Norse and lowland Scots under Siward Earl of Northumberland
1057Macbeth is slain at the Battle of Lumphanan by Malcolm, son of Duncan I