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KING EDGAR AND KING ALEXANDER I.
'The queen is dead, but she hath left
A FEW troubled years succeeded the death of Canmore. Throughout his reign, the Gaelic, or old national party, had been restive under 'unceasing' innovations, and the presence of uncongenial foreigners, and after the death of the king and queen we are told that the wild troops of Donald Bane surrounded the Castrum Puellarum, and that the body of Margaret was carried by her son secretly down the Castle rock, under shelter of a kindly mist from the Firth of Forth. The saint was buried at Dunfermline, whither Malcolm had transferred the right of royal sepulchre from Iona, and in the year 1250, her relics and those of her husband were translated to the new choir of the church of Dunfermline.
Among the memorials that we have of Margaret are—St. Margaret's Hope or Queensferry, in the Firth of Forth, where she landed with the yCtheling and her mother and sister when flying from England, and which was afterwards her 'familiar passage' to the palace at Dunfermline. Not far from Queensferry is Queen Margaret's Stone, where she is said to have dismounted from horseback and rested on her way to Dunfermline. There is St. Margaret's Well at
Restalrig, and St. Margaret's Chapel at Edinburgh Castle, which she erected for her use when the Court resided there. But, like every saint, her most interesting relic, her most lasting memorial, is her Christian life. The sons of Malcolm III. and Margaret were Edward, slain with his father at Alnwick, Ethelred, who did not long survive his parents, Edmund, Edgar, Alexander, and David; the daughters were, Editha,1 who married Henry Beauclerc, and Mary, who married Eustace, Count of Boulogne.
The sons of Malcolm were still under age, and in accordance with the law of Tanistry Donald Bane mounted the throne, by no means to the dissatisfaction of the ruder among the people, who were of his opinion that improvement of any kind, but especially those which savoured of English refinements, and led to commercial intercourse with other lands, as exceedingly perilous measures, and who now rejoiced in the prospect of the predominance, as of old, of the uncouth manners of their fathers. Donald had no English interests at heart, nor is it likely that he had learned to be overmuch zealous of the cultivation of the comforts of civilized life. He had scarcely however been king for a few months, and had driven away ' the strangers' from his court, when Duncan (the son of Canmore by an early marriage to Ingibiorg, a Norwegian lady) dethroned him, and reigned in his stead. Upon this Donald forthwith entered into a conspiracy, and with the co-operation of Edmund assassinated Duncan, and remounted the throne. But he did not long possess his ill-gotten gains, for in 1097 Edgar the yEtheling recovered the kingdom for his nephew Edgar, and condemned Donald to have his eyes put out, and to be impnsoned for life at Rescobie in Forfarshire. Edmund was
1 Editha changed her name to Matilda on her marriage, out of respect to her husband's mother. See Scotland under her Early KIngs, vol. L p. 152.' likewise placed in a perpetual captivity for the assassination of Duncan. Then, only when suffering his awful punishment in the solitude of his prison-cell, did the son of St. Margaret call to mind the long-forgotten prayers and lessons of his childhood. He meekly accepted his life-long retribution, and in token of his contrition he gave orders that he should be buried in his fetters.
King Edgar reigned eight years. 'He was,' says his biographer, Ailred of Rievaux, 'a sweet-tempered, amiable man, in all things resembling Edward the Confessor; mild in his administration, equitable and beneficent.'1 The chief event of his reign was the marriage of his sister Editha to Henry, king of England. This was as much the union of two nations as of man and wife, for it is difficult to estimate how enormously the marriage of a daughter of the old Saxon race of kings to 'the heir of the Norman Conquest' helped on the assimilation of the Normans and Saxons in England. In Scotland it imparted stability to the great and peaceable revolution which had begun under Malcolm and Margaret, and which succeeded in procuring the ascendency of so much that was Saxon that it has been called 'The Saxon Conquest.' Donald Bane had indeed encouraged the jealousy with which the Gael looked on the presence of 'our auld enemies of England,' and had temporarily checked the progress of the transition by the shortsighted, ill-natured policy of shutting up the kingdom in its old narrow limits, and prohibiting the entrance of foreigners, but Edgar and his brothers carried on the policy of their parents, and the conquest of refinement over barbarity, of Christian graces over national vices. It is very interesting to see how even then preparations in some sense were being made for the far distant destiny of the nations, the marriage
1 Aldred, Gen. Reg. Angi. 367; cited by Hailes, vol. i. p. 53.
of the two kingdoms, when one sovereign should ascend the throne of England and Scotland. Edgar was engaged in considerable strife with the Northmen. He died on the 8th of January 1107, his last act being to bequeath Scottish Cumbria to his youngest and favourite brother David. His next brother, Alexander I., succeeded him on the throne. He was surnamed the Fierce, because we are informed, somewhat vaguely, of 'his rigorous valiancie in pursuing of thieves and robbers.'1 In his reign we find the Scottish Church offering a spirited resistance to the interference of the English bishops, and a series of passages took place with the Church of England, which was of a less friendly nature than in the days of Aidan and Lindisfarne. The bishops of St. Andrews and primates of the Scots, who ruled successively after Kellach I. were Fothad I., Maelbrigid I., Kellach II., who is said, although on doubtful authority,2 to have gone to Rome for confirmation of his episcopacy, Maelbrigid II., Malmore, Alwin, Malduin, Tuathal, and Fothad II. Fothad was succeeded in 1109 by Turgot, the Prior of Durham, and the confessor of St. Margaret. The time of his consecration may be dated as the commencement of the hot dispute which arose out of the primatial pretensions of the English archbishops. Bishop Turgot may have been hankering after English ways and his English home. Towards the end of his brief episcopate he visited Durham, and there died in the year 1115. After this event, King Alexander wrote a cordial but politic letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, craving his counsel in the choice of a successor. After a delay of some years, the monk Eadmer, a spiritual child of the late St. Anselm, was elected to the vacant see. He had not been long in Scotland when there arose a diffi
1 Hollinshead's Chronicle, p. 363. * Scotichronicon, lib. vi. c. 24.
culty as to where he was to receive consecration. Eadmer, who was a devoted son of the Church of England, declared that he had been sent to St. Andrews for the 'honour of the metropolitan see of Canterbury,' and that to Canterbury he must return for consecration. King Alexander was exasperated. 'I received you altogether free from Canterbury,' he said to Eadmer; 'while I live, I will not permit the bishop of St. Andrews to be subjected to that see.' 'For your whole kingdom,' answered the son of St. Anselm, ' I would not renounce the dignity of a monk of Canterbury.' 'Then,' replied the king passionately, ' I have done nothing in seeking a bishop from Canterbury.' No one appeared to know what to do; but in the dilemma Eadmer received plenty of advice. 'If, as a son of peace, you desire peace,' wrote one of his advisers, 'you must seek it elsewhere than in Scotland. . . . You must, therefore, either abandon this country, or, by accommodating yourself to its usages, dishonour your character and hazard your salvation.' 'A Scottish priest,' wrote another English friend, 'is a creature savage by nature, who must be mollified by an abundance of good cheer.' He expressed it as his opinion, that 'nothing would be so conducive to soften the barbarity of the Scots, promote sound doctrine, and establish ecclesiastical discipline, as a plentiful and hospitable board.' 'Scotland,' he adds, 'has frequently sent bishops to York, but York has never sent any bishop, except Turgot, to Scotland. The bishop of St. Andrews, being chief bishop of the Scots, is virtually an archbishop himself. It is for you to put an end to the disputes. Fulfil your charge to your adopted Church and nation, and never suffer their freedom and dignity to sustain detriment as long as you are their bishop.' The last words of the letter are curious : 'I entreat you to let me have as many of the fairest pearls as you can procure. In particular, I desire four