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David I of Scotland

David I (1084-1153), king of Scotland, the youngest son of Malcolm Canmore and Saint Margaret, sister of Edgar Ætheling, was born in 1084. He married in 1113 Matilda, daughter and heiress of Waltheof[?], earl of Northumbria, and thus became possessed of the earldom of Huntingdon.

On the death of Edgar, king of Scotland, in 1107, the territories of the Scottish crown were divided in accordance with the terms of his will between his two brothers, Alexander and David. Alexander, together with the crown, received Scotland, north of the Forth and Clyde, David the southern district with the title of earl of Cumbria. The death of Alexander I in 1124 gave David possession of the whole starting on April 27 of that year.

In 1127, in the character of an English baron, he swore fealty to Matilda as heiress to her father Henry I, and when the usurper Stephen ousted her in 1135 David vindicated her cause in arms and invaded England. But Stephen marched north with a great army, whereupon David made peace. The peace, however, was not kept. After threatening an invasion in 1137, David marched into England in 1138, but sustained a crushing defeat on Cutton Moor in the engagement known as the battle of the Standard.

He returned to Carlisle, and soon afterwards concluded peace. In 1141 he joined Matilda in London and accompanied her to Winchester, but after a narrow escape from capture he returned to Scotland. Henceforth he remained in his own kingdom and devoted himself to its political and ecclesiastical reorganization. A devoted son of the church, he founded five bishoprics and many monasteries. In secular politics he energetically forwarded the process of feudalization which had been initiated by his immediate predecessors. He died at Carlisle on May 24 1153.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Preceded by:
Alexander I
List of British monarchs Succeeded by:
Malcolm IV



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