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King David I of Scotland (1124 - 1153)

Name: King David I of Scotland
Father: Malcolm III, King of Scotland
Mother: Margaret, daughter of Edward the Aetheling son of Edmund II of England
Relation to Charles III: 26th great-grandfather
House of: Canmore
Born: c. 1080/85
Ascended to the throne: April, 1124
Married: Matilda, daughter of Waltheof, Earl of Huntingdon, 1113/14
Children: son Henry (died 1152)
Died: May 24, 1153, at Carlisle, Cumbria
Buried at: Dunfermline Abbey, Fife
Succeeded by: his grandson Malcolm

David (Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim) was the youngest son of Malcolm III. He spent his early years in England at the courts of Henry I, and was made Prince of Cumbria by his brother Edgar. He also acquired large areas of lands in Huntingdon and Bedfordshire through his marriage to Matilda a great niece of William I of England.

His impact on Scottish cultural development was considerable, and he is often known as David ‘The Saint’. He continued his brother’s introduction of reforms founding monasteries at Melrose and Holyrood, and founded royal burghs of Stirling, Perth, Dunfermline and Edinburgh. He introduced a feudal system and granted land to Anglo Norman incomers who soon anglicized the lowlands in Southern Scotland. Norman English became the dominant language of court while Gaelic was spoken in the Highlands and Norse in the far North and Isles.

David became involved in the struggle for succession in England, and supported the succession of Henry I’s daughter the Empress Matilda. When Stephen usurped her and became king, David invaded England taking Carlisle and Newcastle before being defeated in the battle of the Standard near Northallerton, Yorkshire, in 1138. However Stephen faced with his own struggles in England granted David control of Northumbria under the Treaty of Durham in 1139 and recognised him as king of an independent Scotland.

His only son Henry died in 1152 leaving the succession to his young grandson Malcolm.

Timeline for King David I of Scotland

Year Event
1124David I becomes king and introduces the feudal system of landholding to much of Scotland.
1138David I of Scotland invades England in support of his niece, Matilda wife of King Stephen of England, but is defeated at the Battle of the Standard in Yorkshire.
1139Treaty of Durham in which David I is recognised as King of an independent Scotland by King Stephen of England.
1153David I dies and is succeeded by his grandson Malcolm IV