The so-called House of Dunkeld, in Scottish Gaelic Dùn Chailleann (meaning Fort of the Caledonii or of the Caledonians), is a historiographical and genealogical construct to illustrate the clear succession of Scottish kings from 1034 to 1040 and from 1058 to 1290.
It is dynastically sort of a continuation to Cenél nGabráin of Dál Riata, "race of Fergus", as "house" an originally Celtic concept to express one of the two rivalling leader clans of early medieval Scotland, whose founding father is king Fergus Mor of Dalriada. This Ferguside royal clan had rivalled the crown (of Dalriada, then that of Alba) against the Cenél Loairn, the later House of Moray for the preceding four or more centuries. The Cenél nGabráin were represented by the so-called House of Alpin before Dunkeld.
Sir Iain Moncreiffe made the case that Crínán of Dunkeld actually belonged to a Scottish sept of Irish Cenél Conaill royal dynasty. This of course would not exclude his descendants from also being a (female line) continuation of the Cenél nGabráin through Bethóc.
Genealogically the Dunkeld dynasty is based on Duncan I of Scotland being of a different agnatic clan to his predecessor and maternal grandfather Malcolm II of Scotland. However, sociohistorically, the reign of Duncan's son Malcolm III of Scotland, which happens to coincide with the start of the centuries-long period of strong influence from the southern neighbour, the Kingdom of England, has been seen as a more important place to start.
List of Kings
(links will be added)
- Donnchad I, r. 1034-1040
- Máel Coluim III, r. 1058-1093
- Domnall III, r. 1093-1094 and 1094-1097
- Donnchad II, r. 1094
- Edgar, r. 1097-1107
- Alexander I, r. 1107-1124
- David I, r. 1124-1153
- Malcolm IV, r. 1153-1165
- William I, r.1165-1214
- Alexander II, r.1214-1249
- Alexander III, r.1249-1286
- Margaret, r.1286
On Alexander III's death his granddaughter Margaret (Maid of Norway) was recognised as "right heir", as had been agreed in Alexander's lifetime, but she was never inaugurated as Queen of Scots.
Ambiguity and Discrepancies
If there is doubt about relationships, we normally rely on the Medieval Lands database. This is the most well-researced source we have, referring to primary texts only, presenting discrepancies, and with little interpretation.
- Medieval Lands by Charles Cawley