Ruadrí mac Domnall, Mormaer of Moray

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Ruadrí mac mac Domnall, Mormaer of Moray

Birthplace: Argyll - son of Domnall
Death: 1020 (20-30) (Mortally wounded by kinsmen, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland)
Immediate Family:

Son of Domnall mac Morggan, of Moray
Husband of N.N. de Ossory
Father of Máil Brigti mac Ruaidrí, Mormaer of Moray; Findláech mac Ruaidrí, thane of Angus, Mormaer of Moray and Domhnall mac Ruaidrí

Occupation: Mormaer of Moray
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ruadrí mac Domnall, Mormaer of Moray

Caution: A lot of nonsense is circulating about this line. One example is the entirely contemporary Lebor Clann Glas.

Irish genealogies show the descent of Findlaech MacRory from "cenel Loairn, one of the ruling kindreds of Dalriada…in the 8th century"[477], but it is unknown how accurate this may be. (Cawley's Medlands)

RUAIDHRI. Mormaer of Moray. (Cawley's Medlands)

m ---. The name of Ruaidhri´s wife is not known.

Ruadhri & his wife had two children:

1. FINDLAECH MacRory (-[1018/20]). Thane of Angus, Mormaer of Moray. Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd Jarl of Orkney defeated “a Scottish earl called Finnleik”[478]. The Annals of Tigernach record that “Findlaech mac Ruaidhrí mormaer Moreb” was killed “a filiis fratris sui MaelBrighdi” in [1018/20][479]. The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1020 of "Finnlaech son of Ruadrí king of Alba…killed by his own people"[480]. (Cawley's Medlands)
m ---Donada?. The name of Findlaech´s wife is not known. Many secondary sources name the wife of Findlaech as Donada of Scotland, daughter of Malcolm II King of Scotland & his wife ---, adding that she was the mother of King Macbeth. It seems that the proof for this connection is slim. The only source so far identified which refers to Macbeth´s maternal origin is the Chronicle of Huntingdon which names "Maket Regem [=King Macbeth] nepotem dicti Malcolmi" when recording that he was expelled from Scotland after ruling 15 years[481]. The word "nepos" is of course treacherous, and could indicate a variety of relationships in addition to grandson. However, it appears that early historians assumed that "grandson" was the correct translation. For example, Ralph Holinshed´s 1577 Chronicle of Scotland names "Doada" as second daughter of Malcolm II King of Scotland and adds that she married "Sinell the thane of Glammis, by whom she had issue one Makbeth"[482]. Another variation is provided by the Cronykil of Andrew of Wyntoun, which records that "Makbeth-Fynlak, his systyr sowne" murdered King Duncan[483]. From a chronological point of view, it is unlikely that Macbeth could have been a nephew of King Duncan, but it is possible that the passage represents an interpretation of "nepos" from an earlier source and has confused the king with whom Macbeth enjoyed this relationship. No source earlier than Holinshed has been found which names her Donada. (Cawley's Medlands)
Mormaer Findlaech & [wife] had one child: (Cawley's Medlands)

a) MACBETH ([1005]-killed in battle Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire 15 Aug 1057, bur Isle of Iona). The 12th century Cronica Regum Scottorum lists "…Macheth filius Findleg xvii…" as king[484]. The Annals of Tigernach names “Mac bethadh son of Findlaech overking of Scotland” when recording his death[485]. Mormaer of Moray [1029/32]. He succeeded in 1040 as MACBETH King of Scotland. He was defeated in battle 27 Jul 1054 by the army of Siward Earl of Northumbria who had invaded Scotland to support the claim to the throne of Malcolm son of King Duncan I. The Annals of Ulster record that "Mac Bethad son of Finnlaech, over-king of Scotland was killed by Mael Sechlainn son of Donnchad in battle" in 1058[486]. (Cawley's Medlands)

2. MAELBRIGTE. The Annals of Tigernach record that “Findlaech mac Ruaidhrí mormaer Moreb” was killed “a filiis fratris sui MaelBrighdi” in [1018/20][492]. (Cawley's Medlands)
m ---. The name of Maelbrigte´s wife is not known.
Maelbrigte & his wife had two children:(Cawley's Medlands)

a) MALCOLM (-1029). A grant by "Maelcoluim son of Maelbrigte" to the church of Deer is recalled in a notice of grants between 565 and 1100[493]. The Annals of Tigernach record the death in 1029 of “Mael Colaim mac Mael-Brighdi maic Ruaidrí, rí Alban”[494]. (Cawley's Medlands)
b) GILLACOMGAIN (-burned alive 1032). Mormaer of Moray. The Annals of Ulster record that "Gilla Comgán son of Mael Brigte, earl of Moray was burned together with fifty people" in 1032[495]. (Cawley's Medlands)

According to tradition: MacBethad was the

  • son of Findláech,
  • son of Ruadrí,
  • son of Domnall,
  • son of Morggán,
  • son of Cathamal,
  • son of Ruadrí,
  • son of Ailgelach,
  • son of Uraad,
  • son of Uurgus,
  • son of Nehhtonn,
  • son of Colmán,
  • son of Báetán,
  • son of Eochaid,
  • son of Muiredach,
  • son of Loarn,
  • son of Erb,
  • son of Eochaid Muinremuir.

MacBeth (1005-1057), Mormaer of Moray, married Gruoch, daughter of Boedhe, who was the son of Kenneth III. So MacBeth, who had ancestral roots in Moray, was the grandson of King Malcolm II, and his wife was the granddaughter of King Kenneth III.

Under the ancient law of the Picts, he had as much claim to the throne of Scotland as did King Duncan I. He was commander for Duncan I, whom he defeated and slew, thereby becoming king. MacBeth was proclaimed king, and Scotland prospered during his reign. He was later defeated by Malcolm, the son of Duncan. Malcolm had gone to England to raise funds and an army to bring about MacBeth's downfall. His debt to the English would have disastrous effects on Scotland for years to come.

It is a generally held opinion by Scottish historians that if MacBeth had not been killed by the future King Malcolm III, Scotland would probably have remained a separate nation until this day and might have conquered England. Records show that he used his power for the good of his country. His reign verifies that Picts actually ruled Albann after Kenneth MacAlpin.

In Angus, 'MacBeths' received a charter from David II in 1369, but this family was of the ancestral line of the Fife Bethunes, who anciently held lands in the area. The later history of the MacBeths, the Highland Beatons and Bethunes has become hopelessly confused for, in the various lands with which they are associated, both forms were used, often referring to the same family, sometimes even to the same person. Others duly removed to the shires of Inverness, Sutherland & Easter Ross and the name was also found in Moray where they had association with the Macbeans.

The name of this clan will always have overtones of Shakespeare's tragic Scottish king. The real MacBeth ruled 1040 to 1057,and had little in common with the villainous figure portrayed in he play. He had a valid claim to the throne and slew his rival on he battlefield, not in the bed chamber. He ruled wisely and generously, finding time to make a pilgrimage to Rome, where he scattered money among the poor like seed. He did in fact die in battle, at Lumphanan - not when Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane as Shakespeare wrote.

The MacBeths of Moray were the principle branch of the clan, while the Bethunes and Beatons were secondary. The king was christened with 'MacBeth' (anglicized) as his Christian name, as surnames were not mandatory at that time. Mac Beatha means son of life in Gaelic, so the official Scottish version at the time would have been MacBeathad mac Findláich. MacBeth was the last Celtic Ruler of Albann/Scotland. After him, a series of anti-Celtic programs were initiated to forcibly transplant Northern Picts to Welsh speaking areas of Scotland.

Upon MacBeth's death, the name of his beloved Albann was changed to 'Scotland' as the title of Monarch was changed from the P-Celtic 'Ri Albainn' to the Latin 'Rex Scotorum'.