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Macbeth - Historical Context of Shakespeare's Play

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  • NN, father of Constantine 'Dufagan' (c.1064 - 1114)
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What is the historical context behind the Macbeth of history, beyond the story told by his most famous biographer - Shakespeare, for his patron, KIng James I? In this project I'm hoping to collect the historical profiles of this complex cast of characters. -Sharon


Used as Template for Geni Project Medieval Scotland

Used as Template for Geni Project Medieval Ireland


Play's Dramatis Personae

  • DUNCAN, King of Scotland
  • MALCOLM, elder son of Duncan
  • DONALBAIN, younger son of Duncan
  • MACBETH, Thane of Glamis and Cawdor, a general in the King's army
  • LADY MACBETH, his wife
  • BANQUO, Thane of Lochaber, a general in the King's army
  • FLEANCE, his son
  • MACDUFF, Thane of Fife, a nobleman of Scotland
  • LADY MACDUFF, his wife
  • LENNOX, nobleman of Scotland
  • ROSS, nobleman of Scotland
  • MENTEITH, nobleman of Scotland
  • ANGUS, nobleman of Scotland
  • CAITHNESS, nobleman of Scotland
  • SIWARD, Earl of Northumberland, general of the English forces
  • YOUNG SIWARD, his son
  • SEYTON, attendant to Macbeth
  • Another Lord
  • An English Doctor
  • A Scottish Doctor
  • A Sergeant
  • Boy, Son of Macduff
  • Gentlewoman attending on Lady Macbeth
  • A Captain serving Duncan
  • A Porter
  • An Old Man
  • Three Murderers of Banquo
  • First Murderer at Macduff's castle
  • Messenger to Lady Macbeth
  • Messenger to Lady Macduff
  • Servant to Lady Macbeth
  • Servant to Lady Macduff
  • Three witches or weird sisters
  • HECATE, Queen of the Witches
  • Three Apparitions
  • (Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attendants, and Messengers)




King Duncan I:

(Clear & Succinct Article by Bill Robertson, unfortunately citing no sources.)

The first King of the House of Atholl was Duncan I, who reigned from 1034 to 1040. He was the first High King of Scots descended from the Kin of St. Columba and in turn a forefather of Clan Donnachaidh. His ascent to the throne was extremely controversial and changed the succession thereafter.

From the time that Kenneth MacAlpin united the Picts and the Scots in 844, the individual Kings of Scots inherited their crowns by way of Tanist descent (i.e., elected during the king’s lifetime) in accordance with Pictish custom. Although the Scots maintained their kingship by succession through the male line, the Pictish tradition had been matrilinial. An arrangement was therefore made whereby the Pictish princesses married Scots kings, thus maintaining the status quo, but the descent was not set in one family line. Kings were selected in advance from sons, nephews and cousins in parallel lines of descent from a common source, Kenneth MacAlpin. The great advantage of this system was that minors never achieved the crown, as happened to Scotland’s detriment in later times after the system was discarded.

Scotland in the 11th century was a tribal Celtic land. The area nominally within the zone of influence of the High King did not include the far north of Sutherland and Caithness, or the Orkneys and the Western Isles which came under control of the King of Norway. Scotland was divided into six tribal areas ruled by Mormaers, or High Stewards; there were also two kingdoms in the south. The tribal areas were Atholl, Moray, Angus & Mearns, Mar & Buchan, Fife and lastly Strathearn. The largest of these Stewardships was Moray which went from the east coast to the west coast. Atholl was second largest, the name Atholl being derived from the old gaelic, meaning “New Ireland”. Third was Strathearn which included the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth. South of Strathearn was the Kingdom of Strathclyde, with its capital, Dumbarton. The second kingdom was the area now called Cumbria in the far southwest. The language of these two kingdoms was Welsh, while the rest spoke Gaelic. The capital of the High King was the small town of Scone. The whole country at this time was essentially rural, dotted with small villages but no large towns. There was a highly developed legal system of Celtic law, the most notable feature being that land was never owned by an individual, but always held in common ownership for the clan.

The position of High King was usually elected from the Mormaers of Moray and Atholl, and those chosen were usually from the one family in Moray and another single family in Atholl. Battles between clans and leaders were common. Malcolm II became High King after defeating and killing his predecessor and first cousin Kenneth III, and his eldest son Giric at the battle of Monzievaird in Strathearn. The High King was regularly engaged in wars against the Norse to the north, the Angles from the south, or the Danes.

After nearly 200 years of alternating Tanist succession, a furious dispute arose when the tradition was broken by Malcolm II, the last of the dynasty founded by Kenneth MacAlpin . Instead of correctly affording the kingship to his younger cousin, Boede of Duff (Dubh), he decided that his own offspring should inherit the crown. The problem was that Malcolm II had no son. But he did have three daughters, and Bethoc the eldest was married to Crinan, Archpriest of the Sacred Kindred of St. Columba.

Crinan was descended from the Tir Conaill royalty of Ireland, in descent from the kin of St. Columba. He was a great chief, and wielded power equal to the Mormears; he was Thane of the Isles and Abthane of Dull. His father was Duncan Macdonachadh, Abbot of Dunkeld, Archpriest of the Kindred of St. Columba. His Arms consisted of St. Columba enthroned on two wolves. In the Orkeyinua Saga he is called Hundi Jarl Chief of the Dogs, being Chief of the Clan with the fighting qualities of the Wolf. When attack on Dunkeld by Vikings could no longer be avoided he had the bones of St. Columba, which had been kept in Dunkeld Cathedral since 835, moved to safety. The Vikings attacked and sacked Dunkeld in 1045 and Crinan died trying in vain to save the cathedral.

Crinan and Bethoc had two sons, Duncan and Maldred, and it was Duncan who King Malcolm II proclaimed would succeed him.Malcolm II’s second daughter, Donada, was married to Findleach MacRory, Mormaer of Moray, and Olith, the youngest, was married into the most powerful political force threatening Scotland, Sigurd Hiodversson II, Norse Prince and Jarl (Earl) of the Orkneys. He was a Viking warrior with designs on territory in the north and west. But the threat of the Norsemen changed dramatically on 23 April 1014 when the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, defeated them at the Battle of Clontarf. Brian Boru was assisted by a large contingent of Scots sent by Malcolm II under the command of the Mormaer of Marr and Buchan. The Norse were lead by Malcolm II’s son in law, Sigurd Hiodversson, who had sent his wife and son Thorfinn to be domiciled under the protection of Malcolm II for the duration. Sigurd Hiodversson did not survive the battle.Malcolm II then proclaimed his grandson Thorfinn, Earl of Caithness (the first time the title Earl was used in Scotland), thereby bringing that area under his influence. Thorfinn’s half brothers retained the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Meanwhile, England was in turmoil after the Danish invasion by Sweyn Forkbeard and his son Canute, who became king. Taking advantage of this turmoil, Malcolm II marched south and captured the kingdom of Bernica.

In 1020 Findlay (Findleach) MacRuaridh, Mormaer of Moray and the father of Macbeth, was killed by two of Macbeth’s cousins, apparently through jealousy felt by the house of Moray for Atholl, and because Findleach MacRory had become too friendly with Atholl, which was Malcolm II’s House. Findleach MacRory’s murderers became in turn Mormaer of Moray, the youger being Gillecomgan, gaining his title in 1029. He had ambitions to become the High King and to this end he married Grouch, grand daughter of Kenneth III, who Malcolm II had slain in order to gain the High Kingship. Grouch and her brother, Malcolm MacBodhe, were the only surviving grandchildren of Kenneth III, as Malcolm II had seen to all the others. Grouch, who was also the daughter of the logical Tanist Boede of Duff, instigated a revolt against the planned succession to Duncan. As a consequence Malcolm II slew Boede of Duff, leaving his heiress Grouch with a significant sovereign claim. She then went on to muster fierce opposition against Malcolm II who in 1032 raised the men of Atholl to attack Gillecomgain in his fortress. He and fifty of his men were burnt to death. It was intended that Grouch and her infant son Lulach were to be dispatched also, but she was visiting relatives elsewhere at the time and survived. She fled with her son to the protection of her cousin in law Macbeth, son of Donada and Findleach MacRory. Macbeth was elected Mormear of Moray at the age of 23 and soon after, in 1032,Grouch married him. The following year Malcolm II had her brother Malcolm MacBodhe killed.

The struggle between Moray and Atholl was growing more acute. Malcolm II was by this time in his late 70’s and the succession was a matter for concern. An additional complication was caused because King Malcolm II’s sister Dunclina was married to Kenneth of Lochaber who, through the structure of Tanistry, had a secondary claim to the crown as a cousin of Boded, in descent from Kenneth MacAlpin. The sons of all these various marriages were each and all in the running for kingship when Malcolm II died on 25 November 1034, aged 80, at Glammis.

Of these sons, the heir with the closest right to succession was Dunclina’s son Banquo, Thane of Lochaber. Yet, in accordance with Malcolm II’s wishes, Duncan, the son of his eldest daughter Bethoc, succeeded as King Duncan I at the age of 33. There was another son, Maldred, but it’s not clear why Duncan was chosen. Maldred became King of Cumbria, having married into the Cumbria royal family. Prior to this, on the death of Owen the Bald in 1018, Duncan became King of Strathclyde, making him in time the first monarch of a united Scotland. Being also the son and hereditary heir of Archpriest Crinan, Duncan became Scotland’s first Priest-King, in the style of the earlier Merovingian Kings of Gaul (France). This concept of the monarch as both the sovereign and the religious patriarch remained at the core of Scots culture thereafter.

Soon after Duncan’s succession, Grouch persuaded Macbeth to challenge Duncan for the crown. She was not alone in her resentment of Duncan, and a series of riots erupted led by various clan chiefs. Not even Banquo, a captain in Duncan’s army, could contain the riots. A military council was convened, and Macbeth gained control of the King’s troops and managed to subdue the revolt. He thus became more popular than the King, further elevating the ambitions of Grouch, who now knew the crown was within her husband’s grasp.

Duncan I married Sibylla of Northumbria, a cousin of the Danish Earl (Jarl) Siward of Northumberland. They had three sons, the eldest two, Malcolm III Canmore, and Donald III Ban each becoming King, and Maelmaire Earl of Atholl, from whom Clan Donnachaidh descends.

So Duncan’s accession left three grandchildren of Malcolm II in crucial positions. In the north Thorfinn the able and powerful Jarl of the Orkneys, Sutherland and Cairthness. In Scone was Duncan I of Atholl, ambitious for more power, and between them was Macbeth, Mormaer of Moray, cousin and friend of Thorfinn.

Unlike Shakespear’s portrait, which presented him as a wise old man, Duncan was young and rash, and not particularly able; he lasted six years as High King. He proved himself incompetent, losing four major battles in endeavors to expand his territory. Contemporary chroniclers describe him as a vicious, bloodthirsty, selfish tyrant.

In 1040 he made the classical blunder of opening a war to gain more territory on two fronts. He marched south with one army to attack northern England, hoping to take advantage of the chaos in England following the death of Harold Harefoot on 17 March and a disputed succession. Before this, Duncan demanded that Thorfinn recognize his sovereignty over Caithness; this Thorfinn ignored. Then he named his nephew Moddan ruler of Caithness and sent a force of Atholl clansmen to enforce that claim.

Going south, Duncan attacked Durham and contemporary accounts criticise his leadership. He ordered cavalry to attack the fortifications of the city and they were annihilated by defenders on the city walls. The defenders then counter-attacked with their own cavalry. Duncan lost nearly all his foot soldiers, and the survivors fled, leaving Duncan to suffer a massive defeat.

Meanwhile, in the north at the Caithness border, Moddan confronted a large force under Thorfinn and wisely retreated. Duncan then decided to concentrate on the north and ordered Moddan to gather a new and larger army and march north again, while Duncan sailed north with eleven warships. He met Thorfinn’s five longships off Deerness. Thorfinn attacked, targeting Duncan’s ship which was quickly overrun and boarded. Duncan escaped overboard to another ship and then tried to retreat. But Thorfinn grappled his ships to Duncan’s and the battle continued, until eventually Duncan and the remnants of his fleet withdrew to the Moray Firth.

Meanwhile the Athollmen under Moddan had reached Thurso, where they awaited Irish reinforcement. The fact that Duncan had to rely on Irish forces illustrates how unpopular he was, being unable to raise sufficient Clansmen to his cause. On the other hand, Thorfinn’s support was stronger than ever and he attacked Moddan at Thurso in the night and routed him. Virtually all were killed or captured, and Moddan himself was killed.

Duncan persisted undaunted in his quest, and on 14 August, 1040 his new army, said to be between 5,000 and 10,000 including Irish levies, met Thorfinn at Burghead. The Irish crumpled first, then Duncan’s counter attack failed. The “Orkneyinga Saga” reported that Duncan was killed by his own men immediately after the battle.

The claim that he was assassinated in Macbeth’s castle after the battle of Burghead seems unlikely. It is clear that Duncan died on the same day as the battle, and Macbeth was almost certainly not there.

Duncan had led the country into expansionist wars north and south, and had lost four battles in a row, Durham, Deerness (at sea), Thurso and Burghead. Add to that the fact that he was very unpopular. An inauspicious start to the reign of the House of Atholl.

Within two weeks of the Battle of Burghead and the death of Duncan in late August 1040, Macbeth, Mormaer of Moray, was elected High King and enthroned at Scone.



By: William J. Rolfe
(The following article was originally published in Shakespeare's Tragedy of Macbeth. Ed. William J. Rolfe. New York: American Book Co., 1918.)

Shakespeare drew the materials for the plot of Macbeth from Holinshed's Chronicles of Englande, Scotlande, and Ireland, the first edition of which was issued in 1577, and the second (which was doubtless the one the poet used) in 1586-87. The extracts from Holinshed in the notes will show that the main incidents are taken from his account of two separate events--the murder of Duncan by Macbeth, and that of King Duffe, the great-grandfather of Lady Macbeth, by Donwald. It will be seen, too, that Shakespeare has deviated in other respects from the chronicle, especially in the character of Banquo.

Although, as Knight remarks, "the interest of Macbeth is not an historical interest," so that it matters little whether the action is true or has been related as true, I may add, for the benefit of my younger readers, that the story of the drama is almost wholly apocryphal. The more authentic history is thus summarized by Sir Walter Scott:

"Duncan, by his mother Beatrice a grandson of Malcolm II, succeeded to the throne on his grandfather's death, in 1033: he reigned only six years. Macbeth, his near relation, also a grandchild of Malcolm II, though by the mother's side, was stirred up by ambition to contest the throne with the possessor. The Lady of Macbeth also, whose real name was Graoch, had deadly injuries to avenge on the reigning prince. She was the granddaughter of Kenneth IV, killed 1003, fighting against Malcolm II, and other causes for revenge animated the mind of her who has been since painted as the sternest of women. The old annalists add some instigations of a supernatural kind to the influence of a vindictive woman over an ambitious husband. Three women, of more than human stature and beauty, appeared to Macbeth in a dream or vision, and hailed him successively by the titles of Thane of Cromarty, Thane of Moray, which the king afterwards bestowed on him, and finally by that of King of Scots; this dream, it is said, inspired him with the seductive hopes so well expressed in the drama.

"Macbeth broke no law of hospitality in his attempt on Duncan's life. He attacked and slew the king at a place called Bothgowan, or the Smith's House, near Elgin, in 1039, and not, as has been supposed, in his own castle of Inverness. The act was bloody, as was the complexion of the times; but, in very truth, the claim of Macbeth to the throne, according to the rule of Scottish succession, was better than that of Duncan. As a king, the tyrant so much exclaimed against was, in reality, a firm, just, and equitable prince. Apprehensions of danger from a party which Malcolm, the eldest son of the slaughtered Duncan, had set on foot in Northumberland, and still maintained in Scotland, seem, in process of time, to have soured the temper of Macbeth, and rendered him formidable to his nobility. Against Macduff, in particular, the powerful Maormor of Fife, he had uttered some threats which occasioned that chief to fly from the court of Scotland. Urged by this new counsellor, Siward, the Danish Earl of Northumberland, invaded Scotland in the year 1054, displaying his banner in behalf of the banished Malcolm. Macbeth engaged the foe in the neighbourhood of his celebrated castle of Dunsinane. He was defeated, but escaped from the battle, and was slain at Lumphanan in 1056."

Whether Shakespeare was ever in Scotland is a question that has been much discussed. Knight (Biography, ed. 1865, p. 420 fol.) endeavours to prove that the poet visited the country in 1589, but most of the editors agree that there is no satisfactory evidence of his having ever been there.


Andrew of Wyntoun's 1420 poem: Macbeth and the Weird Sisters

original text from 1420 that is, quite ostensibly, in an Old Scottish dialect of English.

A nycht he thowcht in hys dreamyng,

That syttand he wes besyd the kyng

At a sete in hwntyng; swa

Intil his leisch had grewhundys; twa

He thowcht, quhile he wes swa syttand,

He sawe threw wemen by gangand;

And thai wemen than thowct he

Thre werd systrys mast lyk to be.

The first he hard say, gangang by,

'Lo, yhondyr the Thane of Crumbawchety!'

The tothir woman sayd agane,

'Of Morave yhondyre I se the thane!'

The thryd than sayd, 'I se the kyng!'

All this he herd in his dreamyng...

Sone eftyre that, in his yhowthad,

Of thyr thanydoms he thane wes made;

Syne neyst he thowcht to be king,

Fra Dunkanyis dayis had tane endying.

The fantasy thus of his dreme

Movyd hym mast to sla his eme;

As he dyd all furth in-dede,

As before yhe herd one rede,

And Dame Growky, his emys wyf,

Tuk, and lef wyth hyr hys ly,

And held hyr bathe hys wyf and queyne,

As befor than scho had beyne

Till hys eme qwene, lyvand

Quhen he was kyng with crone rygnend

For lytil in honowre than had he

The greys of affynyte.

All thus quhen his eme was dede,

He succeedyt in his stede;

And sevyntene syntyr full rygnand

As kyng-he wes than in-til Scotland.

All hys tyme wes gret plente

Abowndand, bath on land and se.

He was in justice rycht lawchful,

And till hys legis all awful.

Quhen Leo the tend was Pape of Rome,

As pylgryne to the court he come;

And in his almus he sew sylver

Till all pure folk that had myster;

And all tyme oysyd he to wyrk

Profitably for haly kyrke.


Excerpts from 'Holinshead's Chronicles, Volume V: Scotland' which influenced Shakespeare:

After Malcolme succéeded his nephue Duncane the sonnne of his daughter Beatrice: for Malcolme had two daughters, the one which was this Beatrice, being giuen in marriage vnto one Abbanath Crinen, a man of great nobilitie, and thane of the Iles and west parts of Scotland, bare of that mariage the foresaid Duncane; the other called Doada, was maried vnto Sincell the thane of Glammis, by whom she had issue one Makbeth a valiant gentleman, and one that if he had not béen somewhat cruel of nature, might haue been thought mostworthie the gouernment of the realme. On the other part, Duncane was so soft and gentle of nature, that the people wished the inclinations and maners of these two cousins to haue been so tempered and interchangeablie bestowed betwixt them, that where the one had too much of clemencie, and the other of crueltie, the meane vertue betwixt these two extremities might haue reigned by indifferent partition in them both, so should Duncane haue proued a worthy king, and Makbeth an excellent capteine. The beginning of Duncans reigne was verie quiet and peaceable, without anie notable trouble; but after it was perceiued how negligent he was in punishing offendors, manie misruled person tooke occasion thereof to trouble the peace and quiet state of the common-wealth, by seditious commotions which first had their beginnings in this wise.

Banquho the thane of Lochquhaber, of whom the house of the Stewards is descended, the which by order of linage hath now for a long time inioied* the crowne of Scotland, euen till these our daies, as he gathered the finances due to the king, and further punished somewhat sharplie such as were notorious offendors, being assailed by a number of rebels inhabiting that countrie, and spoiled of the monie and all other things, had much a doo to get awaie with life, after he had receiued sundrie grieuous wounds amongst them. Yet escaping their hands, after hée was somewhat recouered of his hurts, and was able to ride, he repaired to the court, where making his complaint to the king in most earnest wise, he purchased at length* that the offendors were sent for by a sergeant at armes, to appeare to make answer vnto such matters as should be laid to their charge: but they augmenting their mischiefous act with a more wicked déed, after they had misused the messenger with sundrie kinds of reproches, they finallie slue him also.

Then doubting not but for such contemptuous demeanor against the kings regall authoritie, they should be inuaded with all the power the king could make, Makdowald one of great estimation among them, making first a confederacie with his nearest friends and kinsmen, took vpon him to be chief capteine of all such rebels as would stand against the king, in maintenance of their grieuous offenses latelie committed against him. Manie slanderous words also, and railing tants this Makdowald vttered against his prince, calling him a faint-hearted milkesop, more meet to gouerne a sort of idle moonks in some cloister, than to haue the rule of such valiant and hardie men of warre as the Scots were. He vsed also such subtill persuasions and forged allurements, that in a small time he had gotten together a mightie power of men: for out of the westerne Iles there came vnto him a great multitude of people, offering themselues to assist him in that rebellious quarell, and out of Ireland in hope of the spoile came no small number of Kernes and Galloglasses, offering gladlie to serve vnder him, whither it should please him to lead them.

Makdowald thus hauing a mightie puissance about him, incountered with such of the kings people as were sent against him into Lochquhaber, and discomfiting them, by mere force tooke their capteine Malcolme,* and after the end of the battell smote off his head. This ouerthrow being notified to the king, did put him in woonderfull fear, by reason of his small skill in warlike affaires. Calling therefore his nobles to a councell, he asked of them their best aduice for the subduing of Makdowald & other the rebels. Here, in sundrie heads (as euer it happeneth) were sundrie opinions, which they vttered according to euerie man his skill. At length Makbeth speaking much against the kings softnes, and ouermuch slackness in punishing offendors, whereby they had such time to assemble togither, he promised notwithstanding, if the charge were committed vnto him and vnto Banquho, so to order the matter, that the rebels should be shortly vanquished & quite put downe, and that not so much as one of them should be found to make resistance within the countrie.

And euen so it came to passe: for being sent foorth with a new power, at his entring into Lochquhaber, the fame of his comming put the enimies in such feare, that a great number of them stale secretlie awaie from their capteine Makdowald, who neuertheless inforced thereto, gaue battell vnto Makbeth, with the residue which remained with him: but being ouercome, and fléeing for refuge into a castel (within the which his wife & children were inclosed) at length when he saw how he could neither defend the hold anie longer against his enimies, nor yet vpon surrender be suffered to depart with life saued, hée first slue his wife and children, and lastlie himself, least if he had yeelded simplie, he should haue béene executed in most cruell wise for an example to others. Makbeth entring into the castell by the gates, as then set open, found the carcasse of Makdowald lieng dead there amongst the residue of the slaine bodies,* which when he beheld, remitting no peece of his cruel nature with that pitifull sight,* he caused the head to be cut off, and set vpon a poles end, and so sent as a present to the king, who as then laie at Bertha. The headlesse trunk he commanded to bée hoong vp upon an high paire of gallowes.

Them of the westerne Iles suing for pardon, in that they had aided Makdowald in his tratorous enterprise, he fined at great sums of monie: and those whome he took in Lochquhaber, being come thither to bear armor against the king, he put to execution. Hereupon the Ilandmen conceiued a deadlie grudge towards him, calling him a couenant-breaker, a bloodie tyrant, & a cruell murtherer of them whome the kings mercie had pardoned. With which reprochfull words Makbeth being kindled in wrathfull ire against them, had passed ouer with an armie into the Iles, to haue taken reuenge vpon them for their liberall talke, had he not béene otherwise persuaded by some of his friends, and partlie pacified by gifts presented vnto him on the behalfe of the Ilandmen, séeking to auoid his displeasure. Thus was iustice and law restored againe to the old accustomed course, by the diligent means of Makbeth. Immediatlie wherevpon word came that Sueno king of Norway was arrived in Fife with a puissant armie, to subdue the whole realme of Scotland.

Omitted: Two paragraphs on Sweno's famous ancestors and kin.

But now touching the arriuall of Sueno the Norwegian king in Fife (as before is ex-pressed) ye shall vnderstand, that the pretense of his comming was to reuenge the slaughter of his vncle Camus, and other of the Danish nation slaine at Barre, Crowdane, and Gemmer. The crueltie of this Sueno was such, that he neither spared man, woman, nor child, of what age, condition or degrée soeuer they were. Whereof when K. Duncane was certified, he set all slouthfull and lingering delaies apart, and began to assemble an armie in most spéedie wise, like a verie valiant capteine: for oftentimes it happenth, that a dull coward and slouthfull person, constreined by necessitie, becommeth verie hardie and actiue. Therefore when his whole power was come togither, he diuided the same into thrée battels. The first was led by Makbeth, the second by Banquho, & the king himselfe gouerned in the maine battell or middle ward, wherein were appointed to attend and wait vpon his person the most part of all the residue of the Scotish nobilitie.

The armie of Scotishmen being thus ordered, came vnto Culros, where incountering with the enimies, after a sore and cruell foughten battell, Sueno remained victorious, and Malcolme with his Scots discomited. Howbeit the Danes were so broken by this battell, that they were not able to make long chase on their enimies, but kept themselues all night in order of battell, for doubt least the Scots assembling togither againe, might haue set vupon them at some aduantage. On the morrow, when the fields were discouered, and that it was perceiued how no enimies were to be found abrode, they gathered the spoile, which they diuided amongst them, according to the law of armes. Then was it ordeined by commandement of Sueno, that no souldier should hurt either man, woman or child, except such as were found with weapon in hand readie to make resistance, for he hoped now to conquer the realme without further bloudshed.

But when knowledge was giuen how Duncane was fled to the castell of Bertha, and that Makbeth was gathering a new power to withstand the incursions of the Danes, Sueno raised his tents, & comming to the said castell, laid a strong siege round about it. Duncane séeing himselfe thus enuironed by his enimies, sent a secret message by counsell of Banquho to Makbeth, commanding him to abide at Inchcuthill, till he heard from him some other newes. In the meane time Duncane fell in fained communication with Sueno, as though he would haue yéelded vp the castell into his hands, vnder certeine conditions, and this did he to driue time, and to put his enimies out of all suspicion of anie enterprise ment against them, till all things were brought to passe that might serue for the purpose. At length, when they were fallen at a point for rendring vp the hold, Duncane offered to send foorth of the castell into the campe great prouision of vittels to refreshe the armie, which offer was gladlie accepted of the Danes, for that they had béen in great penurie of sustenance manie daies before.

The Scots héerevpon tooke the iuice of mekilwoort berries, and mixed the same in their ale and bread, sending it thus spiced & confectioned, in great abundance vnto their enimies. They reioising that they had got meate and drinke sufficient to satisfie their bellies, fell to eating and drinking after such greedie wise, that it séemed they stroue who might deuoure and swallow vp most, till the operation of the berries spread in such sort through all the parts of their bodies, that they were in the end brought into a fast dead sleepe, that in manner it was vnpossible to awake them. Then foorthwith Duncane sent vnto Makbeth, commanding him with all diligence to come and set vpon the enimies, being in easie point to be ouercome. Makbeth making no delaie, came with his people to the place, where his enimies were lodged, and first killing the watch, afterwards entered the campe, and made such slaughter on all sides without anie resistance, that it was a woonderfull matter to behold, for the Danes were so heauie of sléepe, that the most part of them were slaine and neuer stirred: other that were awakened either by the noise or other waies foorth, were so amazed and dizzie headed vpon their wakening, that they were not able to make anie defense: so that of the whole number there escaped no more but onelie Sueno himselfe and ten other persons, by whose helpe he got to his ships lieng at rode in the mouth of Taie.

Omitted: One paragraph on Sweno's return to Norway. The place where the Danish vessels were thus lost, is yet called Drownelow sands. This ouerthrow receiued in manner afore said by Sueno, was verie displeasant to him and his people, as should appéere, in that it was a custome manie yeees after, that no knight were made in Norwaie, except they were first sworne to reuenge the slaughter of their countriemen and friends thus slaine in Scotland. The Scots hauing woone so notable a victorie, after they had gathered & diuided the spoile of the field, caused solemne processions to be made in all places of the realme, and thanks to be giuen to almightie God, that had sent them so faire a day ouer their enimies. But whilest the people were thus at the processions, woord was brought that a new fléet of Danes was arriued at Kingcorne, sent thither by Canute king of England, in reuenge of his brother Suenos ouerthrow. To resist these enimies, which were alreadie landed, and busie in spoiling the countrie; Macbeth and Banquho were sent with the kings authoritie, who hauing with them a conuenient power, incountred the enimies, slue part of them, and chased the other to their ships. They that escaped and got once to their ships, obteined of Makbeth for a great summe of gold, that such of their friends as were slaine at this last bickering, might be buried in saint Colmes Inch. In memorie whereof, manie old sepultures are yet in the said Inch, there to be seene grauen with the armes of the Danes, as the maner of burieng noble men still is, and héeretofore hath béene vsed.

A peace was also concluded at the same time betwixt the Danes and Scotishmen, ratified (as some haue written) in this wise: That from thencefoorth the Danes should neuer come into Scotland to make anie warres against the Scots by anie maner of meanes. And these were the warres that Duncane had with forren enimies, in the seuenth yéere of his reigne. Shortlie after happened a strange and vncouth woonder, which afterward was the cause of much trouble in the realme of Scotland, as ye shall after heare. It fortuned as Makbeth and Banquho iournied towards Fores, where the king then laie, they went sporting by the waie togither without other companie, saue onelie themselues, passing thorough the woods and fields, when suddenlie in the middest of a laund,* there met them thrée women in strange and wild apparell, resembling creatures of elder world, whome when they attentiuelie beheld, woondering much at the sight, the first of them spake and said; "All haile Makbeth, thane of Glammis" (for he had latelie entered into that dignitie and office by the death of his father Sinell.) The second of them said; "Haile Makbeth thane of Cawder." But the third said; "All haile Makbeth that héerafter shalt be king of Scotland."

Then Banquho; "What manner of women (saith he) are you, that séeme so little fauourable vnto me, whereas to my fellow heere, besides high offices, ye assigne also the kingdome, appointing foorth nothing for me at all?" "Yes (saith the first of them) we promise greater benefits vnto thée, than vnto him, for he shall reigne in déed, but with an vnluckie end: neither shall he leaue anie issue behind him to succéed in his place, where contrarilie thou in déed shalt not reigne at all, but of thée those shall be borne which shall gouerne the Scotish kingdome by long order of continuall descent." Herewith the foresaid women vanished immediatlie out of their sight. This was reputed at the first but some vaine fantasticall illusion by Mackbeth* and Banquho, insomuch that Banquho would call Mackbeth in iest, king of Scotland; and Mackbeth againe would call him in sport likewise, the fatherof manie kings. But afterwards the common opinion was, that these women were either the weird sisters, that is (as ye would say) the goddesses of destinie, or else some nymphs or feiries, indued with knowledge of prophesie by their necromanticall science, bicause euerie thing came to passe as they had spoken. For shortlie after, the thane of Cawder being condemned at Fores of treason against the king committed; his lands, liuings, and offices were giuen of the kings liberalitie to Mackbeth.

The same night after, at supper, Banquho iested with him and said; "Now Mackbeth thou hast obteined those things which the two former sisters prophesied, there remaineth onelie for thée to purchase that which the third said should come to passe. Wherevpon Mackbeth reuoluing the thing in his mind, began euen then to deuise how he might atteine to the kingdome: but yet he thought with himselfe that he must tarie a time, which should aduance him thereto (by the diuine prouidence) as it had come to passe in his former preferment. But shortlie after it chanced that king Duncane, hauing two sonnes by his wife which was the daughter of Siward earle of Northumberland, he made the elder of them called Malcolme prince of Cumberland, as it were thereby to appoint him his successor in the kingdome, immediatlie after his deceasse. Mackbeth sore troubled herewith, for that he saw by this means his hope sore hindered (where, by the old lawes of the realme, the ordinance was, that if he that should succéed were not of able age to take the charge vpon himselfe, he that was next of bloud vunto him should be admitted) he began to take counsell how he might vsurpe the kingdome by force, hauing a iust quarell so to doo (as he tooke the matter) for that Duncane did what in him lay to defraud him of all maner of title and claime, which he might in time to come, pretend vnto the crowne.

The woords of the thrée weird sisters also (of whome before ye haue heard) greatlie incouraged him herevunto, but speciallie his wife lay sore vpon him to attempt the thing, as she that was verie ambitious, burning in vnquenchable desire to beare the name of a quéene. At length therefore, communicating his purposed intent with his trustie friends, amongst whome Banquho was the chiefest, vpon confidence of their promised aid, he slue the king at Enuerns, or (as some say) at Botgosuane, in the sixt yeare of his reigne. Then hauing a companie about him of such as he had made priuie to his enterprise, he caused himselfe to be proclamed king, and foorthwith went vnto Scone, where (by common consent) he receiued the inuesture of the kingdome according to the accustomed maner. The bodie of Duncane was first conueied vnto Elgine, & there buried in kinglie wise; but afterwards it was remoued and conueied vnto Colmekill, and there laid in a sepulture amongst his predecessors, in the yeare after the birth of our Sauiour, 1046.

Malcolme Cammore and Donald Bane the sons of king Duncane, for feare of their liues (which they might well know that Mackbeth would séeke to bring to end for his more sure confirmation in the estate) fled into Cumberland, where Malcolme remained, till time that saint Edward the sonne of Ethelred recouered the dominion of England from the Danish power, the which Edward receiued Malcolme by way of most friendlie enterteinment: but Donald passed ouer into Ireland, where he was tenderlie cherished by the king of that land. Mackbeth, after the dparture thus of Duncane s sonnes, vsed great liberalitie towards the nobles of the realme, thereby to win their fauour, and when he saw that no man went about to trouble him, he set his whole intention to mainteine iustice, and to punish all enormities and abuses, which had chanced through the féeble and slouthfull administration of Duncane. And to bring his purpose the better to passe without anie trouble or great businesse, he deuised a subtill wile to bring all offendors and misdooers vnto iustice, soliciting sundrie of his liege people with high rewards, to challenge and appeale such as most oppressed the commons, to come at a day and place appointed, to fight singular combats within barriers, in triall of their accusations. When these théeues, barrettors,* and other oppressors of the innocent people were come to darren battell in this wise (as is said) they were streight waies apprehended by armed men, and trussed vp in halters on gibbets, according as they had iustlie deserued. The residue of misdooers that were left, werepunished and tamed in such sort, that manie years after all theft and reiffings* were little heard of, the people inioieng the blissefull benefit of good peace and tranquillitie. Mackbeth shewing himselfe thus a most diligent punisher of all iniuries and wrongs attempted by anie disordered persons within his realme, was accounted the sure defense and buckler* of innocent people; and hereto he also applied his whole indeuor, to cause yoong men to exercise themselues in vertuous maners, and men of the church to attend their diuine seruice according to their vocations.

He caused to be slaine sundrie thanes, as of Cathnes, Sutherland, Stranauerne, and Ros, because through them and their seditious attempts, much trouble dailie rose in the realme. He appeased the troublesome state of Galloway, and slue one Makgill a tyrant, who had manie yeares before passed nothing of* the regall authoritie or power. To be briefe, such were the woorthie dooings and princelie acts of this Mackbeth in the administration of the realme, that if he had atteined therevnto by rightfull means, and continued in vprightnesse of iustice as he began, till the end of his reigne, he might well haue béene numbred amongest the most noble princes that anie where had reigned. He made manie holesome laws and statutes for the publike weale of his subiects.

Omitted: A list of King Macbeth's laws.

These and the like commendable lawes Makbeth caused to be put as then in vse, gouerning the realme for the space of ten yeares in equall iustice. But this was but a counterfet zeale of equitie shewed by him, partlie against his naturall inclination to purchase therby the fauour of the people. Shortlie after, he began to shew what he was, in stead of equitie practising crueltie. For the pricke of conscience (as it chanceth euer in tyrants, and such as atteine to anie estate by vnrighteous means) caused him euer to feare, least he should be serued of the same cup, as he had ministred to his predecessor. The woords also of the three weird sisters, would not out of his mind, which as they promised him the kingdome, so likewise did they promise it at the same time vnto the posteritie of Banquho. He willed therefore the same Banquho with his sonne named Fleance, to come to a supper that he had prepared for them which was in déed, as he had deuised, present death at the hands of certeine murderers, whom he hired to execute that déed, appointing them to meete with the same Banquho and his sonne without the palace, as they returned to their lodgings, and there to slea them, so that he would not haue his house slandered, but that in time to come he might cleare himselfe, if anie thing were laid to his charge vpon anie suspicion that might arise.

It chanced yet by the benefit of the darke night, that though the father were slaine, the sonne yet by the helpe of almightie God reseruing him to better fortune, escaped that danger: and afterwards hauing some inkeling (by the admonition of some friends which he had in the court) how his life was sought no lesse than his fathers, who was slaine not by chance medlie (as by the handling of the matter Makbeth would haue had it to appeare) but euen upon a prepensed deuise:* wherevpon to auoid further perill he fled into Wales.

Omitted: Seven and a half paragraphs showing how, through many generations, the descendants of Fleance became the "Stewards," and how the Stewards became kings of Scotland, the last of whom being (when Holinshed's Chronicles were published) "Charles Iames, now king of Scotland."

But to returne vnto Makbeth, in continuing the historie, and to begin where I left, ye shall vnderstand that after the contriued slaughter of Banquho, nothing prospered with the foresaid Makbeth: for in maner euerie man began to doubt his owne life, and durst vnneth* appeare in the kings presence; and euen as there were manie that stood in feare of him, so likewise stood he in feare of manie, in such sort that he began to make those awaieby one surmized cauillation* or other, whome he thought most able to worke him anie displeasure.

At length he found such swéetnesse by putting his nobles thus to death, that his earnest thirst after bloud in this behalfe might in no wise be satisfied: for ye must consider he wan double profit (as hée thought) hereby: for first they were rid out of the way whome he feared, and then againe his coffers were inriched by their goods which were forfeited to his vse, whereby he might better mainteine a gard of armed men about him to defend his person from iniurie of them whom he had in anie suspicion. Further, to the end he might the more cruellie oppresse his subiects with all tyrantlike wrongs, he builded a strong castell on the top of an hie hill called Dunsinane, situate in Gowrie, ten miles from Perth, on such a proud height, that standing there aloft, a man might behold well neere all the countries of Angus, Fife, Stermond, and Ernedale, as it were lieng vnderneath him. This castell then being founded on the top of that high hill, put the realme to great charges before it was finished, for all the stuffe necessarie to the building, could not be brought vp without much toile and businesse. But Makbeth being once determined to haue the worke go forward, caused the thanes of each shire within the realme, to come and helpe towards the building, each man his course about.*

At the last, when the turne fell vnto Makduffe thane of Fife to build his part, he sent workemen with all néedfull prouision, and commanded them to shew such diligence in euerie beahalfe, that no occasion might bée giuen for the king to find fault with him, in that he came not himselfe as other had doone, which he refused to doo, for doubt least the king bearing him (as he partlie vnderstood) no great good will, would laie violent hands vpon him, as he had doone vpon diuerse other. Shortlie after, Makbeth comming to behold how the worke went forward, and bicause he found not Makduffe there, he was sore offended, and said; I perceiue this man will neuer obeie my commandements, till he be ridden with a snaffle: but I shall prouide well inough for him. Neither could he afterwards abide to looke vpon the said Makduffe, either for that he thought his puissance ouer great; either else for that he had learned of certeine wizzards, in whose words he put great confidence (for that the prophesie had happened so right, which the thrée faries or weird sisters had declared vnto him) how that he ought to take héed of Makduffe, who in time to come should seeke to destroie him.

And suerlie herevpon had he put Makduffe to death, but that a certeine witch, whome hee had in great trust, had told that he should neuer be slaine with man borne of anie woman, nor vanquished till the wood of Bernane came to the castell of Dunsinane. By this prophesie Makbeth put all feare out of his heart, supposing he might doo what he would, without anie feare to be punished for the same, for by the one prophesie he beléeued it was vnpossible for anie man to vanquish him, and by the other vnpossible to slea him. This vaine hope caused him to doo manie outragious things, to the gréeuous oppression of his subiects. At length Makduffe, to auoid perill of life, purposed with himselfe to passe into England, to procure Malcolme Cammore to claime the crowne of Scotland. But this was not so secretlie deuised by Makduffe, but that Makbeth had knowledge giuen him thereof: for kings (as is said) haue sharpe sight like vnto Lynx, and long ears like vnto Midas. For Makbeth had in euerie noble mans house, one slie fellow or other in fée with him, to reueale all that was said or doone within the same, by which slight he oppressed the most part of the nobles of his realme.

Immediatlie then, being aduertised whereabout Makduffe went, he came hastily with a great power into Fife, and foorthwith besieged the castell where Makduffe dwelled, trusting to haue found him therein. They that kept the house, without anie resistance opened the gates, and suffered him to enter, mistrusting none euill. But neuerthelesse Makbeth most cruellie caused the wife and children of Makduffe, with all other whom he found in that castell, to be slaine. Also he confiscated the goods of Makduffe, proclamed him traitor, and confined him out of all parts of his realme; but Makduffe was alreadie escaped out of danger, and gotten into England vnto Malcolme Cammore, to trie what purchase hée mightmake by means of his support, to reuenge the slaughter so cruellie executed on his wife, his children, and other friends. At his comming vnto Malcolme, he declared into what great miserie the estate of Scotland was brought, by the detestable cruelties exercised by the tyrant Makbeth, hauing committed manie horrible slaughters and murders, both as well of the nobles as commons, for the which he was hated right mortallie of all his liege people, desiring nothing more than to be deliuered of that intollerable and most heauie yoke of thraldome, which they susteined at such a caitifes hands.

Malcolme hearing Makduffes woords, which he vuttered in verie lamentable sort, for méere compassion and verie ruth that pearsed his sorowfull hart, bewailing the miserable state of his countrie, he fetched a deepe sigh; which Makduffe perceiuing, began to fall most earnestlie in hand with him, to enterprise the deliuering of the Scotish people out of the hands of so cruell and bloudie a tyrant, as Makbeth by too manie plaine experiments did shew himselfe to be: which was an easie matter for him to bring to passe, considering not onelie the good title he had,* but also the earnest desire of the people to haue some occasion ministred, whereby they might be reuenged of those notable iniuries, which they dailie susteined by the outragious crueltie of Macbeths misgouernance. Though Malcolme was verie sorowfull for the oppression of his countriemen the Scots, in maner as Makduffe had declared; yet doubting whether he were come as one that ment vnfeinedlie* as he spake, or else as sent from Makbeth to betraie him, he thought to haue some further triall, and therevpon dissembling his mind at the first, he answered as followeth.

"I am trulie verie sorie for the miserie chanced to my countrie of Scotland, but though I haue neuer so great affection to reliue the same, yet by reason of certeine incurable vices, which reigne in me, I am nothing méet thereto. First, such immoderate lust and voluptuous sensualitie (the abhominable founteine of all vices) followeth me, that if I were made king of Scots, I should séeke to defloure maids and matrones, in such wise that mine intemperancie should be more importable* vnto you, than the bloudie tyrannie of Makbeth now is." Héerevnto Makduffe answered: "This suerlie is a verie euill fault, for manie noble princes and kings haue lost both liues and kingdomes for the same; neuerthelesse there are women enow in Scotland, and therefore follow my counsell. Make thy selfe king, and I shall conueie the matter so wiselie, that thou shalt be so satisfied at thy pleasure in such secret wise, that no man shall be aware thereof."

Then said Malcolme, "I am also the most auaritious creature on the earth, so that if I were king, I should séeke so manie waies to get lands and goods, that I would slea the most part of all the nobles of Scotland by surmized accusations, to the end I might inioy their lands, goods, and possessions; and therefore to shew you what mischiefe may insue on you through mine vnsatiable couetousnes, I will rehearse vnto you a fable. There was a fox hauing a sore place on him ouerset with a swarme of flies, that continuallie sucked out hir bloud: and when one that came by and saw this manner, demanded whether she would haue the flies driuen beside hir, she answered no: for if these flies that are alreadie full, and by reason thereof sucke not verie egerlie, should be chased awaie, other that are emptie and fellie an hungred,* should light in their places, and sucke out the residue of my bloud farre more to my greeuance than these, which now being satisfied doo not much annoie me. Therefore saith Malcolme, suffer me to remaine where I am, least if I atteine to the regiment of your realme, mine vnquenchable auarice may prooue such; that ye would thinke the displeasures which now grieue you, should séeme easie in respect of the vnmeasurable outrage, which might insue through my comming amongst you."

Makduffe to this made answer, "how it was a far woorse fault than the other: for auarice is the root of all mischiefe, and for that crime the most part of our kings haue béene slaine and brought to their finall end. Yet notwithstanding follow my counsell, and take vpon thée the crowne. There is gold and riches inough in Scotland to satisfie they gréedie desire." Then Malcolme againe, "I am furthermore inclined to dissimulation, telling of leasings,* and all other kinds of deceit, so that I naturallie reioise in nothing so much, as to be-traie & deceiue such as put anie trust or confidence in my woords. Then sith there is nothing that more becommeth a prince than constancie, veritie, truth, and iustice, with the other laudable fellowship of those faire and noble vertues which are comprehended onelie in soothfastnesse, and that lieng vtterlie ouerthroweth the same; you sée how vnable I am to gouerne anie prouince or region: and therefore sith you haue remedies to cloke and hide all the rest of my other vices, I praie you find shift to cloke this vice amongst the residue."

Then said Makduffe: "This yet is the woorst of all, and there I leaue thee, and therefore saie; Oh ye vnhappie and miserable Scotishmen, which are thus scourged with so manie and sundrie calamities, ech one aboue other! Ye haue one curssed and wicked tyrant that now reigneth ouer you, without anie right or title, oppressing you with his most bloudie crueltie. This other that hath the right to the crowne, is so replet with the inconstant behauiour and manifest vices of Englishmen, that he is nothing woorthie to inioy it: for by his owne confession he is not onelie auaritious, and giuen to vnsatiable lust, but so false a traitor withall, that no trust is to be had vnto anie woord he speaketh. Adieu Scotland, for now I account my selfe a banished man for euer, without comfort or consolation:" and with those woords the brackish teares trickled downe his chéekes verie abundantlie.

At the last, when he was readie to depart, Malcolme tooke him by the sléeue, and said: "Be of good comfort Makduffe, for I haue none of these vices before remembred, but haue iested with thée in this manner, onelie to prooue* thy mind: for diuerse times héeretofore hath Makbeth sought by this manner of meanes to bring me into his hands, but the more slow I haue shewed my selfe to condescend* to thy motion and request, the more diligence shall I vse in accomplishing the same." Incontinentlie* héervpon they imbraced each other, and promising to be faithfull the one to the other, they fell in consultation how they might best prouide for all their businesse, to bring the same to good effect. Soone after, Makduffe repairing to the borders of Scotland, addressed his letters with secret dispatch vnto the nobles of the realme, declaring how Malcolme was confederat with him, to come hastilie into Scotland to claime the crowne, and therefore he required them, sith he was right inheritor thereto, to assist him with their powers to recouer the same out of the hands of the wrongfull vsurper.

In the meane time, Malcolme purchased such fauor at king Edwards hands, that old Siward earle of Northumberland was appointed with ten thousand men to go with him into Scotland, to support him in this enterprise, for recouerie of his right. After these newes were spread abroaMakbeth d in Scotland, the nobles drew into two seuerall factions, the one taking part with Makbeth, and the other with Malcolme. Héerevpon insued oftentimes sundrie bickerings, & diuerse light skirmishes: for those that were of Malcolmes side, would not ieopard to ioine with their enimies in a pight field,* till his comming out of England to their support. But after that Makbeth perceiued his enimies power to increase, by such aid as came to them foorth of England with his aduersarie Malcolme, he recoiled backe into Fife, there purposing to abide in campe fortified, at the Castell of Dunsinane, and to fight with his enimies, if they ment to pursue him; howbeit some of his friends aduised him, that it should be best for him, either to make some agréement with Malcolme, or else to flée with all spéed into the Iles, and to take his treasure with him, to the end he might wage* sundrie great princes of the realme to take his part, & reteine strangers, in whome he might better trust than in his owne subiects, which stale* dailie from him: but he had such confidence in his prophesies, that he beléeued he should neuer be vanquished, till Birnane wood were brought to Dunsinane; nor yet to be slaine with anie man, that should be or was borne of anie woman.

Malcolme following hastilie after Makbeth, came the night before the battell vnto Birnane wood, and when his armie had rested a while there to refresh them, he commanded euerie man to get a bough of some trée or other of that wood in his hand, as big as he might beare, and to march foorth therewith in such wise, that on the next morrow they might come closelie and without sight in this manner within view of his enimies. On the morow when Makbeth beheld them comming in this sort, he first maruelled what the matter ment, but in the end remembred himselfe that the prophesie which he had heard long before that time, ofthe comming of Birnane wood to Dunsinane castell, was likelie to be now fulfilled. Neuerthelesse, he brought his men in order of battell, and exhorted them to doo valiantlie, howbeit his enimies had scarselie cast from them their boughs, when Makbeth perceiuing their numbers, betooke him streict* to flight, whom MaMakbeth kduffe pursued with great hatred euen till he came vnto Lunfannaine, where Makbeth perceiuing that Makduffe was hard at his backe, leapt beside his horsse,* saieng; "Thou traitor, what meaneth it that thou shouldest thus in vaine follow me that am no appointed to be slaine by anie creature that is borne of woman, come on therefore, and receiue thy reward which thou hast deserued for thy paines," and therwithall he lifted vp his swoord thinking to haue slaine him.

But Makduffe quicklie auoiding from his horsse, yer* he came at him, answered (with his naked swoord in his hand) saieng: "It is true Makbeth, and now shall thine insatiable crueltie haue an end, for I am euen he that thy wizzards haue told thée of, who was neuer borne of my mother, but ripped out of her wombe:" therewithall he stept vnto him, and slue him in the place. Then cutting his head from his shoulders, he set it vpon a pole, and brought it vnto Malcolme. This was the end of Makbeth, after he had reigned 17 yeeres ouer the Scotishmen. In the beginning of his reigne he accomplished manie woorthie acts, verie profitable to the common-wealth (as ye haue heard) but afterward by illusion of the diuell, he defamed the same with most terrible crueltie. He was slaine in the yéere of the incarnation, 1057, and in the 16 yeere of king Edwards reigne ouer the Englishmen.

Malcolme Cammore thus recouering the relme (as ye haue heard) by support of king Edward, in the 16 yeere of the same Edwards reigne, he was crowned at Scone the 25 day of Aprill, in the yéere of our Lord 1057. Immediatlie after his coronation he called a parlement at Forfair, in the which he rewarded them with lands and liuings that had assisted him against Makbeth, aduancing them to fées and offices as he saw cause, & commanded that speciallie those that bare the surname of anie offices or lands, should haue and inioy the same. He created manie earles, lords, barons, and knights. Manie of them that before were thanes, were at this time made earles, as Fife, Menteth, Atholl, Leuenox, Murrey, Cathnes, Rosse, and Angus. These were the first earles that haue beene heard of amongst the Scotishmen (as their histories doo make mention.)




(See Medieval Moray for Detailed Version of this Summary)

RUAIDHRI. Mormaer of Moray.

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.
m ---Donada?.
Mormaer Findlaech & [wife] had one child:

a) MACBETH ([1005]-killed in battle Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire 15 Aug 1057, bur Isle of Iona).
m ([after 1032]) [as her second husband,] GRUOCH, [widow of GILLACOMGAIN Mormaer of Moray daughter of BOITE[Bodhe] of Scotland & his wife --- ([1015]-).

m ---. The name of Maelbrigte´s wife is not known.
Maelbrigte & his wife had two children:

a) MALCOLM (-1029).
b) GILLACOMGAIN (-burned alive 1032). Mormaer of Moray.
m [as her first husband, GRUOCH, daughter of BOITE--- ([1015]-)].
Mormaer Gillacomgain & his [wife] had [one child]:

i) LULACH ([1032]-killed in battle Essie, Strathbogie 17 Mar 1058, bur Isle of Iona).
m ---. Finnghuala of Angus?
Lulach & his wife had two children:

(a) MAELSNECHTAI (-1085).
(b) daughter.
m ---. One child:

(1) ANGUS (-killed in battle Strickathrow 1130). Mormaer of Moray.

Other References:

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