Scotlands History

Macbeth ‘the Red King’ - Mac Bethad mac Findlaích (d. 1057)

Macbeth, nicknamed the Red King, was King of the Alba from 1040 (when Duncan I died) until his own death in 1057. His father was Findleach of Moray. When his cousin Gille Coemgáin was killed, Macbeth married his widow Gruoch and adopted his son Lulach as his stepson.

In 1052 Macbeth became embroiled in the conflict between Godwin, Earl of Wessex and Edward the Confessor when he received a number of Norman exiles in his court.

He survived a large invasion by Siward, Earl of Northumbria in 1054. Finally Macbeth was killed on the north side of the Mounth in 1057 after retreating to take his last stand in the battle at Lumphanan.

Eventually Macbeth was vilified as a usurper of the throne. He was immortalised by William Shakespeare in a play called ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’.

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