Kenneth II of Scotland

From Academic Kids

Kenneth II (Cináed mac Máel Coluim), son of Malcolm I, king of Scotland, succeeded Culen, son of Indulf, who had been slain by the Britons of Strathclyde in 971 in Lothian. He did not established himself as sole king until he killed Culen's brother Amlaíb in 977, after which he ruled all of Scotland. His strength, like that of the other kings of his branch of the house of Kenneth MacAlpin lay chiefly north of the Tay.

Kenneth began his reign by ravaging the British kingdom, but he lost a large part of his force on the river Cornag. Soon afterwards he attacked Eadulf, earl of the northern half of Northumbria, and ravaged the whole of his territory. He fortified the fords of the Forth as a defence against the Britons and again invaded Northumbria, carrying off the earl's son. About this time he gave the city of Brechin to the church.

According to the English chroniclers, Kenneth paid homage to King Edgar for the cession of Lothian, but these statements are probably due to the controversy as to the position of Scotland.

The mormaers, or chiefs, of Kenneth were engaged throughout his reign in a contest with Sigurd the Norwegian, earl of Orkney, for the possession of Caithness and the northern district of Scotland as far south as the Spey. In this struggle the Scots attained no permanent success.

At some point in his life, Kenneth married, but the details are scanty. His wife was said to have been a Princess of Leinster by Berchan's Prophesy. Her name, parentage, and fate are unknown. The marriage produced Malcolm II.

In 995 Kenneth died at Fettercairn in the Mearns. According to some accounts, he was slain treacherously by his own subjects, through the intrigue of Finella, daughter of Cuncar, Earl of Angus. He was buried on the Isle of Iona.


  • Anderson, Alan Orr. Early Sources of Scottish History, 1922.
  • Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, ed. WF Skene (Edinburgh, 1867)
  • WF Skene, Celtic Scotland (Edinburgh, 1876)

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Preceded by:
King of Scots Succeeded by:
Constantine III
sv:Kenneth II av Skottland

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