Macbeth, King of Scotland facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsMacbeth
|King of Alba|
|Mormaer of Moray|
|Died||15 August 1057
Lumphanan or Scone
Macbeth (Medieval Gaelic: Mac Bethad mac Findlaích; Modern Gaelic: MacBheatha mac Fhionnlaigh; nicknamed Rí Deircc, "the Red King"; c. 1005 – 15 August 1057) was King of Scots from 1040 until his death. He was titled King of Alba during his life, and ruled over only a portion of present-day Scotland.
Little is known about Macbeth's early life, although he was the son of Findláech of Moray and may have been a grandson of Malcolm II. He became Mormaer of Moray – a semi-autonomous lordship – in 1032, and was probably responsible for the death of the previous mormaer, Gille Coemgáin. He subsequently married Gille Coemgáin's widow, Gruoch, although they had no children together.
In 1040, Duncan I launched an attack into Moray and was killed in action by Macbeth's troops. Macbeth succeeded him as King of Alba, apparently with little opposition. His 17-year reign was mostly peaceful, although in 1054 he was faced with an English invasion, led by Siward, Earl of Northumbria, on behalf of Edward the Confessor. Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in 1057 by forces loyal to the future Malcolm III. He was buried on Iona, the traditional resting place of Scottish kings.
Macbeth was initially succeeded by his stepson Lulach, but Lulach ruled for only a few months before also being killed by Malcolm III, whose descendants would rule Scotland until the late 13th century. Macbeth is today best known as the main character of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth and the many works it has inspired. However, Shakespeare's Macbeth is based on Holinshed's Chronicles (published in 1577) and is not historically accurate.
Images for kids
Macbeth and Banquo encounter the witches. Illustration from Holinshed's Chronicles (1577)
Macbeth, King of Scotland Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.