Rulers of Scotland 843–1625

Part of the British History For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The first king who is generally regarded as having ruled over all of Scotland was Kenneth MacAlpin, who had managed to conquer both the Picts and the Scots by 842. No-one knows exactly when he was declared king, so 843 is an approximation. All the kings of Scotland until the thirteenth century were descended from Kenneth MacAlpin whether through the male or female line, though different branches of the royal house were often deadly rivals for the throne.

The last king of a separate Scotland was James VI, who died in 1625. In 1603, he also became King of England as King James I.

House of MacAlpin

  • Kenneth MacAlpin c.843–c.858

  • Donald I 859–862

  • Constantine I 862–876

Interregnum

  • Interregnum – no overall king 876–877

House of MacAlpin

  • Aed c.877–878

  • Eochaid 878–889 and Giric 878–889 (probably shared the throne)

  • Donald II 889–900

  • Constantine II 900–c.943

  • Malcolm I MacDonald c.943–954

  • Indulf 954–962

  • Dubh ‘the Black’ 962–966

  • Culen 966–971

  • Kenneth II 971–995

  • Constantine III ‘the Bald’ 995–997

  • Kenneth III 997–1005

  • Malcolm II 1005–1034

  • Duncan I 1034–1040

House of Moray

  • Macbeth 1040–1057

  • Lulach 1057–1058

House of MacAlpin

  • Malcolm III Canmore 1058–1093

  • Donald III Bane 1093–1094

  • Duncan II 1094

  • Donald III Bane 1094–1097 (resumed the throne)

  • Edgar 1097–1107

  • Alexander I 1107–1124

  • David I 1124–1153

  • Malcolm IV ‘the Maiden’ 1153–1165

  • William ‘the Lion’ 1165–1214

  • Alexander II 1214–1249

  • Alexander III 1249–1286

  • Margaret, ‘the Maid of Norway’ 1286–1290

Interregnum

  • English overlordship (Edward I) 1290–1292

House of MacAlpin

  • John Balliol 1292–1296 (abdicated)

English invasion and Occupation

  • Edward I of England 1296–1306

House of Bruce

  • Robert I de Brus (Bruce) 1306–1329

  • David II 1329–1371

House of Stewart

  • Robert II ‘the Steward’ 1371–1390

  • Robert III (John Stewart) 1390–1406

  • James I 1406–1437

  • James II 1437–1460

  • James III 1460–1488

  • James IV 1488–1513

  • James V 1513–1542

  • Mary, Queen of Scots 1542–1567

  • James VI 1567–1625 (became James I of England, 1603)

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