Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
David I of Scotland
David I, known as "the Saint", (1084 – May 24,1153), king of Scotland, the youngest son of Malcolm Canmore and of Saint Margaret (sister of Edgar Ætheling), was born in 1084. He married in 1113 Matilda, daughter and heiress of Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, and thus gained possession of the earldom of Huntingdon.
On the death of Edgar, king of Scotland, in 1107, the territories of the Scottish crown were divided in accordance with the terms of his will between his two brothers, Alexander and David. Alexander, together with the crown, received Scotland north of the Forth and Clyde, David the southern district with the title of earl of Cumbria . The death of Alexander in 1124 gave David possession of the whole starting on April 27 of that year.
In 1127, in the character of an English baron, he swore fealty to Matilda as heiress to her father Henry I, and when the usurper Stephen ousted her in 1135 David vindicated her cause in arms and invaded England. But Stephen marched north with a great army, whereupon David made peace. The peace, however, was not kept. After threatening an invasion in 1137, David marched into England in 1138, but sustained a crushing defeat on Cutton Moor in the engagement known as the Battle of the Standard.
He returned to Carlisle, and soon afterwards concluded peace. In 1141 he joined Matilda in London and accompanied her to Winchester, but after a narrow escape from capture he returned to Scotland. Henceforth he remained in his own kingdom and devoted himself to its political and ecclesiastical reorganization. A devoted son of the church, he founded five bishoprics and many monasteries. In secular politics he energetically forwarded the process of feudalization which his immediate predecessors had initiated . He died at Carlisle.
Richard Oram's biography
In 2004, British historian Richard Oram released the first modern biography of David I called David I: The King Who Made Scotland in which he argues that David I modernized Scotland, formulated a national legal code, introduced native currency, founded the main cities, reformed the church and established monasteries. Dr Oram says
- "David was the king who effectively created the kingdom of Scotland as we would now recognise it. The man was a complete swine but then you didn't succeed by being nice in those days. Wallace and Bruce are seen as the 'liberators', the patriotic heroes who rescued Scotland from the tyranny of foreign oppression or so the conventional propaganda would have it. Both were the subject of epic poems which, whatever their historical merit, fixed them eternally in the popular mind as the towering personalities of medieval Scotland. David, despite his successes in projecting Scottish royal power further than any of his predecessors and extending it more effectively than any of his successors before the fifteenth century, did not have a similar propagandist. In post-Reformation Scotland, he was simply too Catholic for the taste of some historians."
- Wimund (bishop) -- A bishop turned pirate along the Scotish coast, David helped defeat him.
- Richard Oram (2004), David I: The King Who Made Scotland, ISBN 075242825X , The first biography of King David I
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