We will cover … The nature of 11 th century Scottish society Previous attempts to introduce Norman ideas to Scotland before David I Changes in government and administration How David tackled internal and external threats The growth of the Church under David I Assessment of David I
11 th century Scotland Still a mainly Celtic country ruled by Celtic custom Mormaers – important as royal stewards, in charge of provinces with the power to call out the common army – had a lot of independence and could be a threat to the throne A sort of feudal relationship existed – dominant warrior class, land in return for military service, a subservient peasantry Celtic law system Government was not centralised – no central taxation, no written records as such, no hierarchical administration Crown did not pass from father to son, but passed to and fro between branches of the royal family – hence the succession was rarely without trouble Religious orders from Europe such as the Benedictines had settled in Scotland under licence from Malcolm Canmore’s wife Margaret (later St. Margaret)
Normanisation before David I Introduction of new monastic orders to Scotland – Benedictines invited by Margaret before her death in 1093 Introduction of continental and Norman English influences at court – Malcolm invited some Norman nobles north to settle in Scotland Process continued by his son Alexander I (1107-24) who also began to build castles, and saw the introduction of the idea of land- holding in return for military service Relations with England were fractious throughout the period 1066-1107 – perhaps the Scots kings realised that in order to keep their independence then they had to deal with their stronger southern neighbour, modernising or going under … Scots kings - Malcolm III Canmore (1058-93) - Donald Ban (1093) - Duncan II (1093-4) * - Edgar (1097-1107) * - Alexander I (1107-24) * - David I (1124-53) * * = sons of Malcolm Canmore
Malcolm Canmore (1058-93) Initial problems were the internal pacification of Scotland and securing his throne, and dealing with the Viking threat Initial relations with Saxon England were good, but after the Norman conquest things deteriorated – open hostility alternated with sullen suspicion Relations were not improved by Malcolm’s second marriage to Margaret (daughter of Edward the Atheling – claimant of English throne) Malcolm invaded England several times – 1066, 1070, 1079, 1090 In 1072 William the Conqueror came as far north as Abernethy, extracting an oath of homage from Malcolm and taking his son Duncan as hostage In 1092 William Rufus came north, taking Carlisle and building a castle there to match Newcastle 1093 – Malcolm and son Edward were killed at Alnwick on way back from conference with Rufus – Queen Margaret died 3 days later
The Canmores, (1093-1124) Donald Ban was brother of Malcolm Canmore His short and violent reign (1093, 1094-97) was characterised by a reaction against the Norman influences introduced under Malcolm and Margaret – he expelled the Normans brought to Scotland in the previous reign In 1093, Malcolm’s son Duncan came north, leading an army supplied by William Rufus, to overthrow his uncle – following this victory he was subsequently murdered in 1094 near Stonehaven and King Donald was restored Donald was again overthrown in 1097 by Edgar, another nephew, again with an English Norman army. Donald was captured and blinded. Edgar’s reign (1097-1107) was relatively peaceful, but he was clearly a vassal of the English Kings Rufus and Henry I. He died with no children. Alexander I (1107-24) did homage to Henry I of England – built castles (e.g. Stirling), introduced idea of landholding for military service, encouraged immigration by Normans
David I (1124-1153) Born ca. 1080-85, a lot of his early life was spent at the English court of Henry I where he saw, at first hand, the workings of a modern feudal court, as well as Henry I’s modernisation of Anglo-Norman government He was trained as a knight, taken to Normandy He was given lands by Henry in Normandy and Yorkshire He was married to the wealthy heiress Matilda which brought him the rich lands of Huntingdonshire In 1113 he was placed in control of southern Scotland by his older brother Alexander I (under pressure from Henry I), though he was still obliged to Henry I (his puppet ?) David began to introduce changes along Anglo-Norman lines - granting charters - re-establishing bishopric of Glasgow - creating sheriffdom at Roxburgh - founding new burghs at Berwick and Roxburgh - inviting Tironensian monks to found a monastery at Selkirk
Feudal landholding under David When ruler in south Scotland 1113- 24, a number of Anglo-Normans were invited to settle in Northumbria, Cumbria and in the borders, beginning the process of overlapping layers of Anglo- Norman settlement that would characterise his reign as king. But, he did this gradually, and not by setting out to overthrow the previous Celtic system of landholding … he took advantage of deaths, forfeitures after uprisings (e.g. Moray in 1130s), splitting of royal shires, settling incomers in areas of sparse population It is important to emphasise that the Celtic earls survived, and that holding lands by royal charter was a slow process of introduction The system was a feudal one superimposed on the existing celtic, supplementing it and replacing it over time, not as in England where feudalisation was imposed after a period of conquest – hence an evolutionary system … ? Barrow – ‘David I greatly accelerated the process of feudalisation …’
Royal government under David David developed institutions alongside existing Celtic ones both in his own household and in government generally Royal Household – centre of administration, and itinerant - Chancellor - Chamberlain - Constable - Marischal - Doorwards - Rannaire Sheriffs were created to cover the new feudal tenures not covered by the Celtic administration Sheriffs appeared in Roxburgh, Berwick, Perth, Stirling, Haddington, Aberdeen, Banff and Scone Sheriffs had a variety of duties … - collected revenue from royal demesne lands, feudal laws etc - organised feudal military service - raised the common army in areas where there was no earl (mormaer) - held local courts
Feudal creations under David First Scots king to create his own coinage – silver pennies (sterlings) Creation of at least 15 new burghs, based on existing towns or new settlements on royal lands, by royal charter – valuable income derived from this (rents, tolls from exchange of trade) Encouragement of trade with Scandinavia, Flanders, France etc – the Church was particularly vital here Growth of military feudalism reflected in economic growth
Royal justice under David I With the issuing of royal charters to barons, nobles could set up feudal courts and try cases … Feudal courts dealt with land disputes, disputes between tenants and peasants (over abuse of grazing rights etc) Similar to former Celtic courts which the new ‘feudal’ courts began to replace gradually King’s court dealt with land disputes over lands he had granted – often delegated to justices who might instigate an inquest Sheriff courts were set up to try cases involving new feudal lords – both civil and criminal cases The four ‘pleas of the Crown’ – rape, murder, arson and robbery – were reserved to the King as they were serious crimes that only the King could prosecute them The older Celtic system of Brehon or Judex still operated in some areas – e.g. penalties for murder were decided on one’s kindred and ‘blood price’.
Threats to David’s throne Risings tended to centre on opposition to the new Anglo- Norman nobility and their culture 1130 – Angus earl of Moray rebelled – crushed by David’s constable – Moray was ‘colonised’ by Anglo-Normans and Flemish 1134 – Malcolm McHeth claimed the throne - imprisoned for 28 years 1142 – Wimund, a monk, claimed the throne – captured and blinded 1150 – 2 nd Moray rebellion 1136 – taking of Carlisle and Newcastle – Treaty of Durham led to agreement with Stephen 1137 – 2 nd invasion of north of England – pressuring Stephen on Northumbrian decision 1138 – David invaded England again in opposition to Stephen – defeated at Battle of the Standard (illustrative of problems of feudalism – some of David’s vassals fought on the English side) English threat pretty limited until 1154 due to civil war there – David virtually controlled Northumbria
The Church under David I New bishoprics were founded in Caithness, others revived in Glasgow, St Andrews, Dunkeld, Dunblane, Brechin, Aberdeen, Moray and Ross New parishes were set up corresponding with new feudal holdings Monastic grants of land were made to the Tironensians (1113 - Selkirk), Benedictines (1128 - Dunfermline), Cistercians (St Andrews, Holyrood, Jedburgh, Melrose - 1136, Kinloss, Newbattle) Parish churches, abbeys and cathedrals not only showed the power of God, they also supported David’s authority in outlying areas of the Kingdom. Abbots and bishops might sit on the King’s council, fill offices in the royal household and act as envoys abroad.
David I – Celtic or feudal ? Some recent essay questions from SQA on David I … 1.Did David ‘normanise’ Scottish government and society during his reign ? 2.Was David a Celtic or an Anglo-Norman king ? 3.Were the policies that David pursued as King of Scotland revolutionary or evolutionary ? 4.How successful was David I in dealing with the problems that faced him as king ? 5.How effectively did David strengthen the power of the Crown ? 6.Do you agree that the development of the Scots economy was David’s main achievement during his reign ? 7.Why did David introduce Anglo-Normans and Anglo-Norman ideas into Scotland during his reign ? 8.Did David I make Scotland a highly centralised feudal state on the Anglo- Norman model ?
Assessment … G. Barrow – ‘David greatly accelerated the process of feudalisation, so that by the end of his reign a vast area of Scotland … had been allocated to tenants holding by military service, who enjoyed the right to transmit their estates to their sons …’ Richard Oram – ‘David was a highly effective king of Gaelic Scotland … he was accepted by and could count on the loyalty of most of the Gaelic nobility.’ G. Barrow – ‘We ought to see David MacMalcolm as a man of two worlds, conscious that the roots of his own kingship lay far back in the past of Scotland, but even more aware that in Norman England and on the continent there was being demonstrated a quite different kind of kingship which he had to imitate if he and his dynasty were to survive.’ Richard Oram – ‘David I drastically reshaped not only his own kingdom but also the balance of power within the British Isles.’
Celtic or Anglo-Norman ? No real changes/innovations Bishoprics were based on Celtic bishoprics Many parishes were old units Sheriffs were based on shires and thanes Common army continued Changes had little impact Immigrant aristocracy soon lost their interest in French culture David simply reacted to changes and trends elsewhere New landholders Growth of monasteries New coinage Burghs created Set up parishes and updated bishoprics on the pattern of the western church as part of royal policy Sheriffs and sheriff courts Introduction of primogeniture. David, moreover, did not like the Celtic ceremony of enthronement and its attendant rites Celtic ?Anglo-Norman ?
Celtic or Anglo-Norman ? Impact of the changes made by David I … David started policies that others followed The economy did benefit from the burghs and from the monasteries Immigrant aristocracy left their mark in the language and in links with the aristocracy of England David helped Scotland to benefit from major trends occurring in Europe, such as growth of population, growth in trade, reform of monasticism, spread of feudalism and of household government Though Historians disagree over the impact of his changes, it seems likely that David did make a variety of innovations. If he had not reigned, and if the succession had gone to a more Celtic ruler, these changes would not have happened and Scotland might not have survived as an independent kingdom. David started to bring Scotland into line with Europe, rather than with the Celtic or Scandinavian worlds.
Acknowledgements Much of the material used for this Powerpoint has come from the SQA’s support materials on Medieval Society for Higher Still (1999). Any mistakes that remain in the above slides are my own.