Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Related to real King Duncan of Shakespeare's Macbeth

 What do you do when you find out that you are related to the real version of a character in a Shakespeare play????

Yep, well - minus the tongue ........ while thinking ............. O.M.G.!

In Shakespeare's play Macbeth he met up with King Duncan of Scotland - and killed him.  Yep, Macbeth murdered my ancestor.....

ISN'T THAT COOL!?!?!!?! 

The things that amuse me.........   here are three "stories" attached to him on ....

Duncan I of Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donnchad mac Crínáin (Modern Gaelic: Donnchadh mac Crìonain)[2] anglicised as Duncan I, and nicknamed An t-Ilgarach, "the Diseased" or "the Sick"[3] (died 14 August 1040)[1] was king of Scotland (Alba). He was son of Crínán, hereditary lay abbot of Dunkeld, and Bethóc, daughter of king Malcolm II of Scotland (Máel Coluim mac Cináeda).

Unlike the "King Duncan" of Shakespeare's Macbeth, the historical Duncan appears to have been a young man. He followed his grandfather Malcolm as king after the latter's death on 25 November 1034, without apparent opposition. He may have been Malcolm's acknowledged successor or tánaise as the succession appears to have been uneventful.[4] Earlier histories, following John of Fordun, supposed that Duncan had been king of Strathclyde in his grandfather's lifetime, ruling the former Kingdom of Strathclyde as an appanage. Modern historians discount this idea.[5]

Another claim by Fordun, that Duncan married the sister, daughter or cousin of Sigurd the Dane, Earl of Northumbria, appears to be equally unreliable. An earlier source, a variant of the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba (CK-I), gives Duncan's wife the Gaelic name Suthen.[6] Whatever his wife's name may have been, Duncan had at least two sons. The eldest, Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) was king from 1057 to 1093, the second Donald III (Domnall Bán, or "Donalbane") was king afterwards. Máel Muire, Earl of Atholl is a possible third son of Duncan, although this is uncertain.[7]
The early period of Duncan's reign was apparently uneventful, perhaps a consequence of his youth. Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findláich) is recorded as his dux, literally duke, but in the context — "dukes of Francia" had half a century before replaced the Carolingian kings of the Franks and in England the over-mighty Godwin of Wessex was called a dux — this suggests that Macbeth was the power behind the throne.[8]

In 1039, Duncan led a large Scots army south to besiege Durham, but the expedition ended in disaster. Duncan survived, but the following year he led an army north into Moray, traditionally seen as Macbeth's domain. There he was killed, at Pitgaveny near Elgin, by his own men led by Macbeth, probably on 14 August 1040.[9]

Duncan and MacBeth

Duncan and MacBeth - famous names thanks to Shakespeare and the Scottish Play, 'Macbeth'.  But how historically accurate is Shakespeare's story, if at all?

For centuries, the clans had been waging war on each other. Viking warriors had been raiding the coasts of Scotland. King Malcolm of Scotia, king of the Scots and Picts, routed the Angles of Lothian in the Battle of Carham in 1018 and became the most powerful man in Scotland.  When King Owen of the Britons of Strathclyde died later that year without issue, Duncan (Malcolm's grandson) became the rightful heir  through marriage. Malcolm was therefore able to unite the Four Kingdoms of Scotland under one throne. Scotland in the early 11th century had finally become a single nation.

Duncan - King of Scotland 1034 - 40

 Duncan became King of Scotland upon the death of Malcolm in 1034. He was a much weaker character than Malcolm and a terrible leader. He led a disastrous campaign into Northumbria and was forced to retreat ignominiously back to Scotland. His cousin MacBeth, chief of the northern Scots, also had a claim to the throne through his mother. MacBeth formed an alliance with his cousin the Earl of Orkney, and they defeated and killed Duncan near Forres in 1040.

MacBeth - King of Scotland 1040 - 57

Mac Bethad mac Findláich or MacBeth as he is known in English, the Mormaer of Moray, claimed the throne on his own behalf and that of his wife Grauch, and after the death of Duncan made himself king in his place.  Respected for his strong leadership qualities, MacBeth was a wise king who ruled successfully for 17 years. He lived in a fortified castle at Dunsinane north of Perth. His rule was secure enough for him to go on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050.  However the peace was not to last: Duncan's son Malcolm had fled to Northumbria after the defeat of his father and had never given up his claim to the throne. In 1054 with the support of  Earl Siward, he led an army against MacBeth, defeating him at the battle of Dunsinnan. MacBeth remained king, restoring Malcolm's lands to him.  But in 1057 at Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire on 15th August, MacBeth was finally defeated and killed and Malcolm became King.

Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'

Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', written nearly 400 years ago, is widely accepted as one of his great tragedies and rated alongside 'Hamlet', 'King Lear' and 'Julius Caesar'. But how historically correct is it?

It is generally accepted that Shakespeare wrote the play sometime between 1604 and 1606, when there was a new king on the throne, King James I and VI of Scotland. Shakespeare would have gained approval for a Scottish play from the new King. Especially one with witches in it, for it was well known that the King was interested in witches, witchcraft and the supernatural (in 1597 James had written a book on spirits and witchcraft called 'Daemononlogie').

Shakespeare appears to deliberately mix fact and fiction in the play.  Apparently using Holinshed's 'Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland' (1587) as his source, Shakespeare sets the battle between Duncan and MacBeth in 1040 at Birnam Hill in Perthshire, rather than Forres where it actually took place.  In the play MacBeth dies at Dunsinane whereas in reality it was at Lumphanan where he was defeated and killed in 1057.

Shakespeare's play takes place over a year whereas in reality, MacBeth ruled for 17 years.

Charles Kean and his wife as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, in costumes aiming to be historically accurate (1858).

As for the personalities of the two main characters, Duncan and MacBeth, again Shakespeare's portrayal is not historically correct. In the play Duncan is portrayed as a strong, wise and elderly king whereas in reality he was a young, weak and ineffective ruler. Shakespeare's Macbeth has virtually no legitimate claim to the throne whereas the real MacBeth had a respectable claim through his mother's side - indeed both MacBeth and his wife were descended from Kenneth MacAlpin. Shakespeare also gives MacBeth the title 'Thane of Glamis' but in fact Glamis was not known as a thanage in the 11th century.

In Shakespeare's play, MacBeth's friend Banquo  is shown as a noble and loyal man, resisting evil, a contrast to the character of Macbeth. In Holinshed's 'Chronicles' however, Banquo is shown as exactly the opposite: he is an accomplice in MacBeth's murder of Duncan. The new king,  James I and VI of Scotland, claimed ancestry from Banquo through the Stewart line of kings. To have shown Banquo as a murderer of kings would not have pleased James! Indeed there is debate as to whether or not Banquo actually existed at all in history.

All in all, the confusing mix of fact and fiction which runs through the play is bewildering.

However it has to be asked - who would have heard of these two Scottish kings had it not been for Shakespeare and the 'Scottish Play'?

KING DUNCAN I MACCRINAN2 OF SCOTLAND (Crinan the Thane1) of Scots, son of (1) Crinan the Thane1, Abbot of Dunkeld and (ABS-21) Bethoc (or Beatrix) (of SCOTLAND), was born between 992 and 1017, and died on 14 Aug. 1040 near Elgin. He married (AK-2) (WIFE), daughter of (AK-1) Siward, Earl of Northumbria. [11, 4]
King of Scots 1034-1040
Murdered by Macbeth
He besieged Durham, 1035.
"1034. Duncan, the son of Crinan, abbot of Dunkeld, and Bethoc, daughter of
Malcolm, the son of Kenneth, reigned six years." Now being on solid ground,
with the backing of CP and SP, we leave Ritson's Annals of the Scots. The
above unbroken succession of the kings of the Scots from Fergus to Malcolm II is
thus soundly and convincingly authenticated.
AR: (170-20)
KING MALCOLM III CANMORE3 OF SCOTLAND of Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland, b. in 1031; d. on 13 Nov. 1093 in Alnwick, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom; m. (1) in 1059 INGEBORG; m. (2) in 1067 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland (AOS-34) MARGARET "ATHELING" OF ENGLAND, QUEEN OF SCOTLAND, b. in Hungary in 1045[46, 59], d. in Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland on 16 Nov. 1093, daughter of (AOS-32) Prince Edward the Aetheling and (VP-12) Agatha (of HUNGARY).

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