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Re: Margaret part 3
> "Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland" has an interesting take on St. Margaret.
> (While I disagree with the author's vision of a Stuart Heaven on Earth , I
> have found much interesting information in the early Scottish history part
> of the book).
> The book states Malcolm was raised to be a King. He was not the uncouth
> bumpkin in a reverse Pygmallion, but raised in a court and able to read ,
> write and negotiate. Margaret was raised in a restricted Catholic
> atmosphere. Her charity bankrupted Scotland in an effort to buy friends
> loyalty. She was canonized to applaud her efforts to Romanize the Celtic
> Church.(p. 26-7)
> Some accounts have Malcolm marrying her against her will.
I've thought about this subject of literacy among monarchs a bit as I came
across historical trivia.
I think it is probable, given the monk-like bent of Edward the Confessor,
that he might have spent some time in a Norman monastery. Just a feeling
because there is very little information about the lives of Edward and
brother Alfred during about 26 years they spent in exile in Normandy. But
it seems to me that men and women connected with a monastery or nunnery,
would have known how to read and write so that they could read the
scriptures. So if there is any merit in this observation in connection to
Edward the Confessor, it might follow that in his court he would have
encouraged this occupation among those men in his court which included young
Malcolm Canmore and probably our William the Seemly.
Malcolm was born about 1029, with William the Conqueror born about 1027
and our William the Seemly probably born in 1028. Malcolm was about 11
when in 1040 Macbeth killed his father and became King of Scotland. For
17 years Malcolm lived at Edward the Confessor's court, sat at his table and
met with his counselors and had the opportunity to learn to read and write
and he was raised with the idea that he would become Scotland's king again.
Perhaps seven years after he arrived, our William the Seemly, about 19 years
old, arrived following the death of his father. Or maybe it wasn't until
1055 that he arrived after Duke William the Bastard took the titles and
lands from his quarrelsome uncle William the Warling.???? At any rate they
would have met and if William didn't have much of an education by then, King
Edward might have encouraged more.
At this time over in France we have King Henri I (1031-1060) who was
illiterate but married Anna d/o the Grand Duke Yaroslav first of Novgorod
and later of Kiev (the courts where Edmund the Atheling and brother Edward
the Exile went after Sweden -1029). The women of Yaroslav's court could
read and write. Kiev had a higher standard of civilization than France at
that time and Anna must have thought them barbarians. But the attitude of
the western kings was that these skills were menial and reserved for their
clerks and clerics. --Peter the Great by ?.
We see also that Margaret and her sister could read and write and
probably their brother Edgar, if he were smart enough. There is some
question about his apptitude and lack of focus. Wish I could get my hands
on the out of print book "The Lost King of England" by Gabriel Ronsy. You
people are probably getting pretty tired of hearing about Margaret by now.
Keep in mind, even though she was Queen of Scotland, in the whole picture of
things she was a tiny entity. It was her wishy-washy brother, Edgar now the
English Atheling (Atheling is not a last name but signifies that this person
is considered the true Anglo-Saxon heir to the throne) that was always the
significant person in the family after his father's death in 1057.
NOTE: young prince Henri of France was an exile at Duke Robert the Devil of
Normandy's castle when his mother Queen Constance went on the warpath about
something??? Later as Duke Robert of Normandy was about to leave for a
pilgrimage to the Holy Land (supposedly feeling guilty of the murder of his
elder brother Duke Richard III), he decided to claim his illegitimate son,
William, who I think had been living with his mother whom Robert had "given"
to one of his lieutenants. He presented (about 7 years old) William to King
Henri and asked for recognition of his claim to the Normandy dukedom.
Robert never returned from his pilgrimage, some believe he was assassinated
1035 on the way home. Anyway William the Bastard (Conqueror) now came under
the protection of King Henri not out of friendship or any lofty reasons but
because he hoped to make him his puppet someday in Normandy but that
backfired didn't it.
Yes, public works is expensive and Malcolm and Margaret did a lot of it.
Ordericus Vitalis wrote that the religious house, so devastated by Viking
raids in Iona, was greatly endowed by St. Margaret, etc. Edgar, her
brother, also helped to deflate the treasury during this episode:
"In July 8,1075, prince Edgar came from Flanders to Scotland, and king
Malcolm and his sister Margaret received him with great ceremony. At the
same festival, Philip, the king of France, sent a letter to him, bidding him
to come to him, and he would give him the castle of Montreuil so that
thereafter he could daily work mischief upon his enemies" (English). Indeed
king Malcolm and his sister Margaret then gave him and all his men great
gifts and many precious things; skins covered with rich purple cloth,
pelisses of marten-skin, miniver (white winter ermine), and ermine, robes of
costly purple, and golden and silver vessels. He conducted him and all his
sailors from his domain in great state." Anglo Saxon Chronicles
But the hapless Edgar lost all during a storm in the North Sea. Malcolm
then replaced all of the above and sent him again 'in great state' to his
new domain in France. Since this account was written for the Scottish
court there was probably considerable exaggeration but it shows that
Malcolm's court was not lacking in manners, civilized behavior or
possessions. Scotland was not backward nor barbaric by the standards of
western Europe of that day. --St. Margaret Queen of Scotland by Alan J.
One then wonders where Malcolm's wealth came from. Probably Edward the
Confessor had poured plenty of money into the country when he put Malcolm
back on the throne in 1058. Malcolm's first wife, Ingibiorg, whom most
researchers now believe was the d/o Earl Thorfinn and not his widow probably
brought much Viking wealth to the marriage.
Note: This Earl Thorfinn of Orkney is one of our ancestors with his line
going down to that of Isabella, mother of Prince Henry St. Clair. His
sons, the joint Earls of Orkney, Paul and Erland joined King Harold Hardrada
of Sweden in attacking York in the summer of 1066, a few months before the
Norman Conquest. Harold, also married to one of grand duke Yaroslav's
daughters, was killed and Paul and Erland forgiven and sent home by the
short to live, King Harold Godwinson of England.
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