Transcript for HoS 19

Over the next 3 episodes we are going to hear about the remaining Canmore kings, from Malcolm IV who came to the throne at the age of 12 in 1153, and Alexander III whose body was found at the bottom of a cliff in 1286, so that is 133 years in 3 episodes, which is surely quite a lick.

It is a period which has a series of consistent threads through it. Slowly through the period the diverse peoples of what we call Scotland today were coming into a kind of unity. By the time Scotland stood on the edge of 70 years of internal and external war, known popularly as the wars of independence in 1286, the picture of Scotland was drawn in firmer detail. It’s a picture at once of great diversity of peoples – Scandinavians, Gaels, Flemings, French, English; but at the same time of much greater unity, through the crown. Scotland arrived at that point through a certain amount of violence of course – there’ll be the odd death and war along the way; but also with a fair degree of accommodation and integration, where cultures and legal structures exist side by side until they become subsumed into a more coherent whole.

So in that story the relationship with England will now be a constant – generally driven by the desire of Scottish kings to fulfil David’s dream of a greater Scotland incorporating the north of England – Northumbria, Cumbria and Westmoreland; but also as a sort of partner or even family member; sometime rather threatening sometimes actually rather supportive.

Another theme is the constant dynastic threat to the Canmores from its rivals, a threat which will only end in the market place in the town of Forfar in 1230, with a genuinely horrific event that will establish the primacy of the Canmores without dispute, and also signal the final end of the Gaelic tradition of inheritance of the crown; from then on, primogeniture will rule.

There are three sets of rivals then. The first are the descendants of King Alexander I’s bastard son Malcolm, who had been imprisoned in 1134. Let’s call them the MacMalcoilms, though absolutely nobody else calls them that.
The second set is often confused with those; they are called the MacHeths. The MacHeths are a kindred connected with the far north, with Ross, and from the north they managed to inherit the tradition that the mormaers of Moray had the right to rule all of Scotland, or at very least were able to hold the authority of the Kings of Alba at a safe distance.

And then last but most significant there were the MacWilliams, descendants of Duncan II the eldest son of the founder of the royal dynasty, Malcolm Canmore. The founder of the MacWilliams was William FitzDuncan, Duncan II’s son, and the first of the MacWilliams had chosen loyalty to the Canmores as his route, remaining fiercely loyal to David I all the way through to his death, somewhere around 1151. One of his sons though, Donal Ban MacWilliam and his descendants would take a very different approach when the opportunity arose, and would assert the MacWilliam claim to the throne, a claim about which that the entire MacWilliam clam will get to become quite boringly persistent. Until Forfar, 1230 that is.

And then finally we’ll have the switch in focus of the king of Scots away from the obsession with Northumbria towards the west and north of Scotland, from where ultimately the growth in Scotland’s territory would come. All of this would come against a backdrop of economic growth, growth of the burghs and gradual strengthening of royal administration that we discussed under David I.

Okally dokally, hopefully that’s enough set up. Last time Malcolm the Maiden had come to the throne at the tender age of 12. Malcolm the Maiden is an unfortunate name for a warrior king suggesting a certain lack of hairiness it probably derives from a later chronicle which sang about the lad’s piety, so pious he was able to resist the presence of a maiden in his bed and preserve his chastity. It was probably Sunday, Sunday papers and all, and he had the sports pages to read. and In fact Malcolm seems perfectly warlike and decisive. Certainly, he had managed to face off the first challenges to his succession from the sons of Alexander I when the revolt of Donald ended in Donald’s imprisonment, and the submission of the western Warlord Somerled; though of course his personal involvement at the age of 12 would have been limited. By 1157, Malcolm felt confident enough to effect a reconciliation with Malcolm MacHeth; his origin is a bit obscure, but it’s probable that Malcolm MacHeth was the son of an Aed, maybe a mormaer of Ross during the reign of David. Malcolm recognised macHeth as the Mormaer or Earl of Ross, though how much actual authority Malcolm had to give away there is pretty moot.

The biggest issue at Malcolm’s succession was the attitude of Henry II the new king of England and the Angevin Empire of Western France; and the initial indications in 1155 when Henry came into his inheritance had been good. Henry had not repudiated the promise he’d made when embroiled in promoting his claim to the throne against Stephen during the English Anarchy. He’d made no demand for homage when he finally acquired the English throne.
So the first meeting of the two monarchs, the 16 year old Malcolm and 24 year old Henry at Chester in July 1157 was always going to be a momentus event, but Malcolm and his advisers might well have been reasonably optimistic. If so, they received a shock. Once he’d established his authority, Henry resolved to reset the clock to the days of his grandfather, Henry I, and the lands he had held. Sadly for Malcolm, David had acquired Northumbria, Cumbria and Westmoreland as a result of the chaos of the anarchy under Stephen – so Henry would now have them back. Honestly, the sizes of the respective sticks held by Malcolm and his southern neighbour were very different. Henry had a very, very big stick indeed, and Malcolm had no choice but to bear the rod. There was some compensation in the form of the gift of the Earldom of Huntingdon, grandfather David’s old patrimony. As the young Malcolm wearily returned home he might have reflected that at least he had managed to get away without any explicit homage given for Scotland. As the Chronicle of Melrose put it

Malcolm king of Scots, came to Henry King of England at Chester; and he became his man as his grandfather had been the man of the old King Henry, saving all his dignities

It’s a general and vague statement. None the less it was a humiliating end to two decades of unprecedented Scottish success in the north of England. Neither Malcolm nor his successors would give up the dream of the greater Scotland quite yet – but they knew they would have to wait. The relationship between Malcom and Henry was not cordial – Henry was an energetic king, he meant to hold on to what was his and he repaired the border fortifications at Norham and Carlisle. The two men met again at Carlisle, and parted according to the chronicle again ‘not well reconciled to each other’.

Still, Malcolm seems to have decided to play the role of Henry’s man fully – and indeed he had little choice. And it is in this context that in 1159 he joined his lord’s military campaign into southern France, against the great duchy of Toulouse. It is quite likely that he did so against the advice and opinion of his earls and councillors; both on the grounds of the dangers of a king’s absence, and the way it looked – a Scottish king trailing along in the entourage of an English King. But Malcolm stuck to his guns or at least stuck to his sword and lance; his argument was probably that he couldn’t get Northumbria back by challenging Angevin might – maybe he could earn it back. But look, Malcolm was 19 by this stage; the thought of going to the centre of civilisation and culture in France in the court of one of the most powerful and magnificent men in Europe was a reasonably attractive thought to a young man. I’d have gone.

Let’s leave Malcolm in the heat of southern France for a while, and you and I can put away the suntan oil and reach instead for the midgie cream, and go out into the Western Isles and the Irish Sea. Let us for a while follow the career of one Somerled, a Gaelic warrior, son of one Gillebrighte. Somerled, means, literally, Summer Warrior, and he has been held up as the ancestor of the later MacDonalds, Lords of the Western Isles; and as a great Gaelic hero against the vicious Scandinavians. Both traditions are probably not true; and certainly Somerled was very much a part of the mixed Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Scandinavian world, part of all of them. Actually, we did meet Somerled in the last episode, when he supported the failed revolt of the sons of Alexander I in 1153, and dumped them when their failure became evident. It is quite possible that Somerled had been around and well known to the Scottish kings for many years by then – maybe even part of the Battle of the Standard in 1138 under King David.

Somerled had left the sons of Alexander in the lurch partly because the death of Olaf, the Scandinavian lord of the Western Isles offered him an opportunity. Over the next few years, Somerled built a western empire. He conquered the Isle of Mann in the Irish sea; in 1156 he defeated Olaf’s son, and forced him to yield much of his inheritance; and within a few years he took the rest, and created a great kingdom of Mann and the western Isles with his sons, Dugald, Ranald, and Angus. The breadth of his ambitions reflected Somerled’s extraordinary rise and success; a great leader in medieval days was both warlord and religious patron. Somerled was no exception, attempting to reinstate the old glory days of Iona, trying to tempt St Columba’s religious successor from Ireland back to Iona. He failed to do so – but the fact that he could envisage such a thing was a sign of his power and influence. As he grew, Somerled threatened Malcom’s Scottish kingdom, though not directly at first, but by proxy. There’s a theme here of Scottish Kings being drawn into the western Isles and into the North, because of an external Irish or Scandinavian threat, a process that will end with the extension of Scottish royal authority. So it could well be that Malcolm’s reconciliation with the MacHeth in 1157 was a response to counter Somerled’s threat. By 1160, Somerled was threatening Galloway in the South West, practically independent but very much in Scotland’s orbit. It may well have been the threat from this expansion that led Malcolm’s Gaelic and Anglo Norman lords to advise against a jolly to southern France.
So there was Malcolm, having a lovely time in 1159; although Henry’s campaign in Toulouse crashed and burned, he was a king among some of the greatest and most cultured lords in western Europe. He travelled back with Henry through the glamour and glitter of the Angevin courts to spend Christmas in Normandy living the high life. Maybe the warm glow lasted all the way back to Perth where he took up residence early in 1160.
If it did, then sadly, it didn’t for long. Because when he looked out of his bedroom window, he saw not the shimmering heat of France and listened to the ballads of the troubadours, he saw 7 angry Gaelic earls, led by the powerful Ferteth Earl of Strathearn. The Earls besieged Malcolm in Perth, and swore they would tae him captive and bend him to their will, this young king who had become the king of England’s lackey, lost the great earldom of Northumbria, and who had left his kingdom to be challenged by Somerled.

I feel like I am telling you a joke without a punchline – something I am sadly prone to do, because its really not at all clear what happened next, nobody tells us. However we do know this:

King Malcolm led his armies three times into Galloway and thence, having defeated his federate enemies, he returned with peace and without loss

Somehow, Malcolm came out of this crisis smelling of Roses; the Earls faced down, a significant military success in Galloway that saw the king there deposed and replaced by his sons Uhtred and GilleBrighte. The federate enemies probably included Somerled, whose attempt therefore to extend his influence into Galloway had been rebuffed. Somerled was not the kind of person to be fond of a rebuffing, he was a man more buffing than buffed against. In the words of the terminator, he would be back.
But that would be for the future; for the moment, Malcolm carried on the work of his grandfather David – encouraging the younger sons of English, French and Flemish noble families to go north young man and build a new life. The Gallowegians were encouraged to plant knightly colonies in Nithsdale, and incidentally Uhtred of Galloway married into the families of the great Gaelic magnates in Scotland to bring them further into the Scottish orbit. And also, Malcolm established royal tenants such as the Stewarts and Morvilles in lands along the River Clyde.

It may well have been this that pushed Somerled into mounting a direct challenge to the Scottish king. In 1163, Malcolm had fallen ill – it looked like the perfect time to roll back this expanding Scottish influence, to teach them not to mess with the great Warlord Somerled, hegemon of the western Isles. And so into the Clyde estuary in 1164 came Somerled’s army – not like Oliver’s drawn from the boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne but from Dublin, the Isles, from Argyle. A new world order was in prospect.

But it was not to be. You may think that the Bishop of Glasgow should be tending his flocks by night somewhere all seated on the ground, but in fact he was out with a few good men and the Sheriff of Lanark. Being a Bishop in 12th century Scotland was a role that demanded a range of skills. And it so happened that these men caught Somerled in a skirmish, that should have been nothing but the preliminaries to the invasion – but they got lucky, and Somerled himself was killed, his invasion disintegrated. Over the next few years Somerled’s empire fell apart, though his sons though managed to salvage parts of it for themselves, and will remain very much part of Scotland’s future.

This was the last political action of Malcolm’s reign. On December 9th 1165, Malcolm died at Jedburgh Abbey, to be succeeded by one of his two remaining brothers, William, to be known to history as William the Lion. It is a notable achievement of Malcolm that his brother succeeded with no problem, acclaimed by all the lords of Scotland, Gaelic or Anglo French; he had recovered from his low point at Perth.

His successor William was around 24 years old when he came to the throne, and he was also cross when he succeeded his older brother. He became known as William “The Lion”, but only after his death. We are not sure why. Maybe it was that he was like a Lion in battle. But it’s more likely, to have been the heraldic symbol he adopted – the red lion rampant on a yellow background. It remains a royal symbol to this day.
William felt the hurt of Scotland’s humiliating loss of Northumbria – and he was to seek obsessively to right what he saw as a wrong, it was to be his life’s work. This obsession has lead William to be largely ignored and dismissed by most popular histories – although he is the longest reigning Scottish monarch, his reign being 49 years in duration, yet he is something of an embarrassing footnote, William the who sort of thing. Because as you have probably guessed, he does not regain Northern England for Scotland, and you must forgive me the plot spoiler since of course the clue is in the name Northern England. While there is some justice in William’s lowly reputation it is also not entirely fair – but you can make up your own mind.

Certainly for the first 7 years or so, there was little to report of William’s reign, other than his determination to recover Northumbria; settlements of colonising knights continues into Scotland, the list of royal burghs grow throughout William’s reign. But mainly, he pestered Henry II to restore his rights to Northumbria; he pestered him by letter, he pestered him when they met in 1166, he pestered him when on campaign with him in Maine and Brittany. I used to know how to do this when I was a lad – relentless nagging, and every so often it would work, parents worn down like the dripping of a tap. William even seems to have toyed with the idea of allying with the French Louis VII, which was a very naughty thought given he was Henry’s man. All of this certainly had an impact on Henry II. There was Henry at Caen with some councillors, apparently in a royal bedchamber, and one of his courtiers says something positive about William. In response, Henry
Threw his cap from his head, unfastened his belt, threw far away from himself the robe and clothes which he was wearing, removed with his own hands the silken cover upon the bed, and sitting as if he was in a midden-heap took up the straw to chew the stems

As you can tell from this, Henry’s goat appears to have been a little got. Despite generating this level of fury, William essentially got precisely nowhere; there was no prospect of challenging Henry militarily, the resources of the Angevin Empire dwarfed William’s resources. But then in 1173, the famous devil’s brood mentality seemed to come to William’s aid – and there was hope.

Henry II had all his barons and nobles recognise his heir, Henry the Young king. This seemed thoroughly sensible, but sadly, Henry’s children were a difficult, fractious lot. The Young Henry seemed to expect real power – and the real Henry had no intention of allowing such a thing. So, the Young king began to plot rebellion. The French king was very pleased and rushed to help – he could not have been more delighted to sow discord in the Angevin realms – and William was every bit as keen to get involved, especially when the young king promised to give him back all that Malcolm IV had lost.

Duly, in May 1173 rebellion flared in Normandy, and then in England, and William gathered his army and came south in defiance of his lord. Oh dear it was not the most triumphant of campaigns. He failed to take Wark Castle, followed that up with an impressive failure to take Carlisle, and when Henry II’s justiciar approached he was forced to retreat – and managed to lose the town of Berwick to the English. Interestingly, William’s younger brother David had taken no part in the rebellion to help his brother. Banish any thought of this being a matter of high principle from your mind. William may have appealed to his brotherly duty, but it was a bribe that did the job, in the form of the earldom of Huntingdon. This was an honour which the Kings of Scotland had held for some time of the English king, and been restored to them by Henry II. And so now in 1174 brother David took part. And in this second campaign William had more success, capturing several castles in the north – but too many held out for the elder Henry, and William was bogged down. So he split his forces. The larger part he sent to harry the lands of Henry’s supporters in Northumbria, to visit upon them fire and sword and convince them that they should decamp immediately from Henry and join William – the classic economic warfare. It left him with just a small force to besiege the castle of Alnwick, where he was attended by a bodyguard of maybe 60 men at arms.

It was a risk, but given that rebellion raged throughout Henry’s far flung realm, William calculated he was safe enough. A certain Ranulf de Glanvil thought differently. He gathered together 400 mounted men at arms and set out from Newcastle on 11th July. On 13th they came to William’s camp, and although William fought like a Lion, he was overwhelmed and the king of Scotland was put in chains.

And here began 15 years of what William would see as nothing less than humiliation at the hands of the English. William was taken to the king’s court at Northampton. He was taken before his lord, and forced to submit. Worse, he wasn’t then allowed to slink off home and lick his wounds, he was forced to follow his liege lord to Falaise in Normandy. And there with teeth gritted, he participated in the tournaments and feats celebrating…well, celebrating his and his colleague’s defeat. Once Henry felt he’d rubbed William’s face sufficiently in the dung, the Treaty of Falaise was hammered out between the, and finally William was released and allowed to go home. His humiliation was not over. The following year, accompanied by his prelates and barons, William was forced to come to York and swear to uphold the treaty.
Falaise is important, because it became the model to which the English kings would refer time and again in the future – there’s a copy with some notes on the website if you are interested. Not only did William have no chance of getting Northumbria, now once again his homage to the English king was explicit. As Roger of Howden relates:
William, king of Scotland, has become the liege man of the lord king against every man, for Scotland and for all his other lands; and has done him fealty as to his liege lord, as his other vassals are accustomed to do to him.

William was also forced to watch while his barons also swore to uphold the treaty; and worse, that Henry was the superior lord – Henry could now intervene directly in any questions of justice if he so desired, and if there was a contest between William and Henry, the Scottish lords owed allegiance to Henry first. Meanwhile, they all had to swear also to the primacy of the English church, and Henry took direct possession of 5 castles in Scotland. Now, Henry could have done more; he did not use the fief word in the document, he didn’t really enforce the primacy of the English church subsequently.

But William’s freedom of action was also seriously curtailed – he was fettered to his master’s wishes, and also in attending his council, often unable to escape and attend to urgent business of his own. He very soon had an example of the immense frustration that would haunt him. In Galloway, the sons of Fergus had returned and raised rebellion against William’s man – and William could do nothing. The struggle left a man called Gillebrighte in possession of Galloway – and it was Henry who confirmed him in his possession of his winnings. This is stark example of William’s servitude. Henry had confirmed Galloway as William’s lands at the meeting at York – and yet had no hesitation as exercising his right as superior lord in deciding what should happen here. It was an exercise in brutally demonstrating to William where power really now lay.

It was a humiliation for William – and a very public humiliation. It was a humiliation constantly reinforced by William’s presence at Henry’s court, on which Henry regularly insisted. William’s prestige plummeted in the eyes of his nobility, whether they be Gaelic or French. Amongst his enemies and rivals in Scotland, lips began to be licked, hands rubbed in glee, swords and spears sharpened. Suddenly, the Canmore’s grip on power looked vulnerable.
The potential sources of trouble were legion. In the northern isles, Orkney and Shetland, Earl Harald Maddadson was eager to extend his control of Caithness and Ross. In the north also, the MacHeth clan chafed at the subordinate role of the mormaers of Moray. The head of the macWilliam family Donald macWilliam might be able to use the king’s weakness to revive his claim to the throne. Meanwhile Gillebrighte in Galloway preferred to see himself as Henry’s vassal, not William’s and would dearly like to prove it.

It took a while for trouble to start, and when it came it was the MacHeth family in Ross that seem to have started it, forcing William to campaign in Ross in 1179. Although not explicitly part of the rebellion, Harald Maddadson was also probably supporting the Macheth from the Northern Isles.
2 years later, by 1181, The head of the Macwilliam clan threw aside the tradition of loyalty his predecessor Duncan Fitzwilliam had shown to David and the Canmores. Donald MacWilliam joined the growing tide of rebellion, and threw the weight of the MacWilliams behind it. In so doing, he demonstrated the danger the MacWilliams represented, since he was able to gather significant support from the Gaelic lords north of the Forth, including the powerful Earl of Strathearn. This is very significant; these Gaelic lords were a barometer of confidence in the Canmores reign. In the north in Moray and Ross, royal authority completely collapsed. And then In 1184, just to add to King William’s woes, Gillebrighte of Galloway declared his hand.

And while all of this was going on, William’s hands were tied behind his back. He was able to campaign with his brother David in Ross for a while, but was constantly called back to Henry’s court; and he suffered the consequences. In 1184 a chronicle recorded that Gillbrighte from Galloway
‘wasted his lands and killed his men, and yet would not make peace with him

William knew Henry was abroad in 1184 and so raised an army – but before he could take action, Henry had returned, and William was forced to disband it; after all Henry himself had approved Gillebrighte in Galloway, he was his man. Henry’s lordship had brought all pain and no advantage, and prevented William re-establishing authority in his own realm.

In all of this William had one stroke of luck when Gillebrighte died in Galloway in 1185. Still William was hamstrung, but this time he managed to wage war by proxy. He sponsored Gillebrighte’s nephew, Lochlann, and Lochlann waged war to establish himself as the lord of Galloway, and by Autumn 1185 he had been pretty much entirely successful. Lochlann’s attitude towards the King of Scots was in total contrast to the previous rulers of Galloway; because it was a relationship which had given him his opportunity. Lochlann was William’s man, not Henry’s., William richly rewarded him assigning him the office of Constable of Scotland, a badge Lochlann would wear with pride.

Henry however was not pleased – he understood what was going on here, that William had sponsored a challenge. In 1186, he therefore once more reinforced his authority, in two ways. Firstly, Henry came personally to Carlisle, and there despite all the evasions of which Lochlan was capable, he forced Lochlan of Galloway to become his man. Secondly, he arranged a marriage for William – a right every lord possessed over his vassals. William had been angling for some time for a marriage, and demanding a prestigious match, a wife from Henry’s legitimate family. This would indeed be an impressive symbol for the Scottish king from the most powerful king in Christendom,. But iot diod not happen; instead, William must marry one Ermengarde, the daughter of the vicomte of Beaumont. It felt like yet another humiliation.
But in fact the marriage was to be a turning point of sorts for William, Ermengarde was described as a girl in the chronicles, and so she may have been just 12 in September 1186 when she married the 43 year old William. The marriage was a glittering affair with 4 days of celebrations paid for by Henry; after the celebrations were completed, she was taken back to her new home in Scotland by the Bishop of Glasgow while Henry and William went hunting. Ermengarde is one of those characters in Medieval history who you know has a great story to tell, because of a few snippets we know – but frustratingly, we have so little evidence. But without doubt she would become a woman of considerable talents who would strengthen her husband’s reign. And she also brought with her the return of Edinburgh castle as a dowry from Henry II and a sign that Henry was prepared to reward William’s loyalty.

I should not over egg this particular pudding; I am sort of painting a picture of William hamstrung by Henry – and to an extent he was, in the restrictions of dealing directly with Galloway, and the damage to his prestige of Henry’s overlordship. But equally he had clearly failed to deal with the MacWilliam and MacHeth revolt. Details are sketchy, but in 1186, the violence was not restricted to Moray, Ross and the north. William’s Earl of Athol in November captured Adam son of Donald, who could have been a MacHeth or a MacWilliam, and had him executed in front of the high altar of Coupar Angus Abbey, in the heartlands of royal Alba. Essentially for something like 7 years, William had allowed large parts of his kingdom to be overrun by rebels, and that failure to tackle the situation whatever problems Henry had thrown in his way.
In 1187 then, William finally took the decisive action the violence and rebellion in his kingdom demanded. In March 1187 he had a new Bishop of Moray elected and consecrated – the post had been empty for 2 ½ years, further evidence of William’s lack of control. In the summer William headed north, and was at Inverness in July. It was not a happy army; William still had a poor reputation, and it was reported that some of his nobles obstructed his efforts, secretly supporting the MacWiliam revolt. But Lochlann was firmly on his side, and in command of a detachment of William’s army, in Ross in the north. And their William’s most faithful servant delivered him from his enemies – he surprised Donald MacWilliam, and captured him. Donald had clearly been something of an inconvenience to Lochlann’s lord, and so it seemed appropriate to Lochlann to remove Donald’s head from the rest of his body. Into William’s camp rode Lochlann and his men bearing with them the head of the MacWilliams – literally. For a while at least the Macwilliams were beaten, royal authority was re-established in the north and the needle of William’s prestige, for so long unmoving at the bottom of the dial, twitched.

Or at least it probably did. There’s a curious incident in the summer of 1188. Henry II was levying a rather innovative tax in aid of crusade, called the Saladin Tithe. Innovation is taxation, remember, is a 4 letter word in the middle ages. Anyway there we are on the border of England and Scotland, and facing each other are some English tax collectors – and the assembled mass of the Scottish nobility with their king, William. Now William basically went along with the Saladin tithe – to be fair, he quibbled over the amount and tried to get Henry to throw in Berwick and Roxborough in return, but he basically said yes. But his nobles utterly refused to agree with their king, and refused to pay the tax, and sent said tax collectors packing.

Now that’s interesting, isn’t it. It has been presented as yet another bit of evidence of William’s lack of support among his nobility; it’s been presented also as the brave Scottish nobility standing up for Scottish sovereignty against their king’s supine submission.

But why on earth would William drag all his nobles down to be publicly humiliated in front of the English? It looks much more like a piece of theatre, that allowed William to refuse said tax and hold his hands up to his overlord – not my fault guv’. For once, Henry II was forced to accept this particular piece of defiance because he now was old, and sick, and his wife and children were in open defiance of him and in league with his enemies. And in Chinon in 1189 one of England’s greatest monarchs died in a welter of personal tragedy and defeat.

That seems as good a place to end as any, with the death of Henry II – and we can leave William the Lion celebrating the death of his tormentor, and preparing for the unknown – what would the new king, Henry’s son Richard, make of his pretentions to Northumbria?

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