Clan MacAlpine History

King Kenneth MacAlpin

King Kenneth MacAlpin

At the very early times of Scottish history the King of Dalriada was King Alpin. His son Kenneth became the first King of the Picts and Scots and in this sense could be considered the first King of Scotland. To say he was a successful man would be an understatement.

The Romans considered the Picts so fierce that they chose to build a wall to protect themselves rather than further their Empire’s advance over Britain into Pictland. Yet in 843 Kenneth became ruler of the Picts, even conquering their language so that within twenty years Gaelic had replaced the Pictish tongue. He achieved the same miracles over the Welsh-speaking, long-established Kingdoms of Strathclyde, Gododdin and Rheged in Southern Scotland.

It is unlikely Kenneth and the Scots could have achieved so much purely by their own swords. His control of the Picts may have been aided by the ancient law of matrilinier succession through which he had reason to challenge for the Pictish Crown on his female ancestry.

Also, the Norsemen continually attacking the Scots from the West forced them eastwards. By then the Picts in the East may have been unable to resist this as they had been greatly weakened by the Vikings landing on their own shores.

As the MacAlpine name is so ancient and spread in times when the clan system was still evolving there is little evidence of any one, direct family line back to Kenneth MacAlpine and his father King Alpin. Many other clans claim to be descended from the accomplished MacAlpines, such as the MacGregors, Grants, MacNabs, MacAuleys, MacKinnons and the MacQuarries.

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