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David I (1124-1153)

King David I (or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim; also known as Saint David I or David I "the Saint")  was King of Scotland from 1124 until his death, and the youngest son of Malcolm Canmore and of Saint Margaret (sister of Edgar Ætheling). He married Matilda, daughter and heiress of Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, in 1113 and thus gained possession of the earldom of Huntingdon.

On the death of King Edgar in 1107, the territories of the Scottish crown were divided in accordance with the terms of his will between his two brothers, Alexander and David. Alexander, together with the crown, received Scotland north of the Rivers Forth and Clyde, David the southern district with the title of Earl of Cumberland. The death of Alexander in 1124 gave David possession of the whole starting on 27 April of that year.

In 1127, in the character of an English baron, he swore fealty to Matilda as heiress to her father Henry I, and when the usurper Stephen ousted her in 1135 David vindicated her cause in arms and invaded the Kingdom of England. But Stephen marched north with a great army, whereupon David made peace. The peace, however, was not kept. After threatening an invasion in 1137, David marched into England in 1138, but sustained a minor defeat on Cutton Moor in the engagement known as the Battle of the Standard.

He returned to Carlisle, and soon afterwards concluded peace. In 1141 he joined Matilda in London and accompanied her to Winchester, but after a narrow escape from capture he returned to Scotland. Henceforth he remained in his own kingdom and devoted himself to its political and ecclesiastical reorganisation. A devoted son of the church, he founded five bishoprics and many monasteries. In secular politics he energetically forwarded the process of feudalisation and anglicisation which his immediate predecessors had initiated. He died at Carlisle. David I is recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a Saint, although he was never formally canonized.

He had two sons, Malcolm (not to be confused with Malcolm IV of Scotland, this Malcolm's nephew) and Henry and two daughters, Claricia and Hodierna.

 

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