David I, king of Scotland

David I, 1084–1153, king of Scotland (1124–53), youngest son of Malcolm III and St. Margaret of Scotland. During the reign of his brother Alexander I, whom he succeeded, David was earl of Cumbria, ruling S of the Clyde and Forth rivers. By his marriage to the heiress of the earl of Northumbria he also became earl of Huntingdon and acquired a claim to Northumbria. In the long struggle for the English crown between Matilda (his niece) and Stephen, David fought for Matilda, but his main object was to secure Northumbria for himself. Although he was defeated by Stephen in the Battle of the Standard (1138), Stephen conceded him the earldom. David's internal rule was wise and momentous for Scotland. He made land grants to many Anglo-Norman families, thus providing the kingdom with a new feudal aristocracy. He also encouraged the commercial development of the Scottish burghs and strengthened the church by new foundations and endowments. He was succeeded by his grandson, Malcolm IV.

See study by A. M. Mackenzie (1954).

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