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Macbeth of Scotland

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Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findlaích in Gaelic) was King of Scotland from 1040-1057.[1] William Shakespeare wrote a famous play about him called Macbeth. In the play, Macbeth is an evil king who murders his cousin so he can become king.[2] In real life, Macbeth was more peaceful than this, though he did kill King Duncan I of Scotland.[3]

Macbeth or MacBeth
King of Scots

Reign August 17th 1040 - August 17th 1057
Predecessor Duncan I, king of Scots[3]
Successor Lulach, king of Scots[1]
Ferchar Og, prince of Scots (possibly)
Lulach (stepson)
Father Finlay MacRoray
Mother Donalda, daughter of Malcolm II
Born c. 1005
Died August 15th or 17th 1057


Macbeth was probably born around 1005 in Morayshire, Scotland.[1] His name in Gaelic was "Mac Bethad mac Findlaích" (in modern Gaelic, it is MacBheatha mac Fhionnlaigh).[4] His father was Findláech mac Ruaidrí, Mormaer of Moray.[1] When Macbeth was born, he became Mormaer of Moray. Macbeth's mother, Donada, may have been Malcolm II's second daughter.[1]


In 1032, before he became king, Macbeth married Gruoch of Scotland (called "Lady Macbeth" in English).[5] They remained married until his death in 1057. She died three years later, in 1060.[5]


Macbeth may have had one child with Gruoch, but this is not certain. This child was Ferchar Og, Prince of Scots.[source?]

Macbeth did have a stepson, Lulach, who succeeded him as king but died in 1058.[6]

King of Scots

On August 17th, 1040, Macbeth murdered King Duncan I in battle and was crowned King of Scotland.[3] His reign continued until August 15th or 17th, when he was murdered in another battle. His stepson Lulach became king in Macbeth's place.

In 1058, Lulach was murdered in battle by his cousin Malcolm III, who then became king.


Macbeth's burial most likely took place soon after his death. He was buried in Iona, Scotland. This is a place where many kings have been buried, starting with the mythical first King of Scots, Kenneth MacAlpin.