by Richard Oram
338 in stock
About the Book
David I was never expected to become king, but on succeeding to the Scottish throne in 1124 he quickly demonstrated that he had the skills, ruthlessness and ambition to become one of the kingdom’s greatest rulers. Drawing on the experiences and connections of his youth spent at the court of his brother-in-law, Henry I of England, and moulded by the dominant personality and intense piety of his mother, St Margaret, he set out to transform his inheritance and create a powerful and dynamic kingship.
After neutralising all challengers to his position and building a new powerbase that drew on support from both Scotland’s native nobles and the English and French knights whom he settled in his realm, David emerged as a power-broker in mid twelfth-century Britain as England descended into civil war. He pursued his wife Matilda’s lost inheritance in Northumbria, gaining control over much of northern England and giving him access to economic resources that allowed him to invest in patronage of the reformed monastic orders, and in the reconfiguration of the secular Church in Scotland. The peace and stability of his kingdom, coupled with the economic boom brought by burgeoning population during an era of benign climate conditions, secured him a reputation as a saintly visionary who achieved the cultural and political transformation of Scotland.
You may also like…
By equal measure state-builder and political unifier and ruthless opportunist and bloody-handed aggressor, Alexander II has been praised or vilified by past historians but has rarely been viewed in the round. This book explores the king’s...
The legendary Scottish king Máel Coluim III, also known as ‘Malcolm Canmore’, is often held to epitomise Scotland’s ‘ancient Gaelic kings’. But Máel Coluim and his dynasty were in fact newcomers, and their legitimacy and status were far...
Winner of the Saltire Society Scottish History Book of the Year 2019 Presiding over an age of relative peace and prosperity, Alexander III represented the zenith of Scottish medieval kingship. The events which followed his early and unexpected...
Irish immigrants and their descendants have made a vital contribution to the creation of modern Scotland. This book is the first collection of essays on the Irish in Scotland for almost twenty years, and brings together for the first time all the...
What happened to Edinburgh’s once notorious but picturesque Tolbooth Prison? Where was the Black Turnpike, once a dominant building in the town? Why has one of the New Town designer’s major layouts been all but obliterated? What else has...
‘Sixty Degrees North is a story that we tell, both to ourselves and to others. It is a story about where – and perhaps also who – we are.’The sixtieth parallel marks a kind of borderland. It wraps itself around the lower...
On August 1, 1914, on the eve of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS Endurance from London’s West India Dock, for an expedition to the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival...