While William Wallace wasn’t an Australian in blue face paint shouting “FREEDOM!” in an historically dubious surrounding, he was nevertheless a real warrior who fought for Scottish independence in the late thirteen century. But who exactly was the real William Wallace and does he deserve the Rex Factor? Listen to his episode in the player below or read on to find out more.
After the dynastic crises of the past decade, John Balliol took on the leadership of a country in 1292 that was seriously divided and heavily indebted to Edward I, who was determined to make as much capital out of this debt as possible. Would Balliol be able to carve out his own path and make Scotland great again, or would the might of Edward I be too much for him to handle? To find out more, read on or listen to his episode here.
The death of Margaret the Maid of Norway in 1290 saw the failure of the direct line of the Scottish royal family and left the throne empty. Somehow, the Scots had to decide who should be the rightful king without finding themselves falling into civil war – but who would get to wear the crown? Read on to find out more or listen to our review of Margaret the Maid of Norway here, which includes a discussion of the Great Cause.
For the first time in its history, Scotland faced the prospect of a queen regnant – a female ruler! And not just any female ruler but a Norwegian one at that and still only a child. With rival claimants threatening the prospect of civil war, could the Scots keep the kingdom together? Would Margaret be able to rule successfully? And who’s that English chap on the horizon building lots of castles in Wales…
To listen to Margaret’s episode click here or read on to find out more.
Alexander III was only a child when he became king but his reign would come to be seen as a golden age in Scottish history. Alexander needed to restore unity following the divisions of his minority, re-establish Scottish independence from the encroaching ambitions of England and finished his father’s work in recovering the Western Isles from Norway – a pretty big to-do list, but would Alexander III be up to the task? To find out, listen to his episode here or read on to find out more.
Alexander II was something of a man on a mission to remove all the grey areas from medieval Scotland. Determined to assert Scottish independence from England, while at the time subduing the parts of Scotland which still clung to the memories of their own independence, he was a ruthless and highly efficient monarch. But by taking on so many old rivals and enemies, was Alexander II doomed to fail? Listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.
At the start of the twelfth century, the Scottish monarchs were caught in the net of England’s Norman kings and seemingly incapable of siring heirs. As yet another son of Malcolm III came to the throne, would Alexander I be able to steady the ship and set Scotland on a new course?
Listen to Alexander’s episode here or read on to find out more.
After over thirty years of stability under Malcolm III, the next few years would see chaos in Scotland with Edgar being the third to succeed his father when he came to the throne just 4 years later. With his evil uncle, Donalbain, still kicking around and a power-hungry Viking on the scene, Edgar would have a difficult job on his hands to keep the throne.
To listen to Edgar’s episode click here or read on to find out more.
The death of Malcolm III in 1093 led to something of a succession crisis, with Donalbain taking the throne of his elder brother in place of Malcolm’s many sons. In 1094, Duncan II was the first of Malcolm’s sons to make war on uncle Donalbain, but would he be able to keep the old man off the throne? Listen to his episode here or read on for more information.
In 1093, Scotland seemed to have put its dynastic divisions behind it, but despite having had a long and stable reign, as well as a large number of sons, Malcolm III’s surprise death led to a chaotic period of internal conflict, largely thanks to his younger brother and immediately successor, Donald III (known in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as Donalbain). However, Malcolm’s sons would not sit back and let their uncle rest on his laurels and they had the advantage of enjoying the support of the English king, William Rufus.
To find out more about Donald III, you can listen to his episode here or read on to find out more.