Macbeth (1040-57)

Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays but there was a real life king behind the murderous villain of the ‘Scottish Play’. Was the real Macbeth the evil tyrant as depicted by Shakespeare or has his reputation been unjustly sullied? You can listen to his podcast episode here or read on for more information.

A 19th century imagining of Macbeth

A 19th century imagining of Macbeth

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Duncan I (1034-40)

According to William Shakespeare, Duncan was a kindly old king murdered in his bed by the villainous Macbeth, but what was the real story? Duncan’s grandfather had ruled Scotland for nearly thirty years but the reign had ended with dynastic conflict. Would Duncan prove the wise king of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or was the reality of history rather less glorious. Listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

Duncan in Shakespeare's Macbeth, portrayed by David Thewlis

Duncan in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, portrayed by David Thewlis

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Malcolm II (1005-34)

The Scottish monarchy was thrown into crisis and civil war when Kenneth II, having tried to ensure that the succession would pass from father to son, was killed in 995. After ten years of conflict, Kenneth’s son, Malcolm II, has finally become king, but was it worth the wait? To find out how Malcolm II fared as king, listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Kenneth III (997-1005)

The dynastic conflict at the heart of the Alpin dynasty continued to rage with Kenneth III’s accession in 997. One rival was dead, but Kenneth would still have to see off another if he was to put the crisis to bed once and for all. To find out how he got on, you can listen to his podcast episode here or read on to find out more.

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Constantine III (995-97)

The stability Scotland enjoyed in the long reign of Kenneth II was thrown back into turmoil in 995 when Kenneth was murdered and there were three men disputing the throne. Constantine III was the first to get his grubby hands on the crown, but could he hold on to it? To listen to his podcast episode, click here, or read on to find out more.

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