MALCOLM died in 1093 A.D. His son Edgar was still
very young, so Donald Bane, who had fled to Ireland from Macbeth, now
returned and claimed the throne.
Some of the
Scottish nobles had been angry with Queen Margaret, because of her splendid
court, and with King Malcolm, because he allowed so many Englishmen, whom
they looked upon as weak and idle, to live and possess lands in Scotland.
These nobles now gladly welcomed Donald Bane. They placed him upon the
throne, and drove the English out of Scotland. All Malcolm's children also
fled, and took refuge in England.
had scarcely reigned six months, however, when another prince called Duncan
claimed the throne. Duncan defeated Donald Bane, and made himself King. But
a year and six months later he was killed in battle, and Donald Bane again
This time he reigned for three
years, during which there was constant war and trouble. There was war
between Scotsmen and Scotsmen, for many hated Donald Bane, and would not be
ruled by him; there was war with England; there was war with the wild
Northmen or Danes.
At last, tired of the
unrest and trouble, some of the Scottish nobles sent messengers to Edgar,
begging him to come to rule over them.
Edgar, who had no wish to fight, sent messengers to Donald Bane, asking him
to give up the crown. 'It is not yours, but mine by right,' he said. 'If you
will yield the crown to me, I will gladly give you great lands and
possessions, over which you shall be lord.'
But Donald Bane, having once been King, had no mind to become merely a lord
under his own nephew. So, instead of answering, he put Prince Edgar's
Messengers in prison, and then cut off their heads.
On hearing of this cruel and insolent treatment of his
messengers, Edgar made up his mind to fight. Helped by his uncle Edgar, and
by the King of England, he gathered an army and set out for Scotland.
One night as he marched northward, he rested at
Durham, where his father, Malcolm, had built a great church. There he had a
dream. It seemed to him that St. Cuthbert appeared and spoke to him in the
night. 'Fear not, my son,' said the saint, 'for God has been pleased to give
you the kingdom. Take my standard from the church and carry it before your
army, in face of your enemies. Then I will up and fight for you. Then your
foes shall be scattered, and those who hate you shall flee before you.'
When Edgar awoke he immediately told the dream to his
friends, and they, taking the standard of St. Cuthbert from the church,
carried it before the army.
The sight of the
holy banner put such courage into the heart of his soldiers, that they
fought and conquered Donald Bane's great army. Donald Bane himself fled
away, but he was pursued and brought back. Edgar, I am sorry to say, put out
his eyes and cast him into prison, where he died.
Edgar was crowned at Scone with great rejoicing, and
for nine years he reigned quietly and peacefully. Like his mother, Queen
Margaret, he was very religious, and he built and restored several churches