On the 13th of November, 1093 the Scottish army of King Malcolm III went up against Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria in what became known as the first Battle of Alnwick. This would be the second and last time Malcolm III invaded Northumbria as the English troops struck a fatal blow to Malcolm III and his son, Edward. The deaths would spark a civil war in Scotland over the succession to the Scottish throne.
Malcolm’s incursions into Northumbria came from pursual of the claims of his brother-in-law, Edgard, the rightful heir to the throne of England who was forced to flee following the conquest by William Duke of Normandy. As well as that, the lands of Northern Northumbria were very much up for dispute in terms of which Kingdom had claim over them. William sought to strengthen his control over the area by appointing barons to control the borders and resist any Scottish attempts to cross them.
Malcolm’s army was large and laid siege to Alnwick. Robert lacked the sizeable forces Malcolm had but perhaps made up for it with more experienced Knights. Despite the lack of troops, Robert set out to aid Alnwick in an attempt to relieve it from the siege. He arrived on the 13th of November, 1093 and managed to gain the upper hand by ambushing the Scottish army, cutting Malcolm III off from the rest of his troops. The Battle of Alnwick proved to be a decisive loss for the Scot’s who lost both their King and their heir in the same battle. Lacking a leader the Scottish troops retreated back to Scotland.
Tragedy after tragedy struck Scotland. Queen Margaret, who was later canonized, upon hearing of the death of both her husband and one of her son’s passed away three days later. Queen Margaret had been a devoutly religious lady and had often undertaken periods of fasting which had taken a severe toll on her health. The news of the death of her husband worsened her condition leading to tragic death.
Malcolm III’s goal to grow his kingdom was ambitious, however, his ambition only caused damage to his own Kingdom. A dispute over who should inherit the Kingdom arose between Malcolm’s surviving son and his brother, Donald Bane. While Donald became king, it did not take long for a civil war to start with Malcolm’s sons attempting to remove him from the throne. The death of Malcolm led to a weakness within Scotland that was well suited for William Duke of Normandy.