Royal Deeside : Macbeth and Braemar
The River Dee rises in the centre of Scotland and runs roughly eastwards to the sea. The valley has long been an important route for travellers going east-west. The mountains bordering the valley offer few usable passes so that travellers going north-south had little choice on where to cross the valley. Thus the Dee Valley had an important role in Scottish history.
Macbeth was defeated and killed near the village of Lumphanan in Deeside. (Shakespeare took a few liberties here!) Below we briefly relate how, but for Macbeth, the village of Braemar may never have come into being.
This story begins with the death of Malcolm II of Scotland. The succession to the Scottish throne by Duncan, son of one of Malcolm’s daughters, was disputed. Indeed, Duncan was opposed by chiefs in Moray led by Macbeth. Eventually Duncan was slain near Elgin by Macbeth who subsequently declared himself Scottish King in 1040. Malcolm, the son of King Duncan, was a young boy at that time. His mother was related to Siward, the Earl of Northumberland. In 1054 Siward raised an army and supporting sea forces and attacked Macbeth at Dunsinane near the River Tay.
indecisive the battle left Malcolm, now a young man, in charge of much
of Scotland to the south of the river Forth while Macbeth continued to
rule the land to the north. Malcolm decided to attack Macbeth and in 1057
crossed the Mounth (the mountain range separating the River Dee from the
River Tay) via the Cairnwell Pass, the route now followed by the A93.
He camped by the River Dee near where Braemar now stands. Crossing the
Dee his army met and defeated MacBeth on 15th August near Lumphanan.
Queen Margaret was a very good woman and after her death was sanctified as Saint Margaret. Today one of the Braemar churches is dedicated to her.
So, without Macbeth:
would Malcolm have ever camped his army in the Braes O’ Mar?
would he have built the fort at Kindrochit or held his Highland Games?
would the Castle of Kindrochit have been built?
would Braemar exist today?
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|Introduction||A History of Royal Deeside||The Deeside Railway||The Old Military Road||Old Kirkyardst|
|Queen Victoria and Royal Deeside||John Brown, Loyal Servant||Francis Farquharson||Lord Byron, poet||Alexander Gordon|
|Macbeth and Braemar||Braemar Gathering and Highland Games||History of Braemar||Clan Farquharson||Bridges of Ballater|
|19th Century Ballater||History of Dinnet area||Aboyne History||Aboyne Wartime Poetry||Aboyne Great War Records|
|History of Dinnet||History of Tarland||Scott Skinner, the Strathspey King||Glen O' Dee Hospital||Brunel's Bridge|
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